I visibly startled when I heard President Beck say that the Relief Society history would be a new area of focus. Truly, it was the last thing I thought I would hear completely the phrase “the sisters of the should know and learn…” I was expecting “to know she is a daughter of God” or some other well worn phrase.
To me the history of Relief Society is synonymous with independent women, professional women, working mothers, women giving blessings, prophetic women, “priestesses”, and activism. All of which are frowned upon, covered up and discouraged at this time in church history.
When I read about the history of Relief Society, I feel that's the type of organization and group of women I want to be involved in. I want to live in that time. And I pine for the former glory and don’t recognize those actions in the Relief Society today.
When I first heard the announcement my fear was that the history would be whitewashed. That the fact that women giving blessings and being told they were given the priesthood through the temple would be ignored and hidden. That the way in which women giving blessings was phased out will be called a revelation from God and His will even though my reading of the history does not support that idea. I’m afraid at how these historical events will be handled. I can have hope that women will find the inspiration in their former powers and hope for its restitution but I can’t say I have faith that it will happen. Time will tell. And I hope my uneasiness does not interfere with whatever the Lord intends with this.
I wrote this in response to Spunky's post at Exponent asking the question, "What do you hope? Is there anything in the history of the Relief Society that you wish was embraced in the modern church?"