If you’ve been on social media the last few days, you’ve probably seen the Mormon Gender Issues Survey being shared on Facebook walls and Twitter feeds.
According to the first page of the survey, “This survey is conducted by The Mormon Gender Issues Survey Group. This group is a volunteer association of Mormon academics who have come together for the purpose of better understanding the beliefs and attitudes of LDS Church members about gender and gender roles.”
I completed the survey. I experienced the “discomfort expressing personal beliefs about sensitive topics” the survey predicted. It came from the way some of the questions were worded and the limited response options. I’m not sorry I completed the survey. I even encourage others to complete it. But there are a few things you need to know before you do.
1. The Members of the Mormon Gender Survey Group Have Bias
As posted by the Millennial Star, members of the Mormon Gender Issues Survey include “well-known LDS dissenter and agitator, John Dehlin, as well as other progressive Mormon activists who have pushed for the church to ordain women and to change its doctrine regarding homosexuality.”
2. The Questions are Limiting
The survey questions themselves make it difficult to share in-depth feelings and opinions. Often, questions ask you to choose between two doctrinally correct principles, such as:
Which statement comes closer to your own view, even if neither is exactly right?
A. A good Latter-day Saint should obey the counsel of priesthood leaders without necessarily knowing why.
B. A good Latter-day Saint should first seek his or her own personal revelation as the motivation to obey.
If you take the survey, make sure to take the time to fill out the free-response questions at the end. To see screenshots of all the questions, click here.
3. The Church Conducts It’s Own Surveys
While the results are often not published or shared with the public, the official statement given by the Church regarding gender issues mentions focus groups and other one-on-one interactions with Church leaders to better understand women and gender issues as it relates to the Church.
I’m glad I completed the survey with these things in mind. I hope all who take it spend time going over the questions and writing out their answers to ensure their views, whatever they may be, are properly heard.