Pre-General Conference List of Cheery Things for Relief Society Sisters

DEBORAH: Look out. April General Conference is nearly here, so out they come—the prognosticators and their prognostications. And why not? President Nelson has told us “the Restoration continues,” teasing us into setting up this figurative roulette wheel. Even the most ardent member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints isn’t afraid to give it a spin, but the sisters of Relief Society are particularly invested, realizing they may be earmarked for changes. Of course, there’s a chasm in the women’s organization, particularly at the local level, with some standing on the vocal The-Way-It-Is-Is-the-Way-of-the-Lord side and others on the hushed Ask-and-Ye-Shall-Receive-Because-(some of)-this Stinks side. The one thing I’m confident in predicting is that, if any changes come that increase the visibility and influence of women, both sides of the chasm will join in a rousing cheer. Continue reading “Pre-General Conference List of Cheery Things for Relief Society Sisters”

My Impostor Syndrome As a Mormon Woman

MIRIAM: They say the beginning of wisdom is knowing what we don’t know, and I agree, but what happens when what we “know” doesn’t come from us? What happens when we completely depend on others to introduce us to knowledge, to confirm and validate it? And what if that inability to be our own anchor means we’re never enough, making us vulnerable and continually on the precipice of exposure as inadequate? This is the Impostor Syndrome, Mormon woman version, a syndrome that is ratcheted up by the fact I didn’t grow up like my priesthood-bearing counterparts who were raised to understand they had divine authority. Continue reading “My Impostor Syndrome As a Mormon Woman”

Sex Offenders in Church Leadership is Not News

READER POST: To gain perspective on the church’s problem with sex offenders in leadership, it’s good to take a look at religious news. The Southern Baptist conference is finding itself in deep yogurt on this topic, with journalists and Monday Morning Quarterbacks alike taking great delight in pointing out the issues that led to repeated and sustained cover-ups of pastoral abuse.

Continue reading “Sex Offenders in Church Leadership is Not News”

SQ Young Writer Series Kick-off: “In Every Woman”

SISTERS QUORUM is pleased to announce its Young Writer Series, which will strive to empower Mormon youth (aged 13-18) by providing them space to express their ideas, concerns, and interests as each relates to gender issues associated with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The YW Series welcomes youth writers, regardless of gender, and, if publication is offered, will provide anonymity when requested. If you know young people interested in submitting their ideas, narratives, or short creative work (properly identified as such), please advise them of our YWS submission protocol.

We joyfully kick off the Young Writers Series with this powerful poem, written by a 16-year-old Mormon girl. Continue reading “SQ Young Writer Series Kick-off: “In Every Woman””

Losing a Life: The Trauma of Impending Miscarriage

JUNE: I became pregnant while my husband was in the middle of his medical residency and working 80 hours a week. We were living in a place that provided us little support and without family around. I was a full-time, stay-at-home mom to my three children, all under the age of five, one of whom has profound special needs that required my constant  attention and advocacy. I had already suffered three prior miscarriages over the course of just a few years, each one devastating, difficult, and painful, both emotionally and physically. 

Here my husband and I were, almost 11 weeks along, undergoing  an ultrasound, happy and hopeful. Then the technician averted her eyes and I saw it, the heart rate—70 bpm, less than half the rate it should be. The appointment abruptly ended and we obediently followed as she led us to speak with the doctor.  Continue reading “Losing a Life: The Trauma of Impending Miscarriage”

When Women Use the Temple as a Weapon

READER POST: Early in my marriage, I learned that my mother-in-law loves the temple. To her, it’s the pinnacle of family bonding time and the first thing she wants to do any time the family gets together. For instance, the evening before one family wedding, her sons had to explain why it would be insensitive for those of us with recommends to ditch the bride’s parents and the groom’s grandparents, who did not hold temple recommends, in order to attend a session together.  On another occasion, my mother-in-law picked up family at the airport and informed her travel-weary relatives that they were heading straight to the temple for a 2-hour session. Yes, she loves the temple that much, and its a problem. Continue reading “When Women Use the Temple as a Weapon”

The Silencing of Women in the Church

READER POST: At the foundation of the patriarchal culture of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the silencing of women. Until recently, women were not allowed to speak in General Conference. Their voices are excluded from critical councils of the Church–the councils that make policies which determine the quality of a woman’s life and how a woman may participate in the Church. Under these conditions, women are expected to obey Church leaders without complaint. Those who refuse to do so are too often marginalized and shamed. Continue reading “The Silencing of Women in the Church”

Of My Own Free Will and Choice

TABITHA: “Sister Tabitha, would you like to come sit by your husband up here?”

My husband was serving as a witness for sealing ceremonies, the rite that binds families together for eternity in temples of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. There’s not much to the job, just being one of two men making sure that the man performing the ceremony does it correctly. By sitting next to my husband, at the head of the room, I had a glimpse into church service and duties that I’ll most likely never experience for myself. At first I was excited. Here I am, sitting next to my husband, not behind or ahead. We are already sealed together as a couple. Now we’re a team serving together, as witnesses, even if I’m only unofficially one. Except, I’ll always be an unofficial witness. I’m not needed because I can’t be ordained to an office of the priesthood; I’m just kinda nice to have around to make the work more bearable. Or something like that. Dang. That was a cool feeling for a minute. Continue reading “Of My Own Free Will and Choice”