I grew up in southeastern Idaho, having been moved there by my parents who were determined to raise their children in a “good Mormon community.” I graduated from Seminary, attended Institute, served in various callings, and still attend church weekly. For so many years, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has been my safe place. Now, though there is much that I dearly love about the gospel, I’m not sure if my church has a place for me.
In the last several years, I have served in both Young Women and Relief Society presidencies with strong, faithful, intelligent women. These women have so many abilities and talents, yet a number of lessons we taught the girls and women of the ward seemed to say that motherhood and homemaking were all that we should and could aspire to. There was more than one discussion about how priesthood and motherhood are comparable roles. I have a hard time believing that loving Heavenly Parents would limit both their sons and daughters to such narrow roles.
The Church loves and supports family. I wish that I felt as needed and useful in my religion as I do in my family. My husband and I stand on equal footing. We don’t subscribe to assigned roles in our marriage; we both pull our weight and support each other in everything that we do. I have never felt in our marriage that being a woman restricts me from doing anything my husband can do. But I feel that way at church. We have a daughter and a son. As they get older, I see more and more differences in the way they are supported and valued at church. I believe that our Heavenly Parents (and probably most Church members) see my children as equally important. However, there are policies in place that prevent my daughter from contributing in the same way that my son will someday be able to. That breaks my heart.
I have much to offer as a member of this Church. I want to fulfill the divine nature that I have been told I possess. But when I cannot do things as simple as participate in a baby blessing or serve as a witness for my own child’s baptism, it feels as though my offerings are unwanted. I do not understand why half of the Church’s members are not being included in more leadership and administrative roles. I can only see good coming from making full use of the full membership.
I believe that women should be ordained.