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First women prays in LDS General Conference

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4 News) - First Counselor in the Primary General Presidency Jean A. Stevens is the first woman to offer a prayer at a General Conference for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
"It just seemed a normal part of our church meeting," -Latter-day Saint, Teresa Cheney
SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4 News) - First Counselor in the Primary General Presidency Jean A. Stevens is the first woman to offer a prayer at a General Conference for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Her Saturday morning closing prayer was translated live into over 90 languages for Latter-day Saints across the world.

"I didn't really think a whole lot of it, actually until someone mentioned it hadn't been done before. It just seemed a normal part of our church meeting," said Latter-day Saint, Teresa Cheney from Kearns.

It's common for Latter-day Saint women to speak, teach, direct meetings, and pray in local congregations.

The prayer comes after two women's groups organized to push for women to gain more rights and powers in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

A Facebook page called "All Enlisted" lobbied for women to wear pants to church meetings to which church leaders said go ahead. Their counsel is for women to wear modest clothing, either pants, a dress, or a skirt, as long as it's appropriate to worship the Savior.

This attitude is reflected in the Latter-day Saints who talked with ABC 4 after the Saturday morning session of General Conference.

"Anyone should be able to go to church modestly. I mean in pants or a dress. I think it's OK if they want to wear pants they shouldn't be judged for that," said Latter-day Saint, Stacie Skinner-Hoxsie from Midvale.

Another push gaining ground. A women's group called "Ordain Women" is pushing to ordain women to the priesthood. Latter-day Saints teach it's the power to act in the name of God and to direct his work on this earth.

While "Ordain Women" is focused on empowering the individual; the Church is focused on empowering society through family units. The Church teaches society is stronger when men and women have different roles.

"Men and women have different but equally valued rolls. Just as a woman cannot conceive a child without a man so a man cannot fully exercise the power of the priesthood to establish an eternal family without a women," said Elder M. Russell Ballard of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles for the Latter-day Saint Church.

The group "Ordain Women" do not like Elder M. Russell Ballard's statement. It teaches childbirth is not a good reason to deny women the priesthood.




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