‘Mormon Land’: Doubling down on garments and motherhood may not keep young women in the fold

Writer and scholar breaks down that controversial speech by Relief Society General President Camille Johnson and the responses to it.

(The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) Relief Society General President Camille N. Johnson speaks during BYU Women's Conference in Provo on Friday, May 3, 2024.

Without a doubt, says writer and scholar Caroline Kline, Latter-day Saint women’s leader Camille Johnson would have heard former church presidents telling working mothers to “come home” and focus on their families.

Instead, Johnson, who now heads the global Relief Society of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, pursued a 30-year career as a corporate lawyer.

In this episode of “Mormon Land,” Kline, assistant director of the Center for Global Mormon Studies at Southern California’s Claremont Graduate University, explains just how radical it is that the faith’s top leaders are lauding her as a role model — and why their decision to do so may be a tough pill to swallow for some women.

Kline, author of “Mormon Women at the Crossroads: Global Narratives and the Power of Connectedness,” also breaks down what she sees as an increased anxiety by church leadership over female members’ activity and level of devotion, why their current efforts to reverse worrisome trends could backfire and what they could do instead to make women feel more at home in the faith.

Listen here:

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