I am a huge fan of collaborative efforts. I am a huge believer in the power of social media to do much good, and I love seeing Mormon women (and men) using the internet to share their faith. I am clearly passionate about the truths about womanhood, priesthood, and partnership of men and women in God’s plan. I’m also passionate about the power that comes into lives of members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints when they follow prophets in faith.
I’m observing all of these different things come alive in a brand new online initiative called Mormon Women Stand.
Here is the mission of Mormon Women Stand:
“Mormon Women Stand is a collaborative online effort to join like-minded female members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, who share a desire to make a public stand as witnesses of Jesus Christ and in support of ‘The Family: A Proclamation to the World’. We believe standing together will reflect the divine nature and power that LDS women are endowed with to influence others for good. We unequivocally sustain the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles — commissioned by God and sustained as prophets, seers, and revelators. We support how the Lord has delegated priesthood authority to organize and administer the gospel among all of His children.” (MWS Facebook page)
In just the last two weeks since their launch, Mormon Women Stand has over 6,000 likes [as of 3-25-14, about 36 hours after posting this post, they now have over 7,000!] and hundreds and hundreds of shares of memes and other content. I’m not one who believes likes and shares are the only measure of impact, but the energy that women are feeling around this effort feels palpable to me.
I also was excited to find out tonight that they are doing a weekly Sunday Evening Classics discussion on their Facebook page. Ironically, I’m taking a Facebook break until the end of the month, so I haven’t participated in the conversation this time, but I will in the future. I hope you will, too. If you have a blog, perhaps you can consider sharing your insights on your blog or Facebook page.
This week, the Sunday Evening Classic discussion was about a talk given in 1972 by Elder Mark E. Peterson, then a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. “Even as I Am.”What stands out to you from this talk? I’ve shared some of my thoughts below.
I love how Elder Peterson’s talk starts out by testifying of the Lord, Jesus Christ. He is the center of our faith as members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. When it comes to being a Mormon woman, for me, HE is the answer to what my role is in the Lord’s work. My role is to come to Him through His restored gospel and priesthood ordinances and to seek to make Him the center of my life. To rely on His atonement so I can feel peace and His power in my life. And then to follow the guidance of the Spirit to know how to serve others, as Elder Peterson urges us to do.
Elder Peterson speaks of the women in ancient writ who were the faithful disciples of the Savior. The stories of women in the New Testament are so powerful. I firmly believe that as Mormon women study the scriptures — not only for stories about women, but for principles and truths that show how the Lord’s saving power — is truly available to all. “Suffer all to come unto Him” Elder Peterson cries. To us as women, he invites, “Stand up and be counted for Him, be on His side.”
Elder Peterson talks of the pioneers who laid the foundation of the Latter-day work, men and women alike. His voice swells with energy as he says:
But now they have passed the torch on to us. What shall we do with it?
Shall we do as well as they did? Yes, at least.
Shall we shrink or shun the fight? No, never.
Shall we defend both truth and right? Yes, by all means.
Shall we grasp the iron rod, and strive to be found worthy of the kingdom of our God?
Yes! We shall! We shall!
And will we always remember this Lord whom we are to serve and in whose Church we shall labor?
He is the same Christ our parents knew, this Christ who cherishes His daughters equally with His sons.
I know this is true. While I sympathize with those who wonder about women’s place in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, our doctrine to me is clear because of who the Savior, Jesus Christ is and what He has done for all of us. We have a work to do, and it’s a work that has been discussed since the early days of the Church and continues to be urged by our leaders.
I’m reminded of Julie B. Beck’s talk, Daughters in my Kingdom.
Because we are living in the last days of this earth, there are signs of a great struggle everywhere. Myths and misperceptions regarding the strength, purpose, and position of Latter-day Saint women abound. Prevailing myths imply that we are of lower importance than men, that we are generally sweet but uninformed, and that no matter what we do, we will never be enough to be accepted by our Heavenly Father. As the Apostle Peter said, there are “false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them.” 1
…Sadly, as a result of life’s difficulties and the world’s popular heresies, many sisters believe the myths more than the truth.
And another quote from Sister Beck that includes the quote that guided my creation of Mormon Women: Who We Are over six years ago:
A revelation in the book of Joel states that in the last days, sons and daughters of God will prophesy and the Lord will pour out His Spirit upon His servants and His handmaids. 10 President Spencer W. Kimball echoed this prophecy when he said:
“Much of the major growth that is coming to the Church in the last days will come because many of the good women of the world (in whom there is often such an inner sense of spirituality) will be drawn to the Church in large numbers. This will happen to the degree that the women of the Church reflect righteousness and articulateness in their lives and to the degree that the women of the Church are seen as distinct and different—in happy ways—from the women of the world. …
“Thus it will be that female exemplars of the Church will be a significant force in both the numerical and spiritual growth of the Church in the last days.” 11
I bear my witness that the gospel of Jesus Christ is true. The Lord depends on His daughters to do their part to strengthen the homes of Zion and build His kingdom on the earth. As they seek and qualify for personal revelation, the Lord will pour out His Spirit upon His handmaids in these latter days.
I love being a Mormon woman. I am excited to continue to see how the Lord will hasten His work, and how men and women and boys and girls committed to their covenants will be able to work together to prepare for the Second Coming of our dear Savior, Jesus Christ.