Hello, my name is Jilliane. I was raised in a small Mormon town and a large Mormon family. I grew up alongside four brothers and many wonderful saints. I am now a wife, aunt, teacher, librarian, storyteller, researcher – and many other things.
The majority of my life has been spent as a faithful Mormon. When I was a member, my devotion to the Church was complete. In my life of church service I held many callings. Some of my callings included serving a full-time mission, serving in three different Relief Society presidencies (once as the president), serving in the stake young women’s presidency, teaching Gospel Doctrine class several times, and being a ward missionary.
The entire time that I was active in the Church, I was single. As a single sister, the inferior status of women within the Church was painfully (and I use the word painful literally here) clear to me. By focusing primarily on the importance of women as wives and mothers, the Church not only limits the opportunities available to its female members, but sends its single and childless members down a hurtful and damaging road. During my years in the Church, the messaging I consistently received from church doctrine, leaders and fellow saints was that because I was single, I was inadequate and my life was a tragedy. This experience led me directly out of the Church.
Ordaining women will broaden their role within the Church and provide opportunity and validation for the many sisters who, whether by choice or circumstances, are single and/or childless. It would reframe the current mindset of church members that places women’s role squarely within the home and not beyond, regardless of a woman’s aptitude or desire. Giving women the Priesthood will strengthen the Church and improve the lives of all of its members. I believe that women should be ordained.