Exponent II has been such a gift to me. There is always something there to make me laugh, something that touches the deepest part of my soul, and something that makes me think in a way that changes my perspective. Gina Colvin’s article in the 40th Anniversary issue of Exponent II does all three, but it especially has changed my perspective.
I’ve often heard people lament that our proudly “global” church seems to act more like an American corporation with offices in different countries than a truly multinational organization. The church opens branches and wards and gives them the same handbook that is being used for American wards, with American lingo and correlation. American leaders are sent to establish these congregations and to train people to properly administer the church, with a high emphasis on educating people to ensure the upward social mobility of its members. Often many traditional worship practices, such as dancing or traditional folk music, are discouraged and/or eliminated in global LDS congregations, and American standards of dress and grooming are emphasized in publications like “For the Strength of Youth” without adaptation for members in other cultures or climates. And while I’m aware that efforts are ongoing to incorporate local input and to mediate some of the larger cultural clashes, most of those who make the overarching, administrative decisions still aren’t locals who live in the area in question: they’re Americans who are receiving feedback, and then making decisions for the non-American area. I would think that Mormon women, and particularly Mormon feminists, would be empathetic to this dynamic of giving input but not ultimately making the decisions that directly affect them.Read More