Poll: Marriage and Motherhood
In the Spring 2011 Journal of Mormon History, Catherine A. Brekus wrote an article titled ‘Mormon Women and Agency’, wherein she discusses the marginalization of Mormon women in American historiography, as well as the issue of including the Mormon women who were not feminists- i.e. Mormon women who use their agency to comply with a patriarchal society. In referencing Richard Bushman in his 2008 Mormonism: A Very Short Introduction, Brekus concludes: ‘Most Mormon women have not demanded the priesthood and most seem to value marriage and motherhood as their most important calling.’
This thought distracted me, if only because I feared that it was representative of me. And yet… I was glad that it might represent me as well, because my marriage is hands-down more important to me than the church. Just recently in a meeting with the Bishop in our new ward, I was very clear and adamant that my marriage always comes before callings. I consoled myself by telling myself that I find joy in marriage, and not a lot of joy at church so marriage is a smart investment. Plus, I am not “sealed” to church organizational structure in the afterlife, so it is better to invest my time in something I am going to be “sealed” to, right? But in doing this, am I creating a disservice to women’s progression in the church?
Should women place the progression of women as our most important callings, even above marriage and family? As an odd comparison, it is clear to me that Joseph Smith thought his role as prophet was his most important calling, and though it is evident that he loved Emma, church came before Emma. Is this the model for us in to progress the divine role of women in the church, where we love our family, but place them second to “furthering the work”?
So, feminist or not, married and childless, single parents, single and childless… this is a question based on your long term views: