Posted by on Jun 17, 2014 in , | 0 comments

Hi, I’m Keri.

Growing up, I loved the Church. I loved the activities and the support network and the routine. After graduating from BYU, I served a mission in Austria, and loved every minute of it. I loved the people there and loved the power of the gospel to bring hope and comfort to them.

Now I’m married to my best friend and we’re raising three amazing children. I love hearing my toddler sing “I am a Child of God” and praying to say thank you for his Batman toys. I love to hear my five-year-old recite the Articles of Faith that she just memorized with pride in her voice and to listen to my oldest daughter read the Book of Mormon with increasing confidence on even the most difficult to pronounce names.

And yet…through all of the years that I have loved the Church, I have struggled with the gender inequalities found within it. I have learned that there is sometimes a difference between the Church and its accompanying policies and culture, and the gospel of Christ that the Church teaches.

I believe that the gospel is amazing and inclusive. Jesus is our greatest example, and he clearly devoted much time, love and attention to women. After his resurrection, he appeared first not to any of his male disciples, but to Mary Magdalene. Joseph Smith spoke of the potential of sisters in the Relief Society as priests and the temple gives beautiful promises to women. Yet when my daughter was recently baptized, I could not even be an official witness. Not because I wasn’t worthy or because I wasn’t faithful. As a woman, as her mother, I was not ordained to the priesthood, and so could not even be one of the two official witnesses to her baptism.

In church, when the sacrament is being passed, her little sister asks me hopefully if she can help bless and pass the sacrament when she is older. She asks because she loves Jesus and she wants to serve. I don’t have a good answer for her and that breaks my heart. I cling to hope, though. I listen to her as she recites that we believe  “all that God has revealed, all that He does now reveal, and we believe that He will yet reveal many great and important things.” Just as the priesthood was extended by revelation to include all worthy male members, I believe that it will one day be extended to all worthy members. I believe this because I know, through personal and holy experiences, that my Heavenly Parents love me and that they love my kids. I believe this because when I read the Ordain Women profiles and information, I feel spiritually uplifted and strengthened. I believe this because when I ponder and pray, I feel comforted that God loves all people equally and wants us all to have the same blessings and opportunities to develop our divine gifts.

I believe women should be ordained.