I am a faithful convert to the Church, a returned missionary, an undergraduate mathematician at a church university, and a freelance translator. I have served in a Sunday School presidency twice, as a ward mission leader, a Sunday school teacher, a seminary and institute teacher, and an interpreter for everything from Sunday school classes to several area Coordinating Council Meetings. I currently serve with the bishopric of a YSA ward as an executive secretary. I support the ordination of women as a fulfillment of great potential in Mormon and Christian doctrine that already exists.
There is historical precedent for women using priesthood authority in our pioneer heritage. A glimpse of this can still be seen in the temple. Moreover, the notion of a Heavenly Mother is one of the most compelling and distinctive ideas we have, and it arises naturally from our understanding of the nature of God. It’s a shame we don’t understand more about Her. Conferring the priesthood on women could be one step towards a deeper understanding of feminine cosmology that ought to already exist and was clearly a part of the vision of early church leaders, including Joseph Smith.
I believe the we are best served if we focus the church on being a whole church. This to me means that the Ordain Women movement applies to everyone—regardless of one’s connection, if any, with feminism. Women need to be redeemed in the same sense that men are. This means that they need to be beneficiaries of the oath and covenant of the priesthood, and more generally, to be able to read themselves into the scriptures in the same way men currently can.
The scripture explaining the oath and covenant begins, “Whoso is faithful unto the obtaining these two priesthoods of which I have spoken, and the magnifying their calling, are sanctified by the Spirit unto the renewing of their bodies…all they who receive this priesthood receive me, saith the Lord.” Desiring the priesthood is akin to trying to receive the Lord. How is that a bad thing?
Another good scripture is Moses 6:67-68. Is it wrong to desire to be “one in [God]”? While we might be hard-pressed to read women into this specific passage, it’s also likely that Peter had little idea of how Christ’s teachings would make sense outside the Jewish nation. Nor did he want to consider it. The revelation to accept them into fellowship came anyway, and the doctrinal understanding followed the action as a natural consequence. This is precisely what breathed life into what we now call Christianity.
So conferring the priesthood upon women will help all of us, at the very least, better apply the doctrines we already possess. That’s why I believe women should have the priesthood.