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30 review for A Place to Belong: Stories from Modern Latter-Day Saint Women

  1. 5 out of 5

    Erin

    I don't quite know how I want to rate this book yet. I thought it would be a valuable way to introduce me to the different perspectives of women in the Church, especially those who differ from "the norm" in one way or another. I hoped this would help me better serve the women in my ward in my new calling. I definitely liked some essays better than others. I was honestly bothered by how many essays seemed to push the idea that a woman can (should?) have a career and a family. I am still a strong I don't quite know how I want to rate this book yet. I thought it would be a valuable way to introduce me to the different perspectives of women in the Church, especially those who differ from "the norm" in one way or another. I hoped this would help me better serve the women in my ward in my new calling. I definitely liked some essays better than others. I was honestly bothered by how many essays seemed to push the idea that a woman can (should?) have a career and a family. I am still a strong believer in the value of children having a stay-at-home mother, and while I generally don't condemn those who choose to work while raising their children, I was not a fan of feeling the idea being preached to me as the best way to live a happy and fulfilled life. The ways it was taught left me feeling unconvinced anyway. One woman quotes how in the olden days (30 years ago), prophets taught mothers to come home. Then she quotes an apostle ten years ago talking about how the world is full of choices and opportunities for women. That quote can, indeed be interpreted to mean it's okay for mothers to work, but it doesn't say it explicitly enough to leave me convinced at the Brethren are all for it now. Another woman asks the question, "why not both?" and uses the personal experience of taking the qualifying exam for her PhD by persuading the five professors set to administer the oral exam to come to her hospital bed during their scheduled time, because she had suddenly gone into labor. Huh? Maybe the takeaway was supposed to be that mothers who do both are hard-core and tough, but to me this personal anecdote comes off as extreme and really bizarre. Are those the adjectives you want me to think of when I consider working mothers? This story didn't do a lot to support the argument, in my opinion. I do feel that a lot of the taboo towards working mothers has gone away through the years, and that's a good thing. We need to spend less time judging others and just focus on loving them. However, I am still not persuaded that working and raising a family is the BEST thing for a family, in spite of the myriad essays here that seemed bent on persuading me otherwise. Instead, they seemed to just send the message that my choice to be a stay-at-home mom is old-fashioned and unnecessary and leads only to limiting education, opportunities, development, and fulfillment for me. I do not feel that to be the case. I know this book is supposed to deal with the lesser-heard perspectives in the Church, but with so many essays on this same topic, I kept wishing to hear some essays from women who stay-at-home and yet feel happy and fulfilled there, as I do. There was, near the end, an essay that helped with this, but I would've liked to have heard more. It was definitely instructive to hear the thoughts of women with experiences with being a racial minority, recovering from abuse, and struggling with same-gender attraction, among other issues. The final section was my favorite. The last few essays were just wonderful. Overall, though some parts dragged or frustrated me, others inspired and instructed me, and I had lots of discussion fodder for my husband in the evenings.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Karen

    I read this because I love Camille Fronk Olson. Her books on women in the bible are *chef's kiss*. But I was delighted by all the essays by the diverse women in this book. It is important for all of us to remember, there is no one way to be a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. We're all doing our best. I especially loved hearing from the BIPOC women in this book. I am white and the vast majority of people who live around me are white, so I don't hear these voices often un I read this because I love Camille Fronk Olson. Her books on women in the bible are *chef's kiss*. But I was delighted by all the essays by the diverse women in this book. It is important for all of us to remember, there is no one way to be a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. We're all doing our best. I especially loved hearing from the BIPOC women in this book. I am white and the vast majority of people who live around me are white, so I don't hear these voices often unless I go looking for them. I was grateful to hear their voices included here. Many of them have an added layer of struggle in this church because there is a lot of pain that resides in our history of racism. Reading their stories was really informative and powerful.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Tiffany Dominguez

    This is a collection of heart wrenching and tender experiences from women of faith around the world. So much to think about. The honesty and straight-forward nature and tone of these writings are inspiring and gut wrenching. This is not a light read but it is one that will change how you look at women in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. In that you will see how they struggled with social norms and hard life experiences and how their trust in God brought them through it. There are This is a collection of heart wrenching and tender experiences from women of faith around the world. So much to think about. The honesty and straight-forward nature and tone of these writings are inspiring and gut wrenching. This is not a light read but it is one that will change how you look at women in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. In that you will see how they struggled with social norms and hard life experiences and how their trust in God brought them through it. There are accounts of African American women feeling left out of the church who created a cultural celebration for them and their antecedents and the church endorsing it. There are stories of women who felt they should be working outside the home yet have a family too and asked themselves, does God want me to do both? There are those who couldn’t have children and found meaning through extensive work with global children’s charities. There are those who remained single for a long time and struggled with the patriarchal nature of church culture. There are those talking about struggles with homosexual feelings and how they found peace. Mainly though, there are many who thought God had one plan for them when He really had a much better one all along. But it took defying cultural norms to accept it. The lingering thoughts I had from this are: 1. God’s plan for us doesn’t fit a mold. He has a work that might be done through charities, through raising a family, through professional work, or through church work. We need to be careful about our own expectations, no matter how we’ve been raised or what we may hear at church, and let God guide us. 2. We are a church of STRONG women. These women are often in the shadows which makes it all the more impressive and inspiring. 3. Personally, hearing stories of women who had a calling to work outside the home made me feel greater peace about my own life and choices. I wish I would’ve had this book 20 years ago! Camille Fronk Olsen, one of the authors and a compiler of those book, is a favorite female role model for me. My Grandmother told me about her many years ago—they were neighbors and she really admired her. It has taken me this long to delve into her works and I’m sad I waited! But perhaps my grandmother (who has passed) is still pleased.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Martha

    There were parts I really enjoyed and parts I will admit I rolled my eyes and couldn't wait for that story to be over. But overall, the themes behind the book are good. Inclusion is what we could all use more of in life. There were parts I really enjoyed and parts I will admit I rolled my eyes and couldn't wait for that story to be over. But overall, the themes behind the book are good. Inclusion is what we could all use more of in life.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Amanda

    "We are more alike, my friends, than we are unalike." Maya Angelou said that. She isn't featured in this book, but that is the how I felt as I read the experiences and testimonies of the sisters who share their thoughts in this book. It has been so uplifting for me to read the words of women who represent a variety of family, church experience, racial, and educational backgrounds, but find direction, peace and happiness through the gospel of Christ. This book was just the boost I needed right no "We are more alike, my friends, than we are unalike." Maya Angelou said that. She isn't featured in this book, but that is the how I felt as I read the experiences and testimonies of the sisters who share their thoughts in this book. It has been so uplifting for me to read the words of women who represent a variety of family, church experience, racial, and educational backgrounds, but find direction, peace and happiness through the gospel of Christ. This book was just the boost I needed right now. Here are some of my favorite quotes: In regards to decisions about motherhood: "It's never felt like sacrifice or obedience to me. It feels more like figuring out what work life has granted me in this hour's square of sunshine." --Rosalynde Welch "We are put here on this earth for a reason. Some parts of the journey must be done alone, without the help of other human beings. But God is always with us, whether we feel Him or not." --Petra Chardon "The more education you get, the more qualified you'll be for a variety of good jobs, which will mean more flexibility in your schedule and probably leave you feeling more personally fulfilled--all of which will probably help you be a happier and better parent." --Kate Harline, quoting her father, a history professor at BYU "Life has not always brought me what I expected. But in allowing myself to let go of the life I had planned and accept and thrive in the life that God and I have created together, I find myself continually surprised and delighted by what it has to offer." --Michelle Lee "The gospel calls each of us to magnify our various talents and to occupy diverse spaces in the world; the best we can do is to lift up the light of tuth unapologetically in whatever mode is appropriate to each space that we occupy. Other Latter-day Saints might not accept or recognize that light for what it is when it diverges from sometimes scripted and circumscribed cultrual mores, but Christ accepts and encourages our offerings nevertheless." --Deidre Nicole Green "Here at midlife, I see clearly that joy is not what remains when troubles end. Instead, joy is a way of wending our way through the peaks and valleys of life.” –Hollie Rhees Fluhman

  6. 4 out of 5

    M

    While I really wish there were more stories of women from around the world, more ones unmarried or without children, ones with marriages or children who don't fit the Mormon mold, and ones who didn't pursue graduate work and yet were joyful, I loved the stories of the sisters showcased here. I would love for every young woman to read this; if I'd have read it when I was a girl, I can see many decisions I would have made differently. Thankfully, I may still be able to make and act on them now, an While I really wish there were more stories of women from around the world, more ones unmarried or without children, ones with marriages or children who don't fit the Mormon mold, and ones who didn't pursue graduate work and yet were joyful, I loved the stories of the sisters showcased here. I would love for every young woman to read this; if I'd have read it when I was a girl, I can see many decisions I would have made differently. Thankfully, I may still be able to make and act on them now, and increase my joy in being a sister in the Church.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Makenzie

    I have had a rough couple weeks and for some odd reason this book caught my eye. I cannot tell you how much I cried, listening to stories very different from my own, and yet I related to them! I finished the book with a new sense of power in my differences. I’m so grateful I read this book! It might be one I return to often!!

  8. 4 out of 5

    Jenni

    The stories were great and many of them inspiring, but the majority of the authors all seem to have master’s degrees and PhDs. It gave me the feeling that one can’t be an “authority” on women’s issues unless one has advanced degrees. It’s wonderful for women to have high degrees and lots of education, but we aren’t the only ones who have an authoritative say on women’s issues.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Renae Rockwood

    A great collection of stories from women working to understand how to navigate the complexities of being a woman and member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Becky Griffin

    Must read if you have struggled with faith and how to live it. It is an individual thing that looks differently for everyone. I listened to the audiobook and it would have been better if the accounts were read by the original writers but otherwise I enjoyed hearing all the stories.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Jackie

    I don't know what I expected from this book when I kept seeing it on the shelf at the bookstore. Perhaps I thought it would be some sort of "Molly Mormon" (do you know what I mean by that - is it still a somewhat relevant term?) everything-is-always-ok sort of shallow book meant to be uplifting. This book is definitely not that. What it is, is a series of little essays written from the hearts of every contributor. I don't know how the compilers of the book chose the women they chose . There is a s I don't know what I expected from this book when I kept seeing it on the shelf at the bookstore. Perhaps I thought it would be some sort of "Molly Mormon" (do you know what I mean by that - is it still a somewhat relevant term?) everything-is-always-ok sort of shallow book meant to be uplifting. This book is definitely not that. What it is, is a series of little essays written from the hearts of every contributor. I don't know how the compilers of the book chose the women they chose . There is a somewhat broad spectrum, with of course, some overlap. I suspect they chose women they personally know or have in a wide circle of acquaintances. The book includes many more career women than I would have expected considering the entire scope of the hoped-for readership. My take-away is that we are all welcome in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day saints. Everyone, even someone who hasn't even heard of our church. There is a place for each of us. Inclusion is vital. It is essential to the health of the whole. While I might personally choose different things, thoughts, life experiences, this isn't a book for judgement of others. It is a book to help us be aware of the ways we are the same - in our testimonies of Jesus Christ - how our faith and commitment to be a disciple of Christ helps us to navigate life's challenges. I was happy to see the final essay was titled "Hoping For Joy". It was a fitting end to this book - we all want joy. I liked her personal perspective. Some passages I particularly noted: Jeanette W. Bennett quoted Eliza R. Snow: "Let them seek for wisdom instead of power and they will have all the power they have wisdom to exercise." I liked Michelle Lee's paragraph about living with anxiety. And this one from Hollis Rhees Fluhman "I see clearly that joy is not what remains when troubles end. Instead, joy is a way of wending our way through the peaks and valleys of life. " I would recommend this to anyone interested in the lives of others and how they balance their desire to be connected with Christ and their paths through life. Take the time to read it slow. There is much wisdom in this world.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Beth

    This collection of essays shows that though Latter-day Saint women might be diverse in their backgrounds, their opinions, and their ways of thinking, our unique perspectives can be a blessing to others as we unite together. For those women who identify as both faithful and feminist, these essays will feel validating and encouraging. I was really excited to see an essay from my college friend Deidre Nicole Green included in this volume (she is so articulate!), and when I came to Deanna Gourley's b This collection of essays shows that though Latter-day Saint women might be diverse in their backgrounds, their opinions, and their ways of thinking, our unique perspectives can be a blessing to others as we unite together. For those women who identify as both faithful and feminist, these essays will feel validating and encouraging. I was really excited to see an essay from my college friend Deidre Nicole Green included in this volume (she is so articulate!), and when I came to Deanna Gourley's beautiful, vulnerable essay I realized that she was in my freshman ward at BYU also. I'm sure that my personal, positive experiences with these women helped me feel more connected to all of the writers. I'd recommend reading through the entire volume or just whatever essays you'd like. Some will resonate more than others because we are all different people. --- I copied down pages of quotes as I read! (Some are actually quotes of quotes; Neal A. Maxwell and C.S. Lewis did not contribute directly to this book!) "Ambiguitiy is a cause for celebration because over and over it invites us to seek revelation from God." -Virginia Pearce Cowley, p. 5 "There's no one way to be an LDS woman. Each has a right to personal revelation and is expected to use that. It should be personal, and we shouldn't let other people's comments shake our direction. I think women are particularly susceptible to that." -Ruth Renlund, p. 5 "In times of uncertainty, it's helpful for me to review the certainties. I particularly need to be reminded of the things I know for sure when I'm swimming in uncertain terriroty." -Virginia Pearce Cowley, p. 5 "When I speak [my certainties] out loud, a feel a kind of settled peace that allows me to open my heart and with confidence -- even excitement -- embrace the ambiguities." -Virginia Pearce Cowley, p. 6 "We each need to carve out regular quiet spaces and places in everyday life ... to just think, to be still. I believe that's a prerequisite for hearing the voice of the Lord." -Virginia Pearce Cowley, p. 7 "If we don't have a relationship with God, if we don't think He loves us, if we can't se our great potential, we'll turn from Him and seek love, worth, and validation in all the wrong places." -Lanae Valentine, p. 10 Mindfulness/meditation as a tool when it feels difficult. "Be still, and know that I am God" as a script to use -p.11 "The idea of cramming such complex and beautiful beings into a mold now seems laughable. To toss out the myth of that mold and give ourselves the freedome to explore our faith, to honestly seek, whether we find answers or not, allowed us each to look at who we are, what has made us, what we are capable of." -Melissa Mason, p. 50 "The Church is not moving as fast as many of us would like, but it is also moving at a blistering pace for others. Can we have chairty for both?" -Andrea G. Radke-Moss, p. 54 "The work of trying to be Christlike has come down to two simple ideas: learning to look and find where people need to be seen and then listening to them." -Ashley Mae Hoiland, p. 68 "There is nothing more vital to our success and our happiness here than learning to hear the voice of the Spirit. It is the Spirit who reveals to us our identity -- which isn't just who we are but who we have always been. And that wehn we know, our lives take on a sense of purpose so stunning that we can never be the same again." -Sheri Dew, p. 70 "Maybe we can learn to be okay with not being notable all the time. In reading about Christ's interactions with the people in 3 Nephi, no names are mentioned, only a crowd of men, women, and children. Are we not also simply a participant in that crowd? When I read that passage, I imagine a group of regular people ... I see them also forming circles, bolstering one another, notable to no one except to Christ, who seeks them out one by one and blesses them and blesses them and blesses them." -Ashley Mae Hoiland, p. 68 "Humans are wired to seek certainty, and we do this whenever we set expectations for how our lives are 'supposed to' unforld. I see this all the time as a therapist who works with anxiety disorders. After all, anxiety is, in essence, an unhealthy obsession with safety and certainty, and effectively managing it is not about learning to be more certain so much as it is about learning to be brave, even in the face of risk." -Michelle Lee, p. 130 "It was as though God were saying to me, 'These are good desires. Your life is yours, and I will walk with you and help you create, as I do.'" -Michelle Lee, p. 130-131 "The Holy Ghost will preach to you from the pulpit of memory." -Neal A. Maxwell, p. 133 "Negotiating a space between academic arguments and gospel truths requires the guidance of the Spirit." -Janiece Johnson, p. 136 "What it is to live faithfully is to trust God enough to live out one's personal calling and vocation despite the criticism that inevitably comes from those who expect conformity with their own way of life. To live hopefully is to believe that God will redeem and justify such attempts at faithfulness, which generally appear as the oppotsite, and to live charitably is to choose not to castigate those who make judgments based on appearance rather than intent." -Deidre Nicole Green, p. 145 "The gospel calls each of us to maginfy our various talents and to occupy diverse spaces in the world; the best we can do is to lift up the light of truth unapologetically in whatever mode is apporpriate to each space that we occupy." -Deidre Nicole Green, p. 145 After hearing M. Russell Ballard say that priesthood power is given to men and women through the endowment: "No more bemoaning what I am not invited to do or sitting on the sidelines. Women of the Church are enlisted to fully engage on the front line." -Camille Fronk Olson, p. 160 "The Lord can only teach an inquiring mind." -Russell M. Nelson, p. 162 "With time, I have come to acknowledge that I actually *need* that wrestle, that continuous tumult of questions inside my soul, to keep me awake, alive and aglow." -Norma Calabrese Salerno, p. 164 "Sometimes, we should that God for what we don't have at all and even for what we've lost, because 'it is when we have lost [something] that we begin to find out [its] value.'" -Norma Calabrese Salerno, p. 164 "I believe in the promise of what comes after this great In Between." -Jenny Reeder, p. 179 "I sometimes think of the temple as a spiritual gym -- a place to practice spiritual skills, receive coaching and support, get old injuries addressed, and gain strengths that will help me outside its walls." -Wendy Ulrich, p. 184 "Joy is not what remains when troubles end. Instead, joy is a wending our way through the peaks and valleys of life." -Hollie Rhees Fluhman, p. 192 "If our religion is something objective, then we must never avert our eyes from those elements in it which seem puzzling or repellant; for it will be precisely the puzzling or the repellant which conceals what we do not yet know and need to know. Science progresses because scientists, instead of running away from such troublesome phenomena or hushing them up, are constantly seeking them out. In the same way, there will be progress in Christian knowledge only as long as we accept the challenge of the difficult or repellant doctrines." -C.S. Lewis, p. 187 "I think suffering on this earth is an indication of God's trust, God's love. I think it is an indication that God does not want us to be simply obedient children playing forever under his hand, but wants us to become more like himself. In order to do that we have to know reality ... If we are to be like God, we cannot live forever in fear that we may meet something that will scare us or that will hurt us. We have to be able, as he is able, to meet what comes of others' agency." -Francine Bennion, p. 191 "Every one of us knows someone who has no business being as happy as they are. Inevitably, they are humble. I don't mean the kind of false-modest acknowledgent of a weakness or two. I mean the kind of humility that often grows in the cracks of brokenness." -Hollie Rhees Fluhman, p. 191

  13. 4 out of 5

    Tori

    I'm a big Camille Fronk Olson fan but obviously she didn't write this. There were some good moments, but overall this compilation was awkward and not cohesive for me. I was confused about the purpose. If the purpose was to show different women in the church (as stated in the intro), there was a serious lack of diversity and that frustrated me. If the purpose was to show "feminism" in the church, they didn't show that very clearly at all. Like I said, some of the essays were very powerful. But th I'm a big Camille Fronk Olson fan but obviously she didn't write this. There were some good moments, but overall this compilation was awkward and not cohesive for me. I was confused about the purpose. If the purpose was to show different women in the church (as stated in the intro), there was a serious lack of diversity and that frustrated me. If the purpose was to show "feminism" in the church, they didn't show that very clearly at all. Like I said, some of the essays were very powerful. But this was a weird read.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Josh Gruninger

    This is a collection of short stories from various Latter-Day Saint women who relate their experiences in the church and in society as a whole. What I found refreshing with this book, was that the majority of the women who tell their stories are not the stereotypical experiences. These are women who come from all walks of life, gone through extraordinary situations and have been able to keep Jesus Christ at the center of their lives. They have learned how to rectify their experiences with a fait This is a collection of short stories from various Latter-Day Saint women who relate their experiences in the church and in society as a whole. What I found refreshing with this book, was that the majority of the women who tell their stories are not the stereotypical experiences. These are women who come from all walks of life, gone through extraordinary situations and have been able to keep Jesus Christ at the center of their lives. They have learned how to rectify their experiences with a faith that is relatively new globally and traditional in its dictates. What I really enjoy about this book is the recognition that as a church (I also belong to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints), we should openly embrace all comers to our faith. We can learn so much from others, especially those who are not like us. We can gain a better understanding of the beauty of diversity and how each of us play a role in this tapestry. In the past several years, the majority of membership in our church has shifted from being located in North America to outside of North America. Our membership is global and diverse in its make up, so this book helps highlight how much strength this can bring. I'd definitely recommend this, especially for those who adhere to this faith.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Valerie

    I've read a handful of collections of essays by LDS women. This one was a little slower getting into for me, and there were certainly some essays that were stronger than others. But overall, good, diverse representation of LDS women. Gave voice to many women who feel marginalized in their faith community for one reason or another and yet still choose, not only to stay, but to work within their community to bring about positive change. As a thirty-year-old, single member of the Church, I apprecia I've read a handful of collections of essays by LDS women. This one was a little slower getting into for me, and there were certainly some essays that were stronger than others. But overall, good, diverse representation of LDS women. Gave voice to many women who feel marginalized in their faith community for one reason or another and yet still choose, not only to stay, but to work within their community to bring about positive change. As a thirty-year-old, single member of the Church, I appreciated the perspectives of other single women. Some essays really spoke to both where I'm at in life and where I'm at with my faith. Essays on motherhood were geared more towards women who want both career and family life; maybe could have spoken a little more to those women who celebrate the chance to be a stay-at-home mom.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    I loved this super diverse collection of essays from Latter-day Saint women. It did leave me feeling a little, I don’t know, sad or unaccomplished, seeing as I don’t have a PhD or run a global non-profit? But overall I relished in their insights, the sharing of tender experiences, and faith-building perspectives from the diverse body of women in the LDS sisterhood. In the end, I’d say it was a mission well-accomplished, with showing that the church can truly be a place of belonging for women of I loved this super diverse collection of essays from Latter-day Saint women. It did leave me feeling a little, I don’t know, sad or unaccomplished, seeing as I don’t have a PhD or run a global non-profit? But overall I relished in their insights, the sharing of tender experiences, and faith-building perspectives from the diverse body of women in the LDS sisterhood. In the end, I’d say it was a mission well-accomplished, with showing that the church can truly be a place of belonging for women of every walk of life. 4.5/5

  17. 5 out of 5

    Jane

    This was our book club book with Jill Mullvay Derr participating as we were all on Zoom. This book sparked lots of discussion and appreciation and understanding among us. I felt drawn to several of the essays and appreciated the insights. I am grateful to faithful women you navigate the concerns of life with a converted heart. I feel like this is an important book for the next couple of generations as they see how challenges can be resolved. I keep giving this to my friends. It is an important l This was our book club book with Jill Mullvay Derr participating as we were all on Zoom. This book sparked lots of discussion and appreciation and understanding among us. I felt drawn to several of the essays and appreciated the insights. I am grateful to faithful women you navigate the concerns of life with a converted heart. I feel like this is an important book for the next couple of generations as they see how challenges can be resolved. I keep giving this to my friends. It is an important look at women's perspectives in the Church. Thanks to all the contributors!!

  18. 5 out of 5

    Annie

    This is a collection of essays from Latter-Day Saint women and their individual faith journeys. Because it is a compilation of so many different people and styles, it reads that way as well. Some stories were much more eloquent and impacted me more. Some I disagreed with - after all, these are opinions and perspectives, not doctrine. But many opened my eyes to different struggles and hardships even within the bubble of church. It’s also an easy book to pick up and read just a chapter.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Arryn

    4.5 stars For me, the biggest takeaway from this book was this: there are as many ways to live the gospel of Jesus Christ as there are followers of Him. We are more alike than we are different, but our paths are wonderfully individual.

  20. 5 out of 5

    jackie norris

    Engaging collection of essays from women across the spectrum of age, race, nationality, etc. Belonging in the church is something we need to claim for ourselves, not wait for it to be bestowed on us by something outside.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Brianne

    Some of the reflections left me in tears and some were so enlightening and refreshing. I learned a lot about my fellow women in the Church of Jesus Christ and a lot about myself.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Kelly

    So many great stories in this book. I feel like there could have been more but I guess you have to call it at some point. I was surprised there weren't any divorced contributors, and always feel like there's a huge group of women who's bios maybe aren't as impressive but who have stories just as captivating as those highlighted here. Even so, definitely worth the read. A faith builder for those who ask hard questions, especially, the "am I the only one who feels this way?" one. It was enlighteni So many great stories in this book. I feel like there could have been more but I guess you have to call it at some point. I was surprised there weren't any divorced contributors, and always feel like there's a huge group of women who's bios maybe aren't as impressive but who have stories just as captivating as those highlighted here. Even so, definitely worth the read. A faith builder for those who ask hard questions, especially, the "am I the only one who feels this way?" one. It was enlightening to hear how some navigate their way through the church and the answers that others have found. So many good quotes and thoughts but here's a few that stuck out: "Sometimes, we should thank God for what we don't have at all and even for what we've lost, because "it is when we have lost [something] that we begin to find out [its] value" (164) Francine Bennion "The Theology of Suffering" I think suffering on this earth is an indication of God's trust, God's love. I think it is an indication that God does not want us to be simply obedient children playing forever under his hand, but wants us to be able to become more like himself. In order to do that we have to know reality...If we are to be like God, we cannot live forever in fear that we may meet something that will scare us or will hurt us. We have to be able, as he is able, to meet what comes of others' agency." I have discovered that such suffering can create fertile ground for humility, which in turn might be the critical environment for real seeds of joy to grow" (191) "There is no one perfect way to be a good mother," Elder M. Russell Ballard,...said in 2008. "Each situation is unique. Each mother has different challenges, different skills and abilities, and certainly different children" (91-2) Eliza R. Snow "Let them seek for wisdom instead of power and they will have all the power they have wisdom to exercise" (100) "Questions are indeed opportunities for personal growth, an invitation to slow down in our fast-moving and demanding world and acquire more spiritual knowledge through patient, yet rewarding wrestling" (164)

  23. 4 out of 5

    Daisy Dandelion

    The concept of this book is beautiful. And beautifully illustrated through the scrap-quilt on the front cover. We are all different and beautiful, yet we all belong to the same cohesive beautiful family. My compliments to the editors, Camille Fronk Olson and Hollie Rhees Fluhman, for taking this project on. Nice job. As a disclaimer, I need to confess that my sister is one of the 33 contributing authors to this book. So naturally, I was going to have a positive opinion. Many of the stories are hon The concept of this book is beautiful. And beautifully illustrated through the scrap-quilt on the front cover. We are all different and beautiful, yet we all belong to the same cohesive beautiful family. My compliments to the editors, Camille Fronk Olson and Hollie Rhees Fluhman, for taking this project on. Nice job. As a disclaimer, I need to confess that my sister is one of the 33 contributing authors to this book. So naturally, I was going to have a positive opinion. Many of the stories are honest, raw, inspiring, vulnerable, and/or generally uplifting. Some were not. Because some of the essays were draining emotionally, it took me months to finish this book. I read one essay at a time, but I never knew in advance if today's reading would buoy my spirits, or do quite the opposite. Unfortunately, I did not enjoy this book as much as I had hoped (you know, considering my sister and all). I really wanted to. I hope the editors will decide to tackle this subject again. I am sure the general tone of that second version will be more up-lifting.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Karina

    (3.5, but I always round up:)) I really do appreciate what was trying to be accomplished in this book. I feel though because it is a compilations of essays (and therefore a compilations of authors), not every piece is going to connect with every person. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, I think this type of style may lead to a lack of engagement. FOR me personally I didn’t find myself craving to read it, since there were so many natural stopping points in the narrative. Loved the messages, love (3.5, but I always round up:)) I really do appreciate what was trying to be accomplished in this book. I feel though because it is a compilations of essays (and therefore a compilations of authors), not every piece is going to connect with every person. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, I think this type of style may lead to a lack of engagement. FOR me personally I didn’t find myself craving to read it, since there were so many natural stopping points in the narrative. Loved the messages, love the women, love the goal, but I view this book more as a resource than a work of art.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Jessica

    My mom sent this to me and I'll will send it on to dear friends because it is one of those kinds of books. This is a collections of essays by women about being members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. I relate to some of these essays more than others. My heart was touched deeply by a couple of them. The others will help me become more empathetic to my sisters in the Gospel. This is a timely collection and worth a read. My mom sent this to me and I'll will send it on to dear friends because it is one of those kinds of books. This is a collections of essays by women about being members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. I relate to some of these essays more than others. My heart was touched deeply by a couple of them. The others will help me become more empathetic to my sisters in the Gospel. This is a timely collection and worth a read.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Kat Todd

    I was a little wary of reading this book, I don’t want to read a whole bunch of sappy stories about women feeling like they don’t fit in, because doesn’t everyone feel like that at least once in their lives? Luckily this book focused more upon the uplifting parts of finding where you belong, and that there are countless ways to find balance in your own life. While I feel that some essays preached feminism a little to much and that too many were only about balancing being a mother with having a ca I was a little wary of reading this book, I don’t want to read a whole bunch of sappy stories about women feeling like they don’t fit in, because doesn’t everyone feel like that at least once in their lives? Luckily this book focused more upon the uplifting parts of finding where you belong, and that there are countless ways to find balance in your own life. While I feel that some essays preached feminism a little to much and that too many were only about balancing being a mother with having a career, I still enjoyed the overall messages within this book. A nice part about this book, was that it had many different views and if you didn’t like a certain woman’s essay they are easy to get through due to their short length or to skip altogether. I would have honestly preferred a couple different views from women choosing to stay at home and being happiest there, but I understand that the intent of this book was to be a more feminist outlook on career and family in an lds home.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Jean

    This audio book contains the stories of thirty three different women from diverse backgrounds explaining their experiences in balancing current women’s issues with the conservative background of the Church of Jesus Christ Christ of Latter Day Saints. The stories were all interesting; some were inspirational.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Loraine

    I agree with others that say they liked some essays more than others. I think that is the value in this book. Some essays will speak to you in ways that others will not. And maybe if I read it again the ones I didn’t like as much will be the the ones I love. What I absolutely loved about this book are the many different voices I sought to hear helping me to understand their world.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Wendy

    Such a beautiful read. I'm so thankful for the wonderful diversity of faith displayed by the women who contributed to this book. This is not a one size fits all faith. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is for everyone! Such a beautiful read. I'm so thankful for the wonderful diversity of faith displayed by the women who contributed to this book. This is not a one size fits all faith. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is for everyone!

  30. 4 out of 5

    NaDell

    I enjoyed these short essays by Latter-Day Saint Women about their lives and faith. They are all different in many ways, but we are all the same in so many ways. I appreciated reading and learning more about each one of them.

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