It can be easy for any of us to dismiss another person’s experiences. Perhaps our own experience has been vastly different from hers, or we feel her case to be an isolated one, far outside the norm. Maybe we think that she is taking things a little too hard, that she is interpreting our shared experiences too negatively, and that things really aren’t so bad.
But we are taught that instead we must “mourn with those that mourn” and “comfort those that stand in need of comfort” (Mosiah 18:9). Although we may not be able to relate to the pain of others, it is our calling to show compassion toward them, to listen to them, even to mourn with them.
In her book, Women at Church, Neylan McBaine writes that we must not “dismiss our accountability for our sisters as Cain dismissed his accountability for his brother. When their potential is not explored, we are all responsible. When their impact is not magnified, we are all responsible. When they feel marginalized or underutilized or unappreciated, we are all responsible. When they are not brought to Christ, we are all responsible.” (Women at Church, p. 19).
- Why does it matter, to you, that women feel purposeful in the Church?
- Are we responsible as church members to explore the external causes of feelings of marginalization or purposelessness expressed by some women?
- How can you love and lift up your sister, regardless of whether or not you share her perspective?
- What needs to be done in your ward, family, stake or mission, to magnify the potential and the impact of women, young and old?