Where are the women theologians?


Though I was impatiently waiting for my own copy of Daughters in My Kingdom, I have yet to open and read it. Why? I pondered this today. Yes, I’m busy with kids and whatnot, but still, there must be some reason. And I think I’ve nailed it.

From what I’ve been told about it, it’s stories. Stories of women, yes, and stories of faith, yes, and stories that change the way I see women in scripture and history – yes yes yes I understand all that. And I’m glad for it. But… stories? Of events here and there? Is that what we women are – stories?  What about what these women wrote, in journals, magazines, and elsewhere, about doctrinal topics? Are there undiscovered women theologians? What did some woman in 1857 write about faith? Who was studying the scriptures, and what were they writing about? THAT would get me opening it up and devouring what has been thought.

Lived lives are great to read about, and I’ll probably enjoy the book quite a bit. But thought. That timeless gift that a person can give to generations. Thought. Writing. That would excite my soul.

And it would be quite appropriate to what was told to Emma, and by extension, all the “daughters in my kingdom”:

And thou shalt be ordained under his hand to expound scriptures, and to exhort the church, according as it shall be given thee by my Spirit. For he shall lay his hands upon thee, and thou shalt receive the Holy Ghost, and thy time shall be given to writing, and to learning much.

My next project, if I ever get to it, will be to compile a book of little known, and never remembered, women theologians of this dispensation.

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3 responses to “Where are the women theologians?

  • Karen

    So I began it tonight and I’m loving it. Absolutely devouring it. I love especially the quotations from those in the original RS about what RS is. I love the quotations from Joseph, too.

    Two quick thoughts:

    1. When Joseph says that he turns the key to the women, to receive revelation through appointed leaders, just like the priesthood (pg 14-15) the author interprets this to mean that we are a group within/under the priesthood leaders who receive revelation. However, the wording of Joseph seems more plainly to mean that he turned the key (this pattern of receiving revelation) to the organization, meaning that the RS leaders had all the authorization needed to receive revelation for this new RS. This doesn’t mean they don’t need a prophet, or some such thing, but what I means is that his words, in the longer quotation, seem be addressing specifically their right to revelation themselves. They were being set to work, trusted, left to receive their own directions from the Spirit.

    2. “Charity never faileth” struck me at the last RS broadcast, and it takes on more meaning all the time. If we desire real spiritual progress in our members, then we first cultivate charity. When we honestly love them, we will be refined to receive revelation specific to their needs. And they will respond to our love. It’s grace – we love God because he first loved us. So, love, love, love the members. And soon enough, they will love us, and trust us, and we can teach them. But truly love, not just cookies-on-the-door, but prayerful love, hopeful love, and excited about working with God in His work. I’m sure it’s addressed throughout the book, but I thought about it while on page 18.

    More thoughts to come. Feel free to add yours as well!

  • Karen

    So, I’m liking the book more and more. It isn’t a list of mini-biographies, like I thought people were saying it was. I love looking at different time periods and then tying it directly to what we are doing (or can be doing) today. And I love, love, love the quotations from Emma, Joseph, and Eliza! The set up, with so many pictures (I had also expected something different there, I thought there would be one big picture and then a mini biography) gives it a sort of magazine feel. The pages are squarish with rounded corners – a very nice look to the whole thing. I really like it.

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