Faculty Advisor

Austin, Greta

Area of Study

Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences

Publication Date

Summer 2015


Far from being an oxymoron, Mormon feminism is rich, complex, and very much a reality. To highlight this diversity, I conducted a large scale survey (over 1,000 respondents) about the beliefs of Mormon feminism and the connections Mormon feminists found between feminism and their faith. I also studied Mormon feminist literature, blogs and podcasts. This paper argues that Mormon feminist beliefs and actions often simultaneously oppose and uphold different teachings of the Mormon Church (known by its proper name as The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, or LDS Church). In particular, beliefs about female ordination, gender roles, and Heavenly Mother, a female deity in the LDS Church, often stem from LDS Church doctrines and teachings that many interpret as supportive of feminist thought. Mormon feminists can therefore support and subvert different aspects of the LDS tradition within a single thought or action. In examining the dual nature of these thoughts and actions, I found that, although Mormon feminists might be perceived as asking for access into a male system, they are in fact challenging deep roots of the LDS faith. Research on Mormon feminism is important for both gender and religious studies. With the LDS belief in continuing revelation and modern prophecy, and a strong feminist community, Mormon feminism provides a fascinating examination of the way these two fields interact and shape each other.


University of Puget Sound