Last night I had to get up and let the dog out. She is sixteen years old and when she starts to whine, I will wake up from the soundest sleep in order to avoid cleaning up a mess in the morning. The problem is if you leave her outside, she'll scratch at the back door all night. While I was waiting for her to do her business out in the cold, I sat up to the computer and did a search on something I had heard about but never looked into. My sister lives in Alpine and knows Sister Beck. She told me that it has been a great sorrow to her to see the negative reaction of some sisters to her talk. I'm like "what negative reaction?"
At this point I know you are rolling your eyes because I live in a complete bubble, but it is a great bubble to live in, trust me. Anyway, I first pulled up a BYU bulletin board and my mouth hit the ground. Then I went to a reponse to a Exponent II article and was equally shocked. I heard about the petition but I had read enough. I know I hate child abuse so I do not need to read the details of evil acts to know I hate it worse. I stand for the safety of children and move on.
I felt the same way about every negative word and just had a few points to make.
1. "Women who know believe in having children" & "being a Mother is the most important thing a women can do."
This was the first area of contention among the sisters that were grumping out and I suppose I should just roll my eyes and pray they grow up. Do they realize how few stable families welcome new little angels into their homes, even within the church? When I lived in Minnesota my children were the only ones on the whole street. But if I went down to the projects, there were many single mothers with large families and mobs of children. Even if you don't believe families are forever, the most powerful thing you can do to save our culture, to encourage education and improve our society is to have a righteous family of well-trained leaders.
I can just imagine the little spirits waiting to come to earth, watching us and being told that they don't get to come to a righteous family because your mother wanted to have time to herself, didn't want to budget or live in a house that wasn't 'normal', which excuse are you going to tell the baby you didn't have?
In my ward I have three heros. Tammy just had her ninth baby. She is gorgeous, vibrant, talented and smart. Her husband supports her and she throws incredible parties for the children, puts on the best Primary activities days and laughs easily. Wow! There is Jenni who struggles physically with childbirth and has dealt with grief, but after feeling impressed, decided to have a third child. It will probably be her last, but the joy that this decision has brought her glows from her face as does the Spirit in appreciation of her sacrifice. Then there is Ashley who had cancer as a child and can't have children of her own. She is currently a lawyer and is doing very well for herself. On listening to Sis. Becks talk she knew that she was not actively mothering right now but used it as a pattern for her attitudes and filed it away for future reference. In her heart she said, I would if I could and she was blessed for it.
2. "Nurturing means dishes and laundry"
No one on the planet hates doing housework more than I do and unfortunately too often I don't do it. My kitchen sink is rarely empty, if ever. When she said these words it stung and rightfully so, but her point was that nurturing is doing the mundane. I am so tired of women who think it is demeaning to clean house, that their time is worth more. In doing daily tasks we are serving those we love and we are taught humility, which seems to be in short supply these days. She did not say these activities define us but they are important and should be a goal. You never see the temple messy. Our homes should have the same spirit but noisier- much noisier.
3. General Bad-mouthing of People you Sustained-
The terrifying thing for me is to look in the scriptures at the reaction of the people to a prophet. When they refuted their words, they were ripe for destruction. Now, I'm not talking about making fun of a hair-do (I'm not saying whose) or a type of phraseology, but when we refute their message after sustaining them, that is serious stuff. Besides Sister Beck never said that every women had to believe the things she said, only "women who know"- women who get it.
Lastly, I have to end by saying that when Sister Beck was in the YW I thought how unfair it was that they got her because she was so doctrinally meaty and clear. She doesn't sugar-coat messages so that everyone nods their heads softly and then forgets what she said the next day. When we got her as the new General Relief Society President, I didn't just lift my hand I waved it enthusiastically. We are so abundantly blessed to have a woman who stands up and in strong, well-crafted words clarifies truths that have been held too silent, but have never changed. I adore her for that. I consider her brave, intellegent and hope that she knows that the greatest gift she gave to the women who listened to her message, even those who didn't agree, was a chance to revisit their views about motherhood and (herein lies the rub) see if they are in accordance with gospel principles or not.