women: blue ribbons, beauty, babies, temple

The February New Era magazines are hitting mailboxes this week, and I hope you’re all excited that this month your children can learn how to be “Real Women” and “Real Men.” Here are the checklists they have given the YW and YM:

Real Womanhood
1. Develop Talents
2. Discover True Beauty
3. Embrace Motherhood
4. Focus on Eternal Goals

Real Manhood
1. Do Hard Things
2. Learn Useful Skills
3. Respect Womanhood
4. Serve and Strengthen your Quorum
5. Gain an Education

I can’t say anything here that Neylan McBaine hasn’t said more eloquently in her post about how problematic these lists are side by side. Her review is a must read. Instead of trying, I thought it would be more productive for me to write my own “manifesto” of how I want to teach my child to be a daughter of God in a way that could be applied to both genders:

Our highest calling in life is to be disciples of Jesus Christ. As you seek to follow the Savior’s footsteps, I pray that you will strive to develop virtues He exhibited: leadership and nurturing, strength and meekness, courage and submission. Disciples will help strangers, coworkers, friends, parents, spouses, and children feel God’s love for them. Disciples of Christ treat all children of God, regardless of gender (or what they are wearing), with respect and courtesy. Service is a very important aspect of discipleship and comes in many forms. Parenthood is a very important way we learn, serve, and exhibit discipleship. Heavenly Father has an individual plan for your life and it may not be what you expect it to be; you may end up single, childless, divorced, working, unemployed, sick, or poor.  Disciples develop a personal relationship with God and seek His will in their lives. Disciples seek learning by study and by faith, and gain as much education as possible. The Proverbs 31 homemaker and the foreign, childless, single, poverty-stricken field gleaner Ruth were both called “eshet chayil,” Hebrew for woman of valor. I’m grateful the Bible teaches that God uses imperfect men and women in all walks of life to build his kingdom.

What do you think of my first rough draft? Is there anything you would include or exclude? It’s hard to get it into a handy checklist, but perhaps we are too dependent on checklists anyway.

p.s. If I never read the words “more points on my man card” in a church publication again, I will be one happy woman.

p.p.s. as some people are having a hard time going to lds.org and finding the page for the February 2015 New Era. As you see even from the digial lists, the articles are right next to each other.