For the first time in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints history, three women have been appointed to councils that help establish policies for the Mormon church — a move that was announced by the denomination earlier this week.
The First Presidency, the highest governing body of the Mormon church, and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, the second-highest governing body, recently selected Linda K. Burton, Bonnie L. Oscarson and Rosemary M. Wixom to serve in priesthood leadership roles.
Burton is slated to serve on the Priesthood and Family Executive Council, Oscarson will work with the Missionary Executive Council and Wixom will serve on the Temple and Family History Executive Council, according to a news release.
Oscarson described her excitement in a Facebook post on Tuesday, writing that she was elated to receive an invitation to serve as a member of the Missionary Executive Council.
"I still vividly remember President Thomas S. Monson announcing the lowered missionary age for young women. Today I witnessed another significant moment – I received an invitation to participate as a member of the Missionary Executive Council. I am honored," she wrote. "This is one of three key councils of the church, each led by members of the Twelve."
Oscarson went on to say that it is a "great time" to be a woman in the church, where she said that female voices are "needed and valued more than ever," expressing her gratitude over the invite.
Burton added in a separate post that she, too, is thankful for her new position, adding that theres a history in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints of men and women working together to build the faith.
"It is now more important than ever that we stand together and follow Heavenly Father’s plan to bring his children home," she wrote.
Church elder Dallin H. Oaks of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles added his support this week as well, writing on Facebook that he was "pleased" to see Oscarson's message announcing the new roles. Other church leaders also spoke out in support.
"We are confident that the wisdom and judgment of these general auxiliary presidents will provide a valuable dimension to the important work accomplished by these councils," read a letter from church president Thomas S. Monson and other Mormon leaders.
The assignments for these women take effect immediately, and come after much debate surrounding the role of women in the church.
As TheBlaze previously reported, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints officially excommunicated Kate Kelly, the founder of a Mormon women’s organization, back in 2014; her organization had called for the ordination of women.
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