In an effort to unite LDS women from a variety of backgrounds in a discussion of finding oneself in the faith, BYU-Hawaii student Taylor Rippy will launch a blog entitled “A New Testament” this summer. Taylor is a senior in the ICS program from San Diego, Calif.
During an interview, Rippy spoke of her own experience as a young woman feeling alienated from her perception of “the perfect Mormon woman.” She expressed concern for youth growing up today who feel like outsiders in a church that is intended to welcome everyone. The insecurities and doubts that plague youth also affect adult women, she said.
Rippy explained that “The blog is meant to help righteous, faithful LDS women who are from all backgrounds know their value.” It will be made up of posts contributed to Rippy by women in the LDS Church. “The common thread among the posts will be that we are all active LDS women. The blog is meant to expand the perceived identities of LDS women.”
Rippy explained that “As a church, we have millions of women and each of us has a testimony and an identity. The testimony may be common, but the identity is different. I am not going to target, or avoid, a specific group for posts. The emphasis will be on the individual’s value, life, and experiences. This will not become a hot bed of controversy. That’s not what I want. There’s enough of that already.”
When asked about her opinion on the idea of the blog, Dr. AnnaMarie Christiansen, of the English Department, said, “It’s a great idea. Anytime when a diversity of women and their voices get featured it won’t be a bad thing. What we learn in IDS 310, multicultural women’s studies, is that when we look at the world through a woman’s eyes or from a female perspective, what we see may be different than what we have noticed before. That holds true for men and for women. I look forward to reading it. In particular I think many of the women on our campus have fascinating stories in terms of how they got here and what inspires them now.”
As in the LDS Church, women from around the world are represented on campus at BYUH. Rippy expressed that, “With the global church, we need to understand that the majority of female members are coming from outside the western United States. We need to broaden our view and understand diversity among church members in 2013.”
According to Dr. Phillip McArthur, the Dean of the College of Language, Culture, and Arts, “Blogs democratize information and knowledge. With Mormon women, this broadens the dialogue. More settings and backgrounds can join the conversation.”
BYUH Associate Academic Vice President Dr. Chad Compton, said, “As a result of living in a telestial world, it’s easy to lose track of who we are as sons or daughters of God. It is useful for us as faithful Latter-day Saints with testimonies of Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost, to tell our stories and talk about how we became the individuals we are in relation to the organizations we are a part of.”
Women interested in sharing their story of finding themselves in the LDS faith can send submissions to the email address: firstname.lastname@example.org.