Author Date


Degree Name





Family, Home, and Social Sciences

Defense Date


Publication Date


First Faculty Advisor

Dr. Amy Easton-Flake

First Faculty Reader

Dr. Valerie Hegstrom

Honors Coordinator

Dr. Michael Cope


Relief Society, Relief Society Magazine, Mormon, Mormon Women, LDS, LDS Women


This paper explores the language used to discuss women from the scriptures in the Relief Society Magazine, an official publication of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints from 1914 to 1970. More specifically, this paper analyzes the usage of language in relation to the establishment and maintenance of gender norms, particularly those relating to women. This analysis reveals that the following core themes are frequently present throughout discussions of scriptural women in the magazine: the nature of womanhood, motherhood, wifehood, women’s roles in religion, the interaction between patriarchy and equality, and gender-neutral spiritual traits. By exploring these themes, trends that likely shaped women’s lives within the LDS Church throughout the twentieth century can be more closely considered, including: the gradual reduction in the autonomy of the Relief Society, the increasing prioritization of priesthood hierarchical structure within the LDS Church, the intentional effort by church leaders to enforce traditional gender roles contrary to societal change, and the pivot away from LDS women’s civic participation to a more singular focus on the private sphere.


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Sociology Commons