No coincidence, in my opinion, was the release of the much anticipated transcript, just last week, of Sister Beck's BYU Women's Conference talk, which referred to this upcoming history of Mormon Women . If you want to better understand how the women of the LDS Church can better receive Daughters in My Kingdom, it is advisable to study Sister Beck's talk.
Many of us were wondering why it took so long to release this transcript, but no doubt a decision was made to wait for the timing of the new book on the history of the Relief Society. Here's what Sister Beck had to say, from that talk, about the upcoming history of the Relief Society...
"Last fall in the General Relief Society, we talked about a history of Relief Society. And with the approval of the First Presidency, we announced that a history of Relief Society was being prepared for the sisters of the Church and that sometime this year, in 2011, that would be made available to the sisters of the Church, and that is true. That will be made available to you sometime this year. And you don't need to worry about when it's coming: you just need to know it will be here and settle your souls about that. It doesn't really matter when it comes."
Easier said that done! I've been dying to read this history book since it was announced!
Personally, I consider Sister Beck's talk a kind of forward or preface to Daughters of My Kingdom. I believe her instruction is to help us better know how to interpret the information that the history will present. I've been very vocal to anyone that would listen to me, about the importance of this particular address given to the women of the LDS Church. I believe it to be a landmark talk and one that will be considered a classic in the coming years. Never before has a woman in the Mormon Church, in such a leadership position, referred to "the priesthood duty of sisters". When she said that, I nearly fell off my chair! All I can say, is that we have come a long way baby! And yet we won't grow, as women in the Church, if we don't seriously ponder that statement and how it applies to us as individual LDS women. And if you're wondering if I have read Daughters of My Kingdom yet, the answer is no. I'm simply going on my gut instincts as to the importance of Sister Beck's Women's Conference talk in relation to Daughters of My Kingdom: The History and Work of Relief Society.
From the LDS Newsroom:
"As the Church’s general Relief Society president, Julie B. Beck has met women from all over the world and says the new book will provide perspective and strength for the 21st-century woman.
“This story that the Church is releasing now is very important, I think, for our time now and I can’t think of a time when it’s been needed more than it’s needed today,” President Beck said.
Copies of Daughters in My Kingdom will be distributed to women around the world to be used as a resource for personal study and for teaching in the Church and in the home. The book will be mailed next week to all English-speaking Church congregations and will be printed in 25 other languages in the next few months. With this diversity of cultures among the 14 million Church members, President Beck said the book needed to have broad appeal.
"We needed something that would have global application and be applicable into the future, something that would appeal across cultures and languages, so it needed to be more message based rather than a typical chronological historian’s history,” President Beck said."
Sister Beck went on to say...
"This historical understanding will be a useful tool in a Church where the majority of members are converts, President Beck said.
"As the Church itself grows exponentially over the years, I think there will be great value in this book for the women who join the Church to say, here’s who I am, this is what I’ve become part of, this is my specific identity in this Church, that I am not homogenized but I am a living, breathing, contributing individual and I’m needed,” she said."
You can read the entire article on the LDS Newsroom HERE.
Like many of you, I can't wait to get my hands on my own personal copy of Daughters of My Kingdom: The History and Work of the Relief Society! But as anxious as I am, I will try to refrain from calling and bugging my own ward Relief Society President -- but it's going to be really hard! Good thing the wait should only be about a week. Though I sure wish I knew someone on the inside that could hook me up a bit sooner! LOL By the title, I can tell that this is not only intended to teach us better who we are as daughters of God, but also instruct us with greater clarity on the work of the Relief Society; as Sister Beck taught in her talk at Women's Conference.
A unique aspect about Daughters of My Kingdom, as a Church work, is that it was not written by a committee, or an historian. It was written by an individual Mormon woman, Susan W. Tanner, a former general Young Women's President.
Sister Tanner shares here thoughts...
“This assignment came as a surprise to me because I don’t think of myself as either a writer or a historian, but I do have a strong testimony of the role of women in our Father’s plan. At the beginning that was my only qualification,” Tanner said.
Tanner drew heavily on previous historical research and original documents for the book.
“This book is not necessarily meant to be a conclusive history; there are already historians who are doing that,” Tanner said. “The Relief Society presidency wanted a volume that would be accessible to the whole world, to sisters everywhere. I did have perspective on that, having seen sisters in so many circumstances and situations. The book needed to be something that every woman could read and understand and be invited into this work no matter where they are coming from.” LDS Newsroom
I was happy to hear that Sister Beck worked closely with Sister Tanner during the writing of the history. I have no question in my mind that following Sister Beck's own personal study of the history of the Relief Society, which was powerful, and that she shared at Women's Conference, left her with a strong desire that the women of the Church would have a similar experience.
We’ve had stories written for the historians. We’ve had stories written for the scholars. We’ve had stories written for the press. But we’ve never had the story written for the women themselves,” Beck said.
And this, is precisely why every LDS woman in the Church should embrace this history of the Relief Society resource!
UPDATE: Daughters in My Kingdom is now available as a PDF download HERE!
NEW POST: Preparing to Receive New Relief Society History...