In April 1984, RLDS Church President Dr. Wallace B. Smith presented to the church’s World Conference a proposed revelation which, among other things, called for the church to begin ordaining women. The issue had been festering in the church for at least fifteen years and was very controversial. Approximately twenty percent of the delegates voted against the motion to accept the document as a revelation to be included in the Doctrine and Covenants, and approximately the same percentage of active members ceased their involvement in the church as a result. It was a watershed moment in the history of the RLDS Church (since 2001 the Community of Christ), and the church today is in some ways difficult to recognize compared to the church that existed a generation ago. Robin K. LinkhartCommunity of Christ’s Section 156 was canonized in 1984. This paper will explore traditional Christian patriarchal hierarchy, Latter Day Saint organizational culture, and the journey of women breaking new ground as ordained ministers in the Community of Christ. Seventy Robin K. Linkhart, missionary coordinator for the West Central USA Mission Field, will share her personal experience.
William D. Russell