Julie B. Beck, general president of the Relief Society, is doing something extraordinary and unprecedented... She is reaching out to LDS women via Mormon Mommy Blogs. Apparently she called an exclusive meeting in Salt Lake City, Utah, to enlist their help, by asking them to invite their readers to ask her any question they want -- on their blog!
That's right! You have the opportunity to ask Sister Beck any question you have -- about anything!
And next week, Mormon Mommy Blogs will take these questions to a 90 minute taped interview, unscripted, with Sister Beck -- for The Mormon Channel.
Here are a few suggested questions, offered by MMB:
- Why do only men hold the priesthood?
- How do women really fit into the church? Do they have a place?
- Why were Relief Society Meetings-- formerly known as Enrichment-- formerly known as Home, Family and Personal Enrichment--formerly known as Homemaking done away with?
- When is it OK to say NO? Is it ever?
- What are we supposed to do with that new book they just put out? (Daughters in my kingdom)
However, it shouldn't be surprising that Mormon women are taking this opportunity to go beyond these relatively easy questions and are going after the hard stuff. Check out some of the questions already left on MMB blog, requesting Sister Beck address...
"OOH! I have one! When I was getting a new calling, the bishopric had called my husband in advance and asked HIM if it was okay to extend me a calling. Which I thought was weird and archaic, but THEN when HE got a new calling, nobody called me to see if I was okay with it. Is that a normal church thing, or was that just my ward?" ~Sara
"I want to know what words of encouragement she would offer the sisters of the church who find themselves doing everything they have been asked to do-- callings, temple, reading scriptures, praying, tithing etc and their "happily ever after" hasn't been realized... or it isn't the version that they dreamed about in their youth." ~Erica
"Is she aware of the backlash from her talk "Mothers That Know" and does she care? Looking back, would she say anything differently? Change anything? I get what she was trying to say, but it didn't come off the way I think she intended... What are her feelings about that talk now?" ~Curious
"Why do we almost exclusively learn about male church leaders in our Relief Society classes, but the Priesthood classes don't ever study notable women in the church? What is the place of single women in the church--really--not just the cute and trite little things we hear all the time. Are single women just supposed to sit their lives out waiting for a family in the afterlife, or do we have a role in the church on earth that is other than simply caring for other women's children?... ~Confirmed Spinster
"To her knowledge has their ever been a serious, sustained effort by leadership including herself to study, research and petition the Lord for more knowledge about Heavenly Mother, understanding polygamy, and the divine role of women in the eternities? (Something like the process that led to the change in the Priesthood policies for blacks - multi-year, apostolic commissions, continual effort etc) If so can you tell us more about such efforts. If not why in your opinion has this not been a focus given the imbalance in knowledge about women's divine destiny? The most extensive information we have comes directly from teachings and the era of polygamy making this especially problematic for many. Is it reasonable to be hopeful as members that significant new information might be received on these issues in our lifetime or is it better for us to accept that we will only have existing cannon and history to work with?" ~Anonymous
"I would like to hear her opinion about the problematic language and sexism of the temple ceremony. While many aspects of the endowment are so beautiful, relegating women to secondary status (why is Eve created?) seems to underpin other sexist practices in the church. If the church no longer practices polygamy, why are men still allowed to be sealed to more than one woman in the temple? Does the church still consider polygamy a celestial law? Does church leadership understand that these practices leave many women feeling that our religion does not view men and women as equals before God?" ~Vinniecat
Heard enough? (there's more) Anyway, no doubt Sister Beck is well aware of these concerns that many LDS women have, and will not be surprised that they are taking this extraordinary opportunity to hear what she might have to say in this interview. And no doubt many of the questions that are being posted are coming from less than happy Mormon women, some of which most likely are somewhat distant from the Church. (but that's not to say that many very active women in the Church don't, on occasion, wonder some of the same things) However, I believe that Sister Beck knew when she decided to step out like this, that this would be the result. I love that about her. And I appreciate her willingness to connect with the women of the Church on such an intimate level.
I can't wait to listen to the interview -- and then come back and discuss some of her answers!
So, if you have a question that you've been dying to ask a Church leader, but never thought you'd have the chance, head on over to Mormon Mommy Blogs and post your question to Sister Beck... HERE!
Update: I just heard this from a great FB friend...
Did you also know that you can email her questions for the RS program on the Mormon Channel at firstname.lastname@example.org and they could be answered in an upcoming Relief Society question and answer episode (she records them monthly). You may also record your question by calling 1-877-MYLDS32 and leave your question.
Note: Make sure and share this info with other LDS women, so that as many as possible have a chance to ask Sister Beck a question. :)
Deseret News: Today in the Bloggernacle: Asking President Julie B. Beck questions, and visiting teaching handout
Deseret Book on Facebook - Ask Sister Beck
LDS Newsroom: Relief Society Presidency