Every year around February and March I’ve always experienced a kind of holy/religious envy. Mormons don’t practice Lent, and I’ve always wished that we did. You know, Christmas is this whole season. Weeks of celebrating the Savior’s birth. But, if I may, the Savior’s birth is not what saved me. It is His sacrifice, His death, and His atonement. I’ve always thought it was kind of sad that Easter is a week-end ordeal, and that it kind of feels like a blip on the radar. And so, I’m always jealous of Christians who do practice Lent. Because their commitment to the Lenten period helps them to stay focused on the “reason for the season” (to borrow a Christmas phrase) and it transforms Easter into the kind of parallel to Christmas that it ought to be.
This year, I just decided I was going to do it. And then I learned that I had other Mormon friends that were going to do it. And we came together in a little Facebook group and got our Lenten groove on.
For my part, I chose not to sacrifice something, but be actively engaged in something. (For the record, I don’t think either approach is better than the other-it is just a choice.) I chose to memorize a scripture a day, the theme of which was women in the scriptures. Delving into and thinking about the lives of biblical women has been a really great exercise for me. So much (and by this I mean 99.9%) of our worship is told in a male narrative. Men teach men how to be men of God, and men teach women how to be women of God. Sometimes this leaves me feeling wanting. Searching out women of God in the scriptures is a balm. I think I’m going to continue to do it, even though Lent is over.
Of course, as with the men, not of all of the women in the scriptures are exactly examples of righteous living… but you get my point.
Here is the list of 40 scriptures that I worked on*. Most women got just one verse, but for some I couldn’t decide and so there are two about the same woman:
1 Samuel 2:1
2 Samuel 3:3
2 Samuel 12:24
2 Samuel 13:20
2 Samuel 21:10
2 Kings 9:7
2 Chronicles 34:22
*I say “worked on” because there came a point when memorizing them was not really the focus. It was searching out and learning about the women that became the thing. I did attempt memorization, but if I’m honest it was half-hearted. I was way more interested in searching the internets for clues about the women.