This panel discussion examines the wonderful gifts of Mormonism’s strong emphases and teachings about the divine role of motherhood as well as the external and internal pressures that come with these messages and how they sometimes work against the more basic gospel goal of helping women fully flourish and grow in godlike qualities. In this far-ranging and insight-packed conversation, panelists Chelsea Fife, Chelsea Strayer, and Jennifer Finlayson-Fife all maintain the utmost gratitude for their own role as mothers and for church emphases on motherhood’s many joys while also examining ways we as Latter-day Saints might change some of our messaging about motherhood, especially taking it from its “institutional” status as a static ideal and making it more real for today’s women. They discuss ways to place motherhood more squarely in the context of women’s intrinsic worth and recognize how this value cannot be so fully tied up in motherhood. The period of intense mothering of children through early adulthood occupies a relatively small portion of a woman’s lifespan, so her sense of worth must be centered in something more. Furthermore, since many, many couples struggle with infertility, and many women never marry nor have the opportunity to be a mother, “motherhood” cannot be the end-all, be-all of a woman’s existence, nor the primary way she measures her success, value, or femininity. So while honoring all the good and loving messages about motherhood, how might we bring about important changes to the current conversation? You don’t want to miss this episode!
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