Well, that’s not exactly the right term, but for those who have served LDS missions previously, that’s what the new announcement from the LDS Newsroom amounts to. The term “Zone Leader” is out, and the new term “Mission Leadership Council” is in, and it will include sister missionaries. It wasn’t announced in General Conference, but was merely a press release. Neither was it announced that a woman prayed in General Conference for the first time, but it was announced on Feminist Mormon Housewives, By Common Consent, and Wheat and Tares.
The new Mission Leadership Council will consist of both men (elders) and women (sisters). The mission president’s wife will play a larger role in watching over sister missionaries, and the sisters on the council will train other sisters. But only men can interview potential converts for baptism; that role won’t change. For any non-Mormon readers out there, typically a prospective convert is interviewed by a District Leader (a missionary in charge of 4-10 missionaries), and then a Zone Leader (a missionary in charge of 4-8 districts.) If the potential convert passes both interviews, he/she is baptized by a male of their choice; it is often the male missionaries or an LDS member of the local ward or congregation of the convert’s choice.
I think it’s great that women will be more included in mission leadership. Perhaps this is a small step to ordain women eventually. One can hope, right?
It’s possible. I was told on my mission, by my Mission President, that the purpose of missions and mission leadership among young men is to train the future leaders of the church. And that is in addition to the purpose of increasing the membership. If that’s the case, then maybe this is indeed a stepping stone to a larger stewardship role for women.
[…] big ideas. Hoping this will lead to even more advances. For example, female missionaries now have some leadership positions — yet it looks like they carefully crafted it so that women could be “leaders” […]