She Shall Be An Ensign

9cfe986c23cd0f94c92a8d934b76bdb4_originalOne of the defining characteristics of the Gospel of Luke is that it contains gender pairs, meaning that the same story or event happens twice–once to a man and once to a woman.

Virtually no history (or anything like unto it, as a gospel surely is) is written this way; almost all have a male-focused perspective. We’re so used to reading histories that neglect women that we don’t even notice it: to a worm in horseradish, the entire world is horseradish.

Which is why you should support Ardis Parshall’s Kickstarter for her history of the LDS church which focuses on women’s stories and perspectives. Not only is this project intrinsically worthwhile, but only $50 gets you a signed print copy of the book along with other goodies. This text will be a gift to the entire LDS community, not the least of which (although they are sometimes treated that way) are the young women who need to be able to see themselves in active roles in the church.

The laborer is worthy of her hire (if you aren’t reading Keepapitchinin, you should be). Go support She Shall Be An Ensign right now.

9 comments for “She Shall Be An Ensign

  1. May 26, 2015 at 11:48 am

    I love the comparison to Luke. One book can make a big difference in what makes its way into our cultural memory. (Just imagine Christmas without Luke…)

  2. Amanda
    May 26, 2015 at 1:04 pm

    This is exciting!

  3. Cat
    May 27, 2015 at 4:18 pm

    I love this idea. I hope it will become main stream and that Ardis’ work pays off in the main stream area. I feel like other similar efforts, I am thinking Oral History Project through Claremont or Aileen Clydes 20th Century Women’s Archive barely get used by the main stream. We don’t even use their conference talks or Chieko Okazaki books. How many projects will it take to let Women sit at the table. I applaud Ardis’ effort and will financially support it. I just pray it goes far enough to make a long over due and desperately needed dent.

  4. Cat
    May 27, 2015 at 4:22 pm

    Just to make sure I don’t seem like a doom and gloomer, I did just finish listening to Richard Holzapfel and Gaye Strathern’s CD on Women in the New Testament. Much to like about it. I am trying to help, learn and not gripe. I just weary really easily.

  5. Cameron N.
    May 28, 2015 at 1:06 am

    Hmm, I need to remember this in two fridays. Thanks Julie.

  6. Old Man
    May 28, 2015 at 10:15 am

    “How many projects will it take to let Women sit at the table.”

    I think that Ardis’ histories demonstrate that women have been at the table all along. The problem is that some “traditionalists” and feminists have failed to recognize that fact. Our historical ignorance blinds us to the realities before us. Excuse the personal example. but my grandmother certainly felt like she was at the table. While she respected priesthood keys and authority granted by leadership callings she frequently found herself reminding individuals that a church calling did not make the person. Service, character and commitment did. Common people of both genders have been the heart and soul of the Church since the beginning, yet the history we produce seems fixated on “leaders.” I applaud Ardis’ efforts and hope many more historians and teachers make an effort to tell the stories of all Latter-day Saints. Such a movement would change Latter-day Saint culture in enormous ways. It would make us all more humble and egalitarian.

  7. Cat
    May 28, 2015 at 12:03 pm

    Old Man – You are correct. Women have been and we have (both sides of the discussion) have forgotten. Which means Ardis job could have tremendous impact – someday. That is where my frustration comes in, not with Ardis or her project, but in that fact that we have multiple non-correlated resources already available, but we neglect them. It breaks my heart and my well of hope runs dry. However, I resolved last night to try harder not to be the grumpy curmudgeon on this but to see if I, in my little sphere can beginning to drop pebbles of remembrance into the water that presently exists. Thanks for your reply.

  8. H_Bob
    May 31, 2015 at 8:28 pm

    I don’t want to disparage Ardis’s contribution, because I think it’s important, but all the commentary I see about it seems completely unaware that Women of Faith in the Latter Days is currently on volume 3.

  9. Amy T
    May 31, 2015 at 9:24 pm

    Don’t worry, H_Bob, Ardis and those helping with or promoting the project are familiar with the ongoing Women of Faith in the Latter Days series.

    Ardis recently explained that part of the inspiration for her project was a post two years ago at Juvenile Instructor:

    If you read that as well as Ardis’s posts explaining the project at Keepapitchinin, not only will you see plenty of laudatory references to the Women of Faith series, it will also explain the difference between biography (useful and necessary in its own way) and her project.

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