I’m a Mormon Jew. I’m a sculptor by trade, and a mother and wife as well. Reared by feminist parents in a secular humanist Brooklyn home, I was encouraged to make the most of my talents, to fight for equality, and to have compassion and empathy for those different from me. When I joined the church I took all that for granted. What I’d seen from church members was selfless service, especially in humanitarian work in Africa, which I did with my then-boyfriend-now-husband. A few months following our marriage and my conversion Prop 8 happened, and with it came the realization that I was not in secular, liberal, reform-Jewish Brooklyn anymore. I stopped speaking up about gender and LGBT equality around Mormons in my family or ward, knowing that it would only cause friction. At times I felt isolated and frustrated, thinking only my husband could understand me, but buoyed by my faith I pressed on. God was at my side, giving me peace, promising me that there was an answer. Soon I found more like-minded Church members in my area and established a community, which helped me feel less like a second-class citizen for being a feminist, for being a woman. I still give humanitarian service with my fellow ward members whenever possible, and I am still working for acceptance and equality for all members. I believe with all my heart women should be ordained.
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