The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, often inadvertently called the “Mormon Church,” honors and values women. The Young Women’s Theme, for teenage girls aged 12-18, begins with the statement, “We are daughters of our Heavenly Father who loves us and we love Him.” As a Latter-day Saint woman, I believe that God truly does love us.
Evidence of God’s love and respect for His daughters is woven throughout the scriptures where prophets recorded the dealings of God with mankind. Below are a few of my favorite scriptures depicting Divine love and concern for women.
Our Soul’s Worth: Created in God’s Image
As a Mormon, I believe that we are children of God, created in His image. Our divine heritage is one evidence of God’s love for us. “Remember the worth of souls is great in the sight of God” (Doctrine and Covenants 18:10).
And, I God, said unto mine Only Begotten, which was with me from the beginning: Let us make man in our image, after our likeness; and it was so. And in the image of his own body, male and female, created he them, and blessed them, and called their name Adam, in the day when they were created and became living souls in the land upon the footstool of God (Moses 2:26, 6:9).
The immense suffering of the Savior to take away our sins shows how much He values us.
For behold, I, God, have suffered these things for all, that they might not suffer if they would repent; Which suffering caused myself, even God, the greatest of all, to tremble because of pain, and to bleed at every pore, and to suffer both body and spirit—and would that I might not drink the bitter cup, and shrink— (Doctrine and Covenants 19:16, 18).
God’s Expectations For Relationships
Two stories about Mary show Deity’s utmost respect and concern for her.
[T]he angel Gabriel was sent from God unto…a virgin…whose name was…Mary. And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women…Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God (Luke 1:26-30).
Now there stood by the cross of Jesus his mother…When Jesus therefore saw his mother, and the disciple standing by, whom he loved, he saith unto his mother, Woman behold thy son! Then saith he to the disciple, Behold thy mother! And from that hour that disciple took her unto his own home (John 19:25-27).
The sacred marriage relationship should honor both spouses. The Lord is clear about equality between men and women.
“Nevertheless neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man, in the Lord” (1 Corinthians 11:11). “Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh. Thou shalt love thy wife with all thy heart, and shalt cleave unto her and none else.” (Genesis 2:24, Doctrine and Covenants 42:22).
God commanded Jacob, a prophet in the Book of Mormon, to call the people to repentance. Jacob’s reluctance to discuss sins in the presence of wives and children evokes God’s tenderness toward the pure in heart.
[It] grieveth me that I must use so much boldness of speech concerning you, before your wives and your children many of whose feelings are exceedingly tender and chaste before God, which thing is pleasing unto God; And it supposeth me that they have come up hither to hear the pleasing word of God, yea, the word which healeth the wounded soul.
Wherefore, it burdeneth my soul that I should be constrained…to admonish you according to your crimes, to enlarge the wounds of those who are already wounded, instead of consoling their wounds; and those who have not been wounded, instead of feasting upon the pleasing word of God have daggers placed to pierce their souls and wound their delicate minds. But notwithstanding the greatness of the task, I must do according to the strict commands of God, and tell you concerning your wickedness and abominations, in the presence of the pure in heart, and the broken heart, and under the glance of the piercing eye of the Almighty God (Jacob 2:7-10).
Women of The Bible Have Purpose in God’s Plan
As a Mormon woman, I have wondered about my purpose on earth. The scriptures show how the Lord enables righteous women to build His kingdom on the earth.
The Babylonians carried Esther’s family into captivity. After her parents were slain, her uncle Mordecai raised her. King Ahasuerus selected Esther to be his queen. Mordecai revealed a plot to kill all of the Jews in the kingdom to Esther and asked her to intercede. Esther responded that anyone who approached the king without being summoned was put to death. She had not been summoned. Mordecai answered
[If] thou altogether holdest thy peace at this time, then shall there enlargement and deliverance arise to the Jews from another place; but thou and thy father’s house shall be destroyed: and who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this? (Esther 4:13-14).
Esther courageously responded,
Go, gather together all the Jews that are present in Shushan, and fast ye for me, and neither eat nor drink three days, night or day…and so will I go in unto the king, which is not according to the law: and if I perish, I perish (Esther 4:16).
She went forth with the power of God and saved her people. Her story taught me that God empowers women to overcome fear and accomplish great things.
Barren Hannah supplicated the Lord in bitterness of soul for a child.
And she vowed a vow, and said, O Lord of hosts, if thou wilt indeed look on the affliction of thine handmaid, and remember me, and not forget thine handmaid, but wilt give unto thine handmaid a man child, then I will give him unto the Lord all the days of his life, and there shall no razor come upon his head (1 Samuel 1:11).
The priest Eli “said, Go in peace: and the God of Israel grant thee thy petition that thou hast asked of him. So the woman went her way, and did eat, and her countenance was no more sad” (1 Samuel 1:17-18). Hannah conceived a son named Samuel. When Samuel was weaned, Hannah took him to the temple and gave him to Eli. Samuel became one of the great prophets of the Old Testament.
Hannah’s story shows how God answers the deepest yearnings of a woman’s heart and helps direct that yearning to fulfill His purposes.
The Widow of Zarephath
During a famine, the Lord commanded the prophet Elijah to go to Zarephath. “Behold, I have commanded a widow woman there to sustain thee” (1 Kings 17:8). Elijah went to Zarephath. He found the widow woman and requested water and food. She explained that she was putting together her very last meal and then expected that she and her son would die.
And Elijah said unto her, Fear not; go and do as thou hast said: but make me thereof a little cake first, and bring it unto me, and after make for thee and for thy son. For thus saith the Lord God of Israel, The barrel of meal shall not waste, neither shall the cruse of oil fail, until the day that the Lord sendeth rain upon the earth. And she went and did according to the saying of Elijah: and she, and he, and her house, did eat many days. (1 Kings 17:13-15).
God saved the woman, her son, and the prophet Elijah. Later in the story, Elijah also raised her son from the dead. The Lord is mindful of His daughters! He prepares mundane and miraculous ways to save us spiritually and temporally. His Grace is sufficient.
“Who can find a virtuous woman? For her price is far above rubies. Strength and honour are her clothing; and she shall rejoice in time to come” (Proverbs 31:10, 25).
God loves His daughters. Through His Grace, my life is filled with purpose and meaning. To learn more about God’s plan of salvation for men and women, please contact the Mormon missionaries.