Where is Herstory?

Ever since I was a little girl, I have loved to read. My Mom would always read with my brother and I, and she would always encourage us to learn new words and to read challenging books. I remember loving the Magic Treehouse series when I was little; my brother and I would read them so fast and then play like we were the brother and sister in the stories.

I remember reading scripture from the time I was little, as well. If you’ve read the Bible, you know that words don’t get much harder than that! It was definitely a challenge, but I learned how to read the scriptural language when I was little, and ever since, I have loved to read the scriptures.

In Mormonism, we read several volumes of scripture. They are the Bible (King James Edition), the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants, and the Pearl of Great Price. I won’t go into detail here about the specifics of each volume, but if you are curious, you can go to mormon.org and look them up.

Over the years, I have completed the Bible, Doctrine and Covenants, and Pearl of Great Price several times, and the Book of Mormon numerous times. I like to think that I have become fairly well-versed in the scriptures; I can recall lots of verses by memory. I have lots of favorite passages highlighted and can call them to memory when I am in need of a pick-me-up. A lot of my favorite scriptures come from the New Testament; I love reading the words of the Savior as He lived here on Earth. He is so loving and kind, and always reaches out to the one in need of His love.

As I have read the scriptures, I have noticed that there is a serious lack of female representation within their pages. Historically, society in general has been really patriarchal; as a result, the historical records and sacred writings we have access to were basically all written by men. If women are mentioned at all, they are usually only brought up in passing; they play no real significant role in the plot of the story.

How unfortunate is that?? It is so sad to me that the stories of strong women have been all but erased from our histories. If I could rewrite history, I would tell more of Herstory. I would make sure they are well represented and that women have a voice and a say.

In the Book of Mormon, there is one phenomenal story about a woman named Abish. She was a servant to the queen at the time, and she had very strong faith. I won’t tell the whole story here, but in a nutshell, Abish is converted unto the Lord and ends up saving the royal family from a mob. The sad part is that her name is only mentioned once and her whole story is contained in just a few sentences.

If I could rewrite history, I would tell the story from Abish’s point of view. I would ask her to give me every detail, every thought that she had. I would ask her to tell me what God told her to do, and how she was brave enough to follow the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

I hope that someday, more scripture will be revealed that will tell us about the wonderful women of history and how they influenced and guided those around them. I know that women in history have received just as much revelation and guidance from God, and I can’t wait for the day when we get the opportunity to find out more.

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