I am a lifelong member of the church. In my youth I served as Beehive, Mia Maid, and Laurel class presidents, and Stake Girl’s Camp Youth Director. As an adult I have served as Stake Young Single Adult Co-President, a Full-time Missionary, Relief Society Presidency Counselor, Gospel Principles teacher, Primary teacher, Primary President, and (my favorite) a Nursery teacher. I love to garden with my husband, design small home floor plans, and laugh with my two amazing sons. I play my music too loud and sing along with it in the car. I am fiercely loyal and love to tell humorous stories from my childhood (if you have met my family of origin you know there are many). I am currently working on a degree in Marriage and Family Therapy.
I feel there are many reasons that ordination should be extended to women. Let me share with you the reason closest to my heart. The day after my husband and I buried one of our three sons, a woman we loved and admired approached me and shared some vital information. “Statistics show,” she explained, “marriages just don’t survive the death of a child.” As a young couple we were inexperienced and completely overwhelmed by what life had just dealt us. We were not prepared for the depth and length of our grief. Even now, 14 years later, it is unnerving to revisit those feelings and that level of loneliness. But we wanted our marriage to make it so we worked very hard to try and lighten each others’ burdens in the ways we could and knew how to. When I needed my husband to lay his hands upon my head and use the priesthood power to administer to my spiritual and emotional needs he was always available. This man who knew me so well, knew my joy, my pain, my hopes and desires, my doubts, my fears, and my sorrows could instantly bring the Savior’s healing balm to my raw wounds. Time after time over those most painful years he served me through the priesthood power and I was truly blessed and healed by his service. What became frustrating for us both, crippling for him, and detrimental to our relationship was that there was no such relief for him. This kind, gentle, loving man began to feel isolated and neglected. Where was his Balm of Gilead? Yes, there were priesthood holders in our ward and home teachers in our home and he did receive blessings from them, but it wasn’t the same for him as it was for me. When he needed a blessing in the middle of the night because he was overwhelmed with grief, he could not ask his eternal companion, someone who already knew what he was feeling and experiencing, to lay hands on his head and call down the powers of heaven on his behalf. In order to access these blessings for himself he had to wait, make appointments around others schedules, and share with them details about very personal feelings. Although well intended, it was not such an easy or gentle process and often brought on discouragement.
We did not become one of the statistics of divorce, but our marriage went through some very difficult challenges. It was a heavy burden on my husband feeling like he alone had to “carry the family” as the priesthood holder while carrying his own burden of grief. I wonder what it would have been like for him, when filled with sorrow and pain, to have simply been able to reach out to me, his wife, and receive a blessing of comfort and healing whenever he was in need of one? I often think about those missed opportunities and how they could that have made us better partners, blessed our home, and made our family stronger. As a woman I am so grateful for the priesthood service my husband gives in our home. My heart is filled with hope for a future where I might be able to love and serve him in the same way he can love and serve me.
Because I love my husband, delight in the partnership of marriage, and desire for a sweeter and closer marriage experience for my sons and their future spouses, I believe women should be ordained.