Mormon women are not second-class citizens. Mormon women are revered, co-equals with their husbands. The Apostle Paul taught that “neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man, in the Lord” (1 Corinthians 11:11).
Former president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Gordon B. Hinckley, said, “In this Church the man neither walks ahead of his wife nor behind his wife but at her side. They are co-equals in this life in a great enterprise.”
The Church teaches that both men and women had their origin with God and equally valued by Him. “All human beings–male and female–are created in the image of God. Each is a beloved spirit son or daughter of heavenly parents, and, as such, each has a divine nature and destiny. Gender is an essential characteristic of individual premortal, mortal, and eternal identity and purpose (FP).”
Mormon women occupy places of honor in the Church and in their marriages and families.
Mormon Women in the Church
President Gordon B. Hinckley said:
Women have a very prominent place in this Church. Men hold the priesthood offices of the Church. But women have a tremendous place in this Church. They have their own organization. It was started in 1842 by the Prophet Joseph Smith, called the Relief Society, because its initial purpose was to administer help to those in need. It has grown to be, I think, the largest women’s organization in the world… [Mormon women] have their own offices, their own presidency, their own board. That reaches down to the smallest unit of the Church everywhere in the world.
The Relief Society is a remarkable service organization. Of all women’s organizations in the world, the Relief Society is the oldest, as President Hinckley indicated, and largest, numbering millions of Mormon women, eighteen and over, in nearly every country on earth. In Relief Society, Mormon women provide service by building faith in themselves and others, striving for personal righteousness, strengthening families, and providing charitable aid to people in need.
Mormon Women in the Family
Because marriage and family are so important to members of the Church, emphasis is placed on the unique roles of Mormon men and Mormon women. A proclamation issued by Church leaders on the subject of marriage and family makes the following statement:
By divine design, fathers are to preside over their families in love and righteousness and are responsible to provide the necessities of life and protection for their families. Mothers are primarily responsible for the nurture of their children. In these sacred responsibilities, fathers and mothers are obligated to help one another as equal partners (FP).
Among their many responsibilities, Mormon women are taught that no pursuit is more important than being a good wife and mother. Mormons women subscribe to the Bible truth, “Children are an heritage of the Lord” (Psalms 127:3). Of course, Mormon women often seek higher education, follow career paths, serve in their communities, become active in politics and join service groups. However, Mormon women are taught that their work in the home trumps all other causes.
Mormon women believe that they are most effective as individuals, wives and mother if they prioritize their their lives around loyalty to God, their marriages and their children. Mormon women are taught to seek with their husbands to create a safe, happy home life, an environment in which their children can grow mentally, emotionally, physically and spiritually.
Clearly, Mormon women are not second-class citizens. They are daughters of God, honored by the Church and their husbands and families; they are endowed with unique qualities to bear and rear the next generation of righteous souls and to effectively serve their fellowman.
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“Are Mormon Women Second-class Citizens?” was written by Larry Barkdull. The question, “Are Mormon Women Second-class Citizens?” is of great importance to members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. If you would like to know more about Mormons with no obligation, please click on the following links:
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