Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Moral Force of Women

This blog is a place that I like to keep light and upbeat, but I was talking with my mom the other day about my favorite talk from General Conference and she said, "you should go write about it on your blog!" So here I am, listening to my mother, because sometimes deep and important is cool too.

I'm a Mormon, and twice a year there is a huge meeting called General Conference. During this meeting, our prophet, who is currently Thomas S. Monson, and his counselors and apostles, as well as other church leaders, address us. My favorite talk from this past October's Conference was by Elder D. Todd Christofferson. You can find the talk here.

I am a big believer in the importance of gender in this life. Even outside of the issues of homosexuality, the lines between what is expected of men and women, especially women, are blurring. Girls are encouraged to toughen up and to be just as strong, if not stronger and more capable, than men. I, on the other hand, want to be more feminine. While I am so grateful for the equal rights and opportunities I have, and while I do enjoy being independent, I would not consider myself a feminist. A lot of my ideas on gender roles are considered old-fashioned by my peers, so I end up just keeping them to myself.

Elder Christofferson's talk changed that. He addressed several things that I think about a lot. He talked about the "mommy track," my top career choice. He talked about the importance of gender distinctions, something I wish was more prominent in society. He talked about the importance of the moral force of women, something I hope to be a part of. I love how he talked about the importance and the wide-reaching influence of a woman's morality. It inspired me to be the best I can be so that I can be a part of that force.

My favorite part of Elder Christofferson's talk is near the end where he quotes Margaret D. Nadauld. She said, "The world has enough women who are tough; we need women who are tender. There are enough women who are coarse, we need women who are kind. There are enough women who are rude; we need women who are refined. We have enough women of fame and fortune; we need more women of faith. We have enough greed; we need more goodness. We have enough vanity; we need more virtue. We have enough popularity; we need more purity."

I love this quote. The kind of woman I look up to and aspire to be has all of these characteristics: she is tender, kind, refined, faithful, good, virtuous, and pure. Going to high school with girls who want to be tough and sexy, who want to be treated just like the boys because anything else is unfair, can be difficult. It sometimes feels like I am trying to be a type of woman who has disappeared. I want to be feminine, and that is not always an admired quality among high schoolers. Hearing this quote made me realize that this type of woman is not lost. Hearing Elder Christofferson say that it was ok and good to be this type of woman, to even hear him encourage becoming this type of woman, gave me faith and confidence. It gave me a sense of belonging as I realized that others were working towards the same goal. It gave me a sense of self worth as I realized that Heavenly Father approves of the type of woman I want to be.

Sincerely, mad

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