My name is Emily. I am a daughter, sister, wife, mother, and PhD candidate who loves music, running, and ballroom dancing with my wonderful husband.
I was raised in a home by goodly parents who both worked and both nurtured me and my siblings. Because my mother worked part time, my father was able to be with his children more. Because my father shared in our nurturing, my mother was able to pursue her professional aspirations and cultivate an admirable career. I didn’t need to be taught that men can be every bit as nurturing as women or that women can be every bit as much a breadwinner as men–I lived it, throughout my childhood. But it was painful and disheartening to hear church messages as I grew up that emphasized the inherent role of women as nurturers and men as breadwinners, because I felt this greatly devalued the nurturing capabilities of fathers, and the intellectual and professional capacities of mothers. I never believed that it was wrong or problematic to have a family structure with a stay-at-home-mom and a working dad; rather, my deep discontent came from the implication that any other family structure was somehow “less than.” I felt I was “less than” throughout my childhood in the church, watching as my male peers received the priesthood and began taking on responsibilities at the age of 12 that, even as an adult woman, I knew I could never have. I was not hungry for power or control; I yearned for equality and the ability to share in the blessings and burdens of the priesthood. In major part because of these gender inequalities, I found myself unable to continue as a practicing Mormon.
I believe in the inherent value of all human beings. I believe in equality. I do not believe a person’s sex should be a prerequisite for holding any position of authority within an organization. I believe the vast majority of LDS church members are good and honest people who are doing their best, as we all are. I believe women should be ordained.