Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Nitty Gritty "Women's Work"

I apologize for being a bit negligent in posting my weekly "Wednesday Woman" but this summer has been a little bit crazy. Those of you that don't know me in real life, or who don't follow my other blog, probably don't know that I am expecting my second baby around the first of September. I've been feeling pretty good but I broke my foot a few weeks ago and just barely got out of the walking cast (yippee!). I also have a 19 month old little boy who is a curious ball of energy and who keeps life interesting-- to say the least :). In addition BOTH of my parents are getting re-married this summer! So I offer all that up as an excuse as to why I haven't had time to do much research or studying-- I hope you'll forgive me and promise I'll try to keep up as much as I can.

I really appreciated the story by Carolynn R. Spencer entitled "Was I Living The Gospel Fully?" in the July edition of the Ensign magazine. Spencer talks about how, after a day of taking care of a house full of sick children, she felt guilty when she read the scripture in Jacob 2: 19 which talks about how to live the gospel fully we need to "... to clothe the naked, and to feed the hungry, and to liberate the captive, and administer relief to the sick and the afflicted." She felt overwhelmed thinking "How can I feed the hungry, clothe the naked, visit the sick, and help people spiritually when I can scarcely take care of my own family?" Then she had an overwhelming insight that what she was doing as a mother WAS living the gospel fully-- she had spent ALL DAY feeding her hungry, naked and sick children and she knew that God had accepted her offering.

Because my own life has been a crazy whirlwind and because I sometimes it is all I can manage to get dressed in the morning and chase around a little 19 month old, I really appreciated this insight. I think one of the things that women forget is that what we do as women, wives and as mothers is IMPORTANT work and that God recognizes and accepts the sacrifices we make. I've written before about how the women at the empty tomb were the first to get to see and touch the Resurrected Christ because they were there doing the nitty gritty women's work of taking care of Christ's body. What women are called to do in the home is just as important and necessary as the preaching and administering that men are called to do outside the home. If women don't get enough credit and recognition for their work that is our failing as a society and not because God doesn't appreciate or value their work. I know that God notices women and that He blesses them for what they do for His children.

This knowledge gives me a lot of peace right now, because in all honesty it has been hard for me to do much more than just take care of myself and my family. While I still think it is good ( and important) to find time to serve others and to respond to the prompting that God sends me, I find peace in knowing that I am

clothing the naked

feeding the hungry

liberating the captive

and administering relief to the sick

and the afflicted

and that in a BIG and IMPORTANT way I am helping to build and strengthen the Kingdom of God. I just need to give myself more credit and realize that there I am doing EXACTLY what God wants and NEEDS me to be doing right now-- even if sometimes it isn't that glamorous and probably won't get written down as scripture -- which in my opinion (which isn't much next to God's) is what should have have been written on them ;) So just remember to give yourself a little bit more credit at the end of the day, because God knows what you've been up to.


  1. Great post. Thanks for the reminder.

  2. We need to post your post on the RS bulletin board and send it home in the newsletter. So easy to forget that we're already doing so much of what we feel like we're not.

  3. I love your insights. I really like your comment about wishing the scriptures were more about women's lives. I had to share my theory that the sealed portion of the Book of Mormon is all about us! Maybe it's the Relief Society meeting minutes from ancient times. I also like to think that when the women went to Christ's tomb, they may have been on a Relief Society assignment. When I was in a Relief Society Presidency, we learned that one of our duties, if needed, was to prepare and dress the body of a sister or child for burrial. I was surprised to learn those responsibilities, and the Relief Society president was overwhelmed by the idea, which is understandable. As a Registered Nurse, I've had exposure to death, so while it's a humbling and sacred responsibility to pronounce death, clean a body, or comfort family, it was not as frightening to me and I was able to offer to help if needed. I'm glad the Lord prepared me to serve in that capacity. When I've heard of the women who visited the tomb, they seemed comfortable with their work. Perhaps they were diligently fulfilling Relief Society duties they knew well.
    Here's the excerpt from the Church Handbook of Instructions Book 2 Section 3 for Relief Society. "Guidelines for Visits at Time of Death. Wnen a death occurs in the ward, the Relief Society president, acting under the bishop's direction, has the following responsibilities. She calls at the home of the bereaved to comfort the family, assess needs, and offer assistance. If the family desires, she assigns sisters to recieve and arrange flowers at the funeral, stay at the family's home during the funeral services, care for babies and small children of the family, and provide a simple meal for immediate family members after the funeral service. If requested by the family or if there is no morticial in the community, she prepares and dresses the body of a sister or child for burrial. Other Relief Society sisters may assist her. Sisters should take precautions when exposed to blood and other bodily fluids. If the decessed sister was endowed, the Relief Society president makes sure the temple clothing is placed properly on her body. If Relief Society sisters do the dressing, this clothing should be put on by an endowed sister. See 'Instructions for Clothing the Dead Who Have Received Their Endowments'. If cultural tradidions or burrial practices make it inappropriate or difficult to dress a deceased member in temple clothing, the clothing may be folded and placed next to the body in the casket. During the period of adjustment following the death, the Relief Society president visits and helpd the bereaved and offers assistance. This period may be short ot long, depending on individual need. These visits and assistance may be as important as the service given at the time of death."

    Doesn't it sound like when the women went to the tomb and to visit the apostles they were doing the work of Relief Society?