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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