When Eve was placed in the Garden of Eden, many have used the fact that she was created of Adam and last because she was of the least importance in God’s eyes. Gordon B. Hinckley, our living prophet of God, said of this moment in history:

President Gordon B Hinckley mormon“Woman is God’s supreme creation. Only after from the land, after vegetation and animal life had been created, and after man had been placed on the earth, was woman created; and only then was the work pronounced complete and good.

“Of all the creations of the Almighty, there is none more beautiful, none more inspiring than a lovely daughter of God who walks in virtue with an understanding of why she should do so, who honors and respects her body as a thing sacred and divine, who cultivates her mind and constantly enlarges the horizon of her understanding, who nurtures her spirit with everlasting truth. … “God will hold us accountable if we neglect His daughters.” (Gordon B. Hinckley, “Our Responsibility to Our Young Women,” Ensign, Sept. 1988, 11)

There are those who say, with great vehemence and ferocity, that women are subjugated, dominated and uneducated in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Mormon women are encouraged to be anything but that.

We are of the highest value in our Heavenly Father’s kingdom. From our youth we are taught to recite, believe and remember the following:

We are daughters of our Heavenly Father, who loves us, and we love him.
We will “stand as witnesses of God at all times and in all things, and in all places…”
as we strive to live the Young Women Values, which are:

Faith
Divine Nature
Individual Worth
Knowledge
Choice and Accountability
Good Works and
Integrity

We believe as we come to accept and act upon these values, we will be prepared to
strengthen home and family, make and keep sacred covenants, receive ordinances of the temple,
and enjoy the blessings of exaltation.

(See Mosiah 18:9)

These values are instilled in our hearts, minds and spirits. We do not simply believe these qualities of women are so, we know we are daughters of God and we know these values exist within each of us. We are encouraged to develop them, nourishing and strengthening these divine qualities until they recognized by all in each of us. We are encouraged to get an education, to continue learning at the completion of that education and growing throughout our lives. We are told to honor, love and respect our fathers and husbands as they honor, love and respect us. To men who abuse their wives and daughters, the Lord has said, and echoed by President Hinckley, “amen to their priesthood.” (D&C 121:37)

May I just offer my experience as a Mormon woman. My father, Fritz Sluyter, was the greatest example of a son of God. He loved, honored and respected my mother with a fierce loyalty that was a thing of beauty for his children to behold. He loved, honored and respected his children, tenderly loved his daughters and encouraged us to become the very best we could become.

From my family home I attended, first, Ricks College (now BYU-Idaho) and Brigham Young University. There my experience as a daughter of God and a woman in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was further developed. At all times, I was able to recognize those who honored their priesthood and tried, at all times, to only associate myself with them. Sometimes I made mistakes and miscalculated the worthiness of a young man, but quickly separated myself from them when full realization hit.

My priesthood leaders always honored and respected me. There was never a time when I felt less than valued and the daughter of God that I am.

In 1995 I married my sweetheart in a temple of the Lord and have found myself married to the most loving, astounding, honorable and worthy priesthood holder any woman could ever ask for. He loves me more every day as I love him more every day. I have been very blessed by the men that have surrounded me in my life.

I realize that there are women in this church and in this world who have not shared the experiences I have.

Elder Richard G. Scott of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles has said:

“So many of our sisters are disheartened, even discouraged, and disillusioned. Others are in serious trouble because of the choices they make. Satan has unleashed a seductive campaign to undermine the sanctity of womanhood, to deceive the daughters of God and divert them from their divine destiny. He well knows women are the compassionate, self-sacrificing, loving power that binds together the human family. He would focus their interests solely on their physical attributes and rob them of their exalting roles as wives and mothers. He has convinced many of the lie that they are third-class citizens in the kingdom of God. That falsehood has led some to trade their divinely given femininity for male coarseness.” (Richard G. Scott, “The Sanctity of Womanhood,” Ensign, May 2000, 36)

Of those men who abuse their families, as mentioned above, the Lord has written and it has been reiterated by his modern day prophets and apostles: “That the rights of the priesthood are inseparably connected with the powers of heaven, and that the powers of heaven cannot be controlled nor handled only upon the principles of righteousness.

That they may be conferred upon us, it is true; but when we undertake to cover our sins, or to gratify our pride, our vain ambition, or to exercise control or dominion or compulsion upon the souls of the children of men, in any degree of unrighteousness, behold, the heavens withdraw themselves; the Spirit of the Lord is grieved; and when it is withdrawn, Amen to the priesthood or the authority of that man. (D&C 121:36-37)

“If His daughters are abused, those abusers will one day stand before the Lord and have to explain their behavior. He will not take kindly, for He has said of those that offend my little ones “it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.” (Matthew 18:6) I believe the consequences of abusing His daughters will be equal in severity.

Above all else, remember this: You are valued in the eyes of God and His righteous servants.

About Candace

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