Mormon women are homemakers. But this encompasses so much more than just housecleaning, or baking bread, or whatever else is often associated with managing a home.
In a recent Worldwide Leadership Training Broadcast, we were reminded that homemaking is about creating a nurturing environment that points members of a family toward eternal life. In this sense, regardless of our ages or stages of life, we are all homemakers, because we each have the opportunity to create a spiritual environment, for ourselves and others.
This is something that has been taught for decades. Sister Belle S. Spafford, a former female leader (president of the Relief Society), said this:
“Homemaking, as I view it, falls into two major divisions: homemaking and housekeeping. Homemaking takes into account the spiritual values: love, peace, tranquility, harmony among family members, security. It makes of a place of residence a spot to which family members can retire from a confused and troubled world and find understanding and rejuvenation. Its character is quietness; it evidences good taste, culture, and refinement. Men, women, and children alike have their individual contributions to make to good home and family life, and each shares in its benefits.
“Housekeeping involves the work of keeping a house clean, orderly, and well managed. This includes financial management, failure in which often becomes a source of family friction” (Belle S. Spafford, A Woman’s Reach [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1974], pp. 24–25).
We encourage our teenaged young women to do their part to strengthen their homes and families — in essence, we encourage them to be homemakers in their own right.
For more information on this topic, please see the following links: Julie B. Beck: Mothers Who Know
“Homemaking: An Opportunity for Every Woman (this is an example of a visiting teaching message — we as Mormon women each visit a few sisters every month to discuss topics such as these, to build friendship and sisterhood, and to watch over and care for each other)
Sydney Smith Reynolds: Wife and Mother: A Valid Career Option for the College-Educated Woman
Barbara B. Smith: Makers of Homes
Katherine Padilla, My Stay-at-Home Education (one woman’s perspective on how “choosing to stay home with your children doesn’t mean stopping your own progress”