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Dear Gramps,

Why did Paul say that women should cover their heads and that women should not be allowed to speak in church? Considering all that Christ taught about how highly favoured women are Paul didn’t seem to have that opinion but thought they should remain in the background ‘doing good’. What are your thoughts?





Dear Sue,

Some practices in the Lord’s Church are doctrinal and some are conventional. If one parted from the convention of the day it could be perceived as a statement against the norms of society or against the order of law. So the practices of the Church have changed from time to time to fit the conventions of the day.

As an example, in earlier days of the restoration it was fashionable for men of stature to wear beards. In fact all of the prophets of God from Brigham Young (1801-1877) to George Albert Smith (1870-1951) wore beards. Today, the wearing of facial hair is discouraged in the Lord’s Church. In fact, it is required to be clean shaven in order to be an ordinance worker in the temple.

Why would this be? Simply because in the minds of some a bearded person is perceived as someone who is rebelling against the norms of society. Of course that perception is not true in many, many cases, but nevertheless the perception is pervasive, so the possibility of the perception that someone serving in the temple could be an unsavory character by observation of his hair style is avoided. That undoubtedly was the perception of women in Paul’s time. In that day they simply did not have the same social status as men.







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