Posted by on Jun 21, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

In anticipation of Kate Kelly’s church disciplinary council, Ordain Women asked for letters of support commenting on how Ordain Women had deepened their relationship with the LDS Church, strengthened their faith and given them hope. They will be presented to Kate’s ecclesiastical leaders and Church Headquarters. Over 1,140 letters have been submitted. We’re gratified by the overwhelming response and touched by the sincerity of the messages. OW will publish selected letters each day leading up to the date of the disciplinary council. 

As a missionary in the Philippines I was assigned to a branch where the four previous branch presidents had been excommunicated for various misdeeds. Because of the relatively small size of the branch and the lack of male members, there was a looming possibility that the branch would dissolve and merge with the next closest branch, nearly 30 miles away, making it nearly impossible for faithful members to partake of the sacrament weekly. Having witnessed a branch full of strong, faithful women deal with the pressures of finding worthy males to take the lead, it made my heart ache. I know that God wants all of his children to have access to all blessings available to them. Through Ordain Women I know that these faithful members would have an amazing opportunity to share their love and devotion for Christ. We only share that we are ready and willing for the question to be brought to the Lord through the leaders of the Church. Kate has helped share her true love of Christ and the restored Church through her repeated sharing of her testimony. I am forever grateful for that.

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I am a current High Councilor and former Bishop. I love the Church and serve it with all my heart, might, mind and strength. I believe that we are guided by revelation and that revelations come in response to questions asked. The Word of Wisdom, the First and Second Official Declarations, baptisms for the dead are all examples of glorious revelations received in response to temporal problems or questions. I see a present temporary imbalance in the roles allotted to girls and women which I fully expect will change in response to revelation received. I am grateful to Ordain Women and to Kate Kelly for asking questions in sincere, faithful ways. I join with them in my request that the Brethren seek revelation to know whether women should hold the priesthood. Kate’s example has been one of asking in faith. She has never caused me to waiver. To the contrary, she has been a great example of how to express doubts and concerns in an attitude of faith. It would be a travesty to punish that, but it would be monstrous to cut off her sealing, baptism and saving ordinances.

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Ordain Women has promoted inclusion, encouraged members of the Church to seek personal revelation and prayerfully consider their questions, presented historical evidence for asking the questions they ask, and has only asked that the leadership of the Church share with them whether they have sought revelation regarding female ordination to the priesthood. If I could be there in the room with you on June 22, as a faithful member of this Church, as a sister in Zion, as a woman, as an advocate for love and mercy that does not rob justice, I would ask that you allow Kate Kelly to continue as a member of the Church in good standing. Your council may decide to disown her, but I cannot. I want her here. I want her as my sister in Zion so we can continue to learn and grow together in faith, to strengthen ourselves and then turn to lift others. Please consider whether your thoughts, words, and actions are motivated by fear or love.

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I am not a member of Ordain Women, and at first I was very angry that they existed. But as I considered and pondered on the questions they were asking, I was led to a serious study in the temple and out of it about gender, priesthood, and revelation. I have felt that it is good for my soul and my spirituality to wrestle with some of these questions before the Lord as I ponder on his omniscience and omnipotence – and the further light and knowledge that we are promised to receive. I do not know if women will ever receive the priesthood, but my eyes have been lifted heavenward with hope and faith in a beautiful day in the future when we have more knowledge and understanding than we have today. I may not have joined Ordain Women, or made the same choices they made – but I believe there is room for [Kate] here, right next to me in the Gospel—as a sister I love. She has made me a better Mormon.

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While I do not believe that women should be ordained to the priesthood, I do firmly believe that we should have the right to ask for it if the spirit moves us. For crying out loud, our faith was started by a young boy who dared to question the religions around him! As a person who has struggled finding a place in this faith, I find OW inspiring and faith affirming. Not because I agree but because I am glad so many courageous women love the church enough to express the desires of their heart. These are women who are desiring to be even closer to God and to have a larger role in the building up of the kingdom. How is that a bad thing? And if you tell Kelly that there is no room for her in this church, it feels like you are telling me the same thing. I desperately want to be Mormon. I love my church. Please make room for people who do not fit your ideal vision of what a Mormon should be. Make room for us! Make room for me.

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Ordain Women has inspired me and rejuvenated a testimony of the Restoration that had, frankly, become a little rote and stale over the years. While I am not affiliated with OW and am not sure whether I share the goals of the organization, I admire the faithfulness represented by the men and women who clearly support the prophet as the mouthpiece of the Lord and the only one authorized to receive revelation for the whole church. … But the questions have to be asked first before the answers will come. We are instructed in scripture to ask, to seek, to knock; when the questions are more global than one individual life or sphere of family, it is appropriate for the prophet and apostles to ask on behalf of the church. OW has asked that the question(s) be asked.

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I used to look forward to General Conferences mainly for the chance to “go to church” in my pajamas. The OW movement has inspired me to look forward to GC with renewed faith and hope that, as we heard in April, the Restoration is not finished. … I believe Heavenly Father has meatier things to tell us if we ask in faith. I recognize that the answers may not come immediately or quickly, but I believe that He will yet reveal many great and important things pertaining to the Kingdom of God. And for the first time in years, I’m excited.

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Inspired from the sidelines by the women and men of OW, my prayers are more fervent and my scripture study more consistent … Building Zion is not easy or mess-free. Please don’t make it harder by cutting off one of its most faithful supporters.

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I met Kate Kelly personally … and was immediately struck by her easy going nature and love for people and the Church. I walked away from my experience with her with a newfound excitement for being a member of this Church. For years I have felt like women needed to be represented more in the higher levels of Church administration—especially after serving a full-time mission at Temple Square. Kate, to me, was such a symbol of hope because she approached the situation delicately and appropriately. She was (and is) the voice of so many women who have feared to speak up in the past and gave me reason to stay in the Church. She helped me recognize that change in institutions is slow and that that was ok. She taught me how to disagree politely and appropriately with the status quo. But most importantly, she taught me how to struggle WITHIN an organization instead of just walking away from it. Excommunicating her would be devastating to all those who struggle.

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When I decided to post my Ordain Women profile, I felt incredible peace and a connection to my Heavenly Parents that I hadn’t felt for a very long time. Kate Kelly is an example of how to remain faithful, ask hard questions, and demonstrate to God that we are willing and ready for further light. I cried tears of heartbreak and frustration when I heard of the disciplinary action against Kate Kelly—not out of some hero worship or misplaced allegiance. I cried because I view her as my sister in the gospel and a faithful, wonderful follower of Christ who is acting on her convictions. It is my prayer that the disciplinary council will reconsider any action against Kate Kelly. I hope you will instead demonstrate that her voice, as well as that of many others joined with hers in prayerfully and peacefully seeking further spiritual light, are not only welcome, but welcomed as full contributors in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

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While I’m not sure where I stand on female ordination, Ordain Women has inspired me to closely examine my faith, and to take greater accountability for what I believe and what I teach my children. This process has led me to a richer connection to the gospel of Jesus Christ and a more fulfilling communion with the saints. I am eternally grateful for this movement. … I will be fasting for Sister Kelly’s priesthood leaders on June 22.

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I do not know if God wants the ordination of women in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. But, I do know that being a part of a community that is asking that question has led me to study and pray more about my role as a woman in the work of the Lord. I have felt more strongly connected to the women in the scriptures. I have been more attentive and thoughtful during my temple attendance. I have prayed more about how I can be a better wife, daughter, sister and friend. Ordain Women has not convinced me that women should be ordained—I believe that revelation must come through the proper authority and confirmation through personal communication with the Lord. However, Ordain Women has made my role as a woman more relevant and caused my testimony to be strengthened.

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The news of the pending disciplinary council that Kate Kelly will be subject to has broken my heart. I may not share all of the same ideas of Ordain Women, but I appreciate so much that the website has offered. It has allowed me to feel that asking questions is okay when still being a practicing member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. I have witnessed the good that has come from it, often in very small ways (such as women praying in General Conference). When I heard the news yesterday, I sat and starred at the beautiful portrait of Christ that is up on my living room wall. I thought about Him, and his love, and His example of all that is good in the world. My experience with Ordain Women has only increased my understanding of love, kindness, empathy, sisterhood, and my role as a member of the Church. She is needed, as well all are. President Dieter Uchtdorf spoke of how there is room for all of us in His Church. The message you are sending me is that there isn’t enough room, and it breaks my heart.