To Think or Not to Think (for Myself)

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

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

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 […]

Trust the Lord’s Plan

by Rebecca Lucero I always remember my mom telling us that all she ever wanted was to be a mom. My mom is a great mom. She’s an amazing seamstress and cook. She can clean anything. Clothes never wear out when she does the laundry. She always attended all our sports games and ran us […]

Making It Work For Our Family

by Sara Barber Parenting is divine, but is not necessarily tied to gender roles. Together, parents have the responsibility to provide, protect, teach and nurture their children. This is the conclusion my husband and I both came to while I was pregnant with our first child. Our plan had always been for me to work […]

Individually Adapting for our Family’s Circumstances

by Joanna Hadlock I never considered myself a conventional Mormon. I always figured I’d be married with kids one day and have the stay-at-home mom life, but I guess I never really thought about the details until it was time to make the decision. After the birth of our first child, a situation presented itself […]

#EmbraceyourAND: PhD Student AND Mother

by Emily Leslie I’m a PhD student in economics at the University of Iowa.  I found out the day before I started classes in 2011 that I was pregnant.  This was happy news for my husband and me.  We welcomed our first son a couple of weeks before the end of my first year.  Since […]

#embraceyourAND: Let Her Ask of God

by Jennifer Rasmussen From a young age I had a desire to become a doctor. Upon hearing my plans, teachers and parents would say “Well, we will see what you decide once you are married.” While attending a state university, I met my husband in my junior year. We got married with the understanding that […]

Prepare to be Surprised

by Candace Child Like many other twenty-somethings, I too am trying to figure out the path of my life. I’ve spent my whole life thus far writing, erasing, and re-writing my plans for myself. When I was young, I wanted to be an actress. Since that time, I think I’ve changed my mind about 3,587 […]

#EmbraceYourAND: Married AND BYU Student AND Graduate

As part our campaign to eliminate the prevalent either/or mentality in regards to women’s education, career, and family life, we will be featuring vignettes from various women sharing specific combinations of ANDs in their lives. In this feature, we highlight women who were BYU students when they married and who also graduated. Dantzel, Washington State I had […]

Making Mom’s Career Part of the Conversation

by Nan Petersen Near the end of my teaching year in May, I received a text from my husband indicating that a job had opened in a city where we have, in the past, considered moving. The job listing was closing that afternoon, and he was thinking of applying. After this bombshell announcement, he asked, […]

The Value of My Mother’s Education

by Candace Child I grew up in a house full of music. I learned to fall asleep to the sound of my mother practicing the clarinet long after we had gone to bed. She earned her master’s degree in clarinet performance and also plays the piano. Her career was intertwined in our daily lives. I […]

Understanding the Possible

by Dianne Orcutt (photo by Brittany Rose Bowen) A few months ago I became a mother. Motherhood has been an exhausting whirlwind, but it has also been a period of the purest and most profound happiness I have ever felt. When I was pregnant I felt a whole range of emotions as I contemplated the […]

Healing Aspirational Shame

 by Julie de Azevedo Hanks, PhD, LCSW I grew up in contradictory worlds. I was born and raised in Studio City, California in the heart of the entertainment business. Our neighbor was a makeup artist for movies like “Top Gun.” My extended family had a TV show, and my father, a professional musician, was the musical […]

Likening the Scriptures to My Job: The Brother of Jared

by Jessica Weiss “The Book of Mormon … was written for our day . . . Under the inspiration of God, who sees all things from the beginning, he abridged centuries of records, choosing the stories, speeches, and events that would be most helpful to us.” – Ezra Taft Benson In the Book of Ether, […]

Trying Imperfectly

by Steve Petersen Despite some trepidation, I went to the Aspiring Mormon Women event at which Ruth Todd spoke; it was wonderful. If you think that I was the only guy there, you’re correct. As someone whose vision for the Church seems more expansive than contemporary Mormon Culture (note that I’m not saying Church), I’m […]

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