I am a fifth generation Mormon and I support the ordination of women. I have a passion for family history and I love the stories of faith and sacrifice in the lives of my Mormon ancestors.
My mission in France led to friendship with a fellow missionary that evolved to love, marriage, four terrific children, and 14 beautiful grandchildren. I dropped out of a Ph.D. program and was a stay-at-home Mom in Brussels and the four states where we raised our children. I learned to love each of our communities while volunteering in PTA, League of Women Voters, political campaigns, and other community groups.
I Believe That Mormon Women Should Have The Priesthood:
I served in church callings everywhere we lived, and for the most part, found male leaders who valued women. But I saw examples where the Church’s structural inequality resulted in discriminatory and harmful effects toward women. An extreme case was one stake president who perceived that ward priesthood leaders were not as strong as he thought they should be, so for a period of time he instructed us that ward councils should include only male leaders. The Primary and YW Presidents were excluded and their ideas and information were conveyed by their respective bishopric counselors. I shed tears about that loss of women’s voices in our ward council. I shed tears for women who yearn to participate in blessing their babies. I shed tears for women leaders who make plans within their areas of church calling only to have them vetoed by male leaders.
To continue denying women access to decision-making authority in the church will continue the pattern of many women “voting with their feet,” taking their gifts and skills to other places. I approve of interim steps, but these “baby steps” are inadequate. Like the former denial of priesthood to black men, I believe that male-only priesthood is not an eternal principle, but one resulting from cultural, time-bound practices. The eternal truth is that men and women best accomplish things spiritually and temporally when they act in partnership. To deny the church the benefits of women’s full range of talent is a great loss to the church. I want the opportunity for my granddaughters to be equal participants the church.