Several incidents over more than 35 years as a member of the Church have contributed to my conviction that women should be ordained to the Priesthood.
It is July 1979. I am a recent convert, and my friend’s parents are having a heated argument in the middle of their living room. The father barks, “Who holds the Priesthood in this family?” She has nothing to say in response. The argument is over. She whirls around and storms from the room.
Fast forward ten years. My first wife and I have been called to be stake missionaries. President Ezra Taft Benson is coming to speak to the missionaries, and all stake missionaries are invited. Though we are living on a meager budget, we rent a hotel room and excitedly make the long drive for the event.
After checking into the hotel, we drive to the stake center, into the building, and walk to the chapel door. We are confronted by a man who tells us women may not enter the meeting and my wife will have to wait outside. I decide to not enter without her and we sit on the couch in the foyer together, so we can listen over the ceiling speakers.
We notice down the hall past the bishop’s office a security detail in white shirts and suits setting up an entrance route for President Benson. We get excited, thinking he will pass right by us and maybe we can shake his hand. Maybe our relegation to the foyer will be a blessing in disguise. We are approached by one of the security team and advised we will have to leave the foyer before President Benson enters. He is specific. We will have to go down the long hallway toward the back of the building and go completely out of sight around the corner by the Primary room. We comply.
We walk down the hall and around the corner, and then all the way around to the foyer on the other side of the chapel. There we find about twenty other people. They are all women. There are no extra seats provided so most have to stand. We stand with them and listen to an all-male chorus inside the chapel cheer President Benson’s entrance with a rousing rendition of “We Thank Thee, O God, for a Prophet.” The women in the foyer sing along.
While President Benson is speaking, one Latina woman cracks open the chapel door for a peek at the Prophet. An expression of rapture covers her face and she begins to cry tears of joy.
On November 9, 1997, President Hinckley indicated in an interview on ABC that there is no “agitation” within the church for Mormon women to have the priesthood.
Without agitation, Church leaders will have no need to inquire of the Lord. Without agitation, there will be no revelation. Without agitation, there will be no change.
I add my voice to the growing agitation for change within the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I believe women should be ordained.