DEBORAH: I hear with different ears than those I heard with in my youth. As a new convert, then a wife and young mother, I heard the men at the General Conference podium through ears of hope and expectation. I relished their promises that following their counsel—being a wife devoted to the betterment of my husband in both career and church, being a sacrificing mother intent on raising my children in a new, exciting gospel—would result in a happiness unmatched outside the reach of the gospel. Every inch of my soul longed to please God and, with my whole heart, I trusted the men called to speak for Him.
I’m at the other end of life now. I’ve raised my children and am watching them raise theirs. I’ve lived as is prescribed for Mormon women. I earned an education—a bachelor’s before marriage and a master’s degree in midlife—but I’ve not had paying, full-time employment since my first child was born. I ensured my children learned the gospel; we attended our meetings, held callings, and lived an existence centered around the church and gospel.
When I listened to General Conference last weekend, I listened with the ears of an experienced Mormon woman and with eyes wide-opened by time. While most of General Conference was uplifting, some of it rang as a sounding brass and a tinkling cymbal. Certain things said leave me wondering if some of the men who lead the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints understand women at all. Continue reading “Women, How Will You Travel the Covenant Path?”
MIRIAM: Before dawn at Utah Valley Regional Medical Center, my first child was born after a very quick labor. The nurse had told me to signal when I felt pressure so that she’d know when I was ready to push. The pressure came, and I did not push, yet my body pushed out my new daughter with no voluntary effort on my part. She was born so quickly that our doctor missed it; the room where my body gave her precipitous entrance filled with half a dozen excited nurses.
Within the hour, my baby had been whisked out for a bath, Daddy following her according to our plan. The doctor—a fellow Mormon—had arrived and was examining me to ensure the delivery of the placenta when he began cussing under his breath. The nurses hadn’t noticed that I was bleeding out. Continue reading “A Cry for Our Mother”
SISTERS QUORUM: The writers at Sisters Quorum stand in support of the Let Babies Eat initiative and its letter writing campaign, which encourages The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to establish a policy that supports breastfeeding families, particularly mothers who openly breastfeed on church property. The initiative’s complete list of goals and suggested actions can be found on the Let Babies Eat website, including general advice about how to write a letter of appeal.
Because SQ understands that some supporters of Let Babies Eat are uncomfortable writers—and because we believe that the volume of letters will speak as loudly as the content—we offer our readers a form letter that can be easily copied, adapted, and sent to the female general auxiliary leaders or other general authorities of the Church. The form letter will fit nicely on a single, standard piece of paper with either Times New Roman or Calibri 11 pt font.
Continue reading “A Form Letter of Appeal in Support of Let Babies Eat”
LAURA: I breastfed my oldest longer than most North Americans do. I just passed the average age of weaning with my youngest, who shows no signs of being done. Buoyed by my knowledge of worldwide data, a supportive community, and my own stubbornness, I’ve never cared about others’ opinions on this topic.
Continue reading “Breastfeeding and the Commodified Mother”