SL09191 Panel: The Dynamics of Power and Authority in the LDS Church

Who exercises power and authority in the LDS Church? What matters about who’s inside and who’s outside the current power structure? Our panel will explore the personal, spiritual, and institutional implications of the current power dynamics in the LDS Church and discuss what other models and approaches might be possible.We’ll hear from panelists on many sides of the issue—an LDS woman whose access to power in the Church is either informal or primarily as a recipient; a black man who first experienced exclusion from exercising power and then inclusion after the 1978 revelation on blacks and the priesthood; a Community of Christ apostle whose denomination wrestled with the issue and subsequently opened the priesthood to women; and a gay man whose use of priesthood is somewhat tenuous and contingent upon foregoing committed same-sex relationships to remain in good standing with the Church. Finally, we’ll hear from an organizational psychologist who will analyze the power dynamics in the Church and the ramifications to the organization for including and excluding some individuals from the power/authority structure.

Jana D. Riess, Darius Gray, Dale E. Luffman, D. Michael Quinn, Michael J. Stevens