A friend of mine (who shall remain nameless) and other women decided they were tired of having to defend their testimonies of the Gospel and of Womanhood in cyberspace. They were tired of constantly and consistently re-hashing a reactive stance over truths in the Gospel. Personally? I don't blame them! Remember the Raging Waters post I gave a while back? Well, these women decided that they were tired of having to swim through the crud to get to the good. Tired --again--of being attacked for proclaiming the truth and bearing testimony. The worst part? Being attacked by people who claim the same beliefs.
The only blogs out there, if you search for "Mormon Women", tend to be anti-Mormon and Liberal Feminist. Very, very few represent how the majority of Mormon Women actually feel (MMW and Tales are some of the "few" that I've found.). Why is that? My friend has a theory and I think it's both poignant and hilarious:
"The people who claim that most Mormons feel this way (i.e. angst, bitterness, doubt, hatred, etc.) say that if Mormons were actually happy, they'd be letting their voices be heard by blogging. But that's not true! Mormon Women who are happy don't have time to blog! They are too busy living their lives. Why would they go searching for websites full of bitterness and doubt? What would that accomplish?" (not a direct quote, fyi).
Of course, I blog, and I'm happy (see me smiling?), but for 2 years, I've been one of a handful. But thank goodness for Elder Ballard! In Dec. 2007, at the BYU-Hawaii graduation ceremonies, he said:
Too much attention to controversy has a negative impact on peoples' perceptions of what the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints really is.... We cannot stand on the sidelines while others, including our critics, attempt to define what the Church teaches.
Inspired by Elder Ballard's words , Mormon women (including my friend) decided to put together a website called Mormon Women: Who We Are. This website, sponsored by the More Good Foundation, is designed to be a place where women can share their voices about the joy, peace, perspective, and power they feel in their lives as members -- and particularly as women! -- of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. They wanted a site that is not only a positive voice about the Church, but also includes specific content about LDS womanhood. It is a place for members of the Church (men are invited, too!) to individually share their thoughts, feelings, and experiences related to the gospel of Jesus Christ, through words, music, art, and other forms of expression. It's also a place to share favorite scriptures, quotes, talks, hymns, and other uplifting material. Every comment, every submission, stands alone as another independent voice. This is not a blog, so those who contribute can contribute without fear of critical comments or contentious debate. All content and submissions are moderated. If you are looking for contention, this is not the place!
Elder Ballard also said:
Gradually, accurate and positive information is rising to the top of lists generated by various search engines. Those seeking information are more likely to encounter accurate information today than at any time since the Internet began, even though we still have a long way to go. So let me pose a question. What are you prepared to do about it? If you are a member of the Church, what is your responsibility during this period of unusual attention and debate? Interest has continued at a high level and probably will for some time. If a national conversation is going on about the Church, are you going to be an active participant or a silent observer?
These women are no longer going to be silent observers. Instead of Reacting, they are Acting. Instead of Defending, they are Teaching.
Along with the More Good Foundation, LDSblogs, and Mormon Women: Who We Are, Mormon men and women can take a stance by educating and uplifting those who truly desire to know what it is that the LDS People represent: Jesus Christ.
So dear reader, go check it out and participate! And then spread the word...