I feel the LDS Church discriminates based upon gender. Women cannot attend certain meetings that men can. Women cannot make decisions independent of men who have veto power. Current policies even dissuade discussion about our Mother in Heaven. Recently our Church-wide curriculum had a lesson about the Relief Society with no references to those who actually led it. All of the strong examples of female leadership in the Relief Society’s history were left out.
This wasn’t always so. Anciently, there is evidence that the Queen of Heaven was worshiped with shewbread in the first temple. More recently, Mormon women anointed and gave each other blessings. They also had much more autonomy in the way they ran the Relief Society, building and administering hospitals and storing grain, which the Saints relied on in times of drought. In the early 1970’s, however, the Relief Society’s funds and budget were placed under the control of male priesthood leadership.
Regardless of what Church leaders say about women, they are not equal in practice, history, or rhetoric. In a recent talk, Elder Ballard warned women, “Your input is welcome, but be careful to not assume a role that is not yours.” I’d rather hear him say, “Women’s input is essential, and they should occupy a stronger decision making role.” As an active member who loves being Mormon and wants to raise a family in a Church where gender discrimination no longer exists, I believe women should be ordained.