My name is Jennifer. I’m an active and believing member of the LDS Church. Mormonism is an integral part of my identity, a part of which I’m proud. My father, who converted to Mormonism against his parents’ wishes when he was in his early twenties, and my mother, who comes from a long line of pioneers, raised me in the rich tradition of Mormonism.
My father didn’t live in our home after I was about five years old, and I remember years of being the consoling footnote at the end of lessons on priesthood: “Don’t worry, that’s why you have home teachers/uncles/grandpas. They’ll give you a blessing.” I was fortunate to have wonderful home teachers, uncles, brothers, and the best grandpa, but I do remember more than one church leader expressing relief when my oldest brother was ordained, because we (finally!) had a righteous priesthood holder to preside over our home. I often wonder how powerful it would have been for my mother to be the person I relied on for blessings, my baptism, and my confirmation. As an adult and a parent, I struggle to understand why my mother wasn’t the one to righteously preside over our home by virtue of her sex.
I married in the temple and had a daughter. I began to question answers I once accepted about gender inequality. Things that I accepted for myself, I refuse to accept for her. I no longer accept unequal treatment; decreased access to ministry, leadership, and service opportunities; and diminished voice and influence. I want my daughter to benefit from the great things about the LDS Church, and I don’t want her to miss a fullness of the opportunities the gospel offers in order to do so. I believe women should be ordained.