“Do you know of any place on the face of the earth, where [a] woman has more liberty, and where she enjoys such high and glorious privileges as she does here, as a Latter-day Saint?”
While Sister Parkin went on to testify of the great privileges held by women of the church*, I couldn't get past Sister Snow's question. Because, while it may have rung true to the women of 1870, in my experience, it is within the church that I feel most constrained. In every other aspect of my life I see endless opportunities, and while we still may have a ways to go, the world has opened itself up for women while the church has remained stuck in positions that haven't been progressive since Sister Snow's time.
I morn that the Church that I was raised in, the Church that I tithe to and serve, was once so progressive and has in the last 100 years become so fixed, so adverse to change. We have a heritage of boldness, a heritage challenging social norms, reexamining ideas about family, opposing slavery, sharing our wealth and promoting true christian principles. Ours is a heritage of strong industrious independent women, supported by a Church that sent them to medical schools, encouraged their involvement in national women's groups and gave them the vote long before the passing of the 19th amendment.
What has happened to my church? Although, I feel that in some ways we as a Church and a culture have faltered, our doctrine is one of eternal progression and I find hope and am encouraged by our heritage.
* I mean in no way to belittle message of Sister Parkin's talk. Her message is really insightful and maybe she sees the church differently, I respect her views and hope to one day share them.