Keepapitchinin, the Mormon History blog » The Woman Alone: Preview

The Woman Alone: Preview

By: Ardis E. Parshall - July 01, 2013

In 1974 the Relief Society published four alternative lessons in the Social Relations department, addressing the life of the single woman. This is the only time I’m aware of that the needs of singles have been addressed so extensively. In my opinion, this set of lessons is remarkable — over and over, I found myself nodding in agreement, even cheering out loud with gratitude at one point for the mere acknowledgement of a single’s life as I know it. They aren’t perfect — I found a little bit of stereotyping that I did not appreciate, and I quickly tired of the clinical word interdependent — but by and large these are pretty darn good. I hope these lessons, all to be posted in July, are as generally encouraging to other singles as they were to me, and that they’ll be of some interest to married readers if only because they may show you how the other half thinks and feels.


Social Relations – Optional Lessons, 1974


Preview of Lessons

The quest for self-respect and the development of interdependent relationships are major areas of temporal advancement. These are sometimes of concern to single people. The single woman should strive to be sensitive to her own self-concept and her relationships with her Heavenly Father and her fellowmen. She should be aware of how she relates to the Lord and others so she can maintain a proper perspective in her earthly life while progressing toward her eternal goals.

Learning not to live the extremes of utter dependence and total independence requires a full understanding of the word interdependent in the context of the single woman’s life. These lessons help explain how women can more fully understand and appreciate their lives and their communications with the Lord and with other people. They offer support and suggestions for those who share in the valuable experiences of being women alone.

The titles and objectives of the lessons follow:

Lesson 1 – Achieving Interdependence


The single woman will understand the need for successful interdependent relations.

Lesson 2 – Strength in Self-Respect


The single woman will increase her self-respect and her ability to act interdependently.

Lesson 3 – Developing spiritual Interdependence with the Lord


The single woman can receive all the blessings of eternal life if she will develop a spiritually interdependent relationship with God.

Lesson 4 – People Need People


The single woman will realize there are many ways in which she can grow and help others to grow through healthy, loving Christlike relationships with others.


1 Comment »

  1. These titles present a stark contrast to the LDS culture of “self-reliance.” I understand the impetus to teach women not to isolate themselves, but it will be interesting to see if being a capable human being gets any kudos.

    Comment by charlene — July 2, 2013 @ 1:59 pm

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