A Mormon Spring?

Posted by on April 3, 2013 in women | 14 comments

If you’ve been following Mormonism at all in the last year or so, you’ve probably seen a lot of procedural and attitudinal changes, from the new Mormons and Gays website to a surge of young sister missionaries going into the world. We’ve also begun to hear a lot of calls for change in the Church, from members seeking a standardization of temple policies and women exercising their right to wear pants, to letters asking for women to pray in General Conference and a blog calling for our leaders to ask for revelation about ordaining women.

I shared the Ordain Women meeting information with my mother, who lives a mile and a half from the University of Utah Student Union. Neither of us will be able to attend, but we had a joyful (and tearful) moment just talking about it.

And then I heard this story from Rome, which is so beautiful I simply must share it with you.

The phrase “Catholic spring” appears near the end of the article, and it resonated with me. The “spring” part hearkens back to 1848, when revolution and political compromise led to some tiny but significant changes in Europe: the end of serfdom in some places; monarchs giving up absolute rule in others. You know the more contemporary allusions: the Prague spring of 1968 and the Arab spring that started in December 2010. In those cases, and the Catholic spring mentioned in the article, the word “revolution” is clearly too militaristic. Spring connotes awakening, rejuvenation, newness, meekness. It suggests that the sun is rising, that people are seeing things with new eyes and new hopes, that people and leaders are hearing one another and working together for progress.

I hope we’re experiencing the beginning of a Mormon spring–not a revolution, certainly, but a new era of revelation that transforms the Church we love in a fundamental way, the likes of which we haven’t seen for over a century. There is so much willingness to work together to include people who haven’t felt that they belong with us. So many people talking about change, openness, inclusion, and seeing each other as God sees us.

Happy spring, everyone. May God guide us and bless us.

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14 Comments

  1. Brilliant characterization of what we’re experiencing. I love the positive connotations of the spring metaphor.

  2. Beautiful analogy. So inspiring.

  3. I really like what is going on right now also. And I really like the metaphor of spring to describe it. My hope is that this really is an awakening to a higher plane.

  4. The coverage and positive responses to the Ordain Women site have far exceeded my expectations. I think that shows a lot of latent support out there, which is really heart-warming. The fact that we’ll hear women pray in Conference this weekend is also wonderful – it’s something I frankly thought we’d have to wait much longer to see. And I don’t think we’ll see anything like Prop 8 ever again.

    Thanks for applying the metaphor of spring to Mormonism – it’s such a happy thought!

  5. You captured this well. I had thought the same in relation to Arab Spring and was hoping that we could see a Mormon Spring as well. Perhaps the shake-up at the Maxwell Institute is also part of it?

    • Sharp eye, Jenne! I hadn’t made the connection.

  6. What a wonderful joining of imagery and events. Thank you for this perfect post. Popcorn is popping on my Apricot tree.

  7. Great connections, Libby. I hope you’re right that the changes continue and are amplified.

  8. Well, I’m sitting at my computer crying. A lovely and hopeful image, Libby. Thanks so much for sharing it.

    (And, am I the only Mormon who’s feeling rejuvenated and inspired by the new pope?)

    • Not at all. I definitely am too, Emily.

    • While my cynical old self sighs about the Pope’s apparent unwillingness to budge on issues like birth control and women’s ordination, I have to say I teared up when I saw the images of him washing and kissing a woman’s feet. Perhaps there’s hope for our Catholic sisters. Perhaps there’s hope for us all.

      • Not at all, Emily. Not at all. I am inspired by every single thing I have read (or seen) about the new pope–simple chair, simple attire, living in the guest home rather than in the papal palace, stating emphatically that they need to come down on the abuse, and that beautiful, beautiful gesture of including a woman for the first time in an already beautiful act of symbolism.

  9. Let us add this to our Mormon Spring: http://www.mormonnewsroom.org/article/church-adjusts-mission-organization-implement-mission-leadership-council

    At least Some leadership positions for Sister missionaries in Every mission!

    • So inspiring! I think there are a lot of things I’ve missed in the list–and I think the existence of this blog and others like it is part of the spring as well.

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  1. Mormon Feminist Survey | The Exponent - [...] are writing an academic paper on Mormon feminist identity and responses to the Mormon Spring. The Mormon Spring is defined as …

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