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Tuesday, January 21, 2020

JRCLS Annual Fireside This Friday, January 24th

The J. Reuben Clark Law Society will hold its next annual fireside on Friday, January 24, 2020, at the Latter-day Saints Conference Center in Salt Lake City, Utah. The fireside will begin at 6:00 pm, and a reception will follow at 7:00 pm. It is free to attend and no RSVP is necessary. The fireside will be broadcast around the globe. 
 
The fireside will feature Sister Sharon Eubank, the first counselor in the general presidency of the Relief Society of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, an organization with over six million adult female members.

Sister Eubank has been the worldwide director of Latter-day Saints Charities, the Church’s humanitarian arm, since 2011. Since 1985, Latter-day Saints Charities has provided over $2.2 billion in humanitarian assistance in nearly 200 countries and territories globally.


Sister Eubank


If you are not able to attend in Salt Lake City, the Fireside will be broadcast worldwide via the church satellite system. It will also be streamed at https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/broadcasts/languages/jrcls-annual-fireside-broadcast/2020


The broadcast will begin at 6:00 pm MST.  The web page will not be activated until the afternoon on the day of the broadcast.

There will also be a satellite rebroadcast beginning at 7:30 pm MST for those that couldn’t gather and watch the live event. 

The broadcast will be available in English, Spanish, and Portuguese.  The Fireside will be available on that page for two weeks after the event has concluded.  Following those two weeks, the video will be published on the JRCLS website.  Please take the opportunity to view this in your Chapter.

If you experience any technical difficulties with the broadcast, please call the number for the Global Service Center for your area: https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/help/support/toll-free-numbers-gsc?lang=eng.  

We'd love to fill the seats with as many women as possible, so please join us in the Conference Center if you can!!

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Jeff Shields: A Proponent of Women in the Law

In 2004, Jeff Shields was the chair elect of the Orange County Chapter of the Law Society and noticed something odd. Although the chapter was relatively small – around 150 on the books with fewer attending -- there were only two women who routinely came to Law Society functions, Donna Bashaw, an elder law practioner, and Elizabeth Shaw Smith, who practiced business law and estate planning. Just as disturbing, Jeff recognized there were no women on the board of the chapter. He also noticed small behaviors among the male attendees that he believed must have been off-putting to the women, such as announcements to members “to bring their wives to the next function” or addressing the chapter members as “brothers.” To Jeff, it felt less than the inclusive forum for all attorneys that it should have been, and he was sensitive that this situation must have felt like a “boys club” to Donna and Elizabeth. 
The lack of women attendees also seemed out of balance with the numbers of women attorneys Jeff knew resided in Orange County. As chair elect, he decided it was his duty to rectify this situation by inviting women to join the chapter. Jeff reached out to one female attorney he knew who was practicing law but who was not involved in JRCLS and asked why she did not join the Orange County chapter. She said it was because it did not appear to be an organization for women.
Jeff’s first act toward remedying this problem was to invite Donna and Elizabeth to be on the board of the Orange County Chapter as membership chairs, which they readily agreed to do. He believed that it was necessary to change the face of the chapter before inviting other women to join.
Jeff Shields on the left at a JRCLS Orange County function in 2015
Next Jeff called the 16 stake presidents in Orange County and asked permission to contact the bishops of each ward to ask for names of all female attorneys who were practicing law or who had law degrees. Every president granted permission where upon Jeff began the months-long process of calling each one; Jeff believed this was the only way to garner results. From this enormous effort, he was able to recruit 40-50 women to join the Orange County chapter. His efforts also had the advantage of encouraging each bishop to make a list of all attorneys in his ward thereby having a cumulative and ready resource from which all members in Orange County could draw.

The next step Jeff took was to formalize the group of women into a committee within the Orange County chapter and appoint Elizabeth Shaw Smith as its first committee chair. She coined the title of the group, “Women in the Law Committee” (WIL) as her first order of business. As one of her first tasks, she organized the first WIL conference in the Orange County chapter which established a template for subsequent regional conferences. Once he could see that the WIL committee would be a successful venture, Jeff pitched the idea of an international WIL committee to the then international chair, Joe Bentley, who jumped on the idea. Joe appointed Annette Jarvis as its first chair in 2007 at its inception. Much of the early history of WIL involving her able leadership can be found on the JRCLS website under the WIL committee’s history.
Elizabeth Shaw Smith, chair of
the first WIL chapter committee
The international WIL committee is flourishing nearly fifteen years after the Orange County WIL committee was first formed. We are much indebted to Jeff’s vision, Elizabeth’s strong leadership, and Joe’s enthusiasm in their efforts which resulted in initiating the international WIL committee. It has now blossomed into a beacon for all Law Society women worldwide. 

(Written by Kathryn Latour, member of the JRCLS WIL and Media Committees)

Thursday, September 26, 2019

Announcing the JRCLS Women in Law Pre-Law Conference 2019!

We hope you have enjoyed our 5-part series on Utah Women of the 19th Amendment that has been posted on this blog.  In celebration of the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment and to inspire women to continue this important work though law and other civic service, JRCLS Women in Law is excited to announce the annual Women in Law Pre-Law Conference & Networking Event!

Please join us on October 2, 2019 at BYU Law School for a BYU Law School tour; inspiring remarks from Provo Mayor Michelle Kaufusi and Jane Wise (Associate Director for the International Center for Law and Religion Studies); speed networking; and refreshments. All are invited!

The theme of the conference is:

I AM THE WOMAN WHO CAN: 
Celebrating the Last 100 Years from Voting to Law School

5:30 - 6:00 Law School Tours
6:00 - 7:00 Remarks from Mayor Kaufusi followed by keynote address from Jane Wise ("The First 100 Years Are the Hardest") in Room 205
7:00 - 8:00 Speed Networking & Reception, Sorensen Student Commons

*Refreshments will be served*

Registration will close on Monday, September 30 at 12:00pm


Provo Mayor Michelle Kaufusi
Mayor Michelle Kaufusi was raised in Provo by a single mom who worked graveyard shifts as a nurse to take care of her seven children. Mayor Kaufusi grew up with a sense of duty to serve the community and give back what was so generously given to her family. She knew well the uphill battles many women face in the community. She saw mothers showing up day-after-day to improve the lives of their children in the school system. She saw the female student population putting an emphasis on education. She watched many women in the community live courageous lives full of children, grandchildren, and church and community service.

Many times Mayor Kaufusi has been that mother driving the carpool routes in sweats and sandals, with a half-eaten sandwich on the dashboard, trying to solve all the world’s problems at once. Her hope is that the women of our city will come to know that she is their advocate who understands their lives and shares their hopes and dreams. As she has said, "I may be the first female mayor, but I will certainly not be the last."



Jane Henriod Wise
Jane Henriod Wise started teaching legal writing at BYU Law School more than twenty years ago and has taught legal writing in online programs at the University of Tulsa College of Law and Concord Law School. She has developed curricula for the American legal academy including materials for English as a second-language for law students. She has written essays for nationally syndicated radio programs, newspapers, magazines, as well as screenplays; edited books; and has contributed chapters to books. She has also edited print publications at BYU Law School for fifteen years. Currently, she is an Associate Director for the International Center for Law and Religion Studies and teaches international graduate students legal writing at Oxford University in the summer. She currently teaches Legal Analysis & Writing, Law and Literature, and Capstone Seminars.

Professor Wise researches and teaches about law and literature and storytelling in the law. She writes for textbooks and in law journals and is a presenter at legal writing conferences. She clerked for the Utah Supreme Court and maintained a general law practice.

Professor Wise also teaches cooking classes and develops recipes, does voice-recording and narrations for books, magazine articles, and films. She was affiliated with the Salt Lake City Planetarium, doing recordings and giving star shows.

Professor Wise received her B.A., B.F.A., and J.D. all from the University of Utah. She was the 100th woman admitted to the Utah State Bar!

Thursday, September 19, 2019

Utah Women of the 19th Amendment Series Part 5: Emmeline Blanche Woodward Harris Whitney Wells

Born in 1828 in Massachusetts, Emmeline Woodward’s father died when she was 4 years old. It was the actions of her mother as a widow caring for her large family that inspired her to later be a women’s rights advocate. After graduating from the New Salem Academy at age fourteen, Emmeline taught school before marrying James Harris at age fifteen and migrating to Nauvoo. After losing her first baby, her husband left to find work, and Emmeline resumed teaching. When James never returned, she married Newell K. Whitney as his 5th wife and later walked to Utah Territory with the rest of the Saints.

Having been interested in creative writing as a child, Emmeline began keeping a personal journal, a habit she would maintain her entire life. This daily writing would serve her well in the suffragette 
movement.

Arriving in Utah in 1848, Emmeline enjoyed only two more years of marriage before again finding herself without a husband after Newell’s death. Displaying an independence of character, Emmeline proposed marriage to her husband’s friend, Daniel Wells, and became his seventh wife in 1852. She had 3 daughters with Daniel – adding to the 2 from Newell  but their relationship was not close because he was busy with his six other families and many church and civic duties. Emmeline continued to teach to support her little family. 

In 1872, the Women’s Exponent, a magazine aimed to educate all women of Utah, was established and Emmeline became a strong contributor. After 3 years, she became an associate editor and then was promoted to editor, a position she held until the closure of the magazine in 1914. In this role, Emmeline wrote many traditional stories and poetry. But, because publicly expressing ideas was not yet considered appropriate for women at that time, she also wrote boldly about suffrage using the pen name Blanche Beechwood. Emmeline declared the claims of the “new woman who should step out of her domestic cocoon to seek a place in the larger affairs of society.” As Beachwood, Emmeline frequently published articles on women’s rights, particularly the right to vote, the right to hold public office, the right to education, and the right to economic independence. In 1875 she wrote, "I believe in women, especially thinking women… I can see no good, sound, wholesome reason against woman's writing upon any of the general topics of the day." "She may be a profound thinker," she continued, "but if her ideas never assume any form, what will it avail?" In later years, she was to earn an honorary degree in literature from BYU for her literary works, which she accepted on behalf of all women. 

Recognized as a strong capable woman, in 1876 Emmeline was appointed by Brigham Young to head a church-wide grain-saving program, and managed the program until the beginning of World War I. For her efforts, she was personally visited by President Woodrow Wilson, who commended her actions as helping to win the war. 

Because of her forward-thinking attitude and importance as an editor, in 1878 Emmeline was nominated for Salt Lake Country Treasurer, which she summarily turned down because women could not hold public office. The following year, she was selected to represent Utah at a national suffrage convention in Washington, D.C., where she acted as a lobbyist, meeting with many politicians to address the issues of polygamy and women's suffrage from the Utah woman's point of view. When
she returned, Emmeline began a strong campaign for women to hold public office, first petitioning the governor. When he refused to consider it, she convinced Territorial Senator Charles W. Penrose to introduce legislation to grant women the ability to hold office in Utah. This bill passed the legislature but was vetoed by the governor.  

Of this she wrote, “It is pitiful to see how men opposed to woman suffrage try to make the women believe it is because they worship them so, and think them far too good, and one would really think to hear those eloquent orators talk that laws were all framed purposely to protect women in their rights, and men stood ready to defend them with their lives. We can only say they have been bold and must answer to their own consciences . . .[L]et us hope the practical experience that will come with the ballot may convince even them that good may follow and they and their children receive the benefit of what they could not discern in the future progress of the world.” 

Undeterred, Emmeline became a delegate to the Utah State Constitutional Convention, helping to prepare language that would grant women’s rights when Utah petitioned for statehood. She also gathered signatures from Utah women for a Constitutional Amendment that would grant suffrage nationally, gaining notice from Susan B. Anthony. At her urging, Emmeline joined the National Council of Women of the United States in 1891 and was the first woman from Utah to hold an office within that organization. She was elected as president of the Utah Territorial Women’s Suffrage Association in 1893, joined the National Woman Suffrage Association, and continued to work with these organizations for nearly 30 years. She ultimately was instrumental in restoring women’s suffrage to Utah in 1896. 


Along with her suffrage efforts, Emmeline also served from 1910-1921 as the General President of the Relief Society of the Church and saw the passing of the 19th amendment a year before her death.


(Researched and written by Kathryn Latour, member of the JRCLS WIL and Media Committees)


Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Utah Women of the 19th Amendment Series Part 4: Zina Diantha Huntington Jacobs Young

Zina Diantha Huntington comes from strong beginnings. The Huntington Family is one of the first European Puritan families to come to America in 1633. Her father, William Huntington Jr. fights in the War of 1812; her grandfather is a soldier in the Revolutionary War; and her great uncle, Samuel Huntington signs the Declaration of Independence. Perhaps because of the patriotic legacy she is born into in 1821, Zina grows up valuing the right to one’s independence, including that of women.

Zina’s family hears Joseph Smith’s message in New York and is baptized by Hyrum Smith. Thereafter they follow the body of the Saints. But Zina’s mother dies in the Missouri expulsion, and her father later dies in the expulsion from Nauvoo. However, at age 20, Zina presses on, accompanied by her husband, Henry Bailey Jacobs, even giving birth to her second son in a wagon along the route to Council Bluffs.

By all accounts, Zina is known as a gentle, kind, sympathetic woman who “drew people after her by reason of that tenderness,” writes Susa Young Gates. Arriving in Salt Lake City in 1848, Zina starts a school because she sees many children running around without anything to do. After Zina’s marriage fails, she marries Brigham Young and bears him one daughter. Zina raises her three children as well as four children of a deceased sister-wife.

Zina and her friend, Eliza Snow, who has also been part of the first Relief Society in Nauvoo, are anxious to re-establish the Society to empower women. In 1866, Eliza calls Zina to be the Treasurer of the General Relief Society, and they travel thousands of miles through much of Utah “assisting in encouraging and strengthening the various organizations.” Already zealous about women’s right to vote, many times they hold Women’s Suffrage Society meetings after church meetings are over. Zina is a passionate advocate for the women’s right to vote and constantly inspires women to be better. “Sisters, it is for us to be wide awake to our duties,” she says. “The kingdom will roll on, and we have nothing to fear but our own imperfections.”

In 1872, she helps establish Deseret Hospital in Salt Lake City, serving on its board of directors and for twelve years as president. She also organizes a nursing school with courses in obstetrics, and encourages women to sustain it. She herself delivers over 1,000 babies in her lifetime.

President Young asks Zina to establish a silk culture in the territory and appoints her president of the Deseret Silk Association in 1876, a group which cultivates silk worms and mulberry trees for the local production of cloth for 30 years. At the first general conference of the Relief Society in 1889, she reminds women to avidly seek to produce silk to create income for themselves.

She says, “It is our duty to be self-sustaining, and to foster and encourage home industries.” Following Zina’s directive, the Utah women become known among silk weavers as the makers of “the best fibered silk they had ever seen.”

Zina continues to be active in the national temperance and women's suffrage movements and, in
Designated as one of Utah's leading women, 
Zina sits 2nd from the right, middle row.
the winter of 1881, is sent by the First Presidency of the Church to the East to advocate women's suffrage and dispel misinformation about the Church. She attends the Women's Congress in Buffalo and the National Woman Suffrage Association (NWSA) Convention in New York. She also addresses many temperance societies.

In March 1886, the Deseret Evening News announces a mass meeting “for the purpose of making known the grievances of the women of Utah, and protesting against the indignities that have been heaped upon them in the present anti-‘Mormon’ crusade.” About 2,000 people, including Zina, assemble in the Salt Lake Theatre. The meeting adopts nine resolutions that object to the Edmunds-Tucker Bill, which threatens to repeal Utah women’s right to vote (a long-settled law in Utah), enact more drastic antipolygamy laws, and require wives to testify against their husbands in legal proceedings.

Regardless of the resolutions, the offensive bill becomes law in 1887, disenfranchising all Utah women irrespective of their religion or marital status. It is into this fraught political climate than Zina is called as General Relief Society President, following Eliza Snow’s death that year. 

Zina continues to further the mission of the suffrage movement. Friends of both Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony of the NWSA, Zina arranges for Stanton to address an audience in the Mormon Tabernacle, although Stanton scandalizes the community by speaking not only on suffrage but also on birth control. Zina becomes the Vice President of the National Council of Women (NCW) in 1891 at age 70. Just prior to the first triennial NCW convention, Zina asks all stake Relief Society presidents to collect donations to help send delegates. In 1893 Zina represents the women of Utah at the World’s Fair.

In her lifetime, in part due to her tireless efforts, the Utah chapter of the NWSA is created, Utah women are again granted the state right to vote, and Utah becomes a state. 

(Researched and written by Kathryn Latour, member of the JRCLS WIL and Media Committees)

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Utah Women of the 19th Amendment Series Part 3: Sarah Melissa Granger Kimball


Born on December 29, 1818, in Phelps, New York, a small town 20 miles from Palmyra, she is one of eight children of a well-to-do puritan family. When her father joins the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, he moves his family to Kirtland Ohio. 15 year old Granger is fascinated with the doctrines found in the Evening and Morning Star newspaper and, at her father’s suggestion, joins the
School of the Prophets to study secular and gospel subjects. Unlike many 19th-century women Granger is excited about the intellectual and spiritual challenge, something she retains throughout her life. However, she is also a typical of 19th century women, in that she wants to work within the existing patriarchal system. 

Having moved to Nauvoo, 21 year old Granger meets and marries wealthy businessman, Hiram Kimball, who does not share her faith. Although she lives in a large elegant home and has money at her disposal, Sarah Kimball, as she is now known, is frustrated that she owns nothing in her own name due to the property laws of the day. In 1842, anxious to contribute to the temple, but not wanting to impose on her husband, Kimball organizes a “Ladies Society” to sew clothes for temple workers. This organization is presented to Joseph Smith who from it officially forms the Relief Society. The first meeting is held in Kimball’s home where Smith says he is “turning the key in behalf of women.” Kimball credits that phrase that promises to rain down knowledge and intelligence upon women, as the beginning of the women’s suffrage movement. She allows that statement to color her perception of woman’s changing sphere.

In 1851, when many of the Saints are already in Utah Territory, Kimball’s husband is still away on business and she travels to Utah without him, bringing her children and mother in law. He joins her 2 years later, penniless and ill. With no income, she begins teaching school. She has another baby in 1854 and resumes teaching 2 months later. Kimball teaches under difficult circumstances, and becomes more convinced of the need for better conditions for women in the workplace. She becomes determined to “push the matter to the utmost” says Emmeline B. Wells, another Utah suffragette. Her opinions do not go unnoticed by one of her young pupils, Emily Tanner (Richards), who later becomes a fierce proponent of women’s suffrage. 

By 1857 Kimball’s husband is again prospering in business, freeing Kimball to pursue other activities. Never one to go against the brethren, when the territorial legislature grants the right of suffrage to Utah women in 1870, Sarah affirms “that she had waited patiently a long time and now that we are granted the right of suffrage, she would openly declare herself a woman’s rights woman.” She is called to be ward Relief Society president, a position she holds for 40 years. As president, she urges women to exercise their minds, and among other subjects, introduces a study of physiology in 1872 from which comes her dress reform movement; she declares that “tight lacing is a sin against humanity.” At the same time, Kimball serves as a member of the territorial committee of the People’s Party gearing her efforts at awakening women to their responsibilities and possibilities. In the years that follow, Kimball never hesitates to give her opinion on woman’s equality, which gains her a reputation for being strong-minded. 

In 1882, Kimball becomes a member of the Utah State Constitutional Convention that draws up Utah's unsuccessful petition for statehood. After the passage of the Edmunds-

Tucker Act, Kimball heads a women’s committee petitioning Congress against outrages inflicted upon Utah women by federal deputies. Kimball becomes president of the Utah Women's Suffrage Association and Utah’s delegate in the national suffrage movement in 1890, traveling to Washington D.C. where she works closely with, and becomes good friends of Susan B. Anthony

As president, she urges women to read over the Constitution six times and study municipal government in each Suffrage Association chapter. They form mock legislative assemblies to understand the political process. “This would lead to our advancement and the enlargement of our capacities. Woman,” says Kimball, “must intelligently assert her selfhood in a manner that will enable her to labor more effectively for the general good of humanity.” 

During the urgent statehood campaign of the 1890s aging Kimball is not as active in organizing local suffrage auxiliaries and communicating with national suffrage leaders as are younger suffragettes, namely, Emily Tanner Richards. But Sarah’s endorsement of the goals and programs of the local movement is unwavering; her sanction, as one of the older generation and an established advocate of woman’s advancement, undoubtedly helps to gamer support for the cause. She dies in 1898, having witnessed Utah attaining statehood with women’s rights constitutionally established.

Excerpted from “Sarah M. Kimball” by Jill Mulvay-Derr

Monday, August 5, 2019

Diversity of Religion Benefits the San Francisco Bay Area


The Oakland California Temple of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was rededicated in June after 1½ years of extensive remodeling. Open houses during the month of May gave more than 170,000 visitors the opportunity to tour inside the temple. For many members of the general public, this was their first chance to enter in 55 years.


Throngs of visitors line up to tour the Oakland Temple
JRCLS member Candace Anderson, who is also an elected member of the Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors, was asked to lead tours reserved for media, heads of other religions, political officials, and other special guests. Over 2100 such officials visited. All were respectful as Anderson outlined the purpose of  the temple. Most expressed experiencing a feeling of peace.

Anderson was also asked to speak at the Media Press Briefing, held prior to the first tour. Commenting on the stature of the Oakland Temple as a beacon for airplanes and ships coming into the San Francisco Bay, Anderson analogized the temple as a spiritual beacon for her and her family. “It is a place of meditation and reflection, a place of peace where I can shut out the noise of the world and feel inspired in the things I need to do.” It seems to also act as a beacon to diverse

Local teenager in quinceañera dress
groups of other faiths to use as a backdrop for special occasion photos, such as for quinceañeras, the Catholic coming-of-age celebrations. Without knowing the full purpose of temples, those of other religions seem drawn to the beautiful grounds and special architecture that draws one’s eyes upward to the heavens. The Oakland Temple presidency has always welcomed these guests for this purpose. 

After speaking about the purpose of temples, Anderson shared appreciation for the diversity of faiths found in the Bay Area and the role that each of these religions plays in strengthening our communities. She said, “They accomplish things that government never can.”  



Written by Candace Anderson and Kathryn Latour (both members of JRCLS WIL Committee)