I am a mother, a returned-missionary, a first grade teacher, and a musician. I am currently serving in the Stake Young Women’s Presidency and I believe women should be ordained.
It was not an immediate thing, this feeling that such a request for women’s ordination was right and good. Growing up in a loving and healthy, if eccentric (in a good way), mormon home, I was given so many examples of strong, nurturing, respected, educated, and independent women. And equally important– of caring, respectful and humble men. I was shown how the truly different characteristics and natural abilities of my mother and father balanced each other perfectly. Though I considered myself a feminist, I revolted at the claim of some that there is literally no difference, and no use or value to a difference in the sexes. I was and am proud to be a woman, proud of all that means. I absolutely love the understanding I have of my own inherent worth and the worth of all souls. I also honor the sacrifice and value in creating and nurturing life, and honor the number of graceful and unique women I have opportunity to learn from, worship with, and serve– all blessings of this wonderful church. I felt happy and at peace about the responsibilities given to women and men and felt no pressing urge to seek ordination to the priesthood for women.
It wasn’t until I went to the temple that my eyes were opened to the possibility of the role of the priesthood in my life. “We can do that?!” I remember thinking. It felt so exciting, so new. And so right.
Once while teaching an investigator in Taiwan, I remember showing them a page from the Conference Ensign so they could see the leaders of our church. Staring down at that two-page spread of tiny pictures of suited men, good and spiritual souls staring back up at me, the thought came “Where are the women?” What does this mean that at the highest levels of earthly leadership, the proportion of women is so small?
For us in the LDS faith, the Temple is the model of teaching. Why not have our everyday lives modeled after the Temple in the way that the church runs? Christ made such an obvious point of teaching and giving important experiences to women. Christ also taught that more often than not, things must be asked for, with real intent, before they are given.
But still, I thought. Do I have a right to ask a prophet of God to seek revelation? And then I thought of the Doctrine and Covenants. And the whole history of our church. Yes. Yes we do. This is why we have modern prophets.
Ordination of women would in no way relieve us of or diminish the value of our responsibility to bring and nurture life in this world. The request and movement towards ordination is not radical or simply a trendy rebellion. It is not a rebellion at all. It is a humble offering of our readiness, our willingness to serve, our eagerness to have a voice and to participate fully in the work of our own progression and that of others. I don’t know if it’s in God’s plan. But I firmly believe we should ask.