Hi, I’m Mandy. I grew up in a large Mormon family. We moved around the U.S. several times during my childhood as my father was in and out and back in the military. I have a great love of learning and spend time growing vegetables and local edible wildflowers. I also enjoy cooking and baking, reading novels and scientific papers, writing poetry, taking classes in various kinds of dance, singing alto and occasionally soprano in the ward choir, practicing martial arts, and trying to teach myself to play guitar. I have worked a variety of jobs from assisting with the instruction of autistic preschoolers to counting fares and am currently employed in retail and theatre.
I was baptized in the LDS church at the age of eight in the canal of a small Idaho community. I asked my mother to baptize me, but she told me my father would do that. Growing up, I did not understand why I could never pass the sacrament, nor participate in scouting, nor join in nor look forward to many other parts of church community life and service. When I asked my mother why women didn’t “get the priesthood”, she told me that she didn’t want it. I still don’t understand the choice of this condition.
As I grew, I read about fascinating women. I learned about Eve’s bravery, initiative, and foresight in the face of difficult choices[i]; Deborah’s[ii] and Miriam’s[iii] prophetic leadership over the people; Hannah’s[iv] revelations for her family, which brought about a great work among the people; Esther’s salvation of her people[v]; the Lamanite queen’s prophecy of Jesus[vi]; the many women’s discipleship, leadership, and apostleship in the New Testament[vii], and women with expansive and creative roles in the restoration in Mormon history.
As an adult, I have been ordained to callings in the LDS church. I produced ward directories and sacrament meeting programs, taught Sunday school classes, and currently enjoy visiting teaching my former visiting teaching companion. I also enjoy volunteering for service projects and bringing food to ward functions when I get the opportunity.
I believe prayer requires that we actively participate in the solutions we seek[viii]. I believe in the way of blessing – Jesus healed the sick, who came to him for healing; he fed those who hungered physically and spiritually; he liberally forgave the accused; he led by active example – a blessing of each in interpersonal communion and a communal blessing of all in sermons.
I believe in the prophecy of the new and everlasting covenant, in which every voice is heard[ix]. The modern church faces many difficulties both here and abroad. Locally, there are social ills of rising suicide rates, poisonings, and depression. The church has resources to overcome and challenge difficult social, spiritual, and material problems. Capricious lack of affiliation and arbitrary regulation through the active and passive silencing of voices needs to be overcome so that these and other difficulties can be challenged. With open communication, understanding, love, collective knowledge, wisdom, and effort, these problems can be met in meaningful ways with better outcomes[x]. When all voices are heard at all levels of governance, people know that they, too, are of worth and of value to the community and that the community desires their presence and participation.
I believe in the restoration that “shall come to all, both old and young, both bond and free, both male and female”[xi]. Jesus praises a woman for anointing him[xii]. Jesus makes the sinful woman worthy[xiii]. I believe the simplest part of the solution is the most obvious – women should be restored. I believe women should be ordained.
[i] Genesis 3:1-6
[ii] Judges 4-5
[iii] Exodus 15:20-26, Numbers 12:2, Numbers 20:1-2
[iv] 1 Samuel 1-2
[vi] Alma 19:29-30
[vii] Mark 1:30-31, 3:31-35, 7:25-30, 14:3-9, 15:40-41, 16:1-11; Matthew 12:48-50, 15:22-28, 26:6-13, 27:55-56, 28:1-10; Luke 4:38-39, 8:1-3, 10:42, 13:11-13, 24:1-10, ; John 4:1-30, 12:1-8, 13:34-35, 20:1-18; Acts 9:36-42, 16:14-15, 17:4-12, 21:8-9; Romans 16:1-16; 1 Corinthians 1:11, 11:5, 16:19; Philippians 4:2-3; Philemon 1:2
[viii] Luke 11:1-36, James 2:14-17, 5:14-16
[ix] Hosea 2:16-23, Jeremiah 31:31-34 , D&C 1:17-28
[x] 2 Nephi 26:21-33, see also History of the Church V:517
[xi] Alma 11:44
[xii] Mark 14:3-9
[xiii] Luke 7:36-50