The Asherah Grove today explores the Women’s Session of the 2018 October General Conference.
Suzette Smith is a member of the church in the Washington DC Metro Area. She has a wide variety of “calling experience” within the church and served a mission to Melbourne, Australia in 1991. In other Mormon work, she has worked with many other Mormon Feminist (MoFem) groups and on many (MoFem) projects, including the Ordain Women actions of 2013-14.
Suzette earned a BS from Brigham Young University and an MBA from Bentley University. She owns and operates a professional organizing company. As a podcast junkie, she is excited about this podcast.
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Thank you for your thoughtful insights. We live our lives as individuals but belong to a church that speaks to us as if we are a homogeneous collective. That’s certainly frustrating for people like you and me. I’m glad to have a friend like you who is brave enough to point that out.
“Are you always being kind in your remarks and guidance for Jesus, elder Oaks?”
Gospel means Good News. By His example He showed us that it is not force, coercion, guilting, shaming, abusing, bullying; all tools of Satan’s plan to force our salvation, the glory to him…
Jesus did not take a free pass nor give free passes on being honest in our dealings, sustaining Him or bullying for Him.
I really enjoyed this episode, Suzette. I liked the thoughts you had, and hearing your perspective. I agreed with most of what you said. I also really liked your idea of sharing other perspectives at the end. Even though their experiences don’t quite resonate with me, I really enjoyed hearing other perspectives of the same talk, and putting myself in their shoes a bit. Thank you!
I appreciate listening to feminine perspectives.
Hopefully next General Conference we will have more female speakers.
Yes, I’m still holding my breath.
I really appreciated this podcast Suzette – great start! Best of luck with your future episodes. I also like how you respectfully gave space to alternative points of view, but totally agree with everything you said. It really is horrific how in 2018 starting with their “We’re the new First Presidency” press conference they are assertively trying to rewind the clock back to the 1960’s when women’s only job was to have lots of babies with no contraception and only exist in the home. It really is like watching the Handmaid’s Tale happening for real in our own Church. Mormonism used to be all about finding and developing your own talents, now as you point out it is all a out stop thinking and obey for the men, serve everyone else for the women.
They are also diminishing the role of fathers in the home because the message used to be that men should take responsibility for teaching the gospel to their families and that is ultimately what their patriarchal role is, but now they’ve landed the women with that job too! At the same time as saying most gospel study has to happen at home!
All the traditional sexist tropes were there – talking about unwed mothers but not unwed fathers, ignoring the fact that most of the single women in their audience are desperate to marry and have children but they have failed to retain enough active male members to enable them to do that without marrying outside of the Church. Endless examples of cruel and hypocritical victim blaming.
And the statistics were meaningless – Oaks didn’t even say since when marriage in the Church has become 2 years later – last year? 1876? I loved all your excellent analysis and counterpoints to this dangerous and sexist nonsense. Yes, we absolutely pay them to do a far better and more responsible job than this destructive train wreck. Abusing real women and womanhood while pretending to put it on a pedestal, which is also unrealistic and patronising in itself.
The women of the LDS church were not always second in rank to their husbands/male leaders. They were beginning to understand their personal power.
The Relief Society used to be an autonomous organization. LDS women had incredible power both in the church and in the world. They were a force to be reckoned with.
“With the money from selling the wheat, the women built Relief Society meeting halls, bought and sold on the stock market and helped kickstart several LDS Church programs, …” (from a Deseret News article)
Read the Wikipedia article on Belle Spafford, longest-serving General RS President. She had speaking engagements worldwide. She was an example of strong female leadership to the entire church. Not only that, but she was “a light unto the world”.
Before “correlation”, the women of the church were a capable society which nurtured each other into being leaders and decision-makers.
It is probably difficult to “return” to yesterday’s programs, but women were on the rise then, and it felt empowering to be an LDS woman.