I’ve had many roles in my life—daughter, sister, wife, mother, grandmother, musician, writer, historian and small business owner—and I’ve loved them all. I’ve also had the opportunity to serve in many church callings and community volunteer positions, including PTA president, social service volunteer, political campaign worker, ward Relief Society president and Primary president. In doing so, I have followed the example of a long line of strong women in my Mormon heritage, including my great great grandmother, Diantha Morley Billings, who was a midwife in early Nauvoo, a member of the first Relief Society there and an ordinance worker in the Nauvoo Temple. Researching and writing about her a few years ago enlarged my understanding of the potential women have for service in the Lord’s kingdom.
My husband and I were married in the Salt Lake Temple forty-one years ago, and since that time, we’ve developed a strong partnership as equals in every way, except in our opportunities for service in the Church. I have supported my husband as he has spent many long hours in priesthood leadership positions, including over five years as a bishop and sixteen years as a counselor in two different stake presidencies. Whereas I felt equal to him in our home and family life, I never felt, nor felt I was I treated as, an equal in any church setting. I believe that until women are granted priesthood ordination, inequality between women and men will be the norm in church settings. I want this especially for my daughters and granddaughters and future generations.
My experience as a woman and my strong female heritage have taught me that women have so much to bring to the leadership table. I believe women should be ordained.