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Mormon Women

July 20, 1994

As a Mormon woman, I was very interested to read Maxine Hanks' commentary, "A Struggle to Reclaim Authority" (July 10). I respect her opinions regarding women in our church, though my experience and perspective are very different from hers.

Power struggles are not of much interest to me. I prefer to leave that to the secular world. The opportunity to serve others, to prod me to become a better person and to develop my faith help me find fulfillment in my religious association. This month I am one of several adult volunteers taking 30 teen-age girls of various ethnic and economic backgrounds to a camp in the mountains. The experience provides great joy in my life.

The male leaders of my church, all volunteers (no paid clergy), who work at full-time jobs and have families, have served me with kindness and goodness over the years, wherever I've lived (East Coast, West Coast, in between). I've never perceived them as authoritarian or power-hungry. I have been amazed at the generous way they share their time with the members of their congregations, given the many other responsibilities they juggle.

I am pro-women's rights, and am at peace in my faith. Each of us has our struggles in life. I am glad that my religious association helps me deal with mine. I wish Hanks well in her journey.

KATHLEEN LUBECK PETERSON

Los Angeles

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