I was born and raised in the suburbs of Salt Lake City, and currently live in San Francisco. Both sides of my family have been LDS for many generations. On my father’s side, my ancestors crossed the plains with the Martin Handcart Company. Through my mother, I’m a direct decedent of John D. Lee. The Church and its teachings, including studying our family history, is an important part of my family. I’m a piano player and a music enthusiast. I served a mission in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Over the years, I’ve worked with many organizations where groups and committees make decisions together. Invariably, the female members of these organizations brought vital insights of wisdom, compassion and creativity. Without their voices, we wouldn’t have made the best decisions and would have been at a great disadvantage. I believe that the Church does many wonderful things, but by limiting the influence of its female members, its ability to bring people to God is greatly harmed.
As a missionary, I served in wards where the Church was still developing, and it was very difficult for the Church to find worthy and competent priesthood holders to serve in the Bishopric. The Relief Societies were full of intelligent and passionate women, ready and willing to serve in any capacity asked of them, but were unable to serve and lead to their full capacity because the priesthood was kept from them. It was painfully clear to me that women’s exclusion from the priesthood was hurting these wards’ ability to grow, and to spiritually nourish the members and the community.
Growing up, several female friends of mine felt frightened and intimidated by priesthood leaders with whom they needed to discuss the law of chastity. One of these girls confided in me that she was too ashamed to talk about her teenage body with an adult male, so she didn’t talk about her chastity with her bishop, and was unable to replace her feelings of guilt with peace through repentance. I believe girls who are learning about their bodies should be able to discuss these issues with priesthood leaders who can relate to them physically.
For these reasons, and many more, I believe women should be ordained.