Hugh B. Brown: "Spiritually, morally, religiously, and in faith, what man can match a woman who is really converted to the gospel!" (7). It's important to note President Kimball's added testimony that "no woman has ever been asked by the Church authorities to follow her husband into an evil pit. She is to follow him as he follows and obeys the Savior of the world, but in deciding this, she should always be sure she is fair" (83). In other sources, we have Brigham Young: "I never counselled a woman to follow her husband to the devil" (JD, 1:77), and Harold B. Lee: "No woman is expected to follow her husband in disobedience to the commandments of the Lord" (THBL, 250).
This collection doesn't unthinkingly dispense praise where women may be distorting their natures. It fearlessly confronts the cries of the world, such as President Benson: "Some have even been so bold as to suggest that the Church move away from the 'Mormon woman stereotype' of homemaking and rearing children. God grant that that dangerous philosophy will never take root among our Latter-day Saint women!" (70). Still, toward the end of his address, President Benson, in terms similar to President Hinckley's statement that his wife was fashioned of heaven, praised his wife as "the perfect lady" (75). Small wonder that Elder Maxwell advised, "May our brethren notice how all the prophets treat their wives and honor women, and let us do likewise!" (97-98).
Even if some charge that the tone is condescending, it is not, and it is true, that "the conventional wisdom of the day would have you be equal with men. We say, we would not have you descend to that level. . . . Equality should not be confused with equivalence" (Benson, on 71). These passages were effusive in their praise of woman's altogether different, transcendent, and complementary nature, to the effect, as given again by President Benson, "If it were only man's loneliness with which God was concerned, he might have provided other companionship. But he provided woman, for she was to be man's helpmeet" (69). Taught by all prophets at all times, with an actual emphasis on partnership, is the idea given by Brigham Young: "I tell you the truth as it is in the bosom of eternity; and I say so to every man upon the face of the earth: if he wishes to be saved he cannot be saved without a woman by his side" (on 143).