Posted by on Jan 15, 2017 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Debra Jenson serves as the chair of the Ordain Women communications committee.

The OW logo with the words "greatest hits" written across it. Below the logo it says ordainwomen.org.

Why do you have to go to the media / do things so publicly / be radical / try to embarrass the church?

I feel compelled to speak the contents of my heart to the leaders of our church regarding gender inequality in Mormonism because they are the men who can take this matter to God. I have personally approached my local leaders about this topic, but they have no authority or calling to receive revelation regarding priesthood authority and revelation. I have sent multiple private requests, including heartfelt testimonies, to the general authorities and officers, but have been ignored. As a member of the executive board of Ordain Women, I have signed and submitted several appeals to meet privately with our leaders—no media involved—only to be put off and then completely ignored.

I do not live in Nauvoo in 1842. I cannot go to the Red Brick Store to speak to the Prophet. It is not 1878 and Eliza R. Snow is not traveling by wagon to visit my local congregation so she can take our ideas and concerns directly back to the Prophet. It is 2017, and my leaders work in a solid granite building, behind two locked doors and a security guard. They travel in tunnels beneath SLC to access church buildings and events. They have instituted expectations that members not approach them with personal requests, not even to write them letters. So what is a person to do?

I believe firmly that the leaders of our church have had countless opportunities to speak with supporters of Ordain Women privately—away from the media—in order to demonstrate that they see us as daughters of Heavenly Parents who love us, and we love Them. The leaders of our church have chosen not to do that. If that is embarrassing to our church, it is not my doing.