Author: Rachel Hunt Steenblik
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
Release Date: 2015-11-02
This collection gathers together the essential writings of the contemporary Mormon feminist movement--from its historic beginnings in the 1970s to its vibrant present, offering the best Mormon feminist thought and writing. The selections in this book -many gathered from out-of-print anthologies, magazines, and other ephemera--walk the reader through the history of Mormon feminism, from the second-wave feminism of the 1970s to contemporary debates over the ordination of women. Collecting essays, speeches, poems, and prose, Mormon Feminism presents the diverse voices of Mormon women as they challenge assumptions and stereotypes, push for progress and change in the contemporary LDS Church, and band together with other feminists of faith hoping to build a better world.
In this stunning new collection of poems, Rachel Hunt Steenblik (Mormon Feminism: Essential Writings) explores the deep, human longing for a divine mother to complement the male God that has long dominated our culture. Lovingly illustrated by Ashley Mae Hoiland (One Hundred Birds Taught Me to Fly). Praise for Mother's Milk "In these brief and moving poems, Rachel Hunt Steenblik recalls and reimagines the relationship between the daughters of God and their hidden and distant mother. Using her own experience and revelation as well as her wide research, Rachel recreates the Heavenly Mother many dream of knowing, a woman not unlike our own mothers, one who shares our own experience of motherhood." -Claudia L. Bushman, author of Contemporary Mormonism "The warm, delicious, delicate and strong poems in Mother's Milk moved and delighted me. Without doubt this book is a major step toward filling the Mother-sized hole in our hearts. Boldly pulling back the curtain of patriarchy to show that "God" is not a boy's name and that we have never lived in a one-parent family, Rachel reminds us that our Mother has never ceased to nourish and love us." -Carol Lynn Pearson, author of Mother Wove the Morning, and The Ghost of Eternal Polygamy "Rachel Hunt Steenblik is Mormonism's most essential and necessary poet since Carol Lynn Pearson. Out of her hunger for a mother God, she has made food for us all. Out of her losses, she has made milk. It's what women's bodies know how to do, of course. But Rachel, oh honey, few of us do it so openly, so truthfully, so plainly, so well. Come, come, everyone-Mormon or not, brothers, sisters, kindred-and take these words. I am so proud that this book will teach the world what Mormon women know-perhaps uniquely-about God."-Joanna Brooks, author of Book of Mormon Girl.
Author: Joanna Brooks
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Release Date: 2012-08-07
Genre: Biography & Autobiography
Story about leaving behind the innocence of childhood belief and embracing the complications and heartbreaks that come to every adult life of faith. Explores the author's journey through her faith, and the experience of being a Mormon.
Utah women today might be surprised to learn their grandmothers' views on feminist issues, according to Maxine Hanks. LDS Relief Society co-founder Sarah Kimball referred to herself as "a woman's rights woman, " while Bathsheba Smith was called on Relief Society mission in 1870 to preach equal rights for women. The society editorialized that females belonged not only "in the nursery" but also "in the library, the laboratory, the observatory." Sisters sent east to study medicine were assured that "when men see that women can exist without them, it will perhaps take a little of the conceit out of some of them." Temple officiators were called "priestesses, " Eliza R. Snow the "prophetess, " and women were discouraged from confessing to bishops on grounds that personal matters "should be referred to the Relief Society president and her counselors." Women were set apart as healers "with power to rebuke diseases." In addition, Mormon theology spoke reassuringly of a Mother God of the divinity of Mary, Mary Magdalene, and Eve. No wonder Relief Society president Emmeline B. Wells could write with confidence: "Let woman speak for herself; she has the right of freedom of speech. Women are too slow in moving forward, afraid of criticism, of being called unwomanly, of being thought masculine."
Book Description: The Claremont Women's Oral History Project has collected hundreds of interviews with Mormon women of various ages, experiences, and levels of activity. These interviews record the experiences of these women in their homes and family life, their church life, and their work life, in their roles as homemakers, students, missionaries, career women, single women, converts, and disaffected members. Their stories feed into and illuminate the broader narrative of LDS history and belief, filling in a large gap in Mormon history that has often neglected the lived experiences of women. This project preserves and perpetuates their voices and memories, allowing them to say share what has too often been left unspoken. The silent majority speaks in these records. This volume is the first to explore the riches of the collection in print. A group of young scholars and others have used the interviews to better understand what Mormonism means to these women and what women mean for Mormonism. They explore those interviews through the lenses of history, doctrine, mythology, feminist theory, personal experience, and current events to help us understand what these women have to say about their own faith and lives. Praise for Mormon Women Have Their Say: "Mormon women have always had a lot to say, but generation after generation, their voices fade away. The problem is not just that archives and manuals favor the writings of male leaders. The real problem is that few of us know how to listen to seemingly common stories. We revere our sisters but don t understand them. The essays in this volume go beyond collecting and preserving to the hard work of interpretation. Using a variety of analytical techniques and their own savvy, the authors connect ordinary lives with enduring themes in Latter-day Saint faith and history." --Laurel Thatcher Ulrich, author of Well-Behaved Women Seldom Make History "Essential. Since the 19th century, Mormon women have been stereotyped as voiceless victims of our own faith. This book and the larger oral history project it represents amplify the steady, thoughtful, articulate voices of everyday Mormon women as we actually are, weighing in on issues that truly matter: belief, authority, service, family, personal revelation, work, and gender. Caroline Kline and Claudia Bushman have done a major and necessary service for Mormon Studies. In these pages, Mormon women will find ourselves. --Joanna Brooks, author of The Book of Mormon Girl: A Memoir of an American Faith "This book is both a product and a celebration of the important project on women's oral histories inaugurated by Claudia Bushman at Claremont Graduate University. However, these essays are not merely transcripts of various interviews. Rather, they are insightful and interpretive essays illustrating major themes recurring in these oral histories. The varieties of women's responses to the major issues in their lives will provide many surprises for the reader, who will be struck by how many different ways there are to be a thoughtful and faithful Latter-day Saint woman." --Armand Mauss, author of All Abraham s Children: Changing Mormon Conceptions of Race and Lineage
Author: Alex Cooper
Release Date: 2016-03-01
Genre: Biography & Autobiography
When Alex Cooper was fifteen years old, life was pretty ordinary in her sleepy suburban town and nice Mormon family. At church and at home, Alex was taught that God had a plan for everyone. But something was gnawing at her that made her feel different. These feelings exploded when she met Yvette, a girl who made Alex feel alive in a new way, and with whom Alex would quickly fall in love. Alex knew she was holding a secret that could shatter her family, her church community, and her life. Yet when this secret couldn’t be hidden any longer, she told her parents that she was gay, and the nightmare began. She was driven from her home in Southern California to Utah, where, against her will, her parents handed her over to fellow Mormons who promised to save Alex from her homosexuality. For eight harrowing months, Alex was held captive in an unlicensed “residential treatment program” modeled on the many “therapeutic” boot camps scattered across Utah. Alex was physically and verbally abused, and many days she was forced to stand facing a wall wearing a heavy backpack full of rocks. Her captors used faith to punish and terrorize her. With the help of a dedicated legal team in Salt Lake City, Alex eventually escaped and made legal history in Utah by winning the right to live under the law’s protection as an openly gay teenager. Alex is not alone; the headlines continue to splash stories about gay conversion therapy and rehabilitation centers that promise to “save” teenagers from their sexuality. Saving Alex is a courageous memoir that tells Alex’s story in the hopes that it will bring awareness and justice to this important issue. A bold, inspiring story of one girl’s fight for freedom, acceptance, and truth.
Almost from the beginning, the women's movement has been divided into two factions–those wanting full equality with men (Susan B. Anthony, Alice Paul) and those seeking legal protections for women's particular needs (Julia Ward Howe, Eleanor Roosevelt). Early Utah leaders such as Relief Society President Emmeline B. Wells walked hand-in-hand with Anthony and other controversial reformers. However, by the 1970s, Mormons had undergone a significant ideological turn to the mainstream, championing women's unique roles in home and church, and joined other conservatives in defeating the Equal Rights Amendment. Looking back to the nineteenth century, how committed were Latter-day Saints of their day to women's rights? LDS President Joseph F. Smith was particularly critical of women who “glory in their enthralled condition and who caress and fondle the very chains and manacles which fetter and enslave them!” The masthead of the church's female Relief Society periodical, Woman's Exponent, proudly proclaimed “The Rights of the Women of Zion and the Rights of Women of All Nations!” In leading the LDS sisterhood, Wells said she gleaned inspiration from The Revolution,published by Elizabeth Cady Stanton. Fast-forward a century to 1972 and passage of the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) by the United States Congress. Within a few years, the LDS Church, allied with Phyllis Schlafly, joined a coalition of the Religious Right and embarked on a campaign against ratification. This was a mostly grassroots campaign waged by thousands of men and women who believed they were engaged in a moral war and that the enemy was feminism itself. Conjuring up images of unisex bathrooms, homosexuality, the dangers of women in the military, and the divine calling of stay-at-home motherhood—none of which were directly related to equal rights—the LDS campaign began in Utah at church headquarters but importantly was fought across the country in states that had not yet ratified the proposed amendment. In contrast to the enthusiastic partnership of Mormon women and suffragists of an earlier era, fourteen thousand women, the majority of them obedient, determined LDS foot soldiers responding to a call from their Relief Society leaders, attended the 1977 Utah International Women's Year Conference in Salt Lake City. Their intent was to commandeer the proceedings if necessary to defeat the pro-ERA agenda of the National Commission on the International Women's Year. Ironically, the conference organizers were mostly LDS women, who were nevertheless branded by their sisters as feminists. In practice, the church risked much by standing up political action committees around the country and waging a seemingly all-or-nothing campaign. Its strategists, beginning with the dean of the church's law school at BYU, feared the worst—some going so far as to suggest that the ERA might seriously compromise the church's legal status and sovereignty of its all-male priesthood. In the wake of such horrors, a take-no-prisoners war of rhetoric and leafleteering raged across the country. In the end, the church exerted a significant, perhaps decisive, impact on the ERA''s unexpected defeat.
Author: Robert L. Millet
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
Release Date: 2015-11-19
Mormonism: A Guide for the Perplexed explains central facets of the Mormon faith and way of life for those wishing to gain a clearer understanding of this rapidly growing world religion. As The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints continues to grow in the United States and especially in other countries (with a total membership of over 15 million, more than 50% of which is outside the US), and as theologians and church leaders wrestle with whether Mormonism is in fact a valid expression of modern Christianity, this distinctive religious tradition has become increasingly an object of interest and inquiry. This book is the ideal companion to the study of this perplexing and often misunderstood religion. Covering historical aspects, this guide takes a careful look at the whole of Mormonism, its tenets and practices, as well as providing an insight into a Mormon life.
Author: Claudia L. Bushman
Release Date: 1976
In the last twenty years, an increasing number of books on the history of Utah and Mormon women have appeared. The book that led the way for these varied studies came to be when a group of Boston-area women, connected with the periodical Exponent II (named in honor of its nineteenth century predecessor, The Woman's Exponent), got together to publish a collection of topical essays on Utah women's history titled Mormon Sisters. The book became a minor classic in Mormon women's studies and inspired several imitators. Mormon Sisters has been out of print for a number of years. Now back in print, this new edition adds new illustrations, an updated reading list, information on the subsequent careers of the contributors, and an introduction by prominent historian Anne Firor Scott, author of numerous books, including Southern Lady.
Author: Paula Kelly Harline
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
Release Date: 2014-05-21
The author delves deep into the diaries and autobiographies of twenty-nine polygamous women of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, providing a rare window into the lives they led and revealing their views and experiences of polygamy, including their well-founded belief that their domestic contributions would help to build a foundation for generations of future Mormons.
Author: J.B. Haws
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Release Date: 2013-12
What do Americans think about Mormons - and why do they think what they do? This is a story where the Osmonds, the Olympics, the Tabernacle Choir, Evangelical Christians, the Equal Rights Amendment, Sports Illustrated, and even Miss America all figure into the equation. The book is punctuated by the presidential campaigns of George and Mitt Romney, four decades apart. A survey of the past half-century reveals a growing tension inherent in the public's views of Mormons and the public's views of the religion that inspires that body.
Author: Betty Friedan
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
Release Date: 2013-02-11
Genre: Social Science
“If you’ve never read it, read it now.”—Arianna Huffington, O, The Oprah Magazine Landmark, groundbreaking, classic—these adjectives barely do justice to the pioneering vision and lasting impact of The Feminine Mystique. Published in 1963, it gave a pitch-perfect description of “the problem that has no name”: the insidious beliefs and institutions that undermined women’s confidence in their intellectual capabilities and kept them in the home. Writing in a time when the average woman first married in her teens and 60 percent of women students dropped out of college to marry, Betty Friedan captured the frustrations and thwarted ambitions of a generation and showed women how they could reclaim their lives. Part social chronicle, part manifesto, The Feminine Mystique is filled with fascinating anecdotes and interviews as well as insights that continue to inspire. This 50th–anniversary edition features an afterword by best-selling author Anna Quindlen as well as a new introduction by Gail Collins.