Women in the Church

Sister Beck and Daughters in My Kingdom

October 9, 2011 | 7 comments
By
Sister Beck and Daughters in My Kingdom

Having spent the past eight months in Tunisia, where our tiny L.D.S. group had very little formal structure, I had almost forgotten what it was like to go to a Church meeting without husband and children in tow. Attending the General Relief Society Meeting with a few friends was like a welcome home. I had found the new Daughters in My Kingdom book at my parents’ house when I arrived a few days before the General Relief Society Meeting, and somehow gotten the idea that it had come out months ago and was more or less required reading before... Read more »

LDS Men Aren’t Incredible

September 22, 2011 | 110 comments
By

Wheat & Tares ran a fun post earlier this week titled LDS Men Are Incredible … although the URL string shows that the original draft title of the post was “Why Men Suck.” That kind of marks off the two ends of the spectrum, doesn’t it? That’s a nice lead-in for the question: What remarks are going to be directed at LDS men in next week’s General Conference? Read more »

In Praise of Heavenly Mother

October 6, 2010 | 141 comments
By
In Praise of Heavenly Mother

I had a rather formative and utterly unique experience in Elders Quorum a few years ago. I taught the Mother’s Day lesson and at the end, after bearing my testimony, not one soul said “Amen.” Read more »

Do Titles Matter?

March 19, 2010 | 125 comments
By
Do Titles Matter?

There is a long-standing tradition in the church to use honorific titles identifying priesthood positions for men at just about every level beginning when they become missionaries. Elder, Bishop, President. Women — even those who hold similarly named positions — are generally referred to as simply “sister.” In my 45 years in the church, I can recall less than a handful of times when a woman was referred to by title. When I was 19 we moved to England while my dad took a sabbatical from BYU. My mom soon made a dear friend in the mission president’s wife.... Read more »

True Adventures in Turning the Other Cheek, Pt. Two

November 3, 2009 | 82 comments
By

For the next several weeks, I attended church when I could. Participation often included lowering my eyes when the bishop or his first counselor walked by and gave me stern “We’re watching you” stares. In some ways the whole business interested me so I wasn’t suffering as much as some might suppose. But given the treatment of these two ward leaders, I did feel somewhat cordoned off. Perhaps that’s why when a prettily decorated invitation to a special R.S. council arrived in my mailbox, in a fit of high irritation, I nearly tossed it. Read more »

Sister Missionaries and Opposite-Gender Attraction

September 5, 2009 | 56 comments
By

A wonderful woman who served as my Education Counselor a number of years ago served a mission for the church around the time she was 19. She fell in the fabulous loophole. Her father was a mission president, so she was allowed to serve while he served, even though she was “underage.” But George Durrant was not just any mission president. Read more »

Hitchens on the conundrum of female religiosity

August 25, 2009 | 34 comments
By

From his book review of Elizabeth Edwards’ new memoir, in this month’s Atlantic: Read more »

“Don’t hate me because I’m beautiful”: Random thoughts about Elder Callister’s Ensign article

June 5, 2009 | 83 comments
By

This month’s Ensign contains a talk by Elder Douglas L Callister of the Seventy (a slightly edited reprint of a prior talk, actually) titled, “Our Refined Heavenly Home.” Some thoughts on reading over the talk: Read more »

Laura Rees Merrill: Replacing Fear with Peace

March 4, 2009 | no comments
By

Laura Liona Rees was born in Brigham City, Utah, in 1876, to LDS parents (her father had emigrated as a convert from England; her mother was born at Council Bluffs). With only an eighth grade, district school education, she studied for and passed the test to be licensed as a grade school teacher. Then she became one of the first women to attend Utah State Agricultural College (now Utah State University) at Logan. Read more »

A Child’s-Eye View of the Mormon Silk Experiment

February 2, 2009 | no comments
By

Utah’s 19th century silk industry was one of those projects encouraged by Brigham Young to stimulate home production and reduce Mormon dependence on a hostile world. Period literature is heavy on sermons advocating sericulture, treatises on raising worms and the mulberry trees they fed on, and praise for the quantities and artistry of finished articles. What I’ve never seen before is the memoir of a child who assisted in the enterprise. Read more »

Death and Doctrine

July 29, 2008 | 39 comments
By

I have an uneasy relationship with death. Read more »

Summer Seminar update

August 8, 2007 | no comments
By

For those interested in the BYU summer seminar, I’ve revised the post, adding the titles of and abstracts for the papers. Read more »

From Russia With Love- Updated

January 23, 2007 | 54 comments
By

There is a certain sort of person that is just so self-absorbed and generally unaware that it just doesn’t feel wrong to gossip about them, they’d just enjoy the extra attention. In my childhood ward it was Brother L.- in that ward people traded gossip about Brother L. like baseball cards. In fact it feels so normal to gossip about him that I’m having a tough time not filling this post with endless stories about stupid things he’s done. He was, in short, a tough person to get along with, and take seriously (I think it was his Dracula... Read more »

Venus Robinson Rossiter: Learning to Serve

October 31, 2006 | 15 comments
By

Venus Rossiter, serving in Tahiti with her husband, Mission President Ernest C. Rossiter, wrote to the Relief Society General Board early in 1919 with her report for 1918. Read more »

Charlotte Owens Sackett: Teaching the Sisters to Sing

October 23, 2006 | 7 comments
By

Lottie Owens was born in 1877 in Willard, Box Elder County, Utah. Her mother’s family were early Church members in Nauvoo; her father had emigrated to Utah as a convert from Wales. Read more »

Sarah Day Hall: Southern Mother in Israel

October 19, 2006 | 9 comments
By
Sarah Day Hall: Southern Mother in Israel

American Southerners have been joining the Church since the 1830s. The Southern States Mission became the most successful mission field in the Church in the last generation of the 1800s. During those years when southern LDS meeting halls were burned and elders and even members were murdered, many thousands of Southerners responded to the gospel. Two elders knocked on a farmhouse door in Lowndes County, Alabama, on a spring day in 1896. The door was opened by Sarah Day Hall, holding her Read more »

Geertruida Lodder Zippro: The Extra Mile

October 15, 2006 | 13 comments
By

Much of the attention of the Relief Society Conference of October, 1945, was devoted to efforts to assist surviving members of the Church in the former war zones of Europe. Contact had been reestablished with some of the European branches, and reports of their experiences and especially of their needs were read to the sisters assembled in Salt Lake City: Read more »

Christina Olsen Rockwell: Visiting Teacher

October 13, 2006 | 21 comments
By

Christina Olsen was a Norwegian convert to the Church who emigrated to Zion before the arrival of the railroad. She was in her early 30s when she married the legendary Orrin Porter Rockwell, a man more than 20 years older than she was. Christina began her short married life by dividing her time between an isolated ranch in Rush Valley, Tooele County, and a home in Salt Lake City. Read more »

Frances Swan Clark: A Kindness Remembered

October 10, 2006 | 2 comments
By

Many of Utah’s early pioneers did not remain long in the Valley. In defiance of counsel, some rushed to the California gold fields. A few went to California as missionaries, and the two apostles who founded a ranching colony in San Bernardino found no shortage of volunteers to accompany them there. Read more »

Catherine Garber Laine: The Role of Her Lifetime

October 9, 2006 | 11 comments
By

This story and the other women’s stories to follow were written for my ward’s Relief Society newsletter, as a formal calling for which I was set apart. The assignment was to write about a faith-promoting incident involving a woman; I added the detail “… whom no one has ever heard about.” Read more »

Mormon Feminists: A Divided Allegiance?

September 24, 2006 | 70 comments
By

I originally began this post as a primer on feminism–a post on feminist ideological inconsistences and boundaries, and what the term “feminism” means–but the discussion following my previous T&S post on feminism and the comments on this post on FMH have got me thinking about the issue of allegiances and how that seems to be the main sticking point when it comes to Mormon suspicion of feminism. Read more »

Healing the Breach between Feminists and Non-Feminists

September 18, 2006 | 297 comments
By

One of the hardest things for me to deal with when it comes to feminism and the church is not directly related to any of the hot button feminist issues (i.e. not having the Priesthood, worrying about polygamy, etc). Instead, I have a tendency to get upset about the tension-filled relationship between feminists and non-feminists* in the church and how that affects my ability to be honest about my own life journey with other church members. Read more »

Motherhood and Priesthood–Take 57!

May 21, 2006 | 151 comments
By

I think that motherhood and priesthood are parallel; I know that many of you don’t. And one argument against my position that I see frequently is that you need the cooperation of the opposite sex (not to mention the blessing of fertility) to be a mother but not to be a priesthood holder. I’ve never found that argument persuasive, but until now, I haven’t been able to articulate why. Read more »

Mark 14:3-9: The Anointing at Bethany as Markan Christology

February 12, 2006 | 12 comments
By

This post is, basically, my masters thesis. I’ve had a few requests for it, so I thought I’d post it. Read more »