Growing up, my family stories were always colored by Mormonism. They were about missions or church service or prominent Mormons among our ancestors. They were about pioneer life or moving back to Utah to raise children among Mormons. My high school class graduated 418, and my Seminary class 408. I served in Primary and Cub Scouting and among Young Single Adults almost continuously for the last twenty years, except when I was on a mission. Living where Mormons were few as a young adult, and making friends with most of the single LDS women in the area and not getting married, I started looking to meet women outside of my faith. I did make a few good friends, but I couldn’t get interested–however attractive and compatible they were in other ways. I was Mormon so deeply that they couldn’t share it. They couldn’t see how I was Mormon before all else, before being American or a biochemist or anything. I am Mormon.
Over the last few years I have experienced family and friends leaving this Church. Among their most serious and lasting concerns are the harms caused by gender inequality. I have learned to see those harms. A few of these people dear to me are leaving because they are trying to make the world better for women and they are being hurt and fought against in their efforts by the Church (or at least aspects of it) that was their lives. I see their children leaving without ever having known the good that I have known. I fear it will happen with more of these children–mine included. The Mormonism that has filled my life stories will be gone from theirs, along with the belief in prophets and the Restoration that are so meaningful to me. They will live good lives, and God will bless them, but they will be lost to the LDS Church.
I will follow God as best I can, and I will not dictate to His servants. I know they seek revelation constantly, and I believe they are seeking it for the benefit of women. I believe gender equality will improve the Church and is necessary to ultimately build Zion, but I admit I don’t know how God will lead us to achieve equality, or even what it will look like. I trust God to see farther than any of us, and perhaps he has solutions to our ills that none of us have imagined. Right now, we are hurting too many of our women, young and old, because they are not treated equally. One way we could start to heal this is through ordaining women. I’ll follow where God leads, as best I can, but today I believe women should be ordained.