Thursday, July 31, 2014

Gordon B. Hinckley on Women

This is a unique talk because it is given in direct answers to direct questions about women and the Gospel. A good read!  "Daughters of God," November 1991.

One excerpt:

Now, Virginia, you call attention to the statement in the scriptures that Adam should rule over Eve. (See Gen. 3:16.) You ask why this is so. I do not know. I regrettably recognize that some men have used this through centuries of time as justification for abusing and demeaning women. But I am confident also that in so doing they have demeaned themselves and offended the Father of us all, who, I am confident, loves His daughters just as He loves His sons.

I sat with President David O. McKay on one occasion when he talked about that statement in Genesis. His eyes flashed with anger as he spoke of despotic husbands and stated that they would have to make an accounting of their evil actions when they stand to be judged by the Lord. He indicated that the very essence of the spirit of the gospel demands that any governance in the home must be done only in righteousness.

My own interpretation of that sentence is that the husband shall have a governing responsibility to provide for, to protect, to strengthen and shield the wife. Any man who belittles or abuses or terrorizes, or who rules in unrighteousness, will deserve and, I believe, receive the reprimand of a just God who is the Eternal Father of both His sons and daughters.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Neal A. Maxwell on Women

Oh, I never get tired of this one:  "The Women of God," April 1978 (lots of talk about women in this conference!)

A few favorite excerpts:

[R]ighteousness is not a matter of role, nor goodness a matter of gender. In the work of the Kingdom, men and women are not without each other, but do not envy each other, lest by reversals and renunciations of role we make a wasteland of both womanhood and manhood.


We salute you, sisters, for the joy that is yours as you rejoice in a baby’s first smile and as you listen with eager ear to a child’s first day at school which bespeaks a special selflessness. Women, more quickly than others, will understand the possible dangers when the word self is militantly placed before other words like fulfillment. You rock a sobbing child without wondering if today’s world is passing you by, because you know you hold tomorrow tightly in your arms.


We have special admiration for the unsung but unsullied single women among whom are some of the noblest daughters of God. These sisters know that God loves them, individually and distinctly. They make wise career choices even though they cannot now have the most choice career. Though in their second estate they do not have their first desire, they still overcome the world. These sisters who cannot now enrich the institution of their own marriage so often enrich other institutions in society. They do not withhold their blessings simply because some blessings are now withheld from them. Their trust in God is like that of the wives who are childless, but not by choice, but who in the justice of God will receive special blessings one day.


Finally, remember: When we return to our real home, it will be with the “mutual approbation” of those who reign in the “royal courts on high.” There we will find beauty such as mortal “eye hath not seen”; we will hear sounds of surpassing music which mortal “ear hath not heard.” Could such a regal homecoming be possible without the anticipatory arrangements of a Heavenly Mother?

Spencer W. Kimball on Women

For some time now I've been wanting to do a more thorough study on women and on our Heavenly Mother. President Spencer W. Kimball is always a good place to start! Here is an excerpt from his talk "The True Way of Life and Salvation" from April 1978.

I want to express my appreciation for the wonderful women of the Church. We love the women of our Church. We love them as deeply as our own wives, our mothers, our grandmothers, our sisters, and our friends. Someday, when the whole story of this and previous dispensations is told, it will be filled with courageous stories of our women, of their wisdom and their devotion, their courage, for one senses that perhaps, just as women were the first at the sepulchre of the Lord Jesus Christ after his resurrection, our righteous women have so often been instinctively sensitive to things of eternal consequence. We recognize, as one man has wisely said, that while we speak of the impact of one’s mother’s tongue with a lasting effect upon us, it is our mother’s love which touches us everlastingly and so deeply.

We worry, therefore, conversely over these trends which would reduce the mother’s love in our world. God has placed women at the very headwaters of the human stream. So much of what our men and our institutions seek to do downstream in the lives of erring individuals is done to compensate for early failures. Likewise, so much of life’s later rejoicing is a reflection of a woman’s work well done at the headwaters of the home.

It was Goethe who said, “The Eternal Feminine draws us on.” (Johann W. von Goethe, Faust.)

“A good woman,” as the scriptures tell us, “is the glory of the man.” (1 Cor. 11:7.)

The scriptures remind us that “Women have claim on their husbands for their maintenance, until their husbands are taken.” (D&C 83:2.) Women also have a claim on their husbands for respect, fidelity, and thoughtfulness for in that subtle, sweet relationship that should obtain between men and women, there is partnership with the priesthood.

We delight and marvel in the appropriate development and expressions of our sisters’ many talents. Surely the Church’s educational effort in behalf of its women is a sermon in itself.

Perhaps more than any other people of like size, we are deeply committed to the development of the skills and talents of our sisters, for we believe our educational program is not simply education for this world, but involves an education for all eternity.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has sponsored the advancement of women from its very outset. It was the Prophet Joseph Smith who set forth the ideals for womanhood. He advocated liberally for women in the purest sense of the word, and he gave them liberty to fully express themselves as mothers, as nurses to the sick, as proponents of high community ideals, and as protectors of good morals.

What more can any woman want for herself? What more could any man want for his wife? What more could any man want than to match that standard in his own conduct?

The Prophet Joseph gave us the Relief Society organization to advance these high purposes for Latter-day Saint women. That society today is a worldwide movement holding membership in national and world organizations for the advancement of women.

Finally, when we sing that doctrinal hymn and anthem of affection, “O My Father,” we get a sense of the ultimate in maternal modesty, of the restrained, queenly elegance of our Heavenly Mother, and knowing how profoundly our mortal mothers have shaped us here, do we suppose her influence on us as individuals to be less if we live so as to return there?

Perhaps many today would scoff at the question, "What more can any woman want for herself?" But the more I see the way society is going, the more I see that the greatest good I can do in the world is to love on an individual level and foster community among those around me. That is why we need more gwomen to be free from work; to be able to rely on their husbands for their support so that they can be present, not only in their children's lives but as a force for community good.

And I can practice law on the side, too =)

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Spiritually Spoiled

It has been a while, so I thought I need to pick up writing again. The topic on my mind is this: I am spoiled.

With the internet and social media, I have the benefit of keeping in touch with a lot of people I would have otherwise lost, which also means that I hear about many of their trials and the trials of their friends, acquaintances, and people they've heard of. Daily I hear about some new tragedy that has happened somewhere, some new heartache someone is facing, some new difficulty coming upon another family. I have started to make a habit of saying an immediate prayer any time I read of someone's trial or someone who asks for a prayer, because I know I won't remember all of them later. 

Inevitably, I look at my own life and think, "Wow, I am spoiled!" Of course life isn't easy and I have my struggles, but almost all of them are struggles of my own choice. I want to have a big family and still practice law on the side? Yup, that is going to be a lot of work. Exactly what I longed and prayed for. I want my husband to go to medical school and become a doctor while we are having that big family? That is going to be a lot of time and hard work and struggle. Exactly what we pleaded for the Lord to allow us to do. Callings and life changes require a lot of us? Exactly what we wanted and covenanted to do, knowing the blessings that we would get in exchange. 

In short, the Lord has given me everything I've ever seriously asked for, and every day I still beg for Him to help me get through it. Pretty humbling when I think about it.

So why on earth do I slack on the work before me? Why does my scripture study vary in effectiveness and intensity? Why don't I take better care of what I am given? I have been reading in the Book of Mormon about those last years before Christ visited the Nephites, and it has been a good reminder not to take for granted my blessings or to get so caught up in advancing in the world that I let the most important things slip. One of the great lessons of the Book of Mormon is that prosperity can test spirituality as much as suffering can, and that chastisement is the Lord's way of calling His people to Him and refining them in His image.

For the record, I do not desire any additional trials to call me, but I do want to be sure that I am listening to the Lord daily through the voice of His Spirit, and acknowledging His hand in my life and learning what He would teach me.