I am not a Mormon. I was raised Presbyterian in a Mormon-heavy town and have always been fascinated by the LDS Church. The linchpin of this fascination has been my unshakable belief in feminism and how my LDS friends (mostly women) have explained that women are equal in the Church because of God-ordained, natural, and specific gender roles. I have never understood how giving men all the formal authority in an institution makes men and women equal, and I have never considered converting because of this.
Ordaining women seems like a no-brainer to me. There is lip service at every Conference and in the Ensign about how awesome women are, but they still have no formal authority. I believe D. Michael Quinn was right when he wrote that women have had the priesthood since Joseph Smith granted it to them in 1843. I believe denying women the power of priesthood blessings, leadership roles, and true authority is stunting the Church. There are so many things about Mormons and their church I love and admire, but not ordaining women is an absurd oversight.
I am currently working on a dissertation on Mormon and Catholic relations in America, and I find many similarities in power structure and hierarchy. I hope Mormons do the right thing and allow women to be ordained sooner than the Catholic Church will, because Mormons do not have a 2,000-year history to overthrow. All they have to do is go back less than 200 years to their founder and prophet. He gave the priesthood to women already.
I am a Mormon scholar who has studied the LDS Church for over 10 years, and I believe women should be ordained.