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  WOMEN AND MORMONISM
Total Articles: 86
Women in Mormonism are not allowed to hold any priesthood power or major authority positions in the Mormon Church, excluding Relief Society and lower Church callings. Mormon women are often thought of as second class citizens in Mormonism. Men in Mormonism make all of the desicions from the top hiearchy of the LDS Church from the Prophet down to the Bishops. Even though women are allowed to run the Relief Society, they must still be responsible to men. All decisions are made by men regardless.
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The Perfect Mormon Woman
Thursday, Feb 24, 2005, at 08:02 AM
Original Author(s): Isands
Topic: WOMEN AND MORMONISM   -Link To MC Article-
There is an obituary for Dantzel White Nelson, wife of apostle Russel M. Nelson, in [the] Salt Lake Tribune that has really set me off! I don't want to be judgemental of her or the decisions she made any more than I want to judge anyone else. It is the message contained in the article that has triggered old memories and feelings. A few excerpts from the article:

"Nelson died suddenly but peacefully...while holding hands with Russell Nelson, her husband of almost 60 years. [She was 79.]...Though married to a heart surgeon and LDS apostle...she developed no airs, no pretenses, no judgments, no boundaries....Dantzel had been accepted to the Julliard School of Music in New York, but marriage changed all that....And the babies kept coming. Nine of them. All girls. But Nelson always knew she would have a boy....Russell M. Nelson Jr. was born on March 21, 1972. In...30 plus years [her neighbor] said she has never seen Dantzel Nelson get angry. Nor complain, even after a five-year bout of cancer and ongoing heart trouble. Nelson went quietly about mothering 10 children, 56 grandchildren, and 14 great-grandchildren....Given the number of her posterity, Hinckley said, "Dantzel will become a legend to the generations that follow." I don't wish to detract from all that this amazing woman did for others, but what does it tell Mormon women about what they are valued for?
  • Marrying young
  • Giving up opportunities to develop talents for husband and family
  • Having 10 children, and continuing to bear children until you get a son
  • Having NO BOUNDARIES
  • Never getting angry or complaining
  • The NUMBER of your posterity
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More Signs Of Desparation From The Brethren
Wednesday, Mar 2, 2005, at 07:46 AM
Original Author(s): Stray Mutt
Topic: WOMEN AND MORMONISM   -Link To MC Article-
I've written here before about how the brethren are very concerned they're losing young women. The church counts on women to keep the men in line. If the women choose something other than the one and only LDS way, then they will probably lose the men too.

So back in August '04 the brethren ran big articles in the Ensign and New Era dedicated to getting young women to make the transition to Relief Society. The subheading to the Ensign article said:

"Parents, leaders, and bishops have special roles in helping young women make the transition into Relief Society."

Calling out all the troops in a campaign to gather up all the disinterested young women. You don't launch major efforts to solve things that aren't problems.

The New Era article started:

"Your Next Step… from Young Women is into the arms of the Relief Society, where you will learn to become a woman of God through serving Him."

In other words, time to yank you out of your budding single life and prep you for marriage, motherhood and the Mormon way. None of this taking a few years on your own to discover yourself. That just leads away from the church's control. Nope, time to get you acclimated to the limited horizons of old-before-your-time LDS womanhood.

So now, six months later, there's a flock of RS articles. True, March is when the RS was formed, but the tone of the articles shows there's probably some discontent in the ranks.

The lead article is, "Why Relief Society?" Why, indeed. Women who love the church don't need to be talked into supporting RS.

The month's VT message begs the sisters to "Rejoice in the Organization of Relief Society." It quotes BKP:

“The … sense of belonging to the Relief Society rather than just attending a class must be fostered in the heart of every woman. Sisters, you must graduate from thinking that you only attend Relief Society to feeling that you belong to it!” (“The Relief Society,” Ensign, May 1998, 73).

"Just attending." I guess the sisters' hearts and souls aren't into RS. Gee, could it be because it's boring and increasingly irrelevant and micromanaged to death by the old bloodless farts?

Then there's an article about how it's possible to be a stay-at-home mom and still finish your education. Gee, do you think this might be aimed at all the women who want to get their educations before marrying and reporting to the baby factory?

At the same time, there's a really sick cautionary tale masquerading as a story of hope and comfort about a woman who delayed marriage until after getting an advanced degree -- only to have her husband die a year later. Oh the tragedy. Oh the implied threats.

So, ex brothers and ex sisters, using the general rule that the brethren don't preach against things that aren't problems, there are big problems with the faithfulness of the Daughters of Zion. I propose it has gone beyond a general malaise and into the territory of an impending crisis. We shall see.
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Does Mormonism Disconnect Women From Their Natural Sexuality?
Friday, Mar 4, 2005, at 08:32 AM
Original Author(s): Sturgdw
Topic: WOMEN AND MORMONISM   -Link To MC Article-
What does (normal) suppressed sexual energy take shape as in women?

Some context: I run separated men's groups, and I also have been involved in peer-support men's groups for over 13 years.

One book down here that has encouraged men's groups involvement is Steve Biddulph's book Manhood. In it he lists his 7 Steps to Manhood, the 2nd of which is:

Finding sacredness in your sexuality.

Of that issue the author says that for men, sex will be either sleazy and obsessive, or a sacred and powerful source of wellbeing. Our men's group plans to put a lot of effort into exploring that this year.

Recently I have been getting my head around what the corresponding issue for women around sexuality might be! Nancy Friday, in her book The Myth of Beauty claims that women learn from their mothers to have a poor/problematic relationship with their sexuality and genitals, and that the anger little girls are told nice girls don't have, gets projected onto men in later life.

As Mormonism sends strong messages to women to be "nice" (as in, not angry), and non-sexual or at least passive sexually, I am keen to see what the women on this list feel is women's version of the above challenge to men.

My reading, thinking and observation would suggest that it is probably something in the area of owning responsibility for being fully connected with and proud of their sexuality, but I am of the opposite gender looking in. I see few women who subvert that and turn it into sleaze, as men are prone to do, so what happens to that healthy sexual energy, when it gets stuffed down in women, and denied a healthy expression?
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Too Good To Be True: Lds Young Women Encouraged To Emulate Smith
Sunday, Apr 3, 2005, at 10:12 AM
Original Author(s): Deconstructor
Topic: WOMEN AND MORMONISM   -Link To MC Article-
This Salt Lake Tribune article on last night's General Young Women's Meeting is just begging for comment:

Salt Lake Tribune: LDS Young Women encouraged to emulate Smith
http://www.sltrib.com/utah/ci_2624531

"The life of church founder Joseph Smith formed the theme of a general meeting of the Young Women's organizations of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints."

"Members of the Young Women's general presidency spoke of Smith's dedication to his beliefs in the face of temptation and persecution, and encouraged the church's teenage girls to follow his example."

Here' what happened to the teenage girls that followed Smith's example:
http://www.i4m.com/think/polygamy/teen_polygamy.htm

"Young Women General President Susan W. Tanner reminded listeners that they can receive responses to prayers as Smith did, from a father in heaven who knows them by name."

She wouldn't mean these divine answers, would she?

"19 year-old Zina remained conflicted until a day in October, apparently, when Joseph sent [her older brother] Dimick to her with a message: an angel with a drawn sword had stood over Smith and told him that if he did not establish polygamy, he would lose "his position and his life." Zina, faced with the responsibility for his position as prophet, and even perhaps his life, finally acquiesced."
See: http://www.i4m.com/think/history/angel_sword.htm

"Julie B. Beck, a counselor in the general presidency, said modern young women should still be engaged in the "marvelous work" that Smith began."

Is this the marvelous work?

Doctrine and Covenants Verses 62-63:

"And if he [Joseph Smith] have ten virgins given unto him by this law, he cannot commit adultery, for they belong to him, and they are given unto him; therefore is he justified.... for they are given unto him to multiply and replenish the earth, according to my commandment, and to fulfil the promise which was given by my Father before the foundation of the world, and for their exaltation in the eternal worlds, that they may bear the souls of men; for herein is the work of my Father continued, that he may be glorified."

"Another counselor in the general presidency, Elaine S. Dalton, spoke of the "intense pressure from peers and adults" Smith endured after he declared he had seen heavenly visions."

This is why Joseph Smith was persecuted:

"The same God that has thus far dictated me and directed me and strengthened me in this work, gave me this revelation and commandment on celestial and plural marriage, and the same God commanded me to obey it. He said to me that unless I accepted it, and introduced it, and practiced it, I, together with my people would be damned and cut off from this time henceforth. We have got to observe it. It is an eternal principle and was given by way of commandment and not by way of instruction."
- Prophet Joseph Smith, Contributor, Vol. 5, p. 259

"We can apply [Smith's] teachings when we don't know what to do, when we are faced with peer pressure, when we feel surrounded by temptation, or feel unworthy or alone," she said."

Say what?! Why isn't the church (especially on Easter Weekend) telling the women to apply the teachings of Jesus Christ? Aren't they supposed to rely on Christ for strength?

"Our entire case as members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints rests on the validity of this glorious First Vision. ... Nothing on which we base our doctrine, nothing we teach, nothing we live by is of greater importance than this initial declaration. I submit that if Joseph Smith talked with God the Father and His Beloved Son, then all else of which he spoke is true. This is the hinge on which turns the gate that leads to the path of salvation and eternal life."
- Prophet Gordon B. Hinckley, Ensign Mag., Nov. 1998, pp.70-71

It's statements like these, and many others by the church, that make people think that Mormons aren't really Christian:

http://www.i4m.com/think/history/mormon_christians.htm

The more they focus on Joseph Smith, the more people are going to find out the truth about him. What are church leaders thinking?
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Is This a Joke?
Thursday, Apr 14, 2005, at 07:56 AM
Original Author(s): Stormin Mormon
Topic: WOMEN AND MORMONISM   -Link To MC Article-
Girls put down your vacuums, stop massaging your husband's feet, and come out of the kitchen long enough to read this great op-ed piece from the Lord's own newspaper. It seems one student's mother is alarmed enough at the trend of women who actually want degrees and not just wedding rings that she's put pen to paper.

Getting the Most from BYU

Some of the choicer quotes:

"There is nothing more powerful, for a woman, than to build an eternal home. "

"You want to hear what real success is? It's sitting in a temple of the Lord, and seeing your child make eternal covenants with their Father in Heaven."

"Don't let yourself be conned by that evil one who would seek to confuse you and your priorities about putting off becoming wives and mothers."

"Let your education continue throughout your lifetime, but use it to teach your children."

And finally the kicker of all kickers:

"Go ahead and find that wonderful guy, and when you do, get your MRS Degree and live happily ever after!"

So remember if you are a Mormon female, your place is in the home as a baby-factory obeying the male Priesthood. You do not need a degree nor any education. Your job is to stay home, make babies and obey.

Mormonism: PAY... PRAY... OBEY.
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Nine More Reasons Why I Am Glad I Am Not A Mormon
Thursday, Jul 7, 2005, at 07:29 AM
Original Author(s): Anonymous
Topic: WOMEN AND MORMONISM   -Link To MC Article-
The Role of Women in Mormonism - Very troubling. How did you deal with this as a Mormon?

1. There is no place in the hierarchy for women in the Mormon Church. All women serve under the men. They can never officiate in any ordinance or assist in any way. They cannot even hold their own baby to give it a name and a blessing.

2. No real redress - They have no real voice or redress if it conflicts with a man in authority. Just try it and find out. They might talk big about it, but in reality, it does not exist. Even getting an apology, or acceptance of responsibility from a male is almost always impossible, if a female has been wronged in any way.

3. Secondary to men and even young boys - The position of women in the church is as a "help meet" and and a lot of lip service is given to women's greater "spirituality" however, that is just a way of attempting to make them believe they are as equal and just as important as men. It is a feeble attempt at depreciation by the males to say that women are "more spiritual."

4. Obedience to men never women - In theory the teachings/doctrine makes a grand attempt to make women equal to men. In reality, there is no equality. Even though the women wear the "holy garment of the priesthood." which means they hold the priesthood, only as a priestess to a male, but do not officiate,just as the men do, and a man cannot be exalted to the highest degree of the Celestial Kingdom without a woman her place is secondary and may include other women as Celestial Marriage is Plurality of Wives.

Women are to obey the Lord (obedience is the first law of heaven and earth),obey the Priesthood leadership, obey their husbands as they are the Priesthood holders, and obey male leadership in the home (which, technically can be a 12 year old Deacon- on up), etc.

Now to the crux of the matter: the doctrine of obedience is a higher doctrine than equality. Love, in Mormonism is conditional, based on obedience.

Women are not just second class in Mormonism, they are technically third class -- below the Aaronic Priesthood, which is often their sons!

5. Polygamy as a law of heaven is demeaning - Polygamy is seen as the worse disrespect of women and children and feeds into making women obedient, brood-mare slaves.

6. Role of women as mothers - Women are to be the mothers and the men are are to officiate in the priesthood. They are told that this is how Heavenly Father wants it. There is some lip service given to the notion that women are "more spiritual" than men and often given some level of appreciation for their "worthiness" by the leaders.

7. Control of her sexuality - Females in the Mormon Church are expected to be chaste which means she is non-sexual unless married in their only accepted fashion. The general teaching is that she would give up her life to protect her vagina from unwanted intrusion. A typical male Priesthood leader (father, son, etc) is often heard to say: rather she come home in a pine box than be raped.

8. Men must give approval for a woman to have a "calling" - A woman's husband or father is consulted first before a calling is extended to a female.

9.Confession by females to males - A female is commanded to confess her sins and transgressions to a male - husband, bishop,stake presidency, regional representatives, etc, never the other way around.

Nine more reasons why I am glad I am not a Mormon!
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Sonia Johnson's Historic Speech, "Patriarchal Panic: Sexual Politics In The Mormon Church"
Tuesday, Aug 2, 2005, at 07:35 AM
Original Author(s): Anonymous
Topic: WOMEN AND MORMONISM   -Link To MC Article-
Fore Note: Sonia Johnson (born 1936) is a feminist activist, writer and outspoken supporter of the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA). In the late 1970s she was publicly critical of the position of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church; see also Mormon) against the ERA and was excommunicated from the church for her activities. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sonia_Jo...

Introduction: The Sonia Johnson Speech That Blew the Lid Off of Mormon Maledumb's Secretly Organized and Dishonest Efforts to Defeat the Equal Rights Amendment

Sonia Johnson–the courageous, outspoken and excommunicated torch bearer in the ultimately futile battle over passage of the Equal Rights Amendment--was expelled from the Mormon Church largely because of bold and unapologetic remarks she made in a speech to the American Psychological Association (APA) in New York City on 1 September 1979.

Entitled “Patriarchal Panic: Sexual Politics in the Mormon Church,” her speech was an unparalled and powerful expose’ of the blatantly illegal, immoral and behind-the-scenes lobbying efforts by the LDS Church to prevent passage of the ERA in legislative statehouses across the country.

Linda Sillitoe--Mormon author, investigative reporter, poet, reviewer and mother of three children--explains in her analysis “Church Politics and Sonia Johnson: The Central Conundrum” (Sunstone, Vol. 5, No. 1, January-February 1980), how Johnson’s stunning unmasking of the LDS Church's anti-woman battle plan triggered severe anxiety attacks among its male leadership.

Sillitoe notes that, in Johnson’s remarks before the ABA, she spoke from "pain" and "anger," which were subsequently taken "as polemic and harsh" by many faithful Mormons.

http://www.sunstoneonline.com/magazine/searchable/Issue19.asp


Reactionary Mormon Response

A typical Mormon reflexive jerking motion to Johnson's speech came from--not suprisingly--a LDS male in West Jordan, Utah, who wrote:

In the case of ERA, the Federal government has lobbied for its ratification, the Church against it. I think it all boils down to whom do we trust?

The government or those whom we sustain as Prophets, Seers, and Revelators? Who do we consider the wisest--the President of the United States or the President of the Church? Whose motives, goals and objectives do we align ourselves with?

While it's true that members of the Church have a right to be pro-ERA, it is clear to me that this is the same as our right to smoke, drink, be inactive or withhold any contributions to the Church. It is not similar to our right to be a Republican, Democrat, Independent or whatever.

The Church says it is a moral issue, the world says it's political. Who do we believe?

Sonia Johnson and others apparently feel that the Church's opposition to [the] ERA is a "patriarchal panic" based on a chauvinistic desire to keep women under the thumb of men in the Church. The First Presidency and Council of the Twelve have stated their reasons for opposition and we do them a terrible disservice in discounting their statements and suspecting instead various unholy ulterior motives.

Besides having the right to be wrong, Church members have the right to inspiration from the Holy Ghost (assuming personal worthiness). I submit that we should exercise that privilege rather than the former and find ourselves in peaceful agreement with those whom the Lord has charged with the great responsibility of leading us aright.


http://www.sunstoneonline.com/magazine/searchable/Issue21.asp


A Feminist Voice Against Male Dominance and Abuse

Sillitoe reviews how Johnson’s speech served to starkly publicize the cunning, covert and conspiratorial efforts of the LDS Church to defeat the ERA, as well as how her remarks highlighted the Church’s relentless oppression of Mormon women:

The APA speech describe[d] the Mormon anti-ERA lobby in Virginia and the Church's opposition to the Amendment, then broaden[ed] to the discussion of problems among Mormon women. Citing Utah's alarming statistics on depression, "premaritally pregnant" teenage brides, teenage suicide, and rape, Sonia Johnson insist[ed] that "our sisters are silently screaming for help." The next paragraph continue[d]:

"Because Mormon women are trained to desire above all else to please men (and I include in this category God, whom all too many of us view as an extension of our chauvinist leaders), we spend enormous amounts of energy trying to make the very real, but--for most of us--limited satisfactions of mother and-wife-hood substitute satisfactorily for all other life experiences. What spills over into those vacant lots of our hearts where our intellectual and talented selves should be vigorously alive and thriving are, instead, frustration, anger, and the despair which comes from suppressing anger and feeling guilty for having felt it in the first place."


Sillitoe then draws attention to "the key paragraph of the speech [which] center[ed] on [Johnson’s] cause," as laid out by Johnson:

"But women are not fools. The very violence with which the Brethren attacked an Amendment which would give women human status in the Constitution abruptly opened the eyes of thousands of us to the true source of our danger and our anger. This open patriarchal panic against our human rights raised consciousness miraculously all over the Church as nothing else could have done. And revealing their raw panic at the idea that women might step forward as goddesses-in-the-making with power in a real--not a 'sub' or 'through men'--sense, was the leaders' critical and mortal error, producing as it did a deafening dissonance between their rhetoric of love and their oppressive, unloving, destructive behavior."

Sillitoe notes that “[c]opies of the ‘Patriarchal Panic’ speech abound throughout Mormondom,” adding that it was even distributed to the studentbody by Associated Students at BYU.

http://www.sunstoneonline.com/magazine/searchable/Issue19.asp


A copy of Johnson’s no-holds-barred rallying cry for women’s rights currently resides in Idaho’s Boise State University’s Albertsons Library, where it is part of a collection donated by the Boise Chapter of National Organization for Women’s (NOW).

According to the university’s website, members of that chapter assembled the collection “during the final years of the campaign to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment, 1976-1982” and included in it documentation of “the role of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in opposing the ERA and the excommunication of ERA advocate Sonia Johnson by the LDS Church.”

www.http://library.boisestate.edu/Special/FindingAids/fa204.htm


Johnson’s speech was anything but conciliatory. To the contrary, it was defiant, accusatory and emboldening.

Indeed, Sillitoe describes it thusly:

[It was] the extreme, not the norm, of Sonia Johnson’s utterances and yet it identifie[d] clearly the heart of what ha[d] become her dilemma. It is in this speech that she crosse[d] the line between equal civil rights and the patriarchal system of the Mormon Church, a border also blurred by the Church by identifying the ERA as a moral issue upon which the Church [was] taking political action (in harmony with the July 4, 1979 statement of the First Presidency which explain[ed] that moral issues, so identified by the First Presidency and Council of Twelve, may be ‘worthy of full institutional involvement’). Thus it is no more possible to remove Sonia Johnson's promotion of the Equal Rights Amendment from a Church context than it was possible for her to remove the anti-ERA petition from her ward lobby.

As Sillitoe notes, it was Johnson’s speech that, in fact, provided the final impetus for the decision of Mormon Church patriarchs to excommunicate her from its ranks.

At her trial, Johnson was accused by her inquisitioners of having "publicly taught that the Church is dedicated to imposing the Prophet's moral directives upon all Americans; when it is the doctrine of the Church that all people are free to choose for themselves those moral directives dictated by their own consciences."

Mormon court prosecutors were referring to the following indisputable points of reality that Johnson made in her provocative remarks to the APA:

The political implications of this mass renunciation of individual conscience under direction from “God” are not clearly enough understood in this country. The Mormons, a tiny minority, are dedicated to imposing the Prophet's moral directives upon all Americans, and they may succeed if Americans do not become aware of their methods and goals. Because the organization of the Church is marvelously tight, and the obedience of the members marvelously thoroughgoing, potentially thousands of people can be mobilized in a very short time to do--conscientiously--whatever they are told, without more explanation that "the Prophet has spoken."

But Mormon anti-ERA activity, though organized and directed through the hierarchy of the Church from Salt Lake down through regional and local male leaders, is covert activity not openly done in the name of the Church. Members are cautioned not to reveal that they are Mormons or organized by the Church when they lobby, write letters, donate money and pass out anti-ERA brochures door-to-door through whole states. Instead, they are directed to say they are concerned citizens following the dictates of their individual consciences. Since they are, in fact, following the very dictates of the Prophet's conscience and would revise their own overnight if he were to revise his, nothing could be further from the truth.


Johnson’s unpardonable sin (at least to the covered eyes and ears of Mormonism's patriarchal and predatory prevaricators) was to blow the whistle on the Brethren’s secret political designs to torpedo the ERA.

Yet, according to Sillitoe, this is what Johnson had, in fact, been doing all along:

In those paragraphs [of her APA speech] Sonia Johnson [did] what she did in virtually every public statement and interview: breaking the story that Mormons for ERA were determined to make public--that the Mormon Church [was] opposing the Equal Rights Amendment through organized lobbies in various states. By quoting that statement which contain[ed] the central purpose and tactic of Mormons for ERA, I believe that the excommunication letter rebut[ted] the "news" and implicitly denie[d] the validity of the contention. Thus the central pivot between embracing the Church as a whole, politics included, and the division of the spiritual and political Church, justifying allegiance to one aspect and opposition to the other aspect [was], after all, encapsuled in the findings of the court.

http://www.sunstoneonline.com/magazine/searchable/Issue19.asp


*****


The Text of Sonia Johnson’s Courageous Pro-ERA/Anti-Patriarchy Speech

Below is the nearly complete text of Johnson’s remarks before the American Psychological Association in September 1979. (Nearly in the sense that the copy of Johnson’s speech in my possession is a typed manuscript which appears to have been photo-reproduced many times, thus resulting in occasional illegibilities at the top of some of its pages. However, despite these relatively small and infrequent gaps, the meaning of Johnson’s message is not lost).

Johnson’s public exposure of the "panic" seizing Mormon male leadership in the face of rising calls for gender equality became an inspiring cry in Mormonism’s pro-ERA underground--particularly, of course, for women who to this day continue to be suffocated by the Brethren’s patriarchal grip.


PATRIARCHAL PANIC: SEXUAL POLITICS IN THE MORMON CHURCH
September 1, 1979
Paper presented at the American Psychological Association Meetings, New York City
Sonia Johnson, Ed.D
Chair, MORMONS FOR ERA


Sexual politics is old hat in the Mormon Church. It was flourishing when my grandparents were infants, crossing the plains to Utah in covered wagons. Although different generations have developed their own peculiar variations on the theme, I believe my generation is approaching the ultimate confrontation, for which all the others were simply dress rehearsals. Mormon sexual politics today is an uneasy mixture of explosive phenomena: the recent profound disenfranchisement of Mormon women by Church leaders, the Church’s sudden strong political presence in the anti-ERA arena and the women’s movement.

Saturated as it is with the anti-female bias that is patriarchy’s very definition and reason for being, the Mormon Church can legitimately be termed "The Last Unmitigated Western Patriarchy." (I know you Catholics and Jews in this audience will want to argue with that but I will put my patriarchs up against yours any day!) This patriarchal imperative is reinforced by the belief that the President of the Church is a Prophet of God, as were Isaiah and Moses, and that God will not allow him to make a mistake in guiding the Church. He is, therefore, if not doctrinally, in practice "infallible"–deified. Commonly heard thought-obliterating dicta in my Church are "When our leaders speak, the thinking has been done" and "when the Prophet speaks, the debate is ended." They forget to mention that the debate probably never even got started since in the Church there is little dialogue or real education. Indoctrination is the prime method of instruction because obedience is the contemporary Church’s prime message.

The caliber of character forged by this "education to obey" is illustrated by an encounter we had two summers ago [1977] in Lafayette Square after the national ERA march in Washington, D.C. Several of us were accosted by two Brigham Young University students, former missionaries for the Church, who tried to tear down our MORMONS FOR ERA banner. During the ensuing discussion, they solemnly vowed that if the Prophet told them to go out and shoot all Black people, they would do so without hesitation.

Another example: Under the Heavenly mandate against the Equal Rights Amendment, Mormons in Virginia last winter [1978], wearing their EQUALITY YES, ERA NO! buttons (a typical boggling example of patriarchal doublethink), lobbied not only against the ERA but against ALL bills for women–many of which were models of their kind.

The political implications of this mass renunciation of individual conscience for direction from “God” are not clearly enough understood in this country. The Mormons, a tiny minority, are dedicated to imposing the Prophet’s moral directives upon all Americans and they may succeed if Americans do not become aware of their methods and goals. Because the organization of the Church is marvelously tight and the obedience of the members marvelously thorough-going, potentially thousands of people can be mobilized in a very short time to do–conscientiously–whatever they are told, without more explanation than "the Prophet has spoken."

But Mormon anti-ERA activity, though organized and directed by the hierarchy of the Church from Salt Lake down through regional and local male leaders, is covert activity, not openly done in the name of the Church. Members are cautioned not to reveal that they are Mormons or organized by the Church when they lobby, write letters, donate money and pass out anti-ERA brochures door-to-door through whole states.(1) Instead, they are directed to say that they are concerned citizens following the dictates of their individual consciences. Since they are, in fact, following the dictates of the Prophet’s conscience and would revise their own overnight if he were to revise his, nothing could be further from the truth.

In addition, Mormon women, who make up most of the anti-ERA Mormon army (and the leaders refer to it as an army in true patriarchal style 2), are advised not to tell people that the men of the Church have organized them, but to maintain that they voluntarily organized themselves. "People won’t understand"(3), their male leaders explain which in patriarchal doublespeak means: "People will understand only too well that this is the usual male trick of enlisting women to carry out men’s oppressive measures against women, hiding the identity of the real oppressors and alienating women from each other."

So many of us in the Church are so unalterably opposed to this covert and oppressive activity that one of the major purposes of MORMONS FOR ERA has become to shine light upon the murky political activities of the Church and to expose to other Americans its exploitation of women’s religious commitment for its self-serving male political purposes.

The reaction of the Church fathers to the women’s movement and women’s demand for equal rights has produced fearful and fascinating phenomena. In the mid-1960s, Utah’s birthrate was almost exactly the same as the national rate but by last year [1978] it was double the national average–evidence of a real patriarchal panic, a tremendous reaction against the basic feminist tenet that women were meant by their Creator to be individuals first and to fulfill roles second–to the degree and in the way they choose, as men do. In almost every meeting of the Church (and Mormons are noted for [next several words illegible] "good" Mormon woman, acceptable to the Brethren and therefore to God; messages calculated to keep women where men like them best: "made" (4) (created) to nurture husband and children, housebound, financially and emotionally dependent, occupationally immature, politically naïve, obedient, subordinate, submissive, somnambulant and bearing much of the heavy and uncredited labor of the Church upon their uncomplaining shoulders.

Encyclicals from the Brethren over the past ten years [1969-1979] such as those which took away women’s right to pray in major Church meetings (this right has since been restored but women will not be safe from the Brethren’s capricious meddling with our inalienable human rights until we attain positions of power and authority in our Church); to control our own auxiliary money and program and to publish our own magazine for communication among ourselves have put women under total male control, requiring us to ask permission of men in even the smallest of matters. These rulings–which have seriously harmed women’s self-esteem, lowered our status, made us bootlickers and toadies to the men of the Church and destroyed what little freedom of choice we had–those rulings reveal the depth of the Brethren’s fear of independent, non-permission-asking women, the kind of women which are emerging from the women’s movement. And it is no accident that they were enacted just as the feminist tide in the United States began to swell.

But we have other, more direct, ways of knowing how badly threatened and angry our brethren are by the existence of women who are not under their control. In April [1979], we hired a plane to fly a banner over Temple Square in Salt Lake City during a break in the world-wide Conference of male leaders being held in the Tabernacle. The banner announced that MORMONS FOR ERA ARE EVERYWHERE. A reporter phoned the Jody Powell of the Church [Jody Powell was then-President Jimmy Carter’s White House press secretary] to ask how the Brethren were taking this little prank and was told that they found it "amusing." Then the Jody Powell-person suggested that the reporter put a cartoon in the next day’s paper showing our plane flying over the Angel Moroni atop the Temple (as the actual newspaper had) but instead of a trumpet, picture Moroni brandishing a machine gun. One does not need to be a psychoanalyst to understand how “amusing” the Brethren found our "little prank." (5)

More recently, when an Associated Press reporter interviewed President [Spencer W.] Kimball on the subject of uppity Mormon women, the Prophet warned that Church members who support the Equal Rights Amendment should be "very, very careful" because the Church is led by "strong men and able men . . . . We feel we are in a position to lead them properly." (6) The threat here is open and clear. We had better be very, very careful.

[Illegible] the men at the head of the Church are strong and the patriarchs have for millennia crushed those women who escaped from their mind-bindings. President Kimball is further quoted as saying, "These women who are asking for authority to do everything that a man can do and change the order and go and do men’s work instead of bearing children, she’s just off her base" (7)–a truly appalling revelations of ignorance about the realities of women’s lives.

But perhaps the image of greatest terror crawled from the psyche of Hartman Rector, one of the General Authorities of the Church, in response to my testimony before the U.S. Senate Subcommittee on Constitutional Rights:

In order to attempt to get the male somewhere near even, the Heavenly Father gave him the Priesthood, or directing authority for the Church and home. Without this bequeath, the male would be so far below the female in power and influence that there would be little or no purpose for his existence. In fact, [he] would probably be eaten by the female as is the case with the black widow Spider. (8)

Given this view of women, it should come as no surprise that despite the carefully calculated public relations campaign which portrays the Mormon Church as the last bastion (and probably the inventors!) of the happy family and fulfilled womanhood, all is not well in Zion: all is particularly not well among Zion’s women.

In recent years, considerable hue and cry has arisen over the subject of depression among Mormon women, inspiring a spate of documentaries and articles. (9) The Salt Lake Tribune in December of 1977 quoted local therapists as stating that up to three-quarters of their Mormon patients were women and that the common denominator was low self-image and lack of fulfillment outside the home. (10) This depression is endemic and begins at an early age: the incidence of suicide among teenaged females in Utah is more than double the national average and rising. (11) Seven of 10 teenaged brides are “premaritally pregnant” and 40 percent of Utah’s brides are teens. (12) The proportion of teenage marriages in Utah has been greater than for the nation each year since 1960, which might partially account for Utah’s divorce rate being higher than the national average. (The time of the beginning of the increase is also significant, as I have pointed out earlier). Alcoholism and drug abuse among women are problems in Mormon culture, as are child and wife abuse. In the last 14 years, rape in Utah has increased 165 percent and the local index of rape is 1.35 percent higher than the national average. (13) Add to this the significant fact that attendance at Relief Society–the Church’s women’s auxiliary–and at the Young Women’s organization meetings has dropped off drastically nationwide.

What all this says to the patriarchs is anyone’s guess–they are either afraid to talk with those of us who are alarmed at their opinions and treatment of women or they do not consider us worth their time. (14) But what it says to those of us who have survived being Mormon women is that our sisters are silently screaming for help and that they are not only NOT finding it at Church, but that at Church they are being further depressed and debilitated by bombardment with profoundly demeaning female sex-role stereotypes. Their Church experience is making them sick.

Because Mormon women are trained to desire above all else to please men (and I include in this category God, whom all too many of us view as an extension of our chauvinist leaders), we spend enormous amounts of energy trying to make the very real but–for most of us–limited satisfactions of mother- and wifehood substitute satisfactorily for all other life experiences. What spills over into those vacant lots of our hearts where our intellectual and talented selves should be vigorously alive and thriving are, instead, frustration, anger and the despair which comes from suppressing anger and feeling guilty for having felt it in the first place.

Last summer [1978], a Utah woman wrote to Senate Hatch of Utah: “A sea of smoldering women is a dangerous thing.” And that’s what the Mormon patriarchy has on its hands: a sea of smoldering women. Those whose anger is still undifferentiated, who do not realize how thoroughly they are being betrayed–their rage is exploited by Church leaders who subvert it into attacks against feminist causes such as the Equal Rights Amendment, making scapegoats of women and their righteous desires, identifying women as the source of women’s danger (a patriarchal tactic for maintaining power that has its roots in antiquity) and trying to distract us from recognizing that where our real danger as women lies, and always has lain, is in patriarchy.

But women are not fools. The very violence with which the Brethren attacked an Amendment which would give women human status in the Constitution abruptly opened the eyes of thousands of us to the true source of our danger and our anger. This open patriarchal panic against our human rights raised consciousness miraculously all over the Church as nothing else could have done. And revealing their raw panic at the idea that women might step forward as goddesses-in-the-making with power in a real–not a “sub” or “through men”–sense, was the leaders’ critical and mortal error, producing as it did a deafening dissonance between their rhetoric of love and their oppressive, unloving, destructive behavior.

I receive phone calls and letters from Mormon women all over the country and each has a story or two to tell: how two Mormon women in one meeting independently stood and spoke of their Mother in Heaven, how they met afterwards and wept together in joy at having found and named Her; how a courageous Mormon woman is preparing to make the first public demand for the priesthood. “The time has come,” she says calmly, “for women to insist upon full religious enfranchisement.” This statement is the Mormon woman’s equivalent of the shot heard ‘round the world!
Our patriarchy may be The Last Unmitigated but it is no longer unchallenged. A multitude of Mormon women are through asking permission. We are waking up and growing up and in our waking and growing can be heard–distinctly–the death rattle of the patriarchy.


Sonia Johnson
[former address and phone number deleted]


[Endnotes]


1. "New York State women’s meeting: 8,000 converge on Albany: local woman creates fracas." The Daily Times, Mawaroneck, New Jersey, July 1, 1977.

The local woman who created the “fracas” was a Mormon, Sherlene Bartholomew, from the Westchester Ward in Scarsdale, N.Y., who would only say that she was "a member of a loosely-organized group of mothers of small children." The article goes on:

Later, in a private interview, Ms. Bartholomew continued to insist she was not affiliated with any organized group. Yet in the next 90 minutes or so during which we accompanied her . . . she came in contact with a dozen or so women who greeted her by her first name, many of whom refused to identify themselves.

From the “Supplementary Data Sheet” regarding the Albany International Woman’s Year Conference, sent to "all Bishops, Branch Presidents and Concerned Members" by a New York Stake Relief Society Presidency:

The First Presidency [includes the Prophet and two counselors] urges full attendance and participation. Elements capable of destroying family unity . . . must be opposed. We should act as individuals–as citizens and residents of New York State–and not as any church or organization.

From the recorded and transcribed minutes of the first organization meeting of the Potomac Regional Women’s Coalition (later known as the LDS Citizen’s Coalition), at Vienna, Virginia, November 8, 1978, p. 13:

If you go to your state senator and say that he should be against the Equal Rights Amendment because the Prophet is against it, your are going to get nowhere. That may be why we are against it, but when you trying to convince a legislator, you better talk his language, not yours.

2. From the Virginia organization meeting minutes, p. 17:

You have got to take this seriously as a calling . . . When the call comes, you march with your forces. In other words, you are being made a general of a force.

3. From the Virginia organization meeting minutes, p. 2, Regional Representative Julian Lowe speaking:

Experience shows that if the Brethren are out beating the bushes it looks like, in the eyes of some, that we are trying to keep women subservient [note the word "keep"] and it is far from that. This is the exact opposite of what we’re trying to do but it is always interpreted that way. Why don’t I quit while I’m ahead. [!]

4. Wertz, William C., Associated Press "LDS President opposes ERA, encourages women to be wives," The Rexburg [Idaho] Standard, Tuesday, June 19, 1979.

Quoting President Kimball: "The woman wa made to be the wife, the one who teaches and trains the children."

5. Oral communication.

6. Wertz, William C., Associated Press "LDS President opposes ERA, encourages women to be wives," The Rexburg [Idaho] Standard, Tuesday, June 19, 1979.

7. ibid.

8. Correspondence from Hartman Rector to Teddie Wood, August 29, 1978.

9. A few of these are:

--Degn, Louise, "Mormon Women and Depression," KSL [Salt Lake] TV commentary, February 17, 1978.

--Cardall, Duane, "The Three Faces of Depression: Teenage Suicide," KSL TV documentary, February 10, 1979.

--Burgoyne, Robert H. and Burgoyne, Rodney W., "Belief Systems and Unhappiness: the Mormon Woman Example," Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought, 1978, 3, 48-53.

--Associated Press Provo, Utah, "Depression Among Y Students on Rise, Health Director Notes," Salt Lake Tribune, March 14, 1979.

--Warenski, Marilyn Patriarchs and Politics: the Plight of the Mormon Woman, (New York: McGraw-Hill, 1978). See especially Chapter 4, pp. 81-106: "Double Dose of the Double Message."

10. Governor’s Commission on the Status of Women, "Utah Women: A Profile," June 1978, p. 42.

11. Cardall, Duane, "The Three Faces of Depression: Teenage Suicide," KSL TV documentary, February 10, 1979.

12. Associated Press, Logan, Utah, "Utah Weddings 40% Teens," Salt Lake Tribune, April 8, 1979.

13. Governor’s Commission on the Status of Women, "Utah Women: A Profile," June 1978, pp. 23-46.

14. Recently, when a Stake President in Provo, Utah, suggested to the Regional Representative that a woman speak in Stake Conference about women in the Church, the Regional Representative replied, "We can’t have a woman talking about women in Conference."

This fear–and disdain–is, I believe, prevalent among men in the Church and has accounted in the last few months for a truly incredible phenomenon: a book entitled, WOMAN, published by Deseret Book, which has as its authors 15 male leaders of the Church–not a single woman!


*****



Conclusion: Sonia Johnson Had Amazing Heart for the Battle but Will the Mormon Church Ever Change?

Sonia Johnson was a courageous, outspoken and inspiring advocate in the cause of equal rights for the millions of oppressed women of Mormonism. She reminded people everywhere of the power of purpose that comes through individual commitment. As she herself declared:

We must remember that one determined person can make a significant difference, and that a small group of determined people can change the course of history

http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/s/sonia_johnson.html


Nevertheless, can genuine gender equality be realistically achieved in the Mormon Church’s permanent patriarchal prison? Jessica Longaker, in her analysis, "The Role of Women in Mormonism," offers a decidely grim assessment:

The Mormon Church of today is still clinging to the beliefs of the nineteenth century; ideas which are becoming more outmoded every day. A few women in the Mormon Church are trying to make a difference but they are usually swiftly excommunicated . . .

In Mormon magazines, which are full of advice for women from the heads of the Church, the message has changed in response to the feminist movement. In 1964, advice on marriage and divorce was fairly dispassionate; by 1972, these topics were addressed with increasing panic and harshness. . . . Feminists are described as “the Pied Pipers of sin who have led women away from the divine role of womanhood down the pathway of error.” . . .

Obviously, the Mormon Church is not going to alter its views on women in the immediate future. It is questionable whether it is even possible for Mormonism to equalize the roles of men and women because the oppression of women is so integral to the religion. Men and women cannot truly become equal in the Church, for the basic tenets of Mormonism are so fraught with sexism that equality would change the religion beyond recognition.


http://www.exmormon.org/mormwomn.htm


One should never forget the heroic and lasting contributions of Sonia Johnson in the fight for equal rights. In that fight, she has been a rare and shining light in the dark cell of the Mormon Gulag. In the end, Sonia Johnson reminded those who viewed her struggle against patriarchy of the inherent power, dignity and justice of the feminist movement.

But the brutal, costly, inhumane war of thought control and emotional abuse waged against millions of women by the guards of Mormonism’s patriarchal concentration camp continues unabated to this day–and will into the foreseeable future.

So the question arises: Why spend the rest of one’s life fighting to reform an unreformable beast?

Perhaps those lingering behind the Mormon Church’s electric fence should seriously consider making a long-overdue break for personal emancipation--and encourage as many of their fellow inmates to join in the rush to at last breathe free.
topic image
As A Female, I Am Ashamed And Disgusted At The Reports Of Mormon Females, Particularly Spouses!
Wednesday, Oct 12, 2005, at 07:15 AM
Original Author(s): Anonymous
Topic: WOMEN AND MORMONISM   -Link To MC Article-
Good grief. It is getting to be appalling.

Does Mormonism breed a bunch of childish, silly, whining, threatening, women, stomping their feet and throwing fits who think only their beliefs are so important they can destroy a family over them? Do they ever consider the consequences of this outrageous behavior?

Do they really think they can force a belief in Mormonism or a God down the throat of their mate? Really? They think they have that much power?

It is embarrassing to hear of women who have their spouses dragging their tails between their legs to "save the family" just because they are hurling ultimatums telling another human being what they can read, where they can post and read on the Internet, etc? The unmitigated gall! Despicable behavior!

What is the matter with these women?

Are they the product of generational Mormonism with some kind of genetic deficiency that has left them unable to reach even a modicum of rational thought? Has Mormonism stunted their IQ's?

Where do they get the crazy idea that they have the right to leave the father of their children and deprive those very children of a father and what they need just because they have to have their way? Are they still six years old and playing with dolls? Don't they know these are children and not pets?

Mormonism has done a number on women, that's for sure. If this is any kind of norm, for Mormon females, it is a pathetic legacy for the religion.

If only those ads on TV showed a ranting, raving, pissed off Mormon female firing off her ultimatums, shouting and crying about how they will judge their husband at a judgment bar in heaven, how they must read the BOM and pray, and on and on and on ...or else, how they have to believe in God, or else...or else they are going home to Mormon Mommie and daddy and taking the kiddies with them!

Ugly Mormonism at it's finest. Thank you Mormon women for that!

Make some TV ads about that and tell the truth so people can see what it can do to people!

ARGH! Mormon women who act like we read about dozens of times daily here need a reality check!
topic image
The Role Of Women In The LDS Church
Tuesday, Oct 18, 2005, at 12:31 PM
Original Author(s): Enigma
Topic: WOMEN AND MORMONISM   -Link To MC Article-
I prepared these remarks for the only living soul that I know personally whom I have made aware of my situation. She lives in Utah (she's Catholic) and wanted to get my take on the role of women in Mormonism. I tried to present these remarks from the feminist perspective (if I can even grasp that perspective to any degree of effectiveness you will have to be the judge) so I am quite sure there will be some interesting comments from both sides. I look forward to hearing what the RFM folks think. As always, comment and/or criticism is welcome. Enjoy...

The Role of Women in the LDS Church:

History and Observations

-In THE BEGINNING…

“The first thing any religion worth its salt controls is its women” – Ron Carlson

The three great religions that trace their origins to the patriarchal legend of Abraham (namely: Judaism, Islam and Christianity) have one overriding common factor: They all have at one time or another attempted to physically, sexually and psychologically control women.

From the mythical creation account in Genesis we read of the first great sin committed by Eve when she partook of the forbidden fruit bringing death into the world. A closer inspection of the account as it appears in Genesis warrants further scrutiny than simply ascribing the first act of evil to women from mindless disobedience. The fruit represents those things which mortal man were not to partake of for no other reason than the biblical heavenly edict that “thou shalt surely die”. Like men of countless ages, Adam, it seems, was content to let sleeping dogs lie and continue in a state of eternal mindless bliss.

Eve however was tempted by the serpent’s promise of all the things that are naturally good for the progress of the human condition: knowledge, beauty, and the exploration of passion, appetite and closure through death. Perhaps it is because men, by their very nature, perceive women as mysterious, forbidden, beautiful, insightful, enticing and passionate that they are intimidated by the very attributes that they have, for countless millennia been unable to master.

More fundamental perhaps is the male notion that these attributes ultimately serve no tactical purpose for the technological progress of the species. Consider the nature of the corporate oligarchy that is the backbone of the American and thus, to a great extent, the world economic machine. The sole underlying motive for all societal transactions lies at the root of gaining the greatest advantage that the proprietor can achieve at the greatest expense that the consumer will bear. In short, who can take the greatest advantage of all his surrounding resources (including people) and exercise from them the greatest profit or other economic advantage at the expense of all else. It can easily be observed that capitalism, by its very nature, rewards the masculine attributes of maximum efficient utilization of resources for the perceived good of the individual or organization.

A masculine society is incapable of quantifying the more feminine attributes of beauty, passion, mystery, and intuitive insight. There must always be an identifiable and measurable outcome. Thus, the means by which all things beautiful and enjoyable are produced becomes a means, not an end in and of itself. We reward the production of a piece of fine art, the publishing of a brilliant literary work or the outward attractive features of the human body but we often fail to understand or give praise and reward to the painter’s inspiration or technique, the novelist’s creative process or the individual’s unique and intrinsic individual inner beauty. Indeed, the masculine approach to living renders us, at a societal level as “whited seplulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men’s bones...”

It is the great failing of western civilization that whenever we encounter something that we cannot understand, we must subdue and control it. Men cannot, without humility, effort and selflessness understand women. However, men are also (with a few exceptions) biologically hardwired to desire women. This creates for many male adolescents a kind of mental paradox. Men desire women to fulfill their physical needs and initially give little regard to the fact the women carries within her the ability to bring vibrancy, beauty and completeness to the union of the two. Once again, a woman was merely another means to an end. Unfortunately for women, evolution bestowed upon the male species the physical makeup to enable him to physically overpower the female species.

As humanity has progressed, this physical advantage transcended the brute strength advantage of men over women and left an indelible imprint on the collective psychology of basic society. Men were the property owners, the physical providers the religious leaders, the creators and champions of governments. Women were the bearers and caretakers of children and primarily responsible for all things domestic in the home. While this division of responsibilities seemed efficient enough for several millennia, thankfully many of these societal imbalances have been eradicated due in part to industrialization and readily available education for both sexes. It is becoming increasingly apparent, however, that one of the greatest struggles remaining for the industrialized western world will be to finally release its collective psychological tyrannical patriarchal chokehold from the throat of its most vital and enriching element: women.



-IN THE NOW; A Brief Perspective of the LDS Church-

In its early years, the LDS church, as an organization, did make some rather progressive strides toward the equality of women in the religious setting. The two most important were: the organization of the Nauvoo, IL Female Relief Society and the allowance of women to use the Mormon priesthood power to call and ordain officers in that organization as well as give blessings of comfort, counsel and healing when needed. Also, this Relief Society functioned with a much greater amount of autonomy than exists today.

The following July 10, 1994 article by former Mormon feminist writer and editor Maxine Hanks provides some excellent general insight to the topic:

“When Howard W. Hunter became president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints last month, his first public act was a plea for alienated Mormons to "come back," or return to fellowship. Yet more than half of the 9 million church members can never participate fully because they are women. To find reconciliation, Mormon women must look to the past.

The historical relationship of men and women in the Mormon Church is a conflicted one. In 1992, I published a book that explores long-ignored aspects of that history and attempts to retrieve the soul of Mormon women's spiritual life. For that, I was accused of apostasy.

Mormon women obtained authority early in the history of the church and then fought a losing battle to keep it. Their concerns were not taken seriously, so men's authority prevailed. Feminism emerged in the struggle, in the energy of women's rhetoric and work and in their resistance to male agendas.

Mormon women exercised considerable religious authority in the LDS Church for 100 years and maintained some autonomy for 140 years. During the first 20 years of Mormonism, from 1830 to 1850, women received authority for blessings, healing and prophecy; priesthood keys, powers and rituals; and missionary calls. Women clashed with male leadership and lost authority at the turn of the century and again in the 1970s. Since 1991, Mormon feminists have encountered a backlash against their attempts to reclaim women's authority. Today's church holds that women cannot exercise priesthood, therefore women are not "ordained" but only "set-apart" to church positions. As a full-time LDS missionary, I sensed I had priesthood, but spent 19 months being denied the right to use it.

Although women's authority is plainly evident in Mormon history, today's male church leaders won't acknowledge it, for that would mean having to take responsibility for the sins of their fathers and grandfathers who revoked that authority. Instead, they blame Christ. Over and over again, male leaders assert that female priesthood is "contrary to the Lord's plan" and that today's church "follows the pattern the Lord has set."

The extreme gender imbalance in Mormonism re-emerges in Utah's masculinist culture, where government, education and business are run by Mormon men in the shadow of Salt Lake's tallest building, the LDS church offices. In Utah, women as well as men repress the feminine, starve it and then overcompensate: We crave sweet and fatty foods for comfort; we gain weight to feel loved; men act effeminate and women self-destruct with prescription drugs, obesity, depression and too many kids. Hostility to women manifests in subtle and shocking ways. Apostle Boyd Packer said, "I could tell most of the secretaries in the church office building that they are ugly and fat. That would be the truth, but it would hurt and destroy them."

Male-dominant culture offers women a choice between female powerlessness or male-identification. A respected local therapist told me that she sees many Mormon women who "actually believe they are men." My book was an attempt to heal, by moving beyond male-defined identity to a place of female identification, definition and power, and by removing obstructions to women's relationship with God. My feminist views were never welcome in church, so I turned to the public marketplace of ideas. Yet for two years, church leaders threatened me not to speak publicly about Mormon feminist issues. Excommunication was a small price to pay for my voice. It didn't take away my theology or my spirituality, which the church does not control. God's spirit cannot be homogenized, mass-produced and marketed by blue-suited septuagenarians from a high-rise in downtown Salt Lake City.

I was told that my feminist ideas were "contrary to the laws and order of the church." I agree. My excommunication was justifiable. Still, these are men's laws and men's orders, not women's. In 1884, Eliza R. Snow, "prophetess" and president over all women and girls in the church, made it clear that the women's Relief Society, which she headed, was "designed to be a self-governing organization. "If difficulties arise," she wrote, ". . . the matter should be referred to (the) president and her counselors." Later, when men assumed governance over women, they usurped women's authority. I cited Snow to the 15 high priests set to judge me, but it had no impact on them. It did, however, liberate me from participating in their illusion. They excommunicated me to silence feminists and send a message of fear to Mormon women, but their action had the opposite effect: Visibility and discussion soared, and my book is in its second printing.

So, where does this leave Mormon women? They have a strong feminist tradition. Whether today's women can reclaim their authority and priesthood in the church and fully participate remains a question; first, they must find authority within themselves. But I will not "come back" to a church that crushes female authority and individual conscience.” Maxine Hanks: July 10, 1994 Los Angeles Times; Home Edition

The following selected quotes give us some insight into how the LDS male leadership views the role of women:

From Gordon B. Hinckley:

"Women have their place," [President of the Mormon Church Gordon B. Hinckley] said. "When all is said and done, there's no substitute for having a woman in the home. . . . If you ask our women, you'll find them happy with what they have. They're not out yelling and chanting." Gordon B. Hinckley: March of 1997 the San Francisco Chronicle

From Boyd K. Packer:

“The next quotation is from a woman who is hurting, and perhaps wonders if anyone but the feminists care about her problems:

"I'm upset that I was always advised to go back and try harder only to get abused more. I need some comfort, I need solace, need hope, need to know Heavenly Father sees all that I have endured. What hope do I have for a chance to live with Heavenly Father? If temple marriage is the key to the celestial [kingdom], where am I? Outside gnashing my teeth for eternity? Help me." …

The woman pleading for help needs to see the eternal nature of things and to know that her trials -- however hard to bear -- in the eternal scheme of things may be compared to a very, very bad experience in the second semester of the first grade. She will find no enduring peace in the feminist movement. There she will have no hope. If she knows the plan of redemption, she can be filled with hope. The one who supposes that he "understands the mind-set of both groups" needs to understand that the doctrines of the gospel are revealed through the Spirit to prophets, not through the intellect to scholars.” Boyd K. Packer: May 18, 1993 All Church Coordinating Counsel

From Thomas S. Monson:

'Women's Movement: Liberation or Deception' Carefully read the entire text of the talk and you will see a carefully crafted message. Remember to look past the outrageous examples he uses to support his thesis.

-“THE HEAD OF THE WOMAN IS THE MAN…”

From a LDS doctrinal standpoint, Women are eternally subject to men. This perception is supported in the traditional Christian and LDS scriptures from a number of references but perhaps the most clear biblical statements that support this are Genesis 3:16 and 1 Corinthians 11:3:

Genesis 3:16 (see also Moses 4:22 – LDS Pearl of Great Price – part of the LDS scriptures) “Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.”

1 Corinthians 11:3 “But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God.”

This concept of patriarchal rule was expanded upon in the LDS temple ceremony prior to the changes in 1990. The following quote is taken from that ceremony: “Eve, because thou hast hearkened to the voice of Satan and hast partaken of the forbidden fruit, and given unto Adam, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow shalt thou bring forth children. Nevertheless, thou mayest be preserved in childbearing. Thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee in righteousness.”

The two italicized points above are very important to consider. First, that the woman will be preserved through child bearing and second that the husband shall rule over the woman in righteousness. I will explore the second statement “he shall rule over thee in righteousness” first.

“He shall rule over thee in righteousness…”

In the pre-1990 LDS temple endowment ceremony, shortly before Adam and Eve are expelled from the Garden of Eden, Elohim (God) and Jehovah (Jesus) require Adam and Eve to enter into a covenant of obedience. From the woman, God required the following promise: “Inasmuch as Eve was the first to eat of the forbidden fruit, if she will covenant that from this time forth, she will obey your (Adam’s) law of the Lord, and will hearken unto your (Adam’s) counsel as you hearken unto mine.” From Adam, God required that he “Obey the law of Elohim (God)”

Eve then turns to Adam and repeats to Adam the covenant given to her by Elohim (God): “Adam, I now covenant to obey your law of the Lord and to hearken to your counsel as you obey our Father.” Adam then turns to Elohim (God) and repeats the covenant given him by Elohim (God): “Elohim, I now covenant with thee that from this time forth I will obey thy law and keep thy commandments.”

As part of the changes to the temple endowment ceremony in 1990, The wording of the covenant that Eve makes to Adam was modified to read as follows: “Adam, I now covenant to obey the law of the Lord and to hearken to your counsel as you hearken unto Father.”

Let’s take a moment to examine the pre and post-1990 Eve covenants. In both versions, it would seem that Eve promises to obey Adam so long as he obeys Elohim (God) as evidenced in the statements:

“I… covenant… to obey your (Adam’s) law of the Lord” (pre-1990 version)

“I… covenant to obey the law of the Lord” (post-1990 version) “…and to hearken to your counsel as you obey our/hearken unto Father”

While the above statements imply that Eve will only be obedient to Adam so long as he follows God (more on that later), We would do well to remember a couple of crucial details about the temple endowment ceremony that few fail to recognize.

First, after Adam and Eve are introduced into the Garden of Eden, Elohim (God) says: “we have created for you this earth, and have placed upon it all kinds of vegetation and animal life. We have commanded all these to multiply in their own sphere and element. We give you dominion over all these things, and make you, Adam, Lord over the whole earth, and all things on the face thereof. Adam is the first to be given the title of Lord in the temple endowment ceremony. We don’t hear the title of Lord applied to anyone else until after Eve and Adam make their respective covenants of obedience as quoted above.

Second, in both the pre and post-1990 ceremonies, Eve covenants to obey “your”/”the” law of the Lord. Given that Adam is the only Lord designated thus far in the ceremony, Eve’s covenant becomes circular logic. Adam IS the Lord! Eve is covenanting in both cases to obey the law of Adam as he receives, interprets and obeys the laws of God!

This language and theology create the Mormon familial patriarchal chain of command in the typical Mormon household. The husband is the patriarch of the family and as such is entitled to revelation from God in behalf of his family. The wife(s), by covenant, is/are then required to obey the ‘law of the Lord’.

Another important point to consider from the ceremony is this: When a man and a women are married in the temple, the bride and groom will go through a veil ceremony in the endowment room prior to the actual marriage sealing ordinance. Here, the groom stands behind the veil representing the lord. The bride is then brought to the veil and, through the veil, gives the first token of the priesthood along with her secret temple name. The ‘lord’, upon hearing her secret name then brings his wife through the veil into his presence. The bride will never, at any time in the ceremony or the rest of her life, hear her husband’s secret temple name.

The doctrinal implication for this ceremony is as follows: During the resurrection, the faithful husband will call his wife’s secret temple name and then resurrect her. She is then brought into the celestial kingdom by the authority of her husband and lord. In Mormon theology, resurrection is an ordinance and as such can only be performed by a worthy priesthood holder. Thus, a worthy woman can only get into heaven by the good graces of her faithful husband. In cases where there is no faithful husband, she will be ‘assigned’ (more in this concept later) to a worthy priesthood holder in the next life, who will then perform the ordinance of resurrection in her behalf and admit her into the celestial kingdom.

Besides the basic Christian ethics that should be prevalent in any western marriage, this assignment of exclusive familial and religious authority to the husband can create an ethical vacuum in some sense. Besides the scriptures (which themselves are replete with examples of inconsiderate and brutal treatment of women), who or what is to be the external source of confirmation in regards to any revelation that the husband receives for himself, his wife, his children, etc? Absolute power corrupts absolutely as we shall see when we examine the limits to which Joseph Smith stretched this philosophy.

“Preserved through childbearing…”

Joseph Smith began having extra marital affairs as early as 1831, starting with a relationship he had with Fanny Alger, a housekeeper that he and his wife Emma hired. For the next 11 years, he would have occasional secret relationships with women of various ages and stations in life and these women were to eventually become his polygamous wives. Among these were as many as 11 women that were then married to living husbands at the time of their affairs and ‘sealings’ to Joseph Smith. Others included Joseph’s wife Emma’s two counselors in the Nauvoo Female Relief Society presidency (without her knowledge or consent – an important point to remember later in this essay) and Mormon apostle Heber C. Kimball’s 14 year old daughter Helen Mar Kimball (at the consent and request of her father). By 1842, Joseph began teaching the concept of ‘celestial eternal marriage’ (which at from that time until the beginning of the 20th century, was synonymous with polygamy) to a few trusted associates in the higher echelons of leadership in the Mormon Church. All counted, Smith would take at least 33 known polygamous wives before his assassination in June of 1844.

As mentioned previously, nearly all of Joseph’s affairs occurred without his wife Emma’s knowledge or consent. Once she discovered Joseph’s indiscretions, she was naturally vehemently opposed to the whole concept of ‘eternal marriage’. At one point, Joseph’s brother Hyrum asked him if he (Hyrum) might go to Emma and try to reason with her about the concept of polygamy. Joseph was reluctant to allow it telling Hyrum “You don’t know Emma like I do.” Hyrum persisted and asked Joseph to write down the principles of celestial marriage as given to him by God (as Joseph claimed) so that he (Hyrum) could take them with him as he tried to ‘reason’ with Emma. Joseph acquiesced and proceeded to write what has come to be section 132 of the Doctrine and Covenants, one of the LDS scriptures.

While I will not review the entire section in this essay, I will explore what are, in my opinion, the most crucial verses in this section. Keep in mind the circumstances surrounding the creation of this section. It was originally directed to Emma at the request of Hyrum Smith in order for him to reason with her and convince her of the truthfulness of polygamous celestial marriage. It should be noted from the outset that I do not consider section 132 to be inspired writing of any kind. I will treat is as a manifesto written to justify the lusts of men and I believe the verses that I will comment upon will easily validate my bias in this regard. My comments will follow each reference in bold text with brackets [text].

The introduction to the section states the following:

Revelation given through Joseph Smith the Prophet, at Nauvoo, Illinois, recorded July 12, 1843, relating to the new and everlasting covenant, including the eternity of the marriage covenant, as also plurality of wives. HC 5: 501–507. Although the revelation was recorded in 1843, it is evident from the historical records that the doctrines and principles involved in this revelation had been known by the Prophet since 1831. [This fact is demonstrated by the verifiable affair with Fanny Alger.]

The summary of verses within the section reads as follows:

1–6, Exaltation is gained through the new and everlasting covenant; 7–14, The terms and conditions of that covenant are set forth; 15–20, Celestial marriage and a continuation of the family unit enable men to become gods; 21–25, The strait and narrow way that leads to eternal lives; 26–27, Law given relative to blasphemy against the Holy Ghost; 28–39, Promises of eternal increase and exaltation made to prophets and saints in all ages; 40–47, Joseph Smith is given the power to bind and seal on earth and in heaven; 48–50, The Lord seals upon him his exaltation; 51–57, Emma Smith is counseled to be faithful and true; 58–66, Laws governing the plurality of wives are set forth.





Now let us review selected verses from the section:

1- VERILY, thus saith the Lord unto you my servant Joseph, that inasmuch as you have inquired of my hand to know and understand wherein I, the Lord, justified my servants Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, as also Moses, David and Solomon, my servants, as touching the principle and doctrine of their having many wives and concubines– [Evidently, as a precursor or to justify his affair with Fanny, he began to have questions concerning the marital arrangements of some prominent biblical figures.]

3- Therefore, prepare thy heart to receive and obey the instructions which I am about to give unto you; for all those who have this law revealed unto them must obey the same. [Keep this verse in mind as you consider that the LDS church formally abandoned the earthly practice of polygamy in 1890 (still practiced covertly until 1910) in order to prevent church property and leadership from being seized and also to achieve statehood. The LDS church is currently in a catch-22; they have the law but are not obeying it. From an LDS doctrinal standpoint, this is the equivalent of apostasy.]

4- For behold, I reveal unto you a new and an everlasting covenant; and if ye abide not that covenant, then are ye damned; for no one can reject this covenant and be permitted to enter into my glory.

6- And as pertaining to the new and everlasting covenant, it was instituted for the fullness of my glory; and he that receiveth a fullness thereof must and shall abide the law, or he shall be damned, saith the Lord God. [Same logic as verse 3, only now, if you don’t abide the new and everlasting covenant, you will not dwell with God.]

7- And verily I say unto you, that the conditions of this law are these: All covenants, contracts, bonds, obligations, oaths, vows, performances, connections, associations, or expectations, that are not made and entered into and sealed by the Holy Spirit of promise, of him who is anointed, both as well for time and for all eternity, and that too most holy, by revelation and commandment through the medium of mine anointed, whom I have appointed on the earth to hold this power (and I have appointed unto my servant Joseph to hold this power in the last days, and there is never but one on the earth at a time on whom this power and the keys of this priesthood are conferred), are of no efficacy, virtue, or force in and after the resurrection from the dead; for all contracts that are not made unto this end have an end when men are dead. [In plain English this verse basically states that any lawful arrangement entered into on this earth by the laws of man is void in the eyes of God. The reason for this verse is rooted in the fact that all of the plural marriage arrangements that Joseph was entering into were illegal in the state of Illinois. To counter the accusation that Joseph was breaking the law, he simply turned the tables on society as a whole and said that the laws of God (as revealed through Joseph – convenient for him) trumped the laws of man. That is the reason that the leadership of the church practiced in secret and publicly denied the concept of polygamy. This verse basically gives Joseph Smith the right to do whatever he wants as far as the church is concerned – terrifying when you think about it.]

13 And everything that is in the world, whether it be ordained of men, by thrones, or principalities, or powers, or things of name, whatsoever they may be, that are not by me or by my word, saith the Lord, shall be thrown down, and shall not remain after men are dead, neither in nor after the resurrection, saith the Lord your God. [Same logic as above. Why worry about what any lawful court may say about the legality of your actions when God is going to send you to hell anyway? Of course, terrorists who commit atrocities in the name of God apply this same logic. I consider Polygamy and its generational effects on the women of the LDS church to be such an atrocity.]

15 Therefore, if a man marry him a wife in the world, and he marry her not by me nor by my word, and he covenant with her so long as he is in the world and she with him, their covenant and marriage are not of force when they are dead, and when they are out of the world; therefore, they are not bound by any law when they are out of the world. [I.E. your civil marriage doesn’t count for anything in the eyes of the LDS church. This perception – albeit watered down slightly – persists to this day.]

16 Therefore, when they are out of the world they neither marry nor are given in marriage; but are appointed angels in heaven, which angels are ministering servants, to minister for those who are worthy of a far more, and an exceeding, and an eternal weight of glory. [This statement is a play on words from the following New Testament passages: Matthew 22:30, Mark 12:25 and Luke 20:35. The problem presented with this interpretation is that Jesus was answering a question regarding those who had died but were married in life under the old Mosaic covenant instituted by God himself! There is no marriage in heaven because we will all be in the same family… the human family of God according to Jesus. But Joseph decided to take matters even further by declaring that those who did not abide by the new covenant (Polygamy) would be servants in the next life. So not only is your civil marriage worthless in this live, but you will be a servant to one of the Mormon celestial polygamous families in the afterlife!]

19 And again, verily I say unto you, if a man marry a wife by my word, which is my law, and by the new and everlasting covenant… by him who is anointed, unto whom I have appointed this power and the keys of this priesthood; … and if ye abide in my covenant, and commit no murder whereby to shed innocent blood, it shall be done unto them in all things whatsoever my servant hath put upon them, in time, and through all eternity; and shall be of full force when they are out of the world; and they shall pass by the angels, and the gods, which are set there, to their exaltation and glory in all things, as hath been sealed upon their heads, which glory shall be a fullness and a continuation of the seeds forever and ever.

20 Then shall they be gods, because they have no end; therefore shall they be from everlasting to everlasting, because they continue; then shall they be above all, because all things are subject unto them. Then shall they be gods, because they have all power, and the angels are subject unto them. [Verses 19 and 20 basically sum up the Mormon plan of exaltation: Creating planets and forever producing children to populate them. An important point to consider here is that according to Mormon theology, God the father, Jesus the son and Michael (Adam) created this world. Since the creation of this world (according to the temple endowment) was patterned after the creation of many other worlds and will be the pattern for future creations by innumerable gods, it is understood that women will have no part in the planet creating process. So where does that leave women? The answer: eternally pregnant with innumerable spirit children. Men get to create planets and have sex eternally while women are relegated to the role of nothing more than celestial brood mares.]

22 For strait is the gate, and narrow the way that leadeth unto the exaltation and continuation of the lives, and few there be that find it, because ye receive me not in the world neither do ye know me.

24 This is eternal lives–to know the only wise and true God, and Jesus Christ, whom he hath sent. I am he. Receive ye, therefore, my law. [Just to re-emphasize the point that according to Mormon theology, eternal life is only achieved in the literal sense. It is not simply immortality, but eternal progeny.]

29 Abraham received all things, whatsoever he received, by revelation and commandment, by my word, saith the Lord, and hath entered into his exaltation and sitteth upon his throne.

32 Go ye, therefore, and do the works of Abraham; enter ye into my law and ye shall be saved.

34 God commanded Abraham, and Sarah gave Hagar to Abraham to wife. And why did she do it? Because this was the law; and from Hagar sprang many people. This, therefore, was fulfilling, among other things, the promises. [Actually, Sarah gave Hagar to Abraham of her own volition because she was barren at the time. If you read the Old Testament account, God didn’t command anything in regards to this arrangement. In fact, after Abraham sired children by Hagar, Sarah kicker her out in a fit of jealous rage (can’t say I blame her).]

36 Abraham was commanded to offer his son Isaac; nevertheless, it was written: Thou shalt not kill. Abraham, however, did not refuse, and it was accounted unto him for righteousness. [If we take this legend literally, then whatever God puts into our heads is right and we should do it. Again, sounds like terrorist logic.]

37 Abraham received concubines, and they bore him children; and it was accounted unto him for righteousness, because they were given unto him, and he abode in my law; as Isaac also and Jacob did none other things than that which they were commanded; and because they did none other things than that which they were commanded, they have entered into their exaltation, according to the promises, and sit upon thrones, and are not angels but are gods. [Note that in general they did all that they were commanded, but this verse specifically refers to the fact that bearing children is counted unto them for righteousness and the means by which they become gods.]

38 David also received many wives and concubines, and also Solomon and Moses my servants, as also many others of my servants, from the beginning of creation until this time; and in nothing did they sin save in those things which they received not of me.

39 David’s wives and concubines were given unto him of me, by the hand of Nathan, my servant, and others of the prophets who had the keys of this power; and in none of these things did he sin against me save in the case of Uriah and his wife; and, therefore he hath fallen from his exaltation, and received his portion; and he shall not inherit them out of the world, for I gave them unto another, saith the Lord. [Have you noticed in the last few verses that the women are given to various men like property? Keep in mind for the following verses.]

41 And as ye have asked concerning adultery, verily, verily, I say unto you, if a man receiveth a wife in the new and everlasting covenant, and if she be with another man, and I have not appointed unto her by the holy anointing, she hath committed adultery and shall be destroyed.

42 If she be not in the new and everlasting covenant, and she be with another man, she has committed adultery.

43 And if her husband be with another woman, and he was under a vow, he hath broken his vow and hath committed adultery.

44 And if she hath not committed adultery, but is innocent and hath not broken her vow, and she knoweth it, and I reveal it unto you, my servant Joseph, then shall you have power, by the power of my Holy Priesthood, to take her and give her unto him that hath not committed adultery but hath been faithful; for he shall be made ruler over many. [While these verses may seem confusing, they basically restate that the only valid marital (and thus sexual) relationships are those that are sealed and approved by God via the new and everlasting covenant. Again emphasizing the point that civil marriages are considered void from a LDS theological standpoint. Verse 44 also introduces the doctrine of reassignment where a virtuous married woman may be martially reassigned to a righteous priesthood holder (bachelorhood not required) if her spouse is unfaithful. Thus, the righteous priesthood holder becomes a ‘ruler’ over many women. The doctrine of reassignment is still practiced among some of the fundamentalist LDS polygamous offshoots.]

46 And verily, verily, I say unto you, that whatsoever you seal on earth shall be sealed in heaven; and whatsoever you bind on earth, in my name and by my word, saith the Lord, it shall be eternally bound in the heavens; and whosesoever sins you remit on earth shall be remitted eternally in the heavens; and whosesoever sins you retain on earth shall be retained in heaven.

48 And again, verily I say unto you, my servant Joseph, that whatsoever you give on earth, and to whomsoever you give any one on earth, by my word and according to my law, it shall be visited with blessings and not cursings, and with my power, saith the Lord, and shall be without condemnation on earth and in heaven.

49 For I am the Lord thy God, and will be with thee even unto the end of the world, and through all eternity; for verily I seal upon you your exaltation, and prepare a throne for you in the kingdom of my Father, with Abraham your father.



50 Behold, I have seen your sacrifices, and will forgive all your sins; I have seen your sacrifices in obedience to that which I have told you. Go, therefore, and I make a way for your escape, as I accepted the offering of Abraham of his son Isaac. [Verses 46 through 50 give Joseph power to do basically anything he wants. He can forgive sins (including his own in verse 50), curse and condemn others at will and he gets a reserved spot in heaven. These verses, when viewed in historical context, follow Joseph’s line of thinking during this period of time. At one point he made the statement: "God made Aaron to be the mouthpiece for the children of Israel, and He will make me be god to you in His stead". (History of the Church: vol. 6, pp.319-320) Brigham Young went so far as to say that: "...no man or woman in this dispensation will ever enter into the celestial kingdom of God without the consent of Joseph Smith.... Every man and woman must have the certificate of Joseph Smith, junior, as a passport to their entrance... I cannot go there without his consent.… He reigns there as supreme a being in his sphere, capacity, and calling, as God does in heaven." (Journal of Discourses: vol. 7, p. 289) It is historically evident from these and other sources that near the end of his life, Joseph Smith was suffering from some kind of messianic delusion.]

51 Verily, I say unto you: A commandment I give unto mine handmaid, Emma Smith, your wife, whom I have given unto you, that she stay herself and partake not of that which I commanded you to offer unto her; for I did it, saith the Lord, to aprove you all, as I did Abraham, and that I might require an offering at your hand, by covenant and sacrifice. [This verse refers to a little know historical oddity. When Emma discovered the extent of Joseph’s extramarital affairs she was understandably outraged and demanded that he discontinue the practice. Joseph countered that he was commanded by God to do these things and therefore could not stop. Seeing that Emma was not satisfied with this answer, he then offered Emma the option of having multiple husbands (polyandry). However, at the writing of this revelation, Joseph apparently changed his mind and restricted the command to have multiple spouses to him and the high (male) leadership of the church and told Emma that hers was simply a test.]

52 And let mine handmaid, Emma Smith, receive all those that have been given unto my servant Joseph, and who are virtuous and pure before me; and those who are not pure, and have said they were pure, shall be destroyed, saith the Lord God. [For anyone that thinks that the practice of polygamy began with the writing of this revelation in 1842, this verse will essentially destroy that notion. Here Joseph is telling Emma that she has to accept and receive into her home if needed (and she actually did on occasion – refer to the book ‘Mormon Enigma: Emma Hale Smith’ for references) any and/or all of the plural wives that Joseph had already taken. Further more, if Emma was concerned about the virtuous nature of any of the plural wives that Joseph had thus far accumulated, she is assured in this verse that any false claims of virtuousness would result in the destruction of the plural wife (most likely in the next life). It is ironic however that while Joseph is having multiple extra-marital affairs with single, married and underage women, having these affairs without the knowledge or consent of his wife, pursuing the whole despicable practice without the knowledge of the general membership of the church, defying the laws of the state while doing so and publicly denying on record that he did so that he is still considered virtuous!]

53 For I am the Lord thy God, and ye shall obey my voice; and I give unto my servant Joseph that he shall be made ruler over many things; for he hath been faithful over a few things, and from henceforth I will strengthen him. [“…he shall be made ruler over many things…” I.E many wives.]

54 And I command mine handmaid, Emma Smith, to abide and cleave unto my servant Joseph, and to none else. But if she will not abide this commandment she shall be destroyed, saith the Lord; for I am the Lord thy God, and will destroy her if she abide not in my law. [Joseph gets to have as many affairs as he wants but if Emma even thinks about it she will be destroyed. Sounds pretty reasonable doesn’t it?]

55 But if she will not abide this commandment, then shall my servant Joseph do all things for her, even as he hath said; and I will bless him and multiply him and give unto him an hundredfold in this world, of fathers and mothers, brothers and sisters, houses and lands, wives and children, and crowns of eternal lives in the eternal worlds. [If Emma still doesn’t like this new and everlasting covenant of plural marriage, Joseph says that he will still take care of her but that he will basically get more of everything in this world (including more wives) and eternal life in the world to come.]

59 Verily, if a man be called of my Father, as was Aaron, by mine own voice, and by the voice of him that sent me, and I have endowed him with the keys of the power of this priesthood, if he do anything in my name, and according to my law and by my word, he will not commit sin, and I will justify him. [Again, Joseph is justifying any past present and future actions, right or wrong because as God’s prophet, anything he says in the name of God is right no mater what anyone else thinks. More terrorist thinking.]

61 And again, as pertaining to the law of the priesthood–if any man espouse a virgin, and desire to espouse another, and the first give her consent, and if he espouse the second, and they are virgins, and have vowed to no other man, then is he justified; he cannot commit adultery for they are given unto him; for he cannot commit adultery with that that belongeth unto him and to no one else.

62 And if he have ten virgins given unto him by this law, he cannot commit adultery, for they belong to him, and they are given unto him; therefore is he justified.

63 But if one or either of the ten virgins, after she is espoused, shall be with another man, she has committed adultery, and shall be destroyed; for they are given unto him to multiply and replenish the earth, according to my commandment, and to fulfill the promise which was given by my Father before the foundation of the world, and for their exaltation in the eternal worlds, that they may bear the souls of men; for herein is the work of my Father continued, that he may be glorified. [In these last three verses Joseph gives the reason that men are allowed to enter into plural marriage: They simply have to desire to espouse a virgin! Given that much latitude, a priesthood holder’s desire for fresh virgins would know no bounds (and didn’t in many cases). As for the caveat that the virgin should not be espoused to another man, one must question why this statement is even in the section at all since Joseph was marrying other men’s wives while their husbands (both member and nonmember) were living. Perhaps that privilege was reserved exclusively for Joseph and no one else. In any case, there is basically no way that a Mormon Man can commit adultery under this law so long as he expresses his desire for the virgin of his choice to the proper church authorities. The woman on the other hand, is guilty of adultery if she attempts any behavior that is similar to her polygamist husband! Also, according to this verse, these women physically belong to him! Furthermore, for those who think that polygamywas simply instituted as a way to care for the widows of the church, look at verse 63 more closely. It clearly states that the reason these women are ‘given’ to the men of the church is to multiply and replenish the earth. You can’t multiply without sexual relations. This verse also contains a reminder that salvation and exaltation is achieved through child bearing in this life and the life to come.]

64 And again, verily, verily, I say unto you, if any man have a wife, who holds the keys of this power, and he teaches unto her the law of my priesthood, as pertaining to these things, then shall she believe and administer unto him, or she shall be destroyed, saith the Lord your God; for I will destroy her; for I will magnify my name upon all those who receive and abide in my law. [This verse is directed solely at Emma Smith. The command: Accept this law or be destroyed. This kind of negates the whole free agency concept that Mormons hold so dear. Actually, in Mormon ideology, Satan is the only being that uses force or coercion to realize his goals. Based in that understanding one would wonder, from a Mormon perspective, where Joseph is getting this revelation from.]

65 Therefore, it shall be lawful in me, if she receive not this law, for him to receive all things whatsoever I, the Lord his God, will give unto him, because she did not believe and administer unto him according to my word; and she then becomes the transgressor; and he is exempt from the law of Sarah, who administered unto Abraham according to the law when I commanded Abraham to take Hagar to wife. [Again, this verse is directed at Emma. If she doesn’t like or accept the new and everlasting covenant of plural marriage, in the end it doesn’t matter! In this case Joseph has decided that he doesn’t need her consent (as required in verse 61) and then has the audacity to name her as the transgressor! This entire revelation, and these last few verses especially, are nothing more than spousal emotional, spiritual and sexual abuse cloaked in the protective mantle of God-given revelation!]



In summary, section 132 of the Doctrine and Covenants reinforces the doctrinal foundation for male dominance in LDS domestic life. Women are viewed as gifts and rewards for righteous living. Once given, they are spoken of as property or chattel. However, the most important point in this section however is that in order for a man to enter the highest degree of the Mormon heaven, he must be able to produce offspring. If he is faithful over a few things in this life (women are included in this grouping of things incidentally), he will be made ruler over many things (once again, women are one of those many things that he will rule over). This line of thinking is very similar to the Jihad’s hope for a harem of 70 virgins in the next life if he is faithful in his service to Allaah. For Mormon men, women are the producers of a never-ending stream of spirit progeny.

Modern Mormon women will stress the equality of the sexes by explaining that neither a man nor a woman can enter the celestial kingdom without a spouse. What they don’t like to discuss in particular is what their respective roles will be in the hereafter. Few are willing to connect the dots between the temple endowment ceremony, section 132 of the Doctrine and Covenants and the smattering of pro-patriarchal scriptural references in the Old and New Testament. From these sources it is made evident that man is to rule over women, that godhood is achieved through the ability to have numberless spirit children and that a man, if faithful in this life will be made ruler over many wives in the next life. When viewed from a diagrammatical standpoint, the Mormon plan of exaltation is essentially a celestial pyramid scheme (ever wonder why those are so popular in Utah? May have something to do with the psychological impact this doctrine has on the minds of the members).

-SOME CLOSING THOUGHTS...

From a male perspective, the Mormon Church is an ideal ego enhancement. A man holds all of the real positions of authority, has the right for revelation in regards to his entire family and is promised many wives in the next life, the power to create worlds and have eternal offspring, which ultimately make him a god. What does the church really offer women from a doctrinal standpoint? The following was posted on an Internet discussion board that I think summarizes the answer to this question perfectly. It is put in the form of a question to the men of the church; how would they react if gender roles were reversed… Would any rational man join a church in which…

…Women held all priesthood leadership positions, including Prophet, Apostles, Stake Presidents and Bishops etc?

…God was a woman and any mention of Father in Heaven was forbidden?

…Only women were allowed to speak for God?

…Under no circumstance could a man hold a position of authority over a woman?

…Only women could perform church ordinances - i.e. pass the sacrament, perform baptisms or bless their own children? …In the temple women covenanted to obey Mother in Heaven but the men covenanted to obey their wives?

…The fundamental narrative upon which the entire religion were based had a man obeying Satan to eat the forbidden fruit first, which would explain why men are so subservient to women?

…Men were told time and again in General Conference from their all-female leaders that their main purpose was to be submissive to their wives?

…At age 12 the girls got the priesthood with subsequent advancement during the teen years. But the boys got nothing but a Manhood Medallion?

…The only men's group in the church called the "Relief Society" was really run by the women apostles who made all the real decisions, controlled the budget and provided all the curricula?

…The church had a history of treating men like mindless property. Its founding leaders taught that God commanded that one woman should have plural husbands that lived by themselves and had to share the one wife with other men?

…The church founder (a woman) had over 30 secret husbands. Some of them were pre-pubescent boys she emotionally blackmailed into secret sex. Some were happily married men who she told had to marry her in order to save their families?

…The church's scriptures contained a revelation by the church founder (a woman) that has Heavenly Mother saying she gives young virgin men to the founder and her husband must accept it or suffer eternal destruction and damnation?

…The Book of Mormon had only four pathetic references to men but the whole rest of this "divinely inspired" book was about women?

…Women frequently gave men priesthood blessings of counsel, pretending to speak in the name of Heavenly Mother commanding them to obey their wives and "be faithful"?

…The most precious thing a man could give his wife is his virginity/virtue?

…Men who had lost their virginity before marriage were called "used cars"?

…Single men were told that they could only be exalted if their wives called upon them for exaltation?

…In the next life a woman could have as many husbands as she wanted while the husband could only have one wife?

Would any man in his right mind join such a church?

Some of these statements seem a bit drastic when viewed casually, but they really do represent the LDS male dominated culture. You may not find these cultural philosophies often expressed outright, but they are an integral part of bedrock Mormon doctrine and culture. Truly, in the LDS church, the head of the woman is the man.

I long for the day that the collective roar of the downtrodden and oppressed women of this church will be so loud that it shakes the church to it’s foundational roots. Until that time, the Mormon woman will continue to be given a false hope of eternal life coupled with a requirement for continuous strivings for perfection and obedience and a patriarchal choke-hold so strong that is suffocates the true spark of divinity and dignity that is inherent in her. She will continue to despair at her daily failings and yearn for the happiness that she has been promised, but can never find in an organization that will ultimately rob her of her unique identity and compel her to strive toward ‘Stepford’ submission and perfection.

…She is truly a woman in chains…
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God Will Punish You If You Don't Get Married!
Wednesday, Oct 19, 2005, at 07:46 AM
Original Author(s): Anonymous
Topic: WOMEN AND MORMONISM   -Link To MC Article-
The Morg is prejudiced against single people! If you don't marry, you can never reach the highest level of the Celestial Kingdom.

There is tremendous pressure in the Church to marry. I felt pressure to marry in my singles ward.

There are many reasons why people don't or shouldn't get married. Some people want to get married, but they can't. They can't find the right person, etc. Such people already feel bad about their situation, and they are missing out on the benefits of marriage. Why make them feel worse by rubbing salt into their sores?

You can study the scriptures 2 hours a day, attend the temple once a week, pay 20% of you income in tithing, and fulfill all of your callings, but if you can't get anyone to exchange wedding rings with you, you're dead in the water! You're a second class citizen! If you make it to the CK, you will be a servant to a god who was lucky enough to find a mate on this earth, and you will never be able to have spirit children or rule your own planet.

The Church's marriage requirement comes directly from DandC 132, the polygamy revelation. In fact, we only have temple marriages today because Joseph Smith needed to create a revelation to justify his infidelities. By some strange logic, we have to get married today because Old Joe could not keep his hands to himself.

I know of no other religion that will not give its members complete salvation if they are not married. Christian churches, for example, welcome everybody--the poor, the downtrodden, and--guess what?--the UNMARRIED! Christ will not refuse to love you, totally and completely, if you can't attract a woman (or a man).

Beyond all of this, the marriage requirement creates a host of other problems. How many TBMs have divorced just because of religious differences? How many TBMs have married the wrong person because they married too early? How many TBMs remarry anybody that breathes after a temple divorce just because they don't want to miss out on godhood in the Celestial Kingdom?

I have been rejected by Mormon girls because of religion. Let them have their RMs. I have not dated a Mormon girl for a long, long time.
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If You Don't Start Having Children By Age 23, You End Up Demographically Skewed In A Mormon Ward
Friday, Dec 2, 2005, at 08:19 AM
Original Author(s): Mujun
Topic: WOMEN AND MORMONISM   -Link To MC Article-
My wife and I married when I was 26 and she had about six weeks remaining of being 25. Just over three years later, we had our first child when I was 29 and my wife was 28. Our second child arrived nearly four years after that.

I wouldn't want to suggest that we didn't have good friends in all of our Mormon wards. We did. At the same time, we never really fit in demographically with any particular group or clique. When our children went to the nursery and to Primary, we found that we were several years older and several years less cool than most of the parents whose children were in the same classes. Those parents who were close to our age and who had children around the ages or our children typically also had older siblings who were already passing the sacrament.

I suppose the fact that we didn't rush into either marriage or having children was evidence that we were a bit more unorthodox and independent than most. Maybe that's why I am where I am now.

Thus spake Mujun.
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TBMs Romanticize The Poverty Of Early Marriage And Child Bearing... And It's Getting Under My Skin
Friday, Dec 2, 2005, at 08:28 AM
Original Author(s): Punky's Dilemma
Topic: WOMEN AND MORMONISM   -Link To MC Article-
As many people here know, I attend a monthly bookgroup, composed mostly of TBMs. Despite the occasional grating TBMish comments, most of the time it's pretty stimulating, and I've continued to attend following my resignation from TSCC for that, and to maintain friendships with women that I genuinely like.

For December, we're reading short stories. Two of the eleven selections are from the New Era. The other nice selections are classic pieces of literature, and I REALLY got a lot out of them.

And, then, I read this selection:

http://library.lds.org/nxt/gateway.dl...

For those who don't care to read it, it's basically a propaganda piece in the New Era that touts the virtues of early marriage, and poverty in marriage. The scenario is stereotypical. A young man has to pay his way through college without help b/c his parents are paying for a younger brother's mission. Predictably, he falls in love and wants to marry a girl, but he only has $4 a month left over after the most necessary expenses and doesn't see how he can afford it. His clothes are falling apart b/c he can't afford to replace them. He can't afford transportation or school books. But the girl REALLY wants to get married and have a baby (and points out that family and friends can help clothe it, and that he can quit school and get a job if their kid gets sick and has medical bills). The girl offers to quit school and work so that he can finish school. But he resists, and they break up. Finally, driven to distraction over the girl, he figures out all sorts of ways to get by on the cheap (like picking up discardedChristmas trees, and working in a garden for free veggies) so they can get married. And the story ends.

I read that story and felt sick. I'll probably refrain from commenting during the discussion (especially since there are so many other outstanding stories to discuss). But I was bothered enough to need to post here.

There is NOTHING romantic about being so poor you can't afford to properly clothe yourself, or take care of your child. There is NOTHING terribly virtuous about placing a woman in socio-economically vulnerable position (asking her to give up her education) just so that you can get married a little sooner than you might have otherwise. I don't want to suggest that poverty is a vice, but it isn't "cute" either.

I didn't have much growing up. I sent myself through college through scholarships and working to support myself (my dad preferred to give money to fund the missions of unrelated young men in our ward than to help his children with their educations). Even in the relative poverty of being a student I had a lot more than I had growing up. I got married to a teacher (no big salary there) and put myself through grad school again through scholarships and part-time employment. Even with both our salaries, we didn't have much. We were happy just to make ends meet, and not to need to take out loans. If we had gotten pregnant early into my program, I would have had to drop out because I wouldn't have been able to work, go to school, and afford childcare at the same time.

There was nothing "cute" or romantic about being poor. There were weeks when we survived on ramen noodles and frozen veggies (because I could sort of feed us on the $8 a week extra we had for food). Now I'm finished with my degree, and currently not working in order to care for our new baby. Luckily, my dh got an administrative position a couple of years ago, so we can afford to live comfortably, but still need to be frugal until I return to work. The women in my book group all have husbands finishing Ph.Ds. Most of them have several children and those women stay at home. Their families live off student loans and welfare programs. Only a couple of these women (who are VERY intelligent as a group, I might add) were economically able to finish college, and several express self-esteem issues about not having much advanced education. There is nothing terribly romantic about their situations. There is just grinding poverty even in a town with a very low COL index. I often buy the books from our yearly reading listfrom a used book store for just a couple of dollars a book (and resell the books, so I usually pay only $20-30 a year for books). Most members of the group can't even afford this, and can't read a book unless it is available in the local library. They get by on WIC, and shopping at the local thrift stores. They worry about money all the time, and if their husbands don't get good jobs (and sometimes in this economy they don't get jobs right out of school), their family will be in serious financial jeopardy. Our family lives modestly, and I make it a point to to keep my son's toys and accoutrements at a modest level in comparison with peers that overspend on their children. We try hard to live within our means (which isn't necessarily how many of our non-TBM peers with similar educations and jobs live). In comparison, when TBM children see my son's room, they often say he is "spoiled" because he has clothes that are inexpensive, but not second hand, stained or worn. He has a couple of drawers and a small closetof toys that are clean and in good repair. He has a small yard with a tree house. He has his own room. Other TBM kids think he is rich and often ask if they can have his things (a weird, and rude behavior that I haven't figured out). And the non-TBM kids think his room is boring, small, and lacking in ENOUGH toys to adequately entertain themselves. Considering that all of these kids come from homes of well-educated, middle-class families, the disparity in the ways that the families can provide for their children is striking.

But, regardless, we have a story about how great it is to be married young, and have children when there isn't enough money to comfortably sustain them. And when I read the story there appears to only be four compelling reasons to do so: 1) Because the stress and anxiety of poverty makes you work harder and this gives you an edge later in life; 2) Because the GAs command you to do so; 3) Because babies are cute, and won't notice that their family is dependent on other people to care for them, or that their food consists of macaroni with cream of mushroom soup and jello (i.e. nothing with any real nutritional value except sodium, fat, and sugar); 4) The young couple in the story are in "love" and are probably too horny to wait to get married.

Whereas, it seems clear that just waiting 2-3 years to finish up school and become gainfully employed would resolve some of these problems (that and/or condoms and BC pills). The state of marriage, and child-bearing doesn't seem so important to me that people should sacrifice at least a minimal level of financial security just so they can start a family as soon as they find someone with whom they'd like to have sex. In fact, it seems to me that the prevailing social attitudes about marriage and child-bearing has long been that they ideally should be put off until a family can be provided for. And, while that doesn't happen in many cases, I can't think of a reason to romanticize it, and make it seem desirable and appealing like this story does.

Why does TSCC want to victimize young men, women, and children this way? SHEESH.
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Working Women
Thursday, Dec 8, 2005, at 07:54 AM
Original Author(s): Mermaid
Topic: WOMEN AND MORMONISM   -Link To MC Article-
I have decided to change my mind.

The Mo-perspective on a working woman is one of shame.

"She works because her husband can't make enough for her to stay home."

"She's a *hushed voice* single mother."

*Judgmental voice* "She chose a career over children."

I have been taught to see a working woman as something less-than-desirable, and I now reject that teaching.

I am choosing to see my search for a job as my search for my place in society's productivity. Not that my job as a Mother is less important; but that I *can* do both.

And not be ashamed.
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Reasons For My Apostacy, And Why My Mother Needs To Drop The So Called Church
Monday, Feb 6, 2006, at 07:37 AM
Original Author(s): Vardaelentari
Topic: WOMEN AND MORMONISM   -Link To MC Article-
I hate what the Morg has made my mother into. She has suffered from manic-depression since her teen years. She gets worse every year. I strongly believe that TSCC has been very bad for my mother's self esteem, self confidence, and directly contributes to her worsening condition.

The mother has an elder brother who is mentally retarded and cannot speak or care for himself. Uncle L_____ is still in the care of my grandparents, and he will be 50 next year. It is a common-held belief that L_____ did not come to Earth for a body like the rest of us. Apparently, he was perfect in the preexistance and came to Earth to teach us (I have a strong feeling that L_____'s condition was a huge factor during my grandmother's conversion to Mormonism in the 60's).

The mother has a younger brother who went on a mission in Argentina, graduated from BYU with a degree in psychology, and married in the temple. Uncle F___ is now the father of 7 beautiful children (4 daughters and 3 sons, ages 7-16), and holds the rank of major in the US Air Force.

My mother was accepted into BYU in 1978, but she chose to take the prophet's advice and get married in the temple instead. The parents were unable to conceive for the first 4 years, which I imagine fed my mother's self-loathing. Now they have 4 daughters (ages 16-22) who have all "fallen away" from TSCC. The youngest daughter, still in high school, has notified the parents of her unexpected pregnancy. So far, the mother has taken it pretty well, other than her classic self-blame act.

The mother compares herself with her younger brother all the time. F___ is "perfect". F___ can do no wrong. F___ is successful and well-liked. The mother believes that their parents love F___ more than they love her.

The mother also believes that the grandparents love F___'s kids more than they love my sisters and I. If it's true (which I highly doubt) it's only because F___'s kids are not old enough yet to have "fallen away" from TSCC.

Every time the mother comes home from church feeling depressed, she says it's because she is not faithful enough. She tries reading her scriptures and attending meetings more often. But her depression keeps getting worse.

The only thing I want is for my mother to leave the church. I wish that she could find the truth, and LEAVE like I did. She would be much more happier if she did. I have not spoken to her about this, because I realize that it could shatter the only known stability she has.

My apostacy came soon after I started college classes. My parents had successfully sheltered me through 10 years of homeschooling. But I loved learning in Sociology class about other cultures and religions. I couldn't learn enough! During that semester, the 9/11 attack shook the US nation. I realized that day that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints could never be the only true church. If faithful Muslim extremists could give up their lives and families for their beliefs, who was I to say they were wrong?? Who was I to say anyone was wrong???

If "right" and "wrong" are just labels that can change based on culture and history, I have no desire to claim allegiance to any belief. It makes more sense to think in terms of actions and consequences; cause and effect.

How many other Mormon women suffer silently with their inability to be perfect? How many women here on this board have said goodbye to TSCC for those reasons exactly? I was in singles ward when I left the church. Singles Wards are for meeting spouses. All of my friends from YW are married now with at least 1 kid. I am thankful to be 22 years old, and NOT pinned down with a husband or children. Even though motherhood is a special event I look forward to, I am glad I am an independent woman, and I can choose when I want to begin my family. I feel more confident than ever before.
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Women And Priesthood / Work: Seperate Roles But Equal?
Monday, Mar 27, 2006, at 07:40 AM
Original Author(s): David Peters
Topic: WOMEN AND MORMONISM   -Link To MC Article-
Women and the Priesthood: separate roles but equal in importance. Hey, if it worked for the Civil Rights movement...

I never fully believed that women needed different roles or would be happier in such (I grew up with a single mom - who studied and worked). It seemed so counter-intuitive: all the women, everywhere, need the same program of maternity?

Women and the priesthood and the typical apologetic answers by the most liberal of Mormons seemed so weak. "Well, it isn't really doctrine..." or "They have equal status..." or the terrible jokes like "Men need the priesthood to reach a woman's level."

In my experience, the best women I've known have hated being put on pedestals or treated like inferior people. The key to equality was not buying roses one day or leaving her in the confines of a home the next: it was walking beside her (or letting her walk alone if she needed it) and letting her decide her own life. LDS apologists respond that women are every bit as able bodied as men. Duh! Why do you handicap them? Why do church society, leadership, and parts of the dogma frown upon a women seeking employment? Why must women be called home if they are just as able as men?

By comparison, a man can (though socially he is given less opportunity) to be just as effective as parent. However, such a reverse arrangement is just as stigmatized as married women and men working (assuming they are not elderly). Why?

If an African-American fellow is just as talented as a Caucasian, does this mean either should stick to their "racial" roles? Why then, should there be "sex" derived ones?

The social stigma against women is coupled by "divine" curses and prophetic "warnings" for mothers to please come home. I remember remarks from the Miracle of Forgiveness and many a talk or fireside where women were urged to return. To disobey is to disobey god. The fear this could instil on women, all but robber of her intrinsic self-worth by saying she can never "truly" have it or operate in a similar fashion - even my liberal associates concurred that the church said a women's priesthood is through her spouse -and ultimately through her male god-.

Every program in the church is overseen by men. Relief Society is no exception as they are incorporated into the ward and the chief calling being made by the priesthood (and LDS will quickly refute that is "technicall" God through the priesthood). I have know "rebel, rebel" Relief Society sisters who defied convention and the status-quo. However, these were exceptions, not rules. This women broke convention and church teaching: I'm unbelievably grateful for them. I am troubled and saddened by the sisters who did not escape the engineering of the men -the priesthood-. I've known many a woman break down because she wasn't sure she was "worth it" or that she'd "matter more than being a mom". Yet, the LDS reinforce that this is the pinnacle in her crown and nothing shall take precedence above it (though she may have other activities - they must not overthrow the paradigm). I saw Sisters practically broken because they couldn't bring themselves to wasting time or not being a "good" mother. Elitism is truly commonamongst some parts of the Relief Society - with many women left in the cold because "they just don't get it."

I watched my mom cry as a little boy, sometimes wondering what she to deserve the abuses of my father. After-all, the spiritual promptings surrounding the marriage were so strong? To even think that God deceived her was a heresy that would, in her mind, damn beyond recognition. I watched her struggle, single and poor, to take care of us. She'd be reminded that she 'wasn't getting any younger" and that we "needed the priesthood in the home." This was counsel given even by people who knew our circumstances: my had been raped by father during their separation (which resulted in my dear, younger sister) and he had (to the best of my knowledge) molested my sisters. I can't recall if he ever did anything to me -aside from dreams and episodes similar to my sister's post-traumatic stress disorder-.

My mom experienced tremendous pressure, even testimonies that she needed to return home, after she married my step-dad. She was a nurse and didn't want to lose her license. My step-dad is nearly ten years older and a diabetic. From any other standpoint, it made sense for her to work. yet, she faced stigma, doctrine, and inspired counsel. She threw out her back at work and quit earlier than expected. Surely, this was a sign. She misses the workplace in many respects (especially since my father works in Alaska for five weeks at a time). She's had a few friends (much older usually) or associates in the ward but very diminished in comparison to the men in the ward. Her friends are usually equally ostracized by the "alpha females" in the ward or they are non-members who try to cut through the crap being tossed at her. Case in point, one of her best friends in recent years was Washington, liberal journalist from across the street. They got along well: decently educated, loved the sciences, etc.

From my experience, the Church clearly does not treat work equally (even if they roles are separate). Everything is done with a man on your back, a priesthood holder over shoulder, and a guilt of freedom rolling forth.
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The Creepy Young Women's Theme - Said In Unison Each Week By The Young Women In Mormonism
Thursday, Apr 13, 2006, at 11:51 AM
Original Author(s): J_cashfan
Topic: WOMEN AND MORMONISM   -Link To MC Article-
Is there a reason we all have to stand up and chant this absurd load of garbage every Sunday? just curious. It's rather cult like...
We are daughters of our Heavenly Father who loves us and we love him

We will stand as witnesses of God at all times and all things and in all place as we strive to live the young women values which are:

Faith
Divine Nature
Individual Worth
Knowledge
Choice and Accountability
Good Works
and Integrity

We believe as we come to accept and act upon these values we will be prepared to strengthen home and family make and keep sacred covenants receive ordinances of the temple and enjoy the blessings of exaltation
Yeah we say that in unison. Every week. Yeah I don't know why either.

You know what is scary?

Is I could type the whole thing down from memory. That 'theme' is burned DEEP into my brain.

And I can still hear all of the boring, droning voices of the girls and they trudged through that every week. It's a monotone that haunts your dreams. Kind of like children of the corn.
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If Women Had Real Power In The Church
Tuesday, Apr 25, 2006, at 07:20 AM
Original Author(s): Seneca
Topic: WOMEN AND MORMONISM   -Link To MC Article-
Here is my list of the things women would change if they ran the church.

10. All guys would be carrying babies around in Elders Quorum. Kids would go to the guy first when they get mad in Nursery, not the wife.

9. Tithing Funds would go towards..." Accessorizing the members Fund" to help pay for perms and manicures and ear rings and stylish clothing...for the poor among them.

8. All the rooms in the church would have flowery wallpaper and pictures of Ducks and Geese, or cute bunny rabbits instead of the dull white that covers the walls now.

7. Enrichment Night...would actually include projects the women want to do...like catching up on the latest ward gossip and talking about how inadequate their husbands are.

6. All the lids in the mens rooms would be glued down. Men would have to sit to go potty.

5. The Word of Wisdom would be enhanced to include the use of deoderant for men, picking up clothing around the house, and the proper use of a toothpaste tube. Chewing Tobacco would still be a no-no, but tea would be in.

4. Part of the Oath and Covenant of the Priesthood would to get fancy jewelry for the wife once a month. A fellow could be excommunicated for not living up to this requirement.

3.Men would be required to actually listen by penalty of excommunication when the wife says..."We need to talk." Tuning her out would not be an option.

2. Polygamy would have never been an issue.

1. Talks would be about how inept men are and how they need to try and understand how the woman is feeling more. No sleeping during meetings by men again!
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Women On The Other Hand, Are Indoctrinated In Passivity
Friday, May 26, 2006, at 09:35 AM
Original Author(s): Belaja
Topic: WOMEN AND MORMONISM   -Link To MC Article-
I think women have a much bigger mind job done on them than men do (and I'm talking narrowly right now about just within the church). Men, for all the damage the church can do to them, are at least taught to be proactive in their own lives--they get to take the initiative in most ways and are encouraged to do so.

Women on the other hand, are indoctrinated in passivity. Many years ago I read an analysis in Sunstone of manuals for girls vs. manuals for boys, starting with Merrie Miss, going up through Laurels. I don't remember statistics, but basically they counted things like use of the passive voice (things like "being taken to the temple" for girls vs. "going to the temple" for boys), encouragement to action/activity, encouragement to obedience/subservience, and so on. Unsurprisingly, the girls got much, much more passive-reactive kinds of teaching and little active-proactive teaching, while boys were consistently given messages that empowered them, encouraged them to be outgoing, make decisions, take initiative. Maybe what they were being told to do was whacked (we could certainly argue it!) but the underlying message is, you have control, you can make things happen for yourself. Girls were given a constant bombardment of messages that they must be reactive, passive, acted-upon rather than acting. I think formen it may be easier to make those leaps in their thought processes when they don't have this sort of mental Chinese foot-binding. Obviously it's possible to resist in some way and lots of women make the leap, but after watching these situations on the DAMU for almost two years now, my developing theory is that the church teaches women to look to men (gender specifically) for their salvation. And in the temple particularly, in some ways, this is literal. They are taught that they are, in critical ways, not the authors of their own lives. And when the man they have looked to as the one who the fate of their soul depends on, leaves the church, of course they freak out. They don't have the mental, psychological or emotional tools to deal with that. It's just one more loss of control--not over anyone else, over themselves. How can they be expected to suddenly be "authors" of their own lives when "authority" (the word is directly derived) has always been denied them, except as parceled to them by men and always subject to and inferior to those same men. A man leaves the church and, doctrinally, the woman is denied salvation. The sop that is given to women here is that (and note the language) she needn't worry, she will be "given" to another "worthy priesthood holder" in the next life by God. In other words, she's a commodity and she'll be passed from hand to hand, perhaps with some choice in the matter, but there is nothing in the doctrine that would guarantee that. She still is not the "author" of her own fate.

As exhibit A in all this, go no further than the execrable talk by Dallin Oaks posted on the boards today. He discusses "traditional male intiatives" and how "agressive women" with "options" have essentially made men afraid to take their male initiatives (subtext: initiative belongs to men not aggressive women). Even the use of the word "leveling" in regards to the effect of the women's movement belies the thinking. The playing field, apparently, should NOT be level. Men should be in charge of it. Women should be at a disadvantage, the rhetoric implies that women should not have options other than those outlined by God/the church (ie, men in suits).

His "counsel" to women who are single is such vile excrescence that I can hardly be rational about it. If you're not married yet, well, just give up on it. If a man doesn't ask you, you can't ask him (or apparently even ask him out on a date). So you have to stop being the passive lump we've always told you god wants you to be and now at the age of 24 or 25 or 30 or whatever, you must throw off all your early training and actually go out and be proactive and make yourself a life. But it must be a life of aloneness. You can only be proactive if you don't have a man there to be the active one for you.

Of course, both men and women have the crap beat out of them in this talk. Both men and women are psychologically infantilized by the church--but women are so to a degree that is several orders of magnitude higher than for men. Of course it's harder for them to leave the church. You have to be proactive to color outside the lines. Men at least are trained in proactivity. They have some internal structures and mental skills, and cultural approval of their proactivity. Women, to the degree that they have absorbed and internalized these messages, have to overcome their indoctrination in passivity and the massive cultural disapproval that will come down on them for being proactive in ANY way--much less in challenging the mores of the church. And then, after slogging through all that--at the late age of 20 or 30 (or even 40) something, we still have to actually learn how to BE proactive.

And as for those women who have been able to resist it, who eventually do make it out? Well, frankly, I feel pissed off at the amount of my life energy that was spent (especially during my teenage years) on resisting the nefarious messages I was being bombarded with all the time as a female. Wry Catcher's thread on the foyer really speaks to this. Women have to go through all these mental steps to be proactive in life that I did not see the men and boys around me doing. Education for example: I couldn't just go to school and explore and learn and find a niche in the world where I fit and where I could contribute, as boys could. I always had to remember (and was told at every turn) that--"hey, it's nice you're going to college, but for you education is only about being prudent because you are going to be a wife and mother and that is your niche (and yes, it fits you because it is the only niche God made for all women and you, being a woman, fit into that niche--don't tell us it's not for you--YOU are forIT). And of course, if a man doesn't choose you, then you need to feed yourself, but a secretarial course will serve for that as well as anything else." So I could either succumb to that message and have it gnaw away at my sense of the seriousness of my education and my ability to see my own education as valuable. Or I could marshal up a lot of psychic energy to resist it--which sapped resources within me that were now unavailable to serve my development.

I remember when I was first at the Y, Rodney Turner spoke at a devotional on campus where he stated that "higher education is dangerous for women" because it "tempts" them away from being a good "supportive" wife and a mother to lots of babies, for whom she should give up everything. The student body women's vice president at the time tried to get somebody in the administration to make some kind of statement disavowing Turner's talk and saying something encouraging to women. Basically, they just all told her to STFU. Did men, at the very institution of learning where they were being educated, have to deal with the message, from an official "pulpit" as it were that the very activity they were engaged in (and paying their money for) was suspect for them and they probably shouldn't even really be doing it all? I thought not. Frankly, it was like slogging through hip-deep wet concrete. Boys, did you have to so slog, just to feel like you were entitled to an education?

It "should be easier" for women to leave the church? On the contrary, I think a woman needs much more courage to leave the church than a man needs. I think it's surprising that as many leave as do.
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The International Year Of The Woman
Thursday, Jun 29, 2006, at 10:33 AM
Original Author(s): Harmony
Topic: WOMEN AND MORMONISM   -Link To MC Article-
I remember the International Year of the Woman with mixed feelings. I was a young mother, just trying to raise my 3 little boys the best I could, not paying a whole lot of attention to the national news... until Sister R, a woman from Utah came to our ward Relief Society one Tuesday. She was a cousin of a woman I really admired in our ward, so she had instant credibility with me. According to her, we had to drop whatever it was we were doing, and follow her to Ellensburg, where a meeting was going to take place that would forever change our lives, if we didn't pack up and go right then. She said she'd been sent by church leaders in Salt Lake to lead us, because she had family here where I lived. She said they'd been broadsided in Utah, but here in my state, we still had time to stop the evil. We were on fire with passion to save our homes, our families, and our country from being taken over by the spawn of hell.

That was the first time I ever heard about what the church felt about the ERA. We were told we'd have unisex bathrooms, that women would be drafted (a very scary possibility, since the Vietnam War was still a very big part of our lives), that feminists would make all mothers go to work, if it passed. We were determined to fight back. We felt like we were marching into battle, when my mother-in-law, my pregnant sister-in-law, and I drove to Ellensburg in our pick up truck with a camper on it. We parked at the college in a parking lot, dressed in our dresses, and followed the masses of women into a large hall.

Sister R was there and directed us all to where we were supposed to sit. We sat in blocks of about 125 women, 10 rows deep, 12 women across, then a 3 foot aisle, and 125 more, all around the room. Our Relief Society president had told us to watch Sister R and she would tell us when to stand and when to sit. We looked around the hall and there must have been 10,000 women there. At the stage, there was pandemonium. Several women in pants were yelling at the moderators, who were gesturing for quiet. The press was milling around. Finally, the moderators got the whole room quieted down.

We were told how the meeting would progress. There would be motions and time for testimony and if we wanted to speak, we had to line up at the microphones that were around the room, say our name, where we were from, and any group we represented. Several very passionate women from Seattle spoke. We knew they were the enemy because they said they were from Radical Women of Seattle. Anyone who was a radical woman was definitely not with us!

We voted on several proposals. Sister R would hold up a sign, and we'd all stand up on command. We had no idea what the proposals meant, we just stood when we were told to stand. We voted everything down. The Radical Women were absolutely beside themselves. They felt their political podium had been stolen by a bunch of hicks led by a pawn from a bunch of old men in suits.

After it was over, I found a friend of mine who had press credentials, because her husband owned a two-bit weekly newspaper that had never printed anything more newsworthy than the latest high school football score, but she got to go to the press room. She said it was pandemonium. The press was coming unglued. The Mormon women had stolen the platform and they would have to send delegates to the meeting in Texas with a platform that was straight out of the 50's.

The Radical women were absolutely thunderstruck. I remember one woman quite clearly. After the meeting, we were walking back to our truck, when she stopped us, and just looked completely shellshocked. She was speechless and just shook her head at us.

I look back now, and I wonder... what if? We were sheep, obedient to the call of the Prophet, blindly marching to the tune of a drummer we never even saw. I still remember the sound of thousands of those feet as we all stood to vote as Sister R told us to. It haunts me now.
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A Knight In Shining Armor?
Monday, Jul 24, 2006, at 08:34 AM
Original Author(s): Joy
Topic: WOMEN AND MORMONISM   -Link To MC Article-
Visited some inactive friends today and found the following in their Mormon newsletter-

There was a dinner at the stake center to honor eleven girls who had received their Young Women Medallions. The theme of the evening was "Put on the Armor of Light".

Each girl received a white temple bag with the Proclamation on the Family, a picture of the Redlands temple, a statuette of the Salt Lake temple,and a letter from the General Young Women's Presidency.
"A knight in full armor posed for photos with each honoree before a backdrop of the Salt Lake temple, signifying the ultimate desire of each to marry her knight in shinig armor."
I think I'm gonna throw up.

It's terrible when these poor girls get their first dose of reality, I saw it happen to some close friends who bought into it. Life just doesn't work out like this medieval Mormon shit that's being sold to these kids.
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Mormon Male Dominance Harms Men as Much as Women
Monday, Jul 31, 2006, at 09:00 AM
Original Author(s): Lucyfer
Topic: WOMEN AND MORMONISM   -Link To MC Article-
I have read a great deal on this board and elsewhere about the irreparable damage done to women by the dominance of men in Mormonism. It is s subject of significant interest to me. The stifling stereotypical sex roles assigned to the female adherents to Joseph Smith’s little homemade religion limit women to childbearing, child rearing, homemaking and husband worshipping. Women are clearly second class citizens with no power and little influence in the hierarchy of TSCC. They are relegated to such important tasks as crafting, scrap-booking and recipe swapping in Relief Society – their very own little gossip club. YIKES!

One thing I have observed that I have seldom seen discussed on this board is the damage these stereotypical sex roles do to the male members. It is assumed that since the men-folk get to hold all the power positions, reign as the righteous Priesthood holders over the ward house and the home, that life is good. Not so, I say – not so. Dividing the sexes in the manner glorified in the “Proclamation of the Family” is harmful to BOTH genders. The following quote says it all - “By divine design, fathers are to preside over their families in love and righteousness and are responsible to provide the necessities of life and protection for their families.” (From The Family: A Proclamation to the World. This proclamation was read by President Gordon B. Hinckley as part of his message at the General Relief Society Meeting held September 23, 1995, in Salt Lake City, Utah).

While the GAs repeatedly insist that the wife is supposedly equal to the husband, she is consistently described as fulfilling a subordinate “helpmeet” (assistant) role. While men have most (if not all) of the power in the LDS church, they also are burdened with a disproportionate share of responsibility for supporting the family financially and making things right in every other way. The ugly flip side of the patriarchal coin is that men bear the lion’s share of BLAME when things go wrong. While you will never see this fact officially confirmed in writing by church leadership, this is the practical and logical result of the patriarchal family system which focuses on man as leader, provider and protector. In the end analysis, it is the husband who is primarily at fault when the marriage and family go poorly.

I have observed that there is a certain type of Mormon woman who wields the righteous Priesthood ideal viciously like a club to control and manipulate her husband. This type of Mormon female is an expert at “guilting” her man into compliance with her demands. She is relieved from all responsibility for making the family work – it is all up to the man. Nothing can ever be HER fault, now can it??? If there is not enough money to buy the finer things – all HIS fault (although she refuses to work outside the home). If the kids are ill-behaved or get into trouble at school – all HIS fault since he is not acting as a proper Priesthood role model (never mind that she is the one who is home all day and who has the most interaction with the kids). If she is miserable, bored, unfulfilled – all HIS fault since it is his job to make her happy (don’t pay attention to the fact that she elected NOT to attend school, never bothered to developed a career and has no way to keep herself occupied).

This is a recipe for marital disaster and I have seen it described many times by men on this board. By denying women a sense of self based solely on her gender, some women become angry, perverse, stunted, and twisted. They have no overt power so they become masters at passive aggressive behavior and manipulation. They take their resentment out on the men and the kids. Neither party wins – everybody looses. Unhappiness all the way around.

In the long run, systematic subjugation of women hurt males. When you keep half of the population in a perpetual child-like state, the other half ends up having to pick up the slack. This may have worked in 1840 or 1950, but it sure as HELL does not work in today’s world.
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Observations Of LDS Women And Divorce From An Ex-Mo Attorney
Wednesday, Aug 2, 2006, at 09:46 AM
Original Author(s): Skeptical
Topic: WOMEN AND MORMONISM   -Link To MC Article-
As an attorney, I hate representing LDS women in divorces. My TBM partner agrees but for separate reasons.

I am taking a small break in my hiatus from RfM to post regarding my observations on divorce and TBM’s. This is a real sore point with me. I am in a general practice law firm located in the Midwest of the United States, definitely not a predominately LDS community. Most of the population is religious with the prominent religion being Southern Baptist, followed by Methodists, Evangelical Christians, etc. Mormons probably account for about 1 – 2% of the state’s population, but several hold prominent positions in state government.

Divorce and custody litigation and representation represent less than 20% of our firm’s earnings. Most of our divorce clients are not LDS, but we get most of the LDS divorces in the metropolitan area. Enough background information.

I absolutely hate representing LDS women in divorce matters. They are anxiety driven, WHINING and never can make up their minds without the need for revelation from heaven. They use children to punish their husbands and are extremely vengeful. You may believe that I am exaggerating, but in this I am not. Even my TBM partner agrees with my feelings about representing LDS women, although we differ slightly regarding the causes of such behavior.

In the past, I have been asked by TBM female clients to give them priesthood blessings so that they could know what Heavenly Father wanted for them ( I always refused this even during my TBM days). On one occasion, I was in a heated mediation settlement with an LDS lady who after all day of back and forth negations had received 95% of our objectives. It was a great victory. The weary mediator prepared the mediation agreement for our review and signature. At that point my client stood up, reached for her purse and said she was leaving. I was dumbfounded as was the mediator. When I asked why she was leaving she said that the Holy Ghost was telling her not to sign the agreement! The mediator looked at me with the knowing look of that we were dealing with a verifiable nut job.

Usually when I have asked for a decision, I have to wait for my LDS female client to fast, pray, talk to the bishop, get a blessing from their home teacher, etc. They never rely on their own judgment or my advice.

LDS women always want to completely deny their soon to be ex-husbands any access to the children, including visitation. They are the only group of women who behave this way consistently. The reason is always the same: “[Name of husband] just isn’t a good priesthood holder anymore and I want my children to have a better role model.” Try explaining that to an opposing attorney or judge who wants to know why your client doesn’t agree to standard visitation!

And when it is all over and they got most of everything that they sought they always say that Heavenly Father blessed them with such an outcome. I have learned to say: “You can give him the credit, but you’re paying my bill.”

I believe that LDS women are taught from early on to not trust their judgment and to have to rely on men to make important decisions. Usually that person is the husband and when an LDS wife can longer depend on her husband for spiritual and temporal guidance, they go crazy. Instead of developing self-confidence in themselves, they look for a substitute man to make decisions for them such as bishops and home teachers.

My TBM partner believes that LDS women have been dominated so much by their LDS husbands that behavior is a form of self assertion and punishment. The irrational fear and denial of custody and visitation is a form of punishment for causing the break-up of the eternal family. If the wife can’t have an eternal family, the husband can’t have an earthly family.

For the record, I am not a sexist! I represent many non-LDS women in divorce matters and view them entirely different. The process is very emotional for them too and difficult to navigate the waters of terminating a marriage. However, at some point the emotions take a back seat to rational decision making and a resolution becomes easier to obtain. Very rarely if ever, do LDS women become rational decision makers during or after divorce in areas of equity division, custody and visitation. My non-LDS female clients are more capable or forgiving mistakes in a marriage and accepting some culpability for a failed marriage. My LDS female and male clients never can admit mistakes, accept blame or forgive. I have often joked that LDS divorces become pitched battles of who is the better Mormon, which battles judges don’t care much about.

The final difference is that I rarely see non-LDS women having to consult with men to make decisions in the divorce. They seem more confident and less needy for male direction.
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Less Than A Woman
Monday, Aug 28, 2006, at 07:13 AM
Original Author(s): Infertile Myrtle
Topic: WOMEN AND MORMONISM   -Link To MC Article-
The impact of being infertile in this religion is more than one soul should have to bear.

My vision for my life was so clear. Based on everything I heard and learned and saw from childhood on was centered on woman as mother. That was the only role to take on. I am a woman, therefore my purpose in life is to create more life. That's what I've been told from birth. Its what my mother did. It's what my sisters (both actual and church) did. From my perspective (and from what I was told), motherhood and pregnancy were the essence of womanhood. It was so simple it seemed preordained.

We began trying right away with all the fervor in the world. And nothing happened. Silly girls who were barely beyond childhood themselves were popping out kids right and left. Baby showers were torture. Older mothers with gaggles of kids in hand me downs would offer me well meaning advice on how THEY managed to get pregnant. The tone was that I was somehow slow and didn't understand how this was all supposed to work from either a biological or theological perspective. Often I was asked what I was waiting for (and not in anything resembling a kind way. Sure it KINDA sounded like a joke, but tinged with something like annoyance). And then I would get pity. The condescending promises of perpetual motherhood in the afterlife.

My ovaries are a disappontment to them. It's nothing I can help, there is nothing I can do.

I mourned the loss of the life I had been told would be mine. I thought nothing good would ever come of this trial. But I was wrong..

It lead me to question. It lead me to wonder about what it REALLY meant to be a woman. Was I less than a woman because one tiny part of me did not function? Why would my church, the place I should turn for support for any and everything, make me feel that I wasn't complete?

And that is where my faith fell apart.
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For Women: The Light At The End Of The Tunnel Isn't The Proverbial Train
Tuesday, Sep 5, 2006, at 08:39 AM
Original Author(s): Crystal Song
Topic: WOMEN AND MORMONISM   -Link To MC Article-
So much has been written about polygamy on this board lately because of Warren Jeffs' arrest. Polygamy...just a word...unless we look at the whole picture. Polygamy isn't just an argument about a moral issue (how many husbands or wives can I legally have sex with). It's only part of a bigger issue of how the Mormon church has made women second-class citizens.

Beyond the issue of polygamy (and whether I’m going to have to share my husband with many other women in heaven), I've been touched by posts from women who seem to be lost, afraid, lonely, sad, or angry because of their current experiences with Mormonism. I’ve been especially touched by the stories of women who have been left with reduced self-esteem or inability to support themselves.

I'd like to speak to those women.

The first thing I want to say is *You are not alone.* I’ve been the depressed, lost homemaker, trapped in Mormonism, having raised children, having no skills and no degree, with a dying husband and a dying faith in Mormonism. Now I teach adult women in college who are trying to re-enter the work force.

We Mormon women spend our lives dominated by others. We are told what to think, who to believe, what to wear, who we are, what our role is, who our friends should be, what we should read and watch, what words to say, what level our voices should be kept, on and on and on …… The result of all this dominance is that we cannot develop our own sense of self.

Leaving Mormonism immobilizes us because we don’t have a strong sense of who we are without it. Developing a sense of self is hard, not just for Mormons, but for anyone who has been abused. These are some tips I give to my students (altered to fit Mormons).
  • Remember incidents that made you feel you were somehow flawed if you didn’t follow the exact pattern the Mormon church set for you. Review that thinking and see what it did to your opinion of yourself. Think about all the ways the Church has invaded your personal boundaries.
  • Get angry! Feel the anger. Scream. Yell. Break dishes. Burn your Book of Mormon and Book of Remembrance if you need to. (I burned my sealing certificate.)
  • Establish healthy boundaries for yourself. Stand up for your rights as a human being. Don’t ever let anyone cross your bottom line again without a fight.
  • Recognize that you are NOT without skills or knowledge that you can apply in a workplace. You are simply without the confidence to apply them.
  • List all of your skills and the possible ways they could be used in a work environment.
  • Take control of your life. Imagine yourself in 20 years. What do you see? What would it take to get you there? That gives you a place to start planning the next year of your life.
Does all that sound like I know everything? I hope not. I’m just as bumbling and confused as everybody else. I’ve just been where you are, and the light at the end of the tunnel really isn’t the proverbial train.
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My Thoughts Of Raising Girls In The Church
Thursday, Oct 5, 2006, at 08:16 AM
Original Author(s): Blueadept
Topic: WOMEN AND MORMONISM   -Link To MC Article-
I'm a remarried nevermo married to my TBM wife who was also previously married and we are trying to raise our girls to be the best they can be. In investigating TSCC when we were 1st married, the history of the church and Joseph Smith's character made the possibility of converting to Mormonism a ridiculous idea for myself and my 2 girls, but I've been supportive of my wife being a member of TSCC with her 4 girls since the church seemed to endorse the importance of family values and I didn't see any particular issues about it. The comments made in this last GC by GBH himself has made me reconsider my thoughts about where the LDS church believes the role of women in encouraging them to be the best they can be.

When my wife and I first got together, I was an assistant Girl Scout leader at the time. I know this is rare for a male to hold that position, but as an Eagle Scout I felt obligated to help out and be involved in my girls upbringing. I had mentioned to a few other Girl Scout leaders that I was dating a Mormon and there was some definite negative feelings shared with me.

The main concern, in their opinion, was that the LDS church didn't support Girl Scouts (but does support Boy Scouts) because they didn't want girls to be independent, be leaders, and be the best they could be. Now I realize that Mormons catch a lot of flack about misunderstandings on particular issues. Women's image in the church is one of those issues. I went onto some other bulletin boards to ask about why Girl Scout troops were not supported while Boy Scouts were. The explanation that was given to me was that the LDS church was able to incorporate the BSA program(through the help of that organization) into its YM program. There apparently was some fundamental problem (I was told it was something in their scout oath) of why they couldn't do the same for their girls and the girl scout program. So the church developed an achievements program for the girls.

From my own analysis, I could see where the Girl Scout leaders had their point of view, but I could see where the TSCC could do what it felt was best in raising their youth. I just thought it was amusing that their achievement program seemed to be a lot of crafts and home making skills. I just chalked it up that I had an outsider's viewpoint. My wife has the viewpoint that women were put up on pedestals in the church and were not 2nd class citizens. My wife and I have differing viewpoints, what a shock. NOT!!!! I've heard of how girls were drilled in wanting a Temple marriage and to be support for their would be husbands. I could have made issues about this, but trying to have kids realize the importance of trying to make a marriage work, I didn't totally disagree with (except in the case of abuse). I was willing to drop it.

This particular issue has raised its ugly head once again and it is because of Gordon B. Hinkley's comments made in General Conference during Priesthood session. When a religious leader mentions that they have a "grave concern," as a Catholic I'm thinking this is some type of mortal sin if it's not addressed. His concern was that more girls were getting their diplomas than boys. He questioned the young priesthood holders there by asking "Do you want to marry someone who is smarter than you?"

As a parent raising a bunch of girls, I kept asking myself 'this is a grave concern?' My opinion of the LDS church was already on the edge in trying not to simply say that it is a chauvinist organization. I was trying to have the opinion that there was no harm in raising my daughters in this faith that supposively endorsed family values. With the prophet's comments it's obvious that the LDS have an idea of what a woman's role in the church should be. They just won't admit it.

The purpose of the parent is to raise our children in the best way to have good morals and ethics. If my girls want to get a college education and be able to support themselves before making me a grandparent, I have no problem with that. Comments like the one Hinkley made helps support the thought that the LDS church wants to keep their women barefoot and pregnant. Sorry, I think I can do better than that while instilling in my girls good morals and ethics.

I'm hoping to be able to show my wife what the opinion of her prophet really is, that's a touchy subject when she thinks I'm going to ridicule something of the LDS church. I guess I will instill in all my girls that it's alright to get your college education if that's what they want.

IMO, it should be considered harmful to raise girls in the LDS church.

Food for thought.
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Thoughts On Women And LDS Theology
Tuesday, Oct 10, 2006, at 06:22 AM
Original Author(s): Skeptical
Topic: WOMEN AND MORMONISM   -Link To MC Article-
I know, enough has been stated on the debate, but I need to add to it. Last Saturday night, my wife and I gazed up to the stars and conversed. One of the topics which came up was creationism. I never believed in Adam and Eve and the Garden of Eden story, even as a believing Mormon. For me, evolution not only seemed plausible, it was logical. So I considered the whole creation story and an allegorical myth to help us understand life, good and evil, consequences and marriage better.

But even then, this method of rationalizing caused me problems. For example, even in the creation story contained in the Pearl of Great Price Book of Moses and in the temple endowment creation story, Eve is created as an after thought, never a co-creation or primary creation of the Gods.

In Mormonism, God is presented as a caring Father who together with a wife, created the Spirits of all mankind. This Motherly-God person is a quiet player in the creation story of Mormonism. However, Eve is not. So, if God the Father really understood that man and woman were equal in roles and absolutely necessary for one another’s eternal design, why was Eve an afterthought?

Moses, Chapter 3, verses 18-22:
18 And I, the Lord God, said unto mine Only Begotten, that it was not good that the man should be alone; wherefore, I will make an help meet for him.
19 And out of the ground I, the Lord God, formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and commanded that they should come unto Adam, to see what he would call them; and they were also living souls; for I, God, breathed into them the breath of life, and commanded that whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that should be the name thereof.
20 And Adam gave names to all cattle, and to the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field; but as for Adam, there was not found an help meet for him.
21 And I, the Lord God, caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam; and he slept, and I took one of his ribs and closed up the flesh in the stead thereof;
22 And the rib which I, the Lord God, had taken from man, made I a woman, and brought her unto the man.
However, Gordon Hinckley tells women that they are not Second Class Citizens during the 2006 October General Relief Society Meeting:
“Now, my dear sisters, just a word in conclusion. I remind you that you are not second-class citizens in the kingdom of God. You are His divine creation.”
Even LDS canonized scripture portray God as making women second class citizens from their creation. No wonder Gordon Hinckley must feel the need to remind them otherwise.
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Ladies, Were You Kicked Out Of Young Womens At 18?
Wednesday, Oct 25, 2006, at 12:05 PM
Original Author(s): Respionage
Topic: WOMEN AND MORMONISM   -Link To MC Article-
happened to be Laurel president at the time of my 18th birthday. I turned 18 in December of my senior year of high school, and while the birthday was certainly exciting, I knew I had MUCH more in common with the other high-schoolers in YW than with the white-haired crafters in RS. It never occured to me that I would be REQUIRED to quit YW and go to RS instead, simply because I turned 18.

But on my 18th birthday the bish called me into his office to explain how sorry he was that they weren't having any luck finding a new Laurel pres, and could I please be patient while they tried. Shocked at the very thought they wouldn't just let me (and ALL the girls) stay in YW until I graduated high school I just stammered and left his office.

It took them a couple of months to replace me, and then they did force me to go to RS.

I guess what irritates me now (and irritated me then, too) is that instead of seeing me as I actually WAS-- a teenage girl who's still in high school, a CHILD still being cared for by her own parents, a student preparing for college-- they could only see me as suddenly marriagable and therefore thought I needed to listen to lessons about marriage, household chores, caring for infants, and the like.

I skulked around in RS for about a month before they called me to wipe noses in the primary until I left for college.
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The Status Of A Mormon Woman Relates Directly To Her Husband
Tuesday, Dec 12, 2006, at 06:43 AM
Original Author(s): Kimberlyann
Topic: WOMEN AND MORMONISM   -Link To MC Article-
Well, I've been on a roll with this topic lately, might as well keep going with it. Really, it's been on my mind a lot and has been a recent topic of discussion at my house.

Women can achieve a certain status in Mormonism despite their lack of Priesthood authority. The status a woman is afforded relates directly to the calling her husband holds in the church, how much money her husband earns, and how many smart, pretty children she has. At least that is my experience, and Illusions and Deenie mentioned this on one of the other closed misogyny threads.

Women who have successful husbands with higher callings such as a Stake calling, Bishop, Elder's Quorum President, Counselor in the Bishopric, or even Young Men's President or Scout Master, are stay-at-home mothers and have four or more attractive, well-behaved children get the most respect in the wards I've attended.

Single women, women with inactive husbands or husbands who don't usually have "high" callings almost never, in my experience, get the more important callings that women can have in the church. It doesn't matter how capable or intelligent they are, or how dedicated they are to the "gospel", or even how many children they have - they don't get called as the Relief Society President, or the Young Women's President or even as the counselors to those positions. They don't rate because they're judged by the successes or failings of their husbands - or by the fact that they don't have a husband at all.

Missing any key ingredient - money, children, successful husband - puts a woman one rung lower in the Women's Ward Hierarchy. It's not only the men dedicated to promoting "Stepford Wives" in Mormonism. The women are very good at it, too. They've been carefully trained to be that way and to value conformity, subservience, humility, marriage, having many children and material success above almost everything else in life. Women who don't fit the ideal "Molly Mormon" mold are to be pitied or even feared. There is no place for them in Mormon society.

Surely this mistreatment of women is one reason convert retention is so low. If most converts are women, treating them with such pity or disdain (especially if they are single, divorced, or their husbands don't join) isn't a prescription for growing the membership. As far as I'm concerned, that's OK. I personally don't want the Mormon church to do anything that might retain converts, as the best thing for the duped souls is to get the hell out as fast as their feet can carry them.

Women's reliance on men for status is unfair to the men. This issue of judging women by the worthiness of their husbands is what crushes so many women when their husbands lose belief in Mormonism. The wife suddenly becomes someone to be pitied and that hurts. She has little hope of a decent eternity consigned to another man as his celestial concubine. Why wouldn't she be devastated? The Mormon institution has her convinced she's nothing without a righteous husband. How sad.
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Mormon Girls Were Trained Early - That They Weren't Valued
Thursday, Dec 14, 2006, at 07:33 AM
Original Author(s): Browniebutton
Topic: WOMEN AND MORMONISM   -Link To MC Article-
I don't know how it is today, but when I was young it was just plain brutal. We used to watch the boys walk up to get Scouting awards, Priesthood awards, etc. While we sat there with our arms folded and our mouths shut.

Boys played basketball, baseball, while girls listened to lessons on chastity. At BYU in the dorms, the girls had a curfew but the boys didn't. If a girl didn't get back on time, they would lock her out.

I used to always hear about father and son's outings but you never heard about mother and daughter outings.

I was a brownie but my mother refused to let me join the girlscouts because the "church didn't approve of their organization."

I can remember protesting all of this when I was nine thinking that the protests would be heard.

Are there any other's that I have forgotten.
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Teaching Girls That Their Highest Calling Is As A "Wife And Mother."
Thursday, Dec 14, 2006, at 07:35 AM
Original Author(s): Lorraine
Topic: WOMEN AND MORMONISM   -Link To MC Article-
From my as-yet-unposted exit story about my student days in the UCLA student branch in the seventies:

In addition to students, single Mormons in the area attended the UCLA branch. The women among them by in large worked in "traditional" female jobs: nurse, secretary, elementary-school teacher, airline stewardess, the kind of jobs my father had steered me toward. As they neared thirty still unwed, they threw themselves into ward activities, anxiously searching for a worthy priesthood bearer.

I wondered whether these faithful Mormon women had limited themselves by choosing careers that offered limited room for advancement and autonomy. Had they chosen stop-gap careers to fill time until they would marry and begin raising children? Now in their late 20s and early 30s, they seemed increasingly desperate to find the man who would take them to the temple. A couple of them did marry; others moved on to the next stop on the single-Mormon circuit (Los Angeles, Virginia-Washington, Boston, Provo-Salt Lake City, and Palo Alto, California).

Meanwhile, the messages from church headquarters became shriller and shriller: Women were to be wives and mothers. There was no higher calling for a woman; this was where our exultation and glory lay. Fascinating Womanhood was hotly debated. It was held up as the counter-balance to feminism and the new magazine, Ms.

The first issue of Ms had an article by Jane O'Reilly describing "Click" moments, the series of small, individual epiphanies that culminated in a feminist's awakening. I had the most memorable of my Clicks at a conference for LDSSA leaders held on Catalina Island. One sessions was dedicated to drilling home – again – the proper role of women in society. The speaker, a woman, was there to show how faithful Mormon women could have power and influence without abandoning her role as wife and mother. She cited her experiences in Orange County, where Little League had been holding practices and games on Sunday. Through her efforts, this outrage against the Lord had been abandoned. We, as faithful LDS students, were to remember her example as we made our way through college and into the world.

Listening to her, I remembered the nurse, the secretary, the elementary school teacher and the lonely airline stewardess. When would they take their places in that paradise for women, marriage and motherhood? The quiet, burning rebellion, my familiar in the confrontations with my father, returned. I raised my hand and asked her what she thought the women students should major in, given we were being told to aspire solely to marriage. She recommended home economics.

"UCLA doesn't have a home economics department," I responded, likely with acerbity. Well, she suggested, English and education would prepare us to help our children with their schoolwork.

By this time heads had swiveled toward me. The concerned young man in front of me asked whether I had come from a broken home. I saw the mask of moral certitude lock onto his face when I said yes. Clearly that was the explanation for my "rebellion."
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I'm Sick To Death Of The Under-30 Trolls!
Friday, Apr 6, 2007, at 08:06 AM
Original Author(s): Nolihoma
Topic: WOMEN AND MORMONISM   -Link To MC Article-
I'm so tired of these young KIDS coming here thinking they know everything about the church and just because the Gordonized church has backed off on taking a stand on ANYTHING and claims that "we don't teach that," does not mean a lot of us didn't grow up in a whole different church that DID teach that stuff.

Being a young married during the Spencer W. Kimball and Ezra Taft Benson days, the first thing that popped into my mind when I read that was SWK telling us not to put off having kids and sitting in a special fireside for married couples at BYU and hearing ETB drone on about how we women were supposed to be popping out kids and not working. Thank you all for immediately coming up with those references.

And while we're on the subject--whether you under 30 trolls want to believe it or not, here are some other things about the church that I was raised in (the one that bears the same name as the one you attend).
  • We DID attend the temple and participate in rituals where we pantomimed our own violent demise (as Martha Beck puts it).
  • We DID wear silky long john underwear with a big split in the crotch and were told never to wear our bras or underwear underneath it. It was very easy to have "relations" with it on and we were given different opinions by "authorities" about whether taking it off was appropriate.
  • We WERE taught that blacks could not receive the holy penishood because they were fence-sitters in the pre-existence and that they could make it to the CK as slaves.
  • We DID learn that God came down and had sex with Mary to impregnate her with JC, the SAME WAY any other women achieved pregnancy.
  • We WERE taught that it is better to lose our lives than our chastity and if we were raped we would be damned if we didn't fight to the death (my patriarchal blessing reminded me of this).
  • We were taught that the American Indians WERE the Lamanites spoken of in the BOM. We had foster brothers and sisters who were in the "Lamanite placement program." We watched "The Lamanite Generation" perform at BYU. We still read in our scriptures that the Lord told them they would become "white and delightsome" if they joined the church. We heard SWK tell us that the kids on the placement program were becoming lighter, as revealed in the BOM.
  • We DEFINITELY were taught that anything spoken by those in authority, especially the prophet and "the brethren" was the same as scripture. In my religion class at BYU, Walter D. Bowen told us that we should put EVERY conference edition of the Ensign with our other scriptures because that's what they were.
So you young members of the Church of Gordon and Thomas of Latter-Day Ignoramuses, quit coming here and telling us what the church that WE were raised in teaches!
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Found A Letter Addressed To "Myself" That I Wrote In Young Women's
Monday, May 21, 2007, at 07:30 AM
Original Author(s): Greta
Topic: WOMEN AND MORMONISM   -Link To MC Article-
You ladies know the one I mean, everyone does it in Laurel class. It's the one that says where you hope to be in 5 or 10 years, what your hubby will be like, and what your life goals are. Then you seal it up and address it for yourself to read when the years are up. I guess the idea is to be able to guage whether you turned out acceptably or failed miserably (with the YW already-made template for life being the CORRECT way).

Anyway, so I was going through some old stuff at my parents house, and discovered it. I wrote it when I was about 17, and I'm now mid-twenties. Here's the gist of what it said:
  • I will be married to a worthy, RM, priesthood holder.
  • I will ONLY marry in the temple of the Lord, and my husband and I will go there frequently.
  • I will only marry a man who keeps himself clean and worthy in all ways, and has a strong testimony.
  • We will pay our tithing always before anything else.
  • I will remember and live the YW values I have been taught.
  • I will use my talents to serve my husband and family, and always put the church before anything else.
Blah blah, so on and so forth. Sound familiar to anyone? Oh yeah, it's because we all wrote the same exact letter. It's incredible that years ago when I wrote this, it seemed perfectly normal and right to spew out such propaganda, and to actually believe that this is the ONLY way to live, the ONLY way to be happy. Reading it now filled me with utter revulsion, and a shocking reminder of how completely taken in by all that crap I was.

Well, suffice it to say, none of those things have come to pass, and I have renewed perspective on how brainwashed I have been, and how grateful I am to have overcome it. I can live my life however I want to! I can wear whatever underwear I want, and spend my money on whatever I want, and sleep in on Sundays!!

Thank you, RfM, and thank you self-awareness, for saving me from such a future. Perhaps I'll write a new letter to my future self. I might say "I will do whatever I choose with my life, and it will be kick-ass!"
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Does The Church Still Blame The Victim For Rape, Or Incest?
Monday, May 21, 2007, at 08:31 AM
Original Author(s): Petitemalfleur
Topic: WOMEN AND MORMONISM   -Link To MC Article-
I recently found this lesson in the current Young Women's manual. I remember being taught this lesson in Church, and how disturbed I was by it at the time.
"Story

The following story illustrates how a young woman lost her chastity because she was not obedient to gospel principles.

Alice was thrilled to be invited to a party with all of her new friends. She knew several would be drinking, but she decided she would just say “No, thank you” if anyone offered her a drink.

At the party, several people offered her drinks. She refused the first few times, but she finally had one drink. This one drink multiplied into several. As the evening progressed, Alice lost her ability to control both her mind and her body. This loss was indeed heartbreaking because she later had to live with the reality that she had also lost her chastity."
Here you are looking at a minor child, who is being illegally served alcohol. The story is ambiguous, but the assumption is there, since she was breaking the WoW, she was easily coerced into sex.

This is rape.

When Utah brags about their low crime rate they fail to mention their unusually high rate of rape, and how those rapes go mostly unreported. Most TBM women who are raped go first to their bishop rather than the police. This is in part because they are taught the Church has authority on such matters and also because they often fail to recognize they were raped.

The victims find ways to blame themselves because they wore tight clothing, or were being a little too flirtatious. They may have been doing something the Church would not approve of and feel they opened themselves up to sin. Perhaps they were on a date and were making out with a guy too heavily.

I actually had one TBM give this last one as an example where he felt the guy could be exonerated for "not being able to stop." I asked him in response if he were in that situation, and making out with a girl very heavily when she told him to stop, if he would have it in him to cross that line from wanting to share sex with her, to becoming angry enough at her refusal to force her. He changed his stance.

This is the attitude being taught in the Church: Young men are not fully responsible for acts of violence, and young women need to take partial responsibility for being attacked. This attitude is a problem in society in general, but in this case it is being endorsed and taught by a religious institution. A religion people foolishly trust will not lead them astray or misguide them in their way of thinking or believing.

I believe the most current bishops manual has changed its position from encouraging the victim to accept their level of blame, to saying the victim has no blame at all. However, other sources which are more widely published and distributed still place blame on the victim for not fighting hard enough, for dressing inappropriately, or placing themselves in a situation where such violence is more likely to occur (such as the above story).

I think the most famous example of how blaming the victim is promoted in the Church can be read in, "The Miracle of Forgiveness," which is pushed on every member who transgresses as part of the atonement process:
"Also far-reaching is the effect of loss of chastity. Once given or taken or stolen it can never be regained. Even in forced contact such as rape or incest, the injured one is greatly outraged. If she has not cooperated and contributed to the foul deed, she is of course in a more favorable position. There is no condemnation where there is absolutely no voluntary participation. It is better to die in defending one's virtue than to live having lost it without a struggle."
Or how about the 1992 Ensign article which addressed victims?
""The victim must do all in his or her power to stop the abuse. Most often, the victim is innocent because of being disabled by fear or the power or authority of the offender. At some point in time, however, the Lord may prompt a victim to recognize a degree of responsibility for abuse. Your priesthood leader will help assess your responsibility so that, if needed, it can be addressed. Otherwise the seeds of guilt will remain and sprout into bitter fruit. Yet no matter what degree of responsibility, from absolutely none to increasing consent, the healing power of the atonement of Jesus Christ can provide a complete cure."
When someone tells me they only attend because they think the Church is good for children, I point them toward these quotes. These are quotes the Church should strike from every publication and openly retract. Yet the attitude that the victim is to blame still persists as is exampled by the lesson in the current Young Women's manual!

What kind of message does this send to the perpetrator? That the burden of sin also falls on the victim? How is this a healthy outlook for young men and women to grow up with? People should be taught what rape is, and it should be ingrained in their heads it is NEVER the victim's fault. Not give these ambiguous little stories on rape being a just punishment for hanging out with the wrong people.
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The Role Of Women In The Mormon Church
Monday, Jul 23, 2007, at 07:11 AM
Original Author(s): Susieq#1
Topic: WOMEN AND MORMONISM   -Link To MC Article-
This is an article I wrote that I share with non believers also. The original was written several years ago. I am often asked about the role of women in Mormonism. This is a review of my experience as a woman in the Mormon Church.

The Role of Women in the Mormon Church - Motherhood, Her Sexuality and how the Temple Ceremonies of Washing and Anointing Define Her. (Note: the actual ceremony was changed a few years ago, removing naked touching.)

WOMEN ACCEPT THEIR ROLE

Women accept their role in Mormonism with a promise that borrows into her heart and is the essence of motherhood - the absolutely belief that they will never loose their children and their family if they comply with the doctrines taught them.

The believe they will have their children for all eternity of they adhere to the Mormon teachings. In fact, to have a child leave the Mormon Church is a personal failure that is to be avoided at all costs, as this is a personal assault on her by the adversary, and she must do everything in her power to keep from loosing her offspring. She willingly submits to these beliefs even though, to an outsider, they seem to infringe on her independence, her honor and her good sense. Some outsiders, even call it abusive.

Women who are well entrenched and strong believers in Mormonism, often with several generations of Mormonism flowing in their veins, see the accusations of abuse, and lack of independence and freedom of thought from outsiders as silly and false. She absolutely knows she is not abused, not programmed, not brainwashed, and can "think for herself."

What she does not realize is that she is restricted by the doctrines and what she considers "thinking for herself" means she thinks long and hard and prays long and hard to obtain a "witness of the spirit" so she is "worthy" to obtain eternal life. A mother is often willing to go to any length to save, protect, and keep her family.

The teachings of the Mormon Church make it clear that the Holy Priesthood of God is never to be questioned. To question a male Priesthood holder, especially the top leadership is tantamount to questioning God. Even to have doubts is unacceptable. Doubts are never to be spoken or written. They are to be kept inside. (That is one of the reasons, in my observation, that anger brews and explodes when people finally get out from under the thumb of Mormonism's control.)

I have heard Mormon women admit that they did not like or understand their position in the Mormon Church but it was how "Heavenly Father wanted it" and they go along with it thinking it is the only right thing to do. So, they defer to the priesthood, thinking they are laying up treasures in heaven. The woman's place is foremost and always to follow and support the priesthood in all things.

Their role is clearly defined in Mormonism's in it's doctrine and is one area that has not changed and will never changed. Their role is defined in Doctrine and Covenants 132, as part of the official doctrine and even though polygamy is not lived outright (technically it is still lived according to the marriage ceremony --exact wording from DandC 132 in the temple - The New and Everlasting Covenant is "plurality of wives".

She wears the garment day and night of the Holy Priesthood of God, and covenanted to be a priestess to her husband in the Celestial Kingdom, but that is as far as her authority or equality goes. Her role teaches her that Heavenly Father meant for women to be the mothers, and for the men to officiate in the Priesthood.

The temple rituals and covenants (called Endowments) do not make her equal to her husband. She is to be a priestess to her husband who will rule over her in righteousness! The message is clear. She is taught from a young age, beginning with a blessing when she is just a few weeks old to give her a name, that she is to go to the temple and be married for "all eternity."

There is a lot of lip service given to the notion that they are equal, but every woman knows that only applies in certain areas. They might share equal chores in the home, or have equal input on decisions in the home, but when it comes to the church hierarchy and how the Priesthood functions, they might be listened to, but their recommendations can be and are overruled on the whim of the leaders as they are the representatives of the Lord. What the priesthood leaders say is accepted and unquestioned as they claim inspiration given to them as the Lord's mouthpiece.

She may be the "neck" that moves the "head" in many areas, but not when it comes to officiating in the Priesthood. Her role is to support and remind, insist, cajole, and see that he fulfills his Priesthood functions but not to question or direct it. After all, her eternal place with her children and family is dependent on him honoring the Priesthood.

WOMEN HAVE NO PLACE IN THE HIERARCHY Men overrule women. Women have no authority in the church and no place in the hierarchy and only serve under the men. If the men in charge do not like something, the women are told to do things differently. If they do not agree, they are considered: "prideful" think they "own" a calling, and not obedient to the Priesthood. All of which is unacceptable. Her eternal position/salvation is conditional.

Her agency (the term: "free agency: is now a misnomer and not part of the teachings) is held in a very small box of do's and don't all determined by how the men interpret the scriptures, how they supervise the organizations, and how they make assignments-- "callings" and give "counsel." Agency in Mormonism means freedom to choose good or evil/ Heavenly Father or Satan.

There is a "vote" in their Sacrament Meetings to sustain members in their "callings,, but it means nothing as dissent is not accepted either. The vote is only intended to obtain the support of the members by raising their hand to the square.

Also, the men's "inspiration" overrules anything a woman says or claims as an answer to her prayers.

All assignments or "callings" as they are called have a right to "inspiration" and one is expected to "magnify their calling." However, it is important to note that "inspiration" is only given for their respective "callings." No one receives "inspiration" or direction from the Lord about anything other than the "calling" they currently hold. Volunteer "callings," extended by the male leaders are considered inspired direction from the Lord and not to be turned down or questioned.

There is also no need for the Priesthood brethren to tell the truth as they have the privilege of "Lying for the Lord" a well understood underlying concept in Mormonism taught in their scriptures.

All of Mormonism is governed by men with very little input from the women, who are predominately used to follow orders - with a dust pan and broom to clean up after the brethren - in more ways than one!

The typical Mormon Priesthood leader looses respect for a female who uses her own mind, challenges them, or corrects them. They are threatened by the misuse of her position as it means he is not doing his job as a Priesthood leader and he is then expected to call her to repentance and make sure she changes her ways and never does it again.

Women are accepted in the Mormon Church and loved and respected and admired only if they comply with the role they are given. Once they are seen as disobedient, rebellious, take a different interpretation than the official one, explain themselves, they are no longer considered "worthy,"

If the husband is "worthy," which generally means that he lives all the commandments, in particular: the Word of Wisdom, (does not smoke, use alcohol, drink coffee or tea, etc.) and pays tithing and can answer the temple recommend questions in correctly, in the eyes of the Mormon Church it is acceptable for him to leave his "unworthy" wife and take her children away. The worthy Priesthood holder is entitled to a worthy wife.

Once the woman is accused of not being "chaste" she is no longer "worthy." Never mind that the man might be having an affair, or has abused his own children, or is a pedophile. It is the woman's fault these things happened. It is not uncommon for a Relief Society President for instance, to tell a woman to "be a better wife" so her husband won't beat her or stray.

Women in Mormonism are also defined by their sexuality.

The underlying message about sexuality is that you will give your life to keep from being raped. The worthy, honorable thing to do, if sexual assaulted, is to fight to the death to preserve your vagina from dishonorable intrusion. Often, an honorable Mormon father teaches his daughters that he would rather see her dead than violated. It is worth noting, however, that this not a concept solely held by Mormonism.

Mormonism has found the key to controlling generations of it's members. It is a typical ploy of religiosity since time began; control the sexuality of the female and control of the family for generations to come is maintained. This also solidifies the influx of money.

Women are also taught that they control "the spirit" of the home. It goes along with the old adage if "mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy" and Mormonism takes this a step further imprinting and programming young females from birth that they are to be sweet and worthy to have "the spirit" with them at all times. Of course, this is solidified at age eight with baptism, when they are commanded to receive the Holy Ghost as their constant companion and continues with the rest of the "ordinances."

Women in Mormonism are also defined by their attire.

Their whole wardrobe and their sense of their bodies is determined by the temple garment that is to be worn next to the skin as a protection and placed on her body in a ritual in the temple. It is also seen as a protection against her sexuality being defiled or assaulted in any way. She is told she is to remain chaste and worthy in thought and deed with the temple garment a constant, even Mosaic reminder that she is a daughter of Heavenly Father and this is what is expected of her. Again her sexuality is given a place before her life.

The temple garment, with it's Masonic markings is seen as holy and sacred and is never to be put on the floor or abused in any manner. In fact, discarding of used, and worn garments requires a further ritual as the markings are to be cut out and burned. Then, and only then, can the remaining material (now devoid of their sacred element) be used as rags to clean the floor, or wash the car. etc.

Once dressed in the 'holy garment of the priesthood" - an interesting title, as she has no rank in the priesthood or any right to officiate, only as a servant - she then must make her attire comply with it's restrictions.

That means, every part of her body that is covered by the garment must be covered - modestly. Because the garment comes do mid thigh or knee, and has a cap sleeve, and is designed to fall several inches above her natural bra line, she is now confined to buying (or in many cases - making) clothing that covers her underwear. She has now become subservient to "Heavenly Father" - her God, who controls her (and men also) by her underwear.

There is the underlying message that women (and men) behave according to the clothing they are wearing, so the subtle indoctrinated, imprinted script says that the woman in Mormonism is wearing a holy-sacred reminder to dress modestly, and act accordingly and worthy of the blessings promised her.

The following is how the Washing and Anointing Ceremony was carried out during the times I attended the temple from 1962 to 1990 when it was changed. I have written extensively about these rituals prior to the change, (as have many others) and am happy to know that our fellow Mormon human beings will no longer be subjected to this ritual.

Now, I am told, as of a few years or so ago, the tunic is sewed up at the sides, and the naked body is no longer touched and anointed with water and oil. Hopefully, we all had a hand in seeing this ritual discontinued in our efforts to "give back" to humanity, especially our Mormon friends and loved ones.

These are some of my memories of the Washing and Anointing Ceremony in the Temple. (All of these rituals are easily accessed on the Internet, also) I have attended nine temples from 1962 to 1995, eight of them in the US and one in Switzerland, doing hundreds of "sessions" as they are called.

You enter a small stall, and sit on a cold marble type slab. The female temple worker doing the washing and anointing stands behind and to the side of you and starts with the top of the head, the forehead, the eyes, nose, mouth, breast, bowels, legs..etc. She has a little spigot she gets water from that drips slowly.

The oil is done in the same fashion. There are promises given, with each part of the body that is washed-dabbed with water and anointed-dabbed with oil. These have to do with promising the female that she will be a priestess to her husband in the Celestial Kingdom if she is faithful to her covenants. Nothing untoward, or of a sexual nature is done, but it is just very, very ethically and culturally out of order. How anyone can equate that to something spiritual still amazes me.

I can still see the rows of tiny, narrow lockers where we completely undressed and donned the sheet-tunic, carrying our long garments into the little cubical where the old lady awaited me. One of the oddest things about the temple is that the lockers have keys, so in the whispered ambiance of the temple, one of the only sounds heard is the soft jingling of the keys attacked with a safety pin to your clothing..

Now back to the tunic. This is a true tunic - open at the sides and no seams. To walk in and out of the washing and anointing room, most people hold the sheets together. I can still see, hear and feel and smell those old women.

The were like a grandma dressed in a white uniform, false teeth clacking, chewing a breath mint. I could feel her breath and smell the aroma of the mints as she whispered in my ear reaching under the sheet with those warm, sweaty, damp hands sliding over here and over there, anointing me first with dabs of water from head to toe, then going the same thing with oil.

I can still hear the water trickling from the tiny spigot that she put her hands into to begin the anointing. I can still hear the sing-song monotone of her memorized washing and anointing dialogue.

This ritual is not just a tiny tap on an imaginary dot of the skin. Your body is stroked in a 2" to 3" area in a downward motion over specific areas of your body from your head on down to your legs and onto to your toes. You do not know exactly where they will touch you. You only know the general area. It is very uncomfortable as these women are usually older-retirement age of 65 to 75 and their head is outside the sheet. They cannot see where they hands are unless they look under the tunic where the sides are open. They open the sheet on the sides to begin.

Imagine a woman's hand under the sheet (for women-man for men) each time they say a body part, making a sliding motion of about 2" to 3" in some areas, with the four fingers of the right hand over the body part -probably trying to be very careful they do not touch the actual breast-nipple area for women, or the pelvic hair-penis-scrotum area for men when they get to the words that correspond with that part of the body.

Sometimes, I had to stifle a giggle as the old woman inadvertently tickled me and I squirmed. I tried to sit really, really still so she would not slide her wet, warm, oily hand anywhere it ought not to be as her face was averted outside the sheet and she could not see where she had her hands.

Sometimes she slid her hands within inches of my breasts and pubic hair as she slid her hands around in her predetermined and well practiced path. I always hated it and I would shudder when she slide those warm, oily hands down my legs onto my feet.

When she finished she would help me step into my underwear, while still wearing that sheet tunic, adjusting it properly and sending me out into the dressing area where dozens of other women were coming and going. I was often hugged had the feeling she wanted to kiss me, she was so pleased. I still shudder.

The washings and anointing were only required the first time you go to the temple now as these ordinances are done in blocks by people who do only those kinds of sessions as proxy for the dead. They are the first part of the Endowment.

After the washing and anointing ceremony, the initiate dresses in all white clothing from neck to wrist to ankle and follows the group of people all dressed the same, into the Endowment session which follows and includes a video and promises-covenants made which, until April 1990, included hand movements signifying ways in which your life could be taken - cutting throat and disembowelment if you divulged certain parts of the Endowment.

Those, fortunately were removed, along with the Five Points of Fellowship at the Veil which required the initiate to stand embraced with a man (unseen and representing the Lord) behind a curtain - ear to ear, hand to back knee to knee, etc. to review the covenants made earlier in the ceremony - then the curtain would open and you were led in by your hand to the Celestial Room of the Temple.

If you go through the Temple as proxy for any dead relative (post-mortem conversions) you must do the washing and anointing along with it. Years ago, we did the washing and anointing and the endowment session for the same name all in one evening, sometimes doing two sessions for two deceased people.

The part that is unethical and disrespectful is that no one tells the new initiate anything ahead of time .No disclosure. You go and do what dozens of other people are doing. It is very difficult to leave once you get in the temple. It can be done, I know, I have watched people do it, but it is rare. This is group pressure at it's most intense.

Under no other circumstances would anyone even dare to consider that you would strip naked, put on a shield-tunic, as it is called, and carry your underwear and go into a small room alone with someone you do not know while they whisper memorized, ritualistic dialogue, usually with a breath mint in their mouth, then help dress you by helping you put on the regulation temple garment (underwear) to be worn day and night.

To even suggest this bazaar, outlandish, absurd act is spiritual reeks of a complete lack of common sense and respect. It is humiliating. I have never been so mortified in my life. It is a flagrant assault on one's self respect, privacy and dignity. But, thousands of "worthy' Mormons go through this ritual daily in the 100 temples of the world.

The Mormon church has no policy for full disclosure or they would disclose every single thing about their history, including their finances and their temple ceremonies to anyone who investigates or/or joins.

Originally, I am told, this was a complete washing and anointing, similar to some other religious customs. There is no redeeming value to it. There is nothing spiritual about putting on a tunic, open at the sides, made from a sheet and carrying your regulation underwear into a little room to have your naked body touched by someone you do not know.

This is an obvious invasion of your complete being and done in a setting with a lot of other people so you go along because the rest are doing it, at least the first time. You have been convinced, believe totally that there is nothing that can harm you so when you feel violated and invaded, you are stuck with the mental gymnastics of trying to make sense of it and why you are at fault .Somehow, you must make a bizarre experience seem spiritual and good. Surely it is not the church that is doing bad things, it must be me. So it goes on, around and around in circles. Always making you the one that is at fault, never the church.

The arrogance of Mormonism to assume that they had any right to touch anyone's naked body without full disclosure and full permission is out of the realm of common decency. This is the most despicable, horrid, spiritual abuse of another human being imaginable, but it must be done if they are to get your total submission.

This is the final frontier of breaking down boundaries - your naked body! This is about total submission, control, stripping you down and dressing the surprised, new initiate with physical touching under a flimsy tunic then dressing you! Once that is accomplished, there is nothing you won't do and it does include giving your life if you divulge certain parts of the temple ceremonies. For this privilege you pay 10% of your income for your life.

(Generally, the women that object most vehemently to a husband changing his beliefs, have gone through this ceremony many times, some of them, hundreds of times. This is, in my observation, the crux of the power that motivates a Mormon female to be completely unable to deal with an apostate husband.)

The genius of the repetitive, ritualistic temple ceremonies/ordinances, especially the washing and anointing and the endowment is to keep the person totally committed, paying tithing and under their control. And it works.

How does the Mormon church get old Mormon men and women to believe it is a sacred ordinance to touch the naked body of strangers under a sheet with little dabs of water then oil while you sit in a small cubicle? The only way you get people to do this is through extreme religious programming, conditioning, and trust and no prior specific information and the abomination to never discuss what happens outside the temple. It must be done while a large group of other people are doing the same thing so it is seen as acceptable in the eyes of the Mormon God. (Note: even though the "naked touching" part is removed, the power of the initiation is still there.)

The unbelievable thing is that the church does such a good job of convincing and programming the new converts and new initiate to the notion that this is spiritual, a higher law, you are special, God wants you to do this. No discussion of the temple rituals is allowed, so if there are any concerns, they are kept to themselves.

They get thousands of members to go to the temple thousands of times over their lifetime to continue this programming and, yes, what some call-brainwashing. They use a method as old as humanity. They call it "Building Relationships of Trust" or "BRT". Get someone to trust you and they will believe anything you say and do anything you ask of them, especially if they are convinced it will guarantee them a place of honor in the Mormon Celestial Kingdom after they die. What we will do in the name of pleasing the Mormon God!

The interesting thing is that once you stop going to church, stop attending any function, stop reading any of their approved literature, you begin to separate and disconnect and break the code. Then you can see it for what it is - some call it blatant cult or cultish activities, although very subtle and well designed to subjugate you to them forever.

If a woman wants her place solidified in the after life with her children and family. she must, at all costs, have a husband that is "worthy" and honors the Holy Priesthood, and will, in the resurrection, call her by her "New Name" given her in the temple at her marriage, into the Celestial Kingdom.

Therein lies the power of years of imprinting, and programming by rote repetition, repeated temple attendance, talks from the "mouthpiece of the Lord" (the leaders) etc., and is the impetus for the disconnect when a Mormon woman is faced with an apostate husband.

Now, many years later, these memories are fleeting and are not part of my day to day life! How great: freedom!
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The Mormon Church Only Has High Expectations For Boys
Thursday, Jul 26, 2007, at 08:10 AM
Original Author(s): Anti-Molly
Topic: WOMEN AND MORMONISM   -Link To MC Article-
You know, most kids will meet high expectations if you actually offer them. Ask any school teacher -- if you set the bar high, all or almost all of the kids will achieve more than if you set the bar low.

The problem with the mormon church (and others) is that it really only has high expectations for boys. They're expected to responsibly use magical powers starting at age 12. They're expected to make Eagle Scout. They're expected to get a job and raise money so they can go on a mission. They're expected to attend four years of seminary and serve two years in the mission field (even if they had to do a lot of repenting before and during). They're expected to be leaders, whether in the chapel or on the dance floor or in the bedroom. They're expected to graduate from college when possible. They're expected to financially, spiritually, and benevolently provide for their family. Heck, they're even expected to call forth their spouse through the veil after death (or something like that).

Me? I was expected to keep myself "pure," to get married in the temple, and to have babies. Literally everything else, except maybe seminary, was optional. The church expected so little of me, I was frankly insulted. And I saw right through that stupid young womanhood medallion thing. First, it was obviously introduced only because women had started complaining that they didn't have anything fun or special like Scouts. Second, it was still full of low expectations -- I could get credit for BABYSITTING or CLEANING HOUSE, for god's sake.

All I can say is "whew" that my family at least had high academic expectations for me. At least I had something to achieve of which I could be proud. The challenge of keeping myself pure enough to be an adequate baby-making machine just wasn't going to cut it.
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Ensign Article Declares That Men And Women Are Full And Equal Partners!
Monday, Jul 30, 2007, at 07:07 AM
Original Author(s): Lucyfer
Topic: WOMEN AND MORMONISM   -Link To MC Article-
I just love it when Mormons try to take their 19th century Victorian dogma and make it sound all fresh, modern and egalitarian! Nowhere does this appear more ridiculous and contrived than when they try to convince others (or themselves) that men and women are really “equal” in the eyes of the Mormon God.

The August 2007 Ensign contains a thoroughly typical article written by Elder Bruce C. Hafen (of the seventy, no less) and his lovely help-meet, Marie K. Hafen, entitled, “Crossing Thresholds and Becoming Equal Partners”. This gem is just chock full of silly Mormon notions about the innate difference between men and women, the immutability of gender roles, and the usual dancing around about how wonderful and “equal” it all is.

Apparently, Mormons have a very different definition of the word “equal” than is commonly accepted by the rest of us who speak English. I find their approach to be pretty much straight out of George Orwell’s classic book, Animal Farm, in which all of the barn yard creatures are declared equal, except that some are more equal than others.

The article starts out with a slap at those pesky Evangelical Christians. Hey – when you are trying to look modern and egalitarian and all, why not – the Evangelicals make a great foil! The authors sniff with contempt that “one US Church” actually states in its creed that “a wife’s first duty is to submit graciously to her husband”. No!!! Say it ain’t so – not “submit graciously”?? How horrible and un-Mormon-like of them!!

Well, the US Church in question here is none other than the Southern Baptist Convention whose seminary is located practically across the street from my house. When their creed was changed to clarify this statement a year or so ago it was in all the papers round these parts. Of course, I view this stance as complete and total CRAP, but at least the Baptists say it out loud and call it what it is. At least they have the integrity to be honest about their beliefs. The Southern Baptists are ignorant male chauvinist pigs and proud of it, by golly! No whitewashing here!

But the Mormons.... now, that is a different story. The Ensign article goes on for 5 nauseating pages about how in Mormonism men and women are really “equal” in marriage because the Mormon Proclamation on the Family uses the word “preside” when referring to the male role as opposed to stating that women are to “graciously submit”.

Uh.... do you think we could split the hairs any thinner on this one?

Merriam Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary defines the word preside as meaning “to exercise guidance, direction or control” and “to occupy the place of authority”. So, if the husband (by virtue of having a penis) is mandated by Heavenly Father to “preside” over the family, does that not mean that the wife (by virtue of being sans penis) must be presided over? If one member of the marriage controls or exercises authority over the other how can that possibly be an “equal” partnership? The word “equality” by its very nature refers to power, autonomy and control. If someone else presides over me, then I am not equal to that person in some very important ways – that person (by virtue of his gender) is afforded more power than I have, hence we are inherently unequal. Even if I am allowed to offer input or to state my opinion, the person who “presides” is the ultimate decider which means that I am, well...NOT the decider. How is this arrangement “equal”?

Never fear - the Mormons have an answer for this (don’t they always?). You see, equality in marriage REALLY means separate and distinct roles to play in terms of managing the family and the household – it has nothing to do with power and control! The husband goes out and works to provide for the family and the wife takes care of the house and the children – see – equal! Hmmmm – I guess somebody needs to tell the African Americans that the whole separate is inherently unequal Brown v. Board of Education decision was just plain wrong. Oh, wait – the Supreme Court just did that – never mind!

Better yet, Heavenly Father has made the two sexes different in terms of their gifts and capacities. According to the authors, “the woman’s innate spiritual instincts are like a moral magnet pointing toward spiritual north”. President Boyd K. Packer is even quoted as saying that “the virtues and attributes upon which perfection and exaltation depend come more naturally to women”. The article goes on to gush that “if the husband and the wife are wise, their counseling will be reciprocal: he will listen to the prompting of her inner spiritual compass just as she will listen to his righteous counsel.

Great – we women get to be all spiritual while the guys get to be the ones who actually think. But, hey – if women are more virtuous and all – why aren’t WOMEN presiding over men? Who put the unvirtuous, unspiritual buttheads in charge?

Oh yeah...the big decider is Heavenly Father, not Heavenly Mother.

What a frikkin’ set-up! But then, as women, we already knew this, didn’t we?
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Sexism In The Sold Called "True Church" - The Beginning Of The End For Me
Tuesday, Nov 20, 2007, at 10:43 AM
Original Author(s): Jacyn
Topic: WOMEN AND MORMONISM   -Link To MC Article-
During my many years of accepting LDS teachings as true, I carefully tucked the blatant sexism in my "mental box" and stored it away for the day when I would finally understand everything. LDS women are so good at doing this. If the men had to do it, they'd leave. There would be no LDS church. I'm convinced of that.

I dutifully quieted my mental protests that despite the evolving more politically correct rhetoric, women in tscc are not really equal partners. I did the same thing with the fact that the scriptures portray women as less than second-class citizens. Why the hell did it matter if Abraham's wife was beautiful? Why wasn't she described as compassionate and intelligent? Why did it matter that Mary was described as the "most beautiful and fair above all other virgins?" And then there is poor Leah, the ugly sister who had to trick her husband into marrying her by sneaking into his marital bed that was meant for the love of his life. And he didn't get a clue that he was with the wrong woman until the light of day? Clearly, even the scriptures teach that a woman's worth is dependent upon her physical appearance (not to mention the disturbing fact that we all apparently look the same in the dark). Yet we don't teach that in YW. God loves all of his daughters, even the ugly ones.

Moreover, why don't the scriptures give men equal time on the physical appearance valuation scale? Why don't we ever read that Paul was a whiney runt or that Nephi had the buns of Lance Armstrong? Why are women dehumanized (when they're even mentioned) while the men are described based on what they accomplished? Just place it in the mental box ...

I carefully chose to ignore the fact that men are the final authority on anything, notwithstanding the fact that many have blatantly chauvinistic attitudes towards women and fewer social skills of a turd-throwing chimpanzee. "The church is perfect. The people aren't perfect. The church was designed for imperfect people." It sounded reasonable at the time.

My daughter is away to college and currently attending a student ward. She vents to me every week about how her bishop and other leaders keep harping on marriage. A few weeks ago, the women were taught "flirting etiquette" during the Sunday block (don't remember which meeting). They had an enrichment night on "How to cook for you man." Holy shit. Literally.

I've been conditioned to look to tscc to understand my eternal identity. My role as a woman. It's never really added up. And frankly, it's nothing to look forward to. The past few years I've had serious struggles with this. I couldn't ignore it anymore. The mental box started to overflow then would no longer stay closed.

Then I realized, they don't want to tell us who we are. Really. Because we're destined to be "sealed" to someone as "Wife No. X." But sshh. We don't talk about polygamy in tscc. We're not supposed to understand it yet. We're not righteous enough. We'll all understand it in the "next life" when the "righteous" women are handed out like Christmas bonuses to the a**holes who met their earthly quota. Yippee. What a privilege. For someone else. Not for me.

And that's another thing. I guess the Celestial Kingdom will be overflowing with righteous women who are all entitled to the blessings of eternal marriage. Unfortunately, there won't be enough men to go around so they'll have to double, or triple, or quadruple .... up. Men will be more scarce because women are by nature more spiritual and righteous than men are? That makes no sense to me. So, if you're born as a man, you poor suckers already have two strikes against you. What a load of crap. Doesn't hell sound like the better place to be? I mean, think about poor Leah. She has an eternity of knowing that she wasn't even the second choice to look forward to. How great for her.

I know this is rambling but I have to articulate my thoughts sometimes to understand them. I love the fact that men and women are different. I like it when men act like men. I love being a woman. But different doesn't mean "better" or that one has authority over the other.

While I am aware of the issues relative to church history being altered or covered up, etc., this gender inequality thing is the real sticking point for me. My conclusion: if despite everything tscc is still true, I see no place or plan for me there. "Making it" to the Celestial Kingdom could be like one loooong annual High Priest dinner. I think I'd be happier in hell.
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Girl In The Corner: The Story Of The Mormon Woman
Thursday, Dec 6, 2007, at 07:07 AM
Original Author(s): Enigma
Topic: WOMEN AND MORMONISM   -Link To MC Article-
So many things could be said about the often tragic sacrifices that women in Mormonism are forced to make. I’m sure libraries could be filled with what these individuals have chosen (many times in ignorance of any alternatives until it is painfully too late) to leave behind as they dutifully create households of faith… monuments to the machine… In the last couple of months, the stories of these women and the consequences of their awakening to what they truly have given up has moved me… moved me to put into prose and music the vision I see as I contemplate the life of a Mormon girl – carefully corralled… bred for destiny, for purity, for propriety, and taught to deny all that she longs to live for, all that she yearns to love…

All for the sake of a higher purpose…

And then to awaken to the truth… oh the pain that must run through some of these tortured souls as they crawl back to the altar of sacrifice and stare in shock at the tattered remnants of their dreams…

Oh the anguish she must experience as she finds that abandoned girl in a dark and silent corner of her soul… wishing… hoping… aching for a chance to become…

Girl in the Corner…

Come my child inside today
Come away from the bluest skies
The piano waits for your tiny hands
Take your seat it’s time to play…

Oh and the seasons pass so fast
As her fingers grace the keys
Though in her heart she yearns for more
She’s bound by loyalty…

So she plays… So she cries…

She blooms in spring and finds her wings
A wild heart no one could tame.
Like a rush of wind life takes her hands
As she opens her heart and learns to sing…

Standing at the precipice of all her dreams
Breathless at the beauty of what she sees
Her fragile heart breaking as she’s made to choose
Between the love she’s found and loyalty…

Now she stands at the altar and stares
Crying as it starts to rain
Her heart and her dreams in her hands
She cries in silent rage.

She puts it all on the altar and then
Slowly she walks away.
Now every day she denies the pain
And she’s never going back again.

Chorus: Look into her soul and a girl you’ll see
Stricken from the pain of her shattered dreams
Starving for the price of loyalty
Where’s love… Where’s love?

A face now gaunt and filled with pain
Betrayal forces her to wake again
Groping in the corner for the strength to stand
Denial crumbles in her trembling hands…

She cries and screams in agony
Running through a forest of leafless trees
Frozen in a winter of abandoned dreams…
She weeps… She grieves…
She mourns… She heals…

She wanders aimlessly
No longer chained by loyalty.
What is she now without her dreams?
Could she ever feel love again?

And she stands at the altar again…
And she gazes at all that remains.
Her fingers pick at the fragments and then
She takes them all back again…

And she comes to the altar again…
Understanding all that she gave.
She swings the hammer she holds in her hands…
And she’ll never come back again!

Chorus (reprised)
Look into her soul and a woman you’ll see
She stands amidst the fragments of her shattered dreams
And yet she hopes against all hope it seems
For love… Pure love…

Look into her soul and a woman you’ll see
She stands amidst the fragments of her shattered dreams
And yet she hopes against all hope it seems
For love… Pure love…

For the awakened Mormon Woman…
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Are Church Leaders Reducing Or Contributing To Staggering Rates Of Depression In Utah?
Thursday, Dec 6, 2007, at 08:09 AM
Original Author(s): Deconstructor
Topic: WOMEN AND MORMONISM   -Link To MC Article-
According to yet another study, Utah ranks number one in depressions nationwide:

"In Utah, 14 percent of adults and adolescents reported experiencing severe psychological distress, and 10 percent said they’d had a major depressive episode in the past year. Bad mental health days come three times a month for those living in Utah." - http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/22087867/

You'd think with the numbers so high, that the LDS Church would notice and respond to this.

But instead Church leaders give members this divine instruction:

(Excepts from last General Conference)
"Mothers who know desire to bear children. ... Prophets, seers, and revelators who were sustained at this conference have declared that "God's commandment for His children to multiply and replenish the earth remains in force." President Ezra Taft Benson taught that young couples should not postpone having children and that "in the eternal perspective, children–not possessions, not position, not prestige–are our greatest jewels.""

"Mothers who know honor sacred ordinances and covenants. ... They bring daughters in clean and ironed dresses with hair brushed to perfection; their sons wear white shirts and ties and have missionary haircuts. ... These mothers have made and honor temple covenants. They know that if they are not pointing their children to the temple, they are not pointing them toward desired eternal goals. These mothers have influence and power."

"Mothers who know are nurturers. ... Another word for nurturing is homemaking. Homemaking includes cooking, washing clothes and dishes, and keeping an orderly home. Home is where women have the most power and influence; therefore, Latter-day Saint women should be the best homemakers in the world. Nurturing mothers are knowledgeable, but all the education women attain will avail them nothing if they do not have the skill to make a home that creates a climate for spiritual growth. Growth happens best in a "house of order," and women should pattern their homes after the Lord's house."

"Mothers who know build children into future leaders and are the primary examples of what leaders look like."

"Mothers who know are always teachers. Since they are not babysitters, they are never off duty. A well-taught friend told me that he did not learn anything at church that he had not already learned at home. His parents used family scripture study, prayer, family home evening, mealtimes, and other gatherings to teach. Think of the power of our future missionary force if mothers considered their homes as a pre–missionary training center. ... That is influence; that is power."

"Mothers who know do less[of worldly things]. ... These mothers choose carefully and do not try to choose it all. Their goal is to prepare a rising generation of children who will take the gospel of Jesus Christ into the entire world. Their goal is to prepare future fathers and mothers who will be builders of the Lord's kingdom for the next 50 years. That is influence; that is power."

"Who will prepare this righteous generation of sons and daughters? Latter-day Saint women will do this–women who know and love the Lord and bear testimony of Him, women who are strong and immovable and who do not give up during difficult and discouraging times. We are led by an inspired prophet of God who has called upon the women of the Church to "stand strong and immovable for that which is correct and proper under the plan of the Lord." He has asked us to "begin in [our] own homes" to teach children the ways of truth. Latter-day Saint women should be the very best in the world at upholding, nurturing, and protecting families."
What a guilt trip.

Why is such a long list of expectations placed on women in the church?

Doesn't this give believing Mormon women a list of faults they can feel bad about if they aren't meeting 100%?

Doesn't this give believing Mormon husbands more ammunition to list where their wives aren't "living up" to church standards?

What woman comes away from a talk like that feeling good about herself?

Am I missing something here?
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Young Womens And Marriage
Tuesday, Mar 11, 2008, at 07:13 AM
Original Author(s): Chocmool
Topic: WOMEN AND MORMONISM   -Link To MC Article-
Some things about Young Women´s I liked. I liked the spotlight (my mom would always tell them the most embarrassing things for the teachers to share in class, like that I always wore my clothes backwards. The day they said that, I just happened to have my dress on backwards--god knows how I did that. I think I was conditioned from experiences like that into my current shameless state).

I, however, HATED the lessons. I don´t think teachers in the church are set up to deal with contradiction, even when they are wrong. There is no dissent allowed, and therefore there is no thinking. Young women are taught a very limited view and no real-life thinking skills.

I feel so bad when I talk to my sisters. I am the only girl in my family who wasn´t married by the time I was 19. For all of my sisters, that was the only option. Females are only valued as married baby-makers. There is no place between childhood and adulthood. After a girl turns 18, she is pushed into Relief Society where she is told how to be a good wife and a mother, whether or not she IS a wife and a mother.

Women are told for so long that they are either a child or a mother: there is no third option. In young women´s and the awkward place of a single woman in RS, the female identity is stripped of anything but wife-mother-cloistered molly.

This is why my sisters stayed in bad marriages for so long. They were told by priesthood leaders time and time again (this is three different sisters and at least 5 different priesthood leaders) that it was their responsibility to make their husbands happy. It is their responsibility to keep the family together, to care for their children.

My dad says the same thing: kids need both father and mother, give your kids a tranquil home, mothers should stay home. He has no idea what it is to care for children, to run a home. When my mother died, my father was COMPLETELY incapable of holding the family together. He was mourning, and that made it harder. But he has no concept of family relations, of cleaning, of cooking, of anything.

Three of my sisters have persued divorces, and all three of them split up and went back several times on the advice of priesthood leaders. All of them bear physical and emotional scars from their husbands. Each one of them has children who are forever influenced by dishonorable men.

I think, in all cases, my sisters made dumb decisions in marrying these men. I don´t excuse their culpability. However, I think they were doing what they were taught; they were doing the only thing that gave them legitimacy and value in their communities and in their families.

It just makes me sad when I tell my sisters what I am doing in my life (college, travel, living abroad, career), and they voice their dissatisfaction with their lives. And even as they love me, they resent my freedom. They resent that I am doing all the things they didn´t.

I don´t blame them, and I try to be as positive as I can, with both their voiced and unvoiced resentment. It is just sad that YW and RS gave them no other option. And that they will raise their daughters to follow their same path.
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Marriage Mormon Style And The Role Of Women
Monday, Apr 14, 2008, at 08:18 AM
Original Author(s): Susieq#1
Topic: WOMEN AND MORMONISM   -Link To MC Article-
The Mormon Doctrine of The New and Everlasting Covenant of Marriage, Plurality of Wives continues to define a women's role.

Is any of this information in the Temple Preparation Class?

Does anyone fully understand what is going to happen?

Don't we deserve Full Disclosure for Informed Consent and Informed Choice? Are the covenants binding if you have not been given full disclosure? I maintain that they are not.

This post comprises parts of the endowment and the actual marriage ceremony and the DandC 132 references that support the doctrine of eternal marriage or the New and Everlasting Covenant which is Plurality of Wives.

Note: The only part that meets the requirement of the law, that I can find is:

"authority vested in me, I pronounce you ______, and ______, legally and lawfully husband and wife"

Without that wording, the ceremony would not be legally binding in the US.

Married in the temple, to each other, are you sure? Where's the love?

After passing two interviews to get the temple recommend-- (see Temple Recommend Questions here: http://www.lds-mormon.com/veilworker/...,) either on the day of the marriage, or earlier, and going through the Endowment Ceremony: Washing and Anointing ceremony where the Holy Garment of the Priesthood (notice ladies, you wear the same garment of the Holy Priesthood!), is placed on you and covenanting to obey:

The Law of Obedience

The Law of Sacrifice

The Law of the Gospel

The Law of Chastity

The Law of Consecration --which is:

(I am only including this particular one on this post as it has it directly applies to the marriage covenant.)

A couple will now come to the altar. We are instructed to give unto you the Law of Consecration as contained in the book of Doctrine and Covenants, in connection with the Law of the Gospel and the Law of Sacrifice which you have already received.

It is that you do consecrate yourselves, your time, talents, and everything with which the Lord has blessed you, or with which he may bless you, to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, for the building up of the Kingdom of God on the earth and for the establishment of Zion.

All arise. Each of you bring your right arm to the square. You and each of you covenant and promise before God, angels, and these witnesses at this altar, that you do accept the Law of Consecration as contained in the Doctrine and Covenants, in that you do consecrate yourselves, your time, talents, and everything with which the Lord has blessed you, or with which he may bless you, to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, for the building up of the Kingdom of God on the earth and for the establishment of Zion.

Each of you bow your head and say "yes."

Then and only then may you be sealed in the marriage ceremony.

Here is the ceremony.

Sometimes, the officiator will allow an exchange of rings at the end of the ceremony, and a kiss.

(I don't know the current policy on this practice. Maybe someone else does.)

Officiator: Brother ______, [naming groom] and Sister ______, [naming bride] please join hands in the Patriarchal Grip or Sure Sign of the Nail.

Marriage Couple: Joins hands in the "Patriarchal Grip, or Sure Sign of the Nail."This token is given by clasping the right hands, interlocking the little fingers and placing the tip of the forefinger upon the center of the wrist. No clothing should interfere with the contact of the forefinger upon the wrist.

Officiator: Brother ______, do you take Sister ______ by the right hand and receive her unto yourself to be your lawful and wedded wife for time and all eternity, with a covenant and promise that you will observe and keep all the laws, rites, and ordinances pertaining to this Holy Order of Matrimony in the New and Everlasting Covenant, and this you do in the presence of God, angels, and these witnesses of your own free will and choice?

Groom: Yes.

Officiator: Sister ______ do you take brother ______ by the right hand and give yourself to him to be his lawful and wedded wife, and for him to be your lawful and wedded husband, for time and all eternity, with a covenant and promise that you will observe and keep all the laws, rites and ordinances pertaining to this Holy Order of Matrimony in the New and Everlasting Covenant, and this you do in the presence of God, angels, and these witnesses of your own free will and choice?

Bride: Yes.

Officiator: By virtue of the Holy Priesthood and the authority vested in me, I pronounce you ______, and ______, legally and lawfully husband and wife for time and all eternity, and I seal upon you the blessings of the holy resurrection with power to come forth in the morning of the first resurrection clothed in glory, immortality and eternal lives, and I seal upon you the blessings of kingdoms, thrones, principalities, powers, dominions and exaltations, with all the blessings of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and say unto you: be fruitful and multiply and replenish the earth that you may have joy and rejoicing in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.

All these blessings, together with all the blessings appertaining unto the New and Everlasting Covenant, I seal upon you by virtue of the Holy Priesthood, through your faithfulness, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, Amen.

To make sure one understands exactly what the "New and Everlasting Covenant" is, see: DandC 132

REFERENCE for easy reading: http://scriptures.lds.org/dc/132

Revelation given through Joseph Smith the Prophet, at Nauvoo, Illinois, recorded July 12, 1843, relating to the new and everlasting covenant, including the eternity of the marriage covenant, as also plurality of wives. HC 5: 501-507.

Although the revelation was recorded in 1843, it is evident from the historical records that the doctrines and principles involved in this revelation had been known by the Prophet since 1831.

[INSERT: compare introduction to the 1969 edition of the Book of Mormon.

Here's the 1969 version:

Revelation given through Joseph Smith the Prophet, at Nauvoo, Illinois, recorded July 12, 1843, relating to the new and everlasting covenant, including the eternity of the marriage covenant, as also plurality of wives.

-------The Prophet's inquiry of the Lord--He is told to prepare himself to receive the new and everlasting covenant--Conditions of this law--The power of the Holy Priesthood instituted by the Lord must be operative in ordinances to be in effect beyond the grave-- Marriage by secular authority is of effect during mortality only--Though the form of marriage should make it appear to be for time and eternity, the ordinance is not valid beyond the grave unless solemnized by the authority of the Holy Priesthood as the Lord directs-- Marriage duly authorized for time and eternity to be attended by surpassing blessings - Essentials for the attainment of the status of godhood -- The meaning of eternal lives--Plurality of wives acceptable only when commanded by the Lord--The sin of adultery--Commandment to Emma Smith, wife of the prophet. http://scriptures.lds.org/dc/132

1981 edition:

1-6, Exaltation is gained through the new and everlasting covenant;

7-14, The terms and conditions of that covenant are set forth;

15-20, Celestial marriage and a continuation of the family unit enable men to become gods;

21-25, The strait and narrow way that leads to eternal lives;

26-27, Law given relative to blasphemy against the Holy Ghost;

28-39, Promises of eternal increase and exaltation made to prophets and saints in all ages;

40-47, Joseph Smith is given the power to bind and seal on earth and in heaven;

48-50, The Lord seals upon him his exaltation;

51-57, Emma Smith is counseled to be faithful and true;

58-66, Laws governing the plurality of wives are set forth.

Did you catch it? Celestial Marriage is Plurality of Wives! The Mormon Church has never, ever stopped practicing their law that applies to polygamy or plurality of wives as that is what Celestial Marriage (The New and Everlasting Covenant) is! It is clearly an eternal principle for the Celestial Kingdom.

Did you notice that the marriage sealing ceremony not only continues the practice of plurality of wives and, because of the covenant of the Law of Consecration, married you to the church and it's commandments by covenant, not each other?

Investigators BEWARE: Demand full disclosure for informed consent. You won't get it from the Mormon Church, so do your own research. Know what you are doing, and what it really means!

**********************

The Role of Women in the Mormon Church - Motherhood, Her Sexuality and how the Temple Ceremonies of Washing and Anointing Define Her.

WOMEN ACCEPT THEIR ROLE

Women accept their role in Mormonism with a promise that borrows into her heart and is the essence of motherhood - the absolutely belief that they will never loose their children and their family if they comply with the doctrines taught them.

The believe they will have their children for all eternity of they adhere to the Mormon teachings. In fact, to have a child leave the Mormon Church is a personal failure that is to be avoided at all costs, as this is a personal assault on her by the adversary, and she must do everything in her power to keep from loosing her offspring.

She willingly submits to these beliefs even though, to an outsider, they seem to infringe on her independence, her honor and her good sense. Some outsiders, even call it abusive.

Women who are well entrenched and strong believers in Mormonism, often with several generations of Mormonism flowing in their veins, see the accusations of abuse, and lack of independence and freedom of thought from outsiders as silly and false. She absolutely knows she is not abused, not programmed, not brainwashed, and can "think for herself."

What she does not realize is that she is restricted by the doctrines and what she considers "thinking for herself" means she thinks long and hard and prays long and hard to obtain a "witness of the spirit" so she is "worthy" to obtain eternal life. A mother is often willing to go to any length to save, protect, and keep her family.

The teachings of the Mormon Church make it clear that the Holy Priesthood of God is never to be questioned. To question a male Priesthood holder, especially the top leadership is tantamount to questioning God. Even to have doubts is unacceptable. Doubts are never to be spoken or written. They are to be kept inside. (That is one of the reasons, in my observation that anger brews and explodes when people finally get out from under the thumb of Mormonism's control.)

I have heard Mormon women admit that they did not like or understand their position in the Mormon Church but it was how "Heavenly Father wanted it" and they go along with it thinking it is the only right thing to do. So, they defer to the priesthood, (some more so than others) thinking they are laying up treasures in heaven. The woman's place is foremost and always to follow and support the priesthood in all things.

Their role is clearly defined in Mormonism's in it's doctrine and is one area that has not changed and will never changed.

Their role is defined in Doctrine and Covenants 132, as part of the official doctrine and even though polygamy or plurality of wives is not lived outright (technically it is still lived according to the marriage ceremony --exact wording from DandC 132 in the temple.)

She wears the same garment day and night of the Holy Priesthood of God, and covenanted to be a priestess to her husband in the Celestial Kingdom, but that is as far as her authority or equality goes. It teaches them that Heavenly Father meant for them to be the mothers, and for the men to officiate in the Priesthood.

The temple rituals and covenants (called Endowments) do not make her equal to her husband. She is to be a priestess to her husband who will rule over her in righteousness! The message is clear. She is taught from a young age, beginning with a blessing when she is just a few weeks old to give her a name, that she is to go to the temple and be married for "all eternity."

There is a lot of lip service given to the notion that they are equal, but every woman knows that only applies in certain areas. They might share equal chores in the home, or have equal input on decisions in the home, but when it comes to the church hierarchy and how the Priesthood functions, they might be listened to, but their recommendations can be and are overruled on the whim of the leaders as they are the representatives of the Lord. What the priesthood leaders say is accepted as they claim inspiration given to them as the Lord's mouthpiece.

She may be the "neck" that moves the "head" in many areas, but not when it comes to officiating in the Priesthood. Her role is to support and remind and see that he fulfills his Priesthood functions but not to question or direct it. After all, her eternal place with her children and family is dependent on him honoring the Priesthood.

WOMEN HAVE NO PLACE IN THE HIERARCHY

Men overrule women.

Women have no authority in the church and no place in the hierarchy and only serve under the men. If the men in charge do not like something, the women are told to do things differently. If they do not agree, they are considered: "prideful" think they "own" a calling, and not obedient to the Priesthood. All of which is unacceptable.

Her agency, the doctrine of freedom to choose between good and evil, (free agency is n a misnomer and not part of the teachings) is held in a very small box of do's and do not's, all determined by how the men interpret the scriptures how they supervise the organizations, and how they make assignments-- "callings" and give "counsel."

There is a "vote" in their Sacrament Meetings, but it means one is promising to support the member in their calling. Dissent is not accepted either. The vote is only intended to obtain the support of the members by raising their hand to the square.

The men's "inspiration" overrules anything a woman says or claims as an answer to her prayers.

All assignments or "callings" as they are called have a right to "inspiration" and one is expected to "magnify their calling." However, it is important to note that "inspiration" is only given for their respective "callings." No one is entitled to any "inspiration" or direction from the Lord about anything other than the "calling" they currently hold.

There is also no need for the Priesthood brethren to tell the truth as they have the privilege of "Lying for the Lord" a well understood underlying concept in Mormonism taught in their scriptures.

All of Mormonism is governed by men with very little input from the women, who are predominately used to follow orders - with a dust pan and broom to clean up after the brethren - in more ways than one!

The typical Mormon Priesthood leader looses respect for a female who uses her own mind, challenges them, or corrects them. They are threatened by the misuse of her position as it means he is not doing his job as a Priesthood leader and he is then expected to call her to repentance and make sure she changes her ways and never does it again.

Women are accepted in the Mormon Church and loved and respected and admired only if they comply with the role they are given. Once they are seen as disobedient, rebellious, take a different interpretation than the official one, explain themselves, they are no longer considered "worthy," and can loose everything, including their children, especially in divorce.

If the husband is "worthy" which generally means that he lives all the commandments, in particular: the Word of Wisdom, and pays tithing and can answer the temple recommend questions in the affirmative,(or correctly as they are asked) in the eyes of the Mormon Church it is acceptable for him to leave his "unworthy" wife and take her children away. The worthy Priesthood holder is entitled to a worthy wife.

Once the woman is accused of not being "chaste" she is no longer "worthy." Never mind that the man might be having an affair, or has abused his own children, or is a pedophile. It is the woman's fault these things happened. It is not uncommon for a Relief Society President for instance, to tell a woman to "be a better wife" so her husband won't beat her or stray.

Women in Mormonism are also defined by their sexuality.

The underlying message about sexuality is that you will give your life to keep from being raped. The worthy, honorable thing to do, if sexually assaulted, is to fight to the death to preserve your vagina from dishonorable intrusion. Often, an honorable Mormon father teaches his daughters that he would rather see her dead than violated. It is worth noting, however, that this not a concept solely held by Mormonism.

Mormonism has found the key to controlling generations of it's members. It is a typical ploy of religiosity since time began; control the sexuality of the female and control of the family for generations to come is maintained. This also solidifies the influx of money.

Women are also taught that they control "the spirit" of the home. It goes along with the old adage if "mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy" and Mormonism takes this a step further imprinting and programming young females from birth that they are to be sweet and worthy to have "the spirit" with them at all times. Of course, this is solidified at age eight with baptism, when they are commanded to receive the Holy Ghost as their constant companion and continues with the rest of the "ordinances."

Women in Mormonism are also defined by their attire.

Their whole wardrobe and their sense of their bodies is determined by the temple garment that is to be worn next to the skin as a protection and placed on her body in a ritual in the temple. It is also seen as a protection against her sexuality being defiled or assaulted in any way. She is told she is to remain chaste and worthy in thought and deed with the temple garment a constant, even Mosaic reminder that she is a daughter of Heavenly Father and this is what is expected of her. Again her sexuality is given a place before her life.

The temple garment, with it's Masonic markings is seen as holy and sacred and is never to be put on the floor or abused in any manner. In fact, discarding of used, and worn garments requires a further ritual as the markings are to be cut out and burned. Then, and only then, can the remaining material (now devoid of their sacred element) be used as rags to clean the floor, or wash the car.

Once dressed in the Holy Garment of the Priesthood, (worn day and and night)- an interesting title, as she has no rank in the priesthood or any right to officiate, only as a servant - she then must make her attire comply with it's restrictions.

That means, every part of her body that is covered by the garment must be covered - modestly. Because the garment comes to the lower thigh or knee, and has a cap sleeve, and is designed to fall several inches above her natural bra line, she is now confined to buying (or in many cases - making) clothing that covers her underwear. She has now become subservient to Heavenly Father - her God, who controls her (and men also) by her underwear, day and night.

There is the underlying message that women (and men) behave according to the clothing they are wearing, so the subtle indoctrinated, imprinted script says that the woman in Mormonism is wearing a holy-sacred reminder to dress modestly, and act accordingly and worthy of the blessings promised her.

*******************

Temple ceremonies -- define the woman's role

The following is how the Washing and Anointing Ceremony was carried out during the times I attended the temple from 1962 to 1990 when it was changed. I have written extensively about these rituals prior to the change, (as have many others) and am happy to know that our fellow human beings will no longer be subjected to this ritual.

Now the tunic is sewed up at the sides, and the naked body is no longer touched and anointed with water and oil. Hopefully, we all had a hand in seeing this ritual discontinued in our efforts to "give back" to humanity, especially our Mormon friends and loved ones.

These are some of my memories of the Washing and Anointing Ceremony in the Temple - beginning in 1962.

(All of these rituals are easily accessed on the Internet, also) I have attended nine temples from 1962 to 1995, eight of them in the US and one in Switzerland, doing hundreds of "sessions" as they are called.

You enter a small stall, and sit on a cold marble type slab. The female temple worker doing the washing and anointing stands behind and to the side of you and starts with the top of the head, the forehead, the eyes, nose, mouth, breast, bowels, legs..etc. She has a little spigot she gets water from that drips slowly.

The oil is done in the same fashion. There are promises given, with each part of the body that is washed-dabbed with water and anointed-dabbed with oil. These have to do with promising the female that she will be a priestess to her husband in the Celestial Kingdom if she is faithful to her covenants. Nothing untoward, or of a sexual nature is done, but it is just very, very ethically and culturally out of order. How anyone can equate that to something spiritual still amazes me.

I can still see the rows of tiny, narrow lockers where we completely undressed and donned the sheet-tunic, carrying our long garments into the little cubical where the old lady awaited me. One of the oddest things about the temple is that the lockers have keys, so in the whispered ambiance of the temple, one of the only sounds heard is the soft jingling of the keys attacked with a safety pin to your clothing..

Now back to the tunic used at that time. It is a true tunic - open at the sides and no seams. To walk in and out of the washing and anointing room, most people hold the sheets together.

I can still see, hear and feel and smell those old women assisting us. They reminded me of a grandma dressed in a white uniform, often with false teeth clacking, chewing a breath mint. I could feel her breath and smell the aroma of the mints as she whispered in my ear reaching under the sheet with those warm, sweaty, damp hands sliding over here and over there, anointing me first with dabs of water from head to toe, then going the same thing with oil.

I can still hear the water trickling from the tiny spigot that she put her hands into to begin the ritual of anointing. I can still hear the sing-song monotone of her memorized washing and anointing dialog.

This ritual is not just a tiny tap on an imaginary dot of the skin. Your body is stroked in a 2" to 3" area in a downward motion over specific areas of your body from your head on down to your legs and onto to your toes. You do not know exactly where they will touch you. You only know the general area. It is very uncomfortable as these women are usually seniors-retirement age of 65 to 75 and their head is outside the sheet. They cannot see where they hands are unless they look under the tunic where the sides are open. They open the sheet on the sides to begin.

Imagine a woman's hand under the sheet (for women-man for men) each time they say a body part, making a sliding motion of about 2" to 3" in some areas, with the four fingers of the right hand over the body part -probably trying to be very careful they do not touch the actual breast-nipple area for women, or the pelvic hair-penis-scrotum area for men when they get to the words that correspond with that part of the body.

Sometimes, I had to stifle a giggle as the old woman inadvertently tickled me and I squirmed. I tried to sit really, really still so she would not slide her wet, warm, oily hand anywhere it ought not to be as her face was averted outside the sheet and she could not see where she had her hands.

Sometimes she slid her hands within inches of my breasts and pubic hair as she slid her hands around in her predetermined and well practiced path. I always hated it and I would shudder when she slide those warm, oily hands down my legs onto my feet. Repeating in sing-song monotone, the blessings associated with the rituals.

When she finished she would help me step into my underwear, while still wearing that sheet tunic, adjusting it properly and sending me out into the dressing area where dozens of other women were coming and going. I was often hugged had the feeling she wanted to kiss me, she was so pleased. I still shudder.

The washings and anointing were only required the first time you go to the temple as these ordinances are done in blocks by people who do only those kinds of sessions as proxy for the dead. They are the first part of the Endowment.

After the washing and anointing ceremony, the initiate dresses in all white clothing from neck to wrist to ankle and follows the group of people all dressed the same, into the Endowment session which follows and includes a video and promises-covenants made which, until April 1990, included hand movements signifying ways in which your life could be taken - cutting throat and disembowelment if you divulged certain parts of the Endowment.

Those, fortunately were removed, along with the Five Points of Fellowship at the Veil which required the initiate to stand embraced with a man (unseen and representing the Lord) behind a curtain-sheet - ear to ear, hand to back knee to knee, etc. to review the covenants made earlier in the ceremony - then the curtain would open and you were led in by your hand to the Celestial Room of the Temple.

If you go through the Temple as proxy for any dead relative (what I often refer to as postmortm conversions) you must do the washing and anointing along with it. Years ago, we did the washing and anointing and the endowment session for the same name all in one evening, sometimes doing two sessions for two deceased people.

The part that is unethical and disrespectful, in my experience is that no one tells the new initiate anything ahead of time. You go along and do what dozens of other people are doing. It is very difficult to leave once you get in the temple. It can be done, I know, I have watched people do it, but it is rare. This is group pressure at it's most intense.

Under no other circumstances would anyone even dare to consider that you would strip naked, put on a shield-tunic, as it is called, and carry your underwear and go into a small room alone with someone you do not know while they whisper memorized, ritual dialog, usually with a breath mint in their mouth, then help dress you by helping you put on the regulation temple garment to be worn day and night.

To even suggest this bazaar, outlandish, absurd act is spiritual reeks of a complete lack of common sense and respect.

It is humiliating. I have never been so mortified in my life. It is a flagrant assault on one's self respect and dignity.

The Mormon church has no policy for full disclosure or they would disclose every single thing about their history, including their finances and their temple ceremonies to anyone who investigates or/or joins.

I maintain if these practices were made public, disclosed ahead of time, very few people would be interested in going to any of their temples. I am sure some would, it's tradition and they won't break with tradition.

Originally, I am told, this was a complete washing and anointing, similar to some other religious customs. There is no redeeming value to it. There is nothing spiritual about putting on a tunic, open at the sides, made from a sheet and carrying your regulation underwear into a little room to have your naked body touched by someone you do not know.

This is an obvious invasion of your complete being and done in a setting with a lot of other people so you go along because the rest are doing it, at least the first time.

You are assured by the members and leaders to believe that there is nothing that can harm you so when you feel violated and invaded, you are stuck with the mental gymnastics of trying to make sense of it.

Somehow, you must make a bizarre experience seem spiritual and good. If you don't the implication is that you do not have the right spirit. Surely it is not the church that is doing bad things, it must be me. So it goes on, around and around in circles. Always making you the one that is at fault, never the church.

The arrogance of Mormonism to assume that they had any right to touch anyone's naked body without full disclosure and full permission is out of the realm of common decency. This is the most despicable, horrid, spiritual abuse of another human being imaginable, but it must be done if they are to get your total submission.

This is the final frontier of breaking down boundaries - your naked body! This is about total submission, control, stripping you down and dressing the surprised, new initiate with physical touching under a flimsy tunic then dressing you!

Once that is accomplished, there is nothing you won't do and it does include giving your life if you divulge certain parts of the temple ceremonies. For this privilege you pay 10% + of your income for your life.

Generally, the women that object most vehemently to a husband changing his beliefs, have gone through this ceremony many times, some of them, hundreds of times. This is, in my observation, the crux of the power that motivates a Mormon female to be completely unable to deal with an apostate husband.)

The genius of the temple, especially the washing and anointing and the endowment is to keep the person totally committed, paying tithing and under their control. And it works.

How does the Mormon church get old Mormon men and women to believe it is a sacred ordinance to touch the naked body of strangers under a sheet with little dabs of water then oil while you sit in a small cubicle?

The only way you get people to do this is through extreme religious teachings:programming, conditioning, and trust and no prior specific information. It must be done while a large group of other people are doing the same thing so it is seen as acceptable in the eyes of the Mormon God.

(Note: even though the "naked touching" part is removed, the power of the initiation is still there.)

The unbelievable part is that the church does such a good job of convincing and programming the new converts and new initiate to the notion that this is spiritual, a higher law, you are special, God wants you to do this - that the members go along with it.

They get thousands of members to go to the temple thousands of times over their lifetime to continue this programming and, yes, what some call-brainwashing. They use a tried and true method. They call it "Building Relationships of Trust" or BRT. Get someone to trust you and they will believe anything you say and do anything you ask of them, especially if they are convinced it will guarantee them a place of honor in the Mormon Celestial Kingdom after they die. What we will do in the name of pleasing the Mormon God!

The interesting thing is that once you stop going to church, stop attending any function, stop reading any of their approved literature, you begin to separate and disconnect and break the code. Some call it blatant cult or cultish activities, although very subtle and well designed to subjugate you to them forever.

If a woman wants her place solidified in the after life with her children and family. she must, at all costs, have a husband that is "worthy" and honors the Holy Priesthood, and will, in the resurrection, call her by her "New Name" given her in the temple at her marriage, into the Celestial Kingdom.

Therein lies the power of years of imprinting, and programming by rote repetition, repeated temple attendance, talks from the "mouthpiece of the Lord" (the leaders) etc., and is the impetus for the disconnect when a Mormon woman is faced with an apostate husband.
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Discussed The Obligation Of "Full Time Motherhood" With A Returned Missionary Sister
Tuesday, Apr 15, 2008, at 07:11 AM
Original Author(s): Provo Is Boring Hell
Topic: WOMEN AND MORMONISM   -Link To MC Article-
My sister recently returned from the mission in the Midwest U.S.

We had conversations on politics, vegan/vegetarian lifestyle and religion in the last few days, whenever she has spare time. She found the conversations with me often enlightening.

However, we sort of disagreed on the issue of full-time motherhood.

She thought it absolutely necessary to obey "God's plan" to be full-time mothers from infant to late adolescence. She has a year or two left to complete the bachelor's degree.

I mildly argued with her that young women need to plan ahead by completing the degrees before embarking on marriage for reproduction and rearing. My mother indefinitely suspended her study to complete B.S. degree in Chemical Engineering when she married my father 3 decades ago.

She countered it is God's plan that every devout LDS woman is obliged to carry and raise children as full-time mothers, in deference of education and real-world experience in work.

While I agree that certain mothers are suitable for full-time motherhoods -- if they intend to carry more children while the fathers are the main breadwinners in substantial income to afford savings, grocery, shelter and bills in long-term -- some aspiring mothers should focus on completing higher education and gaining real-world experience in working (that is, not back-breakingly menial but skilled jobs) before deciding to have a number of children as long as economical feasibility allow (or they can disregard that to their financial peril facing poverty, since having as many children as humanly possible is "obeying God's plan").

This reminds of that '87 fireside speech with Ezra Taft Benson titled "To the Mothers of Zion" which can be read at the link below

http://fc.byu.edu/jpages/ee/w_etb87.h...

I find it kind of disturbing that like FLDS, the mainstream LDS church encourages rapid reproduction to "raise the seed" while women's role in the church are somewhat restricted (the exception may be Relief Society, one of the oldest organizations for women in the U.S.) because men are superior and "God-like" expecting complete, total subordination, thereby making women essentially "second class" citizens like American equivalent to misogynistic Saudi law and prerequisite traditional Islam in the regulation of extreme modesty (such as the Taliban as an extreme example).

I haven't been a TBM for over a decade, while my two younger sisters are so thoroughly TBM that they will defer worldly experience in well-rounded education and work ethics just to subscribe to the LDS prophets' decrees that maternity is more important than mind- and energy-stimulating skilled work. And working helps contribute to the society in overall stimulation and prosperity of the municipal, state and national economies -- not just men.

I know daycare may not be an answer and I think that part-time "role rearing" -- swapping between mother and father in parenting children at home and play -- might be a good idea. "Mr. Mom" might seem queer, but it exist.

While I am single, never married and may consider never having children, I am not opposed to full-time motherhood -- only the indoctrination as commanded by the LDS church, mainstream, offshoot (Church of Christ, formerly RLDS) and fundamental, that make devout women unable to think for themselves to examine the philosophical, sociological and psychological rationale of the 2-decades-long life of a full-time motherhood while delaying work ethics and education that allow the opportunity for a rich, fulfilling and satisfactory life in freedom and liberty.

Please note that the statement above is not an endorsement on the merits of Feminism. I actually oppose Feminism to some degree (esp. Militant Feminism). I agree with the right to suffrage for women, equality in salary compensation for the similar performance of skilled jobs, etc. I disagree with the perceived radical attitude of Feminism e.g. abortion on demand and promiscuity to assert the feminist ideologue.
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Remembering The ERA
Tuesday, May 27, 2008, at 06:55 AM
Original Author(s): Troubled Wife
Topic: WOMEN AND MORMONISM   -Link To MC Article-
1978... folks were in WA. Dad, stationed at Ft. Lewis.

A guy (from Salt Lake) came and addressed our ward in a special Ward Conference (don't know why it wasn't done on a more massive scale...), and there had been SEVERAL talks about the Church supports the rights of women. But, the ERA was WRONG, EVIL, and you could be excommunicated if you supported the amendment.

Then Sonia Johnson got to be a regular "cuss" word. We young girls were told that she was pure evil, and was a rebel and refused to listen to the Lord. (I didn't even know that she was LDS).

The US seemed to be torn by those people who liked the "status quo" and felt that women's place was in the home, and they should be paid less than a man, because they "just couldn't do as well as a man", and those that believed that a woman was every bit as capable as any man to do most any job.

Back then, you rarely had women being firemen for example, because few women did body building, so few women could could "handle" the fire hoses.

I constantly heard phrases like, "There's a glass cieling for women, and the ERA is going to break it".

I heard the phrase, "Equal pay for Equal Work". There had been SEVERAL studies that showed that women just were NOT getting paid at the same pay rate for the same work as men. Yet, there had already been a law passed in 1963 that if a man and a woman were doing the same job, with the same qualifications to the same specifications, they they are to be paid the same.... (we women STILL do not always get the same pay... there's a BIG discrepancy in many companies)

There was also an issue that women were not allowed to apply for the same jobs as men...especially if it were thought that a woman could not physically do the job...ie: firefighters, police, football....

In the church, we women were being told that the church had always pushed for women's rights. Right from the very beginning, women were to "vote" or sustain their leaders. If they had any objections during a sustaining, they only had to raise their hand in opposition, and they would be heard (what we weren't told is to do so, meant almost sure fire excommunication or disfellowshipment). Utah was one of the FIRST states to pass the woman's sufferage... and to allow women to vote in political elections.

We were also being told that IF the ERA were to be passed, then it would FORCE all women to be drafted into the military (the draft had just ended), babies would be forced into state funded day care facilities and mothers would loose their rights to hold their children and raise their children. If the ERA were passed, we were told, it would end the tradition and the God given Law of Family. We were told that no matter what, women would be FORCED into the workforce, and families wouldn't be able to survive without two sources of incomes (yes, a stay at home mom was still the norm back then). We were told that IF ERA passed, then there would be more divorces because there would be no time for families. The list goes on....

Anyway, I had a history teacher who I really detested. As I look back, I suspect he was a Post-mo, or possibly an Ex-mo. He really taught LOTS of things that my young ears were not ready to hear.... like the Prophet used tithing for profit... got myself suspended for the fight I got myself into for that...

Well, I'm sure it was because he knew what religion I was, and knew that I wouldn't get the whole picture... but, for one of his "lessons" the class read through the entire ERA bill....then we took it apart...

It is VERY SHORT. The church makes too much out of it.....

http://www.equalrightsamendment.org/
Section 1. Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex.

Section 2. The Congress shall have the power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article.

Section 3. This amendment shall take effect two years after the date of ratification.
So, according to the church, IF this bill passed, there's a WHOLE bunch of stuff that would happen, that isn't even mentioned, isn't even implied.

BUT... gaulie darn... the bill didn't pass, yet if McCain gets into office, WOMEN WILL STILL BE DRAFTED into military service... households with out dual incomes are hard to find, there are still MANY, MANY divorces (probably because women got tired of being door mats...), and gosh darn it, fathers now have the right to be able to take off work TOO and care for their newborn, adopted or ill family members!!!!

When I brought home my "copy" of the bill, I was told that it was not true, that I had fallen for Satan's propoganda, and that the bill was really EVIL, because "The Church" said so.

I'm sorry, but I STILL do not believe there is ANYTHING wrong with the legislation. I do NOT see ANYTHING in that bill that would "Force" a mother, or father, to put their children into "state run" care facilities. I see NOTHING in the bill that would FORCE families to have two sources of income (though having both parents in the workforce woud cause economic ramifications to force a dual income to keep up).

Now, if the draft IS brought back, then yes, the first section makes it so women could be drafted.... But, then boys who were only sons, boys who were going to school for basic needs (doctors, lawyers, civil engineers), and boys with any disability (real, mental, or even as stupid as flat feet) wouldn't be drafted... Hell, even Mormon Missionaries were allowed to "defer" their draft. It would be the same with the "girls".

But, back then, if it were discovered that you supported the ERA, be ye man or woman, you were in real danger of church court and excommunication.

Incidentally, I was removed from that history teacher's class.... that was my parent's last straw in dealing with the run-ins we had with him.... Sorry, Mr. Armitage.
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I Took My Daughter To Mormon Young Women's New Beginings Last Night
Thursday, Jan 15, 2009, at 10:00 AM
Original Author(s): Chic In The Heart Of Moville
Topic: WOMEN AND MORMONISM   -Link To MC Article-
She said she wanted to go so I went with her. The new beginings is kind of the kick off for the year, Where they give the theme of the year and plan the year.

Well, the theme is "My future Family" (you know where this is going) and the agenda for the year made me almost walk out and if it wasn't for my daughter I would have. This is their agenda: 1-they are going to learn to Cook. 2-Sew 3-Sort laundry, because that is very important for a young mother to know how to do. 4-learn to get along with others to keep a harmonious home life. 5-learn to garden and grow your own food. 6-Be vitueous woman and keep the family strong in the gospel and so on and so on.......

It was all I could do to just sit there. Alot of the girls gave talks and told us about how they had learned to compromise to keep the piece in the family, most said their main goal was to get married in the temple and start a family. What about education, personal growth, and new experiences. The church is planting clone like thoughts into these girls ages 12 and up and I cant let my daughter be draw into this.

When we got in the car she looked at me and said "I dont think I want to do YW" and I said that was fine. I told her that the church pushes motherhood and marriage but that I would rather her go to college and grow up before marrying and having kids.

We had a few laughs about what they were talking about. My daughter brought up a comment that one girl said about the excitement she felt about learning how to be a good wife and mother. My daughter said "I think I threw up in my mouth a little when she said that". I lost it and we laughed until I had tears coming down my face. At 11 almost 12 she is a great girl.

Don't get me wrong I run my buiness out of my house so I can be with my kids, I cook, clean, garden and do all the so called wife duties, but that is my choice. I believe everyone should be able to choose their own path and not have one crammed down their throat.
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Church To Teenage Girls: Better Killed Than Raped
Tuesday, Feb 10, 2009, at 11:42 AM
Original Author(s): N/a
Topic: WOMEN AND MORMONISM   -Link To MC Article-
“Loss of virtue is too great a price to pay even for the preservation of ones life - better dead clean, than alive unclean. Many is faithful the Latter-day Saint parent who has sent a son or a daughter on a mission or otherwise out into the world with the direction: ‘I would rather have you come back in a pine box with your virtue than return alive without it.’”–Apostle Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine (all editions), page 124.

” . . . Your virtue is worth more than your life. Please young folk, preserve your virtue even if you lose your lives. Do not tamper with sin . . . do not permit yourselves to be led into temptation.”–President David O. McKay, quoted in THE MIRACLE OF FORGIVENESS by Spencer W. Kimball

“…There is no true Latter-day Saint who would not rather bury a son or daughter than to have him or her lose his or her chastity – realizing that chastity is of more value than anything else in all the world.”–Heber J. Grant, quoted in THE MIRACLE OF FORGIVENESS by Spencer W. Kimball

“Also far-reaching is the effect of loss of chastity. Once given or taken or stolen it can never be regained. Even in forced contact such as rape or incest, the injured one is greatly outraged. If she has not cooperated and contributed to the foul deed, she is of course in a moe favorable position. There is no condemnation where there is no Voluntary participation. It is better to die in defending one’s virtue than to live having lost it without a struggle.”–Spencer W. Kimball, THE MIRACLE OF FORGIVENESS

“The victim must do all in his or her power to stop the abuse. Most often, the victim is innocent because of being disabled by fear or the power or authority of the offender. At some point in time, however, the Lord may prompt a victim to recognize a degree of responsibility for abuse. Your priesthood leader will help assess your responsibility so that, if needed, it can be addressed. Otherwise the seeds of guilt will remain and sprout into bitter fruit. Yet no matter what degree of responsibility, from absolutely none to increasing consent, the healing power of the atonement of Jesus Christ can provide a complete cure.” - Apostle Richard G. Scott “Healing the Tragic Scars of Abuse,” General Conference, Ensign, May 1992

“Of course, a mature person who willingly consents to sexual relations must share responsibility for the act, even though the other participant was the aggressor. Persons who consciously invite sexual advances also have a share of responsibility for the behavior that follows. But persons who are truly forced into sexual relations are victims and are not guilty of any sexual sin.” - First Presidency Letter to General Authorities, Regional Representatives, and other priesthood leadership, 7 Feb. 1985

Deuteronomy 22:20 But if this thing be true, and the tokens of virginity be not found for the damsel:

22:21 Then they shall bring out the damsel to the door of her father's house, and the men of her city shall stone her with stones that she die: because she hath wrought folly in Israel, to play the whore in her father's house: so shalt thou put evil away from among you.

22:23 If a damsel that is a virgin be betrothed unto an husband, and a man find her in the city, and lie with her;

22:24 Then ye shall bring them both out unto the gate of that city, and ye shall stone them with stones that they die; the damsel, because she cried not, being in the city; and the man, because he hath humbled his neighbour's wife: so thou shalt put away evil from among you.
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Ruth Unrestored: My Story Of Sexual Abuse And Inability To Heal As A Member Of The LDS Church
Monday, Feb 23, 2009, at 08:30 AM
Original Author(s): Ruth Unrestored
Topic: WOMEN AND MORMONISM   -Link To MC Article-
It is not easy for me to share, but here is my story in the form of a letter I wrote. As of this posting on Feb. 20, 2009 I have not received a response. My hope in sharing my story is that it can somehow be of comfort to other victims in knowing that they are not alone. Ultimately, I believe victims of sexual abuse need healing messages not shaming or damning principles, regardless of their religion. Personally, I'd like the issues in my letter addressed by the current First Presidency of the LDS church for myself and other LDS victims of sexual abuse to feel clean and worthy of being alive.

December 16, 2008

Elder Richard G. Scott
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints
Salt Lake City, UT 84150

RE: “To Heal the Shattering Consequences of Abuse”

Dear Elder Scott:

I have met with my Stake President B. and together we met with our area authority, President H. I am writing to you because Pres. H. referred me to your Ensign article referenced above as my issue involves sexual abuse and unresolved consequences resulting from LDS teachings.

I realize that members are discouraged from writing the apostles, however it has now been 25 years that I have tried to come to terms with an event that happened to me as a teenager and local leaders have never been able to help resolve my conflict. I pray you will take the time to consider what I have to say.

I was taught in church, particularly the Young Women’s program, to be chaste and virtuous and lovely. We believe in being honest, true, chaste, benevolent, virtuous, and in doing good to all men; … If there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things. Moroni 9:9 states that chastity and virtue are most precious above all things.

I was taught that worthy men want and deserve a virgin woman who is clean and pure and chaste. My husband told me of the analogy he was taught in Young Men’s: Would you want a cupcake that has been licked?. I had a similar type Relief Society lesson in my single’s ward where a bowl of Mandamp;M’s was dumped in a trash can and then offered to the class to demonstrate how a woman who has sinned sexually is unclean and undesirable.

As a child I was further taught these lessons at home by my active LDS parents who emphasized that if I was ever in such a circumstance that our Heavenly Father expected me to fight to the death rather than “let” myself be raped. Then one day, barely 17, I awoke after being drugged to being gang raped. I struggled and fought, but it wasn’t to the death. Eventually exhausted and confused I found myself cooperating because fighting back didn’t result in the preferable death, but only in increased violence and pain and fear (torture). I wake up from nightmares as if willing myself “if only I could have fought a little harder” instead of giving up. Maybe if when there was a knife at my throat I should have jerked my neck – would that have been sufficient to kill me? and, if so, would that have redeemed me or would I have been condemned for the greater sin of contributing to murder (of one’s self)?

I have struggled with this and was in counseling for years! I was diagnosed with PTSD and even hospitalized at times. One Bishop eventually told me that I was wrong about the “it would have been better to fight to the death” principle. That helped for a while until I read in The Miracle of Forgiveness:
" . . . Your virtue is worth more than your life. Please young folk, preserve your virtue even if you lose your lives” (Prophet David O. McKay)
"...There is no true Latter-day Saint who would not rather bury a son or daughter than to have him or her lose his or her chastity -- realizing that chastity is of more value than anything else in all the world." (Prophet Heber J. Grant)

Also far-reaching is the effect of loss of chastity. Once given or TAKEN OR STOLEN IT CAN NEVER BE REGAINED. Even in forced contact such as rape or incest, the injured one is greatly outraged. andgt;If she has not cooperated and contributed to the foul deed, she is of course in a more favorable position. There is no condemnation where there is absolutely no voluntary participation. It is better to die in defending one's virtue than to live having lost it without a struggle." (Prophet Spencer W. Kimball)

This principle is reiterated by Bruce R. McConkie in Mormon Doctrine:
Loss of virtue is too great a price to pay even for the preservation of ones life - better dead clean, than alive unclean. Many is the faithful Latter-day Saint parent who has sent a son or a daughter on a mission or otherwise out into the world with the direction: ‘I would rather have you come back in a pine box with your virtue than return alive without it.”

It was hard to battle suicidal thoughts believing that in God’s eyes I shouldn’t be alive and was unclean, that I’d be better dead than alive. How is a woman suppose to ever feel clean and pure and virtuous and desirable and worthy ever again after such an experience when PROPHETS OF GOD have condemned her and clearly said she would be better off dead!? Follow the prophet, follow the prophet … The prophet will not lead us astray. How am I suppose to live and be happy and feel good about myself and raising my children when I shouldn’t even be alive and my parents would rather I be dead! Would you truly rather have your daughter dead than alive if put in such a situation? And if she lived would you want her to live with this shame?

President Kimball has also said “"If he burglarized, he should return to the rightful owner that which was stolen. Perhaps one reason murder is unforgivable is that having taken a life, the murderer cannot restore it. Restitution in full is not possible. Also, having robbed one of virtue, it is impossible to give it back." (General Conference, Ensign, November 1980). This is a prophet saying I am not worthy. I can never be virtuous again!!!!! If this was someone else speaking, perhaps I could dismiss it, but this is a prophet! Not just one prophet, but multiple prophets and general authorities repeating the same message.

President Clark said: 'You young people, may I directly entreat you to be chaste. Please believe me when I say that 'chastity is worth more than life itself. This is the doctrine my parents taught me; it is truth. It is better to die chaste than to live unchaste. The salvation of your very souls is concerned in this. (In Conference Report, Oct. 1938, pp. 137-38). Now, my dear friends, we know there is nothing new in what we have said. These things are time-tested; they are true. To this we testify" (First Presidency Message "We Believe in Being Chaste” By Marion G. Romney)

Your article does nothing to address this counsel. I can find nothing from any prophet since to refute it. How could a prophet contradict what has already been spoken so plainly (yet this is what I long for)? When the prophet speaks it is the same as God speaking and His commandments are the same yesterday, today and forever.

President H.’s advice was to just forget it. If it doesn’t feel good, just forget about it. Blow it up with an atomic bomb! he said. If it was a misguided rogue Bishop or Stake President it would be a lot easier to disregard, but again, these are prophets speaking. The church doesn’t teach us to pick and choose what commandments we will keep. We are expected to Be ye therefore perfect and to keep ALL of God’s commands. With all due respect, it seems like absurd advice–as if it would be okay to disregard the Word of Wisdom or paying tithing or any other gospel principle because it didn’t feel good.

Your talk places so much responsibility on the victim: do your part, sufficient faith, obedience to his teachings, sincere prayer, degree of responsibility from none to increasing consent, forgive, express gratitude to the Lord. “Focus on your responsibility”! My problem is not one of faith or prayer or obedience or forgiveness. I have done those things and I have strived to diligently live the gospel. To say that it is Satan’s influence on me would be to say that the prophets speak evil for it is the words of the prophets that haunt me.

I grew up with President Kimball as my prophet. I loved and adored him. Never could I have imagined the profound heartache and turmoil one of his books would cause in my life. The Miracle of Forgiveness is still used today. I so desperately want for myself and other victims of sexual abuse to be able to believe that not only are we clean but we are worthy of being alive! For this to happen I need this issue to be addressed by those who hold the priesthood keys of a prophet, seer and revelator--those with the same authority as Spencer W. Kimball, David O. McKay, Heber J. Grant and so forth..

Sincerely,

Sister “Ruth Unrestored”
(for “Once given or taken or stolen it can never be regained”)

cc: President B.
President Thomas S. Monson
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Horrible Young Womens Temple Marriage Scare Tactic "Skit"
Wednesday, Feb 25, 2009, at 08:05 AM
Original Author(s): Fishlips
Topic: WOMEN AND MORMONISM   -Link To MC Article-
OMG this is horrible. I found it online, it's a Young Women's lesson meant to scare the girls into a temple marriage. Poor girls, I feel so bad for whoever got this lesson and then actually experienced what is really the temple. I haven't been myself thank god but...I've read about it, and it freaks me out. This is just sick:

JULIA: Preparing for bed and starting to dream." I wonder if I'm dating the right kind of boys? Jim is so much fun to be with? I wonder if he is the one for me?" The bed is removed from the stage as the other scene appears.

The dream scene opens with wedding decorations displayed. Four chairs on the right and four chairs on the left of the stage. Prelude music is played until the Bishop takes center stage. Spotlight on him.

BISHOP: "The bride and groom have asked me, Bishop----, to extend to you their thanks for coming to witness their wedding ceremony this day." He looks around and then starts talking as if he is thinking out loud.

BISHOP ON TAPE: "Jim Hansen and Julia Harriet. How fast they have grown. (music starts) It seems as though it was only yesterday that Jim received his first merit badge and Julie graduated from Primary. I can remember when they first started dating. From the stand I noticed Julia watching Jim. Then he would turn to watch her. She would quickly avoid his eyes so he wouldn't suspect she had been watching him. Jim didn't come to church there for quite a while. I was concerned about that. I was happy when Julie started encouraging him to come to church with her. I really should have been more concerned about them dating when it was evident that Jim's attitude toward the church had changed. I didn't realize that it had gotten serious so quickly. I wish Jim would have considered going on a mission, but he didn't get much encouragement along that line." "Julie, I remember your last interview with me before you left the Young Women's program. You told me that someday you wanted a special home just like the one your parents raised you in. Your eyes sparkled when you talked of someday finding an eternal companion, who had the same goals as you, who would take you to the Temple of the Lord. Someone who would honor his priesthood and lead you and your future family in prayer, scripture reading, and family home evening. I tried to discourage you from taking a chance on falling in love with someone who might never have the same eternal goals as you. You assured me that is was just "fun" dating Jim, it wasn't serious and you certainly never intended to marry him. Now you are about to enter into a marriage where the contract between you and your chosen companion will endure only until "death do you part." Why have you made this decision? Have you considered how you are putting your eternal goals in jeopardy? Are you sure you are ready to risk losing so much?"

JIM ON TAPE: Enters the stage and shakes hands with the Bishop. (music on) "Whew... I can't wait to get out of this monkey suit. Just look at all of these people! I guess I should be used to crowds, but somehow it's different when you're playing on the basketball court. I'm sure lucky to be marrying a girl like Julia. She is one special girl and I really do love her. I'll be glad when today is over though. Then she'll be mine and I won't have to waste time going to church every Sunday. Don't take me wrong, Bishop. Going to church is all right if you don't have anything important to do. If I'm going to make it in professional basketball, I have to concentrate on my career. Once I'm at the top, I'll be able to afford all the important things I'd like to give Julia. Boy I'm hot! He wipes his brow. I sure wish she'd hurry! Music and spot light off.

JULIA ON TAPE: Julie comes up the aisle on her father's arm. Her mother, Advisor, and neighbor come in and are seated on chairs. " My wedding day, I can hardly it's here! If anyone would have told me I was getting married before I was nineteen, I would have laughed at them. But, what is a girl supposed to do when she falls in love, especially when that someone is a special person like Jim? Doesn't he look handsome in that suit? Pause I'm so happy, I wish today could last forever. I hope mom and dad aren't too disappointed that we aren't marrying in the temple. I know that after we are married, I can persuade Jim to go with me, to be sealed in the temple. We love each other so much that surely nothing could possibly get in the way. If they knew him the way I do, they wouldn't be worried. There's the bishop. I can't help thinking of the terrific talk we had at my last interview. Pause I hope I've made the right decision. I guess I'm suffering from last minute jitters." Tape, Music, and Spot Light off. Julia is standing by Jim and her father goes and sits by her mother.

BISHOP: "Brothers and Sisters, we meet today to join Jim Hansen and Julia Harriett in marriage. I am glad they have asked me, their Bishop, to marry them. The Lord planned that men and women would find each other and have a happy family relationship. He has said, "Therefore, shall a son leave his father and his mother and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh." As you say your vows today you will be forming a partnership with each other. Now is the time for you to plan a good strong marriage and organize and set your goals for a marriage which will be beautiful and rewarding. Now, if there is no one here who objects, let us proceed with the ceremony."

FATHER ON TAPE: Spotlight, music, and tape on. "Oh Julia, my dear, sweet daughter, I wish I could object. So many times I have tried to take from my own heart the feelings I have about the temple and graft them into your heart. I remember looking at temple pictures with you and driving past the temple saying, "This is where your mother and I were married." I remember that special family home evening we had when you were younger and I asked if I could tell you about your future. You said, " Yes" and I said something like, "Julia, when you get older, you will meet a young man and you'll come home to me and say ''Dad, I met a boy I really like a lot." Then I'll meet him and I'll like him too. Then one day you'll come home and say, "Dad, I don't just like him, I love him, and I want to marry him." and you'll have my blessings. Very early in the morning on the appointed day, I'll come in your room and touch your shoulder and whisper, "Julia, it's time to get up. It's your wedding day." We'll drive through the morning air and park as close as we can to the temple. Once inside we'll all dress in white and go to a room where people get married forever. I'll look at you and think you are the most beautiful daughter in the world, but you won't be looking at me, you'll be looking at him. The room will be peaceful and beautiful. A man of God will be there-one who is ordained to perform that sacred covenant and he will talk to you about your marriage. He'll ask you and your chosen mate to kneel, one on each side of a beautiful altar. As you kneel your hands will join in an eternal clasp. Your wedding ceremony will be performed through the priesthood of God. One that day a partnership will be formed between you, your companion and your Heavenly Father. That partnership will last forever. Oh Julia, how different this marriage is from the one we talked about that night. A man of God is here and he will perform your wedding ceremony, but when he is finished, you'll only be married until this life is over. The story of your unionwill end. Just as your marriage to Jim will come to an end. My dear, sweet Julia, how hard your mother and I have tried to teach you, to show you through our example how important a celestial marriage is, but the decision is yours. How my heart aches. Do you know how much I love you?" Tape, Music, Spotlight off.

MOTHER ON TAPE: Spotlight on mother and tape starts. "Object? Oh Julia, you are my daughter, so precious and dear to me, I love you so much. This is your wedding day, one of the most important days of your life. The decorations are lovely, you look beautiful in your dress, and your friends and family are here. The whole atmosphere is exciting and sweet, but Julia, if you just knew what you are missing. Music starts. The day your father and I went to the temple to be married for time and eternity was one if the most glorious days of our lives-a day we will treasure and hold dear forever. I recall that your grandmother slipped a piece of paper on my pillow the night before my wedding. It said, "Enter the temple as if the floor within were gold; and every wall of jewels; all of wealth untold. As if a choir in robes of fire were singing here. No shout, no rush, only hush... for God is here." Julia from the moment we entered that holy building, the feelings of peace were overpowering. Never before had we felt so united with each other and our Heavenly Father. That glorious day we pledged our eternal love and fidelity each for the other, not just before our friends and loved ones, but in the presence of God and angels. The day we were sealed was the day I really fell in love with your father. I know you sincerely love Jim, but is that enough? If only you would have held out for a temple marriage. We would have given you the support you needed. I love you Julia. The decision is yours."

PLAY SONG "What do you do when the going gets rough and the journey is tough" - Saturday's Warriors

NEIGHBOR ON TAPE: Spotlight and Tape on "Julia, even though I am only your friend and neighbor, I would give anything if I could object to this wedding. Music starts. I have watched as you have grown to a very special young woman. It makes me sad when I see you make the same mistake I did when I got married. I grew up in a strong LDS family like yours, but I wasn't committed to temple marriage. I fell in love with a man much like Jim. I kept telling myself he would change his attitude toward the church once we were married. We had our first baby, Ben. As time went by, things got worse. We weren't a family. We were just three people living together under one roof. Over the years, more babies came, but the arguments over time spent on church things has not stopped. There is great anxiety in not knowing how it will be when we come home from a church meeting. Will it be silence chilled with words not spoken, or a raise of the eyebrows that dismisses the entire subject? Our sweet children can feel the anger, the heartache, and the bitterness. Often they cry because they know things are not as they should be. I love Ben, but my heart aches over the years that have passed because he has not seen fit to take us to the temple. How frightening. How final. How devastating to realize that my marriage, my children, and my family life will end with death, because I failed to follow God's instructions. I wish I had been more committed to all the blessings and promises of a temple marriage. I hope and pray that things will work out better for you." Tape, Music, and Spotlight off.

LAUREL ADVISOR ON TAPE: Spotlight and Tape on. "My mind has been busy playing back bits and pieces of the lessons I gave you when you were in my class. I too, have a great concern for your future happiness. Music starts. Julia, do you remember who you are? You are a daughter of God and because you are His daughter, you have the potential to receive all the glories and blessings that God has promised His children. You are entitled to a queendom. You are heir to the great fortunes of eternal life. What will you do with this prized inheritance? The Lord is very specific and very definite on what he requires of each of us, Julia. The temple endowment is one if the ordinances that is required to enable us to walk back to the presence of our Father in Heaven. Without this endowment we will not be allowed to pass by the angels. You are placing your inheritance in jeopardy, all because a decision was not made and the commitment was not there. Tape, Music, and Spotlight off

PLAY SONG: "Line upon Line, Precept on Precept" (Sat Warriors)

CHILD ON TAPE: Dressed in white. Spotlight-shine on child as she walks down the aisle. "I wish I were here to object. Music starts. A few short years in the future you will be my mother. Your decision to get married in the temple or not affects me too. I am with Heavenly Father now, but one day you will bring my spirit from heaven to live in our home. Julia, will I be born under the covenant? Will you teach me and prepare me to return to my Heavenly Father? Will I know the joy and happiness of belonging to an eternal family? I cannot make these decisions for myself for I am not yet born. You are making them for me for someday you will be my mother."

PLAY SONG: "I am a child of God" Child turns and walks back down aisle. Tape, Music, Spotlight off.

Music starts as Spotlight picks up future husband coming down the aisle.

FUTURE HUSBAND ON TAPE: "Julia, if you would only wait. Music starts. In a few short months, I will return from my mission and you and I will meet. If you will wait, the time will come when you will go to your dad and tell him you have met a boy you really like a lot. Then he'll meet me and he'll like me too. Our friendship will blossom and one night I will tell you that I love you and you will know that you love me too. I will ask you to be my companion, Julia, on this earth and forever as we continue into eternity. On the appointed day you and I will enter the temple of the Lord. We'll dress in white and after you have received your endowments we'll go to the room where we will be married forever. It will be so peaceful and beautiful there. A man of God will be there and he will talk to us about marriage. He'll ask you to kneel on one side of the altar and me on the other side. We'll hold hands and I will look at you and know you are the loveliest young woman in the world. We'll promise to be true to our Father in Heaven and to each other as husband and wife. By the power of the holy priesthood we will be sealed and a partnership will be formed that will bridge death and take us into eternity. When children bless our home we will teach them to walk in the way of the Lord and they will be ours forever. Our home will be blessed with the priesthood. We will have prayer, scriptures, and family home evening in our home. We may or may not become rich in this life, but together we will work toward the riches of eternity. Our circle of love will grow and extend beyond days and years, for in God's eternal plan, life goes on forever and ever. Julia, Julia, will you please wait for me?" Music, and Spotlight off

JULIA: Waking up in bed looking around and stretching. "It isn't true. I'm not really getting married yet. What a wonderful but frightful dream! This dream made me realize that my choice of a husband affects so many more people than myself. No wonder the leaders have cautioned us to be prayerful in our dating."
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How To Suffocate A Woman's Soul And Kill Her Dignity
Friday, Mar 6, 2009, at 08:10 AM
Original Author(s): Jacyn
Topic: WOMEN AND MORMONISM   -Link To MC Article-
Persuade her ...

She was created by a man.

The mother of her spirit is one of a vast eternal harem comprised of millions of "goddesses" who all subject themselves to their male Lord's authority, to whom they are inferior.

The most she can hope for is to become one of a similar Celestial harem.

While God allows his sons to use his power, his daughters are not qualified, not for lack of intelligence or compassion or wisdom or ability, but for lack of physiology.

She must submit to her male priesthood leaders, including her husband, with meekness and without questioning, no matter how stupid and pathetic and wrong they are.

Her soul's entire worth is contained in her physiology, and contingent upon her status as some man's wife and her ability to make babies. Nothing is more important. That is her divine role. Thus, she can't be truly happy doing anything else.

Her feminine body is Satan's tool of temptation. Therefore, she must hide the fact that she is woman, because if men lust after her, it is her fault.

It is her duty to have sex with her husband, even and especially when he's treating her like crap. She must always be unselfish and put his needs ahead of her own.

She is not Annie, or Sarah, or Mary, or Courtney. She is "the wife," Mrs. Peter Priesthood.

If her children make mistakes, it's because she is a bad mother.

Her approved heroines and role models come from a very short list, and include a woman who caused the fall of all mankind (Eve), a woman who snuck into a man's bed so he would be forced to marry her (Ruth), and a woman chosen solely for her physical beauty who risked her life by simply talking to her husband so she could plead for the lives of her people (Esther). Her ultimate heroine is a virgin, most beautiful and fair above all other virgins, who was selected to be the mother of a God. Thus, her ultimate heroine is placed high above her to emphasize her inadequacy.

Women who don't conform to the foregoing June Cleaver-like philosophies of men are harlots, temptresses, murderers, and incestuous -- preferring to have sex with their own intoxicated fathers than to be childless.

If she pursues here own desires, pleasures and dreams, she is selfish.

She must bow her head and say, "Yes."
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Prophets' Irresponsible Advice To Marry Young And Have Children Regardless Of Educational Status
Tuesday, Mar 17, 2009, at 08:40 AM
Original Author(s): Bennion
Topic: WOMEN AND MORMONISM   -Link To MC Article-
From the Pamphlet, "To the Mothers in Zion"

"Young mothers and fathers, with all my heart I counsel you not to postpone having your children, being co-creators with our Father in heaven.

Do not use the reasoning of the world, such as, "We'll wait until we can better afford having children, until we are more secure, until John has completed his education, until he has a better paying job, until we have a larger home, until we've obtained a few of the material conveniences," and on and on.

This is the reasoning of the world and is not pleasing in the sight of God. Mothers who enjoy good health, have your children and have them early. And, husbands, always be considerate of your wives in the bearing children.

Do not curtail the number of your children for personal or selfish reasons. Material possessions, social convenience, and so-called professional advantages are nothing compared to a righteous posterity. In the eternal perspective, children--not possessions, not position, not prestige--are our greatest jewels."

http://fc.byu.edu/jpages/ee/w_etb87.htm

I remember this advice well from my teenage and young adult days in TSCC. It was drilled into us by our local ward and stake leaders also. This ill begotten advice has caused and continues to cause more damage than the Mormon leadership would like to admit.

Although many people rush to TSCC's defense and say that this is no longer taught the sad fact is that many leaders within Mormonism still believe this tripe wholeheartedly. Many of these pamphlets are still floating around and there are more than enough self-proclaimed leaders in the Mormon church that are all to willing to manipulate and pressure others.
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As A Devout Mormon Woman, Did You *feel* Equal? Now That You Look Back, *were* You?
Tuesday, Mar 24, 2009, at 07:51 AM
Original Author(s): Punky's Dilemma
Topic: WOMEN AND MORMONISM   -Link To MC Article-
The blog that Jim Huston was posting on has got me thinking about times in my young adulthood where I was bewildered that *anyone* would see LDS women as disempowered.

Of course, I was 19-21ish, going to school, and unmarried.

After getting married, the more years that passed where my peers were bearing children, while I was still childless and in school, the more I understood what outsiders could already see. All of these 20 something women dropping out of school while their husbands stayed in, living at the poverty level and raising children. And always, *always* putting a good face on it, despite private expressions of depression, despair, and regret.

Which, of course, got externalized at *me* from time to time. Other women wished that *they* were still in school, or that they had finished their degrees, and some of them dealt with it by asking pointed questions about when I would have a baby.

I wasn't very open about my fertility issues. Left to my own devices, I would have joined them and prematurely ended my education. I almost did at several points, but those pregnancies did not result in living children.

By the time I had my first living child, my friends all had 2-3 children, and were at home. I remained in school, and finished my Ph.D. Following that, I "opted out" and became a full-time SAHM.

Which was a *disaster* I was intellectually unstimulated, depressed, and unchallenged. People can and likely will politicize this comment, but caring for one child all day in a tidy little house in the suburbs in mind-numbingly boring and relatively easy. I was going crazy slowly. I was planning meals out a month in advance, and had Martha Stewarted the hell out of my life. I had too much time, and not enough challenge.

Soon after, for entirely different reasons, I left the mormon church, and found my way back into the world of work. My husband remarked that I had returned to "normal." I was happy, energetic, and enthusiastic again. I became pregnant with our second child. I continued working in different capacities and at a couple of different positions. And, what I found in my personal experience is what many vocational psychologists already empirically knew. Vocation is a primary source of self-esteem and self-competence in people's lives. If my vocation had been as a homemaker, I may have been much happier as a SAHM. But it wasn't for me (or for my kids, for that matter. And, as I got better, everything else got better.

I work a compressed week, so that I can spend more time with my children. At this moment while I am typing, I am listening to them laugh and play in the next room. I do not feel depression, regret, or doubt about my decisions to work. I'm not here to say what other people's choices should be. All families are different, and have different needs and different resources/opportunities. But, I do know that if I had followed the "counsel" of the mormon authorities and traditions of mormon culture, by this point in my life I would be an emotional wreck, and trying desperately to portray the opposite.

I know that I got to this point through a great deal of luck, and due to some unconscious part of me that constantly sought to preserve my self-hood in the middle of enormous pressure to deny it.

And I know, without a doubt, that had I allowed the LDS church and culture to exchange my inner voice for the voice of the "spirit" I could not have survived my LDS experience intact.
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"Avoiding The Appearance Of Evil." Now I'm Offended.
Wednesday, Jun 17, 2009, at 07:46 AM
Original Author(s): Sandie
Topic: WOMEN AND MORMONISM   -Link To MC Article-
Years ago, I could not get a ride to the location where the temple bus was located, 5 miles from home. The bus trip took 3 hours one way.

I called around and found out that only males were going; the mothers had Mom duty.

But, I could not get a ride to the pick up spot because the males could not take a female alone in their car.

Finally, in despiration, I called the bishop for a ride. He was going, but couldn't pick me up either. I explained, "But I'm going to miss the temple trip!"

He replied, "God will understand."

Me: "But I *really* want to go.

Bishop: "I cannot take you."

No one offered to pay for cab fare. I certaintly wasn't going to pay for it since one of the brothers going lived one street over.

Here we are at the present situation: I signed up to help out at the Christian youth camp.

I'm going to be driving alone for three hours because the other person scheduled to go and serve the youth is a male. OK....

So...We can't travel in the SAME car together.

The male's response: "I (meaning him) don't drive alone in a car or be anywhere with a woman. If I don't, I don't put myself at risk. If we don't travel together, then I am not at risk."

I responded, "See you there!"

At risk for what?

What offends me is that I have more respect for MYSELF and the other person to NOT put him (anyone else for that matter) in a compromising position.

I even explained the need to avoid the appearance of evil, but that my DH and I have no problem with me picking up ANYONE in route to the camp.

The person in question is nearly 70 years old. I haven't had any wet dreams about humping the guy.

He lives one parallel road off the main drag through town, and it wouldn't take 5 minutes to get to his home.

I'm venting. I respect his decision, but there are times when these types of situations have that "stupidity factor."

This is one of them.
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You Want To Know What It's Like To Be Single In Mormondom?
Thursday, Jun 25, 2009, at 09:50 AM
Original Author(s): Deenie, The Dreaded Single Adult
Topic: WOMEN AND MORMONISM   -Link To MC Article-
The first time someone ever told me "It's okay if you're not married; heavenly father will assign you a husband in the CK!"--I was 19 years old.

Yes, 19. With a "1" in the front. Nine-TEEN. And they thought I needed to be consoled because of my unmarried status.

I should have gotten the big clue and run like heck, but I didn't. After all, I was dating. A lot. With long-term relationships, and everything. I wasn't worried.

So I just blew it off.

I wish I'd run...

Rather than go back through all of the stories I've recounted on this board (don't worry; I'll repeat them if they're topical), I'll give a big summary:

The mormon church treats all unmarried members as if they are children.

(Note: In my stake, that refers to 'never-married' only; divorced folks, unmarried moms--both are higher up on the 'have a right to live' scale. I've heard otherwise from some folks, but in my stake, never-married meant "lower than a snake's belly.")

Amusing anecdote: A 15-year-old girl in our ward became pregnant. I was home from college (where I'd been baptized) and working full-time. The ward held a baby shower, but I didn't feel that I ought to attend; I'd never met the girl, personally, and wasn't making a ton of money, myself... The Sunday after the shower, I was accosted by a woman in the ward: "Why didn't you come to Betty Boop's shower, and bring a gift?"

I was caught completely off-guard, and stammered, "Well, I...I...I don't even know her, or her family, really, and I didn't think I'd be missed...she doesn't know me..."

"Nonsense!" the woman thundered, "since you're both the same age!"

I was 25--ten YEARS older than the teen! But, as an unmarried woman, I was deemed her equal.

Ward and stake singles' activities are planned and held the way Primary and YM/YW activities are: Everyone meets at the church building; rides are arranged by the "leader," (or the event is held at the church building); all events must be on a 'calendar' a year in advance--which eliminates most seasonal or community events, since the dates can't be determined before they're announced. During my stints as singles' ward activities chair, or stake singles' activity coordinator (before we had the singles' ward), I tried to inject some life into the same old grind of board game night, movie night, dance, Fast-Sunday dinner...and again the next month...and again the next month... (Even the movies had to be Disney or old, old classic...'Wuthering Heights' from 1939 had to be stopped in the middle, so we could be admonished that Cathy Earnshaw should *not* be drinking an alcoholic beverage to ward off a chill, when she's brought into the Linton's home, injured...)

We had one bishop who delighted in bringing his family's home movies of their vacations for all of us to watch, as a "fireside" or "FHE." I made sure I was on the refreshment committee for those nights, with lots and LOTS to prepare...!!

Anyway, all changes that would make the activites more age-appropriate and fun were either complained about or totally forbidden... Meet at a theater, to buy tickets to a current movie? No way! Schedule an all-day outing to Point Pelee Park in Canada (not very far...and long before 9/11...)--shocking! (but we did it!)

I was met with opposition at every turn, until I was finally released when I flat-out refused to comply with a bishop's demands.

Activities such as decorating the inside covers of copies of the BoM for missionaries--with crayons, markers, glitter, and Polaroid photos of ourselves...and testimonies, of course (I'm in doing refreshments, again!); making love-bombing cards or treat plates for inactives; "parties" where you're not allowed to sit and converse, but must play long games like "Trivial Pursuit" or "Pictionary" in teams all night; museum "field trips," where we all walk together in a big lump from one exhibit to the next; putt-putt golf (again, in big, clumpy teams)...all things you could easily do with a Brownie or Cub Scout troop--these were the activities the singles were supposed to enjoy.

Our comments and opinions were not respected in RS; rolled eyes, and even audible comments like, "What does SHE know? She's not even MARRIED!" were common.

Lack of respect for college-educated women who were supporting themselves: Weekly comment in the 'family' ward (I'm not kidding!), "So, do you still work at that...uh...PLACE?" Me: "Yes; it's called a school, and I am the teacher..." They persisted in treating me as if I were some migrant fruit-picker, who roamed from job to job as the seasons turned. I worked at the same job for 23 years. I swear to God, *every week* in the family ward, that dialog played itself out.

As the years went on, and I wasn't married (and was eventually booted out of the Singles' ward that I helped create), my self-esteem eroded until I no longer recognized myself. I was, one day, shocked to realize the difference between the 'me' I saw on Friday and Saturday night, singing in coffeehouses or at jams with non-mo friends (who I found after being kicked out of the singles' ward...but that's another story)--and the 'me' of Sunday morning, directing the music, then shuffling off with my head down (often out the back door, to get a bagel and herbal tea durning Sunday School!), slinking into RS (if I came back), and then hopping out the back door before anyone noticed me--and made a crack about why I was single, or why I didn't do this, that, or the other thing; why I didn't donate more money/time/free music lessons/whatever to their cause-'o-the-moment...

As I said, I was shocked. And scared. If I kept going to church, would the real 'me' disappear altogether?

It seemed likely.

So I left--and never looked back.

Whew!! That was a long one!
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The Church Damages Women
Tuesday, Jul 21, 2009, at 07:38 AM
Original Author(s): Kaleidoscope
Topic: WOMEN AND MORMONISM   -Link To MC Article-
As I distance myself from the church I am finally able to really see the shit I accepted as reality. I am really seeing the damage I allowed the organization to inflict on me through my choices which I based on following the prophet. And I am pissed.

For example…when I had our first kid I quit my job and stayed home because that is what the prophet said I should do. We definitely could have used my income since DH was in school full time. I stayed at home for at least 13 years…my only friends were ward members, I mostly read church books, saw no R-rated movies, we even had church leaders saying not to watch the news. I had totally shut myself off from truly normal society.

Don’t get me wrong, staying home with my kids was wonderful and I am glad I was there for them, however I am seeing the damage… time for myself lost, friendships lost, personal growth lost. I think women in the church are damaged unless they are able to break free of the cloning mentality and really expand themselves beyond the church, which is so hard to do because being a good mormon woman totally controls your whole life.

I am realizing that as I leave the mormon lifestyle behind I really didn’t have as many true friends as I thought, it is a sad realization that this organization had such a negative effect that I am still just figuring out how deep it really goes.

I am so glad to be putting all the bullshit behind me!
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Scamming The Young Women
Friday, Oct 1, 2010, at 08:54 AM
Original Author(s): Willy Law
Topic: WOMEN AND MORMONISM   -Link To MC Article-
Maybe some of you ladies that went through the YW program can chime in and agree or disagree with my wife and I.

We were having a conversation at lunch today about our wedding. Even in our TBM days we used to joke about what a horrible day it was. The only slot we could get in the assembly line that is the SLC temple wedding machine was 8AM. Which means we had to be at the temple at 6AM. Neither of us are morning people and it made for a groggy morning that got worse as the morning went on.

Anyway we started talking about how that temple wedding is built up to the YW from the time they are 12. They are indoctrinated to believe that their temple wedding will surpass any wedding they could imagine outside of the temple. To us this is a complete scam.

Most of these girls have been to civil weddings and seen how beautiful they are and what a special day it is for the bride, their families and friends. They are then told how much more wonderful their wedding will be inside the temple. We estimated that 90% of women married in the temple have never seen a sealing before, they really have no idea what they are in for and take their leaders words as gospel that it is far and away more special than a civil wedding.

Then they arrive at the temple at 6AM, too tired to comprehend what is going on. They are dressed in strange clothes and escorted into room where their husband to be is dressed like the bastard child of a masonic french baker.

The ceremony itself is devoid of any expression of love or affection for your spouse, instead you are given some instruction by some old guy dressed in white that neither of you know and then you answer yes to something read directly from DandC.

This is a classic bait and switch. For now these YW are magic underwear wearing members of the masonic endowment club. The day most of them have been dreaming of becomes, like my wife, just a blur of confusion and let downs that you cannot discuss with anyone.
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Testimonies The Church Would Rather Have You Not See
Tuesday, Nov 2, 2010, at 07:49 AM
Original Author(s): Weeder
Topic: WOMEN AND MORMONISM   -Link To MC Article-
There were two things that really made me look closer at the church with a critical eye as a TBM. I was really and UBER-church-history buff and for several years I spent two or three days of my work week in the Church Historian's office looking at old documents (this was well before the serious security crackdowns on those materials).

The two items of historical interest that I think EVERY mormon should read are these:
  1. Women of Mormondom
  2. Colleted Poems of Eliza R. Snow (2 vols.)
While every latter-day saint has sung "O My Father" a million times that is about as far as most people have gotten in discovering the beautiful poetry of Eliza (even if you don't agree with her sentiments). She has been the only female in mormonism designated a "prophetess" -- and yet VERY few mormons even know much at all about what she wrote about.

Her works taught me (as a TBM) the beauty of the Adam-God doctrine (which is very, VERY un-Christian if you ask me) and what is more, in Women of Mormondom, her voice isn't the only "testimony".

These books illustrate how thinking mormons thought about their religion in the late 19th century -- and it is a far FAR cry from ANYTHING being taught in the church today (which is pretty easy now-a-days now that the message is: pay tithes and hate gays and vote GOP). The Church has taken considerable efforts to make sure these materials are very hard to come by -- and I witnessed those efforts first hand.

Fortunately the "Women of Mormonism" is such that one can still find copies, -- the volumes of poetry, unfortunately, is quite completely in control of the church and so one would be very hard pressed to gain access to these collected poems today -- the Church just doesn't want you to go there. I feel happy (for myself) that I was able to see and read these things and know how much the Saints of the 1890s believed Adam was God -- Heavenly Father, and how their notion of creation so differs from what is taught today.
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What Patriarchal Nonsense?
Monday, Nov 8, 2010, at 07:49 AM
Original Author(s): Msjack
Topic: WOMEN AND MORMONISM   -Link To MC Article-
1. The church teaches that husbands "preside" over their wives. See the Proclamation on the Family. The Dictionary definition of "preside" is "to exercise authority or control." My husband does not exercise authority over me or control me.

2. The church teaches that wives are to "hearken" to their husbands. See the endowment ceremony. Prior to 1990, the wording was "obey." I do not "hearken" to my husband nor do I obey him; we mutually and lovingly submit to one another according to each others' needs.

3. The church teaches that only men hold priesthood authority. There is no such thing as equality without equal access to authority. I don't believe that my husband holds any power or authority that I cannot hold.

4. The church teaches that leadership in the home is supposed to be "patriarchal." "Patriarchal" means "rule by men." My husband does not rule in my home at all, let alone by virtue of being a man.

5. The church teaches that women should choose homemaking and childrearing over having a career. I am in graduate school training for a full-time career with my husband's blessing and he nurtures and cares for our daughter every bit as much as I do. There's even a possibility he will be a full-time SAHP someday.

I agree that many, many individual Mormon families functionally ignore what the LDS church teaches about male headship in the home. That is because our society is trending towards egalitarianism and they are following society's trends, not because the LDS church is leading the charge.

Many LDS church manuals still contain quotes about male headship and female submission.
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Bishop Treated My Rape As A Law Of Chastity Violation
Friday, Dec 17, 2010, at 07:39 AM
Original Author(s): Anonymous
Topic: WOMEN AND MORMONISM   -Link To MC Article-
I’ve never been good with change, and any decision for me takes a long time to think over. Even while I am making purchases, I will agonize on whether I should actually buy something for weeks before I take the step to actually make the purchase. I am very calculated and I study and read constantly, so to this day, my conversion to Mormonism is shocking and can only be attributed to the fact that I was still suffering from a personal trauma.

I experimented in Mormonism in high school because I had lots of Mormon friends and it was a great place to be social, plus it was very interesting to me. As I continued to read into Mormonism I became more and more turned off by the sexism, the racism, and the homophobia, just to name a few. I was also sick and tired of lessons with the missionaries and I was sick of them asking me to be baptized, but I went off to college in the fall and with that I left Mormonism behind me.

I thought I was done forever when I got to school, and for the entire year, I was right. I had friends who I could be my liberal-non-modest self with and I was very happy. My year seemed to go very well until I was brutally attacked and raped by a close friend. When I returned home early from school I was a wreck and the only people home were all my Mormon friends, so naturally I flocked right back to the church ,and when I was asked if I would commit to be baptized I said yes and was baptized a week later. I was so in need of being in control of my life, having control over something, I chose to be baptized and little did I know, that the church would not help me get over my rape, or help me regain control over my life. I should have known though.

My friends could tell that something was wrong with me, I was no longer the girl accepting dates left and right, I was no longer the loud, energetic, adventurous and lovable Caitie they used to know. So finally I broke down and told one of my friends whom I was very very close to. Things started to get better and as the summer went on I started to become my normal self, so much in fact that I was distraught and almost caught off guard to see myself in the church again, in fact actually a member of the church. For the rest of the summer the Bishop kept me on a watch of some sort due to my associations that were “troubling”. I volunteered at Planned Parenthood and I worked for two gay men, and I was a vocal supporter of Gay rights on Facebook and social events outside of the church.

When everyone left to go back to school, I stayed home. I was not ready to return to my college yet and I was in no rush to do so. But once all my friends left, I stopped attending the church. In my absence I was often love bombed with cookies and scripture quotes and candles and assorted methods many Relief Societies tend to utilize. I left the church alone, but they didn’t leave me alone. Two weeks ago I received a call from my Bishop asking for an appointment to meet with me, and wanting him to call off the love bombs I consented.

When I arrived at the meeting he began with the typical small talk and then started asking me if I was following the law of chastity, the WoW and all of those regular questions. I was caught off guard but I answered all truthfully, that yes, I was following all those rules, because naturally they come to me, not because I was a practicing Mormon. His face grew angry and then he started to admonish me for lying to him, that he has heard from a reputable source that I have broken the law of chastity and have engaged in an abortion. He listed off such personal details I started to cry. He was reciting my rape experience, except in a way where I was the party to blame, the loose one. I was in complete shock that my friend had betrayed me so much, but also that my Bishop was blaming me for my rape. He was trying to tell me how I have disgraced my good name when I got up and left the meeting. So far he has tried to contact me since that meeting, but I am furious. At the moment I am in a state where I am not sure how to react to the church but I can’t say I am too surprised.
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I Was Raped At 15 By My 30-Year-Old, Priesthood-Holding Stepbrother
Friday, Dec 17, 2010, at 07:41 AM
Original Author(s): Anonymous
Topic: WOMEN AND MORMONISM   -Link To MC Article-
And now you know why I resigned.

I was raped at 15 by my 30-year-old, priesthood-holding stepbrother. He was never prosecuted. He was excommunicated. I was also put through a bishop's court (as a minor, with no parental guidance or supervision) and disciplined by the bishop. I believe I was put on probation (half a step down from disfellowship) for six months. After six months, I approached the bishop to ask to be reinstated. He told me he didn't think I'd forgiven myself yet and he'd reinstate me in a few months when he thought I'd properly repented. I remember blinking at that a few times and then asked, "Forgive myself for WHAT, exactly? I didn't take advantage of anyone; what do I have to forgive myself for?"

Because there is no reasonable answer to that question, he told me to pray for the answer to it, and left me standing there, boiling furious. I left the church as soon as I turned 18. When the Elizabeth Smart case came up, I heard Ed Smart say her bishop told her she was still pure and chaste. The double standard -- a cute, blonde, high-profile Utah mormon vs. a "mission field" kid who was the child of nobody parents -- the inconsistency in church policy, all of it brought back every bit of that white-hot livid rage at being blamed and punished for my own rape and made to feel like a filthy whore for not fighting to the death.

So yeah. It happens a lot. I'm sorry. Go to www.rainn.org, find yourself some counseling and if you think it's right for you, leave the church. Do not allow the bishop to try and convict you for this. He will. I would even consider retaining an attorney, if you can, and sue him for... something. Too bad "blame the victim" isn't against the law. You could sue for slander if you hear anything about your case from the ward grapevine. Or libel if you can get a copy of anything he wrote down and distributed (like copies of his notes from the interview).
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The Truth - Reasons For Female Grass Roots Opposition ERA In 70's
Wednesday, Jan 12, 2011, at 08:05 AM
Original Author(s): Anagrammy
Topic: WOMEN AND MORMONISM   -Link To MC Article-
This is what I experienced. The reason women opposed the ERA were very personal and they were made personal by the fears of Mormon housewives. I was living in Pleasant Grove and it was 1973 and I was a single mother raising five children.

Word came through Relief Society that a woman in Richfield had done some research and formed a PAC called the Hot Doggers. She claimed that women were being offered a "hot dog" instead of a "steak." She was exposing the truth behind the Equal Rights Amendment. The Richfield group distributed mimeographed sheets (purple ink) listing the various reasons this proposed Equal Rights Amendment was BAD for women--and that we MOrmon women had to stand up and save the family. We were being tricked by feminists.

A group of us drove down to Richfield and met with these women. It really was just a bunch of housewives who were pretty worked up. There argument was that women had a privileged place in society and this ERA was going to tear that down and make us the same--they were going to take away our privileges:

*the privilege of the presumption of custody of children going to the mother in divorces.

*we would have to compete with men on equal footing as to who could provide the best home for the children. Women are plunged into poverty after divorce and we can't earn as much, so they could show a judge that they could afford a live-in nanny and could afford to keep the children in the same home. Divorced women would all be replaced by professional nannies.

*history has shown that equality means the lowest common denominator. We would lose the couches that employers are required to provide in women's restrooms in the workplace. Now no one, men or women, would have a place to lie down.

*unisex bathrooms means you would have to take your children into a men's bathroom. Men are pigs--have you ever looked inside a filling station men's room? Its where they have that homosexual activity.

*men will stop opening doors for women.

*the ERA is unfair UNTIL wages are equal. Women shouldn't be saddled with the same responsibilities without an equal ability to meet those responsibilities financially.

*our young girls will be drafted into the military.

*mothers with babies will be drafted and since there's no preference for the female as a caregiver, the father can choose to care for the baby and avoid going to war that way.

*our young women will be forced into combat.

*our daughters will be raped in the military.

*our daughters would risk becoming POW's and living the live of a sex slave, if not killed or mutilated outright.

These are just the ones I remember off the top of my head.

The Richmond group and our Pleasant Grove group met at the Eagle Forum for their next monthly meeting and Phyllis Schlafly was there. She had basically appropriated all these arguments and added the over-arching "This threatens the family" title and the mobilization began in earnest. The Richfield woman's name faded into the dust and Phyllis became the spokesperson for the preservation of preferential treatment for women.

I hope this explains some of what has dimmed over time and why so many women, including me, opposed the ERA. It appears to be irrational from today's perspective, but it was just your basic cult fear mongering.
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The "Young Women" Program Is Just The Frosting On The Cult
Tuesday, Feb 1, 2011, at 07:38 AM
Original Author(s): Villager
Topic: WOMEN AND MORMONISM   -Link To MC Article-
Of all the programs in the LDS church, I have to rate the YW as the absolute worst. I am biased because I have daughters who have participated to some degree.

The new young women's president in our ward called me one day when my youngest daughter was laurel age. She knew I wasn't active and I am sure it took some courage on her part to call me and be upfront about the church. We were friends before her calling and hopefully still are. I appreciate her call so that we could have a truthful conversation about my daughter and the mormon churches desire to indoctrinate her.

She asked me what I wanted my daughter to gain from the Young Womens Program. I told her we are part of the neighborhood and I want the girls to be friends and that is all. On the occasion my daughter wants to attend it will be her choice, but there really isn't anything that YW offers that I want for my daughter. Nada.

I told her I am especially bothered by the church encouraging young marriages and not encouraging girls to get an education before getting married. I don't care if my daughter marries in the temple or not, I would just as soon she didn't. I certainly don't want her to feel like a failure if she doesn't.

She admitted that LDS girls are getting married awfully young and that there are a "few" lessons on marriage. (She has a graduate degree and is very talented.) I told her I had looked at the personal progress book and noted that the main objective of the program was to prepare teen girls for early temple marriages. This starts at age 13 and it isn't really what I want for my daughter.

My daughter attended a few times but then came home one night and said she wasn't going anymore. I asked what happened. She said they always call and tell her they are having a super fun activity, she decides to go and then it turns into something like scripture reading or a church lesson. She isn't familiar with BOM scripture so she just feels stupid. It was just bait and switch and it wasn't ever very fun.

So please if you are considering letting your daughter attend this creepy toxic YW program get all the materials and read through them first.

Here is a link that is just an example what they are being taught.

http://www.suite101.com/content/lds-mutual-activity-on-temple-marriage-a136556

Thanks for letting me rant.
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I See This As A Huge Stumbling Block To The Future Of LDS Inc
Monday, Apr 18, 2011, at 08:43 AM
Original Author(s): Brother Of Jerry
Topic: WOMEN AND MORMONISM   -Link To MC Article-
Not that there aren't plenty of other stumbling blocks, but this is going to be a biggie.

I knew a woman in Utah who worked as an engineer for Rocky Mtn Power. Her job was to work with companies building factories to determine what power they needed and how it should be delivered - 110V, 220V, two phase, three phase, how many transformers, feeder lines, that sort of thing.

She said it drove her nuts to work with Mormon corporate officers, particularly in Utah County (south SL County and central Utah were her primary areas) because many of them had no idea how to interact with a woman.

Some were completely incapable of making eye contact, and the concept of asking for advice from a woman and then taking it just made their brains freeze up.

Of course, inside LDS Inc, you will never see a woman "preside" at any meeting containing any priesthood members - i.e. any male over the age of 12 that is minimally active in LDS Inc.

Contrast this to the outside world where having a female supervisor, shift manager, project manager, general manager, lawyer, doctor, or coworker with authority and responsibility equal to a male coworker is the norm, and in some cases is the more likely case, rather than exception, these days.

Most people born after 1970 or so are going to look at the social organization of LDS Inc and think WTF.

LDS Inc is a lot like the Amish, except instead of freezing itself culturally in the early 17th century, they have frozen themselves at 1957.

It didn't look that odd at first to be frozen at 1957, but as that time recedes farther into the past, we are starting to reach that WTF moment. As in: "Women have to wear dresses to services, and can never be in charge of a group unless it is 'just' other women and children? WTF?"

There are a lot of academically and athletically talented women at BYU. Why their heads just don't explode from cognitive dissonance is beyond me.
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Woman Make Me Donuts Or Lose Your Salvation!
Tuesday, Apr 19, 2011, at 11:05 AM
Original Author(s): Jod3:360
Topic: WOMEN AND MORMONISM   -Link To MC Article-
"Tonight I am attending with a son, sons-in-law, and grandsons. Where are their mothers? Gathered in the kitchen of our home! What are they doing? Making large batches of homemade doughnuts! And when we return home, we will feast on those doughnuts. While we enjoy them, these mothers, sisters, and daughters will listen intently as each of us speaks of things he learned here tonight. It’s a nice family tradition, symbolic of the fact that everything we learn and do as priesthood bearers should bless our families."

- Apostle Russell M. Nelson, "Our Sacred Duty to Honor Women," Ensign, May 1999

Brigham Young would surely sustain Nelsons words, and chastize any woman not pleased with her lot:

Sisters, do you wish to make yourselves happy? Then what is your duty? It is for you to bear children... are you tormenting yourselves by thinking that your husbands do not love you? I would not care whether they loved a particle or not; but I would cry out, like one of old, in the joy of my heart, ‘I have got a man from the Lord! Hallelujah! I am a mother...’”

- Prophet Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, v. 9, p. 37

Outrage you say? Surely the woman who loves her children and her God would stand by her man and feed him donuts and give him his props for being her ticket to the Celestial Kingdom:

Do you uphold your husband before God as your lord? "What!–my husband to be my lord?" I ask, Can you get into the celestial kingdom without him? Have any of you been there? You will remember that you never got into the celestial kingdom without the aid of your husband. If you did, it was because your husband was away, and some one had to act proxy for him. No woman will get into the celestial kingdom, except her husband receives her, if she is worthy to have a husband; and if not, somebody will receive her as a servant.

Author: Erastus Snow Source: Journal Of Discourses Volume: 5 Page: 291

Perhaps this seems harsh dear sisters, but do you really deserve the love of your Priesthood holder? And what of you, you holders of the Priesthood, do you deserve to be loved by your wife? No, not unless you provide her with salvation in the heavenly kingdom:

When the wife secures to herself a glorious resurrection, she is worthy of the full measure of the love of the faithful husband, but never before. And when a man has passed through the vail, and secured to himself an eternal exaltation, he is then worthy of the love of his wife and children, and not until then, unless he has received the promise of and is sealed up unto eternal lives. Then he may be an object fully worthy of their affections and love on the earth, and not before.

Journal of Discourses Vol.3:360 Brigham Young

So wives, make those donuts for your lord, and men, be faithful so that you can get your wife into heaven and eventually earn her love. And may we find true future happiness in the next world as a reward for following the words of our prophets and giving up our happiness in this world...
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Young Womens Camp Is Just Mormon Indoctrination Camp
Friday, Apr 22, 2011, at 08:00 AM
Original Author(s): Ca Girl
Topic: WOMEN AND MORMONISM   -Link To MC Article-
My daughter's YW leader dropped by her information for camp - not that my daughter has expressed the slightest interest in going away with the Mormons for a week. But of course, the leaders don't let that stop them. But since daughter has a couple of friends going, I thought I'd let her decide if she wants to go and hold my breath that she'd decide not to go. No worries. Daughter was completely turned off of camp when she saw that 6 of the first 8 items on the packing list were:

Scriptures - Personal Progress Book - Strength of the Youth Book - May 2011 Conference Ensign - Journal - Pen.

Geez, they aren't even subtle about it. Right off the bat, you know you are going to get trained in Mormonism. Camping is secondary. If you are a YW, the church leaders are just taking you off into the wilderness, away from your family, to have Mormonism pounded into your head.

And, they are only going for 3 nights - Tuesday p.m. to Friday a.m. The Boy Scouts (i.e. Young Men) go from Monday a.m. to Saturday afternoon.
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Teaching Our Youth To Fear And Shun. A Lesson In Faith For The Young Women.
Monday, May 16, 2011, at 08:00 AM
Original Author(s): The Man In Black
Topic: WOMEN AND MORMONISM   -Link To MC Article-
When looking for proof of the indoctrination of Mormon youth to ostracize, shun, and live lives of intolerance, one need look no further than the official lessons.

Here are a few gems of enlightenment from a the young women's manual.
"What will people be doing throughout eternity?

Civil: Those who have the opportunity to receive the covenant of eternal marriage in a holy temple but choose to be married outside the temple may enter into the celestial kingdom or one of the other kingdoms. But they cannot be exalted and live eternally with their families. They will live as single people and ministering servants to those who chose to follow God’s plan. They will lose great blessings because “they think more of the world and its covenants, than they do of God and his covenants”

Temple: Those who marry in the holy temple and are faithful to the covenants they make there will become gods and goddesses.

What will be the state of the family in eternity?

"Civil: Those who are married only for time will have no claim upon their family members in the next life. They will live as single people. This will be a source of great sorrow for them.

Temple: Those who are married in the temple and live worthily throughout their lives will be united with their righteous parents, brothers and sisters, and children for eternity."

Other favorite phrases: "Sacred Triangle."
http://lds.org/manual/print/young-wom...

If it's not already obvious what does this teach a young woman? It teaches her that her marriage is trash if she's not married in the temple. It teaches her to prioritize her wedding location over the qualities of her spouse. It teaches a young woman that if she marries a non-Mormon she is doomed. What an uplifting little message!

Also, the lesson doesn't say it directly (but it implies it), an unworthy or non-believing spouse is not worth having.

Teach em while their young and you can get em to believe all kinds of great stuff. You know, like, "Youth, trained girls as physically fit future mothers and homemakers." And of course, "Youth leaders used tightly controlled group activities and staged propaganda events such as mass rallies full of ritual and spectacle to create the illusion of one national community..."

http://www.ushmm.org/wlc/en/article.p...

http://www.ushmm.org/museum/exhibit/o...
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Bare Shoulders Are Not The Same As A Double-Pierced Ear
Friday, Jun 24, 2011, at 08:06 AM
Original Author(s): Elder Berry
Topic: WOMEN AND MORMONISM   -Link To MC Article-
I love how Mormons draw the most attenuated links to fit their standards.

http://www.mormontimes.com/article/21...
"Whether you agree with her stance or not, you have to respect and admire her commitment to her faith, especially when it would be so much easier for her to give in to pressure, living half a world away from home."
I don't have to respect and admire her at all. So, if a religion doesn't allow a woman's face to be uncovered and she wants to play basketball, Team Burka will appear on the scene?

I admire her dedication and commitment to basketball, not her religion. I think she is silly. Why did Steve Young play football on The Sabbath Via? Huh? No article about me having to respect and admire him in his sports playing?
"The young man made the observation that someone who didn't heed the prophet's counsel on something so seemingly trivial as earrings may be a portent of one unwilling to make more important sacrifices as a future spouse."
I do admire and respect people with firm convictions religious or otherwise, but when you mix them together with obvious contradiction and you do it willingly like the woman playing basketball and requiring her whole team to adhere to her standards for their team to play is just a silly contradiction. It is like a musician with a religion that prohibits the playing of music just not the creation of it. All of the sudden I HAVE TO respect his not attending a debut concert of his own music for fear he would hear it?

Why people admire the absurdities human life creates in following its various and often nonsensical beliefs is beyond me. I admire their personal convictions when they are personal. when they become public spectacles I do not admire them.

I actually admire the young man who is willing to follow his prophet in a totally ridiculous standard more than I would ever admire a young woman forcing her team to ape her for her religion.
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Top 5 Ways To Know You Are An LDS Young Woman
Tuesday, Sep 13, 2011, at 12:50 PM
Original Author(s): Lost
Topic: WOMEN AND MORMONISM   -Link To MC Article-
5. The Relief Society President came to your Beehive class and handed out copies of Daughters in my Kingdom, 'cause its not too long before you turn 18.

4. The SP's son, who just got his mission call to Africa, wants you to hold his "quad" for him until he returns.

3. All your Mogas (mormon girlfriends) are exited about the "Temple Dress Tryouts" coming up next week.

2. You feel especially virtuous after the Licked Cupcake lesson in YW and very rigorous worthiness interview with the Bish on Sunday.

Drumroll please:

1. You got the "Dog Food" gift from the Young Woman yesterday.
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Monson Encourages Mormon Young Women To "Believe, Obey, And Endure"
Monday, Mar 26, 2012, at 08:40 AM
Original Author(s): Atheistandhappy
Topic: WOMEN AND MORMONISM   -Link To MC Article-
If I read the entire talks, I know I will get very angry.

http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/news/53785617-78/girls-monson-women-believe.html.csp

TSM "told the female audience how living their lives in harmony with this year’s theme, "Arise and Shine Forth," would help them live rich, meaningful lives."

The only way to have a rich, meaningful life is to choose your own path as an individual. Life may turn out bad, but at least you know you did your best to live, and enjoy it, and it was YOURS. When anyone tells you to follow their one-size-fits-all directions, there is a problem.

And telling them to "believe, obey and endure" is more propaganda. TSCC is ALL about obedience - so he tells these children to obey so they will become TBM full-tithe payers, who will raise their children to be the same. TSM tells them to beLIEve the fairy tale they are constantly being sold by indoctrination.

It's particularly disgusting that he ties in the normal challenges of being a teenager with the fairy tale battle between Satan, and the Lard. He instills fear that if they do not follow TSCC's specific rules they will not be with their family or gawd in an imaginary afterlife. This is manipulation, and teaches them to rely on TSCC's one-size-fits-all directions for problem solving, and making choices in life, instead of actually using their own reason, and logic. There is no one magic formula for happiness.

The biggest lie of all:

"Wonderful, glorious things are in store for you if you will only believe, obey and endure."

Before he mentioned celebrities portraying "sin" without consequences. This is black and white, all or nothing thinking. TSCC is not all wonderful, and promising them happiness if they will "believe, obey, and endure" is disgusting brainwashing. This is what gets members into the pattern of blaming themselves when things go wrong in life, instead of realizing that bad things happen to everyone. Life is often pain, and random pain too. We can make good choices, and bad things will still happen through no fault of our own. He is teaching them to pray more, obey more, believe more, because they will think they have done something wrong, and that they are not good enough. They will try to solve life's problems with obedience to a useless superstitious formula, instead of using actual solutions.

Most people on this board understand how TSCC's obedient plan for happiness can tear families apart, divide communities, set up false friendships, etc. Loyalty to a church, and its nonsensical rules alienates outsiders as well as anyone who discovers the truth about the fraud, and leaves. Obedience to a lie is more important than truth, and integrity.

These girls should have a meeting on how JS made it up, who was Helen Mar Kimball, and other girls her age that JS coerced into "marrying", and how to live your own authentic life, and not live for others or for a twisted dogma.

Yes, girls, don't even question why a bunch of old, white guys know exactly how you should live your life in detail - including the length of your skirts, your sleeves, earrings, choice of footwear, what is "uplifting", when you should marry, whom you should marry, when you should have children, what you say, drink, and eat, etc., etc. Your male gawd only sends geezers just like him to tell you what to do. Gee, cannot imagine how anyone would mistake this for a cult, especially when obedience to their rules will always separate you from 10% or more of your income, your time, your individual self, etc.
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Do Mormons Have A War On Women?
Thursday, Apr 12, 2012, at 11:43 AM
Original Author(s): Goatsgotohell
Topic: WOMEN AND MORMONISM   -Link To MC Article-
I've really struggled with this and am still trying to sort out my feelings. I'm a female, converted as a young adult. I had always known that when I had children I would like to be a SAHM or at least only need to work part time. The church was such a comfortable fit, with support and praise for those aspirations. In fact, after my first was born and I was still working FT and largely supporting us as my husband finished college I felt guilty for working, questioning as to whether it was more responsible to work or a higher calling to quit and see how god would take care of us! Luckily I remained rational on that one but I really took it hard until I was in a position where I could be a SAHM.

While I was in college I took a philosophy of sex and love class -obviously I'm not a BYU grad. I remember really struggling with some of the ideas discussed - especially a concept that putting women on a pedestal appeared to elevate them but was actually demeaning them. For example, if a man opens a door for a woman because she is a woman - as in not because her arms are full - he supposedly shows that he reveres her womanhood. Actually the message may be that she is inadequate and should rely on men to perform for her tasks that she is capable of. I felt so "elevated" as an LDS woman, that I had an important role, was endowed with special spirituality, that the world was against me but the church was my support. I couldn't see at that time how that pedestal was actually a weight bearing down on me, sinking me below the priesthood.

When I got married I felt the first part of that weight - the covering of my face in the prayer circle, the bowing of my head and saying yes, sharing my temple name but not learning my husbands name. After I had several children and continued in full earnest activity I remember a nomo neighbor asking how I dealt with all the requirements/limitations placed on me by the church - sending my husband off to do church business when I was overwhelmed at home, babysitting (for free) other people's kids when I was overrun with my own because they needed the service, preparing lessons when my time would be better spent teaching my own kids, spending 3 hours at church and then fending off all social invitations so we could keep the sabbath holy. Not really participating in the world outside of the Morg. At that time I could not understand what she meant. I was blessed, the leaders supported me. I did hope that raising spiritual offspring in the CK was a bit more glamorous and easy than raising earthly children. Now that I'm out, I feel fairly used. I had a promising career at one time that I completely gave up. I had interests and desires that did not fit the LDS mold and I didn't act on them. I let the church bully me into decisions that I shouldn't have like marrying in the temple without any of my own family or serving in callings that caused my family difficulty.

What bothers me is that at the time, I would have gone toe to toe with anyone who said that the church was demeaning me. I was to be a priestess and a queen - and now when I read JS's descriptions, I see a virtual porn scene with one guy and a harem of women competing to relieve him of his seed! In my lds days, if I had felt at all confined by the church, I would have studied to find the inspiration to think another way about the opression. I feel sad that there was a part of me that wanted the church to line out my life so that I did not have to. How much of this was my doing? How much the Church's? Why did I think the pedestal was uplifting? How come I could not see the weight it placed on me?
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What It Was Like To Be A Single, Childless Mormon Woman On Mother's Day
Tuesday, May 15, 2012, at 08:10 AM
Original Author(s): Judyblue
Topic: WOMEN AND MORMONISM   -Link To MC Article-
The paper draped over the examination table crinkled loudly every time I took a breath. Was table the right word? It had something resembling a mattress, which made it more like a bed. I wondered why they had to use such noisy paper. It made me self conscious, like trying to unwrap a candy from stiff cellophane in a quiet theater. I kept waiting for the doctor to shush me, but instead she kept talking about the bridges we would cross in the future.

A week earlier I had sat on this crinkly table bed thing and went through a series of tests, some of them painful. Now that the lab had finished the blood work, I was back to hear the results. But it seemed like a wasted trip. The doctor wasn't telling me anything I didn't already know. No one who had dealt with the women's health issues I had for the past three years would expect anything different, which is why I was slightly bored, thinking about crinkly paper, only half-listening when the doctor told me I would never be able to have children.

I was 19.

A few weeks later was Mother's Day. I drove home from college to spend the weekend with my family, and so spent that Sunday at the ward where I had grown up. At the end of sacrament meeting, the bishop stood at the podium and asked all that all women 18 and older please stand up so that the deacons could pass out carnations.

I stayed in my seat. It wasn't an act of rebellion, or because I was embarrassed. In a very logical way, I knew that this little token for "mothers and future mothers" didn't apply to me. I was not a mother, and I would never be a mother. Therefore, no pink carnation for Judyblue. No biggie.

To the women surrounding me, however, it WAS a biggie. My old Laurels adviser was in the pew in front of me. "Judyblue, stand up! Get your flower!"

"That's alright, I don't really want one."

Another woman from my YW days leaned across the aisle. "Judyblue, come one. Get up. You're a woman, you deserve a flower!" The Relief Society president behind me reached down and tugged at my sleeve. "The flower is to thank you for choosing to become a mother one day, even if you aren't one yet!" Even my own mom nudged me. When I begrudgingly got to my feet, all these women beamed at me, like they were proud of me for accepting my inevitable motherhood.

A year later, once again spending the weekend at my parents' house for Mother's Day, I was back at that ward. This time, when the bishop asked all the women to stand to receive their pink carnations and I remained seated, it was because I felt ashamed. I was unworthy of such an honor.

In the year between those two Mother's Days, I had been through hell. It was a rough year. As I watched friends of mine getting married right and left, I had my heart broken twice. I had become increasingly paranoid that no man would ever want to be with me, knowing that I couldn't give him children. After all, the scriptures and general conference talks and Ensign articles that I turned to in times of sadness made it pretty clear that I would be missing out on the only thing worth having in life - motherhood.

When I thought about it, this made sense. After all, God didn't think I was worthy enough to receive answers to my prayers for a testimony. He didn't think I was worthy enough to feel the Spirit. Why would he think I was worthy enough to become a mother, which the church assured me was the greatest and most noble calling one could have?

Over time, I was able to numb myself to those feelings of inadequacy. But every time Mother's Day rolled around, I would duck out of sacrament meeting during the final speaker so I wouldn't have to face the humiliation of accepting a flower unworthily. Each year left a painful memory behind. I couldn't even see a pink carnation without an accompanying stab of guilt.

I have no memory at all of the first Mother's Day after I left the mormon church. I'm sure I spent it with my wonderful mom. I'm sure the family got together and ate good food and played cards and laughed. I don't remember the next year, either. Or the next. Those days aren't significant - they're just lovely Sundays spent with my family, much like any of our other monthly Sunday get-togethers.

I will never get to have children of my own, and sometimes that still hurts. But I will also never again feel like that fact of my biology makes me less of a human being. I will never again feel ashamed when I see a pink carnation.
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Things That Honestly Scared Me About The Church From My Birth Until I Left
Tuesday, Jun 5, 2012, at 07:18 AM
Original Author(s): Lori C
Topic: WOMEN AND MORMONISM   -Link To MC Article-
1. How my first ward that I grew up with and all the people that I loved as my friends and family could suddenly be broken apart and I NEVER saw many of those people again due to newly drawn ward boundaries. It was like someone cut off a piece of my soul and all the "love" I'd been taught about was gone as I could not understand why even as a child all these people I loved and was totally comfortable with were suddenly out of my life.

2. My new ward was in a rougher part of town, I knew no one and had to start completely over with friendships. This was really hard on my young mind.

3. The pressure to get baptized.

4. Turning 11 and going to Merrie Miss and having my first lessons on how when I graduated high school I was to marry an RM and do his dishes, iron his clothes and do all the housework so he could go into the world and fulfill his duties. This terrified me. I was a budding yound woman, good at sports, had a great voice and my entire life was to be based soley around a man. This was terrifying to me.

5. Turning 12 and going to church week after week and hearing the same lessons over and over in YW about marrying young, having many babies, and then in Sunday School about the same stories of JS that I'd already heard a million times. I was at the time watching my mother go through 11 miscarriages and the realities of multiple pregnancies was terrifying to me as I saw what could happen and how tired and angry she was all the time.

6. Feeling like I had to have this extraordinary personality because the older I got the more the people around me were dumbing down and I refused and therefore had to be super human.

7. Turning 16 and hearing that my job as a mother meant I had to sacrifce ALL my desires even staying physically fit to be there for my children and husband. Also being taught that I had to accept polygamy when I died, and that the boys were so insecure with their lot as "men" that they had to be given the priesthood, therefore I was not to show them up with my intelligence, talent, or appearance or else I'd make them feel bad, Jesus feel bad and/or cause the boys to sin. Those dang boys just could not get their self esteem together without controlling the women.

8. Realizing that there was no RM to marry after high school graduation and that I done NOTHING to prepare for my audlt life as I was promised if lived the "gospel" as a teen and forsook sex, worldly friends and activities, the Lord would bless me with my Celestial life. I was shocked that I didn't meet Mr. RM right after graduation. Honestly. First of many let downs and "ah ha" moments.

9. Realizing that my parents did not save one dime for my future. All money went into tithing and her health bills. I had nothing and no where to go.

10. Upon going on a mission and attending the temple prep class, I learned NOTHING about the temple, just felt like another ad naseum sunday school lesson.

11. Upon going into the endowment room, being told I could leave if I wanted before I was even told what was going on. I was surrounded by family and friends and felt trapped but the alarm bells in my head were going off.

12. Upon finishing the endowment, thinking..."my parents have been doing this for how many years??" Then upon some research after mission learning they had promised to have their throats and bowels cut open if they ever told me the truth about what they did in the temple. If I ever would have been told about the death penalties, I promise you I'd have left the church at whatever age that would have been. Those penalties are the prostitution of pure filth. Also feeling like my parents were conned and foolish for wearing such strange and odd clothing, especially the bakers hats for the men. I could not understand how a man that is supposedly supposed to be "King" could look so utterly foolish and still think that was ok.

13. Feeling nothing in the Celestial room other than rushed out.

14. Feeling the worse mental pain and trauma on my mission that I'd ever felt before in my life.

15. Upon returning being shunned by my family for not wanting to get married and breaking off an engagement.

16. Upon researching the church and choosing to leave, reading about the realities of polygamy and how miserable the women and children were and how much poverty and emotional abuse they lived under and to think that my family and culture were perfectly fine with this.

17. To see the pure hatred in the eyes of family and friends when I stepped out of the church. Such evil and hate projected at me was one of the most terrifying experiences of my life.

18. Seeing the plight of women in the church. Seeing them severly depressed, over weight, without hope, without their own minds, with out their own sovereighty, without their own personhood as if they'd been abducted and broken. And...feeling those same things happening to me as if all the happiness in my soul was being taken from me and I was doomed to a life of slavery.

19. Realizing that the men, in very UNPAID, very UNPROFESSIONAL positions had very real power over me, and my family. I saw them attempt to infiltrate my mind, my choices, the way I felt about myself. It was real and it was terrifying. These supposed men who had no training whatsoever were judging people, hurting people, and thought it was their right. All the while the fools weren't even getting paid for all their time away from their own families and their own lives and ambitions.

20. Finally, the way earning money was looked down upon. For me in YW, earning money was to be avoided as that just isn't what Jesus would do. So, education was not needed, the Lord would magically provide through the boys and the church. We were to focus on childrearing and homemaking and magically that would make every single one of us regardless of our various personalities...blissfully happy.

21. One more thing. As a youth the constant talk about sex. It was always "don't have it". There was no other talk about the future, about honor, integrity, hard work, achievment, just "don't have sex". It was sick how much time they spent on sex. It was if they were projecting their constant horniness at us young blood. It repulsed me.
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Any Women Feel Angry They Weren't Given A Choice To Attend The Young Women's Program?
Tuesday, Aug 14, 2012, at 07:16 AM
Original Author(s): Lori C
Topic: WOMEN AND MORMONISM   -Link To MC Article-
Any women feel angry they weren't given a choice to attend the YW's program?

I am. Furious actually.

I was NEVER told what the entire program was aimed at...indoctrinating young girls to want only marriage and sahm hood.

I was NEVER given any other option...ie. Girls Scouts, Nothing, School activies, Sports...(I was an excellent golfer), ROTC, etc.

I was NEVER told what the consequences/ramifications would be for choosing not to pursue a formal career, limit the number of children I had if I had any at all, have too many children, marry someone I did not know and was not compatible with, and have zero financial skills and goals.

Yes, I'm extremely pissed at all of this and I think YW should be WARNED of exactly what the YW's program really is...indoctrination to be breeding stock and an unpaid domestic slave goddess.

No cool.

I'll tell you what. Take an 18 year old girl with a ton of options available to her. If she has been through the YW's program and her family is tbm, the chances that she will not pursue any of those options other than marriage and family is extremely high.

Now, take this same girl and fast forward 20 years. She didn't get her degree, her kids are grown, she has little or no workforce skills, she has no savings, no retirement investments...nothing...and then husband dies or leaves her. Where is she then?

I take issue with this issue because I am in the minority who didn't get married, pursued a career, have seen half the world and I know TO THIS DAY how I'm treated by my tbm family. I am keenly aware of what I lost and would have lost having pursued unpaid labor.

I'm FULLY aware that work is work. However, paid work gives you options in life, you must have money and anyone who says otherwise has never had it. Money is what gives you security, mental well being...knowing your mortgage is going to get paid, knowing you can afford not just the necessities of life, but also fund your goals whatever they may be.

Growing up Mormon you are taught that being truly happy means being on the verge of poverty as the pioneers were. This is rubbish. Having "things" can dang well make you happy, it gives you freedom and if you grow up in the YW's program you will be told that having your own money, your own anything is selfish and direct path to misery. That is a in fact a direct path to depression or worse. You will be stuck in every way.
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Once The Brethren Speak All Thinking Has Been Done
Tuesday, Aug 14, 2012, at 07:20 AM
Original Author(s): Sistertwister
Topic: WOMEN AND MORMONISM   -Link To MC Article-
The Leaders, (all men) don't want women in the COJCOLDS to think outside the box. If you did -you were a Womens Liberation Feminist Whack job.

Bad girl. Trouble maker. Radical. Liberal. Communist.

Yet, the leadership wanted the YW to get great paying jobs just in case their spouse was unable to provide. So, beauty school and nursing were highly suggested to all YW and most of the young women followed this path. (I don't mean to generalize, but look at the stats.)

Having loads of children does not make you spiritual. The main reason this is pushed is purely financial. It keeps the numbers high; tithing, fast offering, donations increase and the Morg makes out like gang busters.

This is the role of a good TBM -- keep those numbers coming.

Don't think.

Don't question.

Don't find the truth or study yourself out of the church.

I tried to ignore the message while I was a member because it pissed me off too. It was a test of wills.

No longer a member, I won.
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The Church Used To Have A Good Fit For The Traditional Homemaker
Tuesday, Nov 13, 2012, at 02:44 PM
Original Author(s): Alas
Topic: WOMEN AND MORMONISM   -Link To MC Article-
I have heard so much from working women saying that they dont feel they fit in the church. so much from childless women that they dont fit in, and even the SAHM feel left out and like they dont fit in. The things you say apply to men and i totally agree that the church is only a good fit for some men.

Now I want to look at what I see happening as far as women goes, because I understand that in the past the retention and activity rates for women were much better then for men, but not so much anymore. In fact, the young women seem to be leaving at a faster rate then even the young men.

The church used to have a good fit for the traditional homemaker----back in the days of my mother's relief society in the 1950s and 1960s. They had RS meeting during the week to get the women together and about of the house. Babysitting was provided, so that all could attend. The lessons were written by women and for women and were about such things as cultural diversity, music/poetry/art, homemaking, parenting, and one week a month, there was a gospel lesson. Then early Sunday morning, there was RS for the working sisters who couldn't attend during the week which was held during priesthood. The homemaking meeting would normally last from 10:00am to when the kids got home from school for those who wanted to stay and socialize. Socialization was important just for the sake of socializing.

The church shifted RS into something more along the lines that would fit the time frame of the modern working woman, but they didn't change the ideal they pushed. So now, the lesson are the same as the priesthood lessons and are primarily about men, written by a committee of men and the same as given to the men. They still glorify the SAHM but meet zero of her needs to get out of the house and have friends and they no longer really teach the things a SAHM needs such as child development or family relations or even homemaking skills. "Homemaking" was changed to "enrichment" and in my ward no longer even exists. There are maybe two meeting a year not on Sunday, and I have to leave my husband to go, rather than a way to spend more time with women but not take away from family time, it is now just wrong for the SAHMs who is stuck in a house with toddlers day after day with no real break and then has to leave her family when they are all home to go to RS whatever meetings, so many wards have dropped them as poorly attended. The end result is that RS tells the working women they are bad or lacking, tells childless women they are bad or lacking, and meets zero needs of any of the women. There is little socialization because children have to be picked up and every body is exhausted after three hours of meetings.

There is what is called "the mommy wars" that divides women even befor you get to personality. This guilt/resentment/arrogance of my way is best and how dare you call me a bad mother because I work and how dare you call me lazy because I work at home is a huge divide between women everywhere, not just at church. So, the women as a group are divided against themselves. Then you have all the issues of introverts not fitting into the social structure.

The church doesn't meet the needs of working mothers and puts them down for working, and it doesn't meet the needs of SAHMs and leaves them isolated. And all women are second class, so the few things that help men feel better about themselves at church, are even more missing in the lives of women.

And what do women get in return for their investment? The promise of being eternally pregnant.
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Mormon Women Are "Admired" But Still Not Equal To Men
Wednesday, Dec 5, 2012, at 01:01 PM
Original Author(s): Snowball
Topic: WOMEN AND MORMONISM   -Link To MC Article-
"Some Mormons who call themselves feminists don't understand why men still control the management of the church if women are so supposedly equal. Women aren't allowed to be priests, or even lead church meetings without a man present, and while the church insists that women's roles aren't lesser, just "different," who wants to be different if different means treated as lesser than?"
http://jezebel.com/5965164/mormon-wom...

I love how Mormons turn to something to denounce something as a matter of "opinion" as if to say it's fiction.

Not all opinions are created equal. If we have an opinion that is undergirded by some factual evidence, then it means something more than a thought that just popped into our head.

Are women equal to men in the LDS Church?

1. Do the Relief Society activities and programs require the approval of the male priesthood organization? Yes

2. Are women and men intelligible for certain positions of leadership and authority based on their gender? Yes

3. Are the ultimate authorities in the LDS church required to be male? Yes

4. Do LDS Church articulate particular roles that constrain the life choices available to women outside of church activity? Yes

In what way is that "equal"?

It's not as if critics of the church just invented this stuff out of thin air. Mormons are free to argue that the inequity is good, but I don't think its much of a question that it exists.
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Differences In Support Between Men And Women Groups In Mormonism
Thursday, Jan 3, 2013, at 07:51 AM
Original Author(s): Newcatholic
Topic: WOMEN AND MORMONISM   -Link To MC Article-
When I was active, I was in the YW program for years. The YW were forced to go to the same campground here in Florida every year (and I mean for years and years and years - over 30). The YM (scouts), however, were taken on a trip that went all the way up to New York State, stopping at "sites" all the way up and back. Were the YW offered the same? Of course NOT! The girls were not allowed to have their camp anywhere except a nearby state park, where they had to swim in alligator and cottonmouth infested waters.

The YM were treated like royalty, going out of state to enjoy rappelling, white water rafting, etc. No matter how hard we fought to be allowed to take the YW to a different camp, possibly in Northern Georgia where they could also rappel and do some rafting like the YM, we were shut down immediately. The reason? The camp had to be "protected by the priesthood" and they could not ask the priesthood to travel any farther than the 1 hour that it took to get to the camp. This obvious discrimination is one of the reasons I began to hate TSCC. My YW never had a chance.

I have not been to TSCC in 4 years, so it might have changed, but even if the YW are allowed to go to another camp, they certainly won't be allowed out of state. Big load of BS
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Differences In Support Between Your Group And Men's And Boys' Groups
Thursday, Jan 3, 2013, at 07:52 AM
Original Author(s): Wakingupvegas
Topic: WOMEN AND MORMONISM   -Link To MC Article-
Women who were involved in the Women's and Girls' groups would you tell us of the differences in support between your group and men's and boys' groups?

I was the Mia Maid (14-15 year old girls) leader for awhile. It was frustrating to me to see a ton of money spent on activities for the boys, while my girls usually got stuck baking. My girls noticed it too, and complained to me about it. How do you even answer that question?

So my husband and I took it upon ourselves to organize a really fun hike for them (the rest of the young women were invited too.) It involved rope climbing and swimming. The girls were SOOO excited about it!

Unfortunately, the bishop heard what we were planning, and told us no way. The girls were too fragile for something like this. Plus, he told us most wouldn't be interested in this kind of activity (my girls told me otherwise).

A month later, he approved the exact same hike for the 12 year old boys in our ward. He even asked my husband to be in charge! We were so ticked. It still makes me mad today.
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But Then I Wore Pants
Monday, Jan 14, 2013, at 07:36 AM
Original Author(s): Sunnyrose
Topic: WOMEN AND MORMONISM   -Link To MC Article-
I'm in the Young Women presidency, and trying to maintain a good church front the last 6 months as I've been doubting, researching, and rethinking the church. I have been the same as I ever was to people in my ward-a little outspoken, but faithful, fun, and well liked. I thought I could stay in YW during my faith crisis, and gently teach the girls a little bit about empathizing with those who aren't exactly like us. But it is taking way too much energy and is getting impossibly hard. I've done girls camps, weekly activities, huge parties and lessons for these girls, not to mention attending their choir and sports things, take them out for birthdays, etc. They often have said how much they love me, and I'm a second mom to them. (dramatic, but that's girls).

But then I wore pants.

All my goodness in their minds was erased. No more second mom here! One of the Mia Maids told me I was participating in an "anti" protest and she was scared for me. And at the next FandT meeting, one of the Laurels bore her testimony in Sacrament and said that I was not coming to church for the right reasons because I wore pants. I had explained pants day to them all after I wore them, and expressed how if any of them ever felt marginalized, I would support them by wearing anything they asked of me, too. I tried to tell them that it was a show of solidarity and love for those that aren't cookie cutter. But I still get these comments and reactions.

I don't believe in the gospel, so this kind of thing is not making it any easier for me to stay. Why would I want to try so hard to teach them something that won't get through their hard candy shell?! And why do I want to waste a perfectly wonderful Sunday getting beat up?
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Why Was The Fun Sucked Out Of The Young Women Activities, And Not Out Of The Young Men?
Wednesday, Jan 16, 2013, at 11:14 AM
Original Author(s): Anagrammy
Topic: WOMEN AND MORMONISM   -Link To MC Article-
I have the explanation.

Giving girls outdoor experiences makes them stronger and happier. They see strong, competent women teaching them skills which lead to thinking, problem-solving, independence.

Stronger, happier women are more likely to leave the Mormon church than weak, dependent women.

All they need is the uterus, so they are using the most effective strategy: withdrawal of stimulation so that the only path they see open for them is marriage to an RM.

One thing you can count on--this corporation will do what works. It is as amoral and blind as evolution. It is completely impersonal--like an amoeba that sucks up everything and spits out whatever is not food.

The fun did not produce the desired result, whereas it does for the young men.

Young men with happy memories of problem-solving in the wilderness with LDS leaders they admired mixed with a HEAVY dose of propaganda produces the missionaries they so desperately need. "Can you pass the test....this is how to prepare...you can do it, just like climbing this mountain...."
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Why Was The Fun Sucked Out Of The Young Women Activities, And Not Out Of The Young Men?
Wednesday, Jan 16, 2013, at 11:17 AM
Original Author(s): Icedlatte
Topic: WOMEN AND MORMONISM   -Link To MC Article-
Why was the fun sucked out of the young women activities, and not out of the young men?

Half of our YW activities were about what kind of RM we should marry.

At one, there were a bunch of candy bars set out on a table and each girl picked one out. There was a paper stuck to the back that described the husband that went along with that candy. i.e.:

Lifesavers: You've married a hunky lifeguard. He isn't that bright, but he's strong, blonde and tan.

I picked up a Charleston Chew and it said something like "Your husband is tall, dark and handsome. But he never joined the church because of his word of wisdom problem, so he hasn't been able to take you to the temple."

Then we had to spend the hour discussing how to "fix" the flaws in each of our husbands.

Yeah, typing all that up just now made me want to vomit...
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Why Was The Fun Sucked Out Of The Young Women Activities, And Not Out Of The Young Men?
Wednesday, Jan 16, 2013, at 11:18 AM
Original Author(s): Sistersalamander
Topic: WOMEN AND MORMONISM   -Link To MC Article-
IMHO, they know that indoctrinating the girls is more crucial. The brainwashed girls will pressure the boys to behave and go on missions. They won't marry outside the temple.

Also, it's a patriarchy. More resources, time, effort, and fun will go to the boys because the girls are always lower priority.

My teen daughters ALL quit going to Girls Camp (2002-2011). They were all very TBM at the time, and even they complained that they felt claustrophobic sitting around doing crafts and talking about temple marriage and motherhood all day. The leaders were grouchy and mean to some of the girls. Finally, they were forced to stand up and "bear their testimonies" at the closing campfire, whether they wanted to or not. The leaders and some of the girls made cutting remarks about anyone who didn't feel comfortable doing so.

All of the girls remarked that indoctrination was part of EVERY activity they did. They couldn't just make a lanyard or whatever -- it all had to relate to the gospel somehow. Barf!
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I've Heard Several Young Mothers Lately Who Said They'd Be All About Polygamy
Thursday, Jan 17, 2013, at 08:11 AM
Original Author(s): Justrob
Topic: WOMEN AND MORMONISM   -Link To MC Article-
Another poster wrote:
I've heard several young mothers lately who said they'd be all about polygamy

I'm stunned. Even as a TBM the idea of sister wives sharing my husband was disturbing... It was repulsive, but weirdly enough polygamy wasn't one if the main issues I had against the church.

So anyways, I've heard a a handful of women say they'd be happy to live the polygamist lifestyle. And the main reason? So they don't have to have sex with their hubby as much.

So sad on sooooo many levels. These women would be horrified to find heir husbands masturbating to porn, but lets bring on another wife and it's all good.
Most mormons have an internal struggle about polygamy, especially women. One coping mechanism is to attempt to acclimatize yourself to the idea through reasons you can agree with.

In your story, it was less sex, but it could have just as easily been child rearing, lonely housewife syndrome, chronic illness, etc...

Once at a gathering of in-laws, my wife's sisters got onto the topic of polygamy, and how impossibly hard it would be to accept that. They thought about it for a while and finally all agreed that they could easily be polygamous sister-wives with their actual sisters. They proceeded to give examples of how they wouldn't be as jealous of one another, and would appreciate the child-rearing help, etc...

While I think they would actually be jealous and have more problems than they realize- my point is that they found a way to mentally become more comfortable with this doctrine they struggle with. While they didn't resolve the problem, but now when they think/hear about polygamy, and start feeling uncomfortable about it and not understanding it, they at least have "a happy place" to go to where they've imagined a utopic polygamous scenario that is viable in their minds.

So *hopefully* the women in your stories don't have as much of a problem with sex as it would seem, and that they have exaggerated a small disparity in sex-drives in order to mentally make polygamy more palatable to them.

I hope... but I also know that TSCC screws people up when it comes to sex, so there likely is a problem there.

I think the key phrase is "So they don't have to have sex with their hubby as much."

So there obviously is already a problem in their relationship. At best, these women have communicated the mismatch to their spouses, and it fell on deaf ears. At worst, they are silently suffering or confusing their partners with their rejection.

Their claim shows both a mismatch of sexual expectations, and a failure to communicate (on the part of at least 1 spouse or the other, probably both).

I don't think anyone would presume to say that the only solution is that these women should just have more sex... but if they don't want to, the correct way to communicate that to your spouse isn't through obscure doctrinal gossip that may make the rounds back to good ole hubby.

Sex, as with any activity between partners, should be a mutual decision. If either partner is unbending, selfish, or feels put upon and isn't communicating it, then something is wrong.

Not that the women are necessarily wrong, but at least 1 aspect of their scenario is.
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She Just Isn't The Sweet Girl That She Used To Be
Tuesday, Jan 22, 2013, at 08:41 PM
Original Author(s): Warrior Princess
Topic: WOMEN AND MORMONISM   -Link To MC Article-
It's very disturbing to me that the Morg is all about keeping the church stats. And about keeping women in this lovely naive state of being. Yet there seems to be very little about creating strength and independence in women that is needed to face the realities in life. It's nice and naive to treat them as if they can always remain sweet and lovely and at home dependent on a charming Peter priesthood holders who will never mis treat her or never die and leave her. Creating dependency in women and children leaves them vulnerable to being trapped in situations of domestic violence, and less able to protect themselves in the world. I can't tell you how many women I have seen lose their children in divorce when the narcissist male peter priesthood attacks and wins. He has the job, he has the money, he has the help to further humiliate her. He's not going to help her become strong and independent while he is trying to take her children.

I recently watched a show about women who were escaping from the local polygamous compound. And the LDS church upbringing reminded me very much of the young women in the polygamous cult. The women were married young and having many babies. They won't have careers. But, they were very very naive, young acting, lovely and sweetly accepting of their roles as only mothers. When they left the cult, one mother said that no matter how hard it was for her now, she would never take her daughters back in as they had dropped that false persona of sweetness, and were developing into strong and vibrant young ladies with hope for the future. She explained that finally she was seeing their true personalities develop.

My mothers friends in the neighborhood used to remark at how sweet and naive I was and rightly so. I was young Molly Mormon trying so hard to be accepted in my family and ward.

But, one time I tried to discuss a real life problem that I was facing with one of my mothers local ward friends. And the response I heard later was, "Well, she just isn't the sweet girl that she used to be." I was stunned by this. How am I no longer of value when I'm having to muster the strength to deal with a reality in this world that really had nothing to do with my behavior in the first place? I quickly learned that I couldn't talk about reality with people in the church. Young women are supposed to live in a fairy land. It was as if I had to stay dumb and living in some picture scene out of a fantasy world showing no real problems and no other emotions than sweetness.
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The Young Womens' "Chant"
Sunday, Feb 3, 2013, at 09:37 PM
Original Author(s): Rfm
Topic: WOMEN AND MORMONISM   -Link To MC Article-
Editor Note: This is a collage of posted articles on how the Mormon Church has young Mormon women chant in monotone unison what is called "The Young Womens' Chant".

About Ten years ago my daugter told me when she when to young womens (at her dads ward) that the girls had to stand up and recite some creepy "we are daughters of God" something about daughters of light kind of "pledge of alledgance" , I quit church before that. was that just her ward? Or do they all do this now? During it she turned to her friend and said "this is a cult".

--

Yes. Mormon young women still chant the following each week in unison:
"We are daughters of our Heavenly Father, who loves us, and we love Him. We will `stand as witnesses of God at all times and in all things, and in all places' (Mosiah 18:9) as we strive to live the Young Women values, which are:

Faith
Divine Nature
Individual Worth
Knowledge
Choice and Accountability
Good Works
Integrity and
Virtue

We believe as we come to accept and act upon these values, we will be prepared to strengthen home and family, make and keep sacred covenants, receive the ordinances of the temple, and enjoy the blessings of exaltation."
--

Oh God. That brought back horrible memories. I used to move my lips and not say anything. Because one time I refused to stand up and recite it, I got reamed by the YW presidency.

--

I remember walking by the YM general meeting (when I lurked in the halls as SSP.) I would over hear this and think, that is a little creepy.

--

Yep, we said that every single Sunday. Over the years they added "strengthen home and family" and "virtue" as one of the values.

--

I was on the downhill side of believing when I was in the YW Pres. My daughters were in high school. It was really hard for me to make it through the chant. I was going through my second divorce from the same guy (my eternal mate), trying to figure out how to survive on a secretary's income and all I could hear those girls saying is, "I am a daughter of heavenwy fodder, he gave me a vagina so I am to keep my mouth shut and my legs open, and learn how to bake bread because that is my divine nature, that is my career."

I worked overtime to make sure my daughters knew that individual worth and knowledge and choice were the most important values and that means that they use them and make their own choices. Even as an active, mormon, my biggest nightmare was that my daughters would turn out like me. Luckily, after some scary twists and turns in their lives, they both got their college degrees, found good nevermo husbands (well, one had to go through a temple starter marriage first), and will not end up like me, nor will their daughters. I'm still terrified, however, that my son's daughter, who is currently living with her mom at her TBM grandparents' house, will be sucked into the misogynistic mormon world and lose that wonder that she was so full of before they moved. Scares the hell outta me and the thought of her repeating that chant is my worst nightmare. I just gotta hope that her daddy will be enough of a counter influence that at least she will have someone telling her that she is more than a baby making machine.

--

A few years back I told my former bishop I had issues with the truthfullness of the church. Being a former YW president (4x), he demanded in that superior peter priesthood way, that I recite the YW theme. He then ripped me up one side and down the other for "what I was doing to my family eternally". It makes me furious with myself that I allowed myself to humiliate myself and chant it. And that I sat through his rant.

--

My YW's prez makes us say, "Who are we?" before we continue with the rest of the chant, "We are daughters of our Heavenly Father."...make us prepared when someone dares questions us, I guess...

I am so sick of repeating the thing. Usually I stand up and say most of it. Except for any "we"'s, in which I am momentarily silent. I'm not going to include myself in this group, at least mentally, sorry YW leaders.

--

When I was in MIA--Mutual--Mutual improvement association-- Each year there was a "slogan" I believe they called it. At the beginning of each meeting it was recited en masse. 1948-1953.

--

My exmo niece told me that she went to Mormon girl's camp. The girls were made to stand up, and chant in unison: "I am an individual."

That's when my niece resigned her membership.

--

I got in trouble a lot because I would refuse to say the theme in the same monotone manner every other girl said it. I would emphasize different words or do it in an accent. The younger girls thought it was hilarious, the leaders not so much. I told them it just meant I was paying more attention to the theme since it took some effort to change it up!

--

Yeah, I chanted that every Sunday from when I was 12 to when I was 18. That didn't include anytime I did at camp or at another activity.

It never dawned on me how brain-washy it was because I chose to do it, so clearly it wasn't! Yeah...

Couple of years back my Singles Ward RS decided that they would recite the motto for the RS every Sunday. That was around the time I was pretty close to unbelieving and really questioning the church. After doing it a few times, it brought home to me that this is what the church did. It was that subtle brain washing. It depressing that I let it go on so long, but I never knew anything different.

--

I had never heard the "chant" before, and it kind of weirded me out. They had it written on a flip-chart page, and the girls would say it every week in a flat, robotic tone. Most of them knew it by heart already, but I, having never heard it before, tried hard to memorize it, but something about it just seemed creepy.

Later on, I was in charge of the youngest girls (Crikey, I don't even remember what they were called - Beehives??) and I was always getting in trouble for coming up with activities that were fun rather than "spiritual." But the girls loved it. And I loved the fact that the girls felt they could come to me and confide about problems they were having. Thank goodness, nobody ever reported abuse. I did the best I could to provide a caring ear and just listened. (I never told them to pray or read their scriptures, BTW.)

I'll never forget how, when my job took me to another State, many of "my" girls hugged me and cried when we said our farewells. The program was CRAP, but "my" girls were very dear to me.

--

yeah they still do it. they even have a poster with the words in front of the whole room. i never bothered to say it right so i just mumble through the whole thing.
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For All The Single Ladies -- Response To Angela Trusty's Column
Tuesday, Mar 5, 2013, at 08:31 AM
Original Author(s): Sistersalamander
Topic: WOMEN AND MORMONISM   -Link To MC Article-
Angela Trusty, who writes the column "Ask Angela" for the Deseret News, recently addressed a letter from "Wit's End," who lamented that her cookie-baking, singles-ward-attending efforts failed to garner an eternal companion: http://www.deseretnews.com/article/86...

Wit's End (the letter-writer) is just reflecting the years of teaching she got in the Church, from Primary through RS (especially Young Women, where temple marriage remains a core focus of lessons and activities). Then there's the doctrine: You can't get into the highest level of the CK (where goddesshood happens) without a man.

Recently, the Big 15 have been pounding the marriage pulpit (again), stressing the need for young Mormons to marry and mate right after their missions. Women are told to do everything they can to make themselves attractive and catch a husband. TSCC even herds them into special wards full of other desperate singles, hosts dances and social events, and then tells them to focus on "service" to others while they wait for a righteous man to show up.

Should we be surprised that Wit's End might feel "less-than" as a "Mid-Single?"

(Personally, I don't think there's anything wrong with wanting to marry and have children. If it weren't a normal human thing to do, our species might not have survived. What's crazy is the idea that's it's the ONLY valid path to happiness and personal growth).

Angela advises Wit's End to "put down the cookie batter" and "chill out." She writes: "Stop trying to marry people. If you're saying hello to someone with this marriage fever burning in your eyes, guys/everyone can see that, and it hides who you really are and what you're truly about."

That's very true.

It's also easier said than done when you've been taught your whole life that getting married is your goal in life, your key to happiness, and you can't progress to exaltation without it.

There's a big problem, though. Wit's End is right to be nervous. Even if she brings her A-game, minus cookie dough and fevered glances, the numbers are stacked against her. No matter what else she does, remaining a faithful Mormon might be the kiss of death for her wedding aspirations. As Wit's End observed in her letter to Angela: "For every one guy there might as well be 15 girls." Sadly, she is probably correct.

The mating game itself has changed: there are, and will continue to be, far fewer men in the pool. From the *Free Republic* in 2011: "According to the report, 'young men in the Mormon Culture Region are defecting at substantially higher rates than young women, creating a growing gender imbalance and a surplus of Mormon women. In Utah, self-identified Mormon women outnumber men by a ratio of 3 to 2...'" As one commenter to this article said, "This ratio, coupled with other news coming out of the Lds (sic) church this year, shows that it may be almost impossible for many Lds women (particularly those over 30) to find an active Mormon husband!"

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-r...

The outlook for Wit's End and her single sisters gets worse. Dave Banack, an LDS BeliefNet writer, re-posted this statistic from the Washington Times: "According to [the] Pew [Forum], Mormons have one of the most lopsided gender ratios of any religion: 44 percent men and 56 percent women." He theorizes several reasons for the gap, but concludes that, no matter what their motive, "the men are voting with their feet."

Read more: http://blog.beliefnet.com/mormoninqui...

Another issue is that men are delaying marriage, despite counsel from their leaders, who have addressed the trend for people to "hang out" in groups rather than go on actual dates. Peggy Fletcher Stack, writing for the Salt Lake Tribune, noted, "In one informal survey at the U.'s LDS institute, many young men said 30 was the best age at which to marry." She went on to cite "finances, fear and finickiness" as major reasons. Given that most people now graduate with over $20,000 in student debt and many live in their parents' basements while searching for a job, putting off marriage and baby-making seems like a reasonable response. Eventually, once the guy has a job, a car, and a place to live, he'll ikely jump into the dating pool.

The "finickiness" part, however, is more troubling because it gets worse instead of going away. Men are being very, very, selective -- and blaming the women for failing to be perfect enough to rope them into an eternal partnership. Jaweed Kaleem noted on The Huff Post's "Faith Shift" page, interviewed 36-year-old Steve Rhinehart, who has never been married. He's handsome, educated, well-off, owns his own home, and has a fascinating array of hobbies. But, he's picky. Kaleem writes: "A more recent girlfriend was too demanding. Another was too jealous. Others were kindhearted and spiritual, but couldn't keep his attention." Finally, Rhinehart admitted he had an "internal resistance" to settling down. He is probably not the only one.

Like Rhinehart, LDS single blogger Erin Ann McBride blames (guess who) the WOMEN for failing to attract and keep a man. She devoted an entire blog on the ways women fall short, according to single Mormon men: http://www.ldsmag.com/article/7684

McBride's male sources say women expect too much: they want tall men, men who can dance well, men who will take care of them. Mc Bride seems to tell women to settle for whatever they can get: "It seems to me at this point at our ages, all the apples in the barrel are bruised and seconds, a bit warty and off. Both sides need to be more accepting of what is left in the barrel."

It's not a very appealing picture, is it? The game has gone downhill for Mormon women in yet another, more insidious way, though. Not only are there fewer men who are delaying marriage and having attitudes, they're making less effort than ever before.

On the flip side, she has another blog post titled, "Where Have All the Real Men Gone?" McBride points out another problem in the LDS relationship dynamic: Men, aware of the numbers, are not only picky, they've gotten lazy. They hang out, they text, but they don't ask women on dates. "They sit back and wait for the women to do all of the work, and put little effort into it at all...They just aren't going to try because, well, they just don't do that anymore."

http://www.ldsmag.com/article/1/11571

There's an irreconcilable dynamic going on here for the women: must marry a Mormon man vs. can't find a Mormon man to marry. If cookie dough, good looks, and plenty of eyeshadow aren't capturing the hearts of disaffected men anymore, a huge chunk of Mormon women are either going to have to accept a single, strictly celibate life, date and marry non-Mormon men, or leave the church (like a lot of the Mormon men have done). TSCC has raised a generation of women on dreams that no longer exist -- and there will be much collateral damage because of it.
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Misogyny Behind Closed Doors
Monday, Jul 1, 2013, at 07:41 AM
Original Author(s): Oliver
Topic: WOMEN AND MORMONISM   -Link To MC Article-
I was privileged today to witness the raw unedited misogyny that occurs within priesthood councils. Every Sunday Bishoprics and Presidencies go behind closed doors and secretly gossip about the members within their stewardships, and discuss how best to call and release people from positions of authority. Out of the hundreds of these meetings I've attended, I can count the number of times prayer and revelation have been employed on one hand. Mostly these decisions are based on politics, family relations, and friendship.

In these discussions I've often heard statements that can be construed as condescending and misogynistic, but never as blatant as what I heard today. These brethren proceeded to thrash this sister in our meeting for being active in her calling by planning meetings, organizing activities, and making decisions without first asking permission and waiting for direction from the priesthood. She prayed and decided it was time to release a counselor in her own presidency (informing the presiding authority instead of asking), decided not to follow the suggestion of a priesthood holder (not even within her chain of command), and openly disagreed with what she was told in a meeting. She "asks questions", "doesn't understand the order of the priesthood", and "thinks she's in charge just because she's a president".

So they are going to release her for acting as if she has authority, a trait they often praise men for displaying. They will now replace her with a sister who is "unassuming", "doesn't ask questions", and will "do as she's told". Her replacement is someone, "that we won't have any trouble with" and who "will not waste everyone's time talking in meetings or calling on the phone." They will be recommending that she cool her heels in the primary for awhile, or have her serve under another sister that they know she doesn't get along with.

After making this decision, they continued to harangue this sister's choice for a new counselor. The woman she chose had a young child you see, and should be home with the child instead of having this calling. The sister defended her choice by saying that the woman's husband could watch the child during the few times they had to meet. At the mention of the husband watching a child, the assembled brethren began to laugh quite loudly and point out that such a suggestion is ridiculous.

Women have zero authority in the church, and anyone who show any kind of initiative is squashed as a threat to male authority. They take serious the idea that women should keep silent in the church. The church not only allows these attitudes, it is structured to promote them.
topic image
Move Over For Garbage? Rough General Conference Weekend
Tuesday, Oct 8, 2013, at 07:54 AM
Original Author(s): Enough
Topic: WOMEN AND MORMONISM   -Link To MC Article-
I wrote briefly about my experience last night at PH session with OW. Now that I don't have to peck out the story on my cell phone, I have a little more to say.

I gathered with a group of 200-250 women, men (and combinations thereof) at City Creek PARK-- near Temple square. I was surprised to see such a large group, and even more surprised (and grateful) to see so many men come out to support the effort. The media coverage began there at the park-- but was extremely abundant for the next 2 hours. At one point, I was even asked to give an interview with an Al-Jazeera reporter (I declined). At the Park, we sang Come, Come Ye Saints (opening song-- in true LDS style), and for a moment there, I felt like a Real Pioneer.

The group formed a line and walked quietly/respectfully to the Conference Center, where we were promptly denied entrance (from the Stand-By line). We took our line across the street to the (potential) "overflow" seating-- at the Tabernacle. The reporters followed.

One by one (or in twos for those who came in couples), we presented ourselves to Mr. Spokesman, and politely asked for admittance-- just to watch the session from the LDS facility. One by one, we were told "no"--because this was for "men only" (meanwhile, my DD watched it from home with my DH and DS's). Many of the women and men asked Mr. Spokesman follow-up questions...after he answered, each turned quietly away-- several crying. (Despite the newspaper reports, there were no "demands" made for entrance. Meanwhile, 12-year-old boys (with seemingly overly smirky, gleeful looks on their faces) passed up the line and walked right in to take their "rightful" seats.

At 6:00, even though only about 3/4 of the line had only gotten to the front, the last of the people in line were not given their turn to seek admittance or ask questions. The people in front of me (Lavina Fielding Anderson's son and (pediatrician) daughter-in-law) flew in from California just for the event. The woman I waited in line with came all the way from Seattle. It seemed disrespectful, to say the least, to deny the remainder of the line their turn to at least "ask...seek...knock". Not that anything would've been opened, but still--

It was ironic that one of the speakers in GC today (can't remember which one) suggested that we (adults) remember that we are each a Child of God. Because after the doors closed on all of us, the group peacefully sang "I Am A Child Of God". I wonder if the dozens of Sister Missionaries (from Temple Square) dared to join in such a "protest". (I didn't see any join in for the song). The group then somberly returned to the Park.

It was during and following this experience from yesterday that I have taken what feels like a Feminist/Working Woman beating -- including in the GC sessions that I was allowed to hear/watch. We occasionally have threads on NOM that ask about "the straw" that "broke" people. Maybe that refers to the straw that pushes people into disaffection...I don't know. It was the book: Mormon Enigma that pushed me into "disaffection" almost 15 years ago. For the next 13 or so, I would "doubt my doubts" and "lead out with the faith I did have"... FIGHTING to believe "it" was "true". I have spent the last 2 years, STRUGGLING to believe that "it" is "good".

I don't think I can do it any more. This Conference Weekend is very likely the Last, Last straw. I'm seriously worried about my (21-year) marriage and my 5 kids today. I do not feel welcome any more-- my "type" is not what is wanted.
 
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