Hi, my name is Lara. I wasn’t born into the Church, but I joined when I was 21 years old and quickly made up for lost time. One year after my baptism, I was called to serve as a missionary in Northern Spain. After serving a faithful mission, I applied to BYU, where I completed a bachelor’s degree in social work and also met my husband. We were married in the Manti Temple shortly before graduating and have gone on to have five children. My church service has included callings in the Primary, Young Women’s and Relief Society programs. I currently serve as a Scout leader for the 11-year-old boys.
I love the gospel and feel blessed to have had the opportunity to join the Church in this life. I clearly remember the missionaries inviting me to be baptized. I could never have known where that choice would lead, but the Spirit whispered to my heart that it would be life changing. I look back on that day now as one of the defining moments of my life. I’m so glad I had the faith to follow that and other spiritual promptings that brought me to where I am today.
When I first heard the gospel and decided to join the Church, I made a promise to God to do whatever was needed to always feel and follow the spirit in my life. Sometimes that’s been hard and even a bit scary. Publicly supporting women’s ordination is an example of this. Nevertheless, I want to keep my promise.
Elder Dallin H. Oaks of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles wrote, “Our theology begins with heavenly parents. Our highest aspiration is to be like them” (Apostasy and Restoration, May 1995). President Brigham Young taught that “we were created in the image of our father and our mother, the image of our God” (Brigham Young, Discourses of Brigham Young, ed. John A. Widtsoe, 1954: 51). The Church defines the priesthood as “the power and authority of God.” I feel that our current priesthood restriction against women, like the historic priesthood restriction against black men, is cultural and not doctrinal. In recent church history women gave blessings. (A Gift Given, A Gift Taken, Linda King Newell), and in the temple we still do. The Bible references women prophetesses (Judges 4) and an apostle (Romans 16:7). If women are to become like our Heavenly Parents, it follows that we, like men, must receive their power and authority. To do this we need to move past cultural barriers that currently limit us a people and as church. It is for this reason that I believe women should be ordained.