Category Archives: Womanhood

I Marched Last Weekend, Too.

 

I did a lot of marching this past weekend, and I’ve heard many other women did, too.

 

 

It all began Saturday morning and my MARCH went like this:

  •  I MARCHED downstairs early that morning and went straight over to my husband bent down and interrupted his DIY Network viewing with a great big toe-curling kiss.  I rubbed my hands on his head as we smiled at each other.  I’m thankful that our love is still growing and that he wants to hurry home each night after work to be with me.
  • I MARCHED out the front door, with my husband beside me, for a lovely fast-paced three-mile walk. We talked about all sorts of things and enjoyed some good exercise.  I’m thankful for my body and try to do what I can to keep it healthy and strong.
  • Next, I MARCHED outside to do some yard work.  The rain we had during the week had stopped and the wind had dried things pretty well.  We trimmed our roses together and talked some more.  I love making our home a beautiful place inside and out.  I think it shows the Lord, and my husband, that I’m grateful for the things they have both provided for me.
  • After that, I MARCHED into the kitchen to make us a delicious fajita lunch.  I love cooking.  I especially love cooking for my husband and family.  I find joy by serving them that way.  I’m lucky he’s not a fussy eater
  • I cleaned up and  I MARCHED off to the movies with my boyfriend – who also happens to be my husband – where we sat hand in hand watching the show. We are very protective of our relationship. Date nights, or afternoons, have been a must for us.
  • Home again I MARCHED into the game room where we played several rounds of our family’s favorite card game Nertz with our youngest daughter. Her beautiful family of five are temporarily living with us before they move.  They’ve been with us for a couple of months now.  It’s wild, and crazy, and loud, but I’m happy we have the extra time with them and the ability to help. I’m even more glad they felt comfortable enough to ask us.

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Lovely Emma

Emma-800x1078We invite LDS women from all around to remember Emma Hale Smith on this, her birthday, July 10, 1804. Her life was one of great turbulence and difficulty. It’s hard to imagine there was a time when many of the women of the church didn’t like Emma, and never discussed her in Relief Society meetings. To our shame, we must renounce this mistaken belief.

Emma had to live through what many of us may not have been able to. She remains an example of dedication, strength, and grace.

 

Called to be our first Relief Society president on March 17, 1842, Emma unified the sisters as a powerful force for good. When rumors of polygamy abounded, it became such an emotional strain on her, among the other many trials she was experiencing, she couldn’t stand in front of her sisters any longer.

One thing you may not know is this mark of genuine love and forgiveness. While Emma stayed behind in Nauvoo, and Eliza R. Snow became the well-known mover and shaker of Relief Society, Eliza appears to have respected and honored Emma’s position as Relief Society President.  Continue reading

Becoming the Women God Needs

Russel M NelsonIn October 2015, President Nelson gave a landmark talk to women, titled, A Plea to My Sisters.

In it, he prophesied that “attacks against the Church, its doctrine, and our way of life are going to increase.”

Then he named the sort of women needed to withstand these attacks. He said, “we need women who have a bedrock understanding of the doctrine of Christ and who will use that understanding to teach and help raise a sin-resistant generation. We need women who can detect deception in all of its forms. We need women who know how to access the power that God makes available to covenant keepers and who express their beliefs with confidence and charity. We need women who have the courage and vision of our Mother Eve.”

There are five main traits, President Nelson told that women they need to have:

  1. Women who have a bedrock understanding of the doctrine of Christ and who will use that understanding to teach and help raise a sin-resistant generation.
  2. Women who can detect deception in all of its forms.
  3. Women who know how to access the power that God makes available to covenant keepers
  4. Women who express their beliefs with confidence and charity.
  5. Women who have the courage and vision of our Mother Eve.

Myself, like many others, have probably asked how. “How can I become that woman?” After some pondering and visits to the temple, these are my initial answers to how we can become the women President Nelson described: Continue reading

Guest Stand: Strong Women Needed Now

rp_Strong-Women-300x300.png“The hand that rocks the cradle, rules the world.” William Ross Wallace

This world is full of jobs and careers.  Jobs and careers that we get to choose.  Recently I came across a video on YouTube that illustrated what the World’s Toughest Job is, and it is not what you would expect. This video proceeds to interview different people for a job and gives qualifications like no salary, 24 hours a day, and no breaks, not even to sleep. The World’s toughest job is then revealed to be:  MOM.

24 hours a day, 365 days a year my mom wakes up, rolls over and begins her day. A day filled with taking care of others and being selfless. Not only is she a mother, but she is a caregiver as well.  She cares for my dad.  A 54-year-old man with Multiple Sclerosis who is bound to a wheelchair for the rest of his life.

How could she do that? How could she choose every day to dress him, tie his shoes, and even cut up his food at times? Doesn’t she know that makes her a weak woman? Doesn’t she know that caring for children on top of caring for a man is incredibly humiliating and degrading to her sex? Why by her own free will would she subject herself to something that is so taxing and demanding? Continue reading

A Global Online Sisterhood

1975-12 Isamare Guelita (1)

My mother and grandmother in 1975

My mother’s hands are a lovely brown against the white material as she pushes her needle back up through the fabric. I’m lying in my favorite spot under the quilting frame as women are gathered around stitching away. The thread is pulled from top to bottom, bottom to top binding the various layers that make up the quilt. I can hear the women talking and laughing and, occasionally, crying. They discuss everything from what Johnny did yesterday to an upcoming trip to what was taught in church last Sunday. There is a camaraderie here. It is made with every experience shared, every thought expressed, every hug to comfort and wipe away tears. This is sisterhood. It is a cherished childhood memory.

We truly live in a time where our Relief Society sisterhood is a great global community! Not only do we have the opportunity to meet with sisters locally but with the advent of the internet we can meet women in the gospel worldwide who have the same beliefs and values we do, who stand for truth and righteousness.  In a Mormon Channel episode Sister Julie B. Beck spoke specifically about the internet and how women can use their influence for good. Continue reading

I Wish You a Mary Christmas!

rp_Mary-and-Christ-article-photo-Dec-15-300x300.jpgHow many times have I read, or heard, or seen portrayed the account of the nativity, including Mary, Joseph, and the Christ child, as recorded in the New Testament? I couldn’t even begin to count the number. And neither probably could you. It’s a tradition at this time of year to tell the story in our home and I’m guessing in yours too. We like to act it out.

Of course, the coveted role is that of Mary. Each of our daughters, and now granddaughters, hope to pull her name out of the bowl. All eyes are on her as she slowly walks into ‘Bethlehem’. Joseph is always so attentive. Everyone wants to help her when the innkeeper turns them away. She so gently and politely shares her newborn with the many shepherds and their flocks, that come to adore him, as directed by the angel, and welcomes so kindly the wiseman that arrive with gifts of great worth. Reverence and honor for that righteous young woman who gave herself to the Lord and her part in His plan, is felt by all there. And rightfully so. Continue reading

Wide-Eyes on Feminism at World Congress of Families

Embedded image permalinkOne of the breakout sessions at the World Congress of Families XI, opened my eyes about feminism. Entitled “The Beneficial and Harmful Influences of Feminism”, it threw me some punches. Because feminism is multi-faceted, it was important to clarify that feminism, defined as women speaking up and speaking out for the right to vote and to have equal opportunity, was not going to be the discussion. While these are beneficial influences that have benefited and changed the world and certainly the lifestyle of many women, the discussion would focus mainly on the harm “radical feminism” has done against women.

 

gayle ruzickaGail Ruzicka, who came from Utah’s Chapter of Eagle Forum, centered her thoughts on Feminine vs. Feminism. Feminists draw upon the acceptable idea that we must fight for strong women and their opportunity to speak up for themselves, but in actuality, they have a political agenda to change laws and traditional moral standards.

Feminists want to remove everything that represents our male counterparts, but “Feminine,” is the Biblical definition of a true woman. Continue reading

Event in Salt Lake City: Family Lights the World

Can you feel it?  Can you feel the stirring in the air of something wonderful to come?  I have felt a stirring within for a while now and it has caused me to seriously think about how I can do my part to be a light of influence in this world. About a year ago, a friend shared with me a quote from President Spencer W. Kimball:

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 … 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.”[1]

My friend and I wondered together if this prophecy concerned us.  Imagine our surprise when President Russell M. Nelson declared in our recent conference that “You are the women he (President Kimball) foresaw!” [2] With that announcement by the Lord’s apostle, I burst into tears. You would think that such a statement would have me trembling in fear to know that such a responsibility lay on my shoulders, but it was the joy that Heavenly Father needed to use my very feminine gifts to “help prepare the world for the Second Coming of the Lord[3] that made me rejoice!

Isn’t that amazing?  The Lord needs us, right here, right now, to put aside the things of the world and “take (our) rightful and needful place in (our) home, in (our) community, and in the Kingdom of God.”[4] Wow. Alright sisters, let’s get to work! 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”.
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Three Elect Ladies

emma-hale-smith-lee-richards-82669-galleryI’m sitting in the sunshine. It’s cold and windy outside. Rain, and possibly snow is expected, and yet I live in the sub-tropics of Australia. Yes, it’s winter here.

I’m home from church because I’m unwell. Sitting here I have been thinking about women I’ve known during my life. Women who faced all kinds of challenges, and what I learned from them.

I served in several Relief Society presidencies and had the opportunity to minister to and grow to love older sisters in my ward. I’d like to tell you about three of them. Continue reading