AWE (A Woman’s Experience)


women's studies, polygamy, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints


This paper addresses the question of why Mormon (LDS) women in Utah were so involved in the women’s suffrage movement of the late nineteenth century. This paper explores how two factors in particular—the LDS doctrine concerning Eve and the practice of polygamy—gave those of the LDS community a perspective on women’s role in society that empowered women rather than suppressed them. This empowering perspective on the role of women in society both diverted from the widely-followed protestant traditions of the time and closely paralleled the beliefs and ideologies of the women’s suffragists. With a perspective on women’s role in society that corresponded with suffragist ideals, it is then no surprise that LDS women were both encouraged and eager to join the national suffrage movement in the United States.


Sarah Dunn is a senior graduating in English teaching from BYU. She plans to pursue a career as a high school English teacher and is excited to convey her love of literature and learning to her students.