It certainly appears to me that the LDS church has started receiving more petitions for changes the last few years. Some of that can be attributed to just how easy the Internet allows like-minded people to find each other and with minimal effort organize a petition.
I have only been aware of the progressive Mormon scene a handful of years, but in that time I have seen a few petitions.
In the past we have seen protests against BYU sports in the late 1960s and 70’s due to racial issues and even just a few years ago when BYU sports were looking for a conference to join there were protests against how LGBQ folks were treated.
And just yesterday I found one that I agree with but it makes me chuckle. It is called Ordain Janitors! The site is filled with sarcastic references, a place for “testimonies” on how bad the buildings smell, some (modified slightly, but less modified than quotes in the lesson manuals when referencing Brigham Young quotes) scripture references, an FAQ section that has a suggestion that maybe the church should switch to Roomba robot vacuums, and the following on the home page of the website:
“For behold the porcelain is off-white already to scrub; and lo, he that thrusteth in his industrial vacuum with his might, the same layeth up in store that the building stinketh not, and he bringeth salvation to Saturday mornings of lay members. And professional skill, proper cleaning supplies, time and money, with an eye single to being a paid janitor, qualify him for the work.”
As humorous as this is, it does make me ponder once again how effective petitions are.
As I mentioned in a previous post, it seems to me the top church leadership does not want feedback from the “grass roots.” I do think there is validity that to move the church you have to ask for a mile to get an inch. The church seems to resist any change that originated from the outside. What if instead of the Ordain Women petition a baby-step petition would have been put forward for women to be able to give prayers in general conference. Would that have worked? Or was it because of Ordain Women pushing for the ordination of women to be considered by the top leaders be the impetus for the change in general conference? It does seem that if petitions highlight issues/practices that make the Mormon church look weird or out of step with current culture (such as Protect LDS Children) that some changes are made to try and take the steam out of the petition?
What do you think about the effectiveness of petitions aimed at the LDS church?