Another short post sparked by too many anonymous women already in our church history

With an article titled “Remembering Mothers: Stories from the Prophets” it would be nice if they remembered that these incredible, faithful women actually had names.*

mothers

*Lucy Mack Smith, Abigail Howe Young, Mary Fielding Smith, Rachel Ivins Grant, Ada Bitner Hinckley & Gladys Condie Monson (Thanks to Rechabite for finding these.)

Comments

  1. Kristine says:

    Wow. Just in case we needed more evidence that Mormon women are regarded as interchangeable adjuncts to men’s lives…

  2. Rechabite says:

    *headdesk*

  3. Oh wow. This is just sad.

  4. Yeesh! Well, it matches the message of the church: the most important thing a woman can do is get linked to a worthy male.
    *sigh*

  5. J. Stapley says:

    Whoa.

  6. Oh wow. I just… why… I don’t… wow.

  7. It’s not often I despair, but this . . .

  8. We are so grateful for the existence of women, because how else could men demonstrate what swell gents they are.

  9. Hey, if this is the worst thing that happens today we’re not doing too bad, are we?

  10. Worse yet, it appears this article is written by a woman. It would be more consistent if the author was listed as “Matthew Johansen’s mother”

  11. There are no words. Here, a picture instead:

  12. Of course, if this were about their fathers, can anyone fathom them not including their names?

  13. Rechabite says:

    For the record, those women’s names are:
    Lucy Mack Smith
    Abigail Howe Young
    Mary Fielding Smith
    Rachel Ivins Grant
    Ada Bitner Hinckley
    Gladys Condie Monson

    See how difficult that wasn’t? That took me about 2 minutes of googling to confirm the ones I didn’t know off the top of my head. Take note, research/editorial department of The Friend. [Editor's Note: Thanks Rechabite! I was in the process of researching and making sure, but you got it up lickity-split (Unfortunately I didn't know too many off the top of my head either, a symptom of this very problem.) I added it to the main post.]

  14. I was surprised as a young child to discover that the woman who fed and spanked me had a name other than “Mom”. It was something unique that identified her as a person, not just a generic job title.

  15. I believe the principles of repentance and forgiveness apply even to the Church magazines. Here is hoping this was just an unintended, but large, oversight.

  16. I don’t think the issue is forgiveness. I’m not mad at the author, I’m sure it was oversight. It’s also a symptom of something in the church that is very wrong, and something that needs to change. That’s why it’s worth bringing up, and worth getting worked up over.

  17. Sincere question:

    Will you be bringing this to the attention of the editors or other leaders?

  18. Yes. If I can.

  19. Kristine says:

    Yeah, what Jenn said. It’s not that this one article is so terribly offensive–it’s that it’s one of thousands of micro-insults Mormon women endure. That’s part of what’s so insidious about it; it’s so easy to say “why do you get so upset over such a little thing, a mere “oversight”?”

  20. Incredible.

  21. Notice how in half the stories supposedly about mothers, the mother is a secondary character. smh

  22. Speechless.

  23. When a professor in my department found out I was pregnant, her response was, “Oh no! Not you too. Please tell me you plan to finish your dissertation and not drop out.” She then thought for a moment and said, “Well, at least the Mormons will be happy. To them, you’re finally doing what God wants.” This will not help such sentiments.

  24. Publius: you had to go back through 19 years worth of the Friend to find a story that supported your point?”

    Also: could you exercise that same level of sleuthing to find an example in history of a large organization for whom “Shut up ladies, your problem isn’t really a problem so quit whining” has been a successful strategy?

  25. Thankfully, like all sane Mormon parents, we don’t read The Friend.

  26. My thinking here is similar to Publius. Beyond a few well knowns, like Joseph Smith, Sr. I’m hard pressed to name the fathers or siblings of most of our latter-day prophets. I think it’s more an issue of wanting to identify a single hero instead of heroic networks in our stories than a case of misogyny.

    Now, if you want to talk about the nameless women throughout the scriptures, and the largely unknown but faithful plural wives of early church leaders, I think that’s a challenge.

    I believe we should emphasize the family-ness of many of our early church history stories, and that would include naming family members — male and female — more consistently. But, for me, it’s more of a family history issue than a gender issue.

  27. Publius, If the article you linked had the theme of “fathers in church history” then yes, I would be surprised at the lack of details about his father. But the point of that story is tithing. You could replace David with John Doe and the story and message stand. It could be modern or from previous decades, and the message would not change.
    Whereas the friend article about Mothers, they seem to be wanting to show the value of these women in our history, but thought the only way to do so was to stress who their sons were.

    At the bare minimum, it was a missed opportunity to show that women’s have valuable identities of their own- that being a mother contributes to that identity rather than erases it. At worst, it shows that women are only important when linked to men and the actions of men.

  28. Well Jenn beat me to it. Publius fail.

  29. Jeremy: By my math, 2007 was somewhat less than 19 years ago. And I didn’t “go back through” any years of The Friend; I consulted Google.

    Jenn: I can’t find any article in The Friend entitled “Fathers in Church History” or “Remembering Fathers”, with or without names. Talk about neglect! At

    https://www.lds.org/friend/2005/01/from-the-life-of-president-david-o-mckay?lang=eng

    though, we do have a story about David O. McKay entitled “The Faith of His Parents”, and neither of the parents get named, but 3 of David’s sisters do. Clearly, the author was prejudiced against grown-ups!

  30. Aaron: It’s difficult for me to identify fathers, but it’s not difficult for me to identify iconic men. Iconic women? Beyond, e.g., Eliza R. Snow and Emma Smith – not so much.

  31. It’s not neglect, it’s unnecessary. It’s not hard to find an article about a man. They’re all over the place. But the only way women are even mentioned most of the time is as mothers. If a woman’s ONLY claim to fame is motherhood, could we at least recognize them for it properly?
    David O Mckay’s father, could, as a priesthood holder, aspire to the positions that makes one regularly mentioned in church media. But a woman’s best hope is to be married to or mother someone important.

  32. I do think it’s a shame you can’t find anything about Fathers in church history. We tend to devalue the role men play as fathers. They are presiders, priesthood leaders… but do we pass around stories about when they are particularly nurturing? When they pray for their children? No, because that’s not what we view as important. It’s a shame that we don’t recognize worthy priesthood holders more for their roles as fathers, but we wouldn’t want to make them too much like mothers, now would we? Not when they have such more laudable things to do than watch children.

  33. (totally crushing on Jenn right now)

  34. Publius: my bad about the date stamp. I had seen the date on the quote from Elder Oaks and copied it too quickly. As others have pointed out, however, whether or not you could find an anonymous father is really not the point.

    I’m also curious as to your thoughts about my second question, purely from a strategic standpoint: do you really think the most effective way to deal with current issues related to gender in the Church will be to insist that there are no gender issues to deal with? Who do you think will be convinced by this?

  35. Good gravy, look at the fence whitewashing illustration. The mother is literally a shadow!

    I’ll say this for it–this is possibly the most symbolically rich, meaningful, message-ful article the Friend has ever published. Really tells us all we need to know about our problems of gender in the church.

  36. What Kristine said. And Jenn. And BHodges. And Ray. And Cynthia…

  37. “Please excuse President Hinckley from gym class today. He has a tummy ache. /s/ President Hinckley’s mother.”

    Do you sometimes wonder if people think history went this way?

  38. I think a better story about president Hinckley would have been the one where his mother washed his mouth out with soap for using a foul word. The one in the illustration was more touching but a mouth washed out with soap would have had more entertainment value.

  39. Yes, I do think that sometimes Ardis! Great comment!

  40. Except I think it probably goes something more like this in their minds: “Please excuse President Gordon B. Hinckley from gym class today. He has a tummy ache. /s/ President Gordon B. Hinckley’s mother.”

  41. Correction: That one time Ada Bitner Hinckley mother of Gordon B. Hinckley, washed out his mouth with soap, for using a foul word.

  42. Dovie, there are MANY better stories that could have been picked. As it stands, we’re telling girls that their most valuable contributions to the world will be things like making a wagon look weird thus saving your family $1.50 toll road fee, or dying so that a male family member can use your leftover money to do something worthwhile. Girl power!!

  43. Dovie, I don’t think that story exists in the record. We can’t have people thinking that the Prophet made mistakes in his youth — could destroy some testimonies. Best not to discuss past transgressions.

  44. Dovie: Good catch. It’s so easy to fall into the norm, isn’t it?

    john f: Ba-da-bing! We should take our act on the road.

    When I think of how many records I’ve seen of events where I *know* women were present but they are not mentioned … and the times women are mentioned as doing things that push forward the mission of the Church but they are not named … and here the names of the mothers are *known* but ignored …

    I want to give them the benefit of the doubt and wonder if they found it awkward to work the names of the mothers into each little story because neither the boy “Tommy” nor the child readers would have referred to her as anything but “Mom” or “Tommy’s mom” or “Sister Monson.” But they certainly could have included a box somewhere on the page that named them.

  45. In many cases, I think it’s because they didn’t know the mother’s middle initial and putting the name out there without it just didn’t seem right.

  46. Aaron (the other one) says:

    In the absence of evidence, I suspect that an analogous story about fathers would be just as likely to omit their names. I’m confident that such a story would not have drawn analogous attention. Where there are preexisting sensitivities, they are likely to color how new information is interpreted. Seems to me that leaves two courses of action. First, we can parse this incident ad nauseam and analyze whether this particular author was influenced by conscious or unconscious gender bias (or just assume one way or the other and go from). Second, we can acknowledge that regardless of what’s really behind this specific article, the reaction represents a real and deep sensitivity that does not exist without basis. This second path seems much more likely to be productive, since the article is either a real manifestation of the problem, or is being held up as a symbol of the problem. So for those inclined to defend the article or dismiss its relevance, why not instead ask why it elicits such a strong reaction, or where does the sensitivity come from, and what steps we can take to address it?

  47. Kristine says:

    Aaron–that’s nice and all, but I think it’s extremely dangerous to portray doing what’s right as somehow catering to someone’s inflamed sensitivities. It’s like the “I’m sorry you felt offended by my action” apology. It subtly shifts the fault to the offended party, without ever properly deciding the merits of the argument. And when it’s men deigning to consider the delicate sensitivities of women, it’s a million times more problematic.

    (I’m not accusing you of doing this, just pointing out the slippery slope your comment is precariously perched on).

  48. melodynew says:

    What Neal said.

    And also: this Remembering Mothers magazine spread is causing me to have a stupor of thought.

  49. Not trying to be contrary here, but I don’t read this as a slight to women. I read this as an article that is trying to help children recognize that Mothers have played a great role in men’s lives whose name they will recognize. Sure, including the name of the Mother that raised and influenced a Prophet of God should have been included, an oversight that shouldn’t have been made. But the intent of the stories, in my opinion, is to get children reading the article to RECOGNIZE that Moms make a difference; and maybe, just maybe, to appreciate THEIR Mothers a little more. Without the names it might be easier for the children to recognize their Mother in each of those little stories instead of the great women that actually did them. A small sacrifice to make if some of those children see THEIR Mother doing those things instead of someone else.

  50. If that were so, 1of10, then it was unnecessary, maybe detrimental, to name the great men in these little stories. It would be easier for children — boy children, at least — to recognize the influence of their own mothers in their own lives, instead of the great men who were actually taught by their mothers. A small sacrifice to make if some of those [boy] children see THEMSELVES listening to their mothers.

  51. Kristine, I’m sorry if you felt offended by what I wrote. Wait, no, scratch that…

    Rather, your make a very valid point. And maybe I’ve nowhere to go but even thinner ice, but I’m going to try to qualify anyway. One obvious principle here is that it doesn’t make sense to write about remembering one’s influence without remembering their name. Beyond making for a strange construction, it diminishes their contribution. But that applies equally to women, men, children, or whomever, and so in isolation the basis for “doing what’s right” here is gender neutral. In a story to LDS children about influences in the prophets’ lives, I’m not convinced the omission is more likely in references to mothers compared to fathers, siblings, home teachers, etc. But I think you’ll agree that the response here is much more passionate than it would be in those other cases, because it fits a broader pattern of marginalizing women in the church – their role and contribution. It’s that broader reality that makes this case “more wrong”, independent of this author’s motivation, which I don’t know how to determine anyway. The alternative is that the whole merit of the argument is to be decided by statistics, and if someone managed to dig up an analogous article about fathers, everyone should say, “Oh, ok, never mind.” In fact, even if ten were found, this one would continue to be viewed by many as symbolic of an endemic problem (I think Cynthia’s “shadow on the fence” comment is the best illustration of this). The bottom line is that if something is more offensive because it is viewed within a larger context, then it’s not sufficient to consider it in isolation from that context, as some commenters have attempted to do.

    Considering your point on the basis of a multiple choice question: “It’s wrong because (A) it marginalizes the contribution of specific women in church history, (B) it contributes to the marginalization of women in the church, or (C) it contributes to women in the church feeling marginalized,” then I get that (C) is a shaky argument, particularly when (B) is not emphasized first, and double particularly if coming from a man.

    Maybe I’m forfeiting the benefit of the doubt you’ve afforded me, but I don’t think that “what’s right” can always be fully determined without considering the feelings and sensitivities of others. In many cases (most cases?), what makes something wrong is precisely how it affects another person – not just its effect on their physical opportunities, but also internal effects. That doesn’t imply that those sensitivities are “inflamed” or unfounded, or that the principle applies preferentially to women because they have more “delicate sensitivities” (btw, in this case I’d say the comments above contain fairly equal measures of outrage from both men and women). But it does mean that I’d like to claim (D), all of the above, and be allowed to occasionally invoke part (C) to make a point.

  52. In the spirit of offering constructive criticism, it would have been an improvement if both men and women had been featured as children. The we’d have a case more analogous to Publius’ example where family members of the famous go unnamed and only the famous person in question is named. Still a bit ironic for an article entitled “Remembering Mothers,” because it should be honoring their role as equal to those who achieve things outside the home, if we’re going to be telling women that they should be happy to be forcibly assigned the home as their exclusive role and place because it’s the Most Important Job Ever and hand that rocks the cradle rules the world etc. etc. But I think would be an improvement over a situation where the only people who do anything noteworthy or whom we care about at all are men, and women only exist to play tiny bit parts in the men’s lives (laying in a wagon, seriously?).

  53. I’m sorry but that wagon story was so utterly bizarre that I am having trouble moving past it. It gives me a fit of the 12 yr old giggles.

  54. Kristine says:

    Aaron–that may be thinner ice, but I think you’ve successfully hoisted yourself off the slope :)

  55. [trollish comment which contained only a link to an alternate forum owned by the trolling commenter instead of offering a meaningful critique, analysis, or other form of commentary here.]

  56. Anonymous says:

    “If a woman’s ONLY claim to fame is motherhood, could we at least recognize them for it properly?”

    “A woman’s best hope is to be married to or mother someone important.”

    I’m new here. Please excuse me if this has been discussed previously. In all of the gender issue debates, I have not heard mentioned one of the most insidious problems of defining a woman’s individual worth so narrowly. When their worth is not about themselves as disciples of Jesus Christ, but rather so carefully tied to who their children are or who they are married to, what happens to their worth when their children or husbands make really bad choices? Somehow we make those really bad choices reflect on the mother/wife, without giving her any other means to see herself in a positive light.

    Whereas a man in the Church has various ways in which he can see himself as successful, many of them not depending on the agency of another.

  57. re: trollish comment. You may want to disable the signature link.

    [admin: it's fine to link to an article; it's fine to promote yourself; it's just not fine to have a comment be wholly comprised of that.]

  58. My mother is great because I grew to adulthood and became well-known. We can remember my mother by thinking of me.

  59. Also you can check out Elder Packer’s genre contribution by checking out his book titled “Mothers” at openlibarary.org: http://openlibrary.org/works/OL16478223W/Mothers (account required).

  60. I can’t see the mountain or the molehill. The point is that mothers can contribute to greatness, using common frames of reference for illustrations; i.e., the prophets. Naming them would not have enhanced the thesis. Nor would naming them have satisfied the angry arm chair quarterbacks who see misogyny everywhere. This guest does not fit the Procrustean bed.

  61. Hagoth, I refer you to Matthew 13:14.

  62. Ardis, I don’t think Ben’s link for trollish comments was a mistake, since it takes you to a comment comparing the conversation here Buddhist monks burning themselves.

    Certainly I wouldn’t want to insult our Buddhist brothers and sisters by suggesting that those choices, made when there is no options for open discussion are somehow equivalent to discussions about topics, in a society with open discussions happening all the time. I’m curious if Ben would rather that open discussion forums went away? Ben, *If* you would like discussions to happen, recognize that your post/comment is trollish, (and possible offensive to other cultures) why make the trollish comment/post in the first place?

    Seems that either we have an open religion, with room for discussion, in open societies that allow us to ask questions of our leaders, (heck I think we even get to vote for our secular leaders) and we find that a good thing, or we want a society that does not allow dissent.

    Personally, I’ll take open discussion, an open cannon, and room for individual interpretations in how to live the gospel. That means if you don’t think mother’s names are important, I am okay with you thinking we shouldn’t be talking about it. I’m still going to say that I believe that being a mother is important, but it won’t “save” me; only my personal relationship with Christ and our Heavenly Parents will matter when I stand at the bar of judgment, which is true for every woman and every man.

  63. Reply to Mathew at 9:35 for giving me the Mathew 13:14 reference. Story of my life. Kind of cool though that that my failure to perceive misogyny in this article was such an epoch event, he recorded a prophecy which the Savior would again repeat and it would get recorded in Mathew. It’s kind of too bad they didn’t mention my name, though. Now I know what it is like to feel nameless. I made history, twice, but only anonymously. Doh!

  64. Regarding Ardis’ comment: I like Ardis and have generally enjoyed her comments on the different blogs they show up on. She’s fair. I did shamelessly plug my picture. The trouble I run into on the bloggernacle is spitting out what I want to say in a coherent manner. I’ve often found that pictures do a better job (for me). That was the best I could do this morning.

    Juliathepoet, no offense meant to our Buddhist friends. I suppose any number of pictures would have worked. I was going for the idea similar to what Hagoth said: something simple and seemingly inoffensive becomes a storm. I have updated the picture to something I think more appropriately conveys what I was after.

    One last point: mother’s names certainly are important. I don’t dispute that. I was just surprised at the rancor regarding a (surely) unintentional oversight in a children’s magazine.

  65. It is more of an indictment than excuse that the names weren’t included due to an unintentional oversight. The fact that it was unintentional perfectly illustrates the on-going problem Mormon women have in getting any recognition within the church organization despite their considerable contributions.

  66. Of course intent matters but it doesn’t absolve bad actions. A premeditated murder is different than manslaughter–but that is cold comfort to the victim. I imagine for women being told they are ignored and marginalized not out of any bad intent but simple thoughtlessness is particularly enraging since in effect the response to ignoring them is to ignore them further.

  67. gogoGadget says:

    Including names wouldn’t help anything. They are still only recognized as having been good enough mother’s to raise prophets and that is all history values them as. What we really need to do is research their lives and find some history changing event that they did themselves. Of course the problem with that is that the only reason we are researching them is because they were mother’s of prophets which is sexist.

  68. 68 comments and not a single one pointing out the inherent sexism in the pink hues and flower design used in the background layout of that article… wake up people!!

  69. Abu_Casey says:

    I’m actually not sold on the idea that these women were necessarily key to their children’s greatness. That’s not to devalue these women, but it does devalue the role that other women, who were no doubt equally excellent in their mothering, but get no recognition because their children aren’t prominent. I don’t like the idea that we can identify great mothers based on the prominence or importance of their children.

  70. Abu_Casey- excellent point. Are we to celebrate Terah Day (in honor of Abraham’s father) for raising a prophet? Of course not.

    Exasperated Thoughts:

    There are six examples given. Three are about simple monetary charity, nothing especially Mormon. One is a story about Brigham, not his mother. Mary Fielding’s story is nice, but . . . frankly, it has been watered down tremendously from the priesthood-blessing-spit-fire* once talked about to a ‘I can find my lost keys when I pray’ story. They could have written about Mary F.’s prophecies as a prophetess, her work in teaching her leaders the principle of tithing, her leadership in raising funds for the Nauvoo Temple, her visions, blessings, faith, etc. etc. etc. Lucy Mack’s story was the only one which showed a powerful faith healing (something she had done many times with other persons.)

    *I am aware of the historical corrections to the story, but am also aware that she would have also given blessings of comfort and healing, as other sisters at the time did.

  71. MDearest says:

    The whole piece is a mess, except for the graphic design — that’s not offensive. (Sorry jeffc) Viewed through the lens of what my mom-experience has been, this is a rather wimpy slap in the face. I have thick skin from a lifetime of this so it doesn’t sting much, but it’s still a slap. To someone with inflamed sensitivities, it could feel like a sucker punch. Reading through the comments it becomes clear that some of you have the same lens, and some of you think it’s not even a “molehill” just because you don’t have the lens to see what we see. Too bad for you. Jenn nailed it pretty early on in the comments, so I’ll give her my hat tip and refer you to her.

  72. Ben,

    Regarding Ardis’ comment: I like Ardis and have generally enjoyed her comments on the different blogs they show up on. She’s fair. I did shamelessly plug my picture. The trouble I run into on the bloggernacle is spitting out what I want to say in a coherent manner. I’ve often found that pictures do a better job (for me). That was the best I could do this morning.

    Since I am the admin who edited your comment, I figured that if you get a chance to explain, so do I:

    When I read your comment, I didn’t see a person who struggles to thoughtfully or articulately convey a message. If pictures are your thang, you certainly know how to embed a picture into a comment on wordpress, as scores of people in these parts have done over the years. You could have done that.

    Instead of contributing in that or any other meaningful way to the ongoing discussion, you directed us away from the discussion you disagreed with, to a different site where you are more comfortable and can have a laugh (from the looks of things) at BCC and all of the people with their first-world religious problems without incurring the wrath of a bunch of super-angry feminists.

    It’s possible that I’m completely wrong and that you really just don’t know how to embed a picture in a comment. If that’s the case, then I fully apologize for reading trollish behavior into your non-trollish behavior and can happily provide instructions on embedding them in the future. But let’s be honest–we all know I’m totally right.

  73. RobotCrow: Fair enough. You are more than welcome to moderate comments how you see fit. To your other points: Hand on the bible, I’ve never embedded an image into comments. I honestly would appreciate the lesson. As far as incurring the wrath of angry feminists: not really an issue. Juliathepoet read me the riot act over at FMH one day and someone named Nickel took issue with a post I did for ModernMormonMen.
    My original comment wasn’t meant as a troll, really. It was my attempt, in pictures, to say “mountain out of a molehill”. Other’s have said as much in the comments but they used words. Lesson learned.

  74. Ahhh. To put the shoe on the other foot, now I know why I am not a great Church leader. Every one of us Church nonentities has a mother to blame.

  75. Russell Arben Fox (or anyone else who feels the same),

    Do you have any advice for how to explain to grandparents why we’d rather not read The Friend? They unfailingly send us a subscription every year and every single time they visit they search for it and try to read it cover to cover with our five year old daughter. Every time I try to imagine what I could say to stop the madness it all sounds like a recipe for hurting their feelings/making them think we’re apostates.

  76. Yeah, that’s really not going to cut it. Thanks for the smile though, Aaron. It’s so strange that you are a stranger but now that I’ve read that fantastic piece you wrote on the streefighter blog, I feel a little bit like a famous person just spoke to me. (I probably shouldn’t have said that though, it might go to your head and ruin your writing…)

  77. As in, this one. Why haven’t you posted in on BCC, btw? It’s so fantastic…sorry I really will stop gushing now.

    http://sanfranciscostreetfighter.com/2012/06/29/ether-1227/

  78. I have read through the majority of the comments and I can see where people are coming from.

    One thing that came to my mind, though. This is a children’s magazine. How often do your children refer to you by your name, or do they call you Mom or Dad? When your children’s friends are over, do they refer to you by your full name or otherwise? How do you teach your children to refer to other adults? For example, if you have a son named Mark or a daughter named Megan, have you ever been referred to as Mark/Megan’s mom/dad? Sometimes you might be called mr(s). (Insert last name here).

    If this article had been in the Ensign or The New Era, I think it would be a more gross oversight, but when it is a children’s magazine for primary aged children, and I was taught not to call adults by their first names or their complete names, I don’t see it as gross of an oversight.

  79. Oh, JRW, how humbling and awkward for me to admit that you are referring to Good Aaron, who I had not seen comment before a few days ago, whereas I am Far-Lesser Aaron, who has ever since been contemplating the need to adopt a last initial or something.

    But I am happy to join with you in praising Good Aaron’s story, which I read when it was linked from John C’s recent post. His character reminded me of Holden from Catcher in the Rye, and reading it gave me the same kind of enjoyment.

  80. Oh that IS funny (and slightly awkward)!

  81. To the commenters saying how this should have been about both mothers and fathers, did you not notice that this is the May issue, and thus the “Mothers Day” issue? Surely some of the many great mothers in the church could have been mentioned by name *without* qualifying them by the accomplishments of their sons.

  82. ” I was just surprised at the rancor regarding a (surely) unintentional oversight in a children’s magazine.”

    Their names aren’t included, it was intentional.

  83. President Monson’s mother is literally a shadow in the illustration above the beautiful story about her :(

  84. mad&sad says:

    Jesus is to blame for this. On the cross when he connects his ‘mother’ to another ‘son’ he doesn’t bother to name her. But even her name is generic!

    The prophet-types feign respect for their unnamed ‘mothers’ – just as the little kids reading the ‘Friend’ do.

    It is all very Christian.

  85. when it is a children’s magazine for primary aged children, and I was taught not to call adults by their first names or their complete names, I don’t see it as gross of an oversight.

    I tried to give the editors a lifeline with this point way, way above the more recent commenter’s suggestion of this as a reason for not naming the mothers.

    But ya know, primary aged children are taught not to call the MALE adults in their lives by their first names, too … but the men are all called by their full names in this children’s magazine, and sometimes are called by their first names only (and not even “Thomas” but “Tommy”! Surely you don’t want your children to refer to President Monson as “Tommy”!)

    So I no longer accept this as a plausible excuse.

  86. How often do your children refer to you by your name, or do they call you Mom or Dad? When your children’s friends are over, do they refer to you by your full name or otherwise? How do you teach your children to refer to other adults?

    My kids think it’s hilarious to call me “Sam.” But they usually call my “daddy.”

    When their friends are over, though, they call me “Sam.” And my kids call my friends by their first names. It may be a regional thing—it’s generally the rule among my friends (both in and out of the Church) in New York and Chicago, the two places I’ve lived where I’ve had kids old enough to talk. It may be a generational thing or a socioeconomic or a class thing, but the informality is much more comfortable to me and my friends.

  87. Stephanie says:

    Anonymous @ April 25, 2013 at 8:24 am – no one has responded to your question, but I have to say I think that is one of the most profound questions I’ve read in a long time.

  88. I just looked this up online and the names have been inserted! Is there hope yet? http://bit.ly/18k6XCB

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