Being a woman is hard. Being a Mormon is hard. Mothering is hard. Having a job is hard. Being married is hard, and so is being single. The truth is: everything, every role, is going to be challenging at some point. Everyone is fighting his or her own battles, against enemies that no one else understands. We have been taught this our entire lives. Why are we so hard on each other?
Each of us is trying our best to do what the Lord wants us to do, what we feel like we need to be content, and trying to follow the direction and counsel from church leaders. We each have different experiences and contexts for our lives; how we each strive to live within these guidelines will look different. For some sisters this will look like staying at home with her children. Other sisters will feel the need to work outside the home, weather for financial purposes or because it is what they feel that they need to do in order to keep them sane. Some women will have many children; others will feel that their family only can meet the needs of one or two; and still others will want children but be unable to have any by no fault of their own. There are so many ways to be a woman and a Mormon. None of them are wrong. They are simply right for that person, that family, that situation.
We all feel like the path we have been given is hard. We need to be understanding of the difficulties in other people’s paths. Each of us is doing our best with the circumstances that we have been given. Is it not easier to get through something when you have help? Instead of ignoring, rejecting, gossiping about, or judging the sister who you feel is going about being a Mormon woman incorrectly, help her. Find out what trials she is carrying and see if you can ease them. It is hard enough to do and be everything you need to be, why are we continually trying to make other women feel the need to match up to our personal standard of what a woman should be? The weight of the judgment of others is heavy. Why do we insist on adding to the load of those around us?
We speak of charity and of following Christ’s example. We need to move past simply speaking of and teaching about it. We need to have charity in how we think about and treat those around us. When you feel judgments forming about someone, fight back by introducing yourself, asking how they are really doing. Make an effort to support instead of tear down. Job 4:4 says, “Thy words have upholden him that was falling, and thou hast strengthened the feeble knees.” What are your words doing? We need solidarity among the women in the church. To do this, we need to stop judging the choices that those around us make. They are doing the best they can. When we as Mormon women can unite, through supporting each other and lifting up those around us who need help, we will be stronger than we know.