I had a very interesting experience this weekend that really made me think about the purpose and strength of women. It started when I convinced my dad and Richie to go see the movie The Other Boleyn Girl. It wasn't the best movie I've ever seen but did give me a nice recap on history I learned and forgot long ago. I probably wouldn't watch it again, but it was worth seeing once.
The movie portrayed these women as objects of ambition and power. Both sisters were basically used by their family to satisfy the king and advance the family's position within the court. Mary Boleyn was given as the king's mistress even though she was already married then fell ill due to pregnancy. A woman on bed rest doesn't quite fit the description of a mistress so in comes Mary's sister, Anne.
The movie portrays Anne as a jealous, vengeful, power seeking woman. She convinces the king to get rid of his wife Katharine- a wife that cannot have children and is deemed useless to Henry. Eventually Anne is also deemed useless to the king when she can only produce a daughter; even as she was executed, I couldn't help feeling that she had brought destruction upon herself by her own ambition. I did feel for these women though that lived in a time period where everyone was so obsessed with greed and moving up in the court, that the women's feelings and lives were literally dominated and eventually destroyed by those around them.
In comes Sunday night...
For the past three weeks, I've been practicing with a group of women from church for a musical fireside called Women at the Well. Sunday night we put on that fireside, and I got a completely different glimpse of women. The fireside portrays the lives and stories of many of the women in the Bible and Book of Mormon including the woman who touches Christ and is healed, the sinner woman who comes and washes Christ's feet and is forgiven, Mary the mother of Jesus, Mary Magdalene who saw Christ after the resurrection, Jairus' daughter, and many others with just as powerful stories. The program includes a quick narration introducing each woman's story and then a solo from a woman portraying that Biblical character. It was incredible and really was a testimony to me of the power, strength, and tenderness of women, especially these women with faith in Christ. These women were not dependent on men to tell them how to act, feel, or live their lives- they were dependent on one man- Jesus Christ to lead them.
But the other thing that touched me almost as much as reliving the testimonies and the lives of these strong Biblical women, was listening to and feeling the testimonies of the women in my ward who sang about them. We are all in different places in our faith and relationship with our Savior, but these women reaffirmed to me this: ambition, power, and position really don't matter in any scheme of things; what really matters is our relationship with Jesus Christ. None of us may have the faith of Mary Magdalene or Christ's mother, but we can all have our own relationship with Him that is just as real, and as a woman that is my goal.