DOCTRINE: “… the rights of the priesthood are inseparably connected with the powers of heaven …” –D&C 121:36. [source]
AFFIRMATION: “In the Church there is full equality between man and woman. The gospel … was devised by the Lord for men and women alike…. The privileges and requirements of the gospel are fundamentally alike for men and women. The Lord loves His daughters as well as He loves His sons…. This makes individuals of man and woman—individuals with the right of free agency, with the power of individual decision, with individual opportunity for everlasting joy…. There can be no question in the Church of man’s rights versus woman’s rights.” –Apostle John A. Widtsoe, Improvement Era, March 1942, reprinted in the Ensign, March 1980. [source]
POSITION STATEMENT: “Does the church favor equal rights for women? Yes.” –excerpt of a Q&A section of an article about the church’s opposition to the Equal Rights Amendment, published in the Ensign, March 1980. [source]
WAIT A MINUTE, DID WE SAY RIGHTS?: “In the controlling of the exercise of priesthood authority, the function of priesthood keys both enlarges and limits. It enlarges by making it possible for priesthood authority and blessings to be available for all of God’s children. It limits by directing who will be given the authority of the priesthood, who will hold its offices, and how its rights and powers will be conferred. … Whoever exercises priesthood authority should forget about their rights and concentrate on their responsibilities.” –Dallin H. Oaks, in a General Conference talk explaining why women cannot hold the priesthood, April 2014. [source]
COMMENTARY: I think what the church means to say is: “We understand that it sounds really bigoted to say that women should not have the same rights as men, so we won’t say that, even though that’s exactly how we feel. Instead, we have to say that women are different. They’re special. In fact, they’re way more awesomer than men are, so see? Totally equal. They just can’t have the priesthood or serve in leadership capacity over men. But come on, men can’t give birth, amiright? So: equal.” But what do I know? I’m just another apostate.