ideal/idol


as a teenager, i decided that when i grew up i wanted to be the mother of a large family. i planned the rest of my education based on that decision. i had my life mapped out. after high school, i would attend brigham young university where i would certainly find and marry my future husband. i would begin a major in secondary education, which would enable me to work in a profession compatible with mothering children–but only if life circumstances forced me to work. and i was prepared to drop out of college so my future husband could pursue his career plans as necessary. i would not put off having children for pecuniary reasons. i would be a wonderful wife and mother.

my plans didn’t work out exactly as i envisioned them. right in the middle of my undergraduate education, the spirit prompted me that i should more seriously pursue my education–including a graduate education–in order to allow me to teach. i knew teaching was a gift from god and that were i not to teach, i would be failing him. i’m 31 now. i’m unmarried and have no children. i finished my undergraduate degree. and i continued to earn a master’s degree. i am currently working on a PhD. i still want to marry and have children–more than i want anything else. i will not give up on that vision for myself. but my life is very different from what i envisioned it would be.

in the april 2007 ensign, shauna bird dunn shares her own teenage vision of her future life and how that life radically changed. after having spent years planning a high-power corporate career, she felt prompted to turn down a dream job in favor of a job that would allow her to have children. ultimately she left work altogether to become a stay-home mom. i respect dunn for her decisions. they were clearly very difficult decisions to make. and she made them in keeping with personal revelation about god’s plan for her.

that said, i was troubled by her article. dunn creates a fairly stark opposition between the life she envisioned as the “leader of a large corporation” and her actual life as a stay-home mom. she writes: “i have stayed up many nights to comfort a sick or frightened child instead of staying up preparing a presentation for the board of directors; worn clothes covered in peanut butter smears instead of power suits; cleaned my home each day instead of enjoyed a penthouse view from my office; bandaged ‘owies’ and encouraged piano practice instead of handing out performance reviews; and enjoyed hugs and kisses instead of stock options as my compensation plan.” dunn also describes her dreams of working as a high-powered corporate leader in terms of “wearing power suits to my penthouse office, dazzling my co-workers and employees with my expertise, and cashing paychecks that truly reflected my value.”

the message is clear: being a stay-home mom is rewarding in very real, deeply human ways. it is full of love and compassion and kindness. it is selfless. pursuing the high power career with its “unbelievable benefits” is actually about shallow considerations like clothing, how high up the building one’s office is situated, wowing other people, and making lots and lots of money; it is not about true fulfillment, passion, or serving others.

part of the problem here is that dunn is clearly discussing labor in a very capitalist system, a system in which money and power are the measure of all that is worthy. and she compares it to labor (the labor of mothering full time) that is not recognized in terms of money or power within our capitalist society. she is participating in a conception of ‘work’ that fails to recognize that leading which is done for money should be similar in kind to leading that is done for christ. in other words, leaders in the workplace should be servant leaders every bit as much as leaders in the church or the family. but i digress; servant-leaders in the workplace is a topic for a different post.

the thing that really bothers me about dunn’s article is that she portrays women who want to work as supremely shallow. they are motivated by money. or by clothes. or by power. or by prestige. they are not motivated by passion. they are not trying to use god-given abilities and talents–talents that they will lose if they do not use them. they are the demonized other to the stay-home mother.

i want to give a voice to those women who pursue a career not because they want money or prestige or to be one of the boys; but because they are driven to do a certain work. because they know that if they do not do that work, they will fail god. because that work will allow them to be co-creators with god. i want to work not because i’ll see my name in lights or have multiple publications or be able to append three degrees to my name when i sign letters; i want to work because i think teaching will let me do god’s work in ways that nothing else will allow, not even motherhood. i want to work because teaching will give voice to passions and ideas that, if they remain bottled up inside me, will otherwise explode.

and i want to be a wife and a mother. the difference between dunn and i was she actually had a choice about following her teenage vision of a life. i have not had that choice. my opening paragraphs are not simply a subtle parody of dunn’s opening paragraphs; they are an accurate statement of my dream for myself when i was a teenager. my life has unfolded in such a way that i have never had the opportunity to make the choices that would allow me to marry and have children. instead, i have had to grapple with the darkness of not being able to make that choice. but, like dunn, i have learned that “i am happiest when i follow the lord’s plan for my life rather than my own personal plans.”

dunn’s article illustrates the great faith it takes some women to give up work and instead become a stay-home mother. i honor that faith. but this decision is idealized to such an extent that it is often idolized in the church. my decision, which mirrors in inverse dunn’s decision, also required a great deal of faith. the decision to continue pursuing the work and education the spirit prompted me to pursue was a decision premised on faith–faith that doing so would not foreclose the opportunity to marry and bear children; faith that i have the capacity to do the work i feel prompted to do (believing this is an ongoing battle for me); faith that i can navigate the sometimes troubled waters of being a mormon, a feminist, and an intellectual. accepting the fact that my righteous desire for marriage and family may never be fulfilled, and finding the strength to build a life for myself alone, has required more faith than i realized i had.

dunn’s almost-glib dismissal of women who work in favor of women who mother conceals the passion and spiritual commitments that inform some women’s commitment to work. and the idealization/idolization of stay-home motherhood her article represents ignores the reality of so many women in the church–those who are single, whether with or without children; those who must work for financial reaons; those who cannot have children; and many others. it is time to celebrate motherhood and marriage without doing so at the expense of real women whose lives do not, and often cannot, conform to an ideal/idol.

{this was cross-posted on my personal blog, laughtear.}

Amelia

Amelia has recently relocated to Salt Lake City for her new job selling college textbooks (a job she loves). She’s a 9th generation Mormon redefining her relationship with the church (the church she both loves and hates). She’s passionate about books, travel, beauty, and all things cheese.

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  1. C.L. Hanson says:

    That’s too bad that she had to phrase it in those terms. When you feel good about your choices, it seems like it should be easy to celebrate your accomplishments without turning it into a put-down for someone else.

    But for women, it seems like whether you’re giving 100% to raising your family, or whether you’re giving 100% to other passions, goals, callings, etc., (or juggling some percentage between the two) somebody’s going to look down on you for it. (Not just in the church.) So it’s easy to become defensive and attack other paths as not just wrong for yourself, but wrong on principle.

    It’s tricky to keep an eye out for that attitude and try to understand and empathize with women whose situation and choices are different. Tricky, but not impossible. 😀

  2. AmyB says:

    This post has a similar theme to what I have planned for later this week. I feel a synchronicity with your thoughts, although from a different angle.

    Sometimes it feels like as women we’re damned if we do, and damned if we don’t. I wish all the various paths our lives take could be seen as honorable and good.

    This was a beautifully written piece, Amy. Thank you.

  3. Caroline says:

    Amy, this is awesome! I would seriously consider sending some form of this as a letter to the editor at the Ensign. Also, I think you could take a lot of these ideas and write a wonderful Ensign article.

    What bothers me most about the LDS rhetoric of women working (which you mentioned) is the assumption that work is something a woman does when she is forced to by circumstance or when she is selfishly pursuing worldly status.

    Like you said, Amy, what about when a woman has a God-given talent that she wants to use to contribute to society, to help improve the world around her? I know that’s an idealistic vision of work that is only availabe to the privileged. But nevertheless, it is real. And it should be recognized as the selfless motivation that it is.

  4. amelia says:

    “When you feel good about your choices, it seems like it should be easy to celebrate your accomplishments without turning it into a put-down for someone else.”

    i agree, c.l. this is something i regularly try to accomplish–celebrating my own decisions and choices without implying that others’ choices are wrong. it’s not always an easy thing to do. however, i find that when i am at my highest moments–the times when i am most confident that i am doing as i should be doing (both because those actions are right in god’s eyes, but also because they are an expression of myself)–at those times, it is not difficult to honor other women’s choices.

    and i agree that this is not just a problem in the church. nor is the challenge of balancing family and work. sometimes the way this issue is discussed in the church creates an us vs. them scenario in which the secular “them” are motivated purely by the kinds of motives dunn talks about here. too often we fail to recognize that many women struggle with how to balance the desire for family and the desire for work.

    i’m looking forward to your perspective on these issues, amy. it does often feel like a damned if you do, damned if you don’t situation. and i wish it didn’t.

  5. amelia says:

    caroline–

    i’m thinking about trying to write something up for the ensign on this issue. probably with an emphasis more on the journey of faith involved for those women who must make the opposite decisions–the decisions about building a career and a life without the opportunity of mothering. and, if i write it, i’ll write it without resorting to the argument that all women are mothers. it’s an argument i can’t stomach very well.

    you’re right that the kind of drive to work that i right about here is an exception in our world–and probably in first world countries as well as developing or third world countries. in my mind, however, that reinforces the importance of not turning one’s back on such a drive to work. if i have received this kind of spiritual prompting to perform a certain kind of labor; if i have the desire to do god’s work through paid labor, rather than simply through the “unpaid” labor of mothering; and if i have the opportunity to do so, it seems even more necessary that i not turn my back on that prompting and need.

    part of the problem that you address is that the mormon rhetoric of working vs. mothering sees those two things as diametrically opposed. dunn’s article makes this opposition patently obvious. work is shallow and selfish; motherhood is deeply meaningful and selfless. but such an opposition fails to acknowledge that there are many women who are mothers for shallow, selfish reasons (hopefully their experiences as mothers jolt them out of that approach to mothering, but it doesn’t always). and it fails to acknowledge that many people work for deeply meaningful reasons. and it completely ignores the many women for whom full time mothering simply is not an option, even if the rhetoric does make a nod in the direction of financial necessity.

  6. MJK says:

    It is true that some of us aren’t given choices. And I have had to make that turnaround not once, but twice now. Growing up the daughter of a single working mother, I wanted to be strong and independant like she was. I was going to go to college, possibly get a graduate degree and become a successful professional who was in charge of her own life.
    Then I met my husband, who God told me I should definitely marry (I had no objections), who wanted to support me while I stayed at home with the children we would have. So I got married, got my undergrad degree and worked part time while my husband’s job got off the ground, eager to have kids and become a mother. Then my husband lost his job. Then another job. Then another job. Then accidents, illness and medical bills along with student loans. Having kids may have to wait another 10 years at this point, and it’s all I can do not to resent my husband for putting me in that position. But if all this was supposed to happen, why am I miserable?

  7. Ana says:

    I’ll start with what I liked about that article …

    There was a time when the author’s first children were young when she prayed about continuing her career. The answer to her prayer was that she should continue to work at that time.

    I think that’s the first time I’ve ever seen it acknowledged in an official Church publication that that can happen. I appreciated that. It’s happened to me.

    I wish we could give greater emphasis to the freedom and the responsibility we have to make our choices about work and family carefully and with the guidance of the Spirit. I tell the Mia Maids that if they can learn how to seek answers through prayer, they never have to be afraid of making a wrong choice, nor look back and regret a choice they’ve made. I really believe that. I find it a huge blessing.

  8. Julie P says:

    I appreciated Ana’s comment, especially where she talked about the author receiving confirmation through prayer to be a working mother. That was powerful to me, as I don’t remember ever seeing something like that in a publication of the church. And I really appreciated it. I’ve been thinking about that article a bit since I read it last week, and that’s the part I keep coming back to.

  9. amelia says:

    julie & ana–

    thank you for your comments. i, too, very much appreciated that dunn shared her experience with receiving inspiration to work while she was a mother of young children. and i also really appreciated that she shared their experience of inspiration leading to her husband being a primary caregiver at that point in their lives. i think it’s so important for us all to realize that while there are general guidelines about many things, god involves himself in individual lives and sometimes those guidelines don’t apply.

    dunn’s article is certainly not all bad. and i tried to acknowledge that i respect her for her own strength of conviction and character and her willingness to do the difficult things god asked of her. i just wish that sharing the experience could be done without depicting other choices as being so empty of all substance.

  10. amelia says:

    mjk–

    i wish there was easy advice for your situation–easy to give and easy to follow. but there just isn’t. i suppose there’s two points of concern: 1. how to not resent the people who seem to prevent us from having what we feel we should have; and 2. how to reconcile the notion that god is directing our lives with the realities of disappointment, discouragement, depression, etc.

    in my own circumstances, i didn’t resent any individual for my situation. but i did find myself with some regularity resenting god for not giving me what i thought he had promised me so very many times. this is going to sound glib and too easy, but i’m going to say it anyway. i had to realize that when i committed (and continue to commit) to living as god would have me live, i didn’t commit to a certain benefit package. there’s no quid pro quo involved in living the life i think god has asked me to live. there’s just a certain kind of life–one of sacrifice and hard work and dedication; but also one that brings great joy and beauty and happiness, often from unexpected sources. when i was able to stop thinking of my covenants with god (and all of the blessings, and therefore promises, i’ve received) in “if . . ., then . . .” terms, i was able to accept more gracefully that life is not what i thought i had been promised it would be. i don’t always have the clarity of vision and thought to see things that way, but i try. and when i succeed i’m happy. in spite of the fact that the “problems” haven’t changed (and those problems are not all psychological; there have been some very real world ones, too).

    trying to achieve and maintain this perspective on things has helped me with the second problem too–with reconciling the notion of an actively involved god who has directed me to do certain things but then finding that the consequences aren’t always so great. i guess the most important thing i’ve tried to realize is that god gives us light in the midst of darkness; he doesn’t necessarily remove all darkness.

    i hope that doesn’t all sound too cheery and polly-anna-ish, or like i’m dismissing your problems. but i do very much believe that there is always light and hope to be found, no matter how dark the world seems. and that god will help us find it, even when it may seem like he’s pulled the rug out from under us.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Maybe I’m missing something but I didn’t read her article as putting down working women, she seemed to be relating what she had wanted – penthouse office, prestige, high paycheck – not saying that those were the things all working women worked for. Her dream was her dream and she shared it with us to show us that God often has other plans for us than the dreams we have for ourselves. I don’t understand why that seems so threatening to some of you.

  12. amelia says:

    i don’t find her story threatening; i find it troubling. there is a difference. a significant one.

    the problem is that dunn’s article is part of a much larger rhetoric about working mothers in the church. that rhetoric is evolving. in my opinion, it has gotten better in the last ten years or so–specifically since president hinckley became prophet. he has been wonderful about encouraging young women to get all the education they can. he’s regularly acknowledged that there are situations in which mothers must work and has reminded us (gently, as he usually does) that we should not judge others for making decisions their situation requires.

    but in spite of the good work i think president hinckley has done, there is far too often the implication that mothers who work do so because they are unwilling to sacrifice the material benefits they (and their families) reap as a result of their employment. perhaps church culture is different where you (anonymous) live than it is where i have lived (SoCal, Utah, Virginia, and Boston), but my experience is that the *idea* of a woman who works while she has young children is often criticized as selfish, materialist, etc. even if in reality women who work are not treated that way.

    it is my opinion that we should not underestimate the power of rhetoric to shape beliefs and attitudes–and to negatively affect us. dunn’s rhetoric perpetuates negative stereotypes of working women in ways i find potentially destructive. while she is certainly recounting only her own experience, the tone of her narrative creates the problems i pointed out. and the fact that it’s published in the ensign elevates her comparison between reasons for working and reasons for mothering to something akin to authoritative.

  13. Deborah says:

    amelia:

    Speaking of “the work President Hinckley has done,” he talk to the Young Women is now available at lds.org. Money quotes:

    “Beyond ecclesiastical study there is the challenge of education. Resolve now, while you are young, that you will get all of the education you can. We live in a highly competitive age, and it will only grow worse. Education is the key that will unlock the door of opportunity.

    You may plan on marriage, and hope for it, but you are not certain that it will come. And even though you marry, education will be of great benefit to you. Don’t just drift along, letting the days come and go without improvement in your lives. The Lord will bless you as you make the effort. Your lives will be enriched and your outlook broadened as your minds are opened to new vistas and knowledge.”

    ******

    Per your post, as women, I think we are too often caught feeling the need to justify our choices — and the often the simplest way to do so is to say “this is why my choice is *better* than the other choice.”

    I’ve been guilty of this line of thinking sometimes — especially early in my career when I felt the need to justify why K-12 teaching was a good use of my talents despite its relative lack of prestige. Because the women’s professions (including full-time motherhood) do not have a lot of social capital, it’s easy to fall into the “noble profession” line of speak (look at me, the giving middle school teacher who shunned the corporate track) when my truth was much more simple: I really love what I do and have felt drawn to it personally and spiritually.

    So I’m lucky . . . How much more tempting it must be to use us/them language if one is in a traditional profession and does NOT love it, like it, feel good at it? I don’t *need* to feel teaching is “noble” as much as some of my colleagues who did not actively choose this profession, who came to it by cultural expectation or unwanted life experience. Don’t we all want to be noticed and valued? To feel good about our choices?

  14. amelia says:

    thanks so much for those quotes, deborah. i haven’t had a chance yet to look at the talks that were given at the young women’s conference. it always makes me happy to see/hear president hinckley giving such wonderful advice to the young women. i think i would have been much better equipped to deal with my situation now had i heard those teachings as a young woman. while i was encouraged to pursue an education, it was almost always presented as an emergency chute not as something worth pursuing in and of itself. and i don’t remember ever being told so bluntly that i may not marry and that i should not simply drift.

    on your second point: i think you’re absolutely correct. as amyb commented earlier, i think women often feel “damned if you do, damned if you don’t.” when the choice is full-time mothering, i think they feel damned by people outside the church; when it’s full-time work, i think they feel damned by people inside the church. i think that distinction helps create some of the rhetoric about and mormon cultural response to the idea of mothers working outside the home.

    i also think your comment is very pertinent when discussing women who have chosen to be stay-home mothers. my sister commented on this post on my personal blog, sharing the feelings of incompleteness she sometimes feels as a stay-home mother of two young children. while she knows she has made the right decision and she loves being home with her girls, she also struggles because she feels unfulfilled. too often we blame the person who is feeling unfulfilled, rather than helping them find ways to meet their potential and find meaning beyond that which is found in mothering. i’m sure that feeling this way could lead to an us/them mentality in order to make oneself feel better about staying home with children when doing so creates some feelings of emptiness.

    as i told my sister, i think the key is to continue fulfilling the most important responsibilities (family) without doing so at the expense of other important responsibilities (self, community, etc.). it is possible to be a stay home mother and to be involved in activities and projects that can bring personal fulfillment beyond that which is a direct product of mothering.

  15. amelia says:

    one more thing: i also think addressing the problem deborah points out has to do with confidence in one’s decisions. the reason i said i’m not threatened by dunn’s article is because i am confident in my own decisions and life path. i think being truly confident in one’s choices and abilities allows us to simply claim who we are without having to elevate ourselves above others (or even earlier visions of ourselves, as dunn does) in order to feel good about where we are. i’m not always 100% confident–sometimes far from it. but there is a core of confidence that i always fall back on. (there’s lots of interesting scripture about confidence, by the way; maybe sometime i’ll post about it.)

  16. Seraphine says:

    I just wanted to echo amelia’s comments. I also have a big problem with the rhetoric in the church that when women work or get an education, they must be doing it for material reasons, or doing it in order to support their children (though, it is slowly changing).

    Education as an end in and of itself for women is very rarely acknowledged, which has been frustrating to me because the thing in my life I am most passionate about is learning/education. For the longest time, I actually thought there was something wrong with me because I loved school so much (and because I never heard any acknowlegement at church that my educational pursuits were noble pursuits). Luckily, I had enough passion and drive that I did what I wanted, and I also truly feel like I’m on the path God would have me on.

  17. Seraphine says:

    P.S. I love the Klimt picture you included at the top of the post. I have a large, framed version of this picture hanging on my wall at home.

  18. Téa says:

    I hadn’t realized how deeply this ideal/idol was ingrained until I was geniunely surprised that our Bishop called a Relief Society president that was employed part-time and had young children. Not dismayed, mind you, just surprised. What an eye opener! I thought I was so open minded, so careful not to judge another’s situation and yet somewhere within I assumed that a young employed mother was somehow out of the running for this calling. How sad is that?

    (For the record she’s fabulous in this role, an excellent mother & we’re good friends)

  19. Stephen says:

    Our relief society president is employed full time and has been divorced forever (or so it seems).

    On the other hand, everyone thinks she is the best role model ever and loves her to pieces. My Mom is one of her greatest fans. I’m very glad to have her in our ward as an example to my own daughters.

  20. Anonymous says:

    I have re-read the article several times, and still fail to spot anything that even hints at some hidden “working is shallow” mentality. I think ana is right on when she states that the article is about the choices that dunn made, and not about the choices that everyone should made. nearly every sentence speaks in the first person singular. This is HER story, not a judgement of other people’s story.To suggest that inclusion in the Ensign somehow enshrines that decision in doctrine seems hasty as well. That line of reasoning would indicate that the article also stands as a command to all women to work outside the home for a time when their children are young, since as many of you noted that too is stated as a right course of action.
    One of the main thrusts of the argument in favor of a hidden agenda revolve around the comparisons between her perceived activities in the workplace and her actual activities in the home. The comparisons about clothes and compensation are clearly designed to show that motherhood is neither rewarding nor validating in many instances. They are not included to forward some imagined rhetorical agenda, nor to suggest that those who work do so for shallow reasons.They show the author’s progression of coming to grips with the very values that amelia seems to be championing–relying on personal inspiriation to decide on your own course in life, and realizing that there are things other than paychecks, and prestige that have value in life.
    I fully agree that many people work because they feel that what the Lord wants them to do. I teach for that very reason, and hope that my students feel that conviction, but I still don’t see how anyone could construe this article as any sort of judgement about other people’s choices.

  21. Eunice (Guatemala) says:

    I agree with some comments posted, that mothers who work and study, are often critized, I struggle to follow the advice of President Hinckley to use the perpetual education fund to get a profesion, and also I have had to stand the bad looks of some of members (also leaders), that consider me ambitious for being studying and working.

    I don´t think marriage and children is a synonymous of brake in the aspirations of women, I believe I can be a great mother, especially if I´m not a frustrated person.

    I have also understood that quality time has nothing to do with quantity of time.

    Church has always taught us to be prepared, education is one way to be, my father died when I was 1 year old, my mother became a widow with 3 children, and she only had elemental education, and a lot of economical needs, though the Lord blessed us so much, it was hard, specially for her who cried so much; I hope that never happens to me and my own family, but just in case, I want to be prepared.

  22. Katie says:

    When I first saw this particular article in the Ensign, I was pretty apprehensive about reading it. Especially when it started out as how she dreamed of wanting a high-paying job in corporate America; it seems like anytime we talk about women working outside the home, it is because they want a big paycheck, or their husband is an invalid.

    But, as I briefly skimmed the article, preparing to be offended, instead I was quite surprised to see, as Ann pointed out, that the author had a moment in her life where an answer to prayer was received that she SHOULD work.

    Was this the first time that the Ensign has printed an article where a woman actually received personal revelation to go to work? I know that I was very encouraged by it.

    I have been going through a similar situation with my own job. After I graduated with my PhD in Aug. 2005, I took a less rigorous position in my thesis lab b/c my husband and I were trying to have a baby. I felt pressured not to be working when the baby finally came. But, after a year of trying… no baby. My husband and I then very prayerfully considered the question of what I should do with my life next.

    After a LOT of prayer, fasting, and a very personal spiritual witness that is very sacred to me, we knew that I was supposed to take a position as a postdoc in a specific lab at the school my husband attended. Several months after this decision was made, my mother passed away. Two weeks after that, we became pregnant with our now 5-month old son, Joshua.

    Because of the experiences I had, and the strong confirmations of the spirit I have continued to have, I knew that the Lord wanted me to continue in that job even after the baby was born. I know that this decision was right. I still know it is right. Still, it is hard when I feel like I have to constantly justify this decision to everyone at church.

    A very close LDS girlfriend told me yesterday that she doesn’t think that mothers who work outside the home love their children enough to stay home for them. She has also made comments in the past to the extent that too many LDS women are trying to make themselves the “exception to the rule, the rule being to stay at home.” She cited that if women would just be less materialistic, want less expensive houses, cars, etc., that they would be content with staying at home, where they should be.

    Her statement really, really hurt me, because she put into words something that I have often felt many people at church think but do not say. I am not working b/c I don’t want to be home! I am working b/c it is a commandment to me, personal revelation I’ve received! Don’t people understand that these decisions are never, ever made lightly?

    I’m a convert to the church, so for a very long time I thought that alot of this antipathy towards women working was doctrine, but after listening to Pres Hinckley speak, etc., I’ve come to realize that it is much more of a self-perpetuating cultural thing.

    Hopefully, in time it will be easier for women to say, “I am getting a degree in XYZ,” without having to say, “and here are how I justify to the world how it will make me a better mom.”

    I have so much more I could say, but this is already the world’s longest comment. Thank you again for this great article. I feel much more understood now 🙂

  23. Caroline says:

    Katie,
    Thanks for sharing your story. Like you, I believe that some women should work and raise families at the same time. Some of us women have special talents God wants us to develop and use to serve the community. It’s just a highly individual thing. I hope that soon your ward members start to realize that.

  24. KiriClose says:

    I read that Ensign article, too. Didn’t like it particularly because it is written in a way that articulates the very shallow dichotomies Amelia nicely mentions (the kind this church plays up without any thinking attached to it).

    Now if Ms. Dunn (& women like her) choose this style of life as a way to beat working mothers living their dreams over the head with–family over career–then so be it. That she has to have an article written about it in the Ensign as a token of exhibitionism already displays Dunn’s very shallowness (did she think no one would notice?)–that whole “look at righteous me! look at righteous me! the Spirit lead me!” makes me puke.

    No way will Dunn or any other uncreative lady like her choose for me.

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