Cwic Show- Women's History Month Interview- LDS Issues

The Proclamation On The Family, Women and the Priesthood, Eve, Women in Scripture, Feminism, Motherhood, Polygamy, Faith Crisis Website- Amanda Freebairn and Hanna Seariac talk about issues that face women today in the LDS Church. We talk about why so few women are mentioned in the scriptures and in church history, where things seem to be headed in the church in terms of bolstering women's stories as well as the all-important topic of Motherhood. We also delve into the tough to talk about issues of Feminism, Polygamy, and Faith Crisis.


 Raw Transcript


thank you
all right welcome to the quick show uh
today's guests are amanda freebarn
and hannah hanna syriac amanda you are a
student currently uh with studying
education is that correct okay at asu
you're an admin at the uplift community
of faith which is a facebook support
group for lds experiencing faith crisis
uh you're an editor at the lds women's
project formerly known as mormon women
women's project and you're married and
the mother of two
um hannah you are a student currently
getting your masters in comparative
studies at brigham young university with
an interest in the intersection of
greco-roman literature with biblical
literature i'm very jealous
uh she works in researching
fundamentalists latter-day saint sects
as well as on new testament new
testament commentary
and you host a podcast on fair as well
very excited to have both of you here
you had recently written an article
talking about uh well the title of it is
the witness of women
i found it in public square magazine is
where i where i saw that i often
oftentimes go there and you brought up a
few different
points that i'm very interested in
talking about i want to talk about women
in the church today
i want to talk about contempt you know
modern issues
that are affecting women in the church
um positive and negative really
where we're at with
uh with what i mean how women feel
in the church and um
touching on maybe a few different
sensitive uh
but important subjects of uh maybe
heavenly mother
um women in history in the church
uh polygamy and kind of how that's
affecting especially the younger
generation i would say
today so thank you for being here i i
really appreciate it
thanks for having us thank you for
having us all right
um in the article that you had written
you talked specifically
about women as witnesses and
as i went through the article i
kind of to me it's you're kind of giving
a voice to women
it sounds to me like you're saying okay
sometimes we don't always hear about all
of this we haven't focused a lot on it
um but you wanted to offer a voice
for for women and and make sure that we
kind of the the history of the church
it's interesting because we don't
there aren't many references that we get
everyday discussion about women in
history or even sometimes women in the
yeah absolutely i mean i think that it
has to be an intentional
choice for us if we want to bring women
our sunday school classes lessons our
young women's lessons our
young men's lessons um our talks when
we're giving talks in sacrament meeting
um we we tend to kind of rely on the
same stories the same scriptural stories
the same church history stories
and um that's not actually all we have
particularly now
um with the increase in
access to women in church history
all the wonderful materials that the
church has been putting out we don't
necessarily need to rely on those same
old stories and we don't necessarily
need to have
you know emma smith be our one single
female reference
um when or um you know sometimes we
might get
zina young sometimes there are a few
others but but there are quite a few
more women who have amazing stories
um both in church history and in the
scriptures that we can
make a conscious effort to include i
totally agree with you there amanda i
think we do have to make that conscious
effort and
for me one really transformative
experience that i had
is um so i read hebrew and greek and i
was reading the hebrew bible
um the first samuel one and two which
talks about hannah
and then i thought might as well go look
at the septuagint to see what it says
and then i saw that there was a lot that
was in the septuagint that was redacted
from the hebrew bible
about the character hannah and the
person hannah that really
changed the way that i think i saw women
in temple spheres and in acting as
so i would say too that there's a lot of
stories that we can
find through our research too that are
able to bring women's voices to life
finding this for me and other people i
found it there's a dialogue
article on it in like 1960 that that
mentions it
um but i think bringing these stories to
the forefront
is really transformative especially
because so many of them remind me of the
way that
latter-day saint women function in
temples today and latter-day saint women
lead out with you know interpreting
scripture today and i think that that's
so important to have these role models
for young women to look up to that are
scriptural that are a part of church
whose stories exist it's not like we
don't have them it's just that we're not
pushing them to the forefront appreciate
what being a guy
i'm going to ask you too this question
how important is it to you
and to women in the church to have more
of these stories
and role models that you that you find
in scripture and
and in the history of the church amanda
how important is that to you
you grew up in the church is that right
hannah or uh amanda
yeah i think one of the biggest
that um some some women have um within
the church
growing up is that they think that they
have to go through men because men
are um ordained to offices in the
priesthood that they have to go
through men to access god um and and
frankly looking at scriptural stories at
church history stories that
that that's not true um that
uh women have direct access to god now
that doesn't mean
that we we don't listen to our leaders
but we we do need um to hear more from
uh women who specifically have stories
accessing god themselves yeah hannah it
seems to me
that that a role
role models would be pretty important i
mean you know mostly in church history
and in the scriptures you see a lot of
right but seems to me like having for
women having
female role models is pretty important i
totally agree with you there you know
i'm 22. i'm pretty young
um but there's a lot of stories of women
in church history
and women in the scriptures that have
allowed me to shift
my perspective and really changed my
life when i learned about
emma line b wells and the way that she
you know wrote amazing poetry and she
journals and she was able to contribute
in that way and when i learned about you
know hannah as i mentioned earlier
or mary mother of god the way that she
was given such
a special a special opportunity by god
to act in a particular way or emma smith
i know we use her a lot but in dnc 25
she's the only woman that
we have in modern scripture that's been
called to expound scripture for the
whole church
that's very significant so i do think
that women
need role models of faithful women to
look up to
because i do think in this in this time
we're seeing a lot of
encouraging of people to break their
covenants and that's not good
um and i want i want women to know that
yes you can be a faithful woman in the
church yes you can keep your covenants
and yes you can make a difference in the
world these women in
early church history made such a
difference in the world and i i will add
for men too
because i i do think it's important to
add this note i think diversity helps
as well because a lot of the time when
we speak about diversity we talk only
about representation and representation
is important
but what else is important is for people
to develop
empathy with people who are different
than them and i think that that's one of
the central roles of
diversity is to give someone an
opportunity to see someone in
a different light and to be able to
learn to understand someone's experience
that's different than their own so for
that reason not having
access or not knowing stories of women
in the scriptures hurts men
as well as women because they are they
have as clear of a picture of what it
means to be a faithful woman
so i totally agree with that um
i i would love to have more examples in
the scriptures for you know as an
example for my daughters right and
even you know teaching them and giving
them role models
and maybe even understanding my wife
better right so
here's a question why
why do you think i mean obviously we
come from from uh
going it's very easy as i say to be a a
monday morning
historian right but
you have in the scriptures you know
mostly men
very different world from what we're
used to in a modern western world
but why do you think that we don't have
more more examples of women in scripture
i mean especially and by the way
especially in our
in our book of mormon amanda
um i think that uh i think that we need
take um historical context and
consideration i think hannah probably
could speak to this more than i could
um but um when we're looking at
different cultures where
um you know men and women perform
different roles
um people tend to uh you know if men
are the one taking taking notes if men
are the one writing the scriptures
they're going to necessarily
gravitate toward their own stories um
that doesn't mean that the stories of
the women that we do have the scriptures
are any less
um valuable um and it doesn't mean
that um you know i think that
uh if scripture were completely the way
um you know that god would write it and
it weren't
filtered through man's culture and man's
understanding then perhaps we would have
more stories of women
um but we do have to do the best with
what we have and we have to again be
intentional about
making sure that we include those
stories i would like to
push back on the idea that there's not
as many women as we think that there are
because i think we often um
only read certain sections of the new
testament and only read certain sections
of the book of mormon i'll
admit there's five women in the book of
mormon that are named i think um
but in the in the bible i would like to
push back on that because
i think there's 93 women mentioned in
the bible
those are 93 different stories that we
could be telling that we could
be sharing but we don't share them
because honestly i don't think
latter-day saints read
the old testament nearly as much as
other denominations of christianity do
and if we were to read the old testament
i think we'd be very surprised
by miriam i think we'd be very surprised
by other women
you know in the in the old testament
that have these amazing stories that we
could be telling so
i do agree that there's you know
historical and cultural context
for what's included but i do also think
that we might have a
misunderstanding of how many women are
mentioned sometimes
i'm not denying that there's far more
men than there are women
in the scriptures um but i do think that
there's there's a lot more stories of
women than we are we care to
talk about on the daily and i think that
that's one of the central problems
is not not reading the old testament not
knowing the stories of women and just
paying attention to the way that luke
you know the gospel author luke
or whoever wrote luke um brings women to
the forefront
okay so do we need more of a focus of
in church curriculum and young women's
and you know we we have this idea which
i think is a proper idea
of we want to make sure we're listening
to and
adhering to the prophets right into to
those that wrote the books in the
scriptures and
obviously very important but do we need
focus on the stories of of
of women in the scriptures yes
um i believe we do need more focus on it
i think that that can be done
in a very faithful way i think it can be
done to support the teachings
of our prophets i mean we have examples
contemporary women of women in church
history of women in scripture
who are following the prophets who are
keeping the commandments of god who are
leading and serving so it doesn't
necessarily mean
you know that if we want to include more
women that we have to step away or that
we have to
minimize the teachings of the prophets
in the scriptures
in contemporary times we have examples
of women who are doing those things that
we can use to support
our lessons um i really like
um i i think in church curriculum
absolutely we can do a better job i
think church
curriculum is becoming much much better
on the saints books
are um include like 40
39 i think of the names mentioned are
which is a huge um improvement upon past
church curriculum
um i think also though it's up to
individual members
um there are a couple of book series
that i really liked i have two i have
two little girls
and there's a book series called
women who um let's see i think it's
women who follow god or women who
who believe god something like that um
and there's one
about old testament new testaments um
uh and there's one about church history
and the book of mormon so
um we can bring these wonderful books
and stories into our
into our lessons into our homes to try
to encourage
our daughters to know that that god
speaks to them too
and that they're important in the gospel
story as well
i think i think the church curriculum is
making a lot of positive changes
i'm a sunday school teacher i thumb
through the the
come follow me volume pretty frequently
and there are a lot of women mentioned
that aren't even mentioned
in the actual text of the doctor new
covenants there are some references
that explicitly mention women too so i
do think we're seeing church curriculum
improve in a very positive direction i
love come follow me i think it's
fantastic and i think the way that the
church is handling that is really well
really well done i would say that i
think the onus is more on individual
members than it is
on the church curriculum because when i
look at general conference talks
i see our prophets and apostles
reference stories of faithful women
all the time i i'd be curious to know if
they reference more stories of beautiful
women than faithful men because that's
kind of been my experience
in terms of what i've heard maybe that's
because i'm a woman so that's what i
resonate with more
but i see them talk about their wives
all the time
or some faithful woman who is a visiting
i'm thinking of um elder eyring's
talk try try try where he talks about
how sister eyring is as close to
as someone could get and talks about her
faithful example
so i do think what we need to do is not
you know create mass institutional
change but what we need to do
is to recognize the stories that we do
to bring those to the forefront and to
be active as members
in you know sharing those stories
sharing the stories of women just like
we should share the stories of men
okay uh you you brought up um
just to kind of cap this this this topic
off you you
you brought i i don't i don't i don't
want to say her name wrong here
is it in new year melissa in a way
melissa anyway
listen anyway thank you yeah so she had
given a talk at fair mormon and she had
talked about
a quiz or a challenge that she gave i've
just named five women
in i think it was in the scriptures five
women in the scriptures in church
in church history okay five women in
church history and most people couldn't
do it
right that was in her family and and
more broadly
and they couldn't do it i think it gives
you a little bit of a
thermometer right on on you know because
i as soon as i saw that
in your article i started thinking okay
well how many can i name
and um you know i can name more than
five but not enough probably
i probably can't name enough but i you
know i really delve into the scriptures
a lot so i can
i can pull a lot of those 93 names in
the in the bible or
whatever you would sit down so i
it'd be nice to see if there was i i
know maybe not institutional
massive institutional change but you
know something where there's
uh a little bit of a kick to
making some stories that's it's all
stories right we know the story of nephi
we know the story of
who lemon and layman and lemuel are it'd
be nice to have a little bit more
of those stories that can be repeated
we we can reference more often is it
okay if i make a comment about that
please i think something that
has been helpful for me is remembering
we need more women who are willing to
compile those stories
who are willing to write about these
stories to translate them
to you know put them in a form for
younger girls
i think that that's one of the central
because we gravitate towards who we are
and what we like
when we study different things um so for
me personally
at first when i was doing greek and
latin and hebrew
i had this idea in my head i was like
i'm not going to be that person
who writes about women in the priesthood
i don't want to be that woman who writes
about women in the priesthood
because i felt like every woman who who
does scholarship writes about women in
the priesthood
but then it kind of dawned on me where i
had this really spiritual experience
where god was like
hannah if not you then who and i think
that that's
a question that i that everyone could
ask themselves like if not you then who
when we're taking personal
responsibility for the stories that we
want told
by giving different mediums to telling
them by
creating artwork by sharing them with
the people in our talks by taking
that own responsibility to create the
change that we wish to see in the world
not to sound too
cheesy yeah i think that
um you know it can be very it can become
very easy to fall into the trap of
telling the same stories over and over
again especially in our church where we
so many people serving um you know
our sunday school teachers our young
women's leaders
our young men's leaders everybody we're
all volunteers we're all busy
we have careers and children and
all this other sorts of things that we
have to take care of and so when we're
prepping our lessons it becomes very
easy to kind of go back to the same like
okay this lesson is on this topic
this is the story that i know i'm just
gonna retell the story we're going to
have the
same discussion points we're going to
talk about the same examples
that's a very easy trap to fall into um
and i don't blame people for falling
into that trap because
we do do so much within our church we
so much um the the lord expects a lot
from us
and so it is easy to fall into those
traps but i think that we can
um break out of that um i just wanted to
mention that
the series that i talked about earlier
it's called girl girls who choose god um
and it's by uh macarthur krishna
and um bethany spalding and they also
wrote a book called
um a girl's guide to heavenly mother
and it's a book it's a beautiful book um
for children and and adults alike that
um a lot of beautiful artwork depicting
heavenly father and heavenly mother
talking about
feminine divine using um scriptural
using quotes um from general conference
not sort of doing a lot of speculation
or um uh just uh
theology according to my own personal
beliefs but
um really relying on the teachings of of
our prophets to talk about how you know
women are divine how we are um uh we are
modeled after
our our mother in heaven and how we have
access to our heavenly parents in the
same way that men do
appreciate that um
hannah you brought up women in the
if you were if you were to put up a a
right out there right now and and you
were bringing in all the radio signals
of the narrative of
of women in the priesthood where are we
today and
where should we be so i would say
culturally we're at this point where
there's this huge divide
i'd say on one side you have people who
are saying oh
women should be ordained to the same
priesthood that men have
and that's what we need for equality
then on the other
side and this is i'm talking about
extremes right you have
this poll that will say women have no
connection to the priesthood whatsoever
um and i think that this this cultural
both sides are wrong in my opinion and
i'm not a prophet
but i'll stick with the words of the
prophet but you're right
i think i think we need to reframe the
way that we talk about women in the
priesthood very significantly i look to
valerie hudson for this
in a lot of different ways she talks
about the priesthood and granted
we don't know that much about the
priesthood but i will say
there are a couple things that we do
know we can pay attention to the way
that women function in the temple
if that's not priesthood power then i
don't know what is priesthood power
um women have the opportunity to
basically give ordinances to other women
and it's done through the keys of the
temple president like you don't receive
keys so that's a key distinction um
but women do have great opportunities to
act with priesthood power and i think we
also just
don't have an expansive enough
definition of priesthood power and i
would love to see that
be more fleshed out in my in my view
priesthood power is any
power that comes from god and that's
taken from president oaks president oaks
has some fantastic talks about this
so if any power that comes from god is
in fact priesthood power or priesthood
power whatever you want to call it
then the opportunity to pray for others
in the name of christ and see miracles
work in their lives
that's priesthood power the opportunity
to pray for the healing
of someone and receive direction for
what you can do
that's priesthood power the opportunity
to minister right ministering
is something that i think we need to
talk more about in connection to women
in the priesthood
ministering is about helping someone
receive their next temple ordinance
if we look back to the old testament we
see that the words that we translate as
are always temple related words they're
words that are cognate with words like
um so if we look at these words and we
remember how um i think it was bishop
waddell said ministering is being more
than a friend
um and talks about how ministering is
helping someone progress
towards christ we believe that
progression towards christ
is defined and shaped by covenants which
is defined and changed by ordinances
so the way that a woman ministers to
someone else
and helps them to receive their next
ordinance whether that be sacrament on
sunday whether that be baptism
or sealing even or endowment that is
a woman acting with the power of god to
help someone come
closer to christ so i would say we need
to kind of reject both poles we need to
reject both ideas
i'd say if women are going to have some
sort of ordination which i don't
personally believe that women are going
to have an ordination
that it would be to a priesthood i think
pretty fair to say given temple language
that women will be priestesses i don't
think that's very controversial
um so i think we need to kind of reject
both polls in that sense but we also
need to be a lot more careful with what
we call priesthood power
what we consider to be the power of god
and look really back to the new
and remember that christ said when you
do miracles in my name you're using my
power that's priesthood power
sure amanda where is your radar on that
um oh well i just would probably back up
exactly what hannah's saying i think
um we need to be cautious to um
you know one of the kind of cliches that
you'll hear is
um oh i i don't need the priesthood i've
got enough to do right that's what women
will say
um and and those are faithful women
right who are who are saying you know
i'm happy in my roles and
um and uh and that that is a good thing
to say you know what
god has called me to do certain things
and i'm going to be happy and i'm going
to do the best within my spirit but that
doesn't mean that that doesn't include
your priesthood power is part of that
and i've just been really grateful
um for president nelson um in his short
tenure as
prophet for how much that he's really
talked about
the access that women do have in the
priesthood and i think that it's going
to take a while for that to kind of seep
down to the cultural level that's the
way that it always works where
we'll hear our leaders talking about
something but it'll kind of take
years before that's what the general
membership is doing so
like hannah says i think those those
polls exist but i think that they
might hopefully soften as more people
start to talk about the way that women
have priests uh priesthood power and how
they do exercise it
so how those are great points
that you've brought up what what would
you say to a young woman
who is a teenager who hears all these
things she's online
she she says well wait a minute what
about equality
what about you know why can't we have
the priesthood that seems oppressive or
whatever else or
or she's on the other end of the
spectrum and she's saying
um you know that we should have nothing
to do with the priesthood what
how would you help navigate her either
of you starting
you know on on that topic i've actually
had a few women email me this before
i get a lot of emails from people who
listen to the podcast
um who find out my age and they're like
what i want to talk to you
because they're younger women so they
have someone to connect with you know
um i i always start off by saying we're
all disciples of jesus christ
we're all called to to bring people
to the gospel we're all called to act in
his name to do miraculous things
and those miraculous things extend both
beyond motherhood and beyond fatherhood
in a sense
because we do need to have our first
priority to to be mothers and to be
i totally agree with that um but i also
think that part of that
and adjacent to that i guess is being a
disciple of christ where
we act in his name where we minister to
where we show others god's love for them
so i would say to someone who struggles
with i guess the second part of what you
mentioned was saying oh like
you know priesthood isn't for me that
i agree that we don't need to be
ordained to the priesthood i totally
agree with you there
but i do think that we need to be very
when we say that we have only a small
role in the work of god i think we have
a bigger role in the work of god
than we then we remember if we look
again back to the scriptural examples
these women were out there knitting for
they were out there you know sharing all
that they had
giving to the poor they were out there
trying to pioneer the vote
for for different for women um
so i'd say that the role of women is a
lot more expansive
than the cultural 1950s housewife
and i'm not saying that being a
stay-at-home mom is a bad thing i think
it's a good thing
but i but what i am saying is that we
are called
to bring people to christ nevertheless
um and to someone who's on the opposite
end that that's really the other end
that people talk to me about the most is
women who feel like it's oppressive
women who feel
like they're considered unequal and what
i typically have to say to them
is you know in in a system
where you only have a male deity you
only have
god the father then that would make
sense to me
that would make perfect sense to me that
that would feel oppressive but we have a
system where we have
both heavenly father and heavenly mother
for me seeing how heavenly mother is
connected to motherhood
seeing and remembering the words of
elder holland when he talked about how
women quite literally experienced the
atonement in
a lot of ways on a far smaller scale
with bearing
with other words like that that relate
to the words of motherhood
that that is an extension of both
priesthood power but also
an extension of heavenly mother so in
that sense
instead of wanting to be equal
because i want to define myself as equal
according to a man
that to me seems oppressive i don't want
to be equal because i am like a man
i don't think i need to do what a man
does in order for me to have value in it
that kind of becomes the idea though
doesn't it it does and it's inherently
like if we're talking about the you know
there's there's like
i mean the responses were patriarchal
even so yeah i think so
i i think i think that that's actually
patriarchal to think that you need to be
like a man to have value and to be equal
um and patriarchal in a negative sense
right like i'm not talking about
patriarchal in the sense that
a man is a prophet i think that's a very
different sense and i would like to call
that like
you know the order of the family
something like that um
but what i always say is that
i would rather define myself by
other faithful women that have gone
before me by what i have seen prophets
and apostles to find heavenly mother as
what i have experienced from faithful
women keeping their covenants
than define myself by by men because
that to me is a different form of
if i'm expected to do everything that a
man does
in order for me to be equal well what if
i don't want to do that and most of the
time honestly
there's some things that i don't want to
do there i i find more beauty in the
divine feminine than i do in the divine
um and i think that we have those two
not because we're in an oppressive
system but because
while exaggerated generals do have some
sort of
basis and reality but i do think we got
to be careful when we say that i don't
in a very extreme sense i just mean that
there are certain
biological things that make men and
women different
and that i think that these are
reflected in divine parents
um so we tend to look at
so we have a doctrine of gender
we say that men and women are different
they work together
neither is more important than the other
now historically that idea of
um whether outside or inside the church
has been used in some cases on
individual levels and even you know it
like in within
countries governments to oppress women
to limit their access to things like
education careers that sort of thing and
so i think complementarianism especially
to people in our like younger generation
we we kind of like balk at that that's
you know that means that women don't
access um to certain opportunities
um but i think that when we look at like
a higher order complementarianism that's
not always going to be
the case just because the world doesn't
do it right hasn't ever done it right
doesn't mean that it can't be done well
and it can't be done right
i look at some of the things within the
institutional structure of the church
that are typically led by women i think
of something like lds charities that's
led by
sharon eubank um all these charities
like i can't imagine something
um i can't imagine women being
responsible for something
quite so extraordinary like the the fact
that women you know on the church level
and also on an individual level we are
often called
to to serve we are called to go out and
find the needy
to figure out what the needs are within
our words within our stakes and fulfill
those roles
um i don't think that um i think that
part of the problem
is that we tend to sort of downplay
those roles
um you know men serve as like ward
financial clerk or whatever that's not a
more important job
um the the jobs that women are doing are
important and i think that
um also with respects to motherhood um
this broader society at whole does
that and so it is easy to fall into the
trap of thinking you know
women are just mommies as if being just
a mommy is just like
no big deal and i can tell you for a
fact that it is an extraordinarily
challenging task
to be a mother to physically bear
children but also to care for them
and we know that you know within the
family proclamation to the world within
you know when we um switch to home
centered church supported education we
know that the prophet
asked mothers women to be responsible
for the education of the gospel within
the homes
those are hugely important tasks and so
we have to be careful also to not
minimize the roles that women
do traditionally play that doesn't mean
that because women
are mothers that they shouldn't you know
they can't go get
education that they can't have careers
um the women that we talked about in
history in our article you know these
are women who served as midwives who
delivering babies who were undoing all
kinds of
uh responsibilities career roles etc and
so that doesn't
limit our our abilities there it just
means that we can't minimize the role
that women do play
because our culture as a whole minimizes
those roles
it seems to me that all of these
conversations and even all these topics
that we're going over right now
come down to motherhood and whether it's
the the sprouting and development of
whether whether it's uh women not being
mentioned as much in the
in the uh in the scriptures whether it's
a a patriarchal history
of mankind i think to me
that linchpin in the middle there is is
all about motherhood because
we're biologically different we uh
um and and if there are no mothers
there's no
human kind right there that just doesn't
exist and and so
the as you said amanda i mean the the
you know lowering the profile of
a mother and what she does in our
is is is easy to do because it's not
outward facing
right it's not hey i've got this title
i've got this position
um in a public sphere look who i am and
look what i've accomplished and
you know all great things wonderful
things but
you know motherhood is internal right
it's it's
this these are the children that i'm
responsible for i brought them into the
and i teach them and i nurture them and
i'm trying to create
the most important possible thing you
can create which is a human being
and and and who they become but it seems
like all these things kind of
come out of that right it's it's it's
motherhood to me seems to be the the
central the central thing there i don't
know what you two think of it and
and and of course how does heavenly
mother the idea of a heavenly mother
play into that you've both brought that
up um
how divine is motherhood and and and why
is there s
why does there seem to be such an attack
on that
my favorite scripture um at least right
now this changes every day as you both
get is just part of one verse and they
were taught by their mothers
and that to me is showing
how divine the feminine is that
these men these sons of theirs had such
great faith
they didn't doubt god because they were
taught by their mothers
and brigham young said if i had the
choice to educate
um if i had the choice between educating
a man or a woman
he would pick the woman because when you
educate a woman you educate a generation
the reason that i think motherhood is
under attack
is for these reasons it's for it's for
not having a strong culture of faith
i do think that research that research
that people aren't believing in god
substantially less nowadays which
i think is true especially given the
coven 19 pandemic during
during disasters we we typically see
religiosity rise so i think that's true
but i think what else is true too is
that people
are going to church less and people are
what it means to believe in god i think
we're separating motherhood
out from the divine and we're separating
motherhood out from an acceptable choice
in culture
because we are not seeing how
women directly shape the future of
children in a lot of ways
i think we've kind of drifted away from
that idea
so for me i see the problem with the way
that culture treats motherhood
is devaluing it as not real work by
equating it
to things that it's just not i think
that motherhood is as much of a career
plus more as a nine to five job because
you're doing it all the time and you're
not getting paid it's a labor of love
you're doing it out of a sincere love
for your children
um i don't have children so i can't
really speak too much to that
but the women that i see who are
excellent mothers including my own
are the women who spend every single
second worrying about their children my
bless her heart i love her so much
worries about me every five seconds
and i live across the country so that
would be terrifying um
as a mother but just seeing how much of
her life
is devoted to me and my brother is
something that's really touching to me
and that speaks to the divine feminine
so regarding your question about
heavenly mother like how do i connect
the dots essentially
i think heavenly mother is a mother in
the same sense that
we're mothers i just think it's as
simple as that we believe that
our heavenly parents are are our parents
we believe that we're divine we believe
that we're
sons and daughters of a living god and
for me god is heavenly father and
heavenly mother in a lot of senses
because they they created us together
and we believe that we will have the
and the next life to act in those same
roles so
when i think about the divine role of
motherhood which extends beyond
just having kids too because there are
some women who don't have an opportunity
to get married or who can't have kids
and they're still mothers mothering is a
very expansive where there's
some great talks on this as well but the
way that i see it is
having a divine care and concern for
those within your
sphere and if you're if you're a mother
with children
that means you have a divine caring
concern for your own children
if you're a mother without children that
means those around you are the ones that
you have that same divine caring concern
when you act charitably towards them and
i think amanda's example
of being in charge of lds charities is a
great one because women
are often tasked with helping the poor
helping the needy
clothing the naked feeding the hungry
those sort of tasks which are
divine tasks that christ says himself
are the ones
that qualify someone for heaven more so
than pretty much anything else
that's to me what being a mother is is
being a disciple of christ
working in your sphere with care and
concern for those around you
and whether you look at uh that empathy
you know as a divine virtue or
as a stereotype it's still true
right women have more empathy generally
than men do it's just a truth um
amanda you're you're a mother you've got
a couple kids
um you know what where do you see
as a role and and and
within the church versus with out of the
church maybe
yeah so i think that um
so i have like a very egalitarian
marriage with my husband he
um we do a lot of things together we
make decisions together
um he does you know he's involved in
housework he's involved in helping with
the children
so i i don't want to sort of make it
like in order to um you know be
that motherhood means you know i am
at home all the time doing all the
dishes and all the baby diapers and
um like hannah said motherhood is that
that care and concern the responsibility
gospel education in the home um
and and that may look like being a
stay-at-home mom
and doing the majority of the domestic
work which you mentioned
melissa in a way she has a wonderful
book called crossings it's a memoir
and she talks about um you know she's a
professor she has a phd
and she talks about a realization that
she had that that domestic work is holy
when she went through a time in her life
when she was primarily a stay-at-home
that she realized that you know domestic
work was holy what she was doing was
and i believe that so if that's what
we're doing then then that is a
wonderful aspect in an important aspect
of motherhood if we have careers if
you know in school um whatever that
we decide within our own individual
families is the best set up that
with the consultation of our heavenly
father that's wonderful
so motherhood isn't limiting but i i do
believe that
motherhood is the most important role i
um in this life um it's an aspect of
being a disciple of jesus christ
i guess that's my most important role
but being a mother is one aspect of that
and an important aspect of that um it's
it's being
taking care of my children raising my
children to be disciples of jesus christ
is more important um you know i i do
i am in a graduate program i i do have a
job i do
um have a lot of personal interests but
i do think that motherhood is the most
and i also you know it's kind of a
controversial thing to say but i don't
think that motherhood and fatherhood
are kind of the same i think that
fathers are just as important as mothers
but i think that they
aren't the same sort of role and um i
i think that um i i don't necessarily
have a problem with saying you know
men have priesthood ordinance men are
ordained to the priesthood and women
have motherhood um
i i'm not uncomfortable with that
because in my experience
um motherhood is a very expansive
aren't we saying if we devalue
motherhood aren't we devaluing kids
we're devaluing women kids and men we
when we do that it's just you know it's
not it becomes one of those things
you know publicly that is just i i don't
know i mean when you really delve into
you really talk about the importance of
it i i just
you devalue everybody you know it's it's
how important are the kids how you know
what is there anything more important
than that
i i don't know um
eve what role
do you see eve playing in our doctrine
and and in lds culture
eve is so cool i love eve so
if we think about the story of adam and
eve right
one of my favorite aspects of that story
is how eve has this natural care and
concern for children
we see that she wants she knows that she
needs to have kids
and she knows that that's going to to
take having some knowledge
um so she does transgress and i i do
think that
sometimes we can go a little bit too far
and not calling that a transgression um
i think adam and eve did actually
transgress um and if we don't consider
it a transgression then you can kind of
get into this idea that personal
can trump god's law which i i'm not down
um but we see that she has this natural
care and concern for
others and that she's able to make
with adam um in an equal way
to god and that she is able to act in a
holy spirit and when we
think about her influence too as being
the first
mother we see that she has a voice in
scripture we see that she
is able to raise her her children um
some successfully some not as
um but that kind of provides you know a
space for empathy
for other women who have had children
who lose their faith who have had
children who thrive in the faith there's
she she's an expansive representation of
women in that sense
where she's had a lot of different
experiences that we can read about in
scripture and that we know through
modern revelation
that sort of posit her as this
as this figure as this person as this
woman who we can look up to in a lot of
senses who
was able to know what to do
and was able to then become holy for
doing it
it's really easy to look at our um our
doctrine and also our institutional
church setup
and and think that we um
are a church that is not empowering to
women but i think
as we er especially if you're somewhat
familiar with
other christian with christian doctrine
um within other church
sects you see that even just starting
with the story of
eve the way that we interpret it
compared to the way that other christian
denominations view that story that we do
have a gospel that is very empowering to
um i remember the first time that i
encountered a christian who
i didn't understand because i i grew up
you know with other latter-day saints
i didn't understand that you know there
are some there are some christians who
believe that it
if it weren't for eve that we'd just all
be living in eden
we'd all you know we all wouldn't
experience these bad things but
unfortunately he
made that bad choice and now we're all
and that the idea that that the
understanding that
eve made this choice in order for us all
to progress is extremely empowering and
and i think it's important to not lose
sight of how important that story is
i think uh you know you brought up in
your article about witnessing you know
several different women one being the
mary the mother of god one being mary
um i to me i see the same thing there
that i see with even and that is
that women play the role
in in scripture of each step
in the plan of salvation they're the
right so so whether it's it's birth
obviously right women are the icon of
women are also the icon event of death
because you've got you know you've got
mary there obviously with her
her infant son jesus and then she's also
there at the cross
and then on the next step you've got
resurrection and who's there
it's mary magdalene right that's that's
there at that next step
so every step of the way they are the
of those that are passing through right
to each step
and and that's how i see e that's why
she's there of course she's the first
one a particular fruit
because she's she's the one that's going
to bring both birth
and death into existence
right and so she would be responsible
for that as far as your transgression
goes just just
a quick little note on that on on on eve
i see it as
if if you look i think that the tree of
knowledge of good and evil if we look at
this as
a vision right you know moses was up on
sinai he had a vision while he was up
there and when he wrote this and then
abraham was looking through the urum and
thumb when he wrote the creation story
and um of course if we look at
further information that we get in the
we can see that we can bring in a lot of
metaphor into this not that it's not
true or anything like that i'm not
saying that but if we look at this as a
vision we can see that these are symbols
just like with lehi's dream the tree of
life is a symbol of something
uh the great and spacious building is a
symbol of something but there's real
people in it
right and and so
if you look at the tree of knowledge of
good and evil as the law
as as the commandments
then you obviously understand that once
you partake of having that knowledge of
good and evil because you know the law
now you are now going to bring in a fall
because you've you've got people aren't
going to be able to be perfect they're
not going to be able they're going to
transgress then
at that point i do think though as you
were saying i do think she was
beguiled and and because she's um
she's told that she will be like the
gods which is true
but that she shall not surely die that's
the lie it's the truth and the lie she
shall not surely die and of course
she dies spiritually and the separation
from god and of course she's going to be
mortal and
and die at that point but i love the
story of eve
and adam and eve and i wish we used it
even more than we do
because i think it's such a core truth
um to follow and and and
being told you are adam and eve and if
we can more
put ourselves in their shoes as if hey
that's not just the story of
the first couple that's the story of us
we all partake of the fruit we all come
into mortality
we all participate to one degree or
another through the light of christ and
in the gospel with the law of god
and with eve you know she's the mother
all living you know so every woman is
being eve she every woman is the mother
of all living
that seems like a pretty important role
to me you know
that we have right right at the core
there anyway that's that's my two cents
i'll get off my soapbox there
amanda um feminism
very broad topic a lot of people have
different ideas of what this is what it
is and is this
how does this affect positively or
negatively how does it how does this
young women or women generally in in the
church today
i mean i i think that femi like you said
feminism is so broad they're
you know in the academic study of
feminism there's so many branches of
feminism and waves of feminism
and um i kind of have although
you know if our basic definition of
feminism is advocating for women then
that is absolutely something that's a
core part of my identity um i think that
is really important
um for our young women and our young men
as we teach them to help them understand
that their
their identity their primary identity
should be
disciples of christ if we are disciples
of christ
of course we are going to want to
empower women
if we are disciples of christ of course
we are going to want to
um look for ways that we can reduce
inequality in the world that we can
support women
that we can support motherhood that we
can support
women getting access to education that
we can support
all of these different things they can
being a disciple of christ can be really
motivating in
the cause of progressing women helping
women in areas of the world where women
have really
limited access to education and
health access and that sort of thing um
in terms of feminism you know i i think
that there are
a lot of depending on what what feminism
you're talking about there are a lot of
overlaps with you know things that i
think women who are disciples of christ
would want for the world but i think
that if we um take our orientation away
you know uh away from
different kind of ideologies politics
that sort of thing and really try to
focus on
my identity as a disciple of christ what
can i do to make the world
better as a disciple of christ um i
think that that's going to guide us
better in terms of what we can
individually do
and not let us get carried away in um
kind of more worldly pursuits so
um i think that generally i've usually
identified myself as a feminist but i
think that um
that's become sort of less important to
i don't believe that there's anything
wrong with identifying as a feminist at
all but
um i do think that as i raise my
daughters i want to raise them very
to understand that they are disciples of
christ that they can do anything
um that they are important in in the
story of god
um in the the story of the world um
but uh they they can access their most
divine potential as they work as
disciples of jesus christ
it's interesting i just did a commentary
on um
you guys know who jordan peterson is
okay do you know who jonathan pageau is
oh okay okay so they they just had a
conversation like a week or two ago and
so i did a commentary on that and
and jonathan pagel brought up something
really interesting where where he was
talking about basically like like
peterson goes over a lot of values
hierarchy right
and um but he said look i mean
you can worship a good cause
right so he he brings up the cause of
the poor
you know you can worship a good a good
cause and run into
huge problems if that's if that's what
you're worshiping if that's at the top
of your your hierarchy
right um and he gives the example of
uh the woman that uh this is actually i
think a different story than what you
brought up hannah but but
in the new testament of the woman that
anoints christ or has the oil and
judas says no that's really expensive
we we should sell that and and get some
and of course he was going to steal it
anyway he was stealing from the purse
constantly but
he he talks about how look this is this
is there there's
jesus says look you always have the poor
with you
i think he's in bethany at the time and
this is a probably a very poor village
maybe even
refugees and others that are there sick
and and he's he says look i mean
you always have the poor here you only
have me here for a while and i think
that it's splitting that a little bit we
can we can
we can go for good when there's better
and so that that sounds a little bit
like what you're saying a man i mean a
cause for women absolutely i've got a
wife and two daughters
i want to advocate for them all day long
as you said i think i think the highest
cause there is
not um for womanhood or manhood or the
or anything else that is a good cause
but the highest cause is christ
and that should be at the top they just
thought about that
as you brought that up so hannah
feminism yes how does it how does it
play today
with the church what does it cause
problems does it cause
uh unity um where are we at
that's a good question feminism is one
of those subjects that is very hard for
me to talk about
but i'll try my best so i sometimes
tongue-in-cheek say i'm not a feminist
because i'm feminine
and what i mean by that is that i do
think that feminism
has drifted away from supporting women
to become
the best women that they can be to
becoming women need to be like men in
order to be
great in order to be worthwhile in order
to be respected
i take a lot of issues with any sort of
feminism that
you know degrades women for being stay
stay-at-home moms and i know a lot of
committed feminists who will say no
we're totally down with that that's not
what we're going for
but i also know some other committed
feminists who will say that that's
sexism that you are just upon in the
patriarchal system and i completely
reject that idea
um as for feminism within the church
that is a pretty interesting
subject for a lot of reasons i think a
lot of younger women especially women my
um have bought into some cultural
about motherhood not being as important
as having a job
and i think that that's been something
that has
negatively impacted our culture and i
also think that same assumption
comes from this idea that being a
disciple of christ is not
as important as a job i think that we're
seeing them
develop simultaneously i don't think
it's you know suddenly you have people
who are like oh i just want to
have a job and be a disciple of christ
because quite frankly i'm getting
to have an academic job that's what i
that's what i'm going for
so i i don't really have much against
women having careers it tells me in my
future it will bless me to have a career
i'm gonna do that um but what i do take
issue with
is devaluing jesus christ as the center
of our lives which i think
includes um motherhood and i think we've
just kind of seen
this definition of feminism get changed
over time to mean something that
i i'm not convinced that i could say
that i support a lot of feminists will
also support the pro-choice movement
i'm not pro-choice i'm very pro-life um
and for me i think we're just seeing
become something that is not about
supporting women
but it's about making women more like
men so in that sense i would say that
feminism does deeply impact members of
the church in a negative way
feminism in that sense where a lot of
men and women have bought into these
cultural assumptions and they treat
women who are doing good work to be
stay-at-home moms who
are being excellent wives um
who are not having a career as less
equal on the flip side though
i do think that this idea of gender
essentialism is often taken too far
um in the other direction where then
you'll see actual sexism
and i'm defining actual sexism as you
being hateful to women for the sake of
being hateful to women
because of women like things i think
you're seeing on the flip side
people who will say that like if you're
not a stay-at-home mom
you're not as worthy you're not as good
and i think that that's also
not the rhetoric that's currently coming
out of the church um
and i think we have to be pretty
cognizant about that
and i think we have to be pretty careful
about judging people for
things like that and not being sexist in
that respect
so i'd say that feminism has kind of
created these two polls um on the one
hand women need to be
like men in order to be successful on
the other hand
um men and women are completely
different they cannot do anything that
is the same therefore women should stay
at home and never see the light of day
i think both are wrong and that we need
kind of reject this radical feminism but
also reject
radical gender essentialism to the point
where it's no longer
the gender the gender essentialism that
allows for being a disciple of christ
okay so recently there was uh
a manifesto put out called radical
and um i've interviewed the guys that
have written it um
and talked to several people that have
signed on with it um and basically just
kind of is saying look stay away from
the extremes
right stay away from the two extremes
and and
look for truth but one of the what they
put up is their pillars which is kind of
i would not have thought of this but
what they put up is their pillars are
the proclamations right the living
christ and
and uh the proclamation on the family
proclamation on the family is getting
some heat
right now from a number of members um
where should a woman's point of view be
on this where we are seeing i mean we've
talked a lot about this already as far
as like gender roles and
motherhood and different things like
that but we're
where where should the
proclamation on the family be in terms
of ideals
and um a goal for
women to follow there's nothing
in the family proclamation that says
that a woman cannot get an education
there's nothing in the family
proclamation that says a woman
should never have a career there's
nothing in the family proclamation that
men and women are not equal there's
nothing in the family proclamation
that devalues men and women what it does
say in the family proclamation is that
women are primarily responsible for the
nurturing of children
in other words women are primarily
responsible to be mothers
i think part of the heat on the family
proclamation comes from
taking cultural assumptions
mingled with prophetic quotes to
impute this upon the family proclamation
and i think that that's
that's the issue i i won't deny that
there are prophetic quotes about how
being a stay-at-home mom is important
those do exist but i do think we've also
seen prophetic
quotes that have said circumstances
differ and other things like that so
when we when we look at the whole
i guess smorgasbord of prophetic quotes
on this matter
there's a there's some differing
perspectives and there's some differing
ideas there that
when harmonized will bring us to this
idea that we should
primarily value being mothers and what
the lord wants that to take for us i
when we talk about the family
proclamation we need to
both not reject it because when people
say oh the family proclamation is not
canonical that's technically true the
family proclamation is not canonical
the family proclamation also comes from
canonical sources though in the sense
that you can very
clearly see that you know genesis is
evoked um paul's evoked other other
scriptural authors are evoked
so i i do think we have to be a bit
careful about discounting it
um i don't think we should discount it
at all it's it's signed well not signed
but it's it's endorsed by the quorum of
the twelve apostles in the first
um and i think that that sort of
raises the standard for us for the way
that we should consider it
um so i i don't advocate for ignoring it
we have to accept it i think to
to be as to to be a believing member
there there's stuff in there that does
come from the kid and coming from the
kid it means it's finding all the saints
on the flip side though i also don't
think we need to impute
cultural assumptions into it i i don't
think we need to weaponize prophetic
quotes of our var choosing that might
conflict with other prophetic
quotes of someone else's choosing in
order to dictate what men and women
should do with their lives
i think that there are guidelines in
there that are very clear
that we can read that we can understand
with scripture
modern revelation and with personal
revelation in order to determine how we
can best
primarily feel the role of nurturing
children and being mothers
amanda where does the family
proclamation fit in
um so i think one of the i think that
it's really easy to
uh like you said the family proclamation
has a lot of heat right now i think
um because of women's roles issues and
also because of lgbt issues
and it's easy to miss out in um the ways
uh the family proclamation is really
like radically positive when you look at
the state of the family
in the world that first of all um
in the second paragraph of the family
proclamation it says
all human beings male and female are
created in the image of god
each is a beloved spirit son or daughter
of heavenly parents
so we are all sons and daughters of
heavenly parents this was like before
you know now you listen to general
conference and people talk about
heavenly parents heavenly parents over
and over again
back in the 90s that wasn't so much this
was establishing
our first identity is we are children of
heavenly parents and that's such an
important thing for us to know and that
such a
amazing profoundly radical doctrine that
we have
um husbands and wives have equal
responsibility to their families they
have responsibility to each other
and to love and care for each other and
for their children um
i look at the family proclamation as
something that encourages
healthy and happy family relationships
centered around
um jesus christ and i just
i i think like hannah said
we've read so much into it you know when
we see that women
are primarily responsible for the
nurturing of children then that means
that women are somehow limited in
other capacities you know if we say that
men are are primarily responsible
um uh for for other things that that's
that's not limiting their capacity to um
to sort of be empowered and so
i think that um yeah we need to not
read so much culturally into this
document that
simply isn't there it isn't there to
limit us it's there to empower us
and so i find it really really positive
document and i'm really happy that we
have it as part of
um and you know that we have a hanging
in our home that we
we talk about it a lot because i think
that it is the
it does lay out the keys for help eat
healthy and happy family
so what about polygamy
where does polygamy fit in this um i
you know i i i've got female friends
and family members that
i mean this is a huge issue for them
it's it's like it's it's it's a big deal
and others who i'm close to that
it's not a big deal to them i mean we
don't live in those times right now
it's not close to us in a sense but
there's always that
that thought this is what i get from
family members that that well what about
in the next life or
you know that's part of our doctrine and
um and it's a part of our history
and our heritage as as as latter-day
right what you know i don't know when
you when you were looking at the church
if that was one and i didn't bring that
up before if that was an issue or not
or it's obviously a hot button
and it's what a lot of people don't even
want to talk about men or women
but it's it's an issue
right it's it's an issue that that faces
young women and all women today
and and the thought of this and how do
each of you bring that together and and
um your feelings toward it polygamy
is definitely very interesting part of
my research i have done research on
um and it didn't bother me at first
i did have some level of awareness my my
my dad's not a member my parents are
divorced my dad's not a member
but when i told him i was considered
joining the church
his reaction was wasn't joseph smith
that polygamist
and i hadn't had an idea of that at the
time i didn't really
know what polygamy was um just never
never really talked about it um but
i learned what polygamy was didn't
really bother me it didn't really bother
me until i got older um i'd say
started bothering me last year actually
um there was a period of time where
i was pretty shaken by the idea of
pulling me i think it's because i got
older and i
started you know dating more dating for
marriage where i
it became more of a reality for me um
before it was
this kind of distant idea and i didn't
have you know
two married parents in the home as a
child so i didn't really have that same
sort of
emphasis on marriage in my life in in a
direct way um that i think a lot of
people do
for me this is how i reconciled me i
don't want to downplay the negative
aspects of polygamy for some women
i think that that's really unfair to the
women who experience polygamy and who
just didn't like it but i do want to
talk about a few of the positive aspects
of polygamy
and i think that these are important one
if we read the
the actual feelings by women who were in
polygamous relationships
about their polygamous relationships a
lot of them were immensely grateful for
them and that was something that brought
me some cognitive dissonance
because i was sitting here in my my
comfy 21st century apartment
you know looking to marry just one man
and have him not marry anyone else
and there were these women who were
saying that it completely changed their
life it was one of the
the most spiritually refining
experiences that they had and i think
there are several reasons for this but
one of them is it gave women more
autonomy than we
think that it did it gave women autonomy
in a direct way because if you're
the responsibility of child bearing and
sharing the responsibility of child
rearing amongst a group of women as
opposed to one woman
then women have more time and if women
have more time they're able to create
more effective change in other places
and i think that's why we see a lot of
women in early church history who do
absolutely incredible things another
aspect of plug-me that i think
was really positive for a lot of women
this idea that
they were able to have marriage laws
change for them so divorce laws were
kind of a tricky subject
um because you know obviously in a
society where
uh virginity not just chastity but
virginity was highly
valued marriage laws were a lot stricter
but with polygamy we see that divorce
laws in utah
became the most progressive out of
pretty much
any other state because of polygamy and
i think that that's a really fascinating
point that this gave women more freedom
and a lot of aspects and that's not to
say that some women didn't like believe
because it's very clear
that someone who were in polygamous
relationships had a horrible time
and i do think we have to be honest
about the fact that women struggled
with polygamous relationships and also
to remember that
most women were not in polygamous
relationships when we're talking about
polygamy i think we
we have this sort of mental picture that
everyone who
was living in utah was a polygamist
that's just not true i think it's
somewhere about like 35 to 40 percent
of people were in polygamous
relationships so
it was something that god clearly you
said you need to do this but it wasn't
for everyone and when we talk about
in the next life and polygamy as a
requirement um
brigham young in that same paragraph i
think it's brigham young right
in that same paragraph where he says
that there will be polygamy in heaven
says that you can also just be a
polygamist in your heart
i'm not really sure what it means to be
a politician
that doesn't sound good to me i don't
know i don't know
i don't know what yeah that that means
very good to me
yeah but i i think this is my own
gospel according to hannah
interpretation i think what that's just
i think it's saying that if god gave you
a commandment you would fulfill it but
god isn't necessarily going to command
you to be
polygamist in the next life i think
that's just saying that you would have
to be
willing to do it if god was like hey you
really need to do this
um but that it's not going to be
mandatory for everyone and
i think again gospel according to hannah
i think most people
will be in a monogamous relationship
because as the lord says in jacob right
is instituted for a time and it's
for specific purposes it's not it's not
instituted as god's general law of
that's been pretty consistent by
prophets and apostles too that
polygamy is an exception to the rule not
the rule so i know that doesn't
always resolve people's concerns about
pogamy but when people
tell me and i amanda's seen me tweet
this out a thousand times when people
tell me that they're concerned with plug
me i'm like okay
don't take my word for it read the
accounts of women who experience plug me
and read all of them don't just read the
ones that you know that are gonna have
negative things to say that are going to
feed your confirmation bias as a woman
i'm struggling with it too
because i i'll be honest i don't really
want to ever have my husband marry
someone else
like well and i don't i don't think that
the plan of god is is a tyrannical plan
exactly i just don't see uh forcing on
that so amanda
you know you've got different points of
view on this for reconciling things for
people that are faithful
as an example uh carolyn pearson a poet
poet she reconciles it by saying it was
just a huge mistake
right it just should have never happened
and it was a huge mistake and
um people try to reconcile these things
in in in different ways
how should somebody look at that how
should a woman look at that in the
and and reconcile that with her her
potential her growth
and uh um you know being made in the
image of god
um well so okay first of all i want to
make sure that it's clear that for women
who don't have an issue with polygamy
there's nothing wrong with not having an
issue with
i know plenty of women who are just like
you know
whatever god wants you know i'll i guess
i'll just figure it out
and i i think that whether it bothers it
but whether it bothers us it has a lot
to do with our individual temperaments
and experiences
so there's nothing wrong with not being
or nothing like unfeminine
or unfeminist about not being bothered
by polygamy
but for those of us who are polygamy was
something that i always struggled with
um luckily i didn't have a lot of church
history struggles i
grew up in a situation where i knew a
lot of church history
all the icky stuff um you know when i
did live in utah we lived just down the
street from the mass
mountain meadows massacre um location
and so
polygamy really was the only one that
was consistently a challenge for me
i personally do not believe that it was
all a big mistake though i believe that
there were probably plenty of aspects
where it was not
implemented or lived appropriately where
there were husbands who did not treat
wives as they should have um when given
the responsibility to live in polygamous
um i i don't believe that it was a
mistake however
i don't know that you can come to that
wholly through just reading history i
think that
what hannah's saying is key like you
need to read the stories of women
but i also don't think that you can't i
never reconciled it until
i gave it up to god and said i don't
know how much longer i can struggle with
and i personally received you know an
answer from god that
you know i don't talk about too much
because i don't think it's a good answer
for everybody i think that everybody's
got to get their own individual answer
um so i i think that's really important
that for some of these
really big issues we need to understand
the history we need to be well versed in
it and then we also need to be willing
to give it up to god and say please help
me with this um and be open to receiving
whatever that looks like um i
and and when i say that i don't want to
draw down on
revelation that anybody else has or
feels that they have received either i'm
not going to argue about with people
about their
pers perceptions about polygamy but i do
feel like that i've received
a spiritual answer and i think that's
the only was something so hard i think
for some people that may be the only way
to to receive
an answer um about such a difficult
okay it also seems to me that that
polygamy has only been instituted in
times of
of a new era right so where you've had a
new dispensation
it's almost always where we see there's
a new dispensation even with king david
you're talking about a new era
and building up a state you know
different things like that but uh
um difficult topic and i know a lot of
people struggle with that so i
appreciate those words
um my last topic and of course if you
guys have anything you want to bring up
then by all means
do so but the last thing i want to talk
about was faith crisis
and all of these things i think kind of
play a role with that a lot of the
things that we've been talking about in
one way or the other
it's a it's you know today it's it's
very different from when i was young
where you've got access to all this
information you can go online you can
read negative things about the church
there usually some truth in there
but the approach and the agenda is is
uh very cynical and um
you know not looking out for people's
best interests not even
sometimes looking out for the truth
but there's all this information and new
ideologies and
and access that people have that that is
inside the home and that can be a very
positive empowering thing but it can
also be a destructive thing
and so we see a lot of people that are
going through um
a faith crisis today this is this is
from uh
i uh see if i've got this one right here
yeah this is from janna rice's book
i think it's called the next mormons um
i don't always agree with her approach
and a lot of her conclusions but but
what i did like about the book is
it brought in a lot of data a lot of
information on things and and
lds retention is not good among
and gen z right it's it's really reduced
in fact it's
based on her information here
and the polls i know she ran some of
these polls herself with her with uh
whoever co-authored the book but
uh she's got she's got lds retention
down in most cases based on
other other uh christian sects
down about 20 from even theirs
um so as they've dropped in retention
over the last 30 40 years
the lds retention has dropped even
further what are the struggles that that
young people are facing today and for a
young woman
you know who's going through a faith
crisis or a serious doubt
what's the best advice for her
i think one of the biggest struggles and
you kind of mentioned this is that
information that's available on the
internet um
that is often not portrayed correctly
i i do think it's really important to
read as much as you can i'm not going to
against people reading things i read a
lot of
the um i guess more hostile
um material towards the church
because i find it's helpful for me to
have an awareness of it
but i do think that we're seeing and i'm
not trying to sound snobby here at all
i think we're seeing issues of people
presenting history without being
and i think you can be a historian
without necessarily getting a degree
um but i do think one thing that getting
a degree teaches you
is how to look at historical documents
how to determine veracity of historical
documents how to
know which ones are the the acceptable
ones for determining whether or not
something is true
and i'll use mormonism unveiled as a
good example so in mormonism
unveiled um there's a section in it that
talks about like a white lizard-like
thing that spoke to joseph smith and
that's where mark hoffman got the idea
for the salamander letter
the news now yeah yeah yeah if you look
at him he pulls out mormonism unveiled
and they have like this three-minute
weird thing of him pulling out a book
and i'm like yeah you people didn't
explain that nobody's gonna know what's
going on
um but anyways so you have mormonism
available that talks about this
and people will will parrot this sort of
in order to say something about joseph
smith but that's not a proper way to
look at history to quote hugh nibley
that's not history fawn brodie
um you have to that's one of my favorite
by hugh nugliello funibly but you have
to be able to
understand what sources um are closest
to the person
how to evaluate these sources and that's
how you determine history
it's not necessarily every source is an
equal source and can tell us an equal
amount of truth
that's not a proper way to look at
history so i do think what we're seeing
is a lot of um i like to call them
internet historians not
to mock the youtube channel i like the
youtube channel internet historians
but you're seeing a lot of internet
historians who
are people who don't know how to look at
history who don't know how to look at
documents who are just kind of
poll quoting documents as they pick and
and are presenting it as this is the
narrative of the church that's actually
true with the narrative that you're told
in sunday school is false
i think that that's a big problem where
you're you're seeing
a lot of dissent on that matter and i'm
not necessarily saying every true
will be a latter-day saint that's not
what i'm saying there are a lot of
secular historians who do work around
the joseph smith area
um that i have a lot of respect for
because they presented
and what i believe to be an honest and
authentic way
where they're able to you know say like
i don't think joseph smith is a prophet
but i don't think that he was a terrible
person who was completely deluded and
was a total fraud
they usually say that he was pious that
he believed that he had religious
experiences but that his religious
experiences were not true and that's a
very different argument so i think that
that's the first issue
and then the second issue is we're
seeing that
um there's a there's a differing idea of
what it means to be a christian
culturally than i think exists
and what i'm saying by that is that i
think there's
there's a lot of emphasis on the sermon
on the mount that's what i see get
quoted all the time and i think that
that's fantastic
i do think a lot of conservatives will
kind of shy away from serving on the
mount language sometimes
that's also not great but we should we
should embrace the sermon on the mount
but that's not the extent of
the extent of christianity is not just
giving of your substance to the poor
that is one of the central aspects of
christianity but there are other
different aspects of christianity that
involve purity
that involve righteousness that i think
we sometimes are now downplaying
where we're seeing the sort of i hate
calling it cafeteria christianity but
the best term for it we're seeing this
cafeteria christianity emerge culturally
where people are saying if you read the
bible jesus is really a radical
who was trying to uproot everything who
did not believe in any sort of purity
and i will agree with one thing jesus
was radical but jesus was radical
because he was advocating for
being as loving as possible while also
being as righteous as possible
and not taking your righteousness and
using it as a weapon towards other
that's the way that i think is best to
look at jesus in
scripture so i think what's also
happening is because you have these
cultural ideas
about christianity that are becoming so
um that are stemming from a different
way to look at society
that's happening politically that's
that's stemming from the political
polarization and tension that we see
where i think individuals often think
that they can either be
you know those evil right-wing
who don't give to charity or they they
can be these hippie
leftist christians who don't believe in
any sort of morality besides giving to
the poor
i think that those those ideas are
pressing against each other culturally
and the one that's winning out is the
one on the left
when in reality both are wrong right we
we don't believe either one of those
but i think that this cultural these
cultural ideas about christianity
are leading people out of the church
because they're not
reading the scriptures themselves
they're not
understanding the word of god themselves
and there's a shifting view
of prophetic authority because we're
also seeing in society that people are
this idea that someone can have
authority over you as being something
and there you do have a level of
personal autonomy and personal authority
definitely don't deny that you you do
stewardship over your own life but we're
seeing this sort of
radical deconstruction of
systems in a way that directly impacts
christianity because
christianity is built upon especially
our version of christianity
is built upon a system of prophets and
believing that they are the ones who can
direct the church and that we can direct
our own lives
um so i think all of these factors at
play are causing
people a lot of cognitive dissonance
because people quite frankly don't want
to be considered homophobic
they don't want to be considered racist
they don't want to be called bigots and
that's what we're seeing of a lot of
different religious people
but that's happening for them just
simply existing as religious people
there are some times where people
or religious do things that are
homophobic homophobic bigoted and racist
and that's a problem but there are some
instances where religious people are
and getting keep for existing um so i
think in a lot of senses
this tension that's occurring causes
people faith crises because they want to
be able to function in society
and to have a healthy way of living and
being compassionate
and that's what i think the central
problem is is
we have redefined compassion culturally
in a way
that people think that they can only be
compassionate if they reject their
and they don't see their christianity as
what makes them
both radically compassionate and
radically righteous
so in terms of faith crises that's the
problem and honestly the solution
i think is very simple it's not easy but
it's very simple
i think the solution is being able to
accept jesus as your savior and once you
accept jesus as your savior
being able to approach scripture and
being okay with the things
that cause you tension instead of saying
oh this causes me tension this causes me
discomfort therefore it's not true i
sitting with all of it and trying to
harmonize it and trying to construct
an idea of jesus from the scriptures
from revelation
from a personal relationship with him
rather than taking
all of our assumptions that we all have
what it means to be loving what it means
to be compassionate compassionate and
imputing those on
to jesus i think we have to take a big
step back and ask ourselves
who is jesus and instead of asking
who do i want jesus to be there's
definitely an
attack on hierarchy and and structure
and it it's
it's a it's a it's a never-ending thing
i think in in
cycle that there's always the idea of
flattening the hierarchy right you you
want to flatten the hierarchy
and there could be a natural disposition
toward uh
toward authority which is fine if it's
the wrong authority
right you don't want to be under a wrong
authority or
a bad authority but amanda
faith crisis what uh what do you see
some of the issues today that are
causing people to doubt or causing
people to even
leave the church i think hannah's right
in that
um as you know as we the church has
improved so much in terms of helping
kind of um distill more historical more
church history
um in more accessible ways and i think
we'll see fewer and fewer
people um having church history
on faith crises when all of a sudden
they realize all these things about like
they were never taught about things like
seer stones they didn't know joseph
smith practiced polygamy
different things like that so i think
that that kind of faith crisis is going
to continue to be less and less
um of a problem and i think that
problems of of ideology having to do
with gender specifically i think is
going to continue to be one that's hard
and there's not going to be an easy
solution for that
um our ideas about gender about marriage
um they're going to continue i think to
be at odds with the world i don't think
that there's going to be some sort of
like conservative resurgence of
um traditional marriage traditional
family traditional ideas about gender
um and so um i think that's
one of the most important things that we
can do i i think that this is gonna
really i think the parents just are
gonna play a really important role in
in um paying attention to what some of
issues are and really empowering their
kids empowering their
their kids to understand
understand you know what ideology
means understand that there are
different cultural assumptions and just
because culture as a whole has these
that doesn't mean that it's right and
raising their kids to understand that
are important and have value and that
god sees them
um with value i think that you know when
we talk about these issues about
sex or gender um that having him
be empowering particularly our young
women is so important
being a woman is awesome being a woman
is important
god needs his women just as much as he
needs his men
um heavenly mother and he who is also
needs her daughters and just as much as
she needs her sons
being a wife being a mother being an
being a you know a person with a career
what whatever it is that you're going to
in your life um is is amazing
and being a woman is an important and
valuable part of that
um so i i think that helping our
have a healthy idea of gender sexuality
marriage you know one of the problems
with one of the problems with why
polygamy kind of icks us out so much
is that we have a very narrow view of
like what
marriage should look like not
necessarily in terms of monogamy like
that's pretty important
and pretty far-reaching in terms of
history but like the idea of kind of
romance just being able to go with your
marrying who you feel like you should
you know who you're the most
physically attracted to you have the
most sparks with
whatever um that that i think plays you
part of our discomfort with polygamy and
it's also part of our discomfort with
traditional um marriage traditional
family structures is that you know
assumptions about how we should be able
to just go with our feelings
and that's really kind of at odds with
what the gospel teaches us that we
should reject the natural man
um so so that's i think you know gender
sex and being able to empower our kids
to understand that
they can be valuable and important
within the confines of that that
thank you so much for having us on thank
you both
you're great guests and i learned a lot


Cwic Show

LDS Women Women's History Month


50% Complete

Two Step

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua.