It is the one subject that can get me riled up more than anything else!!! (final update)
When Logan was 2 months old, my husband and I started going back to church. I insisted. I want my children to be exposed to religion. I was raised Baptist and he is Mormon. The second time we went to his church, I was approached after relief society and told that "We certainly won't tell you not to nurse in Relief Society, but there are women of all different backgrounds here and I will ask that you cover up." Now, I will admit that I had the majority of my breast exposed that day; it was early on in our nusing relatonship and we were still learning and it was easier for me to relatch him if I could actually see what I was doing and the shirt pulled down blocked the way. 1) I had been nursing him all day in the same manner, no one had said anything. 2) If anyone had the right to say anything, it would have been the MALE speaker in the front of the Sunday school class. 3) For those who don't know, Relief Society is all women. When I explained my reasons for not covering, she then told me I could take him to the fussy room. I stopped going to Relief Society.
When Logan was about a year old, we stopped going to church. I was working 12hr days, 6 days a week and my husband was working and going to school. Church happened to fall in the middle of a 1 year old's nap time. We felt that spending quality time together as a family was more important than going to church. We stopped going.
Fast forward. Logan is now 3 and we have a 6 month old baby girl. Nursing is old hat to me and I've learned to do it discreetly. We've resumed going to church. I get a phone call today from the missionaries about me nursing in Sunday School. Now, to nurse discreetly in church, I've even adopted wearing a nursing tank under my regular shirt. I've never understood how that helps with discretion, but hubby says it's less noticeable. To top it off, I was wearing my wrap even though I haven't gotten the hang of nursing in it. When wearing the wrap, you really can't see a whole lot of the shirt let alone anything else! You literally see nothing.
However, they were quick to point out that it's about the comfort of the other men in the room. That they don't want the men to be tempted to have impure or unclean thoughts. I don't think they liked that I pointed out that if a man is going to have impure or unclean thought about a baby nursing at the breast, then they have deeper issues than me hiding my breast is going to solve. I also pointed out that if the people in the room are paying attention to the speaker at the front of the room then they're not going to be paying attention to what I'm doing. They then asked "Well, what about the speaker in the front of the room?" I believe that if he really had that big of an issue with it, he would say something to me or my husband. I told them that I will be discrete when I nurse in church, but I will not cover nor will I leave the room. IT IS NOT SHAMEFUL AND DOES NOT NEED TO BE HIDDEN!! I could tell that they were not overly pleased that I did not agree to hide.
Update: We had the Sisters over this evening. I just seemed to keep seething over this. I actually had to take some nutmeg before they showed up so that I could be calm and level headed. I exp;ained that, no matter how tactfully it was approached, it still came off as them accusing me of being an exhibitionist out to tempt men into sinful thoughts. Until this happened, I had been planning my baptism for next month and, quite honestly, the whole situation had turned me off. My husband encouraged me not to make generalizations about the Church and stated that these were most likely a couple of people expressing their personal opinions. We were able to have a calm conversation, they understood where I was coming from, and I let them know my plans. My husband and I both believe that the teacher is the kind of guy who would say something if he was bothered by something, and he hasn't said anything to me about nursing in his class. As of right now, my plan is to ask the teacher outright how he feels about it. After that, I am going to have a conversation with the Bishop and find out where he stands on the topic. Depending on the answers I get, I may or may not continue with my baptism.
Those of you who supported me and said you were Mormon, I really appreciate it. It gives me hope that this is not a church-wide point of view and that we'll be able to resolve this.
Final Update: Talked with the teacher and the bishop. The teacher pulled in another woman, older, who shares a lot of the same views I do (home birth, baby wearing, nursing, etc) who was able to share her perspective about nursing in church. The general consensus is that as long as the situation allows for me to be discreet, then there is no reason to cover or leave the room; if the situation starts to become distracting then I should leave the room (which I would leave the room if baby and I were making a scene regardless of the situation). The teacher did admit that he was a little uncomfortable with me nursing in his class, but it was simply something that he isn't used to.
Essentially, the talks went well. From here on out, I just do what I do and simply tell someone "no" if they tell me I need to cover. Hopefully, I can avoid getting upset about it if someone does say something, and just let it go like water off a duck's back. Thank you everyone who showed me support.