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Posted (edited)

The new Primary President, Camille N. Johnson, is the first career woman ever called to that position.  She worked as an attorney for 30 years.  Is a career woman presiding over the Primary organization in our church representative of a larger change in culture and feelings towards working mother's in the church? 

The following quotes are what seem to me to be good examples of the historical message of the church:

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According to Relief Society general president Barbara Winder, more and more women are finding it necessary to work, some because they are widowed or divorced. “We are finding that women are not just working for ‘extras,’ but for necessities,” says Sister Winder. She encourages women to explore alternatives to working full-time. She tells of two sisters who work part-time on opposite shifts and who care for each other’s children. Also, some employers will allow job-sharing and other arrangements that provide helpful options for families.

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President Spencer W. Kimball has given this assurance: “The Lord knows … that through circumstances beyond their control, some mothers are faced with the added responsibility of earning a living. These women have God’s blessing, for he knows of their anguish and their struggle.” (Ensign, Nov. 1978, p. 103.)

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One couple with a large family found it impossible to buy basic necessities on the husband’s income alone. The young mother returned to college to prepare for a teaching career, which she and her husband felt would allow maximum time at home...

https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/ensign/1986/03/working-double-time-the-working-mothers-dilemma?lang=eng

Even thought this article was intended to soften judgment towards working mothers, in many ways, it seems to reinforce it for mothers who don't need to work to help provide the basic necessities.  From these quotes you can see that it was insinuated that working as a mother should only be done when it is an absolute necessity, when it is impossible to provide the basic fundamentals, or when you are widowed or divorced - when the circumstances are "beyond their control."  

What are your thoughts, are things changing?  Does the Proclamation on the Family jive with a mother who is working out of pure professional interest, or to provide "extras" rather than out of necessity?  Does this signify a change in leadership thinking?

Edited by pogi
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I think it is somewhat a change in thinking, because people are being more open to the idea that some women need to work outside of the home to be mentally healthy, and therefore to be the mothers their children need.  Also, people are realizing, members as well as the rest of society, that there is nothing wrong with a dad being in charge of the kids while his wife works.

I do think the church is still of the belief that putting a child into daycare for the majority of their day is something that should be done out of necessity, but people are more open to the ways that women can have a career and not have to resort to that kind of schedule than they used to be.  And there are more opportunities for that kind of creativity with a schedule, for women especially, than there used to be.

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23 minutes ago, bluebell said:

 

I think it is somewhat a change in thinking, because people are being more open to the idea that some women need to work outside of the home to be mentally healthy, and therefore to be the mothers their children need

 

I hope so. I fell into the trap of working from home to supplement my husband’s income during the first ten years of our marriage. I can’t think of anything more difficult than being a full-time mother while trying to work from home (while the kids are trashing the house as you work).  It was the absolute worst thing for our marriage and for my mental health.

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It is evident that God is pragmatic, compassionate, and loving. He adjusts his policies in accordance with times, conditions, and capabilities of His children as evidenced by the detailed instructions of the Law of Moses because the Children of Israel would not (could not???) maintain a higher law. In the current dispensation He instituted the law of tithing because the Saints would not (could not???) live the higher United Order.

18 minutes ago, pogi said:

President Spencer W. Kimball has given this assurance: “The Lord knows … that through circumstances beyond their control, some mothers are faced with the added responsibility of earning a living. These women have God’s blessing, for he knows of their anguish and their struggle.” (Ensign, Nov. 1978, p. 103.)

That is an example of God compassionately adjusting policies based upon the circumstances of some members.

In my life time I have known members who limited family size with both parents working to be able to afford, not lap of luxury lifestyles, but to be able to afford a life above survival level and to be able to afford to send their kids to college. Some of those people have been bishops, branch presidents, Relief Society Presidents, etc.

It is evident that changes in leadership thinking have been taking place, spurred by a 96 year old prophet.

Glenn

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8 minutes ago, katherine the great said:

I hope so. I fell into the trap of working from home to supplement my husband’s income during the first ten years of our marriage. I can’t think of anything more difficult than being a full-time mother while trying to work from home (while the kids are trashing the house as you work).  It was the absolute worst thing for our marriage and for my mental health.

Oh man I bet!  I worked very very part time from home for a while (like 10 hours a week) and even with that little it was still really hard.  

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44 minutes ago, pogi said:

The new Primary President, Camille N. Johnson, is the first career woman ever called to that position.  She worked as an attorney for 30 years.  Is a career woman presiding over the Primary organization in our church representative of a larger change in culture and feelings towards working mother's in the church? 

The following quotes are what seem to me to be good examples of the historical message of the church:

https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/ensign/1986/03/working-double-time-the-working-mothers-dilemma?lang=eng

Even thought this article was intended to soften judgment towards working mothers, in many ways, it seems to reinforce it for mothers who don't need to work to help provide the basic necessities.  From these quotes you can see that it was insinuated that working as a mother should only be done when it is an absolute necessity, when it is impossible to provide the basic fundamentals, or when you are widowed or divorced - when the circumstances are "beyond their control."  

What are your thoughts, are things changing?  Does the Proclamation on the Family jive with a mother who is working out of pure professional interest, or to provide "extras" rather than out of necessity?  Does this signify a change in leadership thinking?

That's really good. Church leadership was a little short on attorneys :)  

I think it does reflect a transition. Less than 10 years ago I was a HC visiting another ward's ward council and the Bishop was hitting hard time on how the women in the ward should stop working outside the home and focus on the family. Some of the women were uncomfortable in that setting but doubt they really gave his opinion much heed. Still, it's good to have some more high-profile women who have had careers outside the home.

 

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46 minutes ago, bluebell said:

putting a child into daycare for the majority of their day is something that should be done out of necessity,

Like public school? :P 

As a teacher, one of the few positive effects of covid shutting down schools was that many people gained a better appreciation of teachers, even if it was just from the fact that we watched their kids while they worked ;) 

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1 minute ago, MiserereNobis said:

Like public school? :P 

As a teacher, one of the few positive effects of covid shutting down schools was that many people gained a better appreciation of teachers, even if it was just from the fact that we watched their kids while they worked ;) 

True, school does have a lot of influence on our kids.

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32 minutes ago, Glenn101 said:

It is evident that God is pragmatic, compassionate, and loving. He adjusts his policies in accordance with times, conditions, and capabilities of His children as evidenced by the detailed instructions of the Law of Moses because the Children of Israel would not (could not???) maintain a higher law. In the current dispensation He instituted the law of tithing because the Saints would not (could not???) live the higher United Order.

That is an example of God compassionately adjusting policies based upon the circumstances of some members.

In my life time I have known members who limited family size with both parents working to be able to afford, not lap of luxury lifestyles, but to be able to afford a life above survival level and to be able to afford to send their kids to college. Some of those people have been bishops, branch presidents, Relief Society Presidents, etc.

It is evident that changes in leadership thinking have been taking place, spurred by a 96 year old prophet.

Glenn

President Johnson is married to Douglass Johnson - owner of a successful car dealership (America Auto Group).  I doubt that she was working as an attorney out of necessity to a afford a life "above survival level".  

It sounds like you are saying that President Johnson is the lesser option and would have never been found worthy to hold her calling if the people were willing to live a higher law and be more righteous.  Am I reading you wrong?  Is calling President Johnson as Primary President a sign of spiritual digression in the church, or inability/unwillingness to live a higher law?

 

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1 minute ago, pogi said:

President Johnson is married to Douglass Johnson - owner of a successful car dealership (America Auto Group).  I doubt that she was working as an attorney out of necessity to a afford a life "above survival level".  

It sounds like you are saying that President Johnson is the lesser option and would have never been found worthy to hold her calling if the people were willing to live a higher law and be more righteous.  Am I reading you wrong?  Is calling President Johnson as Primary President a sign of spiritual digression in the church, or inability/unwillingness to live a higher law?

 

I wondered if he was saying that as well but I think what he was saying is that people are starting to believe that you don't have to be in survival mode before it's o.k. for mothers to work.

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Posted (edited)
19 minutes ago, bluebell said:

I wondered if he was saying that as well but I think what he was saying is that people are starting to believe that you don't have to be in survival mode before it's o.k. for mothers to work.

I think you are right, but it sounds like he is suggesting that change in thought/culture is spiritually degenerative - otherwise the Lord would not have had to adjust his policies to the weakness of the people.   

That kind of thinking makes President Johnson sound like a second class President.

Maybe I am wrong.  I will let him clarify. 

Edited by pogi
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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, pogi said:
President Johnson is married to Douglass Johnson - owner of a successful car dealership (America Auto Group).  I doubt that she was working as an attorney out of necessity to a afford a life "above survival level".

It might have been that way at the beginning of the 30 year long career. It takes quite awhile to build up a successful sales business usually.

Edited by Calm
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Posted (edited)
25 minutes ago, Calm said:
 

It might have been that way at the beginning of the 30 year long career. It takes quite awhile to build up a successful sales business usually.

Once you get a taste of the cool-aide, it is hard to stop ;)

It looks like they have been in business for 60 years.   Geez, he doesn't look that old!  Maybe he bought it.  There certainly could be some history that we are not privy to.  

  https://www.americaautogroup.net/aboutus

Edited by pogi
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My concern with this movement to normalize working mothers is that it is being done because the world devalues the role of a mother. And you cannot argue that that is happening. If the works saw motherhood as a worthwhile role that ought to be sought after, no buddy would be angry about the idea that some Ought to be in the home.

And dont misquote me and say I am saying that the world and women that work hate mothers and motherhood. What is happening is that the world is teaching us there is great value in making money and have power over others, so if someone wants to be a mother, the. Great! but that isn’t enough, they must also have a carrier so we can have money and power because that is where true value lies.

For me, when I think of a woman working, I think “this is normal”
 

But A mother working? Unless it is a matter of necessity, I have to ask myself why does she feel her energy is better spent making money than raising her kids? There may be other exceptions here or there, but when the exceptions become the norm, something had to be wrong.

But this is coming from someone who believes in the radical document “The Family Proclamation” when it says:

”By divine design, fathers are to preside over their families in love and righteousness and are responsible to provide the necessities of life and protection for their families. Mothers are primarily responsible for the nurture of their children. In these sacred responsibilities, fathers and mothers are obligated to help one another as equal partners. Disability, death, or other circumstances may necessitate individual adaptation. Extended families should lend support when needed.”

Edited by Fether
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1 hour ago, Fether said:

My concern with this movement to normalize working mothers is that it is being done because the world devalues the role of a mother. And you cannot argue that that is happening. If the works saw motherhood as a worthwhile role that ought to be sought after, no buddy would be angry about the idea that some Ought to be in the home.

And dont misquote me and say I am saying that the world and women that work hate mothers and motherhood. What is happening is that the world is teaching us there is great value in making money and have power over others, so if someone wants to be a mother, the. Great! but that isn’t enough, they must also have a carrier so we can have money and power because that is where true value lies.

For me, when I think of a woman working, I think “this is normal”
 

But A mother working? Unless it is a matter of necessity, I have to ask myself why does she feel her energy is better spent making money than raising her kids? There may be other exceptions here or there, but when the exceptions become the norm, something had to be wrong.

But this is coming from someone who believes in the radical document “The Family Proclamation” when it says:

”By divine design, fathers are to preside over their families in love and righteousness and are responsible to provide the necessities of life and protection for their families. Mothers are primarily responsible for the nurture of their children. In these sacred responsibilities, fathers and mothers are obligated to help one another as equal partners. Disability, death, or other circumstances may necessitate individual adaptation. Extended families should lend support when needed.”

What if she has a househusband?

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Interesting article.  It seems the church is taking a more practical approach that is more in keeping with the times.  I think this is a good thing.

 

Quote

Overall, the research suggests maternal employment has little impact on kid's behavior and academic achievement over the short term and may have long-term benefits. Most American moms work outside the home.

https://journalistsresource.org/economics/working-mother-employment-research/

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I think it comes from not fully buying into (or even outright rejecting our complementarianism), but I don't feel like the discussion is complete if we're only focused on women. As others have suggested, why not include men/fathers/husband's in these questions? Can a man choose to stay home with the kids while his wife works? Can the man choose the work from home option? Is it only the mother who is forced to choose between career and childcare, or can we offer the same choice to the fathers?

I find myself moving away from complementarianism and towards egalitarianism. I think the question is very important, but I think we need to ask the question of both parents equally.

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24 minutes ago, sunstoned said:

Interesting article.  It seems the church is taking a more practical approach that is more in keeping with the times.  I think this is a good thing.

 

https://journalistsresource.org/economics/working-mother-employment-research/

I would be curious to see results from higher income families of the below study.

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This study looks at how maternal employment affects the weight status of Black and Latino children from low-income families in Boston, Chicago and San Antonio. The researchers find that an increase in a mother’s “work intensity” — for example, when a mother transitions from being unemployed to working or switches from part-time to full-time work — increases the odds that her child will be overweight or obese.

Kids whose mothers increased their work schedules during the children’s first few years of life were more likely to have a weight problem. “Children of mothers who increased their employment status during children’s preschool years had over 2.6 times the odds of being overweight/obese at 7 to 11 years of age compared with children of nonworking mothers,” the authors write. They also write that their results “suggest that changing work schedules and increasing work hours over time may be more disruptive to family environments and child weight than maintaining constant levels of employment over time (whether that is not working at all or working full-time).”

The researchers note that within their sample of 602 children, having consistent family routines such as mealtimes and bedtimes were associated with a 61 percent reduction in the odds of being overweight or obese. They also note that youth whose parents live together, whether married or not, tended to have lower odds of being overweight or obese than children living with single mothers.

 

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52 minutes ago, Rain said:

My daughter is planning a career not for power or money, but because through prayer, fasting, the family proclamation and her patriarchal blessing she feels she can best use the talents Heavenly Father gave her to bless others.

It's insulting to accuse women to say that women who choose a career are thinking of money and power over children and odd that it would only be said of women and not men.  

How would you interpret that portion of the family proclamation I quoted?

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Another study listed there with interesting results (better for single and/or lower income and worse for two parent and/or middle and upper class.  Would suggest that if basic needs are filled by having financial security and certain emotional needs are filled by having both parents living with the child, then maternal employment may be a negative.

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This is an analysis of 69 studies that, over the span of five decades, look at the relationship between maternal employment during children’s early years and children’s behavior and academic performance later in life. Overall, the analysis suggests that early maternal employment is not commonly associated with lower academic performance or behavior problems.

The analysis did, however, find differences when comparing different types of families. Early maternal employment was associated with “positive outcomes (i.e., increased achievement and decreased behavior problems) for majority one-parent samples,” explain the three researchers, Rachel G. Lucas-Thompson, now an assistant professor at Colorado State University, and Wendy A. Goldberg and JoAnn Prause of the University of California, Irvine. Early maternal employment was associated with lower achievement within two-parent families and increased behavior problems among study samples comprised of a mix of one- and two-parent families.

The researchers offer this explanation: “The results of this meta-analysis suggest that early maternal employment in sole-provider families may bolster children’s achievement and buffer against problem behaviors, perhaps because of the added financial security and health benefits that accompany employment, as well as improved food, clothing, and shelter because of increased income and the psychological importance of having a role model for achievement and responsible behavior. In contrast, early maternal employment may be detrimental for the behavior of children in two-parent families if the increases in family income do not offset the challenges introduced by maternal employment during children’s early years of life.”

There were differences based on household income as well. For families receiving welfare, the researchers found a link between maternal employment and increased student achievement. For middle- and upper-class families, maternal employment was associated with lower achievement.

 

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14 minutes ago, Fether said:

How would you interpret that portion of the family proclamation I quoted?

It doesn’t detail how a mother is meant to nurture her children.  One of the studies in the link above talks about the benefits of structured time over unstructured.  Because of my stay at home mother’s health, we had very limited extracurricular activities or going over to friends’ houses or friends coming to ours when I was a teen and no longer in a neighborhood friends could walk over to our home. Never had help with homework either though didn’t really need it.  Parental structured time was with chores though I spent a lot of time talking with Mom about what she was studying.  I made sure my kids had both outside the home activities when they desired it.  Can’t include my daughter as an adult because she got hit with major health issues when 12, but my son appears to have much less insecurity than my siblings (save for the youngest who was left to do what he pleased which was go play baseball with his friends, got himself into little league, learn how to really read with Sports Illustrated) even though his mother had similar health issues (in case that was the source of the insecurity).

Edited by Calm
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