As a feminist mother of four daughters, five years ago I had to make the painful choice between living my truths or subjecting myself to further patriarchal abuse and oppression within the LDS faith. Our family was so devout in our love of Jesus Christ and our desires to serve, that we provided much time, energy and money to the Church through our dedicated service and obedience–it was never enough. I was heartbroken as I encountered daily acts of marginalization, and all too often, overt abuses of ecclesiastical authority.
As my now ex-husband and I “advanced” in Stake leadership positions, I became so acutely aware of the constant patriarchal oppression that Mormon girls and women encountered. I began to dread thoughts that by raising my daughters in this faith, I was setting them on a path that could only lead to their own oppression and silencing as future wives and mothers in the Mormon religion.
I could no longer remain faithful to an institution that had zero room for my voice, true talents and proved uncaring in the exacting of my time even as it took away from my family and my studies. From my heart, I was as faithful and obedient as I possibly could have been. I was never enough, my daughters were never enough, my single-mother was never enough.
Kate Kelly and Ordain Women have provided me with hope for my daughters and future generations raised within the Church. Kelly and OW have not altered my daughters beliefs, as Church leaders erroneously blame Kelly. Rather, Kelly and OW along with other organizations, simply provide a platform for women like myself and my daughters to speak honestly about their expectations and hopes for equality. Mormonism is more than theology, culture or identity. For the faithful, it is the essence of souls.
I resent being forced to choose between living as a Mormon with an eternal family and being an empowered, respected woman of my full potential in this life. The courageous activism of Kelly and OW in the face of the LDS Church’s cruel punishment ignites an image of the amazing empowerment of LDS women and their potential for tremendous service to their families, members of the Church and people throughout the world. I believe that women should be ordained.