YW Lesson: How Can I Strengthen My Family? / Leçon JF : Comment puis-je fortifier ma famille?

YW Lesson: How Can I Strengthen My Family? / Leçon JF : Comment puis-je fortifier ma famille?

family

Click for French Translation/Traduction en français

We obviously talk a lot about families in the church. Personally, I think that is wonderful. However, the focus on traditional two parent family structure can be difficult for young women who don’t come from that background. I think it is important to emphasize to the young women that any family type can be a happy, strong family.

The lesson plan on LDS.org (found here: https://www.lds.org/youth/learn/yw/marriage-and-family/strengthen?lang=eng) suggests using the video, By Small Things. This would be a good jumping off point to help the class think of principles of strong families. It sounds cliché, but for me personally it really has been the ‘small things’ that mean the most to me; when I was in junior high my older brother would drive me to school and he actually talked to me. Now that we are all adults, and spread across the country, both my older and younger brothers call me at least once a week just to chat. Those little signs that they want to be involved in my life mean a lot. Other things that you might talk about are family scripture study and prayer, service to each other, and doing fun activities together. Ask the class to share times when someone in their family did something that made them feel loved and safe.

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The Church is Pro-Choice

Note: this post mentions rape, incest, abortion, stillbirth, death of infants, etc. If those topics are going to be triggering, please honor your health and pass on reading.

A few months ago, we were discussing the need for modern-day prophets in Sunday School. One woman raised her hand and said that she was grateful for modern-day revelation because of issues like abortion. I fought my urge to exclaim, “Yes! Isn’t it great that the Church is pro-choice?!” because it would really derail the lesson, so I’m going to say it here.

Isn’t it great that the Church is pro-choice?!

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To Sylvia

My Dearest Daughter,

Twelve days before your birth I wondered if I would be sacrificing you on the altar of my desire to be Mormon. I knew that remaining Mormon would mean that you would be confronted with the pain of being a woman in this church, even if you do not feel it as acutely as I do. Over the almost six years since I wrote that post I have documented the little “paper cuts” that you have experienced. Each one has broken my heart but you have met them with strength, determination and thoughtfulness. You are an amazing little girl.

Yesterday, however, you received a much deeper wound. Yesterday your history changed. Yesterday Kate Kelly was excommunicated from our church for “conduct contrary to the laws and order of the Church.” A lot has been written about this event but I want you to know your piece of the story.

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God Recognizes the Matriarchy

Last Sunday in Sunday School, we discussed the book of Judges. As a Mormon feminist, my normal instinct is to turn to the Deborah chapters and start chattering away on prophetesses and female judges. However, our teacher started with a different story that turned my world upside down. I’ll admit that I haven’t gotten very far in my Old Testament reading this year and I had never heard of the annunciation experience of Samson’s mother. This was an entirely new story to me!

I’ll give a short summary, but you can read it in full in Judges 13.

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Too old to hunt eggs?

Too old to hunt eggs?

When I was single and 21, I attended a memorable family Easter egg hunt. I am the oldest female cousin on that side of the family, and my sister (age 20) and next oldest female cousin (age 19) were already married. My older male cousin was a single returned missionary. No one invited any of them to hunt eggs, but everyone kept urging me to join the hunt with the kids. I finally explained that I was too old to hunt eggs, given that I was now of legal drinking age. They were confused. “You don’t drink.”

Not taking my word for it, they turned to my mother, who was known to be a key witness to my birth, to verify whether I had really aged out of the hunt.  “April is too old,” she confirmed.  Then she added, “She was never any good at finding eggs anyway.”

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Girl Scouts Sans Troop

Girl Scouts Sans Troop

I was never a girl scout but I wanted my daughter to be one.  American Mormon boys enroll in church-sponsored Boy Scouts troops. However, the LDS church does not sponsor Girl Scout troops. To be fair to my children and give them equal opportunities, I wanted to find a way for my daughter to access the Girl Scout experience outside of church.

When I went to the Utah Girl Scouts website and tried to sign up, I received a notice saying that because of the high demand for Girl Scouts in my local area, my daughter would not be able to join a troop.  All troops were full. The Girl Scouts website recommended that I volunteer as a Girl Scout leader, find another adult who is not related to me to be my partner, and recruit at least four other girls my daughter’s age in order to establish a brand new troop.

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