So was the intent to leave out the more obvious choices? Like Eliza
R. Snow (the first RS President, and poet/thinker...) or Emma Smith (who
actually served as a scribe in the translation of the Book of Mormon and was the
only female witness of it?)
raybies:I think it is great that the article focused on women who
might not be as familiar to the readers.
This article was posted a few minutes earlier, with a different photograph,
different heading (11 women, not 10). The present article has removed the one
about Inez Knight, one of the first sister missionaries, sent to England in
1898. That was done in response to calls from Mission Presidents in many
places. A nice article about her in Ensign July 1980, can be found on the
Church webpage, under "resources".Ted
Dear Raybies:Mary Whitmer was the only known female witness to the
Gold Plates. She was shown the plates by a messenger. Emma never
actually saw the plates except as they were wrapped in cloth. She was the first
to see Joseph carrying the plates, wrapped in cloth, as he carried them down
from the hill. She also touched them and thumbed the plates. she stated that
they had a metallic sound as one thumbed them as one would the leaves of a book.
What a wonderful tribute. In each case, these women lifted where they stood and
no blessing was ever denied them. What a stark contrast this is to the handful
of women who insist that they need the priesthood to reach their full potential.
I honor my wife, my mother, my mother-in-law, my daughters-in-law, and the many
women who have served me and my family. The women in my ancestry were also
amazing women. And all of them lifted where they stood; and they stand tall in
my eyes. Thanks to all sisters who serve so faithfully.
From the article: "In 1896, Martha Hughes Cannon, a Democrat, defeated her
own husband, a Republican, to become the first female state senator in the
United States of America."I laughed when I read this, how
awesome. Can you imagine a husband and a wife running against each other, from
different political parties, in our day?
This is a fantastic article! There were several women on this list I knew
nothing about and their stories are inspiring. LDS women have a powerful legacy
of being smart, educated, resilient, and tenacious game-changers. These stories
stand as a testimony that from the beginning Mormon women have been activists,
feminists, and incredibly strong leaders. It makes me very proud to be a
Latter-day Saint woman and strive to follow their example!
What about Belle Spafford? She was easily the most influential woman of the
20th Century in Utah.
For more stories of incredible LDS women I recommend checking out the Mormon
Women Project. It's a collection of interviews and biographies of some of
the marvelous LDS women who are doing incredible things now.www(dot)mormonwomen(dot)com/
I had not heard of most of these women. What a delightful article about these
sisters who exhibited faith and magnificent strength. In my preparations for my
Sacrament Meeting address on Sunday, these women will be in my mind, if not in
my words. Thanks for putting this together.
I agree that there are probably many great Women in the early days of the
Church, as there are in the present day.I have been touched by many I have
worked with in various organizations of the church, as well as my angel Mother,
who was one of the greatest LDS women born in Southern Utah in 1897. I am so
grateful that families are forever, and that we will be together again some day.
The biographies of these women are a sanitized and editorialized version of the
facts. Surely, we have examples of Mormon women who did NOT engage in the
slavery of polygamy, nor did they perpetuate the failings of Mormon men. There
must be at least ONE Mormon woman who leads an independent, self-actualized life
without being the dependent, or subordinate of any man. Surely.
Lilly Munster,Six or seven of the women mentioned (out of ten total)
were not polygamists, and at least two were single.In any case,
polygamy was not equal to slavery. Seriously making that claim would suggest an
ignorance of both the history of slavery and the history of plural marriage in
the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.I'd suggest you
may want to read the series Women of Faith (Volumes 1,2, and 3) mentioned in the
article for actual, scholarly, but very readable portraits of the lives of women
in the Church. It's eye-opening to read this continuing series, and the
lives of these women are not at all "sanitized," and the books will help
you process and correct the ideas you shared here.
Unabiller (Ted) I appreciate your insight as to why Amanda Inez Knight was
removed. I noticed this myself and was scratching my head. Both articles exist
online, with and without her. Since you are in the know, why on earth would a
mission president request that one be removed? I can't even comprehend
what would prompt that. Thoughts?Loved these stories and being
reminded of the rich history of women in Utah long ago. There is an ancestor and
definitely other relatives.
CatsWhat better way to fool somebody then to show them a supposed
sacred object, but only show it to them 'covered'?? What would be the
purpose of this. It was his wife, and he didn't trust her? God didn't
trust her? The whole story and premise makes no sense. And then you are saying a
messenger showed them to Mary Whitmer? So the messenger went and got the plates
and showed them to her, and then put them back? The story sounds like something
you would read in a fictional story... not a real life history.
@ MunsterGlaring for it's lack of anything historically factual is
your ill-informed article on plural families. Have you bothered to take the time
to read any authoritative account of those women who were plural wives?
Certainly not based on your post. On the outside, most viewers despise the
practice of plural families. To assume that women were duped into sexual or
domestic slavery is patently false. While there are clearly the rare few whose
experience was a struggle, those are in fact the very few. Furthermore,to think
the practice was widespread is absolutely false. Take the time to find
historical fact before making assertions and making judgements that are simply
off the mark by a mile. Finally, todays male participants may indeed be seeking
(sexual) dominance over several partners, that was not a part of the historical
truth from practice in the 1800's.
Brahmabull:Good thing it wasn't a fictional story. Emma Smith,
giving the answers (A), said in her own words in an interview:[...] Q- I should suppose that you would have uncovered the plates
and examined them?A- I did not attempt to handle the plates, other
than I have told you, nor uncover them to look at them. I was satisfied that it
was the work of God, and therefore did not feel it to be necessary to do so.Q- Major Bidamon here suggested: Did Mr. Smith forbid your examining the
plates?A- I do not think he did. I knew that he had them, and was
not specially curious about them. I moved them from place to place on the table,
as it was necessary in doing my work.Joseph Smith was also charged
by the angel Moroni to not show the plates to anyone, unless allowed. JSH 1:42
in the PoG:"Again, he [Moroni] told me [Joseph Smith], that when
I got those plates of which he had spoken-[...]- I should not show them to any
person; [...]; only to those to whom I should be commanded to show them; if I
did I should be destroyed"
Brahmabull:Emma Smith answered a lot of your questions. She said,
giving the answers (A), in an interview as follows:[...] Q - I should suppose that you would have uncovered the plates and examined
them?A - I did not attempt to handle the plates, other than I have
told you, nor uncover them to look at them. I was satisfied that it was the work
of God, and therefore did not feel it to be necessary to do so.Q -
Major Bidamon here suggested: Did Mr. Smith forbid your examining the plates?A- I do not think he did. I knew that he had them, and was not specially
curious about them. I moved them from place to place on the table, as it was
necessary in doing my work.Joseph Smith was also charged by the
angel Moroni to not show the plates to anyone, unless allowed. JSH 1:42 in the
PoG:"Again, he [Moroni] told me [Joseph Smith], that when I got
those plates of which he had spoken-[...]- I should not show them to any person;
[...]; only to those to whom I should be commanded to show them; [...]"
1.96Yes, Emma makes it sound like she had no reason to
'peek' under the cloth and look at them. If you don't see the
problems with the whole story, then maybe you are missing something. He said he
had them, but could only show them to certain people (not really show them the
plates, but have them pray to see them in a spiritual vision). The plates laid
covered in his home while him and the 3 witnesses went out to pray to be able to
see them... rather then Joseph just uncovering them and showing them that way.
It doesn't add up.
MIMomI didn't mean to give the impression that Sister Knight's
Mission President released her early. Quite the contrary; Sister Knight and her
companion Sister Lucy Brimhall were very faithful missionaries. They
proselyted, participated in street meetings, spoke in Ward and Branch services,
as well as in Missionary meetings, which were open to the public.There is
also an online copy of a BYU Masters Thesis by Calvin Kunz, A History of Female
Missionary Activity in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints,
1830-1898, MA Thesis, BYU 1976. Google the title to find it at the BYU site.Ted
Unabiller: The other "article" was a photo list, published the day
before. It's titled "Politicians, missionaries and mothers: 11
remarkable women in LDS Church history" and is still perfectly accessible on
the Deseret News site.It has more pictures and fewer words. This
article contains more text, and more in-depth information about each of the
women. You'll notice that one of the ten listings here discusses two
sisters who served as missionaries in England; the photo list shows pictures of
It's a fact that 12 humans have left their written and sworn testimonies
that they saw and handled the plates. It takes a jury of 12 members to convict
or acquit a person of the highest crime in our nation. Shouldn't we give
the same weight of evidence to those men who testified in the opening pages of
the Book of Mormon that what they are saying is true? It's a far stretch
to think that 12 men can come up with the same lie, and all of them take it to
their deathbeds. Not one ever denied their testimony. Thanks for this
opportunity to express my thoughts.
Brahmabull:You are splitting hairs on semantics and omitting major
parts of the witnesses. The 3 witnesses were shown the plates by an
angel of God, and they heard the voice of God declare the translation was by the
gift and power of God. Of course the 3 witnesses will say it was a spiritual
vision and their spiritual eyes beheld them (the plates, the angel, the voice of
God). This doesn't discount the physical reality of the plates or that the
witnesses' physical eyeballs didn't actually see anything.On your omission, you didn't mention the other 8 official witnesses saw
the plates with their physical eyeballs, hefted the plates with their physical
hands, and perused the plates with their physical fingers. It was without the
aid of an angel or hearing the voice of God, hence why they don't mention
anything "spiritual" about it. Don't you remember
Joseph Smith had to hide the plates various times from those trying to steal
them? Apparently even Joseph's Smith's enemies believed the plates
were real since they went to the effort to rob him.
@Brahmabull ... re "If you don't see the problems with the whole story,
then maybe you are missing something." I suppose that could be the case for
1.96, but necessarily so? Perhaps if you see problems with the whole story, then
maybe you are missing something? Do we have any reason to not take Emma at her
word? Surely she knew her husband and their day-to-day lives than we do? Does
History record anything about her life before and after her husband's death
that renders her testimony suspect? I haven't heard of anything.
@Brahmabull... Correction: Surely she knew her husband and their day-to-day
lives BETTER than we do? An embarrassing fact for husbands the world
over: women know their man better than the man knows himself. Warts and all. A
wife is the one mortal we can't pull the wool over. The world may regard a
particular man infallible, larger than life. But then there's the missus.
The Prophet was no exception. History gives us a portrait of a good-hearted
woman, wife and mother in Emma. If she says he couldn't compose a letter,
that the plates were covered on the table, etc., etc., I think we'd do well
to accept her testimony. She stood to gain absolutely nothing by lying.
Back in the days when I was a Mormon I used to devour "The Church News"
and it's never-ending stories of remarkable Mormons. It left me with the
world-view and confident knowledge that only Mormons were remarkable. In large
part, because they were Mormon.I still recognize and appreciate the
fact that there are remarkable Mormons. But the world -- including
the world of remarkable people -- has become so much larger.
I love Jane Manning, she is my heroine in this last dispensation (Deborah and
Mary Magdalene before her in the scriptures), I learned about her during the
Nauvoo Pageant and actually told blacks I taught in the mission field about her.
She was denied temple blessings which makes me want to cry, but remained loyal
anyway, joining the Saints in Salt Lake City. She's a perfect example for
trusting in the Lord, especially when things don't go your way. We are a
better Church with blacks, Latinos/Latinas and all nationalities :)