Hindus have urged The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS) and its President Thomas S. Monson to reconsider favorably the ordination of women.
Distinguished religious statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada (USA) today, said that it would be a “step in the positive direction” as women could disseminate God’s message as skillfully as men and deserved equal and full participation and access in religion.
Quoting Hindu scriptures, Rajan Zed says: Where women are honored, there the gods are pleased. Men and women are equal in the eyes of God and religions should respect that, Zed stresses and adds that time has now come for the women bishops in LDS.
Zed suggested that LDS needed to address this issue urgently; re-evaluate Church doctrine, theology, male hierarchy and history; and give women a chance. Women should be ordained to priesthood and should perform the same functions as men. Treating women as not equal to men was clearly a case of discrimination promoting gender inequality.
Rajan Zed, however, commended LDS for including women as part of “General Authorities” under “Relief Society Presidency”, “Young Women General Presidency” and “Primary General Presidency”. LDS, being one of the fastest growing denominations in the world, should show exemplary leadership in women equality to the rest of the planet, Zed stated.
Zed applauded Church of England for saying yes to women bishops in historic vote on the issue on July 14, overturning centuries of tradition. Zed also welcomed Church of Ireland for appointing its first woman bishop few months back. Zed noted that Roman Catholic Church should also follow and permit women priests and urged His Holiness Pope Francis to put ordination of women priests on the top of his reform agenda.
According to lds.org, “The priesthood is the power and authority of God. It is conferred upon worthy male members of the Church.” Gordon B. Hinckley, prior LDS President, said: “Women do not hold the priesthood because the Lord has put it that way. It is part of His program.”
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (commonly called Mormon Church), launched in 1830 in upstate New York and currently headquartered in Salt Lake City, which describes themselves as “followers of Jesus Christ”, now has over 15-million adherents.