Mormons believe in full equality between men and women, but they also believe that men and women have different roles because of gender.
Latter-day Saint women celebrate their differences from men, believing that the union of a man and woman is divinely appointed. Sheri L. Dew, a member and former leader of the Relief Society (the 6 million strong Church organization for women) stated, “He made us enough alike to love each other, but enough different that we would need to unite our strengths and stewardships to create a whole. Neither man nor woman is perfect or complete without the other” (“It Is Not Good for Man or Woman to Be Alone,” Ensign, Nov. 2001, 12).
Elder Neal A Maxwell, a prominent Church leader from 1974 up to his death in 2004, added this view concerning husbands and wives:
“When we kneel to pray, we kneel together. When we kneel at the altar of the holy temple [to be married], we kneel together. When we approach the final gate where Jesus Himself is the gatekeeper, we will, if faithful, pass through that gate together” (“The Women of God,” Ensign, May 1978, 10).
While men and women are equal partners in marriage, the Mormon church recognizes that men and women are different, too:
“We cannot eliminate, through any pattern of legislation or regulation, the differences between men and women. There are basic things that a man needs that a woman does not need. There are things that a man feels that a woman never does feel. There are basic things that a woman needs that a man never needs, and there are things that a woman feels that a man never feels nor should he.” (Boyd K. Packer, “The Equal Rights Amendment”, Ensign, March 1977, page 6)
Mormon women are not subservient to Mormon men:
"The place of woman in the Church is to walk beside the man, not in front of him nor behind him. In the Church there is full equality between man and woman. The gospel ... was devised by the Lord for men and women alike. Every person on earth, man or woman, earned the right in the pre-existent life to come here; and must earn the right, by righteous actions, to live hereafter where 'God and Christ dwell.' … 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, whose own actions throughout the eternities, with the loving aid of the Father, will determine individual achievement. There can be no question in the Church of man's rights versus woman's rights" (Improvement Era, Mar. 1942, p. 161).