I am encouraged to receive the photos and profiles of brave men and women coming out in support of women’s ordination. A high school student. A women currently serving in her Relief Society presidency. A Melchizedek priesthood holder.
I am so thrilled to see that Ordain Women has sparked a wide array of conversations across this world wide web of ours.
One impression I have been struck by as I read the emails rolling into our site and the comments posted online is that this issue is a very fraught one for many Mormons. Fraught with fear. Even people who are generally supportive of female ordination are scared.
Many are afraid of the repercussions in their families, social circles and wards. Some are scared of the opportunities that would be available to us if we are ordained. Most fear that their words will not be understood or that their actions will be misinterpreted. They fear they will be brutally rebuffed, despite sincere and faithful intentions.
If I am honest, I will admit that, at times, I am afraid too. These days I vacillate between being petrified and ecstatic. I don’t think that anyone with “skin in the game” would not be afraid. As faithful Mormon women who love our community and church we have a lot to lose if our message is rejected, and we along with it are also rejected.
I have to constantly weigh the many things I have to lose against the incredible spiritual blessings I stand to gain. I take courage in the words of Caribbean-American writer and civil rights activist, Audre Lorde. I repeat her words as a mantra, and press forward with faith reaching out to quell my fears.
It is better to speak.