I was raised in a very loving, supportive and faithful Mormon home, and I am very grateful for the faith it helped me develop to meet life’s challenges. I was always encouraged to pursue my interests and dreams, and never felt like I was second-class in anything. It was therefore confusing to me, when at age 12, I was all of a sudden not allowed to have equal church responsibilities or opportunities, based upon my gender. Luckily, I learned that women could serve missions, too, and I set that as my religious goal to achieve during college.
When I was in the MTC, ready to serve the people in Germany, I asked the MTC President why women were not allowed to serve a full two years, and why they had to wait two years longer to go fulfill their dreams of service. He was very sweet in his response, which was that the Church loved its precious daughters so much, and just wanted to protect them more. I remember feeling unsettled by that answer, as I asked myself: “Are the Church’s men not precious, too? My brothers deserved to be protected as much as my sisters. Why such a difference of approach, based on something like gender, that was beyond our control?” Upon successfully returning from my mission, and being honorably released by my loving Stake President, I remember distinctly that moment the mantel of priesthood missionary authority left my soul. It left, and I was not responsible anymore to teach the children of men in that official capacity.
When I was 40 years old, after I had married and had children, I first learned about Helen Mar Kimball. Her sacrifice at the young age of 14, for the faith she was raised in and loved with all her heart, shook me to my core. It forced me to reflect on the Mormon women pioneers of our faith tradition, who played an excruciatingly crucial role in the early days of the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I learned that revelation of sacred doctrine caused many of these women to sacrifice their most intimate selves in their marriages. In my mind, this powerful, complicated and heart-wrenching part of Mormon history was built, at its foundational core, on the backs of these Mormon women pioneers.
I believe in the words of Joseph Smith, as the Prophet of the Restoration of all things, when he said in March of 1842 that he would, “. . .make this (Relief) Society a kingdom of priests as in Enoch’s day. . .” I feel that in order to fully honor the sacrifice our early Mormon sisters made, it is necessary to elevate the status of modern Mormon women from “incredible” to “equal.” It is only when men and women are fully equal, with all the same opportunities available to each, that we all will be on the path to achieving the potential that our Heavenly Parents envision for us. I support asking the Brethren to prayerfully petition the Lord, on behalf of his daughters, for female ordination to the priesthood.
I believe women should be ordained.