The title of this three-part episode says quite a bit about it. Several weeks ago, Mormon Matters released a conversation, “Gaining Spiritual Confidence,” featuring three men sharing their journeys toward and insights about a strong sense of their own spiritual connection with God/Spirit. It was terrific—but as a listener pointed out, if featured three men and wondered how the conversation might have been different if it had also featured women’s voices. Hence this conversation was born. Three powerful women, activists, seekers, thinkers, and Mormons—Julie de Azevedo Hanks, Bryndis Roberts, and Jenne Alderks—join Mormon Matters host Dan Wotherspoon for a deep and far-ranging discussion about their personal spiritual odysseys and the various obstacles that often arise in the path toward spiritual confidence that are specific to women. And Mormon women, especially. They discuss the dual messaging women receive about being confident and yet, within Mormonism, always falling under the stewardship of men, the problem of embodied Gods who are all male (though Mormon leaders are nodding more and more toward a Heavenly Mother, or the use of “Heavenly Parents” when speaking about God, it’s not anywhere close to sufficient), about the way many LDS men prefer women to speak softly and in less-than-direct ways (think “Primary” voice).
Whereas the earlier episode on spiritual confidence focused primarily on personal confidence, this conversation spends a good amount of time on confidence within “communities,” including discussions of how to speak up, act, prepare for, and what to keep in mind, when we find ourselves in conflict with others. It also includes a section on the importance of spiritual confidence—a strong and clear connection with God and/or our sense of “calling”—when we step into an activist’s shoes.
You will not be able to stop listening to this conversation. It’s truly terrific, with great energy and diversity of life paths and perspectives. Tune in!
Julie de Azevedo Hanks,The Assertiveness Guide for Women (New Harbinger Press, 2016)
Julie de Azevedo Hanks, The Burnout Cure: An Emotional Survival Guide for Overwhelmed Women (Covenant, 2013)