A little more than a week ago, I posted a blog entry stating that many Mormons are becoming increasingly restless with the institutional church. There have been further developments since then (plus a few issues that I missed):
LBGT: The LDS Church has decided to reenter the gay marriage discussion, this time in the State of Hawaii. LDS leaders have asked Church members there to read The Family: A Proclamation for the Family and then vote their conscience. This might be viewed as a setback for Mormons advocating a more liberal approach to gay marriage. This is likely to reignite some of the restlessness on this issue.
On a more positive note, last Saturday, Provo hosted its first Provo Pride Festival at Memorial Park. And it was deemed a success.
Women and the Priesthood: The Church leadership has decided to broadcast the semi-annual, Saturday-night priesthood conference session. Thus making it available to everybody (male and female). But women are still not invited to attend the session. Approximately 200 women plan to apply for tickets anyway.
The decision to televise the meeting is an interesting one. If women can watch it on TV, why not let them in the building? I suppose that the answer to this has to do with precedence. If women are allowed in the conference priesthood session, then why not to all priesthood meetings throughout the Church?
Marriage Ceremonies: There are awkward issues associated with who can attend temple marriage ceremonies, particularly if some family members are not LDS Church members. This issue was recently discussed on slate.com. In my case, since I don’t have a temple recommend, I did not attend the actual wedding ceremonies of my three children. During the wedding of the youngest, outside the temple with me were my two brothers, one brother-in-law, one sister-in-law, and one nephew. My brothers (and in the case of one, his family) had flown in from Chicago and St. Louis. For a church that values family relationships, this all seems strange. Hopefully, some accommodation is being considered.
All the boiling issues are being brought to the forefront, in part, with the aid of technologies like the Internet and social media. I wonder if soon someone will develop a macro-website that directs members toward the issue and/or petition drive of their choice? On issues like LGBT and women, the leadership is certainly looking at the membership. Small things have changed in the LDS Church in a relatively short period of time. And I suspect changes will continue.