From my understanding, women play a huge role in the LDS church, e.g. The Relief Society (which was established in 1842 and has about 6 million members). Even though they don't have the priesthood and as such don't serve as Bishops, Stake Presidents, etc., they still give talks and say prayers in Sacrament Meetings and are in charge of Primary, Young Women's, etc. But I don't understand why LDS women are not able to be Sunday School Presidents. They can be teachers, but not the presidents? What is the LDS doctrine behind that? Why must a Sunday School President be a priesthood holder if they are not overseeing priesthood ordinances? When anyone receives a calling in the LDS Church, they can receive inspiration for their stewards -- regardless of what their gender is, so I don't know why must a Sunday School President be a male, especially if priesthood activities are not involved. Is is mainly based on tradition? Or is their doctrine behind this?

  • 2
    Maybe the real question isn't "why they can't be", but why they aren't called to be. It's possible women could be perfectly capable, but God doesn't see the need to have them serve in that capacity.
    – JBaczuk
    Jul 30 '16 at 14:40

To preface my answer, not all Church policy is shaped by doctrine. Some policies are practical.

That said, I don't know why this is the case, but the handbook does say:

12.2.2. Ward Sunday School Presidency

Members of the ward Sunday School presidency are priesthood holders.

Also, speaking of the ward Sunday School president:

He also oversees the calling and setting apart of other Sunday School workers. He may assign his counselors to call and set them apart.

This, of course, requires the priesthood to do.

  • Why the downvotes?
    – Matt
    Aug 2 '16 at 17:36
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    The only potential issue I see with this answer is the sentence you omitted in 12.2.2: "Where possible, the president holds the Melchizedek Priesthood." Considering that setting apart is generally considered a Melchizedek Priesthood role, this weakens your potential reasoning as to why.
    – Daniel
    Aug 4 '16 at 18:13
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    Note the full text of that paragraph of 12.2.1: "The bishop calls and sets apart the Sunday School president. He also oversees the calling and setting apart of other Sunday School workers. He may assign his counselors to call and set them apart." It seems much more natural for the "He" of your second quote to be referring to the Bishop, not the Sunday School president. Aug 30 '17 at 18:55

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