Women who support Ordain Women are often accused of being angry and I will admit that I am angry. Throughout my life, I have been a faithful member of the Church. I faithfully completed Seminary and the Personal Progress program. I was sealed in the temple and have honored those covenants. I have raised my children in the Church and with a love for the gospel. But I am angry that I have been faithful and true, giving so much to a church and religion that does not value my potential. I am angry that I was taught to limit my own ambition and to question my own heart.
Whenever I had a question or problem while growing up I would receive the counsel to talk to a priesthood holder. My dad or my bishop could tell me what to do or give me a blessing to tell me what God wanted me to know. I could also listen to what the prophet said; if I prayed about it and had a different answer than the prophets, I should keep praying till my answer aligned. From these messages I learned that someone else always knew better than I did what was best for me. I learned that male priesthood holders could solve my problems. I learned that men could communicate with God better than I could.
These messages caused me heartache. These messages led me to make choices I regret. These messages led me to quiet my voice and my questions. I am angry that an organization to whom I have given so much can dismiss our voices when we express our pain and continue to treat my gospel sisters and me as if we have less to offer.
For several years, I tried to create greater equality in my own ward. I volunteered to run additional activities for the girls, at my own cost, but was never allowed. I advocated for more equality in sacrament meeting in the order and number of male and female speakers. I included more female voices in the lessons I taught in Relief Society and advocated for others to do the same. The progress was slow, hard and often frustrating. I had long conversations with both my bishop and stake president. They respected my views and were kind. They promised to think about what I said, and I believe they did.
But when the bishop was released I saw all the changes I had worked for washed away, not because the new bishop wasn’t a good man, but because he just wasn’t aware of the inequalities. Everything I had worked so hard to change and had counted as success was reset to its previous position. It was from this experience that my support of female ordination came. The work of so many women and men towards equality can be leveled so quickly. The changes need to come from the top and be church-wide. Without females in leadership and decision making roles, any advance made toward gender equality is temporary.
I believe women should be ordained.