I am an elementary teacher and mother of two teenage girls. I love books, homemade quilts, brick oven pizza, the beach, and being with my family. Since my marriage in the temple 24 years ago, I have served as a Relief Society teacher, Compassionate Service leader, Young Women’s advisor and secretary, Gospel Doctrine teacher and just about every calling from nursery leader to president in the primary.
For years I have thought that the teachings of the Church diminish the role of a father, giving men an excuse to focus on the physical welfare of the family. This goes against everything I was taught as a child and everything I strive for in my home today. I believe that when we compare the roles of motherhood to priesthood we are thereby diminishing the roles of fathers. I believe that together the father and mother should both be responsible for providing for the family and nurturing children in whatever ways work best for them. The emphasis to mothers and fathers is often that they are equal but different. However, the admonition for fathers to preside and provide given in the Proclamation on the Family is at odds with this emphasis. In my heart I know that as long as one member of the family presides, equality is not possible.
I want my daughters to know and experience a church that values women and their abilities, not just their ability to bear children. I want my daughters to be equal with their male counterparts, even on Sundays. As I have struggled to find my place in a male dominated church, I have come to the realization that there is no doctrinal or scriptural reason why women cannot hold the priesthood. As long as the Church withholds from women the same blessings of the gospel that are given freely to men and boys, my daughters will never experience true equality within the Church.
Church practice has changed in the past and it can change in the future. I believe women should be ordained to the priesthood.