On Leaning In

by Hadley Duncan Howard

I am a privileged American woman. I enjoy the benefits and comforts of every advantage the Lord has ever bestowed upon His children – freedom and opportunity, health and strength, wits and the education to make good use of them, loving and respectful relationships, meaningful and satisfying work, an understanding of the gospel, and enough of the material aspects of life to make me feel gluttonous from time to time. My life, like all others, includes disappointments and challenges but, in all humility, I cannot think of any substantive blessing that’s passed me by. I expect most readers of Aspiring Mormon Women can relate more than not. Read More

Podcast Episode #1: Susan Madsen, Utah Women & Education Initiative

susan-r-madsenIn our first Aspiring Mormon Women podcast, Jamie talks to Dr. Susan R. Madsen who heads the Utah Women and Education Initiative about her career and research. Dr. Madsen is the Orin R. Woodbury Professor of Leadership and Ethics in the Woodbury School of Business at Utah Valley University. She has been heavily involved for many years in researching the lifetime development of prominent women leaders. Dr. Madsen has been working for the past three years as the director of the Utah Women and Education Project. Her research on why young women are not choosing to attend and graduate from college has garnered both national and international recognition, and is the centerpiece of the Utah Women and Education Initiative. Read More

Voices from the Past: Elizabeth Claridge McCune

by Celeste Tholen Rosenlof

Sometimes, reviewing the past gives us a clearer picture of the future we hope to forge. Looking around the classrooms and chapels of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, I don’t always find women who think like me or have similar aspirations. Though I know other women like me exist among my contemporaries, sometimes, looking to the past is more immediately successful. With the benefit of time and its normalizing effect on once radical ideas, many of the extraordinary things accomplished by women in the early church now seem ordinary. But at the time, they truly were revolutionary. Just within our church, many of its important and lasting programs – including the Relief Society1 and Primary2 – were imagined, organized, and run by the sisters.

One sister, whose gumption, independence, and faith inspire me to move forward with my vision for my contemporaries and myself is Elizabeth Ann Claridge McCune. Read More

You Better Do it Then (and Welcome!)

by Naomi Watkins

While attending a stake women’s conference in November of 2004, I received a distinct and vivid impression that I needed to earn my PhD. Only a few months earlier, I had graduated with my master’s degree and triumphantly cheered, “I am done with school forever!” I had no intention of doing more school. For one, I didn’t see a need, and two, I was content and comfortable teaching middle school English. I figured that I would re-evaluate my work situation in a couple of years. And so, I quickly brushed the impression away and turned my attention back to the speaker. But the impression returned, and again, I ignored it. Yet, I received the same thought a third time, seemingly louder and more urgently. Read More

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