Category Archives: Women

Poignant Bumper Sticker Memes

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[This post was originally written by Allen Wyatt on his blog Ruminatio. It is reposted here with his permission.]

I enjoyed general conference earlier this month, and in fact wrote a good deal about it and the goings-on by other groups at conference time. One of those groups is Ordain Women, which sponsored an event designed to heighten awareness of those who would like to see women be ordained to the priesthood.

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Mormon Fair-Cast 216: The role of women in the Church.

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MartinTannerIn this episode of Religion Today, Martin Tanner discusses some of the issues pertaining to the role of women in the Church. This episode originally aired on KSL Radio on November 17, 2013 and appears here by permission of KSL Radio. The opinions expressed do not necessarily represent the views of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints or of FairMormon.

Listeners will note that the first part of this episode is missing. We apologize for this inconvenience.

Keeping The Faith 11: Susan Swann Coming Home

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Susan_N_SwannWe sit down with LDS author Susan Swann author of the book “Coming Home: A Mormon’s Return to Faith”

Description of her book:
Susan’s story of her painful journey away from her Mormon faith and her road back home delivers a message of hope and encouragement that will help others also struggling to find their way. The lovely scenes of family relationships that were so instrumental in her return, her engaging personal touches, and interesting allusions to scriptures, literature, movies, and music all contribute to capturing the reader’s interest in Susan’s story. Even though readers will quickly understand where her story is headed, they will be engrossed by the suspense she creates and the anticipation of seeing her spiritual journey come to its rewarding conclusion. Susan’s book is a captivating story well told.

Her Book -

Her Website -

Article on her Book -

The opinions expressed in this podcast and in the referenced books, presentations, podcasts and articles do not necessarily represent the opinions of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, or of FairMormon.


FairMormon Frameworks 4: Brian Hales Polygamy

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We sit down with Brian Hales, LDS author of “Joseph Smith’s Polygamy.”  We ask him the hard questions fast and furious and he does a great job answering them.  We discuss polygamy, polyandry, and Joseph’s withholding the knowledge of the practice from the public and even the general membership.  Brian handles every question that is thrown at him. This is a must listen for every person who struggles with polygamy and polyandry. 

The opinions expressed in this podcast and in the referenced books, presentations, podcasts and articles do not necessarily represent the opinions of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, or of FairMormon.


Bro. Hales books can be found here

Joseph Smith’s Polygamy

 Brian’s Websites

Best of FAIR 16: A Joseph Smith Miscellany

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bushman-01Richard Bushman, author of Joseph Smith: Rough Stone Rolling, discusses the issues that loomed in his mind as he wrote his books on Joseph Smith. One conclusion he has reached is that “we will not always be able to give satisfactory answers to our critics. We will never placate our critics completely and we should not seek to do so. If we placate them completely we are making our gospel, our history, conform to their sense of what life should be and what the path should be. In a sense, we’re caving in if we become too pleasing to those around them. We have to state it as we see it and recognize that there will be differences from what our critics expect of us and of what actually happened to our people.”

The text of his presentation can be found here. The video can be seen here.

Richard Bushman is the and Gouverneur Morris Professor of History emeritus at Columbia University. He is currently the Howard W. Hunter Visiting Professor in Mormon Studies at Claremont Graduate University. He also serves as one of three general editors of the Joseph Smith Papers.

The opinions expressed in this address do not necessarily reflect the opinions of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, or of FAIR.

To purchase tickets to the 2013 FAIR Conference, visit this page. This short video clip also provides more information: FAIR Conference video clip.

Mormon FAIR-Cast 96: FAIR on the Radio Pt 1

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FAIR Board Chairman John Lynch and FAIR Member Stephen Smoot appeared on K-Talk radio, in Salt Lake City, Utah to discuss the mission of FAIR, its history and to take questions from callers. Some of the issues addressed were:

  • What are the core beliefs one must maintain in order to be considered an “orthodox” Mormon?
  • What is the distinction between knowledge and belief?
  • Why are there different versions of Joseph Smith’s first vision?
  • If Mitt Romney is elected President, will he be required to adopt the political positions of the Church?
  • Is the Church a racist or sexist organization?

John and Stephen also discussed the 2012 FAIR Conference that is being held in Utah on August 2 and 3 in Sandy, Utah.

This recording originally aired on June 27 and is posted here by permission of K-Talk Radio. The opinions expressed in this interview do not necessarily represent the views of FAIR or The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Mormon FAIR-Cast 90: Mormons on the BBC

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This episode of the BBC World Service program, World Have Your Say, features members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

The five-member panel answers questions from listeners from all over the world, including: Whether Mormons want to be recognized as a mainstream religion? What part of the Mormon faith is influenced by the Bible, and what part is influenced by the culture of its founders? Why is polygamy stereotypically linked to Mormonism? Would Mitt Romney be expected to spread the Mormon faith as a president? Why are Mormons secretive? Why are they not as open as other churches? What effect will the past ban on ordaining African Americans to the priesthood have on Mitt Romney’s ability to win over minority voters? What is the purpose of temples? What has generated the rapid spread of Mormonism? What would Christ think of a religion that teaches that it is the only true church? What is the Mormon view on the separation of church and state? What is it like to be a female member of the Church and a member of the Relief Society, the largest women’s organization in the world?

This program is posted here by permission of the BBC. The opinions expressed in this podcast do not necessarily represent the opinions of FAIR or of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saint.

Best of FAIR 9: The Lives of Mormon Women

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Claudia Bushman asks, is the self sacrifice motif for women in the Church so strong that no interest and care should be taken about their own lives? She observes that “too many women in the church live passive lives. We cannot afford to do that. We have talents to multiply.”

She also addresses the role of feminism in the Church. Only a few years ago, she told a Salt Lake Tribune writer that feminism was dead and that the word itself had become so frightening that the movement was now moribund and extinguished. She nevertheless, acknowledges that there are still “many old self-described LDS feminists around.” In fact, she considers herself to be a feminist and said “I doubt that many people would disagree with my definition of feminism, that the talents of women should be developed for the benefit of their communities, their church, their families and themselves.” By this definition, the Relief Society organization itself is a feminist organization. “Mormon women find emotional support and personal and spiritual growth there. The Relief Society, even in its curtailed form, provides a network for us to know, teach, and befriend each other. In Relief Society we are encouraged to exercise that most important feminist strategy, reaching beyond our patriarchal structure to a personal relationship with deity through which we can discover our own personal revelation and destinies.”

She adds: “Without autonomy, women would seem to have little power in this religion. But what is power in religion? Leadership seems important, but many religions, certainly ours, have stressed the humble vineyard worker as the powerful position. The greatest of all is the servant of all.”

She concludes by asking, what can women hope for from the Church? She states: “Women should realize that the Church is a great enabler, not a hindrance. The Church provides a wonderfully welcoming arena for working out our own ideas and building our talents as we seek for and follow our own revelation.”

The full text of Sister’ Bushman’s address can be found here.

Claudia L. Bushman holds degrees in literature and American Studies from Wellesley College, Brigham Young University, and Boston University and now teaches history and American studies at Columbia University in the City of New York. Dr. Bushman is the author and editor of ten books including Mormon Sisters: Women in Early Utah, Building the Kingdom (with Richard Bushman), and Contemporary Mormonism: Latter-day Saints in Modern America, as well as a variety of other American history books. She was the founding editor of Exponent II. Dr. Bushman is married to Richard Lyman Bushman and is the mother of six. Having held all the usual Church positions, she now finds most of her Church work off the books in such areas as chairman of the Harlem Bridge Builders committee, producer of the Manhattan Temple Jubilee at Radio City Music Hall, and chairman of the committee to install a statue of Joseph Smith near Wall Street in New York in honor of his 200th birthday.

‘American Grace’ and LDS women

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In the April 2011 General Conference, Elder Quentin L. Cook gave the probably most-discussed talk: “LDS Women Are Incredible!” My attention went mostly to a very short line—“The recent highly acclaimed book American Gracenoted that Latter-day Saint women are unique in being overwhelmingly satisfied with their role in Church leadership.”

At the risk of assuming too much, I think that in including that one line Elder Cook was aiming at two related criticisms: First, that the Church’s gender-based organization harms women, and second, that it blunders by not fully acknowledging women’s distress over that issue. Continue reading

“Go west young man” and sex ratios

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An enduring folk apologetic for 19th century plural marriage has been to assert that it was justified because a shortage of men. Looking at raw Census data, John Widtsoe [1] debunked that notion, but did not end its popular appeal. Widtsoe’s conclusions have been embraced by critics [2] who wish to create cognitive dissonance for members who may have put too much weight on that folk rationale for plural marriage. On the other end of the spectrum, Brian C. Hales [3], a speaker at this year’s FAIR conference, also dismissed the folk apologetic and concentrated on rebutting critics’ plural marriage rationale (primarily as lust fulfillment) and supporting theological rationales (primarily as part of the restoration and preparation for conditions in the next life).

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