Two years ago, I wrote a post called, “In the Ghetto: I Like It Here, but When Can I Get Out?” I lamented the separation of Mormon women’s history from the general narrative of the church. Having people read what you’ve written is always lovely, but it is exponentially better when someone continues to think about something you’ve written and then chooses to do something about it. Thank you, Ardis.
Ardis Parshall–the mastermind behind the Mormon history blog Keepapitchinin–has moved to act. Always one to go above and beyond, Ardis has begun a daunting project of writing a broad synthesis of Mormon history written from the perspective of women–She Shall Be an Ensign. And she needs our support.
We, here at JI, heartily recommend her project to you. Ardis is an indomitable and generous researcher and she will offer us views and stories that we have never seen or heard of before. (Though I love Mary Fielding, I’m sorry if you’ve been overly attached to her [not] blessing her ox, but it is time for new stories and new voices.) Through this project, Ardis is attempting to begin the process of balancing out the narrative of LDS Church History, which has been overwhelmingly male. (For some depressing stats see this.) While her Kickstarter campaign burst out of the gates, the support needs to continue so the project is fully funded and Ardis can bring this project to fruition.
Go here. See the project. Do something. Just $10 of support will give you an electronic copy of the book. At $35 you get a print book and trading cards. Your support will help all of us enjoy the fruits of a complete tapestry of Mormon faith.
In that 2013 post, I argued, “until there begin to be popular LDS sources and church curriculum that incorporate women’s voices into the larger story of the Restoration, LDS women’s history will remain in the ghetto rather than taking the equal place it deserves in the narrative of the Restoration.” I am one of those historians desperately wanting Mormon women’s voices to continue to be heard. Personally, I believe this is of essential importance to the spiritual health of the body of Christ as well as the academic field of Mormon History. Some publishers need encouragement that such projects are not only devotionally or academically valuable, but likewise monetarily viable. Though Deseret Book’s commitment to Women of Faith was significant, without people buying books the prospect of other such projects lessens dramatically. (Women of Faith needs to sell more books.) The success of She Shall Be an Ensign and other projects working to balance the narrative of the Restoration are essential to demonstrate to publishers that we will put our money where our mouths are. Support Ardis as she continues to work for all of us.