Mormon Women Speak: A Collection of Essays

Many Mormon women recognize that selfless service does not preclude development of talents, but finding how to balance both is a genuine concern for them. It is not surprising, therefore, that balance becomes a key theme Mary Lythgoe Bradford’s analogy of women’s essays, Mormon Women Speak. Many of the essays deal with the task of achieving a balance, and Bradford has structured the book to make balance an even more distinct message. The cover design of the book is a mandala. Composed of four divisions balanced around a women’s face, the mandala symbolized attempts to harmonize a woman’s home, her church, her service to other and the development of her own talents” (p. 8). Each section of the mandala represents a division of the book. The essays in the first section discuss self-awareness. Those in the second section demonstrate the joys and trials of being wives and mothers. Essays in the third section reveal the growth and awareness that come through service. The fourth section, a series of essays tracing journeys of discovery, demonstrates self-development. Finally, in the fifth section, the essays discuss individual identity within the Church. Thus, moving through the various aspects of a women’s file, the book traces spiritual; growth from the early, developmental encounters with conscience to deeply perceived personal manifestations achieved through the balance of family, service to others, self-development, and church activity.

Published in BYU Studies Quarterly 24:1
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