I am a professional organizer. (Yes, I do this for a living.) This weekend I organized a conference for Professional Organizers. It’s been intense.
In my job, I organize people’s homes, pantries, offices, attics, files, and computers. I talk to them about order, white space, letting go, and flow. I believe I make a difference. I take organizing a step further in companies as a project manager. And I stretch my business skills as an entrepreneur. I’m a fantastic networking living in a city of networkers. My business is growing.
But …. I haven’t always been a business owner and an organizer. I graduated BYU with a degree that met two criteria: it was usable in the work place and it was flexible around motherhood.
And when marriage, motherhood (and a second income) didn’t come, I realized that I should have added a third criteria to my graduation standards: lucrative. So, I did what every LDS woman does when she finds herself at 30 and still single, I went back to school and got an MBA.Read More
Not very long ago, I read this post, that made me want to read this book, Way Below the Angels: the pretty clearly troubled but not even close to tragic confessions of a real live Mormon missionary. Even shorter ago, I did.
While it isn’t a woman’s story, I still feel that it is worth reviewing here, in this women’s story space for two reasons. 1) The author, Craig Harline, does a fairly good job pointing out when women’s stories, voices, and presence are forgotten.
One example of this is when his Salt Lake Mission Home President tells a mixed group of Elders and Sisters that they are to dress like “local businessmen.” Another is when his going-Belgium group was moved to the Rexburg, Idaho LTM, and they held a nightly devotional with the older going-Belgium missionaries, that fully excluded the Sisters because it was in an Elder’s dorm room. The saddest examples took place in Belgium. The first question they asked women who answered the door was if they could speak to their husband. Not because they weren’t allowed to speak to women, but because they were taught that they should focus on the man. A woman named Lieve demanded focus, because she had a dream and a wish to be baptized. She also had a husband who did not share that dream or wish. He was required to sign a permission slip, which he did. But then he took it back. Lieve learned that if her husband had the dream and wish, her signature would not be needed.*
2) Harline’s ofttimes funny/ofttimes insightful words created a space for me to remember my own mission story.Read More
Here are some links to check out!
- The Exponent II turned 40! Our friend Tona writes about the festivities. And for the first time in Boston retreat history, a reporter was allowed in to portions of the event. Here’s what was published in the Botson Globe!
- The General Women’s Meeting of the church was held last weekend. Huge news — for the first time in history, a woman of color gave a prayer at a session of General Conference! (Sister Dorah Mkhabela from the YW General Board) Reporters and press were barred from attending the meeting in person this time. For anyone who did attend in person, did you stop by the display of Kathleen Peterson’s artwork of the “Girls who choose God” illustrations, hanging in the Conference Center? Julie M. Smith from T&S highlights the meeting nicely.
- The Mormon Messages video about the over-extended mom in “You Never Know” circulated Facebook recently, as did some well-thought out critiques and analysis. Make sure you read what Catherine from Segullah had to say about it.
- Ordain Women will undertake a local action this weekend for the Priesthood session of general conference.
- Remember the frilly poster about the Europe Area Women’s meeting a while back? Some nice words, some not-so-nice words shared there. Jana Riess writes about it and Rune from fMh cartoons about it.
- Neylan McBaine’s book, Women at Church, is out and making headlines. Have you read it, or shared it with anyone? This week she shares a thought-provoking post about the low graduation rates for females in Utah.
- UN Goodwill Ambassador Emma Watson (of Harry Potter fame!) creates a buzz in her speech calling for male allies in the feminist cause and launches the HeForShe campaign. A 15-year-old boy’s positive response went viral in the Sunday Telegraph. Is “feminist” a dirty word? Joseph Gordon-Leavitt doesn’t think so.
Did you attend the Women’s meeting last weekend? Would your 15-year-old son or brother listen to Hermione talk about feminism? Tell us in the comments!Read More
I know I am not alone in loving President Uchtdorf. Today I was grateful for his heartfelt, genuine talk. I appreciate how hard he tried to articulate his love for the sisters of the church and how important he thinks we are. I thought it was important that he specified that this, the General Women’s Meeting, is the opening session of conference and should be counted as such. I think this counts as a change in the way we discuss this meeting. I also thought it was important that President Uchtdorf repeatedly mentioned the existence of Heavenly Parents.
It was obvious from his address that President Uchtdorf wants to help us return to our Heavenly Parents. He believes that the best way to do this is to walk the path of discipleship and obedience. President Uchtdorf acknowledged that obedience isn’t always joyful but that we need to have trust that God’s vision is larger than ours. Heavenly Father is eternally loving and focused on getting us home. Uchtdorf encouraged each us to cherish the light posts of obedience that will help us return to him.Read More
It seems that the theme for this women’s meeting is covenants and the temple. Sister Jean A. Stevens, first counselor in the Primary Presidency focused on the covenants, starting with the baptismal covenant and leading up to the temple. She used her own mother as the central example saying she had a “remarkable connection to heaven” and later used quotes from many women of differing ages and their examples of looking to the temple. I loved that she used regular Church members and especially women as examples and multiple times emphasized that we all have different paths. We have so few in the scriptures and often go through whole Sunday School or RS lessons without any quotes from women. I also liked her story of her parents getting married before her father’s mission- it’s a great example of how our current practices aren’t doctrine and that there is a lot of leeway in how we practice the gospel. I really enjoyed her talk and I don’t have much to add to it, so I will share some of my favorite quotes from her talk.
“We are known and loved individually by Him.”
“As we stand in the waters of baptism, we look to the temple.”
“Tonight we gather as covenant women of God. Our ages, circumstances & personalities cannot separate us. ”
“Temples are an expression of God’s love”
“Every mighty change of heart matters to the Lord and it will make all the difference to you, for as we go to his holy house, we can be armed with his power, his name upon us, his glory round about us, and his angels have charge over us.”
I am really looking forward to re-reading the talks from this meeting when they become available. I hope you all can find something for yourselves in at least one of these talks.Read More