This week I'm focusing on women and motherhood, because it's Mother's Day this weekend. And because it feels like the right thing to be centered on; home and family. Which also makes it the perfect time to bring up this little book that I happen to really like; a lot: The Beginning of Better Days - Divine Instruction to Women from the prophet Joseph Smith. 

It's a simple book, really. However, in it, is contained six sermons that the prophet gave in Nauvoo, wherein he taught specifically to the sisters, on a variety of issues that were of concern to the challenges that they were going through during those trying times, and of which today, not surprising, we can actually find parallels. These sermons are often referred to as the 'relief society minutes' and have only recently been readily available for anyone to read.

What adds to these little sermons, and makes them just a little more relevant to LDS women today, is the addition, at the very back of the book, of two essays: one written by Sheri Dew, the other by Virginia Pearce; both very insightful and, by LDS women I trust. I took the time to sit down and read both of these essays, as soon as I could get my hands on the book, immediately, when the book was first published. I'm ready to do it again, because I know when I dive back in this time, due to so much that is going on with current women's issues, I'm going to receive new insights that I know are important.

Book Description:

How important are women in the restored church of Jesus Christ? We learn something about the answer to the question from a simple historic fact: In 1842, the Prophet Joseph Smith took time to attend several meetings of the Female Relief Society of Nauvoo and give personal instruction to the women there. He did this at a time of great personal turmoil, when persecutions were raging and his responsibilities were heavy. He did it at a time when society barely acknowledged women as having any kind of status at all. On six separate occasions, he taught the women personally about their privileges, their opportunities, their obligations, and the blessings the Lord had in store for them in His kingdom. 
The Beginning of Better Days includes Joseph Smith's six timeless sermons to the women of Nauvoo, along with personal essays from Sheri Dew and Virginia H. Pearce that help us better understand the sermons and their relevance for Latter-day Saint women today. "We have attempted to share a little about our own processes of discovery regarding the sermons," writes the authors. "This is what worked for us. What works for you may be similar — or it may be completely different. The important thing is to dig in."

Video: Beginning of Better Days


To each individual sister, understanding her own 'better days' can begin 'now' -- as she takes it upon herself to ponder the counsel given by the Prophet Joseph Smith those many years ago, to see potentially how his inspired direction fits into her own life today...

Kathryn Skaggs

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