The Mormon Church has decided to rename the General Women’s Meeting as the General Women’s Session of General Conference — something that signals a big change for women’s leadership in the church, the governing First Presidency for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announced on Thursday.
That decision comes in response to confusion about what to call the meeting. It also is a sign that the church is interested into moving the input of women higher up in the structure of the church, Neylan McBaine, the author of Women at Church: Magnifying LDS Women’s Local Impact,” said to The Salt Lake Tribune on Thursday.
“This rhetorical change is much more than just a word choice,” McBaine said. “It signals an appetite at the very highest levels of church leadership to fold women’s voices into the official structure more completely.”
McBaine added that “it also indicates our leadership’s willingness to adapt and expand practices where we can, which is a lesson we can adopt even more fully at our local levels.”
The website for the General Conference for the church now includes listings for sermons with the headline “General Women’s Session” but a list of talks from the spring on the website are still designated as the “General Women’s Meeting,” according to the Tribune.