Mormon Feminism: Essential Writings

Mormon Feminism: Essential Writings

Mormon Feminism: Essential Writings

Mormon Feminism: Essential Writings


This groundbreaking collection gathers together for the first time the essential writings of the contemporary Mormon feminist movement--from its historic beginnings in the 1970s to its vibrant present, offering the best Mormon feminist thought and writing.

No issue in Mormonism has made more headlines than the faith's distinctive approach to sex and gender. From its polygamous nineteenth-century past to its twentieth-century stand against the Equal Rights Amendment and its twenty-first-century fight against same-sex marriage, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS) has consistently positioned itself on the frontlines of battles over gender-related identities, roles, and rights. But even as the church has maintained a conservative position in public debates over sex and gender, Mormon women have developed their own brand of feminism by recovering the lost histories of female leadership and exploring the empowering potential of Mormon theology. The selections in this book-many gathered from out-of-print anthologies, magazines, and other ephemera--walk the reader through the history of Mormon feminism, from the second-wave feminism of the 1970s to contemporary debates over the ordination of women.

Collecting essays, speeches, poems, and prose, Mormon Feminism presents the diverse voices of Mormon women as they challenge assumptions and stereotypes, push for progress and change in the contemporary LDS Church, and band together with other feminists of faith hoping to build a better world.


This book offers an introduction to the Mormon feminist movement through the words of the women who have lived and built it. It includes writings that capture key ideas, questions, concerns, and events in Mormon feminist experience from the movement’s organizing moments in the early 1970s to the present. Never before have core Mormon feminist writings—from the movement’s beginnings to the present—been compiled in one place. In doing so, we hope to provide a historical overview of the ways in which Mormon women have engaged with questions about gender in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (the LDS Church). Today, due to increasingly visible Mormon feminist activism and some positive changes in LDS Church policies, the status of women in the LDS Church has become front-page news. This book is for anyone who wants to go deeper than the headlines and understand what it means to be a Mormon feminist. This book is for Mormon women and men who have questions about gender dynamics within Mormonism. Maybe you have wrestled with these questions personally. Maybe you have witnessed a friend or relative struggle with these questions, or have read or heard about Mormon feminist activism and want to understand it better. Maybe you are not Mormon but are curious about how contemporary Mormons live our vibrant and demanding faith and reconcile ourselves to its challenges. Maybe you are a fellow feminist of faith, a scholar of religion and gender, or a student learning about women in Mormonism. We welcome you to learn from our experience, in our own words. (Non-Mormon readers may benefit from

See, for example, Laurie Goodstein and Jodi Kantor, “Missions Signal a Growing Role for Mormon Women,” New York Times (March 1, 2014), A1; Kristen Moulton, “Mormon Women Again Turned Away from Priesthood Meeting,” Salt Lake Tribune (April 5, 2014), A1; William Harless, “Group Seeks Ordination for Mormon Women,” Wall Street Journal (April 6, 2014), http://

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