Sunday, January 20, 2013


I went to the temple on Friday night so I could get one last trip in before baby.  I paid a lot closer attention due to our discussions.  :)

When I left that night I was wondering a lot about stewardship.  We've talked about women's roles and whatnot, but the temple does indeed have parts that indicate men have an incredible stewardship/responsibility for their families.  For example, the new name.  We don't know our husbands but they know ours.

I haven't ever read about the priesthood with a husband's/father's role specifically in mind but I am curious about how that stewardship plays out or should play out in our home and in the eternities.

Does anyone have any good reading material about that?

Kelly,  I can't think of anything else we've done with the YW that would help you, but I am always trying to think of new ways to build the relationship between the two organizations.  In the handbook it says that one of a RS presidents main jobs is helping girls transition throughout their YW years into being RS members.

Everyone, this talk by Elder Bednar it is a game-changer.  For reals, man.  Read it.  Let me know what you think.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013


loved how you've incorporated the YW.  I'm going to share that with my YW president.  The girls did do a service project with the RS during the Christmas season.  They all went together to decorate a tree at the convalescent home.  The girls were FANTASTIC!  Holding hands, joking around, and singing with the elderly residents.  Many of the women told me later that they were impressed with how comfortable the girls seemed to be.  The girls enjoyed the evening as well!

If you have any more ideas on incorporating the YW into RS, I'd love to hear them.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Some more thoughts

Marilyn, Kelly, I have so enjoyed reading your comments.  These discussions have also led to some fantastic conversations with my own hubby.  We started with the pants movement, moved into some awesome fun speculating what "priestess" would entail and ended up on polygamy.  Those two hours were the highlight of my week.  It reminded me to chat with my hubby more often.  :)  Plus, my hubs always brings up things I wouldn't think of on my own.  That whole yin to my yang thing--or, in a less fun way of saying it--his brain just works differently than mine.

But I did have a few thoughts I wanted to share here on the blog.  First, I'm so glad you responded Marilyn.  I really don't think I was taught much in church or seminary while I was growing up about WHY motherhood is so fabulous.  I really don't.  I was taught lots of good things though.  All of my desire to be a mother came from watching my mom (Marilyn--good point that girls watch their moms a lot) and being part of a really fun family.  I didn't really understand that there was doctrine about motherhood or womanhood.  I just knew that it was what I wanted to do.

I think I would have enjoyed learning more about it, but I have always been predisposed to think about gender more than other people.  I do have a master's degree in masculinity studies, so that probably says something about my general interest in the topic of gender.  Even if I was more interested in it than the average girl, I probably wasn't ready to receive the information and make it a part of myself.

On the first Sunday of January I taught the Relief Society lesson and I talked about grace.  (This ties back eventually--hang with.)  I used Brad Wilcox's talk from the New Era called "His Grace is Sufficient" and then challenged the sisters to go home and read and study Elder Bednar's talk "The Atonement and the Journey of Mortality."  Yesterday I asked the RS sisters to share any thoughts they had about the talk.  Two sisters said that after they finished reading the talk they felt humbled.  They said they thought they understood grace but after reading Elder Bednar's talk they realized they didn't understand grace at all and felt a desire to dig deeper into the topic and into the gospel in general.

I thought of Marilyn's blog post.  Maybe things hit us hard when we are ready to receive them and not any other time.  And maybe there are things that stand out to us because of our interests/talents/abilities that might not strike other people with the same power.  I know that not everyone would have the same list of talks/articles that were life-changing as my list, but I know that other people study the gospel just as much and far more than I do.

Here's a portion of my list of life-changers:  the Bednar talk I listed above about grace.  AMAZING.
Elder Eyring's talk "O Remember, Remember" and
Elder Eyring's book To Draw Closer to God.

I bet your list is different.

My point is that after reading what Marilyn had to say and hearing those two sisters make those comments, I felt less  . . . upset . . . that I didn't know things sooner than I did.  I still want to preach with a voice of thunder to the YW about these things, and be an example of motherhood and womanhood, but the Holy Ghost has to teach these things and the girls have to be receptive to the message.  My own daughters though--I will make sure I teach these things whenever an opportune moment arises.

On a different note (and I realize this post is already too long), I really appreciated your idea Kelly of having the YW integrated more into adult woman responsibilities.  When I was called as RS president I read in the handbook that one of a RS presidents responsibilities was to build strong ties between the YW and the RS sisters.  The YW president graciously allowed the RS to take over 6 YW activities during the year.  Last year we met with the girls three times in May and the RS sisters taught the YW how to sew sanitary napkins which were then donated to an organization that sent them to Africa.  We have 11 sewing machines set up in the cultural hall with a RS sister sitting by each one to guide the girls as they sewed.  We did that the last two nights.  The first night I talked about the blessings of living in the United States and how much we should love our sisters around the world and then we taught the girls how to cut out the fabric.  It was a huge success.  We assigned one RS sister to each girl to take them little reminders about the activity and offer rides and help with the sewing.  We had two girls attend who hadn't attended in years.  It was awesome.

Then in October we met with the girls three weeks in a row to teach cooking.  We put the girls in groups of about 5 and sent the groups to different homes in the ward where they participated in cooking a meal.  The first week we taught a basic red sauce (that you could turn in spagetti sauce or pizza sauce, etc) and then gave the girls a handful of recipes that they could make once they knew how to make red sauce.  The second night we taught them a basic white sauce (roux) with all the recipes they could make using the white sauce (like cheese sauce and alfredo sauce and sausage gravy and biscuits).  The third week we met together in the gym and had a big taste-testing session where everyone (all the YW and RS sisters) brought something they were good at making and everyone tasted everyone's food and chatted.  It was a great success.

This coming May we are going to focus on education.  I really think this has been helpful in getting the YW and RS sisters to know each other better.  The girls were very responsive and the turn-out was great.

If any of you have any other great idea of things you wish the RS would do with the YW--let me know!  I'm the one who spearheads these things and I'm not always sure how I can best support the YW program.

You gals are awesome.  Thanks for "talking" with me about this stuff!

really quick

I enjoyed Andrea's dissection of the ways women feel unequal, and I pretty much agree across the board about the ones I see as places we could do better, vs. the ones I think are just sort of . . . weird. I've also been thinking a lot about Kelly's point about the boys starting priesthood responsibilities when they're 12 (home teaching etc.). I'd never thought about that before, but I agree, it would be awesome if there were some similar process for young girls turning 12. Then maybe we wouldn't have to focus so much on helping them "feel comfortable" in RS when they are 17-18, because they would have been slowly taking on responsibilities since they were 12! Really interesting. I think I might even bring this up in Ward Council and see what others think. (I LOVE our ward council; they are awesome!)

I was thinking about why it wasn't already like that, and I thought maybe one reason is that the dads aren't around/home as often to be showing their boys what the priesthood should do---like, the home teaching assignments help force them to be an example there?  Whereas the women, ideally, would be around their daughters all day---already having them help take meals around, showing them how to show charity as a RS sister, etc.  I remember helping my mom take meals to a lady in our ward with MS, every week for years---I helped her cook and take the meals almost always. So I guess maybe that might be why there is no program in place already?  But I still think (especially now, when many women aren't/can't be around their daughters all day any more than the dads are with sons!) it would be valuable to have something "official" in place.

The other thought I had is that visiting teaching is more about personal woman-to-woman talks, whereas hometeaching is more like, checking on the whole family, more formally----so, would that intimacy  be hampered by taking your 12-year-old along?  And, if you had to wait for your daughters to get home from school so they could go with you to do VT, then does it allow for the during-the-day visits that really allow women to share feelings, unrestrained by children/husbands being around? (Not that any of us homeschoolers have those kinds of visits anyway . . . or with young kids . . . ).  I don't know. What other "RS" responsibilities do you think the YW could have at an earlier age? I'm curious what kinds of things you were thinking of.

Friday, January 11, 2013

talking about stuff

I've loved reading all the thoughts that have been shared about this.  In my head I've been responding, or talking it out with my husband, which has made for some great conversations.  The following may be rambly, as I'm typing quickly to get some thoughts out before I get back to making dinner (Friday pizza night!).

At young women the other night, the girls were planning an activity in which they are going to make rounds over the next few months visiting several of the widows in our ward.  The president and I looked at each other and both said, "visiting teaching practice".  It was something that had been on my mind lately after listening to my husband call up one of the young men to go home teaching with him.  Why do the YM start doing REAL priesthood responsibilities as soon as they turn 12, and the YW don't?  The boys have their opening exercises with the men, they home teach with them, collect fast offerings, etc.  Proper priesthood behavior is constantly being modeled for them.  I don't see that happening with the women.  Why aren't the YW invited to go visiting teaching?  To bring meals?  I remember my first calling as a visiting teacher.  I was 18 and had no idea what I was really supposed to do.  And neither did my 18 year old partner.  I still don't know if I'm doing it "right" as I've never really had regular visiting teachers come to see me!   I could see that being an improvement - having the YW and RS work together better.

We've been trying to impress upon the young women the importance of some of the lessons we've been teaching in class - lessons on family, homemaking, scripture study, etc.  They're not getting it.  They don't even WANT to have kids - so they see no reason to learn about anything remotely homemaker-ish.  They said they want to learn "real life skills".  I'm confused by what they want...I think THEY don't know what they want.  I think they're getting too many conflicting messages.    I don't want to force my personal feelings on them, but they obviously aren't grasping in any sense why motherhood would be a noble calling.

But back to the pants movement.  I agree, Andrea, that their stated mission I DON'T agree with.  I also didn't think the venue was appropriate for the message.  So many of the reasons given that I heard from friends/bloggers, etc., made absolutely no sense to me.  One woman said she wore pants so that investigators to the church would feel more comfortable.  Really?  That's your basis?  How about you just say hi and sit by them for a few weeks so they have a friend.

I agree that so many of these women are suffering from a severe lack of understanding.  Definitely not understanding their role as a daughter of God.  Do they think that God is wrong in the organization that he created?  Because I think it would be very difficult to believe that God was wrong, and still have a testimony.  In which case, you'd have to believe that men have mis-interpreted God's word - (in which case I ask, if they have, wouldn't he have corrected us by now?)  I know that I appreciate learning more about this stuff.  I find myself feeling like you do, Andrea - why didn't I know this sooner??!!!  And then I want to tell all the young women what I know so that they can have that knowledge to aid them in their paths through life.  But perhaps Marilyn is right - perhaps that is not the way it needs to happen.  Maybe it's a necessary part of our testimony and our understanding of our purpose to come at this line upon line, gaining a greater understanding of the doctrine as we are ready for it.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

. . .

PS (Update) Andrea I didn't read your new post (below) yet and I don't have time to right now (I guess we were writing our posts at the same time, hee hee) so sorry if there's something there that I didn't address or understand. More later, but right now I have to go! :)

Gaaaa! Curse the inefficiency of writing things down (although I should be grateful I'm typing and not chiseling on gold plates, I realize). I have lots of thoughts to respond to Andrea's post, and I've been talking about them to my husband all week, but it's just such a PAIN to write it all down. However, I will try.

So, let me say first, that I share your frustration, Andrea, about these things being not-enough-talked-about and taught in the church. They do seem like essential and life-changing doctrines that should NOT be overlooked. But you asked WHY. So I will give my thoughts. First, I think we have to remember that the church is a huge, varied conglomerate of a billion (okay, millions) of different people with different ideas and backgrounds and so forth. I say that because I think any organization is hard to characterize with just a few generalizations, and when you say the mothers day talks are about "my mom was great because she made cookies"-----that is only partly true, right? Because I HAVE heard talks---and read books, articles, etc.---that teach these truths. The one you linked is an example, right? And I had run across that several times before you linked it. I'm not saying it shouldn't be MORE pervasive, because it should, but it isn't totally unknown either. When I run across Mormon/Feminist thought like this (stuff I like---that rings true to me and feels like an important addition to my understanding of womanhood) I don't necessarily feel like, "I've never heard anything like this before!", but more like, "YES! This fits in with the good things I have heard in the past, and refutes lots of things I never really believed anyway."  I guess to sum up, there IS truth being taught in the church, lots of it, and I've run across it at multiple times and from multiple sources, and it's been informing my worldview since I was in Young Womens!  I have been lucky and I've been in great wards, so I know I can't say my experience is "typical"---but I don't know that it's ATYPICAL either. I think we have to trust/hope that there ARE Young Women presidents (I hope I am one of them, ha ha) who are telling their young women about Eve and womanhood and motherhood. In fact I have used quotes from this specific article in my lessons before. So, we do what we can, and know there are others who are doing what they can, and while we can WISH it was more widespread, all we can really do is spread our own influence, you know?

Then along with that, I'm guessing your frustration comes partly from a feeling of "WHY wasn't I taught this sooner?! It's so important that I wish I had known it all along!"  Am I right about that feeling? Maybe you even think, "If I had known this, ______ in my life would have been totally different!" (Maybe I am mischaracterizing your feeling---but those are the feelings _I_ have, anyway.)  So I relate to that. But as I've been thinking about it, it really doesn't seem that different than all the other truths I am learning as I go along. And I'm only in my 30s, so I have no illusions that I've learned everything yet. So why SHOULD I have already had a total and complete understanding of womanhood and what it means for me and what it will mean in the eternities? What do I want, to have somehow known all this stuff when I was 12? Of course I didn't know it then!  I didn't know ANYTHING then! I didn't even understand what faith was (which I'm still learning), or what the atonement meant or what repentance meant or what sorrow meant or---anything. And yet, I know I was taught---I _remember_ being taught---several Truths about womanhood and how it WAS as important as the priesthood. Did I catch all the implications? No. Am I catching them now? Probably not, but I am starting to catch more of them, anyway, and the subject is expanding and opening up for me as I mature and start to have different questions and different experiences. Argh, it totally sounds like I'm trying to argue with you, and I'm NOT! I'm just saying, I think maybe the reason it feels to us like this stuff is so NEW and LIFE-CHANGING isn't because it was never taught anywhere, but because WE weren't recognizing/internalizing/caring about the truths when we DID hear them---because we didn't yet have the experience to  recognize them yet.  So, I can teach them to my young women, and I am trying to, and I will also try to teach my daughters. But I shouldn't be surprised if they suddenly as young moms say, "WOW! This stuff is so amazing, why didn't you TELL me?!"---because that's the time when they really start to NEED to know it.

And the women who feel marginalized and lesser, and say "I always felt the priesthood was better and motherhood was secondary"----their experiences ARE valid, you're right. And we have to do something to reach them (which I think is just the same thing I've been saying---trying to teach it as best we can, within our sphere of influence).  But I also hate letting them have the only voice, because their experience is not MORE valid than mine, and mine is: I've always known motherhood and womanhood is mind-blowing and glorious, I've always been grateful for it, I've never wanted to be a man, I've always loved and respected Eve. (Well---as long as I can remember, anyway. As long as I've been thinking about such things.)  I've recognized truths about these doctrines as I've found them (in various places---church, BYU, seminary), all along my journey to understanding, and I feel like I've been able to gather and digest more and more of them as I've been getting older. And I hope that will continue until I'm a total expert on the purpose and destiny of womanhood when I'm 90. :)  I think the doctrine has been there all along (some of Joseph Smith's statements on women are amazing!) and we just have to recognize it.

And, of course, we could emphasize it more---I agree with you there. We have to help young girls NOT feel lesser, but what can "the church" really do to make all the teachers, with their varied backgrounds and teaching methods, somehow all get on the same page? I think we just have to do it ourselves, bit by bit. Teach our daughters and our sons (and ourSELVES!), and spread out from there. What else can we do?

Did I just do the husband thing of trying to "solve your problem" instead of listening and letting you vent? I didn't mean to. And I'm sorry your family was so lame about it all. It's so disappointing when you try to share something so cool and transformative (to you) and it's treated like some crazy theory instead of heart-shaking doctrine. Teachings like this are what give my life meaning. They're what make me happy and fulfilled as a mother instead of bored and frustrated. And when I DO get bored and frustrated, they help bring me back out of myself and show me what kind of work I'm a part of. They inspire me, just like Elder Holland's talk last conference about not turning back, once we put our hand to the work. So I'm totally with you on the amazing-ness of sharing this knowledge. I think, though, the best question isn't "why aren't these things not talked about more," but instead, "How can _I_ teach about these things more?"  Sorry if I took forever and did a bad job of actually saying that. :)

Some thoughts on "Mormon Feminism"

After talking about the pants movement with several people, I went back and read the initial statement made on facebook.  Here is what it said:

"We do not seek to eradicate the differences between women and men, but we do want the LDS Church to acknowledge the similarities. We believe that much of the cultural, structural and even doctrinal inequality that persists in the LDS Church today stems from the church’s reliance on — and enforcement of — rigid gender roles that bear no relationship to reality."
I thought I was in pretty good harmony with the pants movement.  No, I would never choose to make a political statement during Sacrament meeting and so did not ever consider wearing pants myself (although a lady in my ward said she was surprised I didn't :))  but from what I read second hand about the movement the general idea I received was that it was an effort to raise awareness of CULTURAL expectations versus DOCTRINAL expectations of women in the church.

I was okay with that.  Thought the timing was wrong and the method silly (why do we have to dress like men to prove our equal worth as women) but overall not without some merit.  There are always cultural things that creep into worship because we are humans and products of our cultures.  

But I have serious problems with the actual statement.  I wish I had read it before cjane's posts.  Here's the parts that really bother me: "doctrinal inequality" and "rigid gender roles that bear no relationship to reality."

If there is a group contending that there are problems with the doctrines of the church than I want absolutely no part of that group.  There are many doctrines that I do not yet fully understand.  There are major areas of the doctrine that I think I understand--which leads me to believe that I don't understand it well enough to be confused.  But if I believe, even for a second, that the problem lies in the doctrine and not with my current understanding, than I am walking a very fine line.  Other people view testimony as more fluid and that is fine for them, but not for me.  Either revealed doctrine is true or it is not.  Our understanding of doctrine evolves---that's why we have latter-day leadership--but the essential core doctrines have not changed.  The ability to resist cultural pressure to move with the times is one of the things I appreciate most about the church.

Also, I do not find the gender roles in the church to be "rigid."  I am not sure what that even means.  I interpret it to mean that there are no possible exceptions to women staying home and raising children and men working to provide for those families.  That would be silly, especially in a global church where many of our Sisters must work out of crippling necessity.  Just because we preach an ideal does not make us "rigid."  The term is very off-putting.

Also, "gender roles that bear no relationship to reality."  That part really bugs me.  The sentence is the worst type of sophistry.  There are many ways that spouses split work, but to try and act like men and women's natures don't lend themselves to certain types of jobs and a certain way of thinking and acting is to deny gender.  I am not a genderless individual and I do not want to be.  Neither is my spouse.  The reality is that men and women are different and this sentence is a subtle way of saying that we are not.  

After reading several articles on the pants movement and several blog posts, I found myself very curious to find out what exactly Mormon Feminists want.  I recognize that not all them agree about what they want.  For example, some agitate to get the priesthood and some do not.  That's a pretty significant schism.  I found a list of "inequalities" found in the church at  It was very lengthy.  

Some of the points are worth talking about.

I feel unequal when there are more (a lot more) men’s voices in religious texts, meetings, leadership positions, and decision making bodies.

I think this one is worth thinking about.  Because many of the leadership positions require a priesthood holder I don't worry much about the leadership position part of the first statement, but the incredible joy I felt at having Daughters of My Kingdom is pretty telling.  I would like more religious texts, books, articles written by women.  This is not a doctrinal issue, however, and I think it is happening more and more.  I also think we are starting to talk about the women in the scriptures more often.  Part of this is that in our day and age we live longer, have access to more education, and have more time after child rearing is over.  I certainly don't have the time to write any treatises currently.  I appreciate books like the one about Eve--a woman's voice about a woman.  I think we'll start to see even more of that.

I feel unequal when women doing the same job are called by different titles (i.e. Sister vs. President) and/or are accessories to rather than serving equally with their husbands, i.e. Mission President’s wives.

Many of these points make me think that some women choose to feel lesser.  This is a good example.  I can't imagine how anyone could feel like a temple matron isn't as important as a temple president or that a mission president's wife isn't every bit as important as the mission president.  These calls are never extended without both partners in attendance, understanding the full import of what they are taking on, and both being in agreement to accept.  However, it would be really easy to change the titles the women have if it would make some of our Sisters feel better.

I feel unequal when my value is primarily linked to being a wife and mother rather than by being a child of God.

This is just poor understanding of the doctrine.  Since I have never felt this way, I can only feel deeply saddened for those who have.  Better teaching of the doctrine is always a critical need.

I feel unequal when the men in my life acknowledge that they have no female spiritual leaders in their wards or communities.

Some of the points I found confusing.  Like the one above.  Do men need female spiritual leaders outside of their wives and mothers?  Do they not listen to the talks given by women in general conference?  What would a "female spiritual leader" do differently than the women in leadership positions already do?  I'm sincere in this.  I don't understand what she wants here or what the men she's referencing want.

I feel unequal when women have less prominent, prestigious, and public roles in the church, even before and after childrearing years.

This feels like a slap in the face to people like Sister Beck who changed my world.  I can't imagine a more prominent position than president of the largest women's organization in the world.  The only one more significant is prophet.  So what you're really saying is a woman should be the prophet.  I cannot agree with that.  Also, I find the world's standards of prominent, prestigious, and public to be incompatible with understanding God's view of these things.  I call for a paradigm shift.

I feel unequal because even one of the most inherently female-dominated time periods, having a new baby, is publically displayed at church in an all male ritual of the baby blessing.

This is one that I find downright selfish (and I am a very sympathetic listener to gender issues and concerns).  I do find childbirth very female centered and revel in that.  My child's welcome into the church has nothing to do with the sacred act of childbirth and my personal welcome to my babies.  A husband is also that child's father and his role in the child's life will be profound and equally necessary for the child's development.  That he has a special part in the celebration of new life is a blessing for man and baby. 

I feel unequal when males handle 100% of the church finances.

More paradigm shifting needed.  Who handles the money is only important in a world-centered paradigm.  

I feel unequal when I am taught at church that my husband presides in my family, he is the head, and all things being equal, he has the final say.

I have never been taught that--but I absolutely believe that it has been taught before by people who do not understand the doctrine well.  That it is absolutely false does not really help those who have been oppressed and mistreated by men who did believe it.  This is EXACTLY why I think these doctrines need to be talked about more often.  

I feel unequal when I realize that at church all men have the final say. Good leaders might consult with female auxiliary leaders, but ultimately even after being called to a position via inspiration, men still make the final decisions.

This is one that I struggle with a little bit more.  I like the patriarchal order because I think on earth all organizations work better with a chain of revelation clearly outlined.  President Monson said he makes no decisions until the entire 12 have reached an agreement.  So why have one person in charge?  Why not just have a "round table" approach?  I think, because of experiences I've had with my husband in our home, that stewardships and chains of revelation are important and valid.  

However, it is irksome that some male leaders appear to under-appreciate women's voices in the input department and decision making department.  I chalk this up to human frailty for certainly if I was the final decision maker I would make my own share of mistakes.  However, more teaching of the doctrine of equality of the genders might help to prevent younger men from growing up thinking women don't need to be a part of the decision making process and might make them appreciate the female perspective more.

I feel unequal when cub scouts and boy scouts have a larger budget (they are allowed to do fundraising- although this might be a local issue) than achievement days and Young Womens and thus, they often have better activities.

I wish we had stats on whether or not this is a reality.  I certainly felt this way growing up and was pretty bitter about it, but some people have mentioned that scouts have to fundraise constantly because they do not have extra funds and in our current ward the YM and YW have the same budget (that they both routinely exceed).  

I feel unequal when the Young Women and Young Men’s programs have such different manuals, budgets, activities, etc.

This one bothers me because it again implies that gender is unimportant.  Also it is untrue.  YM and YW have different programs for goal-setting but the Sunday school manuals are the same.  Under the new program they will have the same topics for YW and YM as well--although I am confident that our leaders will approach the subjects in completely different ways because men and women don't teach or understand things in the same way.  Good.  

I feel unequal when fathers and mothers are encouraged to fulfill primary roles to provide and nurture, but only the fathers are given the freedom to seek out the best way for them to provide, whereas, mothers are told the best way for them to nurture—to be stay at home moms.

Thoughts?  I don't know what I think about this one except that the importance of personal revelation is being ignored.

I feel unequal when people do not emphasize fatherhood as much as they do motherhood and when we have numerous annual lessons on the priesthood and I’m not taught anything about the woman’s role as a priestess.

Totally agree with her on this one.  Maybe not the priestess part as it would be hard to put together a lesson about something we're not sure about, but we should talk more about doctrines pertaining to women. I actually brought it up at the last ward council and was met with blank/her she goes again stares.  My bishopric is really nice though and I know they will think about it and talk about it with me again.  I can't expect my feelings and experiences to have shaped their thoughts.

I feel unequal because church disciplinary courts are made up of solely men and there are no female voices in the very sensitive matters of church discipline.

Have never thought about that and so have started thinking about it.

I feel unequal when women have to talk to men about their sins, especially sexual ones, and have no other church sanctioned options.

Don't know what to think about this one either.  I have heard such horror stories of the inappropriate handling of these types of things by male church leaders.

I feel unequal because men conduct, men preach, men speak.  Men teach us how to be women.

Doesn't she attend Relief Society?  I have never felt this way.  Most men speak about core doctrines like honesty and tithing and obedience--not how a woman should feel or act.  Besides that, women also speak, teach, preach and conduct.  If anything we should all be teaching and preaching about Christ and we should all be trying to be like Him.  

I feel unequal in the temple because women a have different script and role.

Again--denying gender.  And I just plain don't know what she's talking about.

I feel unequal when female employees of the Church Educational System and temple ordinance workers are no longer allowed to keep their positions after they have children.

Is that true?

I feel unequal because we know very little about Heavenly Mother and her role in the Godhead and there doesn’t seem to be any emphasis on the part of our leaders to pray and find out more. I don’t know what my divine potential means as a female and that makes me feel less important.

Better teaching of the doctrine.

I realize that this is long but I think this is important.  We have to reach out in love and support to women who feel alienated in the church.  We need to understand why they feel the way they do and we need to come to a place of understanding ourselves of our value and place in the eternal scheme of things in order to teach our daughters effectively.  This type of rhetoric is just going to get louder and more strident because Satan will use anything he can to draw women away from the church.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Burning Question

I guess what I really wanted to discuss the most is WHY these types of things aren't talked about more often.  Why do we have mother's day talks about "my mom was a great mom because she made cookies" instead of teaching the doctrine of womanhood and motherhood?  Why, when people ask (as they so often do) what sets our church apart from other Christian sects do we not answer: because of our understanding of Eve's choice in the garden at least as often as we say the priesthood or a latter-day prophet?

I wish I had understood all of this sooner.  I think when we talk about motherhood we treat it like a friendly head-pat.  No scriptural references, no quotes from the prophets like the one where Elder Holland refers to childbirth as an ordinance and a sacrament, nothing that makes motherhood/womanhood seem as vitally important as the priesthood.

I'm not blaming my teachers or leaders.  Maybe I think it is more important to teach this stuff than it really is.  I was talking to my family (beating head against wall) about the wear pants on Sunday thing and I made the mistake of saying that maybe if the doctrine of womanhood/motherhood was taught more often and taught more thoroughly women wouldn't feel the need to have a pants movement, and men would make fewer stupid remarks and misunderstand the patriarchal order less often.  My point was that teaching the doctrine changes behavior faster than talking about behavior.  My point was also that these women have experienced things in their life to make them feel like the members of the church believe women are lesser.  Their experiences are valid and important, whether or not I agree with wearing pants to Sacrament meeting.

My comment was not kindly received.  The general opinion was that those women are loonies, they should leave the church if they don't like it, and everyone understands that women are important--talking about it more won't change anything.

Am I wrong in thinking that we should preach the doctrine of Eve more often?  Shouldn't our YW know how Eve is perceived in other sects and how she is perceived in our doctrine?  Shouldn't our girls know that Satan is trying to convince women everywhere that motherhood is unimportant compared to careers and finding yourself and fulfilling yourself and whatever else you can think of that will keep you from becoming mothers?  Shouldn't we tell them WHY Satan is doing that and explain that motherhood, wifehood, nurturing, is critical and the most important thing we can be doing?

Shouldn't we be teaching that the Lord's paradigm (family is central and all-important) is different from the world's paradigm (self is all important)?  Shouldn't we?

Friday, January 4, 2013

I love that article too

And I could have sworn I posted about it on my blog one time, but I can't find it for the life of me! Maybe I just MEANT to write about it. I love the book Kelly mentioned too.  And there's another article somewhere too . . . this one is really interesting but there's another one on childbirth. Hmm . . . maybe this? Yes, here it is! I love this one.  See what you think.

And yes, I realize I did absolutely nothing to satisfy your urge to discuss that article. It's because I have so much to say that it makes me tired to think of writing it. But I will re-read it and try to come up with some thoughts later. :)

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Re: feminist article

AWESOME article!  I'd read some similar stuff in "Eve and the Choice Made in Eden" by Beverly Campbell.  I really liked how this author likens childbirth to a gift that women give, and priesthood ordinances are the gift that men bring to the table.

I think so many feminists (I use that term in the worldly sense) start the talks about feminism by making the assumption that to work and to have a career is the most important thing a person can do in this life.  If that's where you're starting, then women will appear to be undervalued in society as they are "relegated" to the home.  Shift the paradigm and you come up with a completely different scenario.

I'm sharing that article with my sisters!

Read and Discuss

. . . because I am desperate to continue discussing it but my usual targets are talked out.