Women in the Mormon Church

Posted by: Andee / Category:

I am the first person to admit that I have always wanted to be a mother. I wanted to have one kid, just one... and raise that child the best way I could. I wanted to have a career, and I wanted to have peace and love in our lives.

Growing up in the Mormon Church, I was taught that it was my job as a woman to have children and raise them in the Gospel. Many of my girl friends were married right after high school, and most of them have 3 or 4 kids by now. Most Mormon mothers are taught to stay at home, and raise the children. This was reflected in the speech given by Sister Julie Beck in the last semi-annual conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Julie Beck is the president of the relief society, which is the group of all adult women in the church.

Before I go any farther, I would like to share the talk Sister Beck gave at that conference. Be prepared to go back in time about 50 years...

Mothers Who Know

Julie B. Beck
Relief Society General President

There is eternal influence and power in motherhood.

Julie B. BeckIn the Book of Mormon we read about 2,000 exemplary young men who were exceedingly valiant, courageous, and strong. "Yea, they were men of truth and soberness, for they had been taught to keep the commandments of God and to walk uprightly before him" (Alma 53:21). These faithful young men paid tribute to their mothers. They said, "Our mothers knew it" (Alma 56:48). I would suspect that the mothers of Captain Moroni, Mosiah, Mormon, and other great leaders also knew.

The responsibility mothers have today has never required more vigilance. More than at any time in the history of the world, we need mothers who know. Children are being born into a world where they "wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places" (Ephesians 6:12).1 However, mothers need not fear. When mothers know who they are and who God is and have made covenants with Him, they will have great power and influence for good on their children.

Mothers Who Know Bear Children

Mothers who know desire to bear children. Whereas in many cultures in the world children are "becoming less valued,"2 in the culture of the gospel we still believe in having children. Prophets, seers, and revelators who were sustained at this conference have declared that "God's commandment for His children to multiply and replenish the earth remains in force."3 President Ezra Taft Benson taught that young couples should not postpone having children and that "in the eternal perspective, children—not possessions, not position, not prestige—are our greatest jewels."4

Faithful daughters of God desire children. In the scriptures we read of Eve (see Moses 4:26), Sarah (see Genesis 17:16), Rebekah (see Genesis 24:60), and Mary (see 1 Nephi 11:13–20), who were foreordained to be mothers before children were born to them. Some women are not given the responsibility of bearing children in mortality, but just as Hannah of the Old Testament prayed fervently for her child (see 1 Samuel 1:11), the value women place on motherhood in this life and the attributes of motherhood they attain here will rise with them in the Resurrection (see D&C 130:18). Women who desire and work toward that blessing in this life are promised they will receive it for all eternity, and eternity is much, much longer than mortality. There is eternal influence and power in motherhood.

Mothers Who Know Honor Sacred Ordinances and Covenants

Mothers who know honor sacred ordinances and covenants. I have visited sacrament meetings in some of the poorest places on the earth where mothers have dressed with great care in their Sunday best despite walking for miles on dusty streets and using worn-out public transportation. They bring daughters in clean and ironed dresses with hair brushed to perfection; their sons wear white shirts and ties and have missionary haircuts. These mothers know they are going to sacrament meeting, where covenants are renewed. These mothers have made and honor temple covenants. They know that if they are not pointing their children to the temple, they are not pointing them toward desired eternal goals. These mothers have influence and power.

Mothers Who Know Are Nurturers

Mothers who know are nurturers. This is their special assignment and role under the plan of happiness.5 To nurture means to cultivate, care for, and make grow. Therefore, mothers who know create a climate for spiritual and temporal growth in their homes. Another word for nurturing is homemaking. Homemaking includes cooking, washing clothes and dishes, and keeping an orderly home. Home is where women have the most power and influence; therefore, Latter-day Saint women should be the best homemakers in the world. Working beside children in homemaking tasks creates opportunities to teach and model qualities children should emulate. Nurturing mothers are knowledgeable, but all the education women attain will avail them nothing if they do not have the skill to make a home that creates a climate for spiritual growth. Growth happens best in a "house of order," and women should pattern their homes after the Lord's house (see D&C 109). Nurturing requires organization, patience, love, and work. Helping growth occur through nurturing is truly a powerful and influential role bestowed on women.

Prophet Gordon B. Hinkley and other leaders of the LDS Church at the General Conference

Mothers Who Know Are Leaders

Mothers who know are leaders. In equal partnership with their husbands, they lead a great and eternal organization. These mothers plan for the future of their organization. They plan for missions, temple marriages, and education. They plan for prayer, scripture study, and family home evening. Mothers who know build children into future leaders and are the primary examples of what leaders look like. They do not abandon their plan by succumbing to social pressure and worldly models of parenting. These wise mothers who know are selective about their own activities and involvement to conserve their limited strength in order to maximize their influence where it matters most.

Mothers Who Know Are Teachers

Mothers who know are always teachers. Since they are not babysitters, they are never off duty. A well-taught friend told me that he did not learn anything at church that he had not already learned at home. His parents used family scripture study, prayer, family home evening, mealtimes, and other gatherings to teach. Think of the power of our future missionary force if mothers considered their homes as a pre–missionary training center. Then the doctrines of the gospel taught in the MTC would be a review and not a revelation. That is influence; that is power.

Molly Mormon

Mothers Who Know Do Less

Mothers who know do less. They permit less of what will not bear good fruit eternally. They allow less media in their homes, less distraction, less activity that draws their children away from their home. Mothers who know are willing to live on less and consume less of the world's goods in order to spend more time with their children—more time eating together, more time working together, more time reading together, more time talking, laughing, singing, and exemplifying. These mothers choose carefully and do not try to choose it all. Their goal is to prepare a rising generation of children who will take the gospel of Jesus Christ into the entire world. Their goal is to prepare future fathers and mothers who will be builders of the Lord's kingdom for the next 50 years. That is influence; that is power.

Mothers Who Know Stand Strong and Immovable

Who will prepare this righteous generation of sons and daughters? Latter-day Saint women will do this—women who know and love the Lord and bear testimony of Him, women who are strong and immovable and who do not give up during difficult and discouraging times. We are led by an inspired prophet of God who has called upon the women of the Church to "stand strong and immovable for that which is correct and proper under the plan of the Lord."6 He has asked us to "begin in [our] own homes"7 to teach children the ways of truth.

Latter-day Saint women should be the very best in the world at upholding, nurturing, and protecting families. I have every confidence that our women will do this and will come to be known as mothers who "knew" (Alma 56:48). In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

1. See Gordon B. Hinckley, "Standing Strong and Immovable," Worldwide Leadership Training Meeting, Jan. 10, 2004, 21.
2. James E. Faust, "Challenges Facing the Family," Worldwide Leadership Training Meeting, Jan. 10, 2004, 2.
3. "The Family: A Proclamation to the World," Liahona, Oct. 2004, 49; Ensign, Nov. 1995, 102.
4. To the Mothers in Zion (pamphlet, 1987), 3.
5. See "The Family: A Proclamation to the World."
6. Gordon B. Hinckley, Worldwide Leadership Training Meeting, Jan. 10, 2004, 20.
7. Gordon B. Hinckley, Worldwide Leadership Training Meeting, Jan. 10, 2004, 20.

Amazing, isn't it?

So Sister Beck is basically saying, "Ladies, have babies... lots of 'em... and right now. It's your job. These kids are your jewels. If you follow this belief, you will be blessed in the next life. Dress up your kids nice for Church, make sure your daughters have cleaned and ironed dresses and their hair must be brushed to perfection. Boys should wear white shirts and ties, and have missionary haircuts... do this because it makes you look good. Make sure your home is perfect. Cooking, Washing Clothes, and doing dishes... keep and orderly home. Your home is where women have the most influence, and Mormon Mother's should be the best Homemakers in the world. Your kids won't learn squat unless your house is in order. Mother's do all the planning for missions, temple marriages, and education... it's your job to make sure your kids do these things or you are not doing your job. Don't go out and do things for yourself, that is selfish, conserve your strength so you can maximize your efforts where they should really matter. Teach your kids the gospel, have family scripture study, family home evening, pray at mealtimes and use all opportunities to teach your kids... you hold the power of their spiritual well-being in your hands. Don't blow it. Don't let your kids watch too much t.v., play too many video games, or spend too much time away from your home... spend your time eating together, working together, reading, talking, laughing, and singing. Your kids will hate you for it, but it's what God wants you to do. If you don't do these things, you are not good enough. Period."

Does the Mormon Church expect the women to be Stepford Wives? Yes.

I think my feelings about this are best expressed from a list made by "Froggie." I use this with her permission...

I'm a mother who knows.

I am a mother who knows I don't want the totality of my life's work to be reflected in a headstone that says "she had the world's cleanest toilets."

I am a mother who knows that balance is needed in all things and I must take ample amount of time for myself or my children will suffer.

I am a mother who knows that the more children I have, the more complex (not simple) my life becomes.

I am a mother who knows that if I do not teach my daughters real life skills I will be inadequately preparing them for future survival needs.

I am a mother who knows that more important than the desire to bear children is to properly care for the children I might desire.

I am a mother who understands that every female in the animal kingdom is capable of desiring and bearing young. It is rising above that animal-need and finding greater intelligence in the function that makes being a parent more noble.

I am a mother who understands that the desire to bear children may have less than divine origins. That there are selfish, unprepared, and emotionally stunted women who desire to have children.

I am a mother that recognizes that, in the grand scheme of all things parenting, an ironed shirt or dress is completely inconsequential.

I am a mother who knows that I am capable of being a leader both inside and outside of the home....and those leadership skills are respected in both venues.

I am a mother who recognizes that a religion as demanding as mormonism might well detract from my potential to be the best mother I can be. (nods to Liseysmom)

Big green hugs,


I refuse to tell my daughter (if I have one) that it is her job, duty, and responsibility to put her own goals aside and become a puppet. I refuse to do it because I believe in my heart and soul that God wants us to be happy and make the right choices that are right for us. You would be doing a great disservice to him by letting people do your thinking for you.

Choosy Mothers Choose Apostacy.