The Relief Society Declaration states that we as Mormon women “find…joy in womanhood.” Understanding the plan of God brings that joy, and gives us clarity about our sacred place, value, and eternally-important roles as daughters of God and women in the Church.
President Spencer W. Kimball said the following:
The scriptures and the prophets have taught us clearly that God, who is perfect in his attribute of justice, “is no respecter of persons” (Acts 10:34). … We had full equality as his spirit children. We have equality as recipients of God’s perfected love for each of us. The late Elder John A. Widtsoe wrote:
“The place of woman in the Church is to walk beside the man, not in front of him nor behind him. In the Church there is full equality between man and woman. The gospel … was devised by the Lord for men and women alike” (Improvement Era, Mar. 1942, p. 161).
President Kimball goes on to explain how even as we are equal before God, “our roles and assignments differ” as men and women. (More can be found about gender roles here.) There are those who want to declare that unless our roles and responsibilities can and are the same, we will never be equal. This is a falsehood that the doctrines of the gospel help to dispel.
You can read essays on our site written by Mormon women about the topic of womanhood, such as the following:
Following are other links (most from lds.org) that further explore the teachings about the divinity of womanhood.
Margaret D. Nadauld: The Joy of Womanhood
Susan Easton Black: Happiness in Womanhood
Sheri Dew: It is Not Good for Man or Woman to be Alone (discusses how women and men must work in partnership in order for God’s plan to work and for us to reach our full potential)
M. Russell Ballard: Women of Righteousness
Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball on Women in the Church
Elaine Cannon: The Case for Mary (addresses ideas found in radical feminism, and what used to be called the women’s liberation movement)
Barbara Thompson: The Errand of Angels is Given to Women
Richard G. Scott: The Sanctity of Womanhood
Russell M. Nelson: Daughters of Zion
Spencer W. Kimball: The Blessings and Responsibility of Womanhood
Dallin H. Oaks: The Relief Society and the Church (discusses much about historical facets of the role of women in the Lord’s work; even addresses the issue of women anointing and giving blessings, which they did for a time in the earlier stages of Church history)
Gordon B. Hinckley: The Women in Our Lives
Susan Easton Black, noted researcher and teacher, wrote an article about womanhood in the gospel of Jesus Christ and the many roles women may have (daughter, sister, wife, mother, woman). She also reflects on women from Church history to illustrate her points about these roles. She reminds us of the importance of “adher[ing] to the truths of the scriptures and modern prophetic counsel” that can “lead [us] to the commitment of being a faithful daughter, sister, wife, and mother. Such a commitment will lead [us] to greater happiness in mortality and joy in the eternal realms.”
Read another woman’s thoughts on being a woman in the Church.
You can also search our site or lds.org on topics such as the following: