Feminism in the Light of the Gospel of Jesus Christ

For some people, an unbridgeable gap stands between the gospel of Jesus Christ and feminism. To them, a Christian feminist or a Mormon feminist is an oxymoron, a person who has not thought seriously about either the gospel or feminism. However, there are devoted Latter-day Saints, both women and men, who consider themselves feminists. They declare that, far from being antithetical to the gospel, their feminism arises from their testimony of Christ and commitment to him. Through their personal experience with his love, example, and teachings, they affirm the reality of Christ’s devotion to every person as individually significant.

While even among feminists there are widely varying interpretations of the meaning of feminism, we think most feminists would agree on a basic definition, with which we hope readers will concur: feminism advocates the equal treatment of women and men and states that discrimination, in particular against women, does exist and should be eliminated. Far from promoting the reverse tyranny of women over men, such feminism simply affirms the equal importance of each individual, regardless of sex. As scholars, we have tried to bring our academic interests to bear on issues of concern to our religious principles. Our purpose in this essay is to identify fundamental principles of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ that are consistent with this basic meaning of feminism and to draw certain practical conclusions that follow from those principles. In affirming the equal value of men and women, feminism, as defined above, echoes eternal truth.

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