2015 General Conference Session

Winter is coming
In 2015, the world church met in San Antonio, Texas for the 60th General Conference Session from July 2-11.  While many resolutions would be voted on during this time, there were none more popular and anticipated than the resolution on ordination that would be discussed and voted on July 8.

What was the motion on the floor to be voted on?
While the church had already said no on Women’s Ordination in 1990, the reasons given were that there were parts of the world that wouldn’t be okay with that outcome. So this motion allowed for regional variance according to conscience. The voted motion reads: “Is it acceptable for division executive committees, as they may deem it appropriate in their territories, to make provision for the ordination of women to the gospel ministry? Yes or No”

Open Mic or Open Season?
Leading up to the vote was a discussion session where several mics were placed among the 2000+ voting delegates in attendance so delegates could share their opinions. Jan Paulsen, the former GC president, as well as Ted Wilson, the current GC president, both shared their thoughts during this time. This process lasted about four hours with several people from both sides sharing their opinions, reasons for voting to approve or reject the motion, and calls for others to join them in their decided vote.

Pass or Fail?
At the conclusion of a secret ballot vote, the results were:

  • No: 1381

  • Yes: 977

  • Abstain: 5

  • Total: 2363

A great controversy ensues
After the vote took place, there were reports of many issues with the process that called the integrity of the vote into question. Some accused regional leaders of threatening to fire delegates from their territories if they didn’t vote a specific way.* There were also concerns with the electronic voting system that was used and how reliable it actually would be. Ted Wilson clarified that this vote didn’t actually change or affect any already-existing policies and that women haven’t lost any opportunities they did have prior to this vote.

*Editor’s Note: To date, none have been able to substantiate this claim. We include it because it’s been a significant point of conversation among church members.

2010 Theology of Ordination Study Committee

2016 Unity in Mission Document