Is it Virtuous to Submit: Interview with Dr. Jennifer Finlayson-Fife

man in black jacket beside boy in pink jacket holding plush toy during daytime


“Becometh as a child, submissive, meek, humble…willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon him, even as a child doth submit to his father.” – Mosiah 3:19



When submission is a virtue, it’s an active choice to yield to something because you think it will create the greater good. It’s not driven by fear; it’s driven by moral courage.  

– Dr. Jennifer Finlayson-Fife



Dr. Jennifer Finlayson-Fife is a licensed psychotherapist specializing in relationship and sexuality counseling. She holds a Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from Boston College where she wrote her dissertation on LDS women and sexuality. She has taught college-level classes on human sexuality and currently has a private therapy practice in Chicago where she lives with her husband and three children. She is an active member of the LDS church.

She is a frequent guest on LDS-themed podcasts, and has written articles for LDS-themed magazines and blogs, on the subjects of sexuality, relationships, mental health, and faith.


The word submission can accurately be used to describe weak behavior, but submission can also describe virtuous behavior. 

I’ll be honest; I don’t like the word submission. I don’t like the meanings that are typically associated with the word submission. When I picture someone submitting, I think of an act that weakens and makes one vulnerable. But I do think there can be submissive behaviors that are virtuous, and that type of submission is a little harder to identify and define because the negative meanings are so prevalent.

In this interview Dr. Jennifer Finlayson-Fife, she explains what submission looks like as a virtue and what it looks like as a weakness.

PDF: When is it Virtuous to Submit: Interview with Dr. Finlayson-Fife

or listen to this interview on Google Play or Stitcher

If you look closely and compare the audio to the written transcript, you’ll notice that they are not a replica of each other. This transcript has been edited by myself and by Dr. Finlayson-Fife.  We have both taken the time to read through the transcript, refining our words to articulate our thoughts better. The audio recording is unique whereas it is not like a formal a podcast. It is a recorded conversation that you have the opportunity to eavesdrop on, so to speak. It begins abruptly in the middle of the conversation as though you have just stepped into the room.