As many of you know, my daughter married a mormon a few years ago. I watch her struggle with the expectations of this very demanding organization. Recently, I noted a change in her behavior: she started cooking again! She has been the queen of fast food but suddenly (around October) she became more domesticated. I wondered about the change but now I understand.
I read Beck's talk and some of the comments about it. This one puts it into perspective for me...I wish my daughter would read it.
"Mothers who know are nurturers. ... 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. 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."
And this comment:
I can’t get this Julie Beck thing off my mind now so I keep logging in to RFM and reading those threads when I’ve got a shitload of work piled on my desk.
But it’s exactly that (work) that keeps me thinking of that stupid talk. I’m sitting here surrounded by working women. OK, from my office I can hear people in 5 offices—all of them just happen to be women. All of them have incredible families. One is childless by choice, one is a mother and grandmother, but has been in a happy lesbian relationship for a number of years. Three are married and have school-aged children. Four of them are corporate attorneys (also, it’s a Fortune 100 company), two are also managing directors. One is a senior paralegal. I am the lone former “Mother Who Knew.”
I DEFY any mormon woman to match their families, their relationships and their children up against any of these women. Yes, they make hard CHOICES. They are all very well paid. They have to decide what they can delegate to paid help (e.g., a nanny who picks up the kids from school and gets them started on their homework, a housekeeper who does the bulk of the major cleaning, a gardner, etc.) and what they feel is important to their family for them to not delegate (making dinner, attending soccer games, church and school activities, planning and taking fun family trips). They have marriages or relationships that I can only dream of. Where my temple-married husband got bored with Molly Mormon who “knew,” but was burnt out and uninteresting, their husbands see them as fun, interesting and someone they’d better stay in line for. Where my children were lucky to be able to take a trip to the desert to see their grandparents with their cash-strapped mother who “knew,” theirs are taking trips to Europe and Prague and China that they all planned together as a family. Where my children were “contributing” to the world by being forced by their mother who “knew” to get up too early for Seminary and hating it, theirs are working on Habitat for Humanity and the food bank and things that actually make a difference.
Where their children who are grown treat them like treasures, call them regularly, respect them, my children can barely stomach the fact that they had a mother who was so stupid and made such stupid decisions (somehow they were all able to figure it out for themselves). And I have no answers for my daughters who married too young because I let them stay in the brainwashing cult long past when I really believed, but I was too insecure to get out and face motherhood in the real world. My one child who respects me is the youngest—the one who was there when I made the transition out of TSCC, went back to college in my 40s and finally got a respectiable career.
I also have some friends who are happy stay-at-home moms. One even home schools her kids. But they don’t have so many kids that they don’t have time for themselves also. Their husbands have good enough jobs that they truly can afford to make that decision and it isn’t forced on them because the meger income they could make would barely pay for child care. And then I have friends who are childless by choice. Most of them are better parents to their dogs than I probably was to my kids when I was strung out on Paxil. They deal with zero guilt or ridicule over their decisions to be childless.
So Ms. Beck, all I have to say to you is Shut the F*** Up! How DARE you heap more guilt, more ridicule, and more despair and dejection on women you don’t even know—women who are just trying their best as it is to be a perfect member of your mindf***ing cult!
And yet another:
The Church relies on cliches, mindless obedience (aka faith),guilt, meaningless ceremonies, hierarchies, and all sorts of really complicated and convoluted doctrines and promises and ceremonies in order to teach what they claim to be "plain and simple" truth.
.... truth is really simple and self-evident. It doesn't take a genius to see that ... strong women in her office were living fulfilling lives which are the result of making right logical decisions.
Living a fulfilling life has NOTHING to do with weird ceremonies, faith, or magic. A fulfilling life comes from working to reach one's potential, to love and be loved by those you care about. The truth is simple and brilliant.
There is NO TRUTH in the MORG. It just uses convoluted explanations, demands of faith and obedience as a smokescreen for teachings that really don't make any sense.
It is true that we make our own decisions and should be responsible for them but it is also irrefutable that one's religion plays a large part in influencing these choices particularly when the religion is as intrusive and all encompassing as Mormonism. After all, what other religioni dictates what type of underwear you can wear, how you can have sex, who can or cannot attend your wedding, how many earrings you can have, and how much facial hair men can have.
I can credit the MORG for encouraging me to get married early, pump out a bunch of kids, and to send my sons to the lame scout programs organized by the Church out of guilt.
I immediately regained at least 14% of my time after I quit the MORG and also recouped quite a bit of income (even though I wasn't paying 10% before I quit I did lose the occasional several thousand that I paid out of guilt when tithing settlement got close)
I encourage everyone who is doubting to get out and really "investigate" the Church. Find out the truth and then have the guts to make the choice that their findings lead them to.
Another well written article on this subject can be found at More on Mothers