Author Archives: Kathryn Skaggs

About Kathryn Skaggs

Mormon Women Stand, Founder. Kathryn's online work includes blogging at 'A Well-Behaved Mormon Woman' sharing personal thoughts about Mormonism, traditional marriage, family and some current events. She is a pioneer in using social media to "noise abroad" the gospel of Jesus Christ. She particularly enjoys gathering like-minded members to join her in standing for truth and righteousness. Kathryn has been married to her eternal companion, Bob, for 37 years and together they have raised five children. Currently, they are enjoying their almost 12 grandchildren.

The Doctrine of the Not Canonized Family Proclamation

Family Proclamation Because “The Family: A Proclamation to the World” is not canonized, some LDS members feel they are free to either reject its teachings or interpret it at will. For example, the family proclamation teaches that marriage is only between a man and a woman. Some who disregard the proclamation as doctrine support and even advocate for same-sex marriage. Some go so far as to believe the doctrine of marriage will change. They feel that although the teachings in the proclamation pertain to members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon), the world at large should not be held to the same standard.

However, the proclamation teaches eternal, unchanging doctrines canonized in the standard works of the Church and affirmed by the consistent teachings of modern prophets and apostles.

What is Doctrine?

In the first place, the proclamation is strongly supported by the established criteria for “what is doctrine” as explained by the Church. Since the proclamation is firmly rooted in established doctrine, it is not necessary that it be canonized for members to uphold its teachings with confidence. LDS leaders, for over 20 years, have used the family proclamation as the gold standard by which they teach and establish the official position of the Church on the doctrines of marriage, family relationships, and gender identity. Prophets of God speak on His behalf; therefore, members sustain them as they uphold the doctrines declared in the proclamation. As members sustain and defend the proclamation, families are strengthened. The family proclamation meets all authoritative criteria for what constitutes LDS doctrine. Continue reading

Mormon Women Stand: Two Years Strong

Mormon Women StandOn March 10, 2016, Mormon Women Stand marked two years of standing. When I set out to invite the most fearless women I know online, to join with me and launch MWS, we had no idea that our collective efforts would gather, to date, over 40 thousand like-minded LDS women to virtually stand with us – thank you!

We knew what we wanted to accomplish right from the get-go, which is the reason our community of faithful LDS women has continued to increase at a consistent rate. Our mission is technically not our own. We have no agenda other than to amplify, uphold and support God’s prophets and leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It’s really that simple.

We live during the time, prophesied of by prophets down through the ages when it is nearly impossible for an individual to stand up for that which is righteous and not be attacked (sometimes viciously). Sadly, that opposition is also found within the Church and for some from close family. The adversary’s efforts to undermine the work of the Lord are at an all-time high. By the looks of things, on any given day, if we weren’t women “who know” we might be convinced that he’s winning. However, because we understand that as we stand together to draw strength from one another upon the truths we hold dear we will have an increased influence for good in the world. Continue reading

Weeping With the Savior

Savior 3 Nephi 17

It’s difficult to read 3 Nephi 17 in the Book of Mormon and not weep alongside the Savior and those who experienced the sacred occasion of His appearance and ministry to the Nephites following His Resurrection. It is also difficult to imagine that anyone, after reading the account, would not also experience a deep witness of the Spirit that Jesus is the Christ and that the Book of Mormon is a true record. A record that was written for our day and preserved to come forth at this very time, when more than ever in the history of the world we need Him and His gospel. We need Him to save us and heal us from the inevitable, broken hearts of mortality!

How grateful I am for the Book of Mormon. It has truly changed my life. Tonight I found myself in the crowning chapter of the book, weeping. I wept because I imagined myself among the Nephites, with my husband, our children, and grandchildren – my entire family. I wept because I know that what the Savior wants more than anything else is to heal each and every one of us through the power of the Atonement. I wept because the Savior wept. He was truly overwhelmed by the love He received from these people. What a contrast to what He had just experienced in Jerusalem, among His own, only days before. They crucified Him!

18 And it came to pass that when Jesus had made an end of praying unto the Father, he arose; but so great was the joy of the multitude that they were overcome. 

 19 And it came to pass that Jesus spake unto them, and bade them arise. 

 20 And they arose from the earth, and he said unto them: Blessed are ye because of your faith. And now behold, my joy is full. 

 21 And when he had said these words, he wept, and the multitude bare record of it, and he took their little children, one by one, and blessed them, and prayed unto the Father for them. 

 22 And when he had done this he wept again;  

I wept because I know that I will have that same experience at His Second Coming if I am true and faithful to the covenants that I have made in His Holy Temple. I wept, imagining what it will be like to kneel with the Savior and have Him pray for me – I know He will. I wept because I know I need to repent more, and more often. I wept because I so want to be a better person and to become like Him. But oh, I am so weak. How grateful I am to know that although we are commanded to be perfect, it’s not going to happen in this life. What we can become is pretty perfect at striving to be perfect. I think that’s what’s expected of true disciples of Jesus Christ. I am committed to ‘striving’ a little harder, every day.

“Perfection is an eternal goal. While we cannot be perfect in mortality, striving for it is a commandment which ultimately, through the Atonement, we can keep.”  President James E. Faust

I’ve always loved the Primary song, ‘I Wonder When He Comes Again.’ After reading the account of the Savior’s appearance to the Nephites, I think I now know.
I can’t wait!  

To Love and Live With Differences

Love transforms Life is complicated and it’s becoming more so. With more choices being considered socially acceptable we are facing situations where many of us find ourselves at odds with not only society at large but with loved ones near and dear to our heart. Thankfully, there’s no counsel or commandment, that I’m aware of, that admonishes us to love conditionally. Rather, I believe, the great test of discipleship is learning how to apply the principles of the gospel when we are most challenged by our differences, even when those differences may be contrary to the teachings of the Master and His inspired prophets (or we believe that they are).

The first and second commandments, the greatest among them, demand that we love God first, and one another as ourselves. I think one of the most profound achievements of mortality is learning to love ourselves as God loves us. When we finally do, it is miraculous how we are then able to look beyond our weaknesses as negative and instead lay them humbly upon the altar of the All Mighty (as offerings of the heart) and plead for divine grace to turn those weaknesses into strengths. We begin to understand that our weaknesses are not a curse at all but a way for God to draw us to Him so that He can transform us. Continue reading

Faith, Worship and Overcoming Weakness

worshipWe worship God as the supreme act of faith in Jesus Christ. The commandment to do so, I believe, is equal to the first principle of the gospel: faith in Jesus Christ; the Giver of all commandments. To worship God is to have faith in His Plan made possible through the Atonement of Jesus Christ; acknowledging our complete dependence and gratitude for both in order to overcome the world and receive the crowning blessing of Exaltation.

It is only by the grace of God, made possible because of the Atonement of Jesus Christ, that we are able to repent of sin, overcome personal weakness and eventually become perfected. Grace is a power beyond that of the natural man. Grace enables us to accomplish that which we, left to ourselves, could never do.

Without grace, there would be no hope.

With this understanding then, how important is our faith in relation to obtaining grace? I believe it’s everything; it is the foundation upon which we are enabled to act according to God’s laws of progression. Continue reading

The Smooth Doctrine of Sin

SinI’ve been pondering on the “smooth” doctrine of sin advocated by those who believe that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon) needs to soften their position on how homosexual behavior is viewed i.e. accept it now that gay marriage is considered a legal type of marriage. The underlying argument is that withholding the blessings of the gospel to those in a legal same-sex relationship and their posterity (albeit temporarily) is hurtful and can’t possibly be in accordance with God’s will. After all, some suggest, God is love and to insist upon holding fast to a doctrine that causes people pain can’t be right, and in their minds, certainly not Christlike.

The idea behind this kind of thinking is the hope that someday (when they believe that leaders will “eventually progress and receive more light”), the Church will change the doctrine of what constitutes a marriage to include any two people, regardless of gender. The problem with this argument is that the doctrine of marriage is fixed and immovable. Continue reading

To Stand With Unshaken Faith

Jacob Unshaken FaithThe record left by the Book of Mormon prophet, Jacob, is truly revelatory when compared to our day – and in particular, to what is going on within the Church, as we speak. In seven chapters, Jacob’s ability to know what to record, which would be of greatest worth to covenant members of the Church now, is simply stunning!

Jacob’s final chapter is the result of the people rejecting the message he boldly recorded at the beginning of his writings. “And it came to pass…” that the anti-Christ, Sherem (our first in the Book of Mormon), enters onto the scene and we learn of the many sophistries he enlisted to undermine a prophet of God – one with, literally, “unshakable faith.”

And “thus we see,” in only seven chapters the effects of sin on those who reject a prophet of God and exactly how to stand, ourselves, with “unshakable faith” against the constant barrage of challenges to our faith – thus our standing before God. Continue reading

7 Powers to Thwart the Adversary

Linda S Reeves Women's Session VirtureThere is so much temptation in the world  today. I often wonder how anyone can possibly go unscathed from the many cunning ways that Satan lures us into his seductive web of enticing experiences, both physical and spiritual. We must be ever-vigilant in recognizing and turning away from everything that would cause the Spirit to flee from our lives. We can never kid ourselves into believing that some things just aren’t that bad, especially if everyone is seemingly engaging in them and there isn’t immediate harm. If we find ourselves comfortable in our sins or find ourselves in “good” company as we partake, it’s probably a good time for a reality check. This is exactly what I felt Sister Linda S. Reeves provided for the women of the Church in her recent address in the General Women’s Session of Conference titled “Worthy of our Promised Blessings”.
Continue reading

20 Years Standing “The Family: A Proclamation to the World”

 

With the way things are going in society these days, do you ever wonder what, as members of the Lord’s Church, we would do without “The Family: A Proclamation to the World“?

If so, then I know exactly how you feel. Continue reading

Joy: Wanting What God Wants

Pride: The Great Stumbling Block to JoyWe want what God wants because what God wants for all of His Children is that we experience joy not only here in mortality but for eternity. Adam taught that “men are, that they might have joy” (2 Nephi 2:25) might. Joy does not come through external demands, circumstances, or other individuals. Joy is a personal choice to claim. Learning to trust God and turn our will over to His is the great test of this life – and trust me, it is a test – with joy as its great reward!

Consider some of the more recent attacks against The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints – many emanate from individuals’ desires in opposition to the organizational structure and/or it’s teachings and doctrines. All are vulnerable to the natural man within, who tends to insist on having things his or her way, thinking we know what is best. President Ezra Taft Benson explained it best: “Pride is the great stumbling block to Zion” (Ezra Taft Benson, “Beware of Pride,” Apr. 1989 General Conference). Continue reading