What LDS Women Get?

When critics of a religion call out for change, one is tempted to question their motivation. The video below sets us up to hear what it is that LDS women get in the church. The specific context relates to the October 2015 Conference and the dismay one women, Jamie Hanis Handy, felt as she heard Elder Gary E. Stevenson describe his experience being called as one of the apostles.

It’s frustrating to hear her speak of the reality of what it means to be a woman in this faith. I think it’s her intention to let other women know they aren’t alone in feeling like they belong to a man’s church but I’m curious what this audience thinks she is trying to say, and why do you think she’s saying it?

The audio is compiled from episode 576 of the Mormon Stories podcast.

(Via Thoughts on Things and Stuff)

4 questions to think about if women ever get the priesthood

What would happen if LDS women get the priesthood?

Women don’t currently have the priesthood in the LDS church (well, some argue that some women have it but can exercise it in the temple endowment). Unless you’ve lived under a rock for the past month, you’re probably fully aware of this fact. It was all over the news, blogs, and social media.

I don’t want to hash out any of the related events that have occurred—there are are plenty of others who have done that. What I am interested in doing is exploring what the LDS church would look like if LDS women did receive the priesthood. (I have no idea if they ever will. Presumably, we’ll just have to wait to find out.) Continue reading 4 questions to think about if women ever get the priesthood

LDS Women and Post Secondary Education

Should LDS women be encouraged to seek a post secondary education if they’ve expressed an interest in having a large observant family?

Let us assume that a large family could be classified as a family with five or more kids. These children, if all births are not multiples, can be born in a period not less than five 40 week intervals plus four 4 week periods to become impregnated again. This works out to 216 weeks or 4 years, 2 months. That’s a pretty tight schedule to keep, but possible I guess if one were motivated enough. The time from the birth of the first child until the exit from the home of the last child would be a period not less than approximately 22 and one half years (assuming a good synchronization with a school schedule or a home schooled family).

The world we live in now changes at an ever-increasing rate. There is evidence of exponential rates of change in industries and technologies used by employees and researchers the world over. The education you receive today may, depending on the field of study, not be useful or meaningful in 5 years time. Especially if you plan to work in a technical industry or in a research position. How much out of touch would you be if you were to cease your studies for 5 years? 10 years? Just imagine how hard it would be to initiate a job search in your field after leaving it for more than 20 years.

The description of a women’s role in the ‘The Family: A Proclamation to the World’ is that “women are primarily responsible for the nurture of their children” while men “are to preside over their families in love and righteousness and are responsible to provide the necessities of life and protection for their families.” This is familiar territory for many families with Dad being the breadwinner and Mom working in the home with the children. Most devout LDS women who work in the home go so far as to be available through the day for their children even when they are in secondary school or choose to home school their children themselves. Both of these behaviours offer little to no availability (or motivation) for additional work outside the home.

Given that raising a large family can span over two decades and that education now has an ever-decreasing shelf life, does it make sense for a young LDS women to attend a post secondary institution at all?

Let us, for a moment, consider other reasons one might wish one’s LDS daughters to attend a college, trade school or university if their education is not of a primary concern.

One argument is that being out on one’s own is a character building experience. True enough but one does not necessarily need to pay tuition to live outside one’s parent’s home.

Perhaps the argument is that all their friends are going off to school and they don’t want to be left behind or miss out on the shared experiences of their peers. Arguments that ‘everyone else is doing’ lead invariably in my mind to an exercise in bridge-jumping and at their core hold very little weight in regard to the best activities for youth in life experience and development of coping skills. In fact, leaving the pack can often be the child’s first experience of making their own decisions and developing coping strategies of their own.

Another argument is that attendance at one of the private LDS post secondary institutions is the best way for a young LDS lady to meet and be courted by a returned missionary and in time evaluate to what extent he takes his career studies seriously; not to mention the safety of being surrounded by members of one’s own faith during that courtship. This does have some sense to it, but the question remains; would it not be more cost efficient and time saving for the young lady to simply live in Provo or Rexburg until they’ve met the man they feel is ‘the one’? Many a parent may want to keep their daughters busy while they are in search of a life partner and simply enroll them so they have something to do during the search. But is this really an efficient and effective way of facilitating such a search? And what happens when she is wed and wishes to immediately start a family? Does the education she’s started simply be thrown away? Would this not lead to issues with her self esteem and self worth?

Would it not be more fair and effective if LDS parents were to instruct their daughters who have expressed interest in leading life as an observant LDS Mother of a large family, to not bother with post secondary education altogether?

Female role parallel to priesthood

During our elders quorum lesson on Sunday, we were discussing women in the church, and specifically the different roles men and women hold in the church. Eventually, we established that men hold the priesthood; someone indicated the role of women different from that was motherhood.

Everyone seemed to be content with that comparison until someone mentioned men in the church also have the role of fatherhood.

It would seem that fatherhood would be more directly related to motherhood than priesthood is. If that is so, then what female role would be parallel to the male role of priesthood bearer?

Breastfeeding in public

I cam across an article in Babytalk magazine?¢‚Ǩ‚Äùyes, the same one that has much of the United States in an uproar, or so the media would have us believe?¢‚Ǩ‚Äùand i found a couple of items interesting. I thought I’d post them here.

A [USA] survey . . . published in The Journal of the American Dietetic Association found that 57 percent of those polled said that women should not have a right to breastfeed in public.

Only 10 percent of mothers who work full-time [still breastfeed] their baby at 6 months, according to a 2005 CDC report.

The Journal of the American Dietetic Association’s survey found that only 47 percent of [employers] favored longer maternity leaves, and only 43 percent supported giving women a private room to pump in at work.

A mom should breastfeed her baby for at least the first year of life, as recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics.. . . In 2004 . . . about 70 percent of U.S. mothers reported that they had tried breastfeeding, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). That’s up from 55 percent in 1993. . . . At 6 months, only 36 percent were still nursing. At 12 months, the number dips to 17 percent

Oh, and thanks to fMh for posting the link.