One of my local feminist friends was asked to speak on Faith in church a few weeks ago. She turned it into a talk about faith crises and used her own experiences as well as those of her friends to help illustrate the points. To support her, I attended the meeting and was so proud to see her deliver this talk to a group of fairly wealthy, white, suburban Mormons. While it seemed like some of them (particularly the man grumbling behind me) were not in agreement, Christine has since received much positive feedback, including having her talk quoted by someone else the next week! Our local AZ WAVE group met and discussed the impact of speaking our truth in church meetings and it was a really positive experience. We even thought about joining each other in wards to provide back up and support. I’ve considered sending it to my bishop and telling him that I’d be willing to give a talk if I could give THIS talk. I hope you enjoy this talk as much as I do. -Jessawhy
Guest Post by Christine Leavitt
Our Journey for the Fruits of Faith – January 26, 2014
I was asked to speak about the topic of faith. When contemplating this topic, the following three thoughts came to my mind concerning faith which I would like to discuss:
Faith is a journey, and everyone has a unique faith journey in which their faith will change and develop throughout their lifetime
Faith is a principle of action and loyalty to that which one chooses to have faith in
Faith is hope, not knowledge
A. “How exciting! You’re a New Year’s baby! Did you get money or gifts?”
B. “How sad for your parents! They just missed the tax break!”
The answer to A is, “No. I was the 23rd baby born in Provo, UT.” and my response to B is, “Yes, it was sad. They were so disappointed.” (With their firstborn child? Nope.)
I also get comments about how difficult it must be having a birthday near Christmas. It’s not actually that bad. My parents were dilligent about making sure I still got my party every other year and presents as much as the other kids. In fact, I really love my birthday. The whole neighborhood, state, country, world is celebrating my birthday! And just because it marks a new start, a new year. That’s what birthdays are all about. Marking one year as passed and the next year as starting fresh.
In honor of a fresh start and the birth of a new year, we Exponent Perma-bloggers and guests are beginning a series on Birth and Rebirth.
Our lovely Spunky has organized a schedule of posts surrounding different aspects of this beautiful concept, including childbirth, surrogacy, birth of the blog, and baptism as rebirth.
When I asked Spunky about how the idea to start a Birth series began, she reminded me that our death series from a few years ago, required a balance.
So as you enjoy this series, remember that childbirth does not happen for every woman. But stories about birth are important for us to hear and share. Think, too, about major events in your life that felt like a rebirth. These events may be a marriage, divorce, career change, illness, or other events that helped you see life through new eyes. Enjoy the start of the new year and join with us as we consider the beginning of the cycle of life.
When I wondered what I could contribute to this series, Spunky asked me to write a bit about the birth of LDS WAVE.
Birth of LDS WAVE
Last week I did a podcast with fMh Lisa where she asked me about the birth of WAVE. For me, creating WAVE was a natural progression of Mormon Feminists conversations about troubling LDS church policies and doctrine. In March of 2010, I wrote a blog post here called, “Mormon Feminist Activism” where I asked questions about our duty as Mormon Feminists to move beyond sharing our stories and begin to work toward change.Read More
Despite the inconvenience of an 8 AM Sunstone session this past July, my friend Katrina Barker Anderson delivered a compelling and beautiful presentation about her recent art project, Mormon Women Bare. If you haven’t seen it yet, go check it out!
The website features a description of the project and a gallery of images of women who have been photographed completely naked. These women are of varied shapes and sizes, some post pregnancy, with stretch marks and sagging breasts.
The images show the true nature of her subjects, just living in their skin. These women are brave and vulnerable, just living in bodies that are not perfect. In her project description, Katrina explains that modesty culture has become suffocating and because “images can be very powerful tools for change,” she wants this project to help change the way Mormon women and men think of the female body. Because, “the more we see something, the more normal and less taboo it becomes.” It’s a powerful message and a dramatic foil to the increased modesty rhetoric from the LDS church.
I was excited to learn that Katrina’s work has been praised by international publications, but so far is largely unnoticed in her Utah community.
This Op-Ed in the Salt Lake Tribune speaks to the modesty culture which Katrina is trying expose.Read More
Being a Mormon Feminist, or nearly any kind of human, sometimes requires bravery. At the Sophia Gathering last June, a few friends showed me this lyric video, based on the song Brave by Sara Bareilles. It still brings tears to my eyes to think of girls and young women being encouraged to speak their truth to a society that usually doesn’t want to hear. So I’m curious about how we as Mormon women see bravery. We have another Wear Pants to Church day, the recent Ordain Women event, and now the reality of a combined women’s meeting, how big is our brave? I had the opportunity to find out how big my brave is recently when my stake president called me into his office.Read More