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Commonly heard thought-obliterating dicta in my Church are "When our leaders speak, the thinking has been done" and "when the Prophet speaks, the debate is ended." They forget to mention that the debate probably never even got started since in the Church there is little dialogue or real education.
Indoctrination is the prime method of instruction because obedience is the contemporary Church's prime message.
Encyclicals from the Brethren over the past ten years [1969-1979] such as those which took away women's right to pray in major Church meetings (this right has since been restored but women will not be safe from the Brethren's capricious meddling with our inalienable human rights until we attain positions of power and authority in our Church); to control our own auxiliary money and program and to publish our own magazine for communication among ourselves have put women under total male control, requiring us to ask permission of men in even the smallest of matters.
These rulings—which have seriously harmed women's self-esteem, lowered our status, made us bootlickers and toadies to the men of the Church and destroyed what little freedom of choice we had—those rulings reveal the depth of the Brethren's fear of independent, non-permission-asking women, the kind of women which are emerging from the women's movement.
And it is no accident that they were enacted just as the feminist tide in the United States began to swell.
But we have other, more direct, ways of knowing how badly threatened and angry our brethren are by the existence of women who are not under their control.
The Salt Lake Tribune in December of 1977 quoted local therapists as stating that up to three-quarters of their Mormon patients were women and that the common denominator was low self-image and lack of fulfillment outside the home.
Given this view of women, it should come as no surprise that despite the carefully calculated public relations campaign which portrays the Mormon Church as the last bastion (and probably the inventors!
) of the happy family and fulfilled womanhood, all is not well in Zion: all is particularly not well among Zion's women.
In recent years, considerable hue and cry has arisen over the subject of depression among Mormon women, inspiring a spate of documentaries and articles.
The caliber of character forged by this "education to obey" is illustrated by an encounter we had two summers ago  in Lafayette Square after the national ERA march in Washington, D. Several of us were accosted by two Brigham Young University students, former missionaries for the Church, who tried to tear down our MORMONS FOR ERA banner.
During the ensuing discussion, they solemnly vowed that if the Prophet told them to go out and shoot all Black people, they would do so without hesitation.
It was flourishing when my grandparents were infants, crossing the plains to Utah in covered wagons.