How My Younger Self Got Schooled


by Naomi Watkins Last week, Michael Austin over at By Common Consent highlighted the dearth of full-time female faculty members at the BYUs (you can read additional follow-up posts here, here, and here.) The timing of this post was particularly interesting as I was to give a lecture two days later to 150+ female students […]

Twin Desires: Motherhood AND Career


by Melissa Goates Jones I grew up as the daughter and grand-daughter of aspiring Mormon women. My mother graduated with a bachelor’s degree in communications and took a job as a professor at a community college. She planned on working just long enough to afford to buy a washing machine. But much to her surprise, she […]

Sports as a Focused Meditation


by Mette Ivie Harrison I come from a very non-athletic family. Of eleven siblings, I remember three being involved in sports (two in cross-country, one a cheerleader) in high school, and none were in sports beyond high school. I was a swimmer for three years in high school and during that time my parents never […]

How Volleyball Helped Shaped Me


by Lindsay Chaney I started playing volleyball through my city community recreation center in fourth grade. I fell in love with the sport. In sixth grade I started playing club volleyball (competitive teams). Playing volleyball became my identity. Through junior and senior high school, six months out of the year I would spend my weekends at large […]

Your Body is an Instrument, Not an Ornament

Beauty Redefined Interview

This post is part of our series on girls’ athletic participation. Did you know that seven out of 10 girls don’t feel that they belong in sports? A major reason for these feelings stems from girls’ poor body image. Drs. Lexie and Lindsay Kite of Beauty Redefined, a non-profit organization that helps girls and women recognize, reject and resist […]

Girls’ Sports Participation Series: Part II

Running in Glacier Park.

Over the next several weeks, we’re featuring stories of AMWers who participated in high school and college athletics–and women who are still participating in athletics as adults. If you’re interested in sharing your story, email us at Sarah Jones Asthma plagued my childhood; some of my earliest memories are of wheezing on the couch as my mom […]

The Day Sports Mattered to Me


by Celeste Tholen Growing up, I played soccer every day during recess. I loved running after the ball and maybe getting a piece of it. But I hovered dangerously close to the “picked last for the team” cliche, saved only by the fact that I was friends with the pretty, athletic girls who everyone wanted […]

Girls’ Sports Participation Series: Part I

girls running

Over the next several weeks, we’re featuring stories of AMWers who participated in high school and college athletics–and women who are still participating in athletics as adults. If you’re interested in sharing your story, email us at Joanna Bell Hadlock As I look back on my life, I’m reminded how much participating in sports shaped […]

Girls’ Sports Participation: Sharing Our Stories


by Naomi Watkins The Summer 2016 Olympics begin this week, and despite the problems plaguing these games, I’m looking forward to the news and my social media feeds filling with stories of triumph, of hard work paying off, of goals achieved and exceeded. (If you haven’t already done so, go read about the refugees competing in the Games). […]

Work, the Family Banner, and Me


by Rachel Olson Armstrong Charity. Frugality. Industry. Mom stitched our motto onto the forest green family banner, which hung above the couch in the family room all the years I was growing up. Industry—work—is so important to my parents that it’s one of the three words they used to capture the goals of our family. […]

My AMW Story


By Dianne Orcutt One of the most satisfying and rewarding parts of my work with Aspiring Mormon Women is hearing from the women in our community. I love to hear about your successes, your journeys, and even your challenges (your challenges highlight your strength and determination, and often leave me in awe of you!). The […]

My Continuing Hope for AMW

AMW lights

by Naomi Watkins For many women, Aspiring Mormon Women is one of the few places where they feel comfortable discussing the intersection of LDS culture, church doctrine, and personal revelation in regards to their individual life missions and stewardships. Making sense of these messages (especially as these messages may compete) and how they play out […]

Parallel Lives, Fortunate Friends


  Andrea (right) and Jenni (left) met as freshman roommates in Helaman Halls at BYU. They became fast friends, were roommates for three years at BYU, and since then have stayed in touch through similar life experiences. They discuss how having a friend with a similar life path has provided support in their respective journeys. […]

To Think or Not to Think (for Myself)

Ophelia by Cabanel

by Anna Packard Like most young women my age, I started my freshman year of college full of ideas about selecting the perfect major and perfect life plan that I thought would fit with my personality and life goals. Of course I also wanted to ingratiate myself to my then-boyfriend and appear marriageable. Our relationship […]

Advice: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly


by Nan Petersen As I advance in my career to a place where I am more likely to be looked to as a mentor instead of someone who needs to be mentored, I sometimes find myself dispensing advice. It always seems a little bit strange to me—can it really be so many years ago that […]

The Secret of Happiness


by Nan Petersen The name of this organization, “Aspiring Mormon Women,” is well chosen. Aspiring is so much more than just having raw ambition. It is also being inspired. It is hoping. Seeking. Desiring. And what is the thing we seek more than any other in this life? Lehi teaches that “men are, that they […]

Moving from a Job to a Career


by Jennifer Dill Long I graduated from Brigham Young University (Provo) with a degree in family science and a very respectable GPA. I had a job, friends and a place to live in Utah. Then my life was disrupted when my place to live fell through. My tiny income meant I needed to live with […]

An Interview with Cathy Stokes

Interview with Cathy Stokes

by Annie Snow Risenmay Meet Cathy Stokes–nurse AND mother AND healthcare facility inspector. “Humble beginnings” only scratches the surface of Cathy’s childhood. She left her native Mississippi at a young age after being adopted by a family in Chicago during the 1940s. As she grew up, it was clear to her that there were only […]

Yes, They Do–Mormon Men Marry (Aspiring) Doctors

Clarity and focus doesn’t always come from God or inspirational quotes. Usually, it takes your mother to slap the reality back

by Naomi Watkins “Do Mormon boys marry women who want to become doctors?” –A search engine question that brought someone to AMW. I’m guessing that a young LDS woman with medical school aspirations typed this earnest question, looking for affirmation. And I really hope that her Internet search proved that YES! Yes, they do. But in case […]

Unconventional, Yet Inspired


by Aimée Bouka Growing up as an LDS member in the beautiful city of Montreal, Quebec, I realized early on that I was an odd duck. My parents, who are originally from Togo in West Africa, joined the Church before I was born, but my father stopped attending when I was a child. Being fourth out a […]

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