Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The Women in the Scriptures Challenge

A few years ago I started keeping a notebook of all the women I found in the scriptures.

I kept track of all the named women, unnamed women, references to women, any mention of wombs, breast, menstruation or any other reference to women's bodies and functions. Reading the scriptures through the lens of women completely changed my perspective and understanding of the scriptures. I use to dread personal scripture study and sometimes even fell asleep during it... gasp, you've never done that have you? I had a hard time relating to the stories, especially in the Old Testament, but when I discovered the women in the stories a whole new world opened up to me.

I realized that these women lived lives not too different from mine, they struggled, fought, cried, doubted, bore children, breastfed, loved men passionately, and most importantly... they lived. They were real women who had real struggles and learned important lessons that were unique to women. I no longer fall asleep during scripture study but am excited every day to discover a new woman and a new story that I can relate to. I understand now the wisdom behind what Nephi said when he told us to "liken the scriptures" unto ourselves (1 Ne. 19: 23-24).

In view of this I have issued a standing challenge for all my readers... The Women in the Scripture Challenge... if you are super brave and daring you can take the Full Challenge or if you are semi-brave and somewhat daring you can take the Half challenge.

The Full Challenge

1) In the next year (ideally) read the ENTIRE standard works, Old and New Testaments, Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants and Pearl of Great Price. You don't necessarily have to start with the Old Testament you can start in wherever book you like. You can even just start from where you are in your personal scripture study right now.

2) Keep a journal of all the women you find mentioned, this includes named and unnamed women. This should be a journal just dedicated to women in the scriptures. Hint... it will probably be much bigger than you think it needs to be. 


2a) If you don't want to keep a journal another option is to mark your scriptures with the same color whenever you find  stories or references to women. Here is how I have marked mine in case you need a visual example.

3) In this journal write down questions, thoughts or inspirations that come to you as you read about these women's lives. Here are some questions you might like to ask yourself when you discover a new woman.

4) Let God teach you new truths about what it means to be a daughter of God.

The Half Challenge

This challenge is the same as the full challenge except that you aren't undertaking the entire standard works. Pick one book of scripture and read it from start to finish specifically looking for women and their stories. Write each one down in a scripture journal and record what you learn-- or mark them in your scriptures.

By far the Old Testament has the most women but it is also the longest. The New Testament has some remarkable women that I'm sure most people haven't ever heard about. The Book of Mormon will surprise you with how many women you'll find. The Doctrine and Covenants might disappoint you-- it is a book of revelations not a history book like the other books. The Pearl of Great Price has some amazing stories of women that will boggle your mind.

The Half Challenge could easily turn into a Full Challenge... or at least a 3/4 challenge... once you get rolling.

Are you brave enough?

If you decide you are brave enough to accept this challenge then grab this button and stick in on your blog, or wherever you like, to remind you that you are committed.

Women in the Scriptures





When you've completed the challenge-- either the full or the half-- I would love to hear about your experience and what you've learned.

This journey is one that should be shared.

I can bear testimony that embarking on this challenge in any way will dramatically alter your perspective of the scriptures. You will find women, stories, and eternal truths that you didn't even know existed. They will literally jump out at you from the pages. You may also come to realize more fully what it means to be a child of God and and feel more deeply God's love for all His daughters.

If taken with faith and prayer this challenge could possibly be a life changing event.

Is that bold of me to say?

Take the challenge and find out.

31 comments:

  1. i am taking the challenge!!! i am so impressed by your study, dedication, and wisdom. Youa re an awesome example of what a woman of God is like and I want to be more like that. Thanks for issuing this challenge, this will give me some guidelines as what to do with my personal scripture study, which has really been lacking over the years. I think I'll start with the Old Testament, sicne that is the book we are also studying for Sunday School in 2010. Thanks for being such a great example!!!

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  2. I'll take this challenge! Not sure if it'll be full or half, but it'll be something! Thanks, Heather!

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  3. Great Idea. Thanks for motivating me to read the Old and New Testament. I love looking for the notes to women. I grabbed your button.

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  4. I have grabbed your button and I am on for the challenge! Not sure how far I'll get but I am going to try. :) I might even write about it on my blog and encourage others to do it as well. I also appreciate your comment on my blog. (When I wrote about stumbling on yours :)....) I really appreciate your blog and all of your wisdom. I can't wait to study more about all of these women in the scriptures.

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  5. I've really enjoyed all your insights into women in the scriptures and am tagging you for a high 5 meme. You can see details on my blog http://theprudentwoman.blogspot.com

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  6. I just found your blog this morning and can not wait to delve into the archives. I'm so impressed with what I've seen so far. Thank you!!

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  7. What a fabulous idea! I struggle with reading the scriptures and applying what I Read to my life. I look forward to reading with this idea in mind and learning new things.

    Count me in for the half challenge (at least).

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  8. Just found your blog this week through your post on MMB. I love this challenge so I will be taking it. I'm going to start with the half challenge and maybe move my way through the whole challenge..thank you so much for all the new insights into women in the scriptures.

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  9. I am so glad that I found your site. There is so much to learn from the amazing and faithful women in the scriptures and it is something that I am passionate about. Thanks for your wonderful insite and a form to share our thoughts. :)

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  10. Ooh, I am starting a little bit late, but I would like to take this challenge! I am going to have to take this on once my big service boot camp wraps up in about another week...come on over and see me! Perhaps you'll want to join in on my Service Boot Camp Giveaway http://beinglds.blogspot.com

    Also, I am following you!

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  11. I'm just now learning about the challenge, and I'm taking it, too! The Full Challenge! I want to be more in tune with the Spirit and closer to the Lord, and I'd love to be part of this.

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  12. Sounds amazing! I think I'll start with the half challenge, and am sure it'll probably turn into a full challenge once I get going, like you said.

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  13. I wanted to leave a comment here and say that I am doing the challenge. I'm staring with the Book of Mormon, and then I'll see where things go from there!

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  14. I am jumping in on your challenge. I am excited and I wish that I had found this earlier.

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  15. Thank you for this amazing blog....It has really inspired me to look for women in the scriptures. This is an exciting challenge!

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  16. I just found your blog... and this post has me giggling with excitement! :D THANK YOU! This is just the thing I need!!! :D

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  17. I'm taking the challenge! I'm also a home birthing mama, doula, and a home-schooler as well. I've often been impressed by the reality of these women's lives - they are just like us!

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  18. In a way I've already started to take this challenge by reading the books of proverbs, in which "She" is mentioned a lot. I love it. That was my Half challenge, I am ready to take the full challenge and actually keep a record in my journal.

    Thank you so much for your site. Its truly an inspiration.

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  19. I am taking the challenge. I have already on my own, without even reading your site have done the half challenge. Now I will do the full challenge, I want to be strengthened by the female voice in the scriptures. I want to strengthen the female voice we all to often take for granted and ignore.

    I love this site. It is truly an inspiration.

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  20. Heatherlady- I stopped by to get information to write up a little review of your site and bonus! I went home with your button. Thanks for the inspiration. It is a lovely Idea and I am taking your challenge.

    Darcee Yates
    Http://www.flyingwithmiamormon.com

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  21. Thank you for this site. I heard of some woman I've never heard of before, and I thought inknew many of them! Please check out our website sistersatthewell.org. It is happening in several wards across the US.
    Also during womans conference at BYU I will have an art show in th HFAC of obscure women from the old testament. I will be giving gallery talks and I would love to meet you.
    Sallie Poet

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  22. It's never too late to take a challenge. I love the idea. There are women in the scriptures I've already felt I could relate to or have learned from. Can't wait for more and even in more depth learning. Great inspired idea.

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  23. I love this especially in relation to the focus the church has placed on learning more about what it means to be Daughter's in our Heavenly Father's Kingdom! We have such an important work to do, something we cannot forget.

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  24. Over in Oxfordshire, UK, I am blogging on a different 'fabulous female' each day through Lent 2012 - currently on day 34 of 40 and have learnt so much about how Jesus treated women. Thanks for this great blog.

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  25. I was just thinking about doing this yesterday and saw this idea on facebook. I'm doing this. Thanks for the challenge!

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  26. I love this idea! I'm going to start right now!

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  27. I love this idea. It actually occurred to me on my own, after reading a talk by Sis. Hinckley where she discussed Captain Moroni's wife and I was totally amazed at what she had gleaned from the scriptures. I just started doing this this week with the Book of Mormon and it is incredible how it has changed my scripture study and inspired me!! I am so excited to see other people are doing this too!

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  28. I am excited to take this challenge. I also wrote about it on my blog. Thank you for sharing your ideas. Also, I greatly appreciated the post about infertility. You have a wonderful perspective and I'm glad that you're sharing.

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  29. I've been looking for a new way to study the scriptures, I'm excited about this!

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  30. I am taking the challenge this year. I am in the Old Testament right now (Numbers) so I am just going to start where I am and get as far as I can. I will try to get all through the standard works and back to the place I am starting.

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