I've often wondered if there are little groups of men who get together, paint signs, protest, and refuse to go to work or buy power tools because they want to stand up for "mens rights". Is there such a thing? Is there a movement of guys who hate being expected to earn a living, be able to fix things, and be tough and manly?
This makes me raise the question that I'm sure many of you have raised yourselves. What is the LDS feminist movement? I would sincerely like to hear the true beliefs or feelings of those who consider themselves Mormon feminists so that I may better understand where this stemmed from and what needs to be addressed. This movement has caused me to do some extra reading and find out what the LDS church really says about women. I discovered that my favorite theme (perhaps because it applied to me personally) was motherhood. Here are some of my favorite quotes on motherhood found in LDS talks. I should have been more broad in my selection of authorities, but these ones just resonated with me. They are my favorite because they explain God's doctrine of the family so clearly and beautifully that they're indisputable. So please, before you get offended, just take it from those who are spokespersons for the Lord. If you're already offended, just keep reading. You're going to like these.
My thoughts tonight are specifically centered on women and their unique and beautiful role in the plan of happiness.
Julie B Beck:
"Knowing and defending the divine roles of women is so important in a world where women are bombarded with false messages about their identity. These voices offer a counterfeit happiness, and as a result, many women are miserable, lonely, and confused. The only place Latter-day Saint women will learn the whole and complete truth about their indispensable role in the plan of happiness is in this Church and its doctrine.
The things women can and should do very best are championed and taught without apology here. We believe in the formation of eternal families. That means we believe in getting married. We know that the commandment to multiply and replenish the earth remains in force. That means we believe in having children."
I highly recommend this talk. It's called What Latter-day Saint Women do Best: Stand Strong and Immovable. The entire thing is empowering and enlightening. I love how bold Sister Beck is!
Sister Beck also has a very well known talk called Mothers Who Know. Yes, it was very controversial. But the Lord doesn't change His doctrine. I believe that because the world is shifting so far away from the truths we have always held dear to us, the difference between women of the world and women of the Lord is becoming far more prominent. This makes it more difficult to be a woman of faith and to stand immovable. Here are a few quotes from her excellent address.
"Mothers who know desire to bear children. Whereas in many cultures in the world children are “becoming less valued,”2 in the culture of the gospel we still believe in having children.President Ezra Taft Benson taught that young couples should not postpone having children and that “in the eternal perspective, children—not possessions, not position, not prestige—are our greatest jewels.”4 Faithful daughters of God desire children. Some women are not given the responsibility of bearing children in mortality, but just as Hannah of the Old Testament prayed fervently for her child (see 1 Samuel 1:11), the value women place on motherhood in this life and the attributes of motherhood they attain here will rise with them in the Resurrection (see D&C 130:18). Women who desire and work toward that blessing in this life are promised they will receive it for all eternity, and eternity is much, much longer than mortality. There is eternal influence and power in motherhood."
I just can't get enough of this talk. Read the whole thing! All I can do is add my testimony that I believe there is so much power in motherhood. The blessing of creating a human body and influencing that spirit's life more than anyone else possibly could is a huge responsibility. Do you realize that the Lord has placed the responsibility of shaping the views, beliefs and destiny of the entire human race in the hands of mothers? There is no greater role! I am grateful for the women in my life who don't need the praise of the world, but simply the approval of the Lord as they live their humble lives of service and discipleship. Motherhood brings true joy. Joy which can not be found anywhere else.
My sincere apologies to those I may have offended. I know it is easy to offend when writing about such a sensitive subject. I feel it is my job as member of the Lord's church to stand steadfast and immovable in defense of the most important part of God's plan- the family.
*An important side note: I am very close to many incredible women who have struggled with infertility. I feel deeply for them and know that they deserve no judgment or criticism. So many women desire so deeply to have something that seems to come so easily to others. If you are facing this challenge, please know that I love you and am praying for your peace and happiness. I do not desire to hurt anyone and especially those going through this hardship. I know the Lord has incredibly important missions for ALL of His children, whether that is through the opportunity of motherhood or some other avenue.