Hi, I’m Chad.
I’m a sixth-generation Mormon, and I’ve long been taught of the commitment, belief and love that my ancestors had for our church. I know that it has been responsible for countless blessings in my own life. In fact, with parents and extended family who are extremely committed and active members, it’s difficult even to imagine how my life would have been different without the Church. My wife and I met at BYU and had little doubt that raising our future children in the Church would be the best way to ensure their health and happiness.
We now have two daughters (8 and 6 years old), and I have become increasingly troubled about the environment in which they will be raised. I recently baptized our oldest, though this was not a simple decision for me. It pains me that our daughters’ experiences, their opportunities to learn and serve and grow, will be limited because of the current practices and culture in our church. But it’s not just our daughters who will suffer because of this inequality. I believe we all suffer. Our church is deprived of many significant talents and gifts that women have to offer. I truly believe that such limitations are unfortunate and harmful. I also believe that nearly all of these limitations are unnecessary.
Our church has changed so much since my pioneer ancestors came to Utah, and change has kept our faith vital. I believe we should expect, welcome and even prepare for change, including revelation and new doctrine. We don’t need to be commanded in all things; we should anxiously seek to do what is right and let the consequence follow. I strongly believe that equality is a fundamental value, regardless of gender, race, sexual orientation and so forth. Equality is a value I want my children to embrace and expect, without qualification or excuse.
Desiring equality does not mean one must be power-hungry or lacking in humility. On the contrary, this desire arises from empathy for those who lack privilege and opportunity. It pains me to think of my daughters growing up and forming their values, character and self image while being taught that they can’t–or even shouldn’t–have the same opportunities in life as their male peers.
I believe that women should have real power and equality within the LDS Church, and within all good organizations. Denying them this hurts us all, as it frequently results in worse decisions by those in positions of authority. I value the unique perspectives of women in my life, and I think that decisions are better when women are fully included and equally able to make those decisions. I don’t want our church organization or its individual members to be further hurt by administrative decisions that suffer for their lack of the full involvement of women’s voices. I’m glad that the Church has sought increased input from women in new ways recently, and I feel that continuing and expanding on these efforts will be a blessing to us all.
I sincerely appreciate that the Church has made some significant strides in becoming more equal in its treatment of women over the last few years. But I worry that the pace of change may not be enough for our girls, who are growing up fast. In the meanwhile, I am grateful for people who share my concerns and who remain committed to equality, and yet who still remain committed to our faith. They have given our family hope that we can still raise our children well inside the Church, despite current practices and culture that limit equality for girls and women in ways that concern us deeply. Examples, like those found here at Ordain Women, demonstrate that there may be a place for families like ours inside the Church.
I believe women should be ordained.