Ann Romney, wife of Presidential candidate, Mitt Romney, was publicly attacked for choosing to be a stay-at-home mom, and by another woman. But this wasn't just any woman -- it was none other than Hilary Rosen, a political strategist. Rosen is the quintessential epitome of the "working" mom in society, and her critical comment about Ann Romney, that she "never worked a day in her life" has set off a social media, graduating to national media firestorm -- ultimately catching the attention of this stay-at-home mom -- who happens, also, to be a Mormon. Mind you, Rosen's comment was not intended to be a compliment -- nor a benign observation.

Video: Rosen on Ann Romney "...never worked a day in her life".

We all see the politics behind such tactics, as we know that womens' issues, in general, are going to play an even greater roll, going forward, in this year's presidential campaign. With Santorum now out of the way, Romney is basically assured the Republican nomination and will face, head on, Obama in the general election. Clearly the gloves are now, officially, off. But I say to Ms. Rosen, shame on you --  that as a woman, your willingness to participate in undermining womanhood and the individual right that each of us have to determine, for ourselves, what is right and best, for us, and our families is just that, shameful. Frankly, the war on women should not have as its greatest adversary, other women. I particularly appreciate Ann Romney's response to Hilary Rosen, in this Fox News report:

Video Clips from Ann Romney's response to Hilary Rosen on Fox News
My career choice was to be a mother

As Mormon women, whom Ann Romney is one, we have personal beliefs, based on the doctrine of the family, that have caused many of us, myself included, to make the choice to be a stay-at-home mom. I am of the same generation as Ann Romney, when such a choice was generally accepted as positive, and shared by the majority of women, both inside and outside of the Mormon faith -- even honored. Today not only does the world advocate that equality for women means the "right" to work outside of the home, to pursue one's career of choice, but is also becoming that which, among the majority of women, garners the greatest respect and supposed hope for personal fulfillment. Granted, this is a mindset that has had its time coming, as evidenced by the occasional challenges, to such a choice, that many of us have encountered along the way.

Due to this widespread interpretation of equality, an increasing number of Mormon women are making the choice to pursue careers that take them outside of the home to work. Let me emphasize though, that I do not believe that all Mormon women who work outside of the home are victims of this mindset. Many must do so for economic reasons, while others are imploring very creative ways to juggle home and family responsibilities, with supportive husbands by their sides, that allow and enable them to contribute to society in very meaningful ways -- while not sacrificing family as the priority. Modern technology is of great assistance in allowing many to generate both income and education, while never leaving the home -- or having to do so minimally.

Julie B. Beck, teaching the doctrine of the family, said this:

"In addition to understanding the theology of the family, we all need to understand the threats to the family. If we don’t, we can’t prepare for the battle. Evidence is all around us that the family is becoming less important. Marriage rates are declining, the age of marriage is rising, and divorce rates are rising. Out-of-wedlock births are growing. Abortion is rising and becoming increasingly legal. We see lower birth rates. We see unequal relationships between men and women, and we see cultures that still practice abuse within family relationships. Many times a career gains importance over the family."

Mormon Prophets and inspired LDS leaders have always taught the importance of womanhood and the influence of mothers. With today's economic challenges they continue to teach the importance of family, first, with a sensitivity to the challenges that many encounter. Gordon B. Hinckley, former President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, gave this inspired counsel, and warning, while addressing the women of the Church --  over 20 years ago:

"Now to others who work when it is not necessary and who, while doing so, leave children to the care of those who often are only poor substitutes, I offer a word of caution. Do not follow a practice which will bring you later regret. If the purpose of your daily employment is simply to get money for a boat or a fancy automobile or some other desirable but unnecessary thing, and in the process you lose the companionship of your children and the opportunity to rear them, you may find that you have lost the substance while grasping at the shadow."
He went on to say..
"I wish with all my heart we would spend less of our time talking about rights and more talking about responsibilities. God has given the women of this church a work to do in building his kingdom..."

In a more recent General Conference Elder M. Russell Ballard made this statement in his address: Daughters of God

"There is no one perfect way to be a good mother. Each situation is unique. Each mother has different challenges, different skills and abilities, and certainly different children. The choice is different and unique for each mother and each family. Many are able to be “full-time moms,” at least during the most formative years of their children’s lives, and many others would like to be. Some may have to work part-or full-time; some may work at home; some may divide their lives into periods of home and family and work. What matters is that a mother loves her children deeply and, in keeping with the devotion she has for God and her husband, prioritizes them above all else."

Utilizing the power and law of witnesses Elder Richard G. Scott boldly added his voice to President Benson's, in a General Conference address: The Power of Correct Principles:

"President Benson has taught that a mother with children should be in the home. He also said, “We realize … that some of our choice sisters are widowed and divorced and that others find themselves in unusual circumstances where, out of necessity, they are required to work for a period of time. But these instances are the exception, not the rule.” (Ezra Taft Benson, To the Mothers in Zion, pamphlet, 1987, pp. 5–6.) You in these unusual circumstances qualify for additional inspiration and strength from the Lord. Those who leave the home for lesser reasons will not."

Julie B. Beck, former General Relief Society president, responding to this all too familiar question, at the 2011 BYU Women's Conference:

"One of the questions that I get frequently is, "Is is okay if I work outside of my home or I don't work outside of my home?" You have to know that as an international, global, Relief Society president, that question isn't always appropriate in all the world's countries. There are many, many places where if our women don't work, they don't eat. So of course they have to work. The question of whether or not to work is the wrong question. The question is, "Am I aligned with the Lord's vision of me and what He needs me to become, and the roles and responsibilities he gave me in heaven that are not negotiable? Am I aligned with that, or am I trying to escape my duties?" Those are the kinds of things we need to understand. Our Heavenly Father loves His daughters, and because He loves us and the reward at the end is so glorious, we do not get a pass from the responsibilities we were given. We cannot give them way. They are our sacred duties and we fulfill them under covenant."

The most recent address given to the women of the Church, by President Thomas S. Monson, was at the 2010 General Relief Society Meeting, in which he had this to say on the subject:

"My dear sisters, each of you is unique. You are different from each other in many ways. There are those of you who are married. Some of you stay at home with your children, while others of you work outside your homes. Some of you are empty nesters. There are those of you who are married but do not have children. There are those who are divorced, those who are widowed. Many of you are single women. Some of you have college degrees; some of you do not. There are those who can afford the latest fashions and those who are lucky to have one appropriate Sunday outfit. Such differences are almost endless. Do these differences tempt us to judge one another? 

Mother Teresa, a Catholic nun who worked among the poor in India most of her life, spoke this profound truth: “If you judge people, you have no time to love them.” The Savior has admonished, “This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.” I ask: can we love one another, as the Savior has commanded, if we judge each other? And I answer—with Mother Teresa: no, we cannot."

As Mormon women, we have been clearly instructed as to our first priority -- the family. Let us trust one another, enough not to judge the different choices that we make, in regard to working outside the home -- or not. Ours is a relationship of covenant, that by the Spirit will guide these types of decisions, if sought. The adversary has, as his mission, to destroy our unity. As women of Christ we must resist such attacks and see them for what they really are. The prophet Joseph Smith was a great example of understanding the principle of individual agency, and exemplified this when he said, "I teach them correct principles and let them govern themselves".

The Savior taught the principle in this manner:
For behold, it is not meet that I should command in all things; for he that is compelled in all things, the same is a slothful and not a wise servant; wherefore he receiveth no reward. 
Verily I say, men should be anxiously engaged in a good cause, and do many things of their own free will, and bring to pass much righteousness; 
For the power is in them, wherein they are agents unto themselves. And inasmuch as men do good they shall in nowise lose their reward. (D&C 58:26-28)

Kathryn Skaggs

Ann Romney is a woman that I would feel honored to have in the White House, serving as our First Lady! It might even be okay if she brings along her husband, Mitt Romney. I'm a believer in the old saying that "behind every good man is a better woman" and I'm pretty sure in the case of Mitt, truer words could not be spoken.

The Family: A Proclamation to the World
"WE, THE FIRST PRESIDENCY and the Council of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, solemnly proclaim that marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God and that the family is central to the Creator’s plan for the eternal destiny of His children."

Julie B. Beck: Mothers Who Know
"The responsibility mothers have today has never required more vigilance. More than at any time in the history of the world, we need mothers who know. Children are being born into a world where they “wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places” (Ephesians 6:12). 1 However, mothers need not fear. When mothers know who they are and who God is and have made covenants with Him, they will have great power and influence for good on their children."

"No, we don't look down on the many women who work. Yes, LDS Church leaders have taught that the role of a mother is sacred and vitally important, and have encouraged mothers to stay home, when possible. Let me first point out, however, that the Church encourages both women and men to become educated and to be prepared to make meaningful contributions in the world."

LDS Newsroom Topic: Women in the Church

"Motherhood and the nurturing of children are held in special respect in the Church, and many Mormon women who make this their first priority also achieve prominence in later life in business, education, medicine and other endeavors."

Eternal Marriage LDS Institute Manual: Mothers' Employment Outside the Home - Selected Teachings

Former CNN Producer and Mormon stay-at-home mom, Jocelyn Christensen, shares her very personal decision to walk away from CNN: Doing My Dream Job

"Women in our church are given many opportunities to serve and lead. We are encouraged to get an education and to follow our dreams. As I have pursued my goals in life, I have benefited from the wisdom of inspired church leaders. I felt particularly empowered by an address delivered last fall to the women of the church, called Mothers Who Know. In the talk, Julie B. Beck, the president of our women's organization offered many pearls of wisdom. Her main message was that there is "eternal influence and power in motherhood.""

We Talk of Christ, We Rejoice in Christ: The Hard Work of Motherhood

Over on "...and Spiritually Speaking" Sarah had this to say in response: Just a Stay-at-Home Mom?

"Because of the importance of the role of motherhood our Heavenly Father will guide our decisions, if there is any way possible to stay home with your children, do it, make the financial sacrifices so you can do this. I promise there is nothing more rewarding as this, and nothing as important. If this is not a possibility, know that Heavenly Father will make up the difference. So let's seek His will in this important matter, and let's be kind to each other."

Modern Molly Mormon: Every Mother is a Working Mother

"As women, we should be supporting one another. We should be creating a community and doing our part to make this world a better place. And yet, here we are, tearing one another down, denigrating the role and worth of motherhood and simultaneously denigrating the role and worth of mothers with an additional job. This is not how it is supposed to work."

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