Saturday, March 04, 2006

A Place for Women's History

I was recently the Sunday School teacher for the class on Presidents of the Church. I wondered if there were people that were offended by the lack of a class covering the lives of influential women in the church. I thought that I saw a hint of that in Julie Smith’s post at Times and Seasons about a biography on Ardeth G. Kapp.

She changed my perception of her stance and my outlook on the entire issue of women’s history with this comment later in the thread. She was reacting to the accusation from Adam Greenwood that she was only interested in the biography because of the “contribution it makes to the scorecard we’re keeping of male vs. female biographies.” Julie responds,
“I think I will get no disagreement from you when I note that men and women are given different roles. It should not be surprising, then, that women might be interested in reading about how exemplary women have gone about fulfilling those roles. I’ll admit to peering through the lines of the many biographies of prophets that I have read for insight into how their mothers and wives lived their lives. But there isn’t much there. To me, this isn’t some crass form of scorekeeping…. But it is not unreasonable that LDS women might want more templates in print of how some faithful women have gone about fulfilling their roles.”
I am very persuaded by the argument that because men and women have different roles and makeups, they will react to history differently and they will draw different lessons from history. In fact, they may need different lessons from history. Interesting.


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  • Thanks for your thoughts.

    By Blogger Julie M. Smith, at 3/04/2006 12:44 PM  

  • One thing that I've noticed in my writing for fMh is just how hungry so many sisters are for this very thing (writings, etc on examples to follow). It seems as if there is a true void on this score in the eyes of many sisters.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3/05/2006 10:41 PM  

  • I completely agree that we need more teaching on how exemplary women throughout the history of the church have fulfilled their roles. We know that families are at risk today. Family values are under attack. Family and home life skills are devalued in pursuit of gain. We lose an incredible teaching opportunity by ignoring successful examples of these values in the lives of those charged with the senior role of nurturing in families.

    It's not just sisters in the church that need a better understanding of the successful application of these principles; brethren need it too. We need to know how to sustain our wives and mothers. We need to know how to teach our daughters. We need to know how to sustain our faithful sisters in the gospel.

    By Blogger Scott Hinrichs, at 3/07/2006 8:05 AM  

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