Hi, my name is Maria. I’m an opera singer, cat lover, avid reader, word gamer, knowledge seeker, and wife to my best friend, Nick. I was born and raised in a stalwart Mormon family for which I am grateful. I have ancestors who traveled across the United States from as far away as Denmark, all seeking religious freedom in a place they could call their own. My pioneer ancestors were brave, shunned by their family members, and willing to endure trials of hunger, weather, monetary sacrifice, and even death. My family has carried the flame of my pioneer ancestors since then, passing it along from one generation to the next, eventually passing it to me, and I feel the weight of it in my hands. Their lives to me are invaluable and serve as incredible examples, teaching me to live my life in pursuit of truth, faith, charity, and equality.
As a young girl I felt empowered in my religion through my experiences with revelation and the gift of the Holy Ghost. My spiritual gifts were my greatest tools and they taught me that anything was possible. As I’ve grown up and witnessed the reality of the role of women in the LDS church I’ve been devastated. Mormonism taught me how to access God and the Church I love has silenced me, making my voice dispensable.
I am curious about the scripture in D&C 121:41 that says “No power or influence can or ought to be maintained by virtue of the priesthood;” I do not feel that by being ordained like my priesthood holding male counterparts, I will attain a greater or different access to God and spirituality than I have now; rather, I recognize that ordination is a necessary step in allowing opportunity for equal access to ecclesiastical participation among all members. This is so vital because currently critical moments of decision-making, leadership, service, discipline, counsel and blessings are almost entirely void of female voices.
For these reasons, I stand with Ordain Women, holding hands with my brave pioneer ancestors, holding hands with my current sisters in Zion, and holding hands with all those around the world who have ears to hear the message of this righteous desire. I can feel their souls tapping on my heart, I can feel their love holding me up, and I stand with them. I believe that women should be ordained, because in my heart I already am