Mormon feminism after 1970

Authored by: Claudia L. Bushman

The Routledge Handbook of Mormonism and Gender

Print publication date:  May  2020
Online publication date:  April  2020

Print ISBN: 9780815395218
eBook ISBN: 9781351181600
Adobe ISBN:


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A feminist pattern for women in the Mormon Church was set by Joseph Smith in 1830 in a revelation to his wife Emma which Smith said was his “voice unto all,” but Smith did not live to complete his organizational plans for women. The partially realized feminist ideals gradually wore away over a century and a half. The church opposed the stirrings of feminism, after World War II, hoping to correct and quash them. Since then, there has been a gradual growth of acceptance, and an extension of feminism, even as traditionalists oppose it and feminists consider it inadequate. Women presently choose among remaining true to the faith, leaving the church, acting to increase feminist options, choosing to listen to their own revelation, and living with ambiguity.

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