Family, Home, and Social Sciences
First Faculty Advisor
Dr. Amy Easton-Flake
First Faculty Reader
Dr. Valerie Hegstrom
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.
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Bach, Kayla, "Women of the Scriptures in the Relief Society Magazine: An Analysis of the Role of Language in Maintaining Gender Norms" (2022). Undergraduate Honors Theses. 264.