FMBC “Jesus Feminist” by Sarah Bessey

How do you reconcile with your feminist sisters at church?  How do you reconcile your faith with your own feminism? What would Jesus do? And how do we receive and give His love to one another?

“Let’s do this. Let’s…lay down our crafted arguments. I want to talk about this – really talk about womanhood, church, the labels and where we go from here. Because the vicious arguments…and the silencing aren’t working.  We are wounded and we are wounding.

Here luv. I want to wrap us up in the warmth of good stories, of strong love. Someday…we’ll stand before the piles of stones that used to be weapons and we’ll build an altar…and then we’ll dance around those old arguments together, laughing.”

- Jesus Feminist

Join three LDS sisters in different faith transitions discuss with Sarah Bessey, her book “Jesus Feminist” and the one thing they all have in common; their love for the Savior, Jesus.

 

(“Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing” by Kings Kaleidoscope, Half the Church, Ordain Women)

Read 13 comments

  1. As the producer and editor of FMBC, I have never had a harder time finishing a recording in my life. This has been on my computer for 3 months. I loved this book and our discussion of it but something always came up to prevent me from finishing it.

    Then General Conference of April 2014 came and there was a breakthrough. The division of so many women in the church regarding Ordain Women hit a climax and many, many women were left wounded….and wounding. My heart broke and out of that break, I found the resurrection of what we gather together for….His Love.

    I dove into this episode and wept over and over as I finished editing the soul-piercing testimonies of these women who love Jesus because He first and foremost loved them. If there ever was a time to bring together the haters and the lovers, it is now. This Easter season, sit with us around the hearth, drink in the stories, the laughter, the tears and the love we have for our Savior. For in the end, His Love for us and our love for each other is all that will remain.

    Cami

  2. Thank you so much for this podcast!

    I lost belief in and left the LDS church about 5 years ago. I never really felt comfortable or that I belonged in the church. I attended mostly out of obligation, fear and guilt, especially after I had children and felt the enormous burden to teach my children the gospel and be a good example. I had felt like a failure as a person/wife/mother because I didn’t do everything I was supposed to do. And I have always been a working mother, which is another strike against me.

    Since childhood I have suffered from extreme shyness/social anxiety which makes being a member of this church very difficult. Even teaching primary was difficult for me but I accepted all callings extended to me (as I had been taught to do) hoping that I would be blessed with the capacity to carry out those callings event though I was extremely uncomfortable at times. Sometimes I was able to adequately perform in my calling but there were other times when I felt utterly alone and inadequate and those times were very hard on me. Add to that all the many, MANY things we as Mormon women “should” be doing but can’t possible do, and I was certain that I was a huge failure.

    Additionally, I have suffered from depression since I was a teenager. My family growing up had some challenges and I was left feeling as though I was not important. I desperately prayed for Heavenly Father to help me to not feel so alone and miserable, but never received any comfort or answer to my prayers, so I assumed I was not important to Heavenly Father or Jesus either. I tried to do the best I could in the church and as a wife and mother, but it never seemed good enough.

    So, you can imagine that when I lost my faith I was almost delirious with joy. For the first time ever I felt as though maybe I was a good person. I was so relieved to just be able to focus on being a good wife, mother, sister, daughter, friend, employee etc. without having to add being a good church member to that list, since being a good church member was so difficult for me.

    After leaving the church I also researched other religions, but being raised in the “one true church” made me feel that if the LDS church wasn’t true there was no reason to join another. Eventually, I lost belief in God in general (actually, I would classify myself as agnostic right now), so I did not feel that attending a different religion would be beneficial to me or my family. But losing my faith, and the security that comes from having all the “answers”, and the support group of the church was also very difficult. Even though I had never felt as though Heavenly Father or Jesus were aware of me and my struggles, I always took comfort in knowing that they were there just in case.

    Since losing my belief in God, I have felt a much greater responsibility to care for others. We are all we have. And, to my surprise, not having the obligation or structure of the church has allowed me to serve others in a way that is comfortable for me, which has brought me a great deal of joy. I feel like I have been able to make a wonderful life for my family and myself without the church or god in our lives, just using basic principles love and kindness without the clutter of all the “shoulds” that seem to complicate life rather than simplifying it.

    So, when I saw this podcast in my iTunes I was not anxious to listen. I didn’t think that I would find any benefit from listening to a podcast talking about a book about Jesus. After all, Jesus is not real, and if he is he has more important things to worry about than me. But I just finished listening and absolutely loved the podcast and the women who were on the panel (and the author, of course!). I will be reading the book! The Jesus that is referred to in the book is a Jesus that I always hoped was out there. Hearing the author’s words touched me and made me want to believe in that Jesus. I feel like I already try to behave that way towards others, but still struggle to see myself as making enough of a difference in the world. I was comforted to hear that just doing what I am able to do is enough. And, maybe Jesus actually does know and love me. I truly hope that the LDS church can move toward that way of thinking. If that were the case I might still be a member now.

    Thanks so much to all of you who are a part of FMH, for the support you give to those of us who do not fit the traditional Mormon mold. We are still good people with much to offer. Jesus loves us too, after all.

    • Kathy, whether you believe in Jesus is irrelevant to Him, in my opinion. If He is Lord and King, He knows it and doesn’t have to hear you say it. But DOING His will,…isn’t that what’s important. The more I’ve left a religious- copyrighted version of Jesus, the better I’ve known Him….and what His consciousness can do for humanity. I love my and agnostic & atheist friends who do their share in this world. I believe God honors anyone who sincerely tries to make this world a better place. Thank you for being one of these people – for creating an “outpost for the Kingdom” as Sarah Bessey puts it. Thank you for your input! Love, Cami

    • Kathy, I kinda messed up my wording but can’t see where to edit it so I’m re-copying what I was trying to say :) :

      whether you believe in Jesus isnt as relevant to Him, in my opinion as DOING His will in my opinon. The more I’ve left a religious- copyrighted version of Jesus, the better I’ve known Him….and what His consciousness can do for humanity. I love my and agnostic & atheist friends who do their share in this world. I also think there’s a place for every type of woman in Christianity as well. I believe God honors anyone who sincerely tries to make this world a better place. Thank you for being one of these people – for creating an “outpost for the Kingdom” as Sarah Bessey puts it. Thank you for your input! Love, Cami

  3. Greetings:
    My name is Cindy, I live in Mexico. I am an endowed member of the Church of Jesus Christ of LDS, my ancestors were Mormon pioneers…I am also an endowed member of the Church of the Firstborn. This is where my name is written in the Lamb’s Book of Life!

    It is this The Heavenly Church that I take communion with… may I speak this in all humbleness, as I have prayed about speaking of these holy things, that we all enjoy from our temple experiences…They have burned it in my bosom and I feel you in my heart, only to inspire you and others, how to come up to mount Zion! And take communion with Them…for that is one of the purposes of the endowment of power…

    I realize that many in the great and spacious buildings will laugh and mock at my words…and maybe desire to take away my membership on this earth. That this could even be possible today, especially a woman, to speak such things, using my priesthood to bless my daughter when she is sick, or to bless the sacrament in my own home…to partake of it in the presence of the Heavenly Church and Host…and communing with angels and the General Assembly of Heavenly and I am not dead…

    And I see as I am seen, and know as I am known in Their Presence, and I desire the same for all my brothers and sisters…because the church of the Firstborn is your Eternal Family…. That you go to the temple to be sealed into…The Celestial Kingdom that is coming down to the earth…Your Patriarchal and Matriarchal Family!
    To quote D&C:77:11A
    We are to understand that those who are sealed are high priests( priestesses), ordained unto the holy order of God, to administer the everlasting gospel; for they are they who are ordained out of every nation, kindred, tongue, and people, by the angels to whom is given power over the nations of the earth, to bring as many as will come to the church of the Firstborn.
    I’m new to blogging, but I feel I must be personal…and prayerful of what I write. I see the crises in the church in the church of the telestial world, and it is a famine for the words of truth and comfort unto His daughters about their priesthood, which was conferred upon them from our Mother in Heaven.
    Mother in Heaven’s priesthood is called The Priesthood of Life and Light and this priesthood was conferred upon us from before the foundations of the world, by it we are justified, by the Lord to perform ordinances and all priesthood functions, to be a help meet for man and our husbands…

    As was our mother Eve, she was not a queen unto her husband, and he is not her head as only the Lord is her head, he has no dominion over the woman, or over the earth. He is a husbandman and has a stewardship. May I speak boldly Satan and the Lord do battle over dominion. We has woman are to covenant to with the Lord to be a help meet unto man.
    Mother Eve and all her faithful daughters are Queens and Priestesses and prophetesses, unto the Most High God! She covenanted with the Lord to be a help meet unto her husband and…This is the Matriarchal Priesthood of the Mother…and it was given by Her to all women…
    We may also seek to be called (commissioned) of the Lord…according as to the work He desires us to perform, and for the advancement and cause of His Kingdom, Zion…for we are the daughters of Zion…

  4. The Melchizedek Priesthood belongs to the Son of God the Great High Priest, and He conferred it upon men. So, I must try to follow His most kind and loving example…and if I speak about things that are most sacred to us as a people and the body of Christ, I hope to offend no one but only edify His people the saints of The Most High God…With that spirit in mind may I continue to speak

    to my brothers and especially to my beloved sisters, unto whom our Heavenly Mother endowed with Her Priesthood, and taught us before our sojourns into mortality. She taught us how to sacrifice to bring about life and light for all mankind. She taught us how to nurture with loving kindness all creation, and especially our families…She is Heavenly Mother Elohim the Other Member of the Godhead, unto whom there is no life without Her…

    All communications and prayers should be directed to our Heavenly Father, through our Mediator Their Only Begotten Son in the Flesh, and we should ask for a confirmation of the truth of all things, from the Other Member of the Godhead The Holy Ghost-The Holy Spirit of Promise-our companion and Friend…

    D&C 66:2 partakers of the glories which are to be revealed in the last days…

    D&C 22:1 That is the New and Everlasting Covenant of our Baptism… to become part of Them again, redeemed from the fall…and inter in at the strait gate through immersion in the water and the blood, we are cleansed of our sins…being born again and by partaking these emblems of the sacrifice of Their Son…and promising to obey His commandments…because by Him were we created in Their Image…Male and Female…Then we can receive The Fire of The Holy Ghost, He is a Revelator and Testifier of All Truth where in ye are justified…to enter again into the Kingdom of Heaven!

    Progress on to more priesthood and covenants in the temple endowment, where we follow in the footsteps of our first parents Adam and Eve…they teach; along with the Holy Ghost who is our Guide… how to regain the Presence of our Heavenly Parents, by using our tokens to receive Heavenly Beings to instruct us…and how to remove Lucifer and the teachings of wise men mingled with scripture …Orthodox-Religion..We desire to receive further light and knowledge from messengers of Heavenly Father…in the name of Jesus Christ…Amen…

    I received this word, this morning one day before the Easter Sunday, from Mother in Heaven
    O MY Beloved captive daughters of Zion…
    Isaiah 52:2
    2 Shake thyself from the dust; arise, and sit down, O Jerusalem: loose thyself from the bands of thy neck, O captive daughter of Zion.
    D&C 113: (My inspired words from Mother are in parentheses)
    7 Questions by Elias Higbee: What is meant by the command in Isaiah, 52d chapter, 1st verse, which saith: Put on thy strength, O Zion—and what people had Isaiah reference to? (MOTHERS…and DAUGHTERS…PRIESTHOOD…POWER…)
    8 He had reference to those (Women) whom God should call in the last days, who should hold the power of priesthood to bring again Zion, and the redemption of Israel; and to put on her strength is to put on the authority of the priesthood, which she, Zion, has a right to by lineage; also to return to that power which she had lost.

    Goodbye for now, I pray you will all have a beautiful Easter in celebration of our Resurrected Lord and His Victory, for all of us! I hope you will take these words unto the Lord in humble prayer to receive a confirmation of The Holy Ghost if you also find they are true…Then rejoice as I do, and celebrate with the Heavens, and come singing and praising unto” The Most High God, Jesus Christ the King of Zion”…

    Posted in O MY Captive Daughters of Zion | Leave a comment

  5. Thanks for this tender conversation. A lot of it resonated with me. My heart has been wandering in a wilderness for many years now and it seems the forest only grows thicker, but it is things like this that part an opening in the trees so I can stop for a moment in the light. It is a comfort to know that I am not alone in this journey. Your stories and experiences are so powerful and sacred. Thank you for sharing. I absolutely can’t wait to get my hands on the book!

  6. Thank you for your kind words Cami and Sunshine. As with almost everything in my life since leaving the church, it seems as though Jesus (or my view of Jesus) is something that has to be dismantled and reconstructed with a new perspective. This book is a great guide to helping me do that. Thanks again! Much love to you all!

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