Poll: Using Tools for our Sisterhood

There are precious few LDS publications for women, about women, or by women – but right now, we have one: Daughters In My Kingdom (Daughters).  The church published and distributed this book last fall for mainstream use – and because there was no defined way to utilized this publication, Exponent put together a short piece on Flannel Board in its Winter Issue outlining several ways that Daughters could be used in our wards and in our families.

My ward in Alexandria, VA has utilized this book in two of the ways suggested by Exponent.

1. We have started a Daughters Study Group that meets quarterly as one of the small group activities in Relief Society. This group gives women in our ward an opportunity to know the Relief Society history better and to be motivated by the strong, spiritual women in that history.

2. We had a lesson introducing Daughters to the Elders Quorum and High Priest Group during the 3rd hour on the Sunday in March recognizing the Anniversary of the Relief Society.  I taught the lesson along with the RS President and it was a success.  The men in our ward were interested in the history and engaged with many questions. I talked to them about establishing stronger heroine stories in their homes by using strong women for the scriptures and the history. I taught them about the evolving history of the Relief Society including mottos, goals, and achievements of the RS women throughout the years.  And I discussed the need for a partnership between Relief Society and Priesthood Quorums.

I have talked to many sisters and friends about my experiences using Daughters – and I’d like to hear from Exponent readers.  What are your experiences with this resource? Have you found it helpful in bringing women and women’s stories to the forefront of church talk and comments?

Suzette

Suzette lives in the Washington DC area and works as a Professional Organizer. She enjoys blogging and serving on the Exponent II Board. Her Mormon roots run deep and she loves her big Mormon family which includes 20 nieces and nephews, 6 sisters, 5 brother in laws, 2 parents - and dozens of cousins. Her favorite things about church are the great Alexandria wards, temple worship, and all things Visiting Teaching.

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10 Responses

  1. Stephanie says:

    I was very excited about this book coming out. I ran to my Bishop’s house the day it arrived to pick up a copy (and later received a scolding phone call from our RS president for not waiting – there weren’t enough to go around the first time). I eagerly read it, but within the first chapter, the tone bothered me. I finished the whole book in one night, but it just wasn’t what I was expecting at all. I was expecting a step forward, and it felt like a step back. I don’t really know what to make of it, so I put it on a shelf and am trying to forget about it. I am grateful my ward hasn’t really used it much.

  2. Suzette says:

    I would agree with you on tone. The book has some good stuff, but there is a lot lacking. But I’m working to be optimistic about the fact that the book actually exists. 🙂 I believe it can be used as a jumping off place for stories and conversations about women that would otherwise be lost. I hope that excitement and use of the book (and its good points) will generate other books – that actually have a bit more substance.

  3. Kirsten says:

    I am anxiously waiting to hear Laurel Ulrich’s presentation (hopefully at this year’s retreat) on how to use this in teaching both RS and EQ. I would love your notes, Suzette, and would like to try to get my ward to do a similar kind of presentation to the EQ and HP quorums…

  4. Maggie says:

    My rs had a lesson introducing daughters and then referenced it at our rs birthday celebration. I like how its being used but at the same time the parts that I’ve read have left me underwhelmed and bored. I guess it’s a step in the right direction but there’s so much that I wish it was and it just sort of scratches the surface or regurgitates the same old thing.

  5. anita says:

    We’re using it as a RS presidency to teach the first Sunday lesson of RS throughout this year, since there are 10 chapters and 10 Sundays we teach. These first three months have been great, everyone’s really enjoyed the lessons and putting together table displays to match the photos at the beginning of each chapter has been fun. I wanted to use it to inspire the themes for our monthly meetings as well, but the second counselor nixed that idea…

  6. Erin says:

    The book was distributed with many positive comments by the RS presidency and then…nothing. Making a point about women’s issues and women’s stories in talks, lessons, etc. are almost seen as suspect, since they might as well be the F word (feminist).

  7. EmilyCC says:

    I’ve used mine in preparing lessons when subbing in Primary–there are great quotes and little vignettes throughout. And, I use quotes on VTing when I send out my reminder emails.

    I would love it if our ward had a joint lesson on how to use this book.

  8. Evelyn says:

    Does everyone know about “Women of Covenant” by Jill Derr, Janath Cannon and Maureen Beecher? Copyright 1992. I studied this book many years ago and “Daughters in My Kingdom” does not begin to match the history in this book of RS. However, I don’t know how they could publish anything of this length and I am sure many sisters wouldn’t touch it. Something about the tone in “Daughters..” bothered me too. Many of our sisters in my ward though are having their eyes opened to the awesomeness of those early RS sisters and how much they were able to accomplish.

  9. Jessica says:

    I let my kids read it in Sacrament meeting since they don’t listen to the talks anyway. I liked it, but I thought it was still scraping the surface and not getting at the whole story or how powerful women can be. I think that it was pretty amazing it was published. I don’t know, but I feel like the church has so many online sites and videos and new stuff that I cannot even begin to keep up and I think the quality lacks. Its not deep enough to sustain us. Just my opinion. I love the quote book I bought from here. That is in my bag too, hopefully they are absorbing some good stuff. Sometimes I wish I could just read the quote book in church and not listen to the painful talks sometimes.

  10. Mhana says:

    I think it is a good step, that it exists at all. I don’t actually like it because it does seem pretty superficial, not to say misleading. But it exists. And because it exists, I feel there is no longer a handy excuse to never tell stories about women, quote women, acknowledge women etc. Women aren’t in the scriptures. They aren’t in the Latter Day Prophets books. Because women aren’t prophets and women are mostly absent from the scriptures, then where is the authoritative approved easy to find and use source for talks and lessons? Well now we have it, and the excuses are gone. I hope that, watered down as it is, this begins a shift toward acknowledging women.

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