I grew up in the Church in Salt Lake and gained a great love for it early. I read the entire scripture canon and other books before my mission and developed a strong testimony. I remember reading stories of the Savior as he ministered to the sick and oppressed and rebuked the pharisees and Sadducees for their hypocrisy. His love and courage moved me deeply.
I had a lot of questions and before I even knew about feminism, I pestered my teachers and family members about why women couldn’t hold the priesthood. They gave answers that satisfied me temporarily. On my mission, I witnessed a lot of domestic abuse. One of my investigators was a struggling alcoholic that got abused by her son. She refused to report it because she loved him and was afraid. My senior companion and mission president said not to get involved. The abuse continued until he lit her on fire and watched her die. Both of my leaders are wise and inspired people and I believe they were called of God, but I wish with all my heart that I’d disobeyed them and stopped it by calling the police.
The Church has changed a lot and our leaders have all made mistakes, which is fine. We’re human and the Church is here to help us repent. In college I learned more of the beautiful efforts of reformers like Ghandi, MLK Jr. and even Jesus Christ. I learned that I could effect change as they did. I volunteered with a couple organizations working directly with victims of physical and sexual abuse. I saw first hand the need for active feminism as well as the negative effects of a patriarchal society.
There are many things about the gospel that I love, especially that I have a Heavenly Mother in addition to our Father, but I wish that we could talk to Her or about Her more often and it shows there’s still a need for the gospel to grow. I believe the Church can continue to change. I don’t know what this will look like, whether that means giving women the same thing the men have or something different of equal weight, I’ll leave the specifics to God, but something does need to happen. I believe women should be ordained.