Hi, my name is Jessica. I’m 22 years old and a recent UT college graduate. I was baptized in the LDS Church when I was 11 with my mom and older sister. I had a strong non-denominational Christian upbringing beforehand but really found sanction in the teachings of the LDS Church and happily became engaged with my family ward in Houston.
During my active years, I remember going to church camp, giving my testimony and feeling very spiritually fulfilled. However, after a very distinctive encounter where I was completely shunned by my Relief Society leader after I voiced my dislike for the role of women in our church, I felt very hurt with the church’s complete intolerance for the subject and subsequently became inactive for many years.
My older sister remained active in the church, continued on with seminary and eventually graduated from BYU. About a year ago when my sister and I were reunited, I decided to accompany her to church but found myself very weary of becoming too involved. Although I continued to develop my personal relationship with Christ and strongly believe in his atonement, during my inactive time, I did not follow the Word of Wisdom, among other things and I felt I was compromising my personal beliefs on women’s roles/rights.
After giving deliberate thought and prayer, I have decided I want to become active again in my ward and abide by all teachings of the doctrine but will do so freely expressing my stand on ordaining women. I feel this is my calling and has given me a purpose in the Church once again. Though I may have lost credibility with my time of absence, I wholeheartedly believe I am righteous in my belief that women should be ordained.