I’m a wife, mother, sister, daughter, attorney, and friend. I love books, exercise, anything sweet, music, and traveling. I married my husband in the temple seven years ago. I currently stay home with my young daughter, but am excited for the day when I will work outside the home again. I am a lifelong member of the LDS church. I have served in many callings during my life, including Sunday School Teacher, Relief Society teacher, visiting teaching coordinator, Laurel advisor, and temple worker.
I view the gospel of Christ and the His church on earth as distinct. The gospel has brought much peace and joy into my life, but church culture is the source of my greatest anxiety and pain. I am uncomfortable with the strictly proscribed and limited gender roles which I believe are based on culture and tradition, not scripture. My concerns with the inequality I see and feel began when I received my endowment and was sealed to my husband. Instead of feeling the peace that I used to feel doing baptisms at the temple, I felt empty, sad, and hurt. I don’t understand why my husband is entitled to a direct relationship with our Heavenly Parents, but I’m denied that blessing. I had always been taught that our Heavenly Parents loved us all equally, but I felt unloved in the temple. I felt “less than.” No amount of scripture study, prayer, or fasting diminished these feelings. If anything, those efforts convinced me that the inequality I see and feel at church, in talks, and in lessons is not what our Savior and Heavenly Parents want for their children.
Women have more to offer than bearing and rearing children. Our voices aren’t heard. We are being denied real opportunities for spiritual growth and development. Joseph Smith taught women how to bless, heal and anoint, and I long for the day that women can do these things, side by side with our husbands, brothers, and fathers. I believe women should be ordained.
Charla’s husband Dan also has a profile with Ordain Women. Read his story here.