Listen to Lisa’s podcast interview here:
I am an active, fifth-generation (on both sides) Mormon, who graduated from BYU and served a mission. I have served in ward and stake Relief Society presidencies, have held multiple callings in Primary (including a recent calling in the stake Primary presidency), and am currently a member of the Relief Society activity committee in my awesome San Francisco ward.
I am passionate about life. I love to run, paint, make stuff with my hands, garden, cook, and ponder my nighttime dreams. I am a vegan, an activist, and a great-aunt (in every sense of the word).
Until 2008, I had never wanted to hold the priesthood, nor had it ever bothered me that I didn’t hold the priesthood. However, during my activism against Proposition 8, advocating as a straight and active Mormon in support of marriage equality, I realized that women are also marginalized in the Church. Not holding the priesthood now concerns me. It feels like women are second-class members of the church.
My nieces will have only one chance to have their father’s hands laid on their heads for a single ordinance–confirmation. My nephews, on the other hand, will have multiple opportunities–not only the confirmation ordinance, but the various priesthood ordinations.
All worthy young men are presented in front of their congregations when given a new office in the priesthood. Also, most priesthood duties are very public, and young men literally serve the congregation. Because young women are excluded from priesthood participation, they often feel less important.
A friend of mine, who attends a different church, gave a lovely talk once about healing. For work, he uses his hands to massage people who are ailing and to give them blessings. In his talk, he said, and I agree, that both are physical acts of love from God. God can’t touch us; instead, He inspires us to help and love each other. Using our physical hands, with power from God, to bless, heal, comfort, and ordain each other is a beautiful expression that should be available to worthy women and men alike.
People have unique gifts. Some of those gifts are unconditional love, service, patience, compassion, caring, humility, empathy, resilience, tenderness, and charity. God has not and does not exclude women from using those gifts to perform holy acts, nor should my church or any other.
I am Mormon because I love Jesus’s teachings, singing in the choir, giving service, sharing my perspective, having hope, and speaking up for those who don’t have a voice. And I believe women should be ordained.