November Young Women Lesson: What is the Lord’s way for providing for the poor and needy?

Introduce the doctrine

Matthew 25:35-40
For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me. Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.

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From the Backlist: General Conference October 2015

April and her mom and daughter at General Conference

April and her mom and daughter at General Conference

We had a good discussion about General Conference on our backlist. Many of us found inspiration for our own life journeys and were reassured by affirming messages from Church leaders about issues dear to our hearts, such as the status of women in the Church. We had questions about the continued lack of diversity among the Quorum of the Twelve; continued low representation of women among Conference speakers; and the return of the English-only format, ending a short-lived effort at language diversity.

April Young Bennett: President Uchtdorf said all three apostle vacancies will be filled today. I am hoping that the new people will reflect the ethnic, racial and geographic diversity of the Church and I am hoping that the new people will be empathetic to the concerns of women who would like greater inclusion in the Church. After seeing a female friend and mentor become a Community of Christ apostle just a few weeks ago, I also feel sad that I can’t even hope for a woman to be included among our own apostles.

President Uchtdorf reprised the theme that women should simplify their efforts, instead of overdoing unimportant things like handouts. Simplification is always good advice, but I can’t help but wonder if women overdo handouts because we aren’t given more meaningful projects within the Church. Couldn’t we channel that energy into more important efforts if we were better included in the governance of the Church?

I liked that Elder Ballard pointed out that church leaders are neither perfect nor infallible, but they are perfectly dedicated. I believe that is true. I hope this kind of dedication and humility makes it possible for them to consider suggestions from rank-and-file members of the Church. Lately, I have been told by multiple sources that the brethren are so inspired they don’t need women’s input. I hope the brethren themselves don’t feel that way.

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Mormon Women Express #FaithInWomen with Art…and Keys

This living sculpture by Ginny Huo was featured in the Exponent II in July 2012.

This living sculpture by Ginny Huo was featured in the Exponent II in July 2012.

About 10,000 people from 80 nations who are members of 50 different faiths will descend upon my hometown of Salt Lake City for the Parliament of the World Religions on October 15-19. The Parliament began in 1893.  It has taken place in a variety of cities across the world, most recently in Melbourne, Australia in 2009.

This year is exciting to me not only because of location of the Parliament, near my home and the headquarters of my own faith, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS, Mormons), but also because for the first time, the Parliament will include a Women’s Assembly, providing an opportunity for women to address the responsibility of the world’s religions to affirm women’s dignity and human rights and empower women. (Follow the Women’s Assembly on social media with the hashtag: #FaithInWomen)

Several months ago, when I was a member of the board of Ordain Women, organizers of the Inaugural Women’s Assembly of the Parliament of World Religions reached out to us and invited us to participate in the event.  For some time, we had already been discussing the possibility of developing a community art project, using house keys to represent priesthood keys, as a way to express our desire for full equality within our church.  Now we had the opportunity to expand that vision to include women of many faiths.

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General Women’s Session: Rosemary Wixom

Rosemary-WixomPresident Wixom gave a beautiful and inspiring talk about divine nature, reminding us that we all have a divine destiny.

She began with a story of birth. “Life is a gift,” taught President Rosemary Wixom, Primary General President. “We come into this world trailing clouds of glory.” She concluded the birth story by quoting Elaine Cannon, who served as president of the Young Women organization from 1978 to 1984. “There are two important days in a woman’s life: The day she is born and the day she finds out why.”

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Send us a Guest Post!

Woman Writing a Letter by Kaigetsudō Doshin

Woman Writing a Letter
by Kaigetsudō Doshin

The Exponent has always been a safe place for new voices to share their thoughts about Mormonism and feminism. We have just added a new guest post submission form to make it even easier. Do you have something to say and you’re looking for a supportive, empathetic community to say it to?  Submit a guest post!  Guest posting is a great option if you like to write but don’t want the time commitment of maintaining your own blog, so submit a guest post! On the other hand, if you are actually looking for more of a long-term gig, the first step to becoming a permablogger at the Exponent  is to submit a guest post.  We are always looking for new people to join our ranks!

In celebration of our new guest post submission form, I am re-posting the story of how I became an Exponent permablogger.  Yes, I began by submitting a guest post back in 2011!

Finding My Voice was originally published in April 2012 here:

There was a point in my life when I started experiencing a great deal of religious angst.  I was desperate for an open environment where I could blab about all of my questions and concerns without someone interrupting to tell me that I would probably go to Hell.  Most of my more liberal friends lived far away and I felt like I was wearing out my poor husband, since he was my only sounding board left.  I was not at all interested in talking to a male authority figure, such as a bishop, because many of my concerns centered on religious patriarchy.

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