Mormon Women Archive

The Role of Women in Mormonism

The Role of Women in Mormonism

The role of Mormon women has been the subject of a great deal of debate, discussion, and interpretation, both within and without the Church. (Mormon is a nickname sometimes applied to members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.) This discussion often leaves out the larger picture and the context. To understand the role of Mormon women today, we have to look at their overall roles in the scriptures, in the modern past, and in today’s church, home, and society. We also have to evaluate what official Mormon teachings look like and how they influence actual behavior. The Mormon view of womanhood has been a traditional one, but it is one that allows for diversity of practice. It outlines the ideal but does not penalize or judge women who are not living in ideal situations. For instance, while teaching that where possible, women have primary responsibility for child care (but are to be assisted by their spouse), the Church also teaches that... Read the rest of this entry »

Mormon Women: Followers of Christ

Mormon Women: Followers of Christ

In 1999, Mary Ellen Smoot, who was then president of the Relief Society presented a new and official declaration. The Relief Society is the women’s auxiliary of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, whose members are sometimes called Mormons. The Declaration was created to outline what Mormon women believe and how they live. The teen girls had a theme they recited weekly, and now the women had one of their own. The Declaration helps to show how Mormon women are followers of Jesus Christ: “We are beloved spirit daughters of God, and our lives have meaning, purpose, and direction. As a worldwide sisterhood, we are united in our devotion to Jesus Christ, our Savior and Exemplar. We are women of faith, virtue, vision, and charity who: Increase our testimonies of Jesus Christ through prayer and scripture study. Seek spiritual strength by following the promptings of the Holy Ghost. Dedicate ourselves to strengthening marriages, families, and... Read the rest of this entry »

Mormon Women and the Relief Society: As Sisters in Zion

Mormon Women and the Relief Society: As Sisters in Zion

By Keith Lionel Brown Church services in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (sometimes inadvertently referred to as the “Mormon Church” in the media) are divided into three segments. The first and most important segment is Sacrament meeting, where members meet together to partake of the sacrament of the Lord’s supper and hear talks given by various members of the congregation. The second segment is Sunday School. During the third segment, members split into various groups and attend separate meetings: Priesthood Meeting for the men, Relief Society for the women, and Young Men/Young Women meetings for the youth. “Primary”activities and classes are provided for children 18 months to 12 years of age during both the second and third segments. Mormon Women As Leaders and Teachers Women are equal participants as teachers and leaders in every one of these church programs except for Priesthood Meeting. Along with the men, they pray and... Read the rest of this entry »

How do Mormons view the role of women?

How do Mormons view the role of women?

Personal Response by Karen R. Merkley Mormon women are key players and equal partners in the work of the Lord, in families, in communities and in the world. In the words of Brigham Young, early President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints: One thing is very true and we believe it, and that is that a woman is the glory of the man. … When I reflect upon the duties and responsibilities devolving upon our mothers and sisters, and the influence they wield, I look upon them as the mainspring and soul of our being here. Brigham Young, sel. John A. Widtsoe [1954], 199). Women serve in the Mormon Church as presidents and counselors of local, area, and worldwide organizations for children, youth, and adults–known as the Primary, Young Women’s Organization, and the Relief Society. They sit in councils with their priesthood brethren and work hand-in-hand to identify issues, solve problems, bring light to ministering needs of those... Read the rest of this entry »