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.

  • Sunday morning I MARCHED myself to my Church meetings.  Alone.  My husband serves in a Spanish Branch in our stake and has for almost five years now.  I miss worshiping with him, but my spirituality is my responsibility.  So I go, recommit myself to my covenants, and serve.  Though I’m married, I think I’ve come to understand how people feel when they attend Church alone.  I enjoy the fellowship of my friends and ward family.  They are kind to reach out to me and make me feel a part.  I’m grateful for that.
  • After my Church meetings, I MARCHED to fulfill my Church responsibility by training others to have more success at theirs.  It was a long drive down to the stake center, two and half hours of meetings, and then a longer drive home.  I am grateful the Lord thought of me when this position needed filling.  I’m thankful for the talents I have that He thought He could use.  And I’m more grateful for how He has magnified my efforts and helped me do His work.
  • I MARCHED into the house and sat down to dinner with my family.  I was happy that they had waited for me.  It was wonderful to catch up on everyone’s day. Family dinners are a great time to talk, listen, and stay connected.
  • Next, I MARCHED over to another daughter’s home who had just delivered her fourth baby that week.  I took food I’d been preparing and freezing for her.  When she has a crazy day, she’ll have several things she can pull from the freezer and not need to worry about what to make for dinner.  I’m so happy to help her in this very small way.  And I loved the hugs she gave me.  We snuggled that new little grand-daughter and gave her her very own official Grandma nickname, KK.
  • Back at home, I MARCHED wearily up the stairs to our bedroom where I finally ended my long weekend march by kneeling beside my bed with my husband.  I love to hear him pray.  I love to hear him give thanks for the blessings we enjoy and recognize they come from above.  I love to hear him ask for special guidance and protection for all of our family members.  I loved hearing him pray for our country, its leaders, and its citizens.

No Cameras, No Problem.

No news outlets covered me as I MARCHED.  I didn’t wear a T-shirt with a slogan, a pink hat, or carry a sign. No celebrities lent their fame to my efforts.  No political figures made statements of support for my causes. But as I MARCHED, quietly I STOOD for everything that I believe and love about womanhood:

I’m One in a Million; Well, One in Seven Million.

Courtesy of Church News

Though as I MARCHED it was mostly a solo effort, I was never truly alone. You see the women’s organization that I belong to – the Relief Society of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints – is over seven million ladies strong! It was organized in 1842 and is now the oldest women’s organization in the world! Though she will be celebrating her 175th birthday in March of this year, she is going strong. More vibrant, more relevant, and more needed than ever.

As one of its former General Presidents Belle Spafford said:

“Relief Society will stand increasingly firm and strong, a beacon light and guiding star for women of all nations.

“It will continue to rise until it becomes a mighty bulwark against the forces of evil that would engulf women and threaten their homes and loved ones. It will bring peace to the soul and love into the hearts and lives of endless members of our Father’s daughters. … May the women of today and tomorrow cherish Relief Society, advance its work, and love one another” [1]

(Can I get an AMEN?)

How, Why, and Do you March?

Bethany, husband Chad, and new little Kaymen.

I’m not angry as I MARCH,  I’m joyful – though many times I’m tired.  As I MARCH I’m satisfied, though sometimes un-thanked.  Because I MARCH I have peace in my heart and in my home – though at present there are three squealing grandchildren in the background, toys all over the floor, and unfinished toast on the counter.

When I MARCH it isn’t a one-day event.  It’s a daily routine, played out week after week, month after month. And now at my age, I can say year after year.  I am free to choose because the Lord gave me my agency, and I have chosen to have faith in Him and his plan for his daughters. So I MARCH on.  

 

[1] ](History of Relief Society 1842–1966 [1966], 140).

 

Bethany Packard

Bethany Packard

Bethany Packard is absolutely in love with her wonderful husband, Chad. They live in the Dallas, TX area where they raised six amazing children together and operate a business. Grandchild #18 is on the way. At age 49, they were called to serve a full-time mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints as a couple, and assigned to the Russia Moscow Mission. Leaving their family and business took faith, but it also created the opportunity for God to perform many miracles in their lives. She loves music, interior design, cooking, sports, fall, and macaroni & cheese.
Bethany Packard

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99 thoughts on “I Marched Last Weekend, Too.

  1. Bonnie Flint

    Completely rude, divisive, and offensive to your sisters who hear the call to actively work for change in the community and world. You can actually love your family and be an activist.

    Reply
    1. Bethany Packard Post author

      Hello Bonnie. You may actually be surprised to hear that I totally agree with your point about being involved in our communities to promote changes for the good that need to be made. As you may guess I am also a woman who puts her money (figuratively speaking) where her mouth is and am actively engaged, and it sounds like you are too. That is our common ground.

      Where we seem to differ is in the ‘how’ to go about making that change. I have no problem with protests. But I have no respect for those who use vulgarity, profanity, and lewdness to try and draw attention to their cause, garner support for their vision, or belittle an opposing view. Those who march and communicate with civility do much more for their causes than those who do not.

      Lastly, I made no specific mention about the women or causes that were marched for this weekend, though the causes I support and the views that I hold were mostly vilified, negatively labeled, and shamed by many of the protestors, and their notables. What I did speak to were the values I find in womanhood. In doing so you call me “completely rude, divisive, and offensive”. This seems to show a lack of tolerance for my specific positions on womanhood as cleared stated in the article:
      “But as I MARCHED, I quietly STOOD for everything that I believe and love about womanhood:
      • That I’m a daughter of God.
      • I have a divinely appointed role.
      • That role includes wifehood and motherhood, in this life or the next. He loves me enough to give specific clear counsel on the things pertaining to family life that will bring me the greatest chance for happiness and fulfillment. He wants me and my family to be successful.”
      • He values my spiritual abilities and shows me that by giving me opportunities to serve in His kingdom.

      I’m sure we have much more in common than not. I thank you for your thoughts and invite you to continue to follow us at MWS.

      Sincerely,
      Bethany Packard

      Reply
    2. Heidi Jansson

      Agreed. You are not a bad girl for having a voice. I do all of those same things, I still am allowed to have a fire in my heart. You don’t have to choose between the two.

      Reply
    3. Kelly

      I didn’t read a single rude comment made thru the whole post. Her point was that she marched and dies so everyday. Not everyone’s march is the same. I think that so many are angry and looking to be offended, which doesn’t surprise me in such a situation, but I’m certain Bethany wasn’t “out” to make anyone feel inferior. Maybe read it again, Bonnie, with a little less anger and bitterness in your heart.

      Reply
      1. Bethany Packard Post author

        Dear Kelly,

        I’m glad you appreciate the article for what it is.
        Thank you for visiting us at MWS. We hope you’ll return often and contribute your thoughts regularly.

        Your friend,
        ~Bethany

        Reply
  2. Felicity

    I’m glad you had a nice weekend and that you feel fulfilled in your roles. You mentioned that you feel like you could understand what single sisters feel because you go to church on your own. In that vein, do you think you could try to understand those that marched–that don’t feel the hope you do, that don’t feel represented to their government or their God? You sound like someone that wants to help people. It doesn’t help to belittle what others go through and feel and that’s ultimately what you are doing.

    And speaking as someone that takes four children to church every Sunday on her own because her husband left the church after their temple marriage, you know what it’s like to sit alone at church. You do not know what it’s like to be alone. And there is a big difference between the two.

    Reply
    1. Bethany Packard Post author

      Dear Felicity, thank you for sharing your point of view.

      In sharing the things that I did in the “march” I had this weekend my intention was not to “belittle what others go through and feel” in the least. I honestly don’t know what you could be specifically referring to. It was not a political piece. I did not speak out against any specific woman, group, or organization. What I DID do was to point out the things I did that help me to show support of womanhood and the divine purposes it as cleared defined by the Lord, as I understand and embrace. That voicing my views makes some uncomfortable I guess is to be expected; since they are not politically correct or embraced by much of society. But I have as much right to show support of my values as others expect me to allow them to show for theirs.

      To your second point of not really understanding what it’s like to be alone at Church. Your right I can’t have perfect sympathy for that situation, as I plainly said I was married and my husband was serving in a capacity outside of our home Ward. But you should not deny me, or others, the opportunity to develop empathy for that situation. Which means, though I may not have experienced the exact situation, I can open my heart and find compassion, understanding, and goodwill for those who are actually in that situation. Isn’t that what the Savior has asked us to do? You seem to feel judged by me or others somehow, and for that I am sorry. But I can assure you I hold you, and the countless others in your situation, in the highest regard.

      Best regards,
      ~Bethany Packard

      Reply
  3. Rachel

    Ftr : i am a member of the relief society and I and I don’t appreciate you creating and us/them dynamic. As a convert to the church, I find that women that are willing to rattle cages are also women brace enough radical life changes – like join the church!! This post does not represent me. Many good women marched!

    Reply
    1. Bethany Packard Post author

      Dear Rachel,

      I am sorry to tell you that there is a very real “us/them dynamic” in the world today. Not in our worth or divine potential for we are all children of the same Heavenly Father. But it is the growing divide between good and bad, righteous and evil, the revealed truth of God and the philosophies of men that causes the dynamic. Speaking in support of the divine nature of womanhood and the sacred roles it entails is not a popular thing to do these days. It’s not progressive or open minded enough for most of society. It’s labeled hateful, bigoted, and a host of others things I know I am not.

      Thankfully I, like you, am I woman strong enough in my convictions to publically say what I stand for, as I did in the article, while not once casting a stone at a specific woman, groups of women, cause, or organization. If what I said “rattles cages” then so be it. If it causes others to try and rattle mine, I’m ready.

      As you said, “Many good women marched”; and though I am far from perfect I’m one of the good woman that marched too. I did it in my own quiet way for my own heartfelt causes. And judging from the response the article has received I humbly submit that though it doesn’t represent you, it does represent many others.

      I am sure that there is much more common ground we share than not.

      Your friend,
      ~Bethany Packard

      Reply
      1. Becky

        Speaking of good vs. evil, “The only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for good [wo]men to do nothing.” Thank you to all my righteous and strong sisters and brothers who ACTUALLY MARCHED last weekend!

        Reply
    1. Jillian

      ^^This!^^ Thank you, Em. Many of my LDS friends marched Saturday. Because they understand. It’s not just anger. In fact, much of it was compassion. Charity for their fellow sisters. A trait we should all be working toward having.

      Reply
    2. Bethany Packard Post author

      Hi Em,

      I think it’s wonderful to be actively involved in good and righteous causes. There are many fine organizations and movements that help to further praiseworthy aims for women and all people.

      I love this Savior’s teaching to the Twelve as found in the New Testament; and it aptly applies to this discussion:

      “Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves; be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves, but beware of men: for they will deliver you up to the councils and the will scourge you in their synagogues.” (Matthew 10:16-17)

      We must be very careful to whom we lend our support – in time, monies, and passion, for not all organizations and causes are equal. After careful vetting – and finding that their principles and goals align with ours and the Lord’s – we should, if we can, give our support to those causes. The Brethren have asked us for years to be engaged in our communities, schools, and governments. So I agree, it does not have to be either/or. It can, and should be both.

      Your friend,
      ~Bethany packard

      Reply
  4. Jack Burns

    I might be reading this wrong, but you appear to feel threatened by other people (who you apparently do not agree with) exercising their Constitutional rights of assembly and free speech. It makes you appear small, petty and judgmental.

    Reply
    1. Bethany Packard Post author

      Dear Ann,
      I’m sorry to hear that you feel this way. And I’m even more sorry that you chose not to be baptized.

      We all must remember, it is the Savoir and His gospel that is perfect. Though we try to follow Him we all come up short. This is not a reflection on Him or His restored church, but instead shows our own humanity, frailties, and imperfection.

      Best of luck,
      ~Bethany Packard

      Reply
    2. Anonymous

      How very sad for you. The church has provided a peace and sanctuary unlike any I’ve ever felt. Maybe reconsider that choice again and come feel the same peace that can provide contentment unavailable anywhere else. You may find your passive aggressive approach to others and to life, slip away.

      Reply
  5. Lily

    We have a president that has no respect for women. I am glad that the daughters of God, whether baptized yet, or not, banded together to show support for one another and to let the president know we will not stand for his attitude and treatment.

    Reply
    1. Bethany Packard Post author

      Dear Lily,
      I think you may have misunderstood the purpose of the article. It was not a political piece. But thank you for contributing to the conversation.

      Blessings,
      ~Bethany Packard

      Reply
      1. Brooke Parker

        You didn’t say anything explicitly political, I suppose, and I appreciate that you were trying to show the ways you feel you stand for women/womanhood in your everyday life
        … but I do not think it is just coincidence that so many people are reading your article as a political statement. Perhaps, unknowingly your tone IS much more political than you (apparently, based on your comments) intended. If this piece was not supposed to be commenting, in any way, on the (quite political) Women’s Marches that took place this weekend … why would you repeat the word MARCH in all caps 20+ times? And then implicitly pit your “quiet march” against the marches with signs, pink hats, etc. (and by doing so, imply a certain superiority to your form of marching. That IS the subtext here, clearly present in your tone). This is clearly political. If it is not meant to be, you might consider re-working the article extensively…taking out all references to pink hats, marching, etc.

        Reply
        1. Bethany Packard Post author

          Dear Brooke,

          Thank you for your comments, and your civility. I will reply on two points:

          1 – I absolutely took advantage of a currant event that was advertised as a “Women’s March” to show in contrast how I march for the things I hold dear in womanhood. Many worthy women’s causes were overshadowed or excluded by the two most prominent – those being abortion and LGBTQ issues. That it became a political march is not in my control.

          2 – You may be interested in reading my response to Tammy where I show that the response to the article is overwhelmingly positive.

          Thank you again,
          ~Bethany Packard

          Reply
  6. Nora

    This church was built on the backs of it’s women. You can remember history or not. But facts are facts. You are living a privileged live because women through the ages have fought for your rights to feel equal. I have raised 7 children. Trust me I’ve paid my dues to motherhood, but I’m not naive enough to disregard all the sacrifices made on my behalf .Right to work, vote, education, receive health care, own property, have a credit card, I could go on and on and on. Look up the rights you enjoy now that your mother , grandmother, great grandmother didn’t enjoy. We really aren’t equal even now. We are treated kindly, but not equal. I’m glad you’re happy and content. You are able to feel that way because of all the sacrifices made by those that came before you. America is ranked 45th in the world for equality for women. I think we have some work to do. There will be those that do the work, and those that let them, and those that condemn them. That doesn’t change the facts. And your granddaughters will thank them.

    Reply
    1. Bethany Packard Post author

      Dear Nora,

      To your interesting points:
      – The article was not politically based, instead morally focused.
      – I believe we may have differing ideas of what ‘equal’ means. But that would be a conversation for another time, and a different article.
      – Lastly, I do not feel happy and content due to the sacrifices of others who came before me, though I acknowledge those sacrifices, respect those who made them, and appreciate the improvements they helped create. I am happy and content because I choose to be. Regardless of the situations or circumstances we each experience – past, present, or future – we can choose to be grateful, happy, and content. Even while we strive to better ourselves and our situations. I don’t give the power over my happiness to anyone. I take responsibility for that myself.

      Thank you for sharing, and for following us at MWS.

      Your friend,
      ~Bethany

      Reply
  7. Mouse

    I see you are quite comfortable eating our fajitas but somehow believe that because your life ticks all the right boxes of privledge that my Latin sisters and myself don’t need your help in protecting our rights to helth care, jobs or bodily autonomy….

    You will take our food but darned if you’ll inconvenience youself on a Saturday morning to support us.

    So your life is going so great you don’t feel the need to help others around you achieve the same. So much for the Christ’s mourning with those who mourn and suffer with those who stand in need of comfort and of sharing one another’s burdens.

    Glad you like our fajitas tho…

    Reply
    1. Bethany Packard Post author

      Dear Mouse,

      My personal march on Saturday, and the purpose of writing about it, was to draw attention to the divine roles of womanhood – daughter, sister, wife, and mother – for all women. God has not differentiated by color, race, nationality, or circumstance concerning His plan for His daughters, and neither do I. The best chance any man, woman, or child has for a safe and secure life is through the traditional family unit.

      And though I do favor Mexican food I do not discriminate against curry, egg rolls, pizza, or a wide variety of other cultural foods. (Just trying to lighten things up a bit. 😉 )

      Best Regards,
      ~Bethany

      Reply
  8. Amanda

    This post feels smug to me. And unnecessarily divisive. I’m glad that you are happy with what you are did over the weekend. I’m also glad that women who marched are happy with what they did over the weekend.

    Reply
  9. Sherry Stevens

    Sister Packard,

    Thank you for so beautifully expressing my thoughts today as I pondered my membership in this world wide sisterhood of the Relief Society and my role as a mother. What a pleasant surprise when I realized that I knew you from the Sachse Ward over 10 years ago.
    Sincerely,
    Sherry Stevens

    Reply
  10. Kant

    Loved to read your take on what feminism means to you. You lead the life that you choose and you have made it a beautiful one. But there are many women who feel they don’t have that same opportunity and are truely in pain. I try to follow Christs example when he asked the grieving woman “why weepest thou?” This is a lovely way to increase empathy and understanding for all of Gods children. Just simply ask that question, do some research and try to see another perspective.

    Reply
    1. Bethany Packard Post author

      Dear Kant,

      I believe in the sacredness of womanhood and the divinely appointed roles that entails – daughter, sister, wife, mother, and grandmother. (I have to through that last one in because it’s a joy to be one.) I believe that we all, men and women, are equally loved by our Father in Heaven. I embrace the differences between the sexes and the responsibilities that each have been given as clearly defined by the Lord through His Prophet and found in “The Family: A Proclamation to the World”. There it is. My views on feminism. Pretty simple. And some, many, may say simple minded and not sophisticated. But that’s just fine with me.

      I’m not blind to the injustices of mankind (not men exclusively) that all, including women, are subjected to at times, and through time. I believe in lending our energies to good and noble cause for the betterment of all people. I believe in being honorable, civil, and dignified when doing so.

      I believe that my beliefs are becoming less and less popular and politically correct. But I also believe that as Elder Russell M. Nelson said, “What God says is right IS right. What God says is wrong IS wrong.”

      I appreciated your thoughts on empathy. It is interesting that just this evening I spoke on this very topic. We must all remember that having empathy does not require supporting, condoning, or agreeing with another’s opinion, desires, or cause. What it should do though is offer each the space and opportunity to express. Then common courtesy should require those expressions are thoughtful, civil, and respectful of others with opposing views.

      Great visit. I hope you’ll continue to join in the conversations here at MWS. ;p

      Blessings,
      ~Bethany

      Reply
    1. Bethany Packard Post author

      Dear Prudence,

      I’m not really all that righteous. I’m just gal with an understanding of the sacredness of womanhood, who embraces the divinely appointed roles it entails, and doesn’t mind standing up for those things. That’s all.

      Regards,
      ~Bethany

      Reply
  11. Anie Martin

    OMG I rolled my eyes so hard they fell out of my head. Are you aware how horribly narcissistic and judgmental you sound? Also, anyone who has to tell everyone how in love with their husband they are and what an amazing wife they are is insecure period.

    Reply
    1. Bethany Packard Post author

      Dear Anie,

      I’m pretty sure I didn’t label myself as “an amazing wife”; though I try hard to be – I believe my husband is grateful for that. But, I do tell everyone, and I’ll tell you again… I am crazy in love with my husband. And very happy to be. I hope you have, or some day have the opportunity to create, a wonderful marriage too.

      Regards,
      ~Bethany Packard

      Reply
  12. Stella

    I’m sorry…but this just shows how privileged you truly are. You have a seemingly loving husband, the ability to exercise, roses to trim, a “beautiful house” that is apparently big enough to casually house 5 extra people, a kitchen with an abundance of food, money to go to the movies, and someone to cook you dinner. There are people out there that have absolutely NONE of that. And America just elected a president who doesn’t care…much like yourself. If you stepped outside your own bubble for even a second, you would see that. And you would realize that THAT is exactly why some people were marching. How dare you compare your pathetic “marching” with the courage and REALITY that occurred on Saturday. Open your eyes.

    Reply
    1. Bethany Packard Post author

      Dear Stella,

      You have misunderstood the purpose and misjudged the intent of the article.

      And on a personal note – though you are spot on about my having a loving husband- the rest of your comments, as pointed at me directly, assume so very much.

      Best regards,
      ~Bethany Packard

      Reply
  13. Sharolyn

    I love your comments. I also like the way you have responded to others. I have heard similar posts on face book from other strong woman. It is so comforting to have the knowledge of who we are, why we are here, and where we are going. This is something the world cannot teach. I personally am blessed to have had a mother and other strong woman who taught me these things.

    Reply
    1. Bethany Packard Post author

      Hi Sharolyn,

      I appreciate you kind words. Like you, one of the pillars of my testimony is the Plan of Salvation. This simple truth helps us to see clearly through the fog of deception, hear the Spirit plainly over the roar of the opposition, and fell peace in the chaos of the world.

      Thank you for following us at MWS. I hope you’ll lend your voice to conversations in the future.

      Many blessings,
      ~Bethany

      Reply
  14. Karin Josefina Berg

    Please don’t reply by writing that I’m your friend. We don’t know each other. That doesn’t mean we wouldn’t be friends, but we’ve never met, so it feels incredibly false (and condescending) to imply otherwise.

    Bethany, I am happy that you are happy in your march. I love my family, also. My life has been built around them and they are my greatest joy. That said, I am more than a wife and a mother. I am more than a grandmother. I am an individual woman who doesn’t enjoy making food (although I make it) or living within roles that have been predefined for me by men who claim to speak for God. The truth is, I lived within those roles for decades, believing what I truly wanted from life meant that I needed to forget myself even more, becoming more humble and faithful, so I could enjoy the happiness that had been promised me, rather than wanting to die. I’m not talking about clinical depression. I also don’t have a husband or family less wonderful than yours. I’m simply talking about being so freaking bored out of my mind that I would rather have not existed than continue to live as I was living. But I did continue. I continued for decades. And every time I felt like I wanted to drive off a cliff (literally), I dug in deeper. Strangely, in all of this, I saw myself as superior (with my “eternal perspective”) to worldly women who challenged and disobeyed, refusing to sacrifice themselves to “God’s will”.

    Now I am 48. The potential and possibilities that were once mine are gone. And it’s not okay. I’m not okay. The fruit isn’t worth the cost of losing myself, nor was losing myself necessary. The truth is, I was too obedient and followed too well. Because of that, it feels as though huge parts of my life have been stolen. Mostly, I’m angry at myself. But I’m also angry at my good husband who watched me suffer and thought it was okay that I shattered more and more with each passing year (because we were doing God’s will). And I am VERY angry at a belief system that values one kind of woman (you) over all the other kinds of equally valuable women, of which I’m one kind. Time, and those parts of me that were sacrificed, can never be regained. Neither can I undo what I taught my children about the worth and role of women in subjecting themselves to the values others place on them. Aw! Perhaps in my love for them, this is my greatest regret! Still, I understand where you are coming from.

    At one time, I would have also seen an “us and them”. I would have felt compelled to draw a line, as I stood for righteous femininity and respect for the priesthood. And I would have stayed far from that line, so I wouldn’t accidentally find I had crossed it. I would have wanted to warn my daughters of Satan’s desire to have them, and of worldliness and pride, so they wouldn’t be deceived, losing their royal birthright, and potentially losing our eternal family. Maybe I would have dug in so hard because the truth of me was just under the surface, and I needed to protect myself from my “natural (wo)man”. Regardless, past me would have written a piece just like this, setting myself above the women who wore pink hats and held signs. And I would have felt like I’d stood on the side of righteousness. And I would have missed coming down off the mountain to march in the valley with the “sinners” (as Christ would have done), seeking to understand those afraid and hurting, desiring to heal them–rather than keep myself from them. The plight of your pink-hatted sisters is real. I’m one of them. And we marched for YOU, whether or not you allow yourself to acknowledge it.

    Reply
    1. Bethany Packard Post author

      Dear Karin,

      I appreciate the honesty of your remarks. They are raw with emotion, and I acknowledge both the joy and the pain you have felt. I truly do. It sounds as though we have both experienced many of the same situations, but experienced them differently. That causes us to arrive at differing conclusions and develop contrasting views.

      I am sorry that you feel under-valued, over looked, and angry. No one wants to feel invisible or less-than. All I can offer you is my belief that there is always hope, my experience that there are always those who will listen, and my testimony that there is always divine help.

      Lastly, can I speak to your opening statement about calling people friends? I have always looked at people as my friends, regardless of how well I know them, or even if we haven’t meet in person and had the chance to associate with one another. That’s just how I am. That’s just how I choose to view people. I am inclusive by nature. My sweet Momma says I’ve always been that way. Until someone asks me not to be there friend, or shows me they are not, I offer my friendship to them.

      So to respect your wishes I will not close with ‘Your friend’, but instead will wish you the very best and hope you believe that is sincere. ;p

      ~Bethany

      Reply
      1. Karin Josefina Berg

        Bethany,

        Thank you for your thoughtful response. And to be clear, I do think we would be friends. That said, it is very hard for me when people stand in judgment of women like myself, and then end with claims of friendship. It feels a bit like being kissed, following a foot to the face.

        I would like you to understand a little more about me. I have held leadership positions from the time I was a young woman. I was not overlooked in Mormonism. I was not undervalued. I was incredibly well-liked and accepted. I “fit”. I was the woman you would have called as your 1st counselor, or I would have called you as mine. My husband would have sat beside yours on the stand. My family was “the family”. I didn’t feel invisible. I was very visible. I didn’t feel less then. If anything, I felt more than. That is, as far as a woman’s “divine role” in Mormonism. I am very feminine. I love being a mother. I adore being a woman, and no one ever has called me manly, and I love men. I’m also naturally submissive. I think you get what I’m saying: I was the person people pointed to for their daughters to become.

        But, I was more. I was born to be a child psychologist. I was born to work among the suffering, and I don’t mean casseroles handed out to women in the ward. I mean real 3rd-world suffering. I was born to fly. I wasn’t born to ask a man, or get approval. Or be told my place was in the home. Or guilted for NEEDING to get my hands dirty with humanity. I was MORE. I AM more. And now, just now, I am finally allowing myself to be myself. And the shame of not pretending to be you anymore is falling away. And I’m more humble and soft. And life is possible. And I love myself, and I love others a whole lot more. Because I am now one of humanity. One with all that is broken, and believing no God or Jesus is going to come save us, I believe it’s my job to join hands to save us. And this, Bethany, has become joy to me!!

        Yes, I grieve the years I couldn’t allow myself me, because “good, better, best” meant one table and seven chairs, in my home–while the world spun outside. And I get angry only sometimes now, mostly when I read things like what you wrote. Because it felt like you were dismissing the reality of my life, and the reality of millions of other women like me. And I have daughters, and a granddaughter. And I want more from the church they belong to than what I had when I belonged to it. I want them to be the best women THEY are. Not the best woman someone else tells them they should be.

        I’m not saying that your life isn’t the life that is most valuable to you. I AM saying that my talents and abilities went beyond Primary, Young Women and Relief Society. They went beyond organizing activities. I am best used sitting in the dirt, beside a child in Cambodia. And my family would have been JUST FINE with a mother like me. They ARE just fine. Maybe better even. And this is what I wish for you to understand about women like me. I was not a side note in female Mormondom. I didn’t stand on the sidelines. But my home is not in the biggest women’s organization in the world, that reports to men. I am mine, and I report and answer ONLY to me.

        Blessings and continued joy to you, a woman who would be my friend, very likely. But with you marching on your path at home, and me marching in the world, we’ll probably never meet. So I wish you love.

        Warmly, Karin

        P.S. I LOVE men. I adore and respect them. I don’t bash or defame them. But they are my equals, not my priesthood authority.

        Reply
        1. Bethany Packard Post author

          Karin,

          I truly enjoyed reading your comments. I can feel your sincerity and kindness. And I agree with you, we would be friends. ;p

          It is conversations like ours that give not only hope, but evidence, that empathy is the answer to the contention in the world. Your experiences are not mine, nor mine yours. The way we live spiritually is different it seems. But we can appreciate each others passions, perhaps without agreeing. And we can love the commonalities we share and work together from that point.

          I wish for you the same blessings and joy. And who knows, our paths may very well cross. Stranger things have happened and great friendships have come of it.

          With warm thoughts,
          ~Bethany

          PS – I love men too! ;p I adore my husband, have three wonderful sons, three great son-in-laws, and seven rambunctious grandsons.

          Reply
  15. Jacob

    Donald Trump is a fundamental danger to our democracy. Your dismissive attitude towards those who did march is offensive.

    Reply
    1. Bethany Packard Post author

      Dear Jacob,

      I thought the Women’s March was in support of women’s issues, not a political rally by those who oppose the outcome of the election. I simply shared the women’s issues I marched for without any political connotation.

      But thank you for sharing.

      ~Bethany Packard

      Reply
  16. Amira

    I marched because I am horrified that refugees have been maligned and lied about by our current political leaders. I cannot participate in the I Was a Stranger effort if Trump signs the expected ban on refugees today so I marched for my religious convictions. Political advocacy isn’t the only way to be a good member of the church, but it’s vital that some of us participate in it.

    Reply
  17. Amy Burton

    Bethany, I am one who didn’t understand the march last weekend because it did not unite women or show respect for differering beliefs. They should have let pro-life women march too. I truly believe in free agency and letting God be the judge. That is not my place, my place is to love unconditionally and let God do his job. So while I do not agree with pro-choice (unless it is a case of abuse/a women’s life in danger) I respect these women’s choices to believe what they do.

    That said, your post was oozing of pride and self-righteousness. Maybe you should re-read it. Or go back and read the account of the Zoramites and Rameumtom in the Book of Mormon.

    Reply
    1. Bethany Packard Post author

      Hi Amy,
      Thanks for contributing to the conversation.

      I always find it interesting how so many can have a shared experience – in this case reading an article – and come away with totally different conclusions.

      Best regards,
      ~Bethany Packard

      Reply
  18. Tara

    What was the purpose of your post? It doesn’t seem as though the intent was to unify, was it? You seem to think your post isn’t political, but it is, since you chose a political occurence to base it on and made clear your view of the women who participated. It’s nice that your life is so lovely and that you can take advantage of the rights other women marched for. Would you direct your self aggrandizement at the suffragettes?

    Reply
    1. Bethany Packard Post author

      Dear Tara,

      I based my article on what was advertised as a women’s march, though clearly, as you have stated, it was “a political occurrence”.

      The line between what was the government’s arena (laws, rights, etc.) and what was traditionally the arena of religion (morals, etc.) has become thin and blurred. This causes a burden to be placed on those who find certain things not long ago deemed as immoral but now legislated as legal, as they are asked to submit their views to the opposing value system in the name of ‘rights’. When one speaks out about this burden they are labeled all manner of negative things in an effort to shame and silence.

      Morality has been politicized, as once commonly held values have been out grown by society. My article was based on the morals that support my religious and traditional understanding of womanhood and all it’s glorious and uplifting aspects.

      Oh, and I’m wondering out loud where in the article I “made clear [my] view of the women who participated”? since I made no specific reference to any woman, group of women, cause, or organization with whom I may disagree or can not support?

      I appreciate the civility of your remarks.

      Regards,
      ~Bethany

      Reply
  19. Jaci

    Bethany.

    What you wrote is a mockery of the March many faithful LDS women participate in last week.

    It’s divisive and hurtful. Many women here have tried to tell you that and your response is “I’m sorry you feel that way”.

    Your post IS political and it IS condescending and it IS self righteous.

    I am sorry that you felt the need to treat your fellow sisters with such disdain.

    Reply
    1. Bethany Packard Post author

      Dear Jaci,

      How would like me to respond? When I AM sorry they feel they way they do about how I feel – satisfied, and even honored, at the divine role of woman in our Heavenly Father’s plan as He himself has defined them; and not willing to support man-made interpretations of those roles – what would you like me to say? Would you like me to speak harshly to them as you have with me? Shall I call them names and give them labels as others have to me?

      Empathy asks that we try to see another’s point of view, but it doesn’t not require that we agree. The statement “I’m sorry you feel that way” – which I have not said exactly, but in using other words have implied – is made with empathy. You seem to choose to believe it is said insincerely, but it is not.

      All the best -sincerely,
      ~Bethany

      Reply
      1. Jaci

        Uhm no.

        Because THAT is a feeling we actually have in common- that we are “satisfied” and “honored” at the “divine role of women in our Heavenly Father’s plan”. I don’t mind at all that you feel this way. I actually want that for you! I want it for all women!

        It’s the very fact that you think I (and the others who have commented here) are NOT satisfied and honored with our divine roles is what is offensive to me.

        You imply this when you MOCK the way we choose to express our Divinity.

        I hold zero judgement towards my many friends who did not have the desire or feel the call to March last week.

        But it’s amazing to me that so many of my fellow sisters in the Gospel choose to judge the fact that I felt very much inspired and called to respond as I did.

        Do you accept the fact that our loving Heavenly Father may have actually prepared us “for such a time as this”? And those who felt that, responded to the call?

        Please. No more mocking your sisters.

        Reply
        1. Bethany Packard Post author

          Jaci,
          I do not mock those who marched for noble, worthy causes – those of my faith, other faiths, or no faith affiliation at all. But I do not I anyway respect those who marched using vile and offensive language or who thought using shocking customs, t-shirts, or hats would bring worthy attention to their cause. I reject entirely those who were abusive verbally, physically intimidating, or in anyway bullying to others who didn’t share their point of view.

          I support you’re efforts, and the efforts of countless others, in drawing attention to needful areas in a civil dignified manner. (Not that you’re looking for my support, but you have it. ;p )

          ~Bethany

          Reply
      2. Tara

        Bethany, are you aware that most, if not all, of LDS women who marched are honored by their role as women as granted by the Lord? That we feel, as you do, that we are living as we feel He has defined it, and that maybe YOUR interpretation isn’t the only correct one? And before you say you live as the prophets have interpreted it, no, you live in the way you feel best aligns with your interpretation of what the prophets have said. As do we. I know it’s hard for you to see that maybe what we do is godly, too, and that you feel the need to put your way above others, and you know, that’s fine if it helps you, I guess. But, like it or not, your post IS divisive and it’s this attitude that makes women who march or are politically involved feel uncomfortable at church. If that is your goal, well done, if it isn’t, perhaps you want to reconsider the message you are “inadvertently” sending. Or don’t, that’s on you.
        Best wishes, from a happy woman and mother.

        Reply
        1. Bethany Packard Post author

          Tara,

          I, like you, am very politically involved. As are many wonderful gals in the Church. We have been asked by Church leadership for many years TO be. So that is not the point. The point is, that we should be very wary of who and what out political activity is associated with or lumped into. There were many who went out last Saturday in support of noble causes. Unfortunately for them, their efforts were overshadowed by two issues to which I’m sure LDS women would not want to support, at least most LDS women, giving a false impression of the support for those two issues.

          That this event billed as a march for women’s rights became a political rally is also unfortunate for those who attended to show support for a noble cause as they were swallowed up in an event they may not have appreciated. And were then associated, at least by the media, with some of the vilest of commentary that should be offensive to any one on any side of any issue.

          I am all for speaking up and speaking out, though I believe we all need to be careful with how our efforts are labeled.

          Best wishes to you too,
          ~Bethany

          Reply
    2. KT

      How was she self-righteous? I do not understand why just because she went on her own march without fanfare that she is putting down women that marched? She was expressing what SHE stands for and what SHE values as a woman. There were many women not welcomed at the march because of their beliefs. She is just writing what she marches for in her every day life. She was not putting down what others were marching for. She was just saying what she marches for. Some people that have made comments sound annoyed that she enjoys her beautiful life and rejoices in her role. Why? Because she wasn’t complaining about her lot in life? Why not be happy for her? She wasn’t compairing! And just because she wrote that she did not have media or any attention during her march does not mean she was putting down the women’s march. She was just saying it was HER march, on her own. I also do not like to cook and I am not the best homemaker, but absolutely nothing in her article made me feel that I had to be like her to be satisfied, happy, or enjoy my life. We are each unique, have different talents and abilities. What I took away from the article is to enjoy being a woman, celebrate being a mother/wife, and be a light for good things in this world. I love that she had her own personal march to stand for what she personally values. And a woman that that openly loves and supports her husband and he loves and supports her back should make people happy!

      Reply
      1. Bethany Packard Post author

        Dear KT,

        Everyone develops a lens through which they see life. That lens is colored by their experiences, culture, upbringing, preferences, and a host of unique variables. It is so very interesting how several people can experience the exact same situation – any situation – and come away with a different conclusion.

        I appreciate your reading what I wrote, and not looking for messages between the lines. As you so eloquently said, there weren’t any. There really weren’t.

        Blessings,
        ~Bethany

        Reply
  20. Maya

    You feel you did not “belittle an opposing view,” because you “made no specific mention about the women or causes that were marched for this weekend.”

    You might want to research passive-aggressive communication, and its prevalence in the mormon community. In your speaking to what you consider “the values [you] find in womanhood,” you indeed came across as “completely rude, divisive, and offensive”.

    You say that the posts of others noticing this seem “to show a lack of tolerance for [your] specific positions on womanhood,” but have you considered your lack of tolerance for any other position than your own? I have no problem with others living the life they choose, what I find offensive is the judgmental position you take about the choices others make in living the life they choose. Is it possible there could be more than one way to live as an adult woman in your church? You honestly think every women is so much the same in your church that all of you should do exactly the same thing?

    Reply
    1. Bethany Packard Post author

      Dear Maya,

      My article said nothing about anyone else or what they marched for. I only told what I did and what I marched for. That being clarified I honestly do not see where you came to this conclusion or what I the article you would attach it too…. ” I have no problem with others living the life they choose, what I find offensive is the judgmental position you take about the choices others make in living the life they choose.” With that said, I hope you are not feeling judged by me now.

      Lastly, I’m assuming you may not know too many women who go to my Church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Because if you did you we know that we [the women] are all over the board in every way. And truly, it’s glorious.

      Blessings,
      ~Bethany Packard

      Reply
  21. Tammy

    Bethany,

    I would like to kindly make you aware that of all the responses, the majority of them appear to have taken away the same message: that your article comes across as “Us vs. Them,” self-righteous, and comes across as an indignant retort, coated in fluffy words of kindness.

    I am not asking for a response that will make me feel better. I am asking that you ask yourself why so many women responded the same way.

    Reply
    1. Bethany Packard Post author

      Tammy,

      Your comment sent me out to see exactly what the responses to the article sum up to be. Here is what I found thus far. In the past almost 36 hours since the article published:

      On the MWS Facebook page (where the article is linked to the blog):
      The article has reached more than 81,237 people.

      Likes – 1589
      Loves – 449
      Angry – 16

      Of the 64 comments posted 2 people had a distasteful reaction, leaving 62 with positive thoughts.
      And it was shared 302 times.

      On the MWS blog site itself:

      There have been 23 comments from readers. Of those:

      Positive – 6
      Other – 6
      Negative – 11 (Most of the negative has come after a blog posted an article linking to mine.)

      Any reasonable person can see that the response to my sentiments supporting the divine nature of womanhood and the roles that go with that has been OVERWHELMINGLY POSITIVE.

      This may, or may not have, made you feel better.

      ~Bethany

      Reply
      1. Tara

        Did you know that many people who disagree with you have been blocked from your FB site? So, those metrics are not an accurate view. The responses you CHOOSE to see are overwhelmingly positive. I’ve seen a lot of not positive, so…
        PS, I didn’t get here from a negative blog post.

        Reply
        1. Bethany Packard Post author

          MWS was created in support of the Brethren, womanhood, and the family; as defined by the Lord. We are open, and encourage all viewpoints, and are always hoping for a good multisided conversation – as is evidenced by all the opposing comments here on the blog pertaining to this article. The number of those who have been offensive or disrespectful enough to be blocked from the site wouldn’t come any where near the number needed to change the ratio. But good try.

          ~Bethany

          Reply
      2. Tammy

        Bethany, I am not aware of MWS Facebook page. I was speaking to this specific site that I am responding at. MWS is not likely to represent the numbers accurately due to the particular population that subscribes to that Facebook page. Of course it would be overwhelmingly positive on the Facebook page where women are likely already subscribing to that particular belief system.

        I’m talking about the specific responses here. I mean no judgement or malice, I would just like you to ask yourself why there would be a multitude of negative comments essentially saying the same thing.

        Reply
        1. Bethany Packard Post author

          Tammy,

          I’m sorry you haven’t seen the Mormon Women Stand Fb page. I hope you will visit it, and ‘like’ it. Lots of great stuff there.

          I agree that the overwhelming response to the article is positive there because most there will share my view. This is no surprise. But just because they share the same view doesn’t mean their ‘vote’ shouldn’t count. Don’t you agree? I gave you all the numbers from the sites I have the ability to see. I think that is honest and fair of me. In turn it would be honest and fair of you to take into account that since the vast majority of the more negative responses have come after a site more unfavorable to ours published a satire of my piece with a link to the original article. That would certainly drive more negative comments because their readership “are likely already subscribing to their particular belief system”. Right?

          It would be an interesting study to determine why about half the responses on the blog site are more negative to their reading the article, when the responses of those who have read the article and respond to it on the Fb page are overwhelmingly positive. But alas, I have no idea how that study could be done.

          You have been a pleasure to visit with Tammy. I know we have many more points where we would solidly agree than those where we differ.

          I wish you all the best,
          ~Bethany

          Reply
  22. hjisha

    I marched for the woman in who depends on the services of Planned Parenthood for basic medical needs. I marched for myself and other women with preexisting conditions who face a future without health insurance. I marched for women who are grabbed, groped, and assaulted by men who claim the privilege because of their wealth and fame. I marched for my seven-year-old client who was raped by her uncle and needs support.

    I also went to church on Sunday alone because my husband serves in the jail. Before my meetings I volunteered with interfaith women at a shelter for battered women. I marched for them. As a Social Worker I rarely march home after work because the suffering I see in my community brings me to my knees. I am a married mother of five children. I am privileged beyond measure with secure housing, safety, health care, financial support from the jobs my husband and I work at each day. I hope that when I serve in the church God does not magnify my efforts, but I magnify his Grace in a way that others don’t see me at all. I marched for those who can’t be seen. For addicts, outcasts, abused, incarcerated, and broken. The stakes of my Saviors tent are stretched wide and my march takes me there.

    Your march seems lovely. I’m glad you had such a lovely day. I don’t begrudge the time you spent building your home and family. But your tone, just like mine, sends a message. I hope that you come visit those of us who marched for the widow and the fatherless. March with us to the darkness that envelope so many hearts. Join us on our knees in our prayers for mercy and peace on earth.

    Reply
    1. Bethany Packard Post author

      Hjisha, thank you for contributing.

      Many of the things you marched for I would also. Others I would not. Most of the issues you mentioned are best served by us each, when we can and how we can, in our volunteering, visiting, encouraging, and supporting those who are suffering. All the talking and marching in the world does no one any good in and of itself. It takes each of us, one by one, extending ourselves.

      You’re efforts are noble. We are all asked to answer others prayers through our service. I applaud you, though I know you are not looking for the praise of the world.

      Lastly, rest assured that my prayers are indeed coupled with yours.

      Blessings,
      ~Bethany

      Reply
  23. Jaci

    So there you go.

    Bethany has presented the alternative facts.

    And thus we see that our after many years of being a benevolent sisterhood, the Relief Society was reduced to getting “likes” on Facebook to verify that criticism of other sisters is valid, and that you are indeed the most righteous of all.

    My work is done here.

    May your heart one day soften Bethany.

    Reply
    1. Bethany Packard Post author

      To be clear:

      The actual numbers are not “alterative facts”.
      And,
      I write as myself. I certainly am not an official spokesman for the RS. But you know that.

      ~Bethany

      Reply
    2. vanessa

      Yes, may your heart soften. Your articles, replies, and comments I see on the FB page do not show a soft heart and Christ’s love. I hope instead of responding back to every comment to make sure people see you being “right” and not in fault at all….that you really open your eyes and learn from this. This is not how we show love and concern for each other. This is not how we love our sisters like the Savior would.

      Reply
      1. Bethany Packard Post author

        Dear Vanessa,

        In responding to each person’s comments my hope is not to sway their opinion of the article or to paint myself in better light in their eyes. My intent is to show respect for the time they spent reading the article and sharing their views, and to have a civil discussion. You are welcome to ascribe a different motive to my actions, but that does not mean you are correct.

        Thank you for sharing your opinions.

        Regards,
        ~Bethany

        Reply
  24. Jenna

    I appreciate this post and I think many of the women who did not feel it appropriate to march last weekend would resonate with your words. However, while you may not feel this way, yours words came off as very divisive. It came across as you saying, “If you marched with the millions of other women this weekend you are of the world and do not believe you have a divinely appointed role, including wifehood and motherhood, do not believe “[God] loves [you] enough to give specific clear counsel on the things pertaining to family life, found in The Family: A Proclamation to the World…” or don’t believe that “He values my spiritual abilities and shows me that by giving me opportunities to serve in His kingdom.”

    In fact, the opposite is true. I believe especially that women have a very divinely appointed role. It is one I have felt so forcefully, being taught personally by God, that I felt compelled to join in the march—BECAUSE of what I’ve learned from God. I think many Mormon women (and in fact probably the majority of the religious women there: Christian, Muslim, Jewish) who were there would say similar.

    It seems you are getting a lot of pushback. I admire that you marched also for the things that were important to you this weekend and I love the way you creatively pulled it into the topic. However, you did so in a way that feels very condemning to those that joined the march, resulting in pushback.

    Reply
    1. Bethany Packard Post author

      Dear Jenna,

      I appreciate the time you’ve taken to share your thoughts.

      In stating what I marched for I in no way labeled those who participated in a organized march – for good and worthy causes – as “of the world” or implied they “do not believe you have a divinely appointed role, including wifehood and motherhood, do not believe “[God] loves [you] enough to give specific clear counsel on the things pertaining to family life, found in The Family: A Proclamation to the World…” or don’t believe that “He values my spiritual abilities and shows me that by giving me opportunities to serve in His kingdom.” But I will say here and now that MANY who marched supporting the two prominent women’s issues – abortion ‘rights’ and LGBTQ rights – are “of the world”, in my opinion, because those issues are clearly defined by the Lord as against His will and plan for his daughters. It is unfortunate that those issues sucked the oxygen out of the room, and left other noble issues that do deserve attention gasping for breathe, figuratively speaking.

      I would be very interested to see how many of the women who made the effort to march last Saturday will make the same effort to get out and march again this Saturday in support of life. This is also a women’s issue. And most certainly an unborn child’s.

      I am not surprised by any pushback I’ve received. I am even less surprised by the overwhelming support that has also come.

      Thanks again for joining the conversation. Talking, respectfully, to each other is the first step to understanding.

      Many blessings,
      ~Bethany

      Reply
  25. Mandy

    Sister Packard,
    I don’t know you personally, but I really appreciate the fact that you have listened intently to all the comments, and you took each individual as they are and spoke to them personally.. that’s takes a beautiful, giving heart to do that.. I’m very sad of all the negativity written in the comments and am realizing the biggest change I can make in this world is my actions in my home. Raising my children to be positive and uplifting to everyone they come in contact with.. Seems little but may be huge in the long run.. thank you for all you do.
    You friend and sister, Mandy

    Reply
    1. Bethany Packard Post author

      Dear Mandy,

      Thank you for your kind comments. ;p My mother always said, “If you can’t take the heat get out of the fire.” I’m sure your Momma did too.

      I have found over the years that many who hold more traditional values, or define themselves as Christian – or religious I any way – are less likely to raise their voice in support of their positions, morally or politically. Those religious convictions lead many, in a wonderful way, to become humble, patient, and to turn the other cheek. Or perhaps many who feel like we do see the vilification, labeling, and shaming of those who hold views different then the world – in a few, but vitally important issues. There is a growing intolerance for opposing “the philosophies of men”. Even within the membership of Church.

      Your friend too,
      ~Bethany

      Reply
  26. Lori

    Cool. I did all those things on Friday so I could march with my other sisters on Saturday. You should have been there, it was awesome.

    Reply
  27. Ali

    The division I have seen among my LDS sisters has really hurt my heart. If one doesn’t feel to march in the women’s march, why talk down to your sisters that did? It’s possible I missed these comments, but I didn’t see those who marched saying that those who didn’t were somehow less righteous, less committed to their families…less. But now the response to these women’s actions has resulted in mud-slinging on all sides. I can understand wanting to be a peacemaker but once the stones come out, it’s hard to stop them. I had really hoped MWS wouldn’t engage in stone-throwing but here we are. 🙁

    Reply
    1. Bethany Packard Post author

      Dear Ali,

      I’m not quite sure where you think MWS is engaging in “stone throwing”.

      Firstly, if you feel by publishing my article MWS was, let me assure you I wrote as myself and in behalf of myself.
      Secondly, if you feel I have been stone throwing in my replies I would offer the following….
      I have taken the opportunity to respond to each comment on the blog. Something not making who publish do. It’s is because I am truly grateful they have taken the time to read my thoughts; regardless of whether or not they have appreciated them, feel I have given them voice, or not represented them at all. No matter how they interpreted my words or the intent they ascribed to them. I have tried to be respectful and civil and kind. Not defensive. I hope you feel I have reached those ends. If not, please know that was my intent.

      A lack of empathy is at the core of the contention in our society. We all seem to be much less willing to offer another the benefit of our doubt. We make a hasty judgement and then, as you’ve said, “the stones come out”. But it is very important to remember that though empathy asks that we try to look at a situation we may not agree with through another person’s lens, it does not demand that we change our mind, agree, or concede. That is what civility, tolerance, and good will ask of us next.

      Thank you for your thoughts,
      ~Bethany Packard

      Reply
  28. Elyse

    I read your article and felt the peace, kindness and confidence you expressed. Then I read some of the comments and was surprised by the meanness so many of our fellow sisters seemed to see in it. I think it’s much more about the defensiveness we all feel these days than about anything actually stated here. I’m sorry that we so often feel attacked by someone expressing their feelings. I do that too.

    Thank you for being a voice for all of us who feel that our everyday actions are already a beacon of light in this dark world, and didn’t feel the need or desire to march in the public eye with others.

    Reply
    1. Bethany Packard Post author

      Dear Elyse,

      I appreciate your kind words. Truly.

      I’m sure we all – each and every one who has commented here – hope that our lives will be an expression of the good things we believe in, and give hope and light to others. And I, like you, hope that we all will have more tolerance, patience, and willingness to see others views. Focusing on the many points we would solidly agree upon and not the few where we may not. That way we could all go out for cupcakes together! (Now, that’s a nice thought. ;p )

      I hope you’ll continue to follow us here at MWS. We do enjoy hearing our readers thoughts. Communicating is the first step to understanding.

      Your friend,
      ~Bethany Packard

      Reply
  29. KT

    Thank you for reminding us that the place we can make the difference or change things for the positive is within our own homes and communities. We need more women that are strong enough to stand for beliefs that may not be popular. My dad always told me, “What is right is not always popular. What is popular is not always right.” I find it interesting that many women that marched in the Women’s march want equality for all women and want acceptance and tolerance for all. Yet, when a group of women with differing values and beliefs (for example: Pro-life activists) stand for what they value, they are targeted as being backwards and the ones that are intolerant and unaccepting. In actuality, we just want to live our lives the way we feel is best for us, the way we choose, and to have a voice like everyone else. Your personal march is much different than the personal march I would have for myself, but the common thread I would be service to others. I have been through hardships and I took your article exactly for how you meant it. Thank you! It was a pleasure to read!❤

    Reply
  30. Kim

    Hi Bethany,
    First I would like to applaud you for your calmness and composure while responding to all of these messages. Many people would have lashed out in anger, but from what I’ve seen, you have shown kindness. With that being said, I feel the only ones who liked your post or who are agreeing with you are the people who already thought as you did in the first place. You haven’t changed anyone’s mind on the matter, you’ve only increased the space between the dichotomy of the us vs them mentality. Your post was self righteous, whether you choose to believe it or not. You boast that you were able to “march” all day without any cameras rolling, insinuating your motives were not to get praise. Meanwhile, you praise yourself about how many likes and shares this post has received. You can’t criticize someone who marches in front of a camera, while you yourself are “marching” on a public blog with your name and picture attached.

    I feel that you most likely would be able to empathize and look at it from another perspective, but for some reason you are choosing not to. It takes a strong woman (or man) to be able to admit that they may have been wrong in their original viewpoint, and step outside to see what these women are actually marching for; not just what YOU think they are marching for. You try to discredit their cause by pointing out how some of the women used vulgarity and curse words. I can’t think of a better organization that protects our rights, freedoms, and privileges as the U.S. military. Many marines, sailors, lieutenants, and even generals have some of the dirtiest mouths you could ever hear, but does that negate their cause and what they are fighting to protect?

    You clearly don’t know what the women are marching for if you think the 2 main reasons are abortion and LGBT issues. Is it merely a coincidence that the march was around the exact same time that a misogynistic pig was sworn in as the leader of the free world? These women are taking a very brave and bold stance to send the message that we will not put up with any of his disrespectful and disgusting comments and selfish mentality. It blows my mind how many people have already forgotten how he boasted about taking advantage of women in the most vile way you could imagine.

    Please take a deeper look into the issues and try to empathize with those who are scared and hurting at this time. I have faith in you and I know you can do it if that is what you choose.

    Thanks for taking the time to converse with everyone who has messaged instead of just taking the easy way out and delete their comments or block them.

    Your friend,
    Kim

    Reply
    1. Bethany Packard Post author

      Dear Kim,

      There’s a lot here to respond to. I’ll give it my best. ;p

      First, thank you for you kind words about my responses. I appreciate that.

      Second, it doesn’t seem a surprise that most favorable responses here, or on Facebook, would come from those who feel similar to me, or would come from those who may not be looking for a negative intent. I hope you’ll agree with that. Past that I can not control the lens through which others view things. Consider this…. If the intent of an article – anyone’s article, about anything – were so blatantly obvious we would assume that all the comments would be similar with each other, as all would have seen it the same obvious way. You agree? So, if an article garners comments reflecting opposing opinions of the article we would have to conclude that the article is being seen through each persons individual lens. How else could they be coming up with such vastly differing opinions?

      Thirdly, in regards to “Meanwhile, you praise yourself about how many likes and shares this post has received. You can’t criticize someone who marches in front of a camera, while you yourself are “marching” on a public blog with your name and picture attached.” I believe those numbers I shared were in response to Tammy’s comment, correct? (I hope I haven’t given the wrong name here. Anyways…) She implied that the vast majority of responses to the article were negative. Which simply, as I then needed to show her, was not the case. The numbers given were not to brag, just facts needed for her clarification.

      Fourth, my article was not political. I did take the opportunity to piggy back on what was advertised as a Women’s March. I did not demean or trivialize anyone who marched, or what they marched for. That was not my point, and it still isn’t. And may I say here, to use our military – and some of the individuals poor habit’s in it – as a defense of the shameful vulgarity used by many, at least at the March in DC, is weak.

      Fifth, I absolutely know that the two main issues being marched for were abortion and LGBTQ issues. Those who were marching for other noble causes affecting women, and men, were far overshadowed. And that is a shame for those good gals. That it became a political rally, well, I won’t speak to that since that has nothing at all to do with the article I wrote or it’s intent.

      Lastly, I really do appreciate the time you took to thoughtfully and civilly express your feelings. Thank you. I hope you feel I have given you the same respect in expressing mine.

      Your friend too,
      ~Bethany

      Reply
  31. Kim

    Thank you for your heartfelt and loving response. I think most of us are more alike then we seem to think, and it’s good that we are able to discuss these things civilly. That’s where ideas are formed and the foundation of trust is laid.

    I wish you well,
    Kim

    Reply
  32. J Lake

    You asked how and why I march. I march in solidarity with many of sisters whose backgrounds are diverse and quite different from mine because I recognize that the only way I can learn of others’ struggles is to talk to them and try to understand them. I march to learn more about what I can do to champion equal rights for those who feel disenfranchised and forgotten. I march to show my love and support for those individuals who society deems somehow broken or wrong because I too have felt that way in some circumstances. I march to show my appreciation to the angry women who came before me and demanded rights that I now enjoy. I march to shout out that as a woman I can make a difference in many different ways, and I applaud all the ways that women are currently doing that. I march because after 40 years I finally feel that I can trust my own judgment about who I am and who I want to be rather than deferring that to so-called authority figures. I march because I am offended by the current president’s remarks and feelings around women and am scared that others’ silence means they condone that kind of derogatory speech. I march to feel like I am part of something bigger, part of humanity.

    You stated that you want to have empathy for others, and I believe you are sincere when you say that. May I suggest that marching outside of your own bubble and with people who may seem very different from you, listening to them even if you don’t agree with them or share their political views, genuinely trying to understand rather than smugly dismissing them as angry or whining is a great way to cultivate empathy.

    Reply
    1. Bethany Packard Post author

      Dear J Lake

      I applaud you for marching for so many things that you deem good. I also marched for what I deem worthy and want celebrated and respected – traditional marriage, complete fidelity in marriage, the joy of motherhood, the pleasure of serving others in many different ways, and the opportunity to serve in the Lord’s Church. You are hasty to assume what kind of “bubble” I live in and the associations I keep, simply by the things I marched for.

      Thank you for joining in the conversation,
      ~Bethany

      Reply

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