Listen to Katie’s Narrating Ordain Women Podcast Interview Here:
I remember the warm weight of my father’s hands on my head when he confirmed me. I was eight years old. My mom had finished sewing my dress the night before, and the seams itched my waist, but I felt beautiful in the ruffled collar and matching shiny white shoes. I sat in a blue padded chair at the front the Relief Society room surrounded by the musty, piney church-suit smell of my dad and uncles. My hair was still damp from the water. My father’s hands covered my whole head, and they budged my wet braids around as he shifted his weight from side to side, composing my blessing. I remember trying not to focus on the pinch in my scalp every time I’d feel a pull. I remembered this warm, heavy, musty blessing every time I received a laying on of hands: for my patriarchal blessing, my initiatory, and my mission call.
Before my mom died, she wrote me out a blessing. She called it a Matriarchal Blessing: part wish, part rambling. This blessing is not very long, only a few pages. The contents of that blessing are too sacred to share here, but it’s enough to say that it is one of the most important things I own. This blessing feels just as powerful and godly – and just as authoritative – as the one my father gave me at my confirmation. There is no doubt that my mother’s priesthood was real. She understood that God gave her power and authority to act in his name. It is my wish that the church will see the amazing power and goodness that will come when the priesthood is extended to every worthy member regardless of sex. Women’s voices are needed not just for blessings, but in the ecclesiastical and institutional governance of the church. This is a gap that I hope will be filled as the church continues the process of restoration and as we progress as a people.