I’m currently serving as a Bishop in the Southern US.
The truth is that I could sit this one out. In our ward, this controversy only exists on the internet. Here, in the poorest part of one of the poorest cities in the country, we’re too busy caring for each other and helping people overcome systemic generational poverty and addiction through the redeeming power of the Gospel to notice most of the controversies that pop up online. But when others are actively silenced–forced to sit it out–I feel like passive silence is no longer acceptable.
I have a daughter. It’s hard not to see institutionalized gender inequity in the programs and practices of our church. But despite that, in our ward, it’s the women who carry out most of the Lord’s work. No, not all of them associate with feminist ideals or believe that women should be ordained. But they deserve an active role in making decisions. And women like them do not deserve to be censured when their doubts and concerns become vocal.
As a convert, here are the aspects of the church that most resonated with me 14 years ago: the fact that questions and uncertainties led to important world-changing revelation, the emphasis placed on personal revelation and personal testimonies, and the role of a living prophet and living church (modern-day revelation). I will not use my calling to deprive faithful members of the saving ordinances of the Gospel because their sincere personal testimonies lead them to ask questions. I am grateful that I have not been instructed to do so, and I don’t expect to be.
Whether women are ever ordained will be determined by revelation. That revelation will come with or without Ordain Women, but I support those who understand that revelation comes by seeking.