“We’ll sing this one fast – I like it that way. And skip the part about the errand of angels being given to women. That’s false doctrine.”
This broader vision would be in keeping with the life of the author, Emily Hill Woodmansee (1836-1906). According to the scholar Karen Lynn Davidson, “Emily H. Woodmansee was one of the many gifted and intellectual women of early Utah who were dedicated to bringing culture, idealism, and education to their community. These women were committed to carry out a vast number of responsibilities in the name of Relief Society.” (Davidson, 309) Emily Hill was born in Wiltshire, England and was baptized at age 16. She emigrated to the United States with her sister at age 20 and pushed a handcart across the Great Plains with the Willie handcart company. She married at 21, but her first husband deserted her and their child. At 28 she married Joseph Woodmansee and they became parents to 8 children. They suffered financial reverses and she went into business and real estate with great success. Apostle Orson F. Whitney said she was the “possessor of a poetic as well as a practical mind.” (Davidson, 462)
The blessings of God on our labors we’ll seek.
We’ll build up the kingdom with earnest endeavor;
We’ll comfort the weary and strengthen the weak.
And this is a gift, as God’s children, we claim:
To do whatsoever is gentle and human;
To cheer and to bless in humanity’s name.
If we but fulfill it in spirit and deed.
Oh, naught but the spirit’s divinest tuition
Can give us the wisdom to truly succeed.
It took me a long time to read this book, 1) because I actually read it one and a half times, and 2) because I read it almost entirely out loud. The first “half time” came on a long, long road trip across the United States, and was enough for me to know that I wanted every member to read it. The reason was both simple and personal: reading Mormon women’s experiences in their words facilitated the most amiable discussion on Mormon feminism that my traveling companion and I had ever had. He heard the women’s pain and joy, and he could not ignore them. Mormon Women Have Their Say birthed compassion and understanding.
The “whole time” came after my babe was born. I started again, and read a few pages at time, while I fed her. We finished just a few days ago, and it felt like a marvelous accomplishment.
The book begins with a preface from a woman at my graduate school that I do not know well, and then a longer introduction by Claudia Bushman, about the project the book stems from, and its history and impetus. One of the things she talks about is how we have few records on Mormon women, and fewer records on Mormon women that weren’t named Emma Smith, Eliza R. Snow, Emmeline B. Wells, or so forth, and fewer records still on Mormon women in the 21st century. The Claremont Oral History Project begins to correct all three.
It offers hundreds of records on regular Mormon women. In Claudia’s words:Read More
My kids finally talked me into seeing “Frozen” (it’s school vacation week here, and we’re catching up on a lot of things that we haven’t found time for in the last few months). I had read your post about the homosexual agenda you saw so clearly in the movie, and I have to say that I looked and looked for that agenda. And I just couldn’t find it.
Maybe it’s because I haven’t seen the movie three times. I admit that I’ve only seen it once.Read More
Recently the mission president of the Denver North mission came to our ward to inform us that elders would no longer be able to visit single women investigators without a priesthood holder from our congregation going with them. Our ward has many capable sisters, many who have served missions themselves, who would be excellent chaperones for these types of appointments but apparently this is unacceptable. He told us that this was standard church policy, that it is written in the handbook and that there could be no exceptions.
Unsurprisingly, this has proved to be a significant hardship for our inner city ward that struggles with a lack of priesthood holders to fill all the callings reserved for men. These are good men but they are already spread too thin. They simply do not have enough time or energy to take this on. Which means that my husband, as bishop, is the one that has to go out with the elders so that they can share the gospel with women.
Mr. Mraynes already has a demanding career which the church has now put a second, unpaid full time job on top of. The nights and/or weekends he has to go out with the elders is time away from his children–time that is already in too short supply. What does it profit the church if they potentially gain one soul but lose the souls of our four, young children because their father is never home?Read More
After becoming impatient at the GYN, so I went out and listened at her door
After I overheard her speak of a diagnosis, and thinking, “Wow. Glad that isn’t me!”
After finding out that it was me
After being told words like hermaphrodite and transsexual
After being told I might be male; and wondering if I was male. And gay.
After being told my chromosomes were female, but I could chooseRead More
Guest Post By Erin
From what I remember, (it has been almost 8 years since I pushed another life out of my body) birth is painful, messy, exhausting, and frightening. I can understand why Nicodemus might have been a little incredulous when he was questioning the need to be reborn, i.e. “You want me to do what???” However, there are times in life when a rebirth is absolutely necessary. Not because we weren’t right when we started, but because we have strayed from the person we were meant to be when we began.
Over the course of our marriage, my husband had taught me that I wasn’t enough. I couldn’t do much to please him, no matter how I tried. I logically knew that all the things wrong with our relationship weren’t my fault in total, but in order to maintain peace, I did the apologizing, I accommodated to his needs and wants, I did my best to change my very essence in order to please him through fourteen years of marriage. I was committed to my covenants and would have given up more if I could to protect my children from the spectre of divorce.
In September of 2012, my husband told me he couldn’t “do this” anymore and walked out the door leaving behind a well prepared letter of how visitation and child support and division of property and debts would proceed. I was dumbfounded, to say the least. A week before we had been making detailed lists of all the things we should plan to buy for birthdays and Christmases to prepare for a family goal of section hiking the Appalachian Trail over the next 7 years. His leaving came out of nowhere. Thankfully, the Spirit whispered, “Let him go, he knows what he is leaving and he is still making this choice. You will be okay.”
This wasn’t the rebirth, this was the conception what would be the birth of my new life.Read More