Comments about ‘LDS women, men 'very close' in religious observance’

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Published: Sunday, Aug. 26 2012 9:09 p.m. MDT

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rightascension
Provo, UT

Junk science. Issue of the way researchers posed questions. And the researchers depended on the respondent's memories, not on scientific observation.

CLee
San Diego, CA

So, the main purpose of this conference was to bring new focus to the women's side of our church's story, recognizing that focus on that side of the story has been lacking. You have a weekend FULL of wonderful women's voices: 13 out of 16 speakers are women. The weekend is hailed by all as a resounding success, with unforgettably fascinating presentations on a wide range of historical and contemporary women's issues, culminating in a look forward and outward to the experience of women in the church outside the United States and the future of growth before us.

And Joseph Walker's coverage of this event focuses on just one speaker (a man), and further narrowly focuses on the one piece of male-centered news in that presentation. I heard wonderful things about Mr. Campbell's presentation, let me be clear about that. But good grief. The first line of this piece reads like a punch line.

What a tragically missed opportunity to share the full story of the conference, and fulfill the conference's purpose of bringing much-lacking, much-needed attention to the experiences and issues of women in the church.

Dennis
Harwich, MA

My 60 year observation would not support this article.
Women are much more spiritual and take the Church very seriously.
Men go to Church out of obligation, fear and duty. Getting down to the heart of the matter were it not for the women the Church would have faded away a century ago.

vinniecat
Cottonwood Heights, UT

Oh Deseret News, I'm embarrassed for you. This conference wasn't about Men's religious observance, this conference was about LDS women and agency. How could you have gotten this SO wrong?

Katie L.
Salt Lake City, UT

Really? REALLY? An entire conference about women and you lead with a bit of news about men? Not awesome. Shows just how far we really have to go...

Linda Hoffman Kimball
Evanston, IL

The conference was rich with insight, fresh perspectives, smart research and moving personal stories from and about women in the worldwide LDS church. I learned so much on a variety of topics focused on LDS women and agency. And yes, David Campbell's remarks and research on current attitudes and perceptions within the Church was fascinating and well presented.

However, it saddens me enormously that Mr. Walker decided that the "big news" was about Mormon men. It is especially disappointing that the DN coverage of the groundbreaking event (co-sponsored by the LDS Church History Department and several departments of BYU) missed so many vital points.

Did he miss the moving impact of Jane Hafen's life experiences? The thorough and informative research shared by Carine Decoo-Vanwelkenhuysen on European LDS church experience and Anita Sthalasayee haunting life story of discovering the Gospel in Africa? Laurel Ulrich's keynote emphasized the human - an in particular, women's - longing to be remembered, understood and heard. Perhaps Mr. Walker forgot.

donn
layton, UT

RE: Linda Hoffman Kimball,The conference was rich with insight, fresh perspectives???

Nuns were the first feminists, earning Ph.D.’s or working as surgeons long before it was fashionable for women to hold jobs. As managers of hospitals, schools and complex bureaucracies, they were the first female C.E.O.’s. If you look at who has more closely emulate Jesus’s life. I would say Nuns.
They are also among the bravest, toughest and most admirable people in the world. I saw heroic nuns defy the Viet Cong.

Rune
Utah, UT

. . . really? An entire conference dedicated to women's spirituality and religious participation, setting landmarks in discourse and recognition, and this guy thinks that the only "real news" there is the bitty bit that was still about men? The "news" is how the way things -already are- means that all is well in Zion, huh?

Might as well have just written, "Women talked about stuff, but here, let's keep talking about men and how it's all working out for them, 'cause that's what's important."

Thanks for the slap in the face.

Pierda
kaysville, ut

So if I'm to understand some arguments here, people believe that God gives the greatest power in the universe (the Priesthood) to a bunch of dumb men who would have destroyed the Church long ago if it hadn't been for the saving grace of table cloths, lace Kleenex box covers, flowers, over-prepared lessons, baked goods every Sunday and sappy over feminized music and testimonies?

Maybe, just maybe, the way we worship in the Church has become so feminized that it appeals more to women than it does to men. Sappy stories, over-the-top music, weepy testimonies and sitting in classrooms being still and quiet (while looking prim and proper) has been shown as effective for teaching girls and has the opposite effect on boys.

I have a hard time believing that when Joseph Smith talked, that he ever told sappy stories or bawled about his kitty dying. I imagine that he was loud, and cheerful and got people really riled up about the gospel. I think that in today's Church, he'd probably be asked to tone it down to help maintain reverence...

Fern RL
LAYTON, UT

Why blame DN for this story which isn't much different from Peggy Fletcher Stack's story in the SL Tribune? Where is the female reporter that reported something different? For myself, a 64 year old woman who grew up LDS, I see it as wisdom in God that men may be involved in a lay priesthood and that women don't need to concern themselves with it. Even as a teenager in the 1960's with such an uproar regarding Feminism, it didn't make much sense in the context of my life. (There, you have an alternate opinion to so many opinions that are out there.)

Utes Fan
Salt Lake City, UT

I think Pierda's comment is very insightful, if you don't mind the sarcasm in that post.

Meaning, the Church really is very female-oriented. Getting in touch with your feelings, spirituality, emotional testimonies, etc. are more feminine. I long for the discussions that were like what Joseph Smith had with the School of the Prophets, etc. I think the lively, logical but spiritual discussions and lessons in the Church, which men find more suited to their personality, are sorely lacking.

Pierda
kaysville, ut

Utes Fan, you humbled me. I was being pretty sarcastic in my comments...but was serious in the sentiment.

I do believe that our worship, along with many other Christian churches out there has been skewed toward an overly feminine way of doing things. Those typically feminine traits have become the desired set of 'spiritual' values. Consequently (in general terms) church is far more appealing to women than to men and we erroneously conclude that women are more spiritual because they are more 'into it'.

That does not excuse men from going and doing their duty, especially men who hold the priesthood.

I do wonder though if this isn't a good time to re-evaluate some of what we do and 'arise from the dust...and be men' as Lehi counseled his sons? Not "Natural Men" but "PRIESTHOOD MEN" who can share the gospel message in a manly way...like Bro. Joseph who could throw you in a wrestling match, and then testify to the divinity of Jesus Christ in the same few minutes.

Utes Fan
Salt Lake City, UT

@Pierda

Excellent comments. I agree completely and have felt the same sentiments for a long time. It is nice to see somebody else come to the same conclusions.

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