Skip to main content

Full text of "Exponent II"

See other formats




^k 1 ; ^- ... 

''" <lff J 

it v • : X v v 

' : %^m \ j£% ^^i^-^SBL*\ 


\^T^ : "' ■^Bm^^W^^^^^i ■■'■■■ 

^is^: , 111 

■ ji^rii 

T^SEaR^IH^tfB'-^3^¥i^J'-'''' •'■'• ' ; '^^^^^^^w^^»^^^ 

r -^3te 

^Jm&wPfSn'' •'''■^^filrTfit v'" ~ ; ^^^_JLiw(P ' 

Wi^ Amm 


S'^^ityJI ;> ▼^ ^<-^^^* ! '" " /^ 

J^BLJuV t«wai ' 

d ^5m^P* >$s^^i iM y: zyj 


<K c< ^^- iflK C 


^^^fev^jj^BBBfer^ 8 


^^^^-mjISl i JBi H^Jl/ 

l^r v : 3r 


P.O. Box 128 
Arlington, MA 

Illustration h - ' toWa •*»*"•» *?»»*»« 



PERMIT NO. 59469 

Il-ltl.l l 

W1W "Where Shall We Turn for Peace?" 

At 12:30 on Saturday, October 
2, a thousand white roses were 
delivered to the General 
Authorities of the LDS Church 
with the following letter: 

In the spirit of peace, we Latter-day Saints from around the world 
send these thousand white roses to the General Authorities who 
have been called to serve Jesus Christ and the members of his 
Church. We entreat you to accept these flowers as a symbol of our 
devotion to Christ's Gospel of love, mercy, faith and hope. The 
roses symbolize our support both of the Church and of the 
members who have recently had disciplinary action taken against 
them. Therefore, in the spirit of peace, we make this appeal: let 
the fear and reprisals end. Though the times are challenging and 
difficult, we find hope in the belief that we can face such 
challenges with dignity and grace and with the belief that God 
cherishes diversity, that He loves all his children, and that He 
does not seek to exclude any who love him from membership in 
his Church. 

r family from the following 


*Other contributions will be given to charitable or^.i' 

id appeared 
in The Salt Lake Tribune 
on Saturday , October 2, 1993. 


ribbons — iwo appropriate 
symbols of the gospel of peace 

safety, if 

:s of tranquility 

; and brothers and that our Heavenly 
Father supports us all in our efforts to draw close 
to Him and to build the Kingdom of God here on 

On Saturday, October 2, 1993. Shirley B. 
Paxman and Irene Bates, representing a large 
group of concerned members of the Church from 
around the world, presented I, (XX) white roses to 
Presiding Bishop Robert D. Hales and Bruce 
Olsen from the Church public relations depart- 
ment. Meeting in the lobby of the Church Office 
Building, Shirley said that she felt that the 
gathering "was truly a spiritual experience The 
feelings in the room were so warm, cordial, and 
accepting. We felt that a real effort was being 
made to understand the message and the intent 
behind the message. " 

In a follow-up letter, Shirley told the 
Church representatives that the roses came from 
stake presidents, den mothers. Scout leaders, 
missionaries, and Primary teachers, from bishops. 
Young Women and Relief Society presidents, 
and home and visiting teachers. And, she empha- 
sized that she "was grateful that they had been 
received in the same sweet spirit in which they 

As you will read in Gail Turlcy 
Houston's essay, the white ribbon has taken on 
that same spirit. Symbolizing the heartfelt need 
of so many to communicate, to be heard and to 
: ribbons in the shape of a "V" for 

wing w 

n In in 

Church. They are an outward sign of an inner 
commitment to furthering the spiritual growth of 
all of our Heavenly Father's children, particularly 
His daughters, and thereby furthering die King- 
dom of God. 

My hope and prayer is that the peace and 
love represented by the roses and the ribbons will 
translate into the "peace that surpassed) all 
understanding" for all who love the gospel and 
the Church. I am sometimes disheartened that we 
find ourselves in a time of personal and collective 
turmoil and confusion. Often those feelings, 
however, accompany times of positive change 
and growth. I know that they do in my own life; 
I can't help but believe that do in the larger world 
as well. Knowing this brings me joy— joy at the 
knowledge that we arc learning, that we arc 
progressing, and that by doing so we are getting 

■ Heavenly Father and to fulfilling the 
plans that He has for us. 

It is in this spirit that we ask for your 
prayerful and thoughtful comments on the recent 
actions taken to silence some of die voices within 
our culture. Please submit your comments or 

:o us by January 15, 1994; we will publish 

Volume 18, Number 3. 


Creating Out of Chaos 

together beside a burnished cherrywood 
tabic, smiling at each other as they 
playfully but gently touch elongated 
crystals that hang like leaves from a 
crystal lampshade. As they watch the rainbow 
points of light flash across the room, they listen 
to the many timbres of the shimmering prisms, 
and they share a broad streak of joy. 

god-tree, a cedar-like, multi-branched ornamental 
tree that grows in the Southwest. It stands 
magnificently next to the Arizona State Capitol 
near where my sister works. She walks under it 
every day as a way of making contact with 
Heavenly Father, for it is a generous tree, ever 
green and giving. She loves the strong brown 
trunk and the branches lifting up the nests of the 
multitude and variety of birds that daily come to 

We are told that we live in chaotic times, 
and some worry that the demands made by 
multitudes of special interest groups are a sign of 
the disintegration of civilization-as traditional 
gender roles, family systems, and global relations 
break down, balkanization seems to be the 
symbol of a dangerous loss of the orderly ar- 
rangement by which we have always lived. In 
this view of the world, chaos is the equivalent of 

Surprisingly, though, current studies in 
the field of "chaos theory" provide scientific and 
symbolic means of understanding that "chaos" is 
not necessarily a sinister term or state of being. 
As chaos theorists note: in the past, scientists 
based their hypothetical propositions on the 

according to predictable orderly patterns, they 
could explain and predict virtually every phe- 
nomena once they learned all the rules that 
govern the universe. 

In contrast, chaos theorists assert that 
many phenomena cannot be predicted because 
they simply do not fit traditional scientific laws 
of order. Furthermore, according to chaos 
theorists, if the universe were totally ordered it 
would be in a state of absolute equilibrium, 
which is, in effect, the state of death. Itca 

reol if 

creation, die universe must include 
disequilibrium. Thought itself may be a fluctua- 
tion between chaos and order, both necessary or 
the human brain system would die. Thus, 
turbulence and destabilization are necessary to 
the processes of thinking, creativity, and problem 
solving; indeed, scientists themselves often 
generate their beautifully ordered theories only 
after a necessary period in which thought 
emerges in random, jumbled, disorderly waves. 

Therefore, chaos theory views 
disequilibrium as inherent to the way the universe 
operates and regards turbulence to be as natural 
to the cosmos as is order. For example, weather 
can never be perfectly predicted nor explained. 
Nor can scientists predict what patterns will form 
from the movement of turbulent water systems, 
such as waves. Even the turbulent arterial flow 
of blood through the human body doesn't seem to 
follow scientific rules. 

But what is most fascinating about current 
studies of chaos is that though unpredictable and 

pected and untimed, chaos pro- 
complicated, and intricate 
order of its own, often leading to incredibly 
exquisite patterns. The hypothetical fractal tree is 
a model of the kind of chaos that unaccountably 
generates its own flawless patterns. Working 
upon the principal of infinite reproduction and 
duplication, each fracture of a branch of the 
fractal tree does not result in disintegration; 
rather, each split branch engenders a duplicate 
and perfect set of branches, and so on, infinitely. 
The intricate branching patterns of the human 
arteries work on the same principal. Similarly, 
one chaos theorist suggests that each human 
being is like a fractal tree: that is. the unique 
identity of the individual is physically stamped 
upon every cell of the body and duplicated as 
new cells reproduce. 

allow each individual woman to express her own 

After further discussion, we came to the 

looking for to identify women's needs took form 
in the words, "Women need a voice in their 
church." Although simple, the statement had the 
potential to branch off into a variety of expres- 
sions of intent. In other words, when someone 
asks the individual wearer what "Women need a 
voice in their church" means, she can say what 
exactly it means to her and focus on what she 
needs her church to hear about her needs. 

Where have these white ribbons been 
seen? Some only wear the ribbon to Church- 

sponsored meetings ar 

April of 1993 was my first time to go to the 
Mormon Women's Pilgrimage at the Homestead 
in Midway, Utah. I did not know what kind of 
voices I would hear there, and I did not know if 
my voice would be heard. After Friday evening's 
introductory program, Lorie Winder Stromberg, 
Carlan Youkstetter, and I signed up to initiate a 
group discussion on "How to Implement Change 
in the Church" for the Saturday afternoon ses- 
sion. That session proved to be a lesson in chaos: 
there was no "leader." just many different voices 

people in the discussion group, some were angry, 
others were frustrated, some simmered at being 
left out, and while some groused, others were 
filled with skepticism or vehement disagreement. 
There was a hearty dose of boisterous laughter 
and a tinge of monotony. 

Nevertheless, although we never agreed 
on everything and at times there was a cacophony 
of voices, a pattern began to develop midst all 
this disequilibrium, a pattern that we ourselves 
were probably not even aware of at the time. 
What became clear was that we were unified in 
the idea that each woman in the group needed her 
voice to be valued by the Church but that we 
were very diverse in our reasons for needing to 
be heard. This turbulent meeting led to the 
realization that whatever symbol we came up 
with to represent women's universal need to be 
valued by their church, it would have to be 
something capable of being voiced differently by 
each individual woman. 

I suggested that we use a peaceful 
symbol modeled on the red AIDS ribbon. After 
some discussion, we decided on white as the 
simplest of colors and noticed that by turning the 
points of the look upward, the looped ribbon 
could represent a "V" for "voice." After more 
differences of opinion, we realized that the 
statement accompanying the wearing of a ribbon 
had to be simple enough to represent all women, 
but it also had to supply the means for a variety 
of statements. In other words, we instinctively 
knew that the ribbon had to stand for something 
that all people could understand but that would 

I w 

s, while 01 

Solidarity pin brought to me by my friend Marie 
Cornwall, who got it on her trip to Poland. At 
this year's Exponent II summer reunion, the 
Quaker meeting became a resplendent vision with 
a thread of white unifying the heterogeneous 
group. At this spiritual gathering of sixty-five 
women, a bolt of white ribbon passed from hand 
to hand, and each participant cut off a length of 
■ lapel. Gradually, a patterned 

ree. perhaps th 

s, creating an exquisitely at 

My own voice rises up and sings of the 
woman who sits next to me in my meditations, 
who dangles pristine crystals in order to hear 
their variegated tones, who helps me to see in the 
luminous shards the rainbows of light, ever 
shifting and unpredictable in their delicate 
disequilibrium. As we smile together, I see her as 
young but eons wise, this woman who has heard 

the v, 

It' K">1-" 

'.. She is 

whispered to me when, for the first lime as an 
adult, I experienced a visceral terror and confu- 
sion: remembering-as if they were happening in 
the immediate present-the events of childhood 
years, wondering how I had survived; wrestling 
with God; pleading that it was not fair to put an 
innocent child into that situation-thai as a child I 


as an adult I shrieked for that child and pleaded 
with my God to tell me how He could have 
expected that child to survive. And then He 
enveloped me in the sublime gentleness of His 
love. And she whispered to me, "I am in your 
every heartbeat. That is how you survived. 
Every time your heart beats, I am with you, and 

Thus, although I may be immersed in the 
aching chaos of my thoughts, I know that I have a 
place in the god-tree. Now my hands reach up 
like branches extending their intricate way to the 
God who has such kindness, such power to bless 
and heal. 

The god-tree is full of many voices, 
songs, and tones. The birds that reside there arc 
of many plumages-purple, chartreuse, earth 
brown, golden yellow. Some squawk. There are 
those that warble and coo. Some dart and 
chirrup, while others seek stability in refuge, 
some boisterously and boldly sing out their 
refrain, some quiver, some peck and poke about. 
All belong here; all are necessary to create the 
perfect vitality of die god-tree. 


At the end of April this year, two conferences were held for 
n, one in Salt Lake City, the other in Provo at BYU. The inforr 
10 pages provides a glimpse into what was heard from the worn 

speak and said that she 
wanted lo organize an 
alternate conference, a 
statement that was reported 
in the Deserei News. After- 
ward, Lynne Kanavel 
Whitesides, a Unive ' 

Utah st 

in had 

Counterpoint 1993 


4 APRIL 28, 1993, 350 WOMEN 
gathered at the University Park Hotel 
Salt Lake City for Mormon women's first 
public, independent conference. 
_^__ conference planners, we 
whelmed, ' 

the middle of the week and also by the positive, 
accepting attitude of the attendees. 

The concept for this conference came 
into being in a single weekend. On February 6, 
1993, Peggy Fletcher Stack, religion editor of 
The Salt Lake Tribune, published an article 
reporting that Laurel Thatcher Ulrich had been 
denied clearance to speak at Brigham Young 
University's women's conference by the BYU 
Board of Trustees. Laurel, who has long been a 
thoughtful and insightful voice within Mormon 
women's circles by virtue of her position as a 
member of Exponent It's Board of Directors and 
ten years as a columnist, had only recently 
become far and away Mormonism's best-known 
woman nationally by winning the Pulitzer Prize, 
the MacArthur Fellowship, and a host of lesser 
awards — none of which had ever been achieved 
by any other Mormon woman. Only two other 
Mormons, both men, have ever received the 
Pulitzer Prize, and both were in the field of 
journalism. Laurel is a historian and, furthermore, 
a historian whose towering reputation is built on 
the painstaking reconstruction of the domesticity 
of a New England midwife's daily life. Further- 
more, Laurel is a temple -married and active 
Mormon, whose lifestyle is blamelessly ortho- 
dox. In other words, the decision of the Board of 
Trustees was a direct affront not only to the 
conference planners, but also to women who 
identify with Laurel, either as active members of 
their wards and stakes and/or as professionals. 

The next day, Gloria Steinem spoke lo a 
standing-room-only crowd overflowing the 
atrium outside A Woman's Place bookstore. 
Among the students from BYU, who had driven 
up from Provo to hear her, was Kody Partridge, a 
graduate student in English. During the open- 
mike time, Kody expressed her sadness that BYU 
women would not be allowed to hear Laurel 

organized four years' 
of Sunslone symposia, 
to Kody and asked if s 

present, most of them BYU 
faculty members and stu- 
dents. The four-woman 
steering committee consisted 
of Kody and another student 
to represent the Provo 
contingent and Lynne and 
me to represent the Salt Lake 
group The name. Counterpoint, was chosen at 
that meeting to represent the concept of many 
voices singing strong melodies at different times 
and weaving them together into new harmonies. 

By the second weekend in March, we had 
created a nine-session conference and mailed out 
3,000 letters, programs, and registration forms. 
The letter included three examples of the silenc- 
ing of women that concerned us. 

One problem we faced was the identifica- 
tion of Counterpoint as an independent subcom- 
mittee of Mormon Women's Forum. Mormon 
Women's Forum is a Salt Lake-based group of 
Mormon feminists organized in 1988 that has 
since developed chapters in at least five locations. 
When we conference organizers, three-fourths of 
us students and none of us independently 
wealthy, were figuring out how much it would 
cost to duplicate and mail 3.000 flyers, the 
Mormon Women's Forum officers generously 
offered the use of their bulk mailing permit. We 
were extremely grateful for this friendly gesture. 
To prevent improper use of the mailing permit, 
we established an official connection to the larger 
group, followed U.S. postal regulations in using 
the Mormon Women's Forum return address 
stamp, and identified ourselves as an independent 
subcommittee in the first press releases that went 
out the third week in March. 

On March 20. Lynne and I both left town 
for the weekend. When I got back on March 23, 1 
learned that the seventeen BYU faculty and 
students on the program had held a meeting the 
previous evening and made a unanimous decision 
to withdraw from the conference. 

My most immediate concern, when I 
received the first phone call, was to provide 
reassurance and support, and I spent the rest of 
the day on the phone until I had reached every 
faculty member and those of the students whom I 
knew. Some of them have been dear friends for 
years. I respected and trusted all of them. 1 still 
do. And I knew that they were doing exactly 

: done. That was Lynne 's 

The following weekend, tw 
the Board of Editors of Exponent II 
planned to fly out and participate or 
also withdrew, largely because of the as 
of Counterpoint with the Mormon Women's 
Forum and the revised conference agenda. We 

had to reconstruct a thirty-person conference 
from which nineteen people had withdrawn. 
Marti Esplin and Margaret Toscano, long associ- 
ated with Mormon women's issues, joined the 
committee, and we had reconstructed the pro- 
gram within a weekend. 

It was easy — not because of our skills but 
because the support for this conference was there 
instantly. The calls and requests for information 
did not stop. We mailed only to women in the 
West, but women attended from Tennessee, New 
Jersey, California, and points in between. People 
who couldn't come sent notes of thanks. An 
incredible three- fourths of the registrations within 
the first two weeks — 77% — came in with contri- 
butions, which is simply unheard of in conference 
organizing. Even people who couldn't come sent 

As conference organizers, we were 
delighted and amazed that so many registrations 
came, not only from old fnends, but so many, 
many, many from women we did not know. The 
topic of silence seemed to have touched some- 
thing pretty close to the surface for many women. 
My personal belief is that the general silencing of 
Mormon women is built into the Church's 
patriarchal and ecclesiastical structures that 
separate leaders from followers, give men 
privileges and status over women, and give some 
men status over other men. As a result, some 
voices in Mormonism are always more important 
than other voices and those other voices are never 
the voices of Mormon women. Women, as well 
as men, internalize this structure to the point that 
it seems normal and natural. In fact, speaking out 
seems so abnormal and wrong that Mormon 
women quickly join with Mormon men in 
criticizing and punishing deviants. Response lo 
the conference was at least partially the recogni- 
tion and resistance of a significant number of 
Mormon women to this pattern. 

The sessions all included time for 
questions, answers, and personal statements. 
Two of the sessions were open limes, specifically 
for women lo share an experience, give an 
opinion, describe a point of view, and respond to 
each other. The program consisted of these 

• Poets Linda Sillilo and Lisa Orme 
Bickmore described the relationship of solitude, a 
"healthy silence," and their creative process, then 
read from their current works. 

• Sharon Steele, a Voice Dialogue 
facilitator, did a lecture and demonstration with 
the assistance of Dian Thomas on listening to the 
voices within, specifically our inner patriarch. 

• Erin D. Silva delivered a major paper 
on "Matricidal Patriarchy: Toward an Under- 
standing of the Devaluation of Women in the 
LDS Church" with commentary by Michelle 
Moench Hawes, a professional mediator. 

• A student panel consisting of Rachelle 
Rigby, Genevieve Taylor, and Lupe Niumeitolu. 
explored "Claiming Our Place," with participa- 

• Margaret Merrill Toscano presented a 
slide-lecture, "Images of the Female Body — 
Human and Divine." 

• Three of the authors of Women and 
Authority, Lorie Winder Stromberg, Janice 
Merrill Allred, and Vella Neil Evans, discussed 
the importance of speaking in one's own voice. 
Maxine Hanks, the book's editor, moderated the 


Voices from the 1993 BYU/Relief Society 
Women's Conference 

• Carol Lynn Pearson reported many of 
her interactions with those of other faiths as a 
result of performing Mother Wove the Morning 
across the nation and abroad. 

• Two women described "The Syn- 
drome of Silence." Linda King Newel from the 
perspective of ecclesiastical abuse and Marian D. 
Smith from the perspective of sexual abuse. 

Speaking for the other conference 
planners, I can only express delight and gratitude. 
Women who felt they could not participate 
showed support by attending. Exponent II sent 
250 free copies of its current issue, a stack that 
had melted to nothing by noon. The mood was 
lively, remarkably positive, intellectually stimu- 
lating, emotionally intense, and very accepting. 
During I" 
made personal 
all of f 

ur and a half, w 
lements. There wa 
at Counterpoint. There w 

TERPOINT: The proceedings 
were taped to be made available to 
those interested. They include 

and some of the open-mike sessions 
as well as written responses. Send 
a check for $12.50 made out to 
Counterpoint and your name and 
address to Lavina Fielding Ander- 
son, 1519 Roberta Street, Salt Lake 
City. UT 84115. 

Counterpoint conference will be 
held Friday night and Saturday, 
November 4-5, 1994, at the Uni- 
versity Park Hotel in Salt Lake 
City. We plan to continue holding 
this conference the first Friday and 
Saturday in November annually. 
Those who attended or who are on 
the Mormon Women's Forum 
mailing list will automatically 
<e registration information. 


Counterpoint is less a scholarly 
conference than an experiential 
conference. Think about your own 
experiences as a Mormon woman 
in the Church and what touches 
you where you live, both positively 
and negatively. Send ideas, com- 
ments, suggestions, and proposals. 
Don't be shy if you've never done 
anything like this before. Think of 
it as the Relief Society lesson 
you've always wanted to teach in 
your ward. And we'll work with 
you on putting it in the right form. 
Deadline: February 1, 1994. Send 
proposals to the box number above 
or to Lavina Fielding Anderson, 
1519 Roberta Street, Salt Lake 
City, UT 841 15. 

and attending has been a rich, rich 
blessing. It has made me so very 
proud to be a member of a church 
that has so many wonderful women 
of such diverse backgrounds! I left recognizing 
i and the value of setting my own 
priorities and helping to make my comer of the 
world better. 

The love, compassion, preparation, and 

' e presenters was very 

le spiritual food 

oved th 
personal insights that gave me tl 
my soul hungered after and amn 
combat my personal challenges. 

[ appreciated being reminded of the grace 
and goodness of my Savi 
ny Heavenly Father. 
/ was filled with a rich outpouring of the 
Spirit and love of my Heavenly Father. 
I think this year's conference had an 
xceptionally good balance between presenters 
/ith credentials and those without. 

/ appreciated the emphasis on who we are 
other than the roles we play. 

1 loved having a conference on this too- 
little-talked-about subject in the Church-'grace.' 
Understanding grace brings us closer to our 
Savior. It was such an inspiration to have this as 
i conference theme. 

When Women's Conference comes around, 
<t seems my oil lamp is just about empty , and 
when I come here to the Women's Conference, 
my lamp is refilled, and I feel I can conquer all 
at life hands me when I get home. 

Perhaps my mistake was in expecting this t 
: like Education Week. I wanted dynamic, 
inspiring speakers. 

n a Relief Society President in Arizona. 
It ill-equipped to meet some of the need 
and problems. After this conference, I know 1 
need only be willing and do my best because the 

It's the same every year. You have spring 
cleaning for your home. This is my spring 
cleaning for my heart and soul. It refurbishes 
my inner being and fills my "reservoir." I go 
home uplifted and edified. 

This conference provides an opportunity 
to gel access to great scholars and leading 
experts in various fields. 

Bring back the common woman! 

There was a good representation of the 
variety of women in the Church-professionals 
to homemakers and a good representation of oui 
international sisterhood. 

/ enjoyed the sessions and the interaction 
with sisters I have never known but felt close to 
closer 1 rejoice in the opportunity to, literally and 

figuratively, rub shoulders with so many 
•he graceful and gracious women. 

It is a powerful, spiritual experience to sit 

in such a large assembly and sing together as 

->wever, there was not enough laugh- 

I w 

1,1 hkrlu 

re talks ot 

and determinatior 

feel su 

/ left the conference feeling very encour- 
aged. There is a place for me in this church. 

Though I can appreciate the wish for 
"average" sisters to be represented on panels, 
frequently the result was a very average reitera- 
>n of their issues without wise and intelligent 
suggestions different from that one could easily 
son out for herself. 
/ enjoy sharing with my sisters. 1 have 
always fell it important to break some of the 
"Mormon culture" cliques. 

I was disappointed in some of the lectures. 
Tiey were too general, not specific-refreshment, 

/ was grateful for the open, broad-minded 
xttitudes that allowed the opportunity to ask 

I sure appreciate a safe place to learn-where 
I don't have to be "on guard." 

The honest, unpretentious sharing allows 
ne to feel comfortable and at one with my sisters. 

I attend the Women's Conference to keep 
myself from becoming "brain dead." 

As a young mother, the conference is my 
annual long weekend to have a break, learn, 
ponder, and enjoy the blessing of being a 
woman. I have a husband who makes all the 
arrangements, stays home with our little ones, 
and removes all obstacles from my path. 
Attending the Women's Conference 
makes me much more aware of the world-wide 

/ am gratified to find that we can share 
intimately, that we can talk of our pain and 
listen with caring to the pain of others. 

I love the openness, frankness, and 
candidness of many of the sessions. They 
address real issues from realistic perspectives 
and often with refreshing candor and humor. 

Before the conference. 1 did not perceive 
the meaning of grace-oversimplified and filed it 
away as "understood" : My re-education began 
at the first session, continued throughout, and 
was broadened by the conference's concluding 
session. Innocently, I had not understood this 

I teach school in Provo and took the day 
off. It was worth the pay cut. 


readers abreast of recent happenings at 
B YU concerning women's issues and 
academic freedom, we arc summarizing, 
as well as excerpting, several articles that 
have appeared in The Salt Lake Tribune in the 
past few months. 

By way of background, last spring, two BYU 
faculty members-Cecilia Konchar Fan and 
David Knowllon-camc up for their third-year 
faculty reviews. Despite positive departmental 
recommendations, the two were denied continu- 
ing status by the Faculty Council on Rank and 
Status. Although BYU spokesman W. Steve 
Albrecht claims that "Their recommended 
terminations were not based on alleged academic 
freedom violations but rather on scholarship, 

6 EXPONENT II • 1993 

rig. and/or citizenship" ("Pro: BYU 
Followed Fair Firing Process," The Salt Lake 
Tribune, June 19931, many BYU faculty mem- 
bers reel that their terminations had more to do 
with Ms. Farr's outspoken pro-choice stance and 
Mr. Knowlton's writings, among other things, 
about the safety of missionaries in Latin America. 

Mr. Albrecht goes on to explain his view: 
'There are two separate and distinct avenues 
whereby BYU faculty members can be termi- 
nated. One is by violating the recently adopted 
academic freedom standards, which means that a 
faculty member's actions or speech damage the 
LDS Church or BYU. ... The second avenue is 
by having scholarship, teaching, and/or citizen- 
ship productivity evaluated as inadequate by the 
Faculty Council on Rank and Status." Mr. 

Albrecht states that ' 

If the media 

vants to report 

accurately what has happened at BYU, it should 

request that Professors Knowlton 

Uicir complete letters 

ir research and 

teaching files for public review." 

Mr. Albrecht clo 


by invoking 

the spirit of the oft-quoted Viet Na 

m era slogan 

"Our country-love it 

or leave it" and claiming a 

certain clairvoyance 

nto Knowlto 

l and Fan's 

f BYU were 


s for academ 

c freedom 

reason, which isn't ill 

e case. I canr 

ot understand 

why someone who doesn't agree v> 


its sponsoring church 


s positions 

would want to leach 

lere. There are numerous 

other universities wh 

re qualified individuals 

could teach and not h 

ave their vicv 

s questioned. 

I would personally have a difficult time accepting 
a paycheck from the LDS Church and then 
working to destroy what that church stands for." 
Several BYU faculty members responded in 
The Salt Lake Tribune to what they see as impro- 
prieties in dealing with academic freedom at 
BYU. The following excerpts come from "Con: 
Academic Freedom, Review Process Continue to 
Concern Many BTU Faculty," (June 1993]: 

Brigham Young University 
officials have recently defended the 
review process that overturned positive 
departmental recommendations to admit 
David Knowlton and Cecilia Konchar 
Farr to candidacy for continuing status. 
No decision in recent memory has caused 
such division among BYU faculty. This 
letter is an attempt to move discussion of 
the issue away from invective and toward 

Hi,':. 'iiv i 

Over the past year and a half, 
many of the undersigned faculty have 
met periodically to discuss university 
positions on academic freedom. These 
discussions have included approximately 
100 concerned faculty members from 
across the university, including junior 
and senior faculty, department chairs and 
administrators. We have not always 
agreed on specific issues, nor on what 
actions to take concerning those issues. 
We have met with [administrators) 
Clayne Pope. Bruce Hafen, John Tanner 
and Rex Lee on a number of occasions to 
share our concerns. These discussions 
have been cordial and respectful but also 
vigorous and impassioned. 

The climate on the BYU campus 
over the last year makes unbiased 
evaluation of complex cases difficult. 
Allegations and rumors about worthiness 
and political views have been rampant. 
Innuendo has grown up around profes- 
sors accused of politicizing the classroom 
or criticizing authority. As time passes 
and as charity and forbearance are 
practiced, we are confident that issues 
will come into focus and that problems 
can be resolved. 

When we find ourselves threat- 
ened by the voices and ideas of others. 

i .i.k ,.i 

threatened ar 
behaviors and motives. It is always 
appropriate to question and challenge 
opposing ideas. It is not appropriate to 
denigrate, attack or attempt to silence a 
person who holds alternative ideas. Such 
behavior threatens the very nature of our 
university, which requires diversity 
without rancor among scholars dedicated 
to faithful intellectual pursuit. . . . 

Retention, tenure and promotion 
decisions are always complex and often 
difficult. Still, because diversity of 
scholarship and a plurality of viewpoints 
are critical to the health of our university, 

dismiss promising young scholars whose 
viewpoints may be discomfiting. We 
hope that good-faith efforts will now be 
made to evaluate and rectify any aspects 
of this year's review process that were 

These members of the BYU 
faculty signed the foregoing statement: 

Scott Abbott. David Allred. Wayne 
Barrett, Peter Bates, Erin Bigler, George 
Bloch, Grant Boswell, Jasbir Chahal, 
Gregory Clark, Russ Clement, Peter 
Crawley, Gloria Cronin, William S. 
Davis, Gerald Dick, Richard Duerden. 
Eugene England, William Evenson, 
Rodney Forcade. Richard Hackcn, 
Kristine Hansen, Alan Hawkins. Tim 
Heaton. Gail Turley Houston, Susan 
Elizabeth Howe, Steven Humphries, 
Cardell Jacobson, Bruce Jorgensen, 

Ann Roberts, Samuel Rushforth, Jeffrey 
Turley, and Lawrence Young. 

In addition to Farr and Knowlton's termina- 
tion, many faculty members and administrators 
have been upset-some to the point of resigning- 
al the dismissal of Carol Lee Hawkins, Director 
of the BYU Women's Conference Ms. Hawkins 
was part of the planning committee that had 
asked Laurel Thatcher Ulrich, Pulitzer Prize and 
MacArthur Award winner and long-standing 
Gospel Doctrine teacher in her New Hampshire 
ward, to be the keynote speaker at the conference. 
The Board of Trustees subsequently rejected Ms. 
Ulrich as the keynote speaker, giving no reason, 
and, some time after the rejection was made 
public, allegedly "released" Ms. Hawkins from 
her job. some say as their scapegoat for the whole 

To quote The Salt Lake Tribune article 
("BYU's Dismissal of 'Moderate' Troubles 
Women; School Says Conference Head was 
'Routed.' not Fired," by Peggy Fletcher Stack 
[July 17, 1993): 


"I was shocked by the action against 
Carol Lee." says Gail Houston, of the 
BYU English department. 

"Carol Lee is one of the most moder- 
ate and loyal defenders of the church. 
tx firing sends a strong message to all 

the w 

jiuty ' 

"Someone who has brought that 
much success to the university should be 
rewarded, not fired," says Susan Howe, 
another BYU English professor. 

"This decision is very hurtful to the 
women faculty because we are all solidly 
behind Carol Lee's efforts," she says. 
Ms. Howe, who was on the organizing 
team from 1989 through 1991, believes 
the school will have trouble recruiting 
BYU faculty women for the conference 

"Women's Conference organizer is a 
'hybrid job,' " says BYU spokeswoman 
Margaret Smoot. 'The co-sponsorship of 
BYU and the church makes the position 
as much a calling as a job." 

BYU president Rex Lee bristles at 
the term "firing." "I'm astounded by this 
word, 'firing.' " he says. "This was a 
good time to rotate the position as we 
usually do with committee chair appoint- 
ments." He says the decision should not 
be interpreted as dissatisfaction with Ms. 
Hawkins' work. "Carol Lee is a wonder- 
ful administrator, and the university 
certainly will find her a position on 
campus," he said. 

Removing Ms. Hawkins was "no 

Glen Tuckett's sex," he says. Mr. Tuckert 
was BYU's athletic director for 17 years. 
Trouble with the women's confer- 
In the 1970s. BYU student govern- 
ment sponsored a small women's confer- 
ence once a year. By 1984, the confer- 
ence was run by faculty women for 
"educated and thoughtful Mormon 
women on and off campus," says Mary 
Stovall Richards, the first faculty chair- 

The event soon began drawing large 
crowds of women, hungry to talk about 

grew, organizers had to struggle with the 
problems of a large and diverse audience 

"Some women attending were 
'academics who wanted mealy discussion 
of contemporary issues.' Others were 
less comfortable with academic dis- 
course," says Ms. Richards. 

When Ms. Hawkins became the chair 
in 1988, it remained a conference 
planned by women, run by women, and 
attended by women. The BYU adminis- 
tration approved and kept its distance. 

In 1990, church leaders suggested 
that the LDS Relief Society, the church's 
official women's organization, co- 
sponsor the conference. The organizing 
committee initially was wary but agreed 
as a gesture of support for the newly 
appointed Relief Society administration. 

'The concerns of the Relief Society 

The conference managed to stay 
clear of most controversy. Until this year. 

In late December, when the list of 
proposed speakers was sent to church 
leaders for approval, they rejected the 
name of historian Laurel Thatcher Ulrich, 
Mormonism's only female Pulitzer-Prize 
winner and a devout church member. No 
reason was given. Ms. Ulrich also is a 
columnist for Exponent II, an indepen- 
dent Mormon women's magazine. 

Despite widespread disbelief and 
outrage over the shunning of Ms. Ulrich, 
the April conference was an overwhelm- 
Some worry that the Ulrich incident 
threatens the diversity of future confer- 
"The conference has gone from being 

at h> w 

being directed by a body of 
English professor Howe. "Instead of 
women representing themselves auihcnii 
cally, they will be representing what men 
think they should." 

Others at BYU sec implications 
beyond the conference. 

Last week, a group of feminists met 
for three hours with Provost Bruce Hafen 
again to explain their concerns about 

(Continued on next pagt 

The feminists see a link between the 
conference, the termination of English 
professor Cecilia Farr and the recent 
treatment of Claudia Bushman, a Colum- 
bia University historian and LDS femi- 

University administrators did not 
permit the Honors Program to advertise 
Ms. Bushman as a speaker at a faculty 
seminar, although her husband's name 


Although women on campus dis- 
agree about feminism and the needs of 
women, the support for Ms. Hawkins 
seems unanimous. All agree she was a 
bridge builder among factions. 

In addition to academic freedom problems at 
BYU, many BYU faculty are concerned about 
feminist issues on campus. The following is a 
statement made, in toto, by several faculty 
members at BYU about its position on feminism 
["Is BYU Anti-Feminist? Profs Say Yes," The 
Sail Lake Tribune, July 23, 1993]: 

we were interested to read in President 
Rex E. Lee's recent op-ed column {The 
Sail Lake Tribune, 19 June 1993) that 
"the university is not anti-feminist." We 

the Encyclopedia of Mormonism: "Femi- 
nism is the philosophical belief that 
advocates the equality of women and 
men and seeks to remove inequities and 

According to our interpretation and our 
experience, the following institutional 
circumstances and actions are unfriendly 
to the feminist goals stated in this defini- 

•The university has 
an affirmative action policy, but 
so far it has merely affirmed that 
"departments should make a 
reasonable effort to hire women" 
and has backed up that affirma- 

i ver> In 

le English 

recent meeting w 
Department, then Vice-Presid 
Clayne Pope stated that the 
university has no affirmative 
action policy, which makes us 
wonder how seriously the 
university intends its own written 
policy.) The percentage of 
women faculty, currently at 17%, 
has risen only 4% in the last 15 
years (according to data from 
Bruce Higley). Furthermore, 

president level (there are three 
female assistant administrative 
vice-presidents out of 25 univer- 
sity-level administi 
three out of 2 Idea 


I. Only 


ush c, 

In over 50 academic departments 
there are only two women chairs. 
These statistics indicate that the 
glass ceiling is in place at BYU. 

nity leave policy for faculty and 
no day care or co-op facilities. 

•Feminist professors 
have left BYU, and others are 
considering leaving, because 
they find the atmosphere is 
hostile to them. 

•The university 
refused to approve Laurel 
Thatcher Ulrich as the keynote 

conference. The university also 
did not permit the Honors 
Program to advertise Claudia 
Bushman as a speaker at a 
faculty seminar, although her 
husband's name, Richard Bush- 
man, could be advertised. The 

for these actions. Both Ulrich 
and Bushman are well-known 
Mormon feminists with impec- 
cable credentials, both scholarly 
and religious. Ulrich has won a 
Pulitzer Prize and a MacArthur 
Foundation grant. We can hardly 
believe that the university finds 
fault with the scholarship of 
either woman, and we are forced 
to conclude that their feminist 
views make them unwelcome on 

•The university 
recently did not renew the 
contract of Carol Lee Hawkins as 
director of the annual Women's 
Conference, a post she has held 
for five years and in which she 
has given dedicated, superb 
service to the university and the 
women of the Church. This 
action, together with the deci- 
sions regarding Laurel Thatcher 
Ulrich and Claudia Bushman, 
appears to us to be part of a 
pattern of silencing women, 
particularly intellectual women 
with advanced degrees. 

•Feminist professors 
seeking rank advancement have 
been chastised for "politicizing 
the classroom." Apparently, 
however, feminism is the only 
ideology that counts as "politi- 
cal." The university seems not to 
recognize that every professor 
espouses an ideology and 
therefore makes a political 
statement when teaching. For 
example, the required American 
Heritage course promotes a 

almost completely neglecting the 
history of women and minorities. 
Yet professors who teach this 
officially approved version of 
history are not considered to be 

even though they 

and rank 
do not claim feminism as an area 
of academic expertise; as a 
result, feminist candidates under 
review were not evaluated by 
true peers competent to judge 

•Both women and 
men candidates for assistant 
professor positions in the last 
two years have been questioned 
closely and at length about their 

cases, feminist candidates were 
denied job offers even when they 
were the choice of the depart- 
ment that brought them to 

The above examples reflect our 
experience that the university is anti- 
feminist. We hope other feminists in our 
community will voice their experience. 

II, mi 

not happen: many of the w 
studies faculty whom we approached to 
endorse this statement said that they 
wanted to but were afraid to jeopardize 
their jobs. 

These fears are additional 
evidence that many professors perceive 
the administration as one that does not 
appreciate or understand the importance 
of feminism to the whole academic 
community and to the culture at large. 

The in 


Brigham Young University says that one 
of four main educational goals is to help 
students "understand important ideas in 
their own cultural tradition." Along with 
our colleagues, we hope that Brigham 
Young University will realize its mission 
and take its place among the great 
universities in this nation. We believe 
this cannot happen without an expanded 
understanding of feminism as a field of 
academic expertise and without working 
toward the goal of equality for women 
and men. With these goals in mind, we 

John S. Bennion 
Grant Boswell 
Martha S. Bradley 
William S. Davis 
Jane B. Duke 
Eugene England 
Cecilia Konchar Fan- 
Gail Turley Houston 
Susan Elizabeth Howe 
Bruce Jorgensen 
David C. Knowlton 
Bonnie Mitchell 
Tomi-Ann Roberts 
Samuel R. Rushforth 
Brandie R. Siegfried 
Darrell K. Spencer 
Lawrence A. Young 

is garden, hang from 

:s and ties the stalks. 


Return with me 

Fresno, California 

tools. She fondles his 

Baskets on the floor 

fresh-sharpened shears. 

Dark, delicate children with musical 

still smelling of grass. 

At altar table white 

names. Dania, Vandy, Chanta...come 

she cuts the fruit, 

to hear the miracles. He floats down, 

Her stiff fingers smooth 

Her fingers browned 

from the painting on the wall, to walk 

dry strands of thinning 

by stain of yellow juice. 

on water, eject demons, return life to a 

hair, and absently brush 

The syrup on the stove 

friend in a tomb. "Is he magic, teacher?" 

at leaf-skeletons trembling 

sings bubbly sweet, 

the ruffle of her apron. 

While jars and rubber rings 

Stroking Vannary's sable-soft hair, 

await the heat 

1 forget. I apologize. (Spirit beings, 

She drops to the stoop. 

Of steaming water 

in an "ancestral halo" circle the heads of 

rocking back and forth. 

hissing in the pots. 

Cambodian children. Touching is intrusive.) 

pressing her weight hard 

And when this ritual 

against the rough boards. 

of jar and ring is through, 

Thin, ready voices join in... 

and against eternity, 

Her offerings of love 

"I am a child of God. ..and he has sent me 

which seems merely long. 

here.. .given me an earthly home..." 

...Spirit faces lengthen into wracked 
bodies, climbing a sandbank in Phum 




Chhleav. An Angka guard, strutting 


under his Mao cap, positions the 

Elizabeth Cluff 

children to watch. Loved family members 

Marilyn Bushman-Carlton 

Schuylerville. New York 

(arms, legs thin as bamboo) too frail 

Salt Lake City. Utah 

to work, are hoisted onto crosses. Rice- 

Who is the old woman in the mirror? 

hull fires are set to bum slowly. 

Cassatt centered Lydia in a garden 

She stares as though she knows me well 

Parents tell children to cover their eyes. 

and dressed her down in muled white 

Her eyes look a bit dull and misty 

The sounds hang in the air for a lifetime. 

where, immersed in reading the news, 

Yet fixed as though she's come to dwell 

she completely fills the space 

from now on in my mirror. Is she rumor 

Mahuri presses a chubby hand over Kim's 

carved within riotous hurricane of bloom 

who winks at the years to dispel 

eyes, reminding me it's closing-prayer time. 

and owns the sun 

a bright-eyed and dark-haired young lady; 

We ask blessings on brave forebears, theirs 

which dusts her face with morning. 

The one that I used to know well? 

and ours, and offer omnagun (thankfulness) 

for an unseen hand reaching across far waters 

No feigned adoration 

Who is the old woman in the mirror? 

Suffer little children to come unto me... 

nor eyes pleading 

Do wrinkles bid sweet youth farewell? 

nor naked flesh 

Is she just a crimpled imposter 

hung gratuitously on canvas 

in a mask that she cannot expel? 
Do I hide? Do I try to resist her? 

Cassatt understood 

Will it do any good to rebel? 

what her brother painters could not 

If 1 accept the old woman and make her m 

that it is enough 

do you think we might get on quite well? 








Serendipitiously, two of the poems selected by 

Laura Hamblin, our poetry editor, to be published in this issi 

•e by the winner of the Helen Candland Stark Personal Essay cc 

We print the essay and the poems together in celebration 

of Deborah Mayhew's literary talent 





tangled roots pull behind 
boots sound like wild herds 
tails fly, 

Startled awake to strange bedclothes 
her spirit shrivels like bark 
for here they call her Olive, not : 
Olive of the twice stolen family, 
hiding under calico shrouded an 
Olive of the wild eyes, lost 
daughter and mother, 
the captured one. 

free to roam 

Free to dream of Indi 
tied in bundles 
of charcoal tattooed 
and husband, i 
Here, nothing 
of farm anima 

and endless churning 
stirring round and round 
until it coalesces, 
to forgotten drear 

but the flowers have no sound. 

Boldly they beg 

to brandish voices strangely mute, 

or scrape against the disembodied 

sounds that cannot predict beauty or pain 

like the sightless gleam in another's eye 

as she lies, sea-horse curled 

sinking to womb, 

dreaming of light eternal. 

Music. The unknown cacophony 

under mouthed words that return to silence, 

as sleep slips its hands over her ears 

and muffles the living sounds 

of the souls of flowers. 

Poet's Note: Olive Oatman's family wi 
stopped in the Santa Cruz mountains for her 
Mary Ann were carried away. Olive 
many years later was found on a riv< 
them, she tried repeatedly to escape 


zr to give birth She and her sister 
he Mohave Indians for blankets and 
nds of her family. While she lived with 
her Indian husband and children. 


In His Father's Image 

children sit on the floor, Indian Style, 
and sing the goodbye song. My son 
is not singing. Tears pool in the 

change goodbyes. He has no doubt that after the 
cake has been eaten, the songs sung, and the book 
bags gathered, he will never see her again. 
Sometimes you hurt too badly to wish your friend 
a happy trip. 

My son is sad because he knows that 
goodbye hurts. He was shattered by his parents' 
divorce. When his father left, my son lost part of 
himself. I remember holding this sobbing child 
tightly in my arms every night, waiting for the 
uncontrollable crying to exhaust itself. I felt his 
profound hurt and grieved along with him. The 
precious family unit had been broken, and things 
would never be right again. 

single I 

it. 1 realiz( 

that Heavenly Father ti 
special children to my care: a tender, sensitive 
boy with a rich inner life, and a highly gifted and 
creative girl. I must protect and sustain them, 
binding their wounded spirits so that the healing 
process can begin. I must teach them to know 
and love their Heavenly Father, and I must 
nurture their special talents. The three of us will 
heal together and gather the blessings of a loving 
family life. 

Now when I look at the family portrait 
that was taken soon after the separation, I see 
things in each of us that I never noticed before. I 
am smiling but looking strained, as if 1 am about 
to travel alone to a foreign country where I don't 
speak the language. My son sits next to me, 
smiling sweetly. Two little hands clasp mine 
tightly, as though we are both trying to keep 
something from breaking. My daughter stands 
behind with a look of smiling confidence. She is 
a typical eldest child: responsible, self-assured, 
and strong-minded. Of the three of us, she seems 
the most likely to come through trouble un- 
scathed. Although we are missing a father, the 
three of us anchor each other. Together we have 
found a safe harbor. 

As I gaze at my son, I realize that — with 
his dark eyes and hair, jutting chin, and hand- 
some features — he looks a great deal like his 
father. With apprehension, I realize that he is 
made in his father's image. Some of the things 
he says remind me of his father, and 1 often 
wonder if he may have inherited negative person- 
ality traits from him as well. At the time the 

portrait was taken, his speech was unintelligible: 
loud, fast, gravelly, and with few consonants. 
His father had always spoken too loudly, and it 
seemed that my son was imitating him. His little 
shoulders would become tense, fists clench, and 
he would shout, then shout even louder when 
nobody could understand what he was saying. 
Yet, I knew that he is also made in his Heavenly 
Father's image. With this seed of the divine, he 
has the potential to be a spiritually wise and 
loving person. I knew that I needed to counteract 
the negative influences from his early childhood, 
whether they be genetic or environmental, to help 
him find his spiritual father within himself. I 
worked with him carefully along with a speech 
therapist and enrolled him in a Christian nursery 
school. He learned to relax and to speak in a 
normal voice. He started to make friends, learned 
all about Jesus, and tried hard to be a good child 
whom people would like. 

Yet, the following year was still difficult. 
He was angry much of the time and was afflicted 
by constant headaches. He spent much of his 
time lying on the floor, too lethargic to play or 
enjoy activities. Although he was enrolJed in 
nursery school, he was often too sick to go. 
There was more speech therapy and, eventually, 
work with a chiropractor. Through it all, my son 
and 1 were constant companions. He accompa- 
nied me on walks, helped with the laundry, sat on 
the organ bench while I practiced, licked stamps, 
mailed letters, and sat through rehearsals. Even- 
tualJy, his anger lessened, and the constant 
headaches left. Now, after a glorious summer of 
swimming, playing, music, and reading, he has 
become the healthy, hearty, delightful child 1 
always knew he could be. 

I have mothered this small child. Who 
will his fathers be? Scenes from the past three 
years flash across my inner eye like photographs 
of the mind. I see my little son at three, walking 
in the mall holding lightly to the hand of his 
grandfather who walks with a cane. He has just 
discovered that his grandfather's slower pace is 
just right for his own short legs. They stroll 
behind us: the grandfather, tender and careful; the 
boy, trusting and happy. I remember my son 
three years later, playing ball outdoors with a 
family of my teenage cousins His face glows 
with delight as he finds himself in a house full of 
older boys — boys who play catch with him in the 
backyard and teach him to dribble a basketball. 
In quieter moments, I visualize him standing next 
to me by the piano, barely able to keep his active 
body stiU. He is singing "I Am a Child of God" 
in a beautiful, clear soprano with the sweetness 
and faith that only a child can have. 

He knows many fathers. There is our 
home teacher — a loving, patient, father of three 
small girls. There is a married couple who share 
family home evening with us every Monday 
night. There are the men who dress up as Santa 
Claus and Santa's elf for the Ward Christmas 
party. There is our family chiropractor — a 
handsome, well-muscled man about my age. My 
son always gives him a big hug after his adjust- 
ment. Finally, there are his two uncles, 
mommy's "little" brothers. Because he knows 
what it is like to be a litde brother, he can identify 
with these men, no longer boys, who now have 
l.tmilH"-. ul ihcirown. 

He knows his own father. Although my 
son visits with him once a month, he imagines 
that his father won't recognize him when he is 
grown. He plans to seek him out and introduce 
himself. I wonder if he will see his resemblance 
to his father. By then life will have become his 

2t spirit his 

:. How 

much he is like his father will be his own choice. 
1 will probably cry when it is time to say 

of himself that is joyful and positive in part 
because I have nurtured and mothered him. As I 
wish him a happy trip I will know that — no 
matter what fathers he chooses to pattern himself 
after — he will always see himself as a child of 
mine and a child of God. 

- * Ml 

[Editor's Note: inspired by this con- 
test-winning essay, we are planning an issue 
exploring the topic of divorce. Please have 
your submissions to us by January 30, 1994.] 


Come Come, Ye 
Single Saints 

ference adull meeting was aboul to 
begin, and not many seats were 
left. The stake president ap- 
proached the podium: "Could 
everyone please slide in closer togetherTThere are 
several couples still waiting in the foyer for a place 

By making no mention of the single mem- 
bers sandwiched among the couples outside the 
chapel, our stake president had inadvertently 
underscored a major problem facing single adults 
in the Church: little to no public recognition. It's 
hard to feel a sense of belonging if we singles are 
not even invited to sit with the congregation. 

As an active single adult female, I've made 
it my creed not to be offended by such careless 
comments. Few Church leaders script their talks 
with the intent to make hurtful remarks or 
deliberate slights toward the singles in their ward. 
Most people are not aware of their slipups; it 
won't help the situation if I take the words (or 
lack of them) personally. Yet, I do know indi- 
viduals who have been wounded by the swords 
that have been swashed so innocently. If a gospel 
doctrine teacher always addresses his class 
members as "you husbands" or "you wives," he 
may be trying to make a point aboul Book of 
Mormon teachings; however, his omissions of the 
other "yous" out there teach a louder principle. 
When the bishop announces on Mother's Day 
how wonderful it is to see everyone there seated 
with their families, he may not be aware of the 
never-been-married woman who slips out of the 
chapel after that greeting and sits crying in her 
Toyota. How is another sister who-because of 
physical limitations and mass-will, in all practi- 
cality, never find a suitable mate supposed to 
react to a sacrament meeting devoted exclusively 
to the topic of Temple Marriage? Or what aboul 
the divorced single mother (me!) who listened to 
a bishop in a former ward tell a story about a 
young boy who led a wayward life solely because 
his mom was divorced. Even I was reeling after 
hearing that one. Al least this last leader had 
second thoughts about what he said and later 
apologized (without loo much prompting) to the 

Who arc the leaders we listen lo most often 
in the course of a Sunday? They are overwhelm- 
ingly married men with children. Most of Ihem- 
including the aforementioned stake president-are 
decent, warm, caring human beings; however, 
their day-to-day experiences are in the marriage 
context, so that's how they often view life. The 


often called wives and mothers. They are not 
used to considering a third "other" category on a 
regular basis. 

The singles issue is actually part of a larger 
challenge among teachers and leaders: how to 
use inclusive vocabulary and experiences for 
every member of their congregations. As human 
beings, we tend to assume that other people's 
lives are similar to our own. We look out at the 
pews and call the people sitting there "brothers 
and sisters." and sometimes this phrase, as 
beautiful as it is, convinces us that we have more 
commonality than is actually the case. We 
assume that as we beautify our dad in a Father's 
Day talk, others will also be smiling and remi- 
niscing about their own happy formative years. 
A mother is assigned a talk on countering nega- 
tive media effects; entrenched in motherhood, she 
may devote her entire time to discussing only 
how parents can protect their children from too 
much television, thus imparting no useful knowl- 
edge to a sister without children. 

It takes conscious, ongoing effort to give 
talks and lessons that include single adults. In 
some ways, it's much easier to paint a widow's 
house or give up a Saturday morning to help a 
single mother move. It takes a lot of patience to 
educate Church leaders to modify their language. 
Some may consider the whole issue to be a minor 
problem; after all, everyone knows there are 
singles in the Church. Is it so necessary to bend 
the language awkwardly around to include them? 
It's an argument similar to those who insist on 
using "him" instead of "him or her" when 
referring to a generic person; they say there is no 
slight intended and that we can substitute the 
correct gender in our heads. Yet, if our state of 
being is consistently never mentioned and always 
excluded, what sort of subconscious messages 
does that send? 

Educating the body of the Church is a two- 
step process. The first is to avoid any language 
that excludes the singles. For instance, a Relief 
Society teacher should not say, "Show kindness 
toward your children." but rather "If you have 
children, show kindness towards them." When a 
bishop discusses an upcoming welfare assign- 
ment, he should avoid the phrase "ask your wives 
if they could help out as well," but use instead. 
"For those of you who are married, ask your 
wives to help out." The second step goes further 
than these examples: Include specific experiences 
and counsel directed to the singles. When 
discussing faith, a gospel doctrine teacher may 
specifically ask for ways a single individual 
might develop faith when they are living by 
themselves. Or a social relations teacher could 

discuss workplace experiences as well as home- 
making challenges when speaking about interper- 
sonal relationships. I don't expect as many 
people lo take this second step because it takes 
some creativity and requires the teacher/leader to 
conjure up family settings other than his or her 
own. Some people don't walk in other people's 
moccasins all that well. For right now, I would 
be ecstatic simply for language that didn't 
automatically leave me out of the congregation. 

part: How can we 
educate our lead- 
ers? I do not 

bishops and Relief 
Society presidents 
aren't going to 

country tomorrow 
all knowing and 
"all doing" as far 
as the single issue 
is concerned. Like 
most progress 
within the Church, 

who gently and 
consistently point 

growth is needed. 

The following 
are some examples 

further this pro- 
1. Use class 

the body of 
the Church is 
a two-step 
process. The 
first is to 
avoid any 
language that 
excludes the 


The second 
step goes fur- 
ther: Include 
and counsel 
directed to 
the singles." 

vehicle. If a Relief 
Society teacher has 

spent thirty-five minutes extolling the virtues of 
being a wife and mother, with no end in sight to 
her narrow focus, raise your hand. Suggest ways 
that the subject matter might be expanded to 
include other types of families. Although this is a 
real challenge for some Family Education 
lessons, taking this step can broaden the effect of 
the lesson as well as remind other class members 
how approximately 20% (the current percentage 
of single women in our ward's Relief Society) of 
the women of the Church are living. 

(Continued on page I' 

The Challenge 
of Growth 


The New York Times with delight. Hap 
pily married for thirty years, Sabina 

making. With two grown sons, she said. 
to revolve around my husband's stomach." Her 
husband agreed that he was "probably overdepen- 
dent" on her. and he also agreed that maybe she 
deserved a vacation. But he protested. "What'U I 
do for food?" She figured that if he had given 
her a maid's day-off, with pay. for the time that 
they had been married, she had about four years 
worth of days off coming and back pay of about 
$40,000. So far, the article said, she has settled 
for about five months of travel leave from her 
husband and about $5,000 in expenses. She's 
been to India, China, Australia, and everywhere 
in between. 

Coming home from her first adventure 
brought mixed emotions. "Well, you're back to 
the kitchen sink, ducky," kept going through her 
mind. But then she says, "This big fellow came 
and put his arms around me-and well. I really do 
love him dearly." Sabina hasn't yet planned her 
next sabbatical. "I'm resting," she reports, "but I 

Sabina dared to do what many women fail 
to-giving themselves permission to grow. 

The rhythm of our lives is necessarily the 
repeated activity of ordinary days, the doing of 
basic living, the epic of the average. Women are 
often facilitators, helping family members to do 
and be the best that they can. We get children 
where they need to be, lake care of the mundane 
so husbands can be about their business. We feel 
satisfaction in a pile of clean clothes and a 
calendar up-to-date and color-coordinated to all 
of our family's events. A clean house tempo- 
rarily soothes away almost any misery. A happy, 
harmonious family humming along is better to us 
than a perfect day in June. 

Yet, with all this activity, we often paint 
ourselves into a comer where our own progress is 
concerned. We confine ourselves to this daily 
rhythm-grateful for the lack of any jarring 
interruptions, sometimes even knowingly avoid- 
ing the disruptions and challenges that personal 
stretching necessarily brings. We forget about 
personal goals. We lose touch, subtly and 
gradually, with those talents, interest, and ambi- 
tions that once fired our actions. We adopt the 
attitude, "If I can't have it all, why have any?" 

A little boy, so the story goes, once watched 
Michelangelo as he labored at a large piece of 
marble. Each day the boy silently watched the 
emerging sculpture. After many weeks, as the 
artist was nearing completion, the boy ventured 

close and asked with great wonder, "How did you 

I would ask that we remember that there i 
somebody inside each one of us. And one of the 
greatest challenges of life is to keep chipping 
away at the offending stone that blocks our 
progress, polishing the rough surfaces and 
relentlessly finding the beauty, wisdom, and 
uniqueness that is within. 

We must consciously give ourselves 
permission to do this-to take the time, to find the 
energy, and to make the effort to continue in 
personal growth. Or else, failing, the whole 
purpose of our life is wasted. 

Personal growth has a positive effect on so 
many aspects of our lives. If we are growing, we 
can face life's challenges and not be defeated, 
and we can help those around us do the same. If 
we are growing we can give without becoming 
depleted, because our own stores are being 
replenished. If we are growing, we can nurture 
those who depend on us. We will have more to 
;, deeper wells to draw from, keener wisdom 

Measured personal growth is an antidote for 
depression and fear and boredom. It is the work, 
the effon, the action that impels us forward and 
fuels progress. It's fruit is the confidence that 
frees us to face the unknown future with anticipa- 
tion and excitement. Continued personal growth 
is vital to happiness, and the responsibility for it 
rests squarely on our own individual shoulders. 
The greatest mistake most of us make is that we 
abdicate this responsibility to our husbands or a 
faceless "somebody else." Often that's because 

Choosing activities that are most advanta- 
geous for our own growth makes for a balanced 
life. Rather, "Balance," according to F. Burton 
Howard, "is to go down as many roads as neces- 
sary, and not more, not further than we must, in 
order not to impede our progress on other paths." 
The critical issue is not how fast or how slow we 
go but that we continue to move forward with 
purpose. We must realize that performance in one 
area of our lives may not necessarily be at the 
expense of other areas. 

I married when I was nineteen, having had 
only one year of college and hoping to continue 
my studies. Of course it didn't work out that 
way. I went to work full-lime to put my husband 
through school, and then our children began to 
come along. By the time he had finished gradu- 
ate school, his goals had become our family's all- 
consuming goals. 1 well remember our little 
three-year-old daughter carrying papers and 
books and pencils busily around the house 

writing my dissertation," We were all working 
on the dissertation. 

I didn't chafe in my role as homemaker and 
still consider it to be my life's highest endeavor, 
my career of choice. But I always harbored the 
dream of completing a college degree. Seven 
years ago, my opportunity came, and I enrolled as 
a sophomore at the University of Minnesota. 

I snapped on my jeans, threw on a t-shirt, 

T n T n ^tT' "i found out 

and looked for a 

parking place I was that during 

fied. how would the time that 
knowing how w I had been 

treat diaper rash get 

me through phiioso- giving my all 

phy? I had faith in , 

my ability to cook a tO my llUS- 

pretty mean meat band, my 

loaf, but would that . ' J 

help in biology? i children, and 
*™£Z£Z my church 
of a classroom for I had been 

almost twenty years. 

I saw myself as grOWing- 

ITow'couicu™ real, y 8 row - 

catch up? ing. All I had 

I had been 
back in school one tO do Was 

wS-whenT ,earn t0 DUt 

learned the single this learning 

most important . ., 

lesson. learned in its proper 

during the three formal frame- 
years I was back at 

the university, WOrk, USJng 

something mat acade mi C 

changed my whole 
1 you see, that I 


and build 

behind at all. I was f rom there .» 

really twenty years 

What a marvelous, transforming revelation. 
I found out that teaching and training my children 
had taught me a lot about human development, 
knowledge that was applicable in many fields. 
Why, I had lived through history that my nine- 
teen-year-old peers were struggling to understand 
and put into context. The opportunities that I had 

(Continued on pagel4.) 
VOLUME 18 • NUMBER 1 13 

The Challenge 
of Growth 

(Continued from page 13) 
had to live in different areas of Ihe country gave 
me a big head start in geography and a lot of 
other subjects. I discovered that the piles of 
books I had always relished-thinking they were 
just a past time, an escape-had been schooling 
me in literature. I found out that during the time 
that 1 had been giving my all to my husband, my 
children, and my church I had been growing- 
really growing. All I had to do was leam to put 
this learning in its proper formal framework, 
using academic vocabulary, and build from there. 

And 1 discovered 1 wasn't unique. Other 
students resented us older women who had 
returned to school. They called us the DARs, a 
backhand compliment that stood for the "damn 
average raisers." Why? We were always pulling 
the As in class. We were the stiffest competition 
around, and we had gotten there by folding 
diapers and organizing car pools. It was startling 
to discover that work and dedication in one area 
of your life needn't be at the expense of other 
areas. With effort, life's legitimate claims can be 
harmonized and integrated into the wholeness of 
a growing, progressing life. 

At the end of my first quarter back at 
school, we sat around the dinner table-a cozy 
nuclear family. Clearing his throat to get 
everyone's attention, my husband made eye 

proud of m 

The children were all shocked into silence. We 
sat mutely waiting for a response until one son 
blurted out, "But she doesn't have anything else 

Now that was news to me. Besides caring 
for our home and five children without outside 
help and supporting a husband who was a stake 
president, I was a counselor in the slake Relief 
Society presidency. Achieving those grades was 
often accomplished in the wee hours of the 
morning when everyone else was in bed. Me not 
have anything else to do? Why those unapprecia- 

As my husband and I tried hard to 
understand this response we discovered that my 
children's opinion of the commitments in my life 
was based solely upon my marital status. Our 
kids are four teenagers, and their lives revolve 
around the all-consuming challenges of dating 
and social life. Because I was married, they 
thought of me as someone who essentially had 
solved all of life's difficult problems. Surely 
there must be endless hours in the day for some- 
one who had conquered dating. When I no 
longer had to worry about what to do on Saturday 
night, finding time to do a little studying would 

Of course, one of the things we so often 
overlook is that even activities that we have to do 
can yield learning and growth if approached with 
the right attitude. It is easy to focus on the 
negative aspects of required activities, the epic of 

the average, the doings of an ordinary day, the 
confining routine. Sometimes we erroneously 
think this is the exclusive province of ihe house- 
wife. But 1 have learned from my forays outside 
my home that every job, every activity has its 
mundane, tcdiou-,, hou ,.ki qnni: ' lype chores. 
They are the great equalizers that reduce even the 
most glorified position to the level of "making it 
what you will." Many of us think we can escape 
the tedium of life by getting out into the work 
force and finding a job, others think getting 
married will do the trick, or having a family, or 
marrying off our children, or going back to 
school AU of these activities have their fun, 
exciting part, but the only way to capitalize on 
any of them is to slice through the tedium of the 
mundane that is attached to all of them with a 
positive attitude and great efficiency and get to 
the parts that bring us pleasure and allow us to 
grow. Every cook must wash the mixing bowl, 
every businessperson must regularly sort through 
the mail, every artist must clean the brushes and 
stretch the canvas, every secretary must do the 
filing, and every employee must be available to 

So, we should plan now to direct our 
time and energy toward personal growth; adopt 
an up-beat attitude that will wring every ounce of 
opportunity from every activity that we do, open 
our hearts and lives to each new possibility. Just 
remember, we don't have anything better to do 
than what we're doing right now! ■ 

Come Come, 
Ye Single Saints 

(Continued from page 12) 

2. Give advice to a leader rather than the 
teacher. Suppose the Spiritual Living teacher ha: 
taught five lessons in a row speaking only to 
those women who have a priesthood-holding 
member of the Church in their home. Calling or 
writing to the Relief Society president puts the 
burden on her shoulders, and she can then handle 
the situation in a tactful, less personal manner. 1 
have another pet suggestion, this one for sacra- 
ment meeting talks: When the bishop extends an 
invitation for a member to speak, he could hand 
the speaker-to-be an information sheet showing 
the demographics of the ward and ask that his or 
her remarks be addressed to as many ward 
members as possible. The bishop could even 
give the occasional five-minute lesson on "How 
To Give a Sacrament Meeting Talk." 

3. Use any callings that you might have to 
advantage. Two years ago, I sat in the Relief 
Society room listening to a lesson that excluded 
my singleness. To distract myself, I mentally 
drafted a note about how the teacher could better 
serve the needs of the single sisters. Later that 
week, before I had a chance to write our Relief 
Society president, the bishop called me to be 
education counselor in the Relief Society presi- 
dency. (Of all the callings I've had, I know 
without doubt that one was inspired!) In this 
position, I can make official topic requests and 
suggestions to the teacher, and if it's my month tc 

14 EXPONENT II • 1993 

conduct. I can stand up at the end of a lesson th 
is potentially inflammatory for single sisters an 
add a two-minute presidency blurb that include 
specific ways a single member could adapt the 
lesson. If you are presently working in the 
Primary, you could revolutionize the whole 
auxiliary by using your own visual aids. For 
example, you could depict a family in combina 
tions other than the standard "mother, father, 
three kids, and a baby." 

4. Use positive feedback. Some single 
sisters respond to apparent snubs by going horn 
offended and never returning. Such "solutions' 
do little or anything to change the offending 
behavior, most of the time, the person who 

^ant to be able 
to tell them what time you left," she explained. 
Sue, a single sister, shouted out: "If my husband 
calls, I'd really like to know." Everyone 
laughed; her point was made. 

Everyone likes to be acknowledged. 
Christ's parable about the shepherd going after 
the one sheep can be used as an example of how 
the Church needs to be mindful of its entire flock. 

has affronted anyone. Besides, battles are seldom 
won by pouting. A much better approach would 
be to listen closely to a leader or teacher for a 
time when they did include the singles in their 
discussion. True, you might have to wait several 
Sundays before you hear anything from some 
speakers. But once they do say something, 
anything, even if it's accidental, you can run up 
to them afterwards and compliment them for 
remembering the single members of the Church. 
You could even add a "You've helped me so 
much today; I look forward to hearing more 
about singles in your next lesson." Such methods 
may sound a little hokey. but most people re- 
spond far more positively to a little psychological 
shaping than to getting bashed over the head. 

5. Use humor. If you have been excluded 
and there is opportunity for immediate feedback, 
use humor to soften your message. At a woman's 
retreat a few years ago, the leader asked the 
group to please check in with her before they 

he same category as wayward lambs, but I do 
M those serving as shepherds in my ward and 
;wherc to speak my name and to invite me 

Is this your own copy of 
Exponent // ? 

If not. dont you 
wish it were? 

"Remember to fill out and send 
in the subscription coupon on 
the back page of this issue! 

Requiem For a Typical Mormon Woman 


1 Patty Perfect. The Typical Mormon 
^ Woman. Different names for the same 
1. She sits quietly in sacrament 
r meeting, dispensing Cheerios and quiet 
with dignity. She teaches inspiring, non- 
al Relief Society lessons. She wears 
sensible shoes and bears a striking resemblance 
to June Cleaver. She's always ready with whole 
wheat bread for the needy. She's our role model, 
as quintessential^ Mormon as the Golden Plates. 

Does the Typical Mormon Woman sound 
familiar? She did to me. I felt like I was sur- 
rounded by hundreds of them every week at 
church. They talked with sugar-coated tongues. 
They listened to lessons (while smiling) and 
politely agreed with every word. They said 
things like, "Sister Smith has given such a 
beautiful lesson" when I, who had heard the same 
lesson, was thinking, "That was a trite, irritating 
lesson." They spoke in the "Relief Society 
voice." Breathy, soft-spoken, and gende. 

These women even looked perfect. They 
wore handmade, feminine dresses and had fluffy 
hair. Their make-up was neither austere nor 
over-done, but — you guessed it — perfect! I was 
certain their homes were always immaculate. I 
couldn't imagine them blasting through their 
living rooms in cleaning frenzies minutes before 
their visiting teachers arrived. I, on the other 
hand, panicked if anyone didn't make an appoint- 
ment a week in advance — that's how long it took 
to get my house to look like their houses. 

I wondered what was wrong with me. Why 
didn't I get excited over the Cute Things we 
made in homemaking meetings? Why did many 
talks in church perturb me? Why did I Question 
issues they took as gospel (pun intended)? 

While trying to answer these questions, I 
realized I couldn't cram myself into a mold that 
did not fit. I embarked on my own personal 
program of glastnost. I stopped trying to be a 
typical Mormon woman. In the process, I made 
some delightful discoveries. It's okay to prefer 
books to embroidery patterns. It's not a com- 
mandment to grind your own wheat. Temple 
recommends are given to those of us with messy 
houses and loud, sassy voices. I can claim, as 
my own, unconventional opinions. I learned — 
ever so gingerly— to separate the gospel from the 

I wondered whether other women felt like I 
did. I started to talk — and listen — to women in 
the Church. Really talk. No more, "Good 
morning. Sister Jones. That jello salad that you 
made for homemaking was sure delicious." I 
wanted to know Typical Mormon Women. What 
were their aspirations and feelings? How did 
they feel about taboo subjects like polygamy? 
Did they yell at their kids? I decided to find out. 
As I got to know the women of my ward, I 
heard one phrase over and over "I'm not the 

typical Mormon woman, but " Sometimes I 

wasn't surprised by this admission. But fre- 
quently, I'd assumed I was talking to the gold 
standard of Mormon womanhood and was 
shocked that she considered herself atypical. If 
nobody would admit to being a typical Mormon 

woman who personified everything in the Relief 
Society manual — in fact, every manual in the 
Church. She was a beautiful woman who often 
espoused the values of staying close to the hearth 
and supporting priesthood-holding husbands. 
She had seven children and a beautiful home. 
She was nice — genuinely, honestly kind, not that 
cloying artificial niceness that gives nightmares 
to a diabetic. And, the final clincher, she was 
smart, knowledgeable about world events, and 
involved in the community. She was what we 
were all trying to be. 

To my astonishment, she said. "Well, you 
know, I'm certainly not the typical Mormon 
woman, but . . . ." My mouth dropped to my 
knees. If she was not a Typical Mormon 
Woman, there were none. Not in Michigan, New 
York, California, Europe, or Asia. Even dare I 
say it, not in Utah! The Typical Mormon Woman 
was dead. I grieved her loss. I had gotten used 
to her. She was like a pair of tight shoes: at first 
they pinch and hurt, but eventually they become 
comfortable, even if they aren't a perfect fit. 
Now to realize that the shoes never existed in the 
first place . . . well, this revelation opened a 
whole new world. Could it be that Mormon 
women were truly diverse? 

I had often wondered whether diversity 
within Mormonism was possible. In every ward 

with suspicion. Labels were freely attached. 
Inactive. Working mother. Liberal. Single. 
Childless. Oddly, some of the labels that were 
merely descriptors carried with them negative 
connotations. I pictured an assembly line of 
smiling, puffy-haired matrons. Anyone who was 
different was snatched off the line and tossed 
aside. We all smiled our way down the assembly 
line. We all thought that we had to be whole 
wheat mothers. 

Of course, struggling with assembly-line 
roles is not limited to Mormon culture. Women's 
magazines tell us that "working mothers" and 
"stay-at-home mothers" have declared war on 
each other. At-home moms swirl angry epithets 
at job-laden mothers: "Why did you have 
children if you were going to have someone else 
raise them?" The wage-eaming mothers pomp- 
ously declare, "How can you be fulfilled when 
you spend your days doing laundry?" Single 
women join the fray by worrying about loneli- 
ness, AIDS, and their biological time clocks. 
Their married counterparts envy the freedom and 
growth potential that single status affords. 

Most Mormon women are not yet at this 
warring stage. Our quest for identity is too new. 
We're just starting to broaden our experiences. 
We're just beginning to accept the realities of the 
90s. Many mothers work outside the home. All 

If we are too anxious and overwhelmed, our 
relationships with each other suffer. Sisterhood 
fizzles in such a volatile pressure-cooker. Our 
friendships become counterfeit. Healthy, give- 
and-take connections are not possible if we 
always wear our Sunday faces, afraid our real 
selves are unacceptable. Sisterhood will elude 
our grasp if we continue to pursue the fictitious 
Molly Mormon prototype. We will never be as 
spiritual, knowledgeable, or kind as this mythical 

The Typical Mormon Woman, much like the 
unicorn, is one-dimensional. Happily, Real 
Mormon Women are not. We are blessed with 
unique gifts and strengths, as well as 
idiosyncracies and weaknesses. Thank goodness! 
Diversity enriches and deepens our bonds. 
Sisterhood happens when we permit each other to 
be human. 

So, let's allow the Typical Mormon Woman 
to depart in peace. Give her a eulogy and let her 
go. We don't need her any more! We have 
living, breathing, fallible women to take her 
place. We can move to a higher plateau of 
understanding and tear down the fences of 
artificiality. We won't turn our heads from 
women suffering with social problems that we 
will now admit exist in Mormonism. We won't 
raise our eyebrows when an unorthodox opinion 
is stated. We won't christen each other with 
petty labels or expect everyone to be our clone. 
We'll take a giant leap toward sincere, sweet 

Good-bye, Typical Mormon Woman. 


you deserve i 

i. Go re 

still in the negotiation stage. 

ss she? 
I thought I'd found her when I spoke with a 

and war. For too long, we've used The Ideal 
Mormon Woman not as a role model but as a 
club to beat ourselves with. Attitudes have not 
changed significantly since 1987 when a study of 
active Mormon women indicated that two-thirds 


<J XYQj UVQA^j q) O 

hand is a repository for connec- 
tions between five generations of 
women in my family. The jar is 
five inches high, four across, 
three-eighths of an inch thick of rounded glass 
with twelve slim sides. Embedded in its bottom 
is a star-flower of sixteen carved crystals, and its 
lid is ancient metal rising through intricate flower 
designs to an embedded seven-sided amethyst. It 
is full of rose petals — and the lives of those five 

For all of my life, the rose jar has occu- 
pied our home in the most visible place on a 
mantel or bookcase. As a little girl, I begged first 
Grandma and then Mother to lift the lid and let 
me look and smell: layers of dried rose petals 
from christenings, weddings, funerals, gradua- 
tions, initiations, dances, disappointments, 
illnesses, exultations — any of the events that 
solicit rememberance. It started with my great 
grandmother Emma Turner, who at seven in 
England crosstitched a sampler: 

When daily I kneel down to pray 

1848. The desert that was Salt Lake Valley 
took years to "blossom as a rose," but from the 
first in her struggling garden — by the story 
Grandma, her daughter, told me — she cut a rose 
for the bud vase on her sideboard, left it to dry, 
then deposited a few salted petals in the jar to 

From then on, whatever occasioned a 
rose meant more petals on top of the last. Layer 
upon layer, generation after generation, the rose 
jar filled, its scent mystic as a tomb or the 
trailings of a fairy godmother. At the bottom, 
the reds and yellows and pinks have turned 
rusty, rose and amber and umber in a compost 
of memories, some almost dust, others still 
flakes of never forgetting. On top. for now, are 
crisps of Megan's wedding three years ago, 
Sammy's graveside service after he lived only 
an hour on his mother's birthday the year 
before, fresher more pliant petals from a rose 
brought to me by a Zsolt, a young doctor in 
Budapest, and from a bouquet, rose-centered, 
one of forty for anniversaries from my husband. 
Somewhere are my grandmother's wedding and 
funeral, the naming of her seven sons and three 
daughters, the marriage of my mother and the 
burial of her sister, the blessings of my three 
brothers and me. Up a few layers is my first 
corsage, my B.A. and my Masters, the birth of 
five daughters and their roses from a dad and 
later dates, weddings, housewarmings, another 
generation of babies, now little girls asking 


re lor wl 

I say 

I Hill 

nn lift the 

the jar that sits beyond us all, holding its secrets, 
its statements, its umbilical messages to tell us 
where we've been, where we are, and without 
question how in the world we're so related. 

The jar. The motherline. The belonging. 
Overlapping, underpinning, overarching, earthy 
and natural, around the settling of layer upon 
layer, the womb that holds us all. 

Faded to delicate skeletons, tl 
settle among each other, the jar full bi 
full. Lifting the lid I breathe c 
might have to those women who have dropped 
the petals into the jar, never unaware of what 
they were adding to or taking from. My daugh- 

For My Child in Pain 

I would curl you back into my womb, 
monitor what we ate, drank, injected, how w 
slept. I would move us back further, 
past conception, call on configurations 
of genes, move this one, that one 
by imploring the Power I never deserved. 

I would offer my maiden head, 
my sight, my fingers, the sound 
of my streams. 

I would return myself 

to facing my knees in that other womb 

asking my mother's rich waters to issue me 

newly permitted to bear you, 

to give the unspeakable joy of the bearing, 

the having, the letting go, the holding 

You would be safe. And we 

singing Mormon Hymns know 
exactly what E. B. While meant 


The longer I live the more I think that we 
can best improve the world by enjoying the 
world — and sharing our joy with others. Terry 
Tempest Williams hada grandmother who 
understood that. In her marvelous book Refuge, 
Williams tells about going with her grandmother 
at the age of ten to The Bear River Migratory 
Bird Refuge at the northern end of the Great Salt 
Lake. As the group boarded the Audubon 
Society bus for a trip through the marshes, a 
gray-haired, ponytailed women, passing out 
cards, proclaimed: 

"All members are encouraged to take 
copious notes and keep scrupulous records of the 


is p.U ,11 

the little girl did. Within a few minutes someor 

And there they were, dozens of white- 
faced glossy ibises grazing in the field. Their 
feathers on first glance were chestnut, but with 
the slightest turn they flashed iridescences of 
pink, purple, and green. 

The grandmother whispered that ibises 
were companions of the gods, that "the stride of 
an ibis was a measurement used in building the 
great temples of the Nile." (Refuge, p. 18) By the 
end of the day, Terry and her grandmother "had 
marked sixty-seven species on their checklist." 
On the trip home, Terry fell asleep on her 
grandmother's lap, dreaming "of water and 
cattails and all that is hidden." 

Education is discovering what is hidden. 
In my experience, some of the most interesting 
things our really right there in front of us, hidden 

of years ago, I volt 
archaeological dig at a local museum. I expected 
to leam about shards of pottery, old coins, and 
bones. I learned more about dirt. I'll never 
forget the day that the head excavator knell at the 
edge of the seemingly sterile square I had been 
scraping and plopped down the Munsell Soil 
Color Chan. This little publication lists 216 
shades of dirt, each with its own number keyed to 
hue, value, and chroma. To an experienced 
eye — an educated eye— the sharp cuts at the edge 

24th of July with the 4th— 
picturing George Washington 
coming across the plains in a 
covered wagon. Both holidays 
were exciting, hot, sweaty days that filled me 
with a certain patriotic ardor. I finally learned to 
tell them apart. The 4th was the East Mill Creek 
(the suburb of Salt Lake City where I grew up) 
parade down Evergreen Avenue with a child king 
and queen followed by fireworks and a picnic 
with games in Evergreen Park. 

The 24th was a giant parade down Main 
Street in Salt Lake, which I would see if my dad 
could be persuaded to lift me up over the tall 
people who invariably stood in front of me. The 
24th had a grown-up queen with her attendants 
on a large float. There were fireworks in Liberty 

During high school, much against my 
better judgment, the Grandview Ward entered me 
in the Days of '47 (the name of the 24th of July 
celebration) queen contest. Any connection 
between my humiliating walk down the runway 
at the LaFayette Ballroom at the Hotel Utah and 
the pioneers is strictly imaginary unless you 
interpret it this way: I was the first of my family 
to embark on such a pilgrimage. 

I think it was not until I moved to Wash- 
ington, D.C., that I fully realized that the 24th 
was not a national holiday. In Utah, the pioneers 
came first. Beginning in Church and then in high 
school seminary classes, we studied American 
heroes and pioneer heroes almost in the same 
breath. Although I was very much interested, I 
was put off by the way the pioneers were pre- 
sented. It was difficult to identify with such 
larger-than-life heros. I wanted to look to them 
for examples, and yet I knew I could never 


survive such suffering nor reach such perfection. 

After high school, I went to the Univer- 
sity of Utah where I took classes from T. Edgar 
Lyon at the Institute of Religion. He presented 
the pioneers in a way that helped me understand 
that they were human beings like me and that 
though their limes were different from mine, their 
examples could motivate me to good works. 

I didn't develop much of an interest in 
my own pioneer ancestry until after my marriage. 
I spent a few years looking into my husband's 
background. Chick's ancestry was more impres- 

William Bradford, John R. Winter (Counselor to 
Joseph F. Smith), and Orson Hyde. Who had 
ever heard of the Lythgoes, Harstons, Mitchells, 
and Carlises? I even started research for a 
biography of John R. Winder but stopped when 
Leonard Arlington, then Church historian, 
suggested that I might benefit from looking into 
the lives of women. 

He introduced me to Emmeline Wells, 
editor and writer, founder of The Woman's 
Exponent, General Relief Society president, and 
one of the organizers of the MI A and the Pri- 

I read segments of her diary and found 

polygamists. Her first husband— her childhood 
sweetheart — had deserted her in Nauvoo. She 
became the second wife of Newell K. Whitney 
when he was 50. she 16. When he died, she 
wrote to his friend, Daniel Wells, and asked to 
become his sixth wife. It was an unhappy, lonely 
marriage. His other wives made fun of her for 
preferring reading and conversation to house- 
keeping. They were contemptuous of her love 
poems to Daniel and her preference for wearing 
pastel colors instead of dark ones. Here was 
someone I could relate to! And when she some- 
times took to her bed with bouts of depression, I 
could empathize! 

None of this stopped her from editing 
The Woman's Exponent for thirty-eight years, her 
editorials covering such issues as equal pay for 
equal work, women's voting rights, and equality 
in athletic programs. She was sent by the Church 
to National Woman's Suffrage Association 
meetings in Washington DC. and in England 

:eived by Queen Victoria. On 

■ of hi 

tion: 'Two great wi 

She reared five children and some 
silkworms for Brigham Young, which caused her 
to vacate the house. (The worms, not the chil- 
dren or Brigham Young.) 

It took me a few more years to get 
around to researching my own family back- 
ground. I started by interviewing my parents. If 
-- -■--- yet and your parents and 
you begin 

grandparents are still alivs 
right now. Record their memories 
and then go beyond them yourself 
about my ancestry; it 

eron. I ar 

i Iften teachers who wish to interest their 
pupils in history begin by assigning their students 
to begin with themselves and to bring in stories 
about their parents. Self esteem somehow goes 
up when we learn more about where we came 

Some people say they don't want to 
know their history because some of it is not 
worthy of the gospel. Such events in our lives 
should not keep us from recording our own 
histories. We don't want to become a 
memoryless people just because something 
unworthy may be found in the files. Perfection 
may be a goal, but just because we haven't 
achieved it yet, we don't need to whitewash the 
truth. Sometimes it is difficult to find the truth 
but being afraid of it won't help us to know 
ourselves better. 

Not fearing what we might find dc 

le goal sh 

scurvy detail of every life. There will always be 
mysteries; perhaps this is as it should be. There 
should be privacy, too. It helped me to leam that 
although Emmeline Wells got depressed and 
lonely, she went on to a meaningful public and 
private life. If there is a horse thief in the family 
leam from that, ti 


.. Wee. 

people who have suffered, sinned, b 
pressed, failed, and yet found ways to keep or 
keeping on— even to create and to repent. ■ 

of a 25-inch-excavation pit can be dramatic in 
their striations as the layers you see in a cliff cut 
through for a highway. That dark circular blotch 
at the bottom of the pit is a post hole. That 
grayish-red stripe marks the 1670 occupation, the 
next level the 1720 addition. Archaeologists read 
the dirt that dropped from the feet of our ances- 

My husband, who is a chemical engineer, 
reads smoke. He reads it in the sky and in his 
laboratory and in the whisky curls that trail across 
the frosting of a birthday cake when the last 
candle is out. Our children got lessons in com- 
bustion with their birthday cakes. Smoke is made 
of carbon particles as tiny as bacteria, the same 
particles that when heated to 1,000 degrees 
centigrade create the orange glow of the lighted 
candle. Slice a cold table knife through a candle 
flame and the carbon will identify itself in the 
form of soot. Engineers call that process 
thermophoresis. A sophisticated version of that 
soot strengthens the tires that carry you to church 
on Sunday and make the ink on this page. 

I have been learning to read cloth. I 
carry a magnifying glass like Sherlock Holmes, 
looking for bits of the outer shell of flax stems 
clinging, after 200 years, to the fibers of home- 
spun linen. I had no idea how many shades of 
what there were — or how many patterns — white 
on white — could be found in ordinary cloth 
woven on the four-shaft looms that were common 
in eighteenth-century New Hampshire. I have 
tried to photograph some of this cloth, but my 
slides come back looking blank! Yet turning the 
fabric gently to the light one catches a kaleido- 
scope of patterns, many of them recorded in old 
letters and diaries — "Double Compass," "Rose in 
the Garden," "Heart's Delight," "Flowers of 
Eddin Burg," "Snowballs," "Blazing Star," and 
my favorite, "Orring Peal." 

I was talking recently with a weaver who 
specialized in reproducing old patterns. "Why 
did they do it?" she asked. "Why so many drafts 
for such simple objects — ordinary towels and 
table cloths. A plain weave would have sufficed. 
Why all the trouble?" I don't know, but I think it 

has something to do with the fact that weaving 
was the culminating event in a tedious, wet. 
smelly, year-long process of turning flax into 
cloth. Some of the old fairy tales record the 
danger and drudgery of the process — lips licked 
away from moistening thread, thumbs enlarged 
from the labor of spinning. When New England 
women like Patient Kirby and her daughter Peace 
Lawton (great names for weavers, "Peace" and 
"Patience") wrote down their weaving patterns, 
they triumphed over the dull grid of necessity. 
They improved the world by enjoying it. ■ 



Joseph Smith's 

An American Prophet's Record. The 
Diaries and Journals of Joseph Smith, 
edited by Scott H. Faulring. Signature 
Books. 1989, Salt Lake City, Utah. $9.95. 

How does a prophet feel when he is strug- 
gling with organizational details of a new church, 
when he has nowhere to live, when he is spend- 
ing all his time in the service of his God and his 
people and has no living for himself and family, 
when some of his friends turn against him, and 
when some of them later come back? 

Containing all the available diaries and 
journals of Joseph Smith, this book is a great help 
to the layman wishing to understand the prophet 
Joseph Smith as a person in the time and setting 
in which he lived. Its value lies in the intimate 
picture it often portrays of the man, Joseph 
Smith, Jr. 

Through his journal entries, some in his own 
hand and some dictated to a scribe, the reader 
discovers a warm and gentle person concerned 
about his family, his work, and the people he is 
leading. He was also concerned about his lack of 
knowledge and seemed to have a thirst for 
learning as shown in this entry for February 17, 

His concern and courtesy extended 
beyond the Saints, as seen in the list of rules for 
the house of the Lord in Kirtland: 

8th AU persons whether believers or 
unbelievers shall be treated with due 
respect by the authorities of the Church 
(p. 104). 

The diaries and journals show a man wh 
is trying to live the gospel he is teaching, as is 
apparent in these entries from March 7, 1844: 

If your brother mistreats you, let 
him alone. If your enemy cheats you let it 
go. Cease to deal with men who abuse. 
If all men had taken the course that some 
have, we should not have such men in 
our midst. I have no objections to any 
mans coming here, but then I will have 
nothing to do with men who will stone 
midnight and at noon day . . . 

Wednesday the 17th Attended the 
School and read and translated with my 
class as usual. My Soul delights in 
reading the word of the Lord in the 
original and I am determined to persue 
the study of languages untill I shall 
become master of them if I am permitted 
to live long enough (p. 133). 

While he was busy with his work and the 
endless stream of people who came to see him 
with problems requiring his attention, his family 
often went without things that they needed. 
Before provision was made for some of his 
expenses, people noticed his need and tried to 

I would remember Elder Leonard 
Rich who was the first one that proposed 
to the brethren to assist me in obtaining 
wood for the use of my family, for which 
I pray my Heavenly Father to bless with 
all the blessings named above (p. 74). 

Fryday, 25lh At home all this day. 
Enjoyed myself with my family, it being 
Christmas Day, the only time I have had 
this privilege so satisfactorily for a long 

owed me 500 or a thousand $ and he 
come to me and said he would not pay. I 
would simply not do business with him 
again until he paid me (p. 455). 

After a ten-page chronology of his life, an 
alphabetical listing of the prominent characters 
mentioned in the book, and a selected bibliogra- 
phy, the work begins with a short autobiographi- 
cal sketch written by Joseph Smith and Frederick 
G. Williams between July 20 and November 27, 
1832. Throughout the book, anything written in 
the handwriting of Joseph Smith is in boldface 
type and, where possible, the handwriting of 
others is also identified. Over the period covered 
by these documents, 1832-1834, several scribes 
or secretaries were employed by the prophet. At 
times the secretary is the first person voice and at 
other times, often in the same section, Joseph is 
the first person voice. 

Following is a list and summary of the diaries 
and journals. 

1 . 77ie Joseph Smith, Jr., Record Book, a 
diary and journal covering the period from 
November 27, 1832, to December 3, 1834. Much 
of it was written by Joseph Smith and the rest 
was dictated by him. The picture it gives is of a 
kind and gentle man asking for the Lord's help 
and for direction in coping with the details of 
leading the new church. 

2. Sketch Book for the Use of Joseph 
Smith, Jr , a diary and journal covering the period 
from September 22, 1835, to April 3, 1836. 
Some entries are in the prophet's handwriting but 
most have been dictated by him. Much more 
detailed than the others, this record reveals many 
of his feelings, his enjoyment of the world around 
him and of his family, his insight into human 
behavior, and his utter joy of learning. 

3. The Scriptory Book of Joseph Smith, 
Jr., a journal covering the period from March 13 
to September 10, 1838, in the handwriting of 
George W. Robinson. In addition to the journal 
entries, it contains copies of revelations and 

4. Joseph Smith Journal, covering the 
periods from September 3 to October 6, 1838, and 
from April 16 to October 15, 1839. Written 
entirely by James Mulholland, mosUy about his 
own activities, this document contains some 
references to the prophet and was intended to be 
his journal. 

5. Minute Book, 1839, covering about the 
same time period as the second part of the fourth 
journal, April 16 to October 15, 1839. Written by 
James Mulholland, this short journal details Joseph 
Smith's activities, including several meetings. 

6. This section contains excerpts from The 
Book of the Law of the Lord, which is a large 
record book of over 500 pages containing some 
journal entries by Joseph Smith and copies of 
letters, revelations, minutes of meetings, and 
records of donations. Only the sections previously 
published are included in this book. These ex- 
cerpts, from July 25, 1841, to July 2, 1843, include 
detailed activities and conversations of the prophet 

7 . President Joseph Smith 's Journal, 
1843, the first of four journals kept by Willard 
Richards actually begins on December 21. 1842, 
and covers the period through March 10, 1843. 

8. The second of these journals, untitled, 
begins where the preceding volume ends and 
continues through July 14, 1843, in the handwrit- 
ing of Willard Richards. As with all four of these 
journals, some of the entries are quite detailed, and 
some are extremely brief. 

9. The third journal, also untitled, contin- 
ues from the preceding volume and covers the 
period through February 29, 1844. 

10. President Joseph Smith's Journal, Kept 
by Willard Richards, Vol 4, continues through June 
22, 1 834, five days before the death of the prophet. 

Although the entries are sometimes confusing, 
they have been made considerably less so by Scott 
Faulring, who has carefully edited the journals 
using a set of guidelines based on Julian P. Boyd's 
editorial philosophy. Except for the excerpts from 
The Book of the Law of the Lord. Mr. Faulring 
transcribed the diaries and journals from microfilm 
copies of the originals. 

Some things seem to stand out. Because 
there was no standardized spelling at that time, a 
word is sometimes spelled in more than one way, 
even on the same page, by the same scribe. Most 
frustrating to the reader are the gaps in time — as 
much as two years between some of the journals. 

From the chronology, which is a quick 
reference to the sequence of events, to the end of 
the last journal, this is a powerful book. It pro- 
vides valuable insight into the personality and 
character of the prophet. Joseph Smith, and gives 
the reader an appreciation of the problems and 
complications he faced in carrying out his work. 



Dear Exponent, 

I want to share my appreciation and com- 
mendation with all who helped make the Expo- 
nent II Retreat so successful. 

see faces of the people who put Exponent II 
together. I am amused with group dynamics and 
wanted to see what kind of person would travel to 
a Mormon women's retreat in a New England 

would talk about and how they would relate. I 
expected nothing more than to observe. 

I was surprised and most pleased with what 
I experienced and also with what I didn't see. I 
found the activities well organized and the 
variety of topics chosen refreshing and useful. I 
was surprised at the amount of participation, the 
openness, the tolerance for differing points of 
view. There was also a comfortable level and a 
trust that 1 have rarely observed. Everyone with 
whom I visited had a reality and depth that is not 
often shared easily and quickly. It was rewarding 

I was told I was "brave" to sign up. A 
friend in Salt Lake told me. "We are afraid to do 
such things because rumor has it that there is a 
computer list of people who participate in 'alter- 
nate voices' who are considered enemies My 

guess is that you will hear a lot about the follow- 
ing issues: efforts to silence women, praying to 
our Heavenly Mother, priesthood for women, and 
dissent in general." I have no objection to the 
discussion of any of these topics but appreciate 
the fact that you did not spend time dwelling on 
issues that stir up emotions without resolving 
them. A "political rally" has its place, but I'm 
glad that the retreat did not limit itself or focus 
itself solely on these issues. 

The Exponent II women surpassed my 
expectations. I found you all to be more open, 
diverse, and down-to-earth than I thought you 
might be. Often I see people get "caught up" 
with their cause and its importance. I see now 
why you so successfully reach out to such a wide 
spectrum of readers. 

I spent last evening writing a four-page 
letter to my Salt Lake friend sharing my reflec- 
tions on the retreat and find that I had no nega- 
tives. I want you to know that your efforts were 
appreciated and enjoyed. I hope you feel satis- 
fied with your success! 

:iated with Exponent II. Did they 
rrass the Church or were they just 
rs for this purpose? If Exponent II is 
'oice for women of this Church, it is 

Dear Exponent, 

YOU ARE MY LIFELINE...Please don't 

Exponent II. 

Thank you for this opportunity to support 
something that has become very important to this 

Honest feelings and concerns have become 
a focus of my "recovery" from a less than open 
LDS childhood. 

I am beginning to feel a real sisterhood with 
some of your writers. 

I work at Jersey Battered Women's Service. 
Several months ago, I was able to speak to Sue 
on the phone about getting some back issues on 
abuse in Mormonism. I appreciated the copies 
very much-found them fascinating but not 
surprising. I was even able to conduct a seminar 
for married couples in my ward on abuse- 
specifically emotional abuse because it is not 
often considered "serious" enough to worry 
about. Well, it's a growing epidemic. It crosses 
all boundaries of religion, £ 

I find the shelter an eye-opening but fulfill- 
ing place to work because we have a mission 
here. When I gel the chance, I'd like to submit 
some writings for your review. Since moving to 
the East Coast from a small town in Idaho, I've 
grown a lot in the Church but also realize that my 
liberal views are numbered among many other 
wonderful LDS women. It's wonderful to have a 
forum to express these views without feeling 
guilty — or alone. I hope that donations come 
pouring in for your computer upgrade. This is 

Dear Exponent II, 

Enclosed is my check. I wish I could send 
more but at the moment we are preparing our son 
to leave on his mission in August and our daugh- 
ter starts college in September, so funds are a bit 
tight. However small, I hope it helps. 

Thanks to all of you for doing a great job. I 
enjoy the Exponent II very much; it's a refreshing 
change. I wish I knew of others in the Idaho 
Falls area who take it. 

Good luck on the things you are doing! 

Undo Carlson 
Idaho Falls, Idaho 

Dear Sisters, 

Please excuse the delay in sending in my 
renewal. I began to write many times to explain 
why I would not renew, but I could not put it in 
words-1 only can say that many things in the past 
issues made me feel very uncomfortable. My 
change of heart and mind came this summer after 
participating in Relief Society at Wildwood 
(Provo Canyon) where Shirley Paxman presented 
the lesson. I need to grow from being "uncom- 


Dear Exponent II Editors, 

You are doing an excellent job! I'm glad to 
help the good work as long as I can. 

I am thrilled with "A Bishop's Perspective" 
by M. Scott Fisher, Ph.D. and will use it as my 
theme for my next letter to the editor of the 
Herald Journal for June. We do need each other 
in the work of the Lord and to build a Kingdom 
of equality in love. More power to you! 

in I a 

« lost. 

I think we can take a page from Church 
history. When Martin Harris lost the 1 16 pages 
of translated manuscript, the Lord told Joseph 
Smith, "The man whom you have trusted has 
sought to destroy you." Now Martin Harris did 
not start with the intent of destroying Joseph 
Smith, but others used Martin Harris for this 

A nonmember friend of mine in Brookline 
sent me The Boston Globe article featuring some 

Dear Exponent: 

Please accept me as a new subscriber. I was 
inspired to join after reading my mother-in-law's 
copy of Exponent II. It feels good to know there 
are those of us who want to share our knowledge 
and experience through Exponent. I know I'm 
not alone with these questions. 

Permit me to say that I have been a memberof 
our Society since the date of its organization and 
have perused with pleasure your invaluable paper, 
delighted more particularly with the communica- 
tions or letters from the sisters from the various 
settlements descriptive of their prosperity, and have 
not infrequently looked with increasing anxiety to 
see a correspondence written by some member of 
our Society, dated at Centreville, but up to date have 
looked in vain. Why is it? I must crave to be 
indulged while I say that there are those among us, 
members of the Society, whose age, experience, 
and intelligence, qualify them for usefulness in 
almost any intellectual line of life, and who, if they 
only thought so, could indite matter that would not 
fail to interest and enlighten the reading fraternity. 
Our annual meeting convened on Wednesday the 
23rd of the present month, and from Teachers' 
reports on that occasion a general good feeling 
prevails among the sisterhood with a desire 
found active in every laudable undertaking. 



Dear Sisters- 

I apologize that I can no longer contribute 
to your publication. I've often considered the 
need for some sort of LDS women's forum and 
had hopes that your publication could provide 
that. However, after reading through the initial 
publication I was sent, I was disappointed. I felt 
you had not sufficiently distanced yourself from 
the ugly spirit of prideful backbiting and mur- 
muring that womankind has fallen into. I was 
seeking an honest discussion of the challenges of 
financial difficulties, wayward children, the 
doldrums of housework, etc. I desired to hear 
others vocalize the incredible joys of motherhood 
without the patronizing "it's all so wonderful" 
lies we often are immersed in. 

At any rate, I'm sorry. I had high hopes. 

Dear Exponent II, 

I enjoy Exponent II very much; it is a 
needed and worthwhile voice for LDS women. I 
always feel a sense of sisterhood and love as I 
read of the challenges, questions, and testimonies 
of other women. Each issue inspires me to be 
more supportive, more caring, and less judgmen- 
tal of others. 

About a year ago, I gave a subscription to a 
dear friend of mine who is a devout Catholic. 
This may seem strange, but I really feel that 
many of Exponent's articles address issues felt by 
all women, not just LDS women. This is a quote 
from a recent letter sent to me by this friend: 

I've never thanked you properly, 
Terry, for the Exponent II; I have thor- 
oughly enjoyed every issue. What a 
wonderful forum for faithful women to 
speak their hearts and souls. There is 
always a sense of "every woman" in each 
issue, no matter the topic. Thanks again. 

strength we gain and share through such a 
publication. Keep up the good work. We need 
and appreciate all you do. 

A Call for Fiction 

Aspen Books is planning a Spring 1994 
release for / Think I May Rise, a collection of 
stories and select pieces of poetry about women 
and the LDS experience. They plan to include 
work from both established and new writers. 

Stories should have female protagonists 
and should touch in some way on the Mormon 
experience. Stories do not have to be religious in 
nature or subject. Though new work is preferred, 
previously published work will be considered. 

They are asking authors to donate their 
portion of royalties from the sale to the YWCA's 
Battered Women's Shelter in Salt Lake City. 

Manuscripts should be typed and double 
spaced with pages numbered. Submissions 
should be accompanied by a cover letter that 
includes the author's name, address, telephone 
number, and the title of the submission. They are 
also asking that a copy of the work be submitted 
on disk, preferably in WordPerfect, IBM format. 
If another word processing program is used, disks 
should be clearly labeled with the names of both 
the software (including version) and file. Please 
include a SASE for correspondence. 

Deadline for submissions is January 15, 
1994 (postmarked). Please submit to: 

"Women's Stories" 

Aspen Books 

6211 South 380 West 

Salt Lake City, Utah 84107 

Manuscripts and disks will not be returned. 

Call for Entries to the Helen 

Candland Stark Personal Essay 


With the publication of this year's 
winners of the Helen Candland Stark Personal 
Essay Contest, Exponent II is announcing the 
deadline for the 1994 contest. Send your double- 
spaced manuscripts and corresponding IBM- 
compatible disks to: 

Helen Candland Stark 

Personal Essay Contest • Exponent II 

P.O. Box 128 

Arlington, MA 02174 

by August 15, 1994. We will select a winning 
and two honorable mention essays. The winning 
essay will be awarded $300. 

The purpose of Exponent II is to promote sisterhood 
by providing a forum for Mormon women to share 
their life experiences in an atmosphere of trust and 

the Mormon Church and ourcommitment to women 
in the Church. The courage and spirit of w 
challenge and inspire us to examine an 
shape the direction of our lives. We ar 
confident that this open forum » 
result in positive change. We publish ■ 
this paper in celebration of the st 
and diversity of women. 

— I I I I Hill 












Sue Paxman 
Barbara Streeper Taylor 
Heather Cannon 
Nancy T. Dredge 

Laurel T. Ulrich 
Robin Zenger Baker 
Anne Wunderli 
Eileen Perry Lambert 
Linda Hoffman Kimball 
Anne Wunderli 
Melinda Smart Graves 
Susan Elizabeth Howe 
Laura Hamblin 
Judy Dushku 


CIRCULATION Karen Call Haglund 

Melinda Smart Graves 

BACK ISSUES Jenny Atkinson 


MEMBERS Jenny Atkinson 

Robin Zenger Baker 
Nancy T. Dredge 
Evelyn Harvill 
Suzanne Lindsay 
Melanie Moss 
Laurie Orton 
Sue Paxman 
Sylvia Russell 
Anne Wunderli 

Join us for the first time, i 
participate with Mormon 
our understanding, and ce 

w your subscription, or givs 

D One year- $15 □ Two years - $30 

□ "Friend" Contribution: $30 (includes 1 year) 

□ Outside USA: Add $8 postage per year 

|Check below as applies: 

ew subscription 
|D Renewal 

Mail with check or money order to 
EXPONENT II, P.O.Box 128, 
Arlington, MA, 02174-0002 

PRESIDENT Robin Zenger Baker 

SECRETARY Laurie Orton 

TREASURER Jenny Atkinson 

HISTORIAN Cheryl Howard 

MEMBERS Nancy T. Dredge 

Judy Dushku 
Melinda Smart Graves 
Karen Call Haglund 
Eileen Perry Lambert 
Sue Paxman 
Sylvia Russell 
Carrel Hilton Sheldon 
Barbara Streeper Taylor 
Lisa Tobler-Preece 
Anne Wunderli 
I Exponent II is published quarterly by Exponent II 
I Incorporated, a non-profit corporation with no 
I official connection with The Church of Jesus 
I Christ of Laner-day Saints. Articles published 
I represent the opinions of authors only and not 
I necessarily those of the editor or staff. Copyright 
I © 1993 by Exponent II, Incorporated. All rights 
J reserved.