In many ways, Mormonism has taught me some great leadership skills. We are taught to speak in front of audiences at young ages, organize events, interact with people and are encouraged to develop our talents. This has been incredibly valuable to me as a woman both personally and professionally.
For women in the LDS Church, these talents have a limit. Women are not allowed the same access to opportunities that our male counterparts are. Women are not ordained in the LDS Church, and since we conflate priesthood with administrative duties, this means the vast majority of leadership positions are limited by gender. If a woman feels called to ministry, she is given a narrow avenue to pursue that, and usually only at a very local level. She can visit her neighbors, use her talents to serve others or spend her spiritual talents on child care.
Women cannot lead congregations, cannot perform ordinances and are not allowed to handle money in our church. Women are largely left out of the decision-making body of the Church. Women do not have a say in organizing curriculum and instruction that directly affect them. All of their decisions have to be watched over by a presiding member of the Priesthood, who is a man.
Many women in the LDS Church say they “feel” equal to men, but equality is not a feeling. It can be measured, and women simply do not have access to the same resources and opportunities that men do. We need to do better fostering a spiritual community that allows women to pursue leadership within their own church. This would take a burden off of our men and allow us all to explore more fully the gifts that are God-given, and not prescribed through rigid gender roles.
I believe women should be ordained.