Friday, January 25, 2013

Women in Combat

Painting by Edmund Blair Leighton

I was stunned and disturbed this morning to hear that the United States Pentagon has lifted the ban on women fighting in the military. As I listened to the commentator on the radio speak of women waiting at home for the men serving as something as "antiquated as the wearing of hoopskirts" in a disgusted tone, my stomach lurched.

And I began to think about the many reasons to have women home during times of war, "keeping those homefires burning."

Those Left Behind

The first thing that came to mind was the draft. If both the fathers AND the mothers of children are called up to arms, WHO takes care of the children?

Who DOES keep the homefires burning, keeps the money coming in, keeps the neighborhoods functioning, keeps the homes protected from theft and the children from harm?


A Bloodthirsty People

Have we, as a country, as a society, really come to the point where we are as bloodthirsty and warlike as the ancient Greeks and Romans before us? If we haven't already, we soon will be, if our women become as hardened and troubled as our soldiers both past and present. War is one of the most disturbing things that humankind deals with, and if our soldiering men are having such a dfficult time with post-traumatic syndrome and other such mental troubles, what will happen to nurturing, feminine women? 

Is the female sex demanding, as did Lady Macbeth?
Come you spirits
That tend on mortal thoughts, unsex me here. . . .
Come to my woman's breasts
And take my milk for gall, you murdering ministers.
What WILL happen when mothers become "murdering ministers?"

My thoughts turn to the Jaredites, in the Book of Mormon. Near the end of their civilization, (which came about because of all the fighting and killing among them-- in essence, they destroyed themselves!) they had become so bloodthirsty and hardened that they required their women and their children to fight, in addition to all their men.
And it came to pass that when they were all gathered together, every one to the army which he would, with their wives and their children—both men, women and children being armed with weapons of war, having shields, and breastplates, and head-plates, and being clothed after the manner of war—they did march forth one against another to battle; and they fought all that day, and conquered not. (Ether 15:15)
 The destruction was so great among their people, that there was not even anyone left to bury their dead.
And so swift and speedy was the war that there was none left to bury the dead, but they did march forth from the shedding of blood to the shedding of blood, leaving the bodies of both men, women, and children strewed upon the face of the land, to become a prey to the worms of the flesh. (Ether 14:22)
This future, with all the wars going on all around the world that OUR troops are fighting in, is not that far off. How quickly has the unthinkable always happened? When looking back to history and those who have come before, it's sooner than we like to think.


In all of this, the media is speaking from two polar opposite opinions. On the one hand, arming women to fight in bloody and disturbing wars is being applauded, while cries for taking away personal weapons of protection from families are reaching fever pitches.

There is a great deal of talk of "protecting children," but who protects the young when BOTH their parents are serving in distant lands, killing the innocent children of our enemies? The State??? 

How can a mother keep the milk of human kindness in her heart for her own little ones, knowing that her actions are destroying the lives of other babies? 

Lady Macbeth, again, shows us that a woman cannot have both.


Gender is an essential characteristic of individual premortal, mortal, and eternal identity and purpose.
By divine design, fathers are to preside over their families in love and righteousness and are responsible to provide the necessities of life and protection for their families. Mothers are primarily responsible for the nurture of their children. In these sacred responsibilities, fathers and mothers are obligated to help one another as equal partners.
Men and women ARE different, and yet equal. 

To deny that fact is not only scientifically ridiculous, it is also silly in the emotional, mental, and spiritual senses. Misinterpreting equality in such a way is nonsensical. 

Each have their own stewardships that work within their natural abilities and talents. BOTH ARE NEEDED-- in their heaven-endowed duties. They should then help and support one another in those roles, as equal partners.

The prophets then go on:
...we warn that the disintegration of the family will bring upon individuals, communities, and nations the calamities foretold by ancient and modern prophets.

The modern world that women are trying to navigate is more confusing and troubling than ever. For me, this is not a day to rejoice. It is a day of mourning. My pleading prayers for peace will be stronger and more heartfelt than ever.

I raise my voice in protest-- I cannot stand by and let this disturbing issue stand, unchallenged.

May the Lord help our society come to its senses, before it's too late!!! 


  1. Hi Rachel,
    My husband is a Marine. In fact, he's a photojournalist for the Marines. He comes home from work everyday to relate something crazy and new going on and, I can honestly tell you, this is not a move that this country actually supports or one that has been pushed for by women in the military. This is purely political. For sure there will be those women who are gung-ho for the idea as there always is but when reality sets in, their tune will change.

    I agree with everything you wrote here and the changes that are going on this country right now are just heartbreaking. I stay at home and tend to our children when my husband is gone and there is no other place I want to be. The farther Nuturing and Nuturers are removed from the equation, the more callosed and wicked the world will become.

    Sometimes it's eerie how alike the Book of Mormon is to your current day...scary honestly. But since history repeats itself, we know what to prepare for.

    I love your blog. Thank you very much for writing for homemakers like me. =)


  2. Wow! I found your blog a few days ago and really appreciate the things you have to say. This post put into words beautifully EXACTLY what I have been thinking. Thank you for giving words to my scattered thoughts.

  3. I agree with you. I was distressed when hearing about this. I was always led to believe that if women ruled the world, there would be no war. If that's the case, then why do we want women in combat?

  4. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    1. I simply removed this comment because Blogger is being weird and double posted the comment. Sorry!

  5. I'm with you!Things are very creepy.

  6. First, I applaud the love and concern for humanity that pervades your post.

    However, I have been thinking about it all day (I read it this morning). I finally put my finger on what has been troubling me.

    I don't think free agency, choice, and accountability for those choices on those who have reached the age of accountability (adults) is a bad thing. While being on the frontlines might not be for you or for me, there may be some women who would choose to be there. I think it is okay for them to have that choice. The Huffington Post article I read about this said, "The services must now develop plans for allowing women to *seek* the combat positions, a senior military official said." (**added by me)

    The physical demands of passing training are intense, and two women who attempted it for the Marines last year did not finish. It will take remarkable women who will seek these positions, and I don't expect it to be overwhelming numbers. Women can and will still be able to join the military without seeking frontline positions.

    I, like you, am discouraged at the hardening, secularization, and increase in immorality of our society. However, I think that problem lies in our culture, in what we are teaching in our homes, and what we teach by example. I think we should push for better programming in entertainment, I applaud the few groups who make public service commercials about values (there are a couple), and I think we need to reach out and teach each other and show each other options with better results (which you do in your blog!). Yes, we need to share the light of the gospel with each other.

    But, I don't think the answer is limiting choice and free agency to the same level as criminalization (ie, by elevating it to something the requires a law or agency policy and rules).

    A final word about the draft. The same article I mentioned addresses that in its last paragraph. The draft law is written specifically to men. The Supreme Court has ruled that Congress would have to change the law in order to allow any extension to women in order for it to be legal. So, you raise a good point. If you/we are concerned that this is a slippery step that can occur very quickly down the slope, then be aware, make sure your representatives know how you feel, and spread the word so that the draft is not extended to women through a new law by Congress (made up of your representatives!), if nothing else, to protect the family, as you illustrated. The draft does take away some freedom of choice and that is a valid concern. The first comment above, as well as other thoughts, make me think that men would not be in a rush to try to force the draft on women, especially if we opposed it ourselves.

    Again, though, I applaud you for speaking from your heart so beautifully.

    The link (to give credit) of the Huffington Post article I read is

  7. Beautifully written, Rachel! I too was disturbed to hear this news, for many of the same reasons you were.

  8. I found this just as disturbing, even upsetting.


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