‘Mormon Land’: How even a patriarchal faith still can help women

Researcher discovers Latter-day Saint women globally enjoy happier marriages and families, along with satisfaction and empowerment, in the church’s teachings and practices.

(Photo courtesy of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) Jean B. Bingham, Relief Society general president, studies Gospel Literacy program materials with a group of women in Sierra Leone, June 2019. A researcher has discovered that Latter-day Saint women in the global faith enjoy stronger families, thanks to the church's teachings and practices.

To many white American feminists, the issue of gender equality is paramount. Naturally, their critique of institutions like The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, with its all-male priesthood, is built on women’s lack of decision-making power and absence from the hierarchy.

But some U.S. women of color as well as in other countries find liberation and satisfaction in the Utah-based faith — and even in its patriarchal structure.

That intrigued historian and researcher Caroline Kline, assistant director of the Center for Global Mormon Studies at Southern California’s Claremont Graduate University.

On this week’s “Mormon Land” podcast, Kline shares gender insights she gleaned from scores of interviews with Latter-day Saint women of color in Mexico, Botswana and the United States that appear in her just-released book, “Mormon Women at the Crossroads: Global Narratives and the Power of Connectedness.”

Listen here:

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