Posted by on Jun 17, 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. As of today, over 775 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. 

If you feel moved to write a letter, please submit it here.

I am an active, faithful member who recently returned from an LDS mission to Bulgaria. I saw quickly in my experiences with the Church overseas that a multitude of new and diverse voices are the solution, not the problem, to expanding Church influence. If we send the message that our Church supports Christ-like love and support for all humans even as we threaten those who create safe spaces for loving questions and doubts, we will do more to crush faith and unity in the Church than the Adversary could. While I do not support the Ordain Women movement, I do believe that Kate Kelly and associates have a right to live freely and faithfully as Church members, and to feel loved and supported by their community. 

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I am a non-member, and the Ordain Women project has been the driving force in me considering conversion for the past two years. If Ordain Women were not a current movement, I don’t think I would be able to seriously consider adopting Mormonism as a faith and lifestyle of my own. Thank you, Ordain Women, for helping me see the beauty, progression, and complexity of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. 

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I have found solidarity and support in Ordain Women. I spend so much of my time in the Church feeling marginalized as a woman, as a woman with a PhD and feeling so minimized as a female in a patriarchal system. It has been incredibly important to me to have this group who makes it easier to be in the Church. Easier to feel that there might be a place for me. For someone who thinks about things critically, who believes in social justice, who believes that her Heavenly Parents want both their sons and daughters to hold equal weight within our faith.

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I am strengthened and sustained by this group. When I don’t feel a sense of fellowship at church, I feel it here. 

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I am an active male member of the Church. I have long had questions and doubts about certain Church policies, including the role of women therein, but have chosen to stay active largely because of groups like Ordain Women. I understand that some within the Church view Ms. Kelly (and the OW group more generally) in a negative light. For me, however, they are a source of light and hope–a reason to stay with the Church despite my deep reservations about some of its policies and doctrines. 

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Ordain Women organization and the philosophy behind it has helped my testimony grow exponentially.

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I was born under the covenant and raised in a very faithful LDS family. I served a mission and attended Southern Virginia University. I loved the gospel with every fiber of my being until my testimony began to weaken and fall apart a couple years after I returned from my mission. I began to question and doubt things that I had cherished as truths my entire life (one of which was why women don’t have the authority of the priesthood). Just as I was about to reach the decision to leave the church permanently, I found Ordain Women. There I found women and men who believed in the church, fulfilled their callings, taught their children the gospel and lived beautiful Mormon lives like the one I had enjoyed growing up, but who also advocated for further light and knowledge from our Father regarding the subjects that had degraded my testimony and brought me to question the very truthfulness of the church.

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Thanks to Kate Kelly I was able to see that one can simultaneously have a strong testimony of the gospel and hope for improvement within the organization of the church. That is not apostasy. Kate Kelly and other people like her gave me examples of faithful members who share my concerns which helps me heal my broken testimony. 

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Ordain Women came along at a pivotal time in my life regarding my church membership. As I’ve gotten older, I found myself fitting in less and less with the other members in my ward. I thought I was the only person like me and I felt rejected. Ordain Women helped me see that there are many different kinds of Mormons in the world and that it’s ok for me to just try to be the best Mormon I can be. Just do my best, and trust that the Lord will guide me and help me do better each day. Ordain Women has kept me in this church.

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Just the possibility that someday, I could exist in a church where the priesthood would be open to someone like me was enough to awaken me from my sleepy Sunday routines and re-enliven my faith in the gospel. I am so grateful for the gift Kate has given me. It is my hope that rather than force those of us in pain over the gender imbalance we find at church to look for a new spiritual home, we will be heard, considered, and loved, the way we fully expect our Savior to hear and love us.

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I am currently the primary president in my ward. I love the simple truths of the gospel and I find so much joy in teaching these to the children in my ward. My testimony has grown as I feel an outpouring of the spirit when I’m surrounded by those sweet souls.

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In April, I attended the Ordain Women action. I have personally been hurt by the inequality in the church that is a consequence of male-only priesthood ordination. At times, it is difficult for me to justify raising my daughter in a church where I know she will internalize much of the inequality that I have been struggling with. Kate’s actions and faithful attitude has helped me feel as though I can be welcomed as a full member of the church while still speaking my truth about the hurt I feel. Her excommunication would be a signal to me that I am not wanted in this church. 

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Ordain Women has inspired me and helped me recommit to Mormonism over the last two years. I am an active Mormon Gospel Doctrine teacher who struggles with issues of gender equality in the church, and Ordain Women has given my faith and my testimony new energy. With the advent of Ordain Women, I had new reason to hope that there was room in the church to seek, knock and ask regarding difficult questions about gender. These are things that Jesus instructs us to do, and my faith and testimony have been built by these women’s willingness to ask our church leaders to think about women’s roles and the possibility for more expansive opportunities for women. I am now more committed to the church than I have been in years — in large part because Ordain Women gave me hope that there was room for a variety of Mormons in the church. Ordain Women helped me to see the expansive potential of the church — that it is growing robust and long-sighted enough to accommodate various ideological commitments.

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I am a french woman who lives close to Paris. I can tell that if women had priesthood I would certainly be baptized.
All my family is mormon but I decided not to be mormon because of the way women are seen in the church.
I wish this movement will succeed.

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I am an active member of the Front Range Ward in Evergreen Colorado. I serve as the primary chorister and ADG leader. I love my savior and my faith. While, I don’t seek female ordination, I am so grateful to Ordain Women for opening up a conversation about gender disparity within our church that is long overdue. I saw it as incredibly hopeful that a group of active members could express respectful disagreement with the leadership and not be punished/silenced. I did wish that the leadership would have agreed to meet with OW, because I believe listening and talking with the membership across the board is a huge part of pastoral care. I am so disheartened that Kate Kelly is being called into a church court and really baffled. I met Kate a few weekends ago. She is a thoughtful woman and when she bore her testimony about her love of this gospel and this church it was clear to me that it was sincere. I hope you will reconsider this course of action.

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Ordain Women gave me a chance to voice things that I previously only had talked about with God. I had been thinking about leaving the Church. Ordain Women gave me a chance to stay and feel like I was being true to myself and my relationship with God. I sincerely feel like it’s where God wants me to be: in the Church and as part of Ordain Women.

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I’ve really enjoyed Ordain Women as a safe space to have discussions about the church’s past, present, and future with open minded individuals who are also faithful, active, temple-holding LDS members. As a millennial I’m a big fan of rigorous, open discourse about things that have historically been behind closed doors for whatever reasons. I’ve viewed OW as an opportunity to have some of that discourse and help me, as a man, better understand those who feel hurt or who think differently than I do.