Just over a year ago, I sat in a cabin with some of my dearest friends. They were women that I had gotten to know over the years when we had all lived near each other, but most of us had since moved away to different locations. We had kept in touch via email – we had actually spent most of a year discussing various issues in Mormonism (particularly women’s issues), and we had enjoyed such a rich conversation that we decided to meet up for a weekend retreat. We left 47 of our 50 combined children at home, packed our favorite treats and games, and met up in the mountains – away from the routine demands of life. After a day of playing games, gorging on cupcakes, and catching up, we broke into small groups.
And we started to tell our stories.
As a background, I had heard about the Mormon Women’s Oral History Project through a podcast I had listened to – Caroline Kline and Claudia Bushman spoke with Dan Wotherspoon about their book “Mormon Women Have Their Say” (reviewed here by Rachel), and they talked about the project. As my friend Melissa Mason and I planned our informal friends’ retreat, we talked about it and thought that we could use the Oral History Project as the central activity of the weekend – we thought it would be neat to hear everybody talk about their lives and hear some more background. So we got some basic information from Claudia, included some USB recording sticks in our packing gear, and sat down to listen to one another.Read More