One Sunday in the not too distant past, I sat in Sunday School where I soon discovered, upon looking at the walls around me, that the room doubled as the early morning Seminary space for the high school kids.
And I saw this on the wall:
Yes, I know it’s small, but in the top left corner it reads “Daughters in the Wilderness” (referring to the women who traveled with Lehi’s family in the opening chapters of the Book of Mormon). And, frankly, those daughters are going to kick your trash. I mean look at that poster! That woman could be a ninja!
This. poster. rocked. It rocked in so many ways. I can’t even tell you how unbelievably happy I was to see women on a poster referring to scriptural heroes. Yes! Even though they are women who actually never get named in the book–someone realized that they were people and were awesome people and deserved some sort of recognition. Thank you mysterious Poster Planner!
Leap in the right direction, I would say.
Apparently, there’s a non-LDS series of these “Who is your Hero?” posters. (Actually, the non-LDS series was the original and then Deseret Book decided to do a Book of Mormon version.) I also found one for punk-rocker Esther:
And “Don’t mess with me” Mary:
I just wanted to bring these posters to your attention. I wish that I could have seen these when I was younger. I wish that we could have focused on the (frustratingly, to say the least) few examples of strong women available in scripture. At least there are a few! And these posters jump on that necessary opportunity to showcase our female heroes.
We haven’t and we don’t honor them that often because they are mostly silent and/or absent figures–and that still stings me deeply. But, since I can’t go back in time and turn the tide of canonical feminine-reference erasure…I’ll find what inspiration I can from what was kept. I think these posters are finally trying to do what needed to be done long ago–recognize the women and make them just as important in what we teach in Sunday School. Make them individuals with stories, strengths, and weaknesses that they overcome, not just as a throw-away mother’s name or a lumped group of females who were nothing else but “wives.”
They were people. They had lives. They had individual dreams and thoughts. They had stories. They are heroes, too.