Sunday, November 11, 2007

Blessed to be women

I don't think that most of us realize just how blessed we are to be women... and not just women, but women of God. To know our true relationship with our Heavenly Father, to know that we are eternal beings of infinite worth and potential- that is an astounding blessing!!
I have been reading a book about modern slavery and have noticed that it tends to impact women and children in a far greater proportion. It makes my heart weep to think of the millions of vulnerable people who have been taken advantage of, who are in the midst of some of the worst trials anyone can face. But what makes me even sadder is to know that most of those who suffer so terribly don't even have the hope of knowing that there is someone who loves them and cares about what happens to them. The majority of people who have been enslaved come from backgrounds and beliefs that degrade women and put no value on children. In one passage in the book it talked about the religious beliefs of some of the people in Thailand. Apparently they hold the belief that to have been born a woman is a sign that you did something horribly wrong in your past life. To be a woman means that you are worthless and that you are only here to serve others... not in a loving service type of way, but in a demeaning and cruel way. The women are responsible for the care of their parents and often, because of the extreme poverty they live in, they find it better to sell themselves to help support their parents than to accept the "shame" of not providing well enough. The parents themselves often sell their daughters and that's considered the right thing to do because then the daughter is helping to take care of the parents. To most of us, this thinking is definitely WAY off. But to them, it's natural... it's the way things are. I can't imagine believing in a religion that says that women can't even reach the highest level of spirituality, where their only hope is to build up enough good karma in this life to be born as a man in the next. What an evil, evil plan Satan has come up with there. What a horrible way of removing hope from their lives.
This all got me thinking about how incredibly blessed we are to be women, and especially women who know of God's plan for them. We know that we have divine worth and eternal potential. We know that we are literally daughters of God... and that we are loved by our Heavenly Father. Living in this great country, we know that we are free to pursue whatever we want- we aren't held back by beliefs that women shouldn't be able to be educated and free. Because we live in one of the most prosperous countries in the world, we generally won't have to worry about what we'll have to do to support our families- there are jobs available and many places to turn for help.
This isn't the case for millions of men, women and children around the world. Even in our own country there are enslaved people hiding in plain site. They could be workers at your favorite restaurant or one of the girls out on a street corner. These are people who have been taken from the most vulnerable situations and have been turned into objects for another human to use. It makes me mad to think of the evil designs that Satan is propagating. To take one of God's own children and remove their hope, their humanity, their worth... is there anything worse? I think that even death would be preferable in most cases. At least then you are free.
I don't have the answers to the questions of what to do to stop this. It's one of those very big problems with no simple or easy solutions. But I think that being aware of the problem is a first step, and helping to spread the gospel and the knowledge of each individual's worth is another step.
This just made me want to share how blessed I feel to be a woman. It's not a bad thing, and it's not something that I need to overcome. God needs women to be strong mothers, sisters, daughters, friends. He depends on us to use our tender natures to bless, uplift, support, love, and help others. And He has blessed us with this knowledge so that we aren't groping in the dark for some unknown purpose. We know who we are, and we are valuable.


Leslie said...

Yes. Wo unto those who call evil good and good evil. Satan so wants to degrade women, but to hear the General Authorities talk about women, you know that we are special in the sight of God. We do have sacred roles and responsibilities.
Thanks for this reminder. I hope through our countenances and influences we can share this message with those who don't get it yet.

carrie said...

i'm blessed to be an American Latter-day Saint for sure. life was definately different before i had a testimony of the gospel and the fact that i am a child of God.

i have wondered many times why some people are born into such dismal circumstances, where neither hope or faith could possibly exist let alone thrive.

poverty and slavery have always existed...and we know the author of it. evil will spread in the last days but righteousness will always prevail. that is my comfort.

Mama D said...

Thanks for sharing your thoughts. We are indeed blessed and worthwhile. Our influence is far-reaching and important.

chelle said...

Thanks for your thoughtful insights on womanhood Patty. There was a time I hated being a girl. Desperately wanted to be a boy, instead of "just one of the guys" I hung out with.
I now have the knowledge of the gospel and feel so differently. Truthfully, I wouldn't wish being a man on anyone! Not that I don't love them. It's that I love my role as a woman, much better than I would love the role of being a man!

Papa D said...

Fwiw, I'm grateful to be a man. I can deal with estrogen flowing in someone else, but if it were flowing through me . . . *grin*