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Gramps,

Growing up in the 60’s I clearly understood feminism and its intent. However, a good friend of mine asked me my thoughts and position on Mormon feminism. Honestly, I had no idea how to answer her. Being a life-long member of the Church it never occurred to me that I was missing something as it relates to the gospel’s position on the roll of men and women. Why do I women think they need to be liberated within the church?

Cherie

 

Answer

 

Cherie

I am not quite sure I am following exactly what your question is. If we were talking face to face I would ask more questions to see if I fully understood what your concern is. However this format doesn’t really allow for that, so I am going to take my best guess at what I think you are asking. If I get it wrong please accept my apologies for misunderstanding.

Out in the world we are taught that ‘different is not equal’ . This is in our laws. This law came to be, because people would see differences between themselves and someone else. They would try to capitalize on those differences as a sign of divine favor, or superiority, and, in general, a license to suppress or harm those who are different. Some of these differences can be and have been things like race, gender, nationalities, and religion. It can also be trivial things like favorite sports teams or brand of drink. Clearly such thoughts need to be countered strongly.

The world counters this tendency by trying to homogenize everything and everyone. They want all to be exactly the same, trying to enforce through law and social pressure that there is no difference. They have accomplished much good in their effort. However they approach it differently than God does.

God has created each person to be different. Different strengths, different weaknesses, different experiences. But unifying all these differences is that we are all His children, and none of our differences make us superior or better in his eyes then any of our fellow brothers and sisters. God then expects us and teaches us to come together, to lend our strengths to all who might need it, to allow others to help and support us where we are weak, so that we can all be one with the Lord.

Paul covers this quite a bit in 1 Corinthians 12:14-27 which reads

12 For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ.

 

13 For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.

 

14 For the body is not one member, but many.

 

15 If the foot shall say, Because I am not the hand, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body?

 

16 And if the ear shall say, Because I am not the eye, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body?

 

17 If the whole body were an eye, where were the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where were the smelling?

 

18 But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him.

 

19 And if they were all one member, where were the body?

 

20 But now are they many members, yet but one body.

 

21 And the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee: nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you.

 

22 Nay, much more those members of the body, which seem to be more feeble, are necessary:

 

23 And those members of the body, which we think to be less honourable, upon these we bestow more abundant honour; and our uncomely parts have more abundant comeliness.

 

24 For our comely parts have no need: but God hath tempered the body together, having given more abundant honour to that part which lacked:

 

25 That there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another.

 

26 And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it.

 

27 Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.

The system that the world uses and the system that God uses are not compatible. The world would try to make everyone the eye, or the ear, or the head, in a very Christ-like effort to make sure no one is suppressed or afflicted by those that might think they are better or superior. But there is a very real difference in dealing with a member that has ‘taken honor unto themselves’ and trying to pull down the whole system that God has set up.

Now to the issues of the differences between the genders. The Lord has been very clear about the importance of both and the necessity of both. The Apostle Paul declared in 1 Corinthians 11:11 Nevertheless neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man, in the Lord.

Then in The Family Proclamation To The World we learn this about some of the different roles of men and women and the importance of both of them.

By divine design, fathers are to preside over their families in love and righteousness and are responsible to provide the necessities of life and protection for their families. Mothers are primarily responsible for the nurture of their children. In these sacred responsibilities, fathers and mothers are obligated to help one another as equal partners. Disability, death, or other circumstances may necessitate individual adaptation.

It is clear that the Lord expects everyone to have different strengths and weakness, and He also expects and allows for individual adaptation when circumstances alter the typical balance of differences. Now there are many that like to belittle or hold as unimportant the role women can and should play. I find that this talk by Elder Ballard addresses this fallacy very well. You can read about it here.

I think it very clear what the Lord and His Church think about this issue. Individual members, of course, might have different ideas, but in those cases they need to be corrected and taught true principles. This is the case for any gospel principle a person might struggle with.

 

Gramps

 

 

 

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