Mormon feminism

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Ever since my wife angrily told me about Ordain Women and their plans for this just-finished General Conference, I have grown steadily more interested in the discussion on feminism within Mormonism, and I’m not sure I like what I see.

I’ve read articles on Mormon feminism, scanned the forums and watched General Conference, pondering deeply the questions it raises: Should women be ordained to the priesthood? Now or ever? If so, why hasn’t it happened? If not, why not?

Are Mormon women underrepresented, oppressed or less happy than the men? Are the Brethren out of touch with modern trends and the values of a younger generation? Did Mormon women at one point have more rights or representation than they do now?

What is God’s view on the subject, and what should I do about it? These are questions that — given the amount of noise Kate Kelly and her group are making — I’m sure will be dealt with in coming months and years.

God has called women to be the chief cornerstones of families. He has called them to this position as surely and as honorably as he has called men to lead the earthly apparatus of His Church. This is not a trivial thing or a consolation prize. Without women maintaining their focus on the home, families will fail with disastrous consequences.

My mother, early in my life, developed a mental illness that did not allow her to maintain her focus on the home; she could not even provide for my and my brother’s emotional or physical needs. Her illness eventually led to my parents’ separation and divorce.

My father’s second wife worked due to financial demands and could devote little time or energy to the home. That marriage also ended in divorce. My father’s third wife, a wonderful woman, developed a chronic illness that sapped her energy and strength before it took her life. My father has yet to remarry.

I never had much of an opportunity to have a mother who was able to devote her time and attention to raising and caring for the family. Of myself, my brother, my stepbrother and my ex-stepbrother who lived in this environment, only one of us remains active in the Church today; only one of us has a very good life. Coincidence? I’ll let you, dear reader, decide.

Trevor Jones
Burley, Idaho
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