Listen to Marion’s podcast interview here:
I have lived in Germany and Sweden, and I now live in Norway. I grew up as a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and served a mission in England. I am a step-mom, a gospel doctrine teacher, an architect and an environmentalist. I am also curious and politically engaged. Scandinavian creativity, solidarity with the weak and a focus on equality have influenced me strongly. My Swedish background gave me a sense of being a global citizen with a deep love of nature. I am a passionate human rights clicktivist and a feminist.
My Mormon background gave me a strong sense of community and a feeling that my life and choices matter. It provided me with a desire to keep challenging myself. It also gave me a knowledge that success in life is not measured in money or prestige. It provided me with a deep and, I hope, abiding relationship with the divine.
At times I’ve experienced a certain cognitive dissonance that I needed to resolve in my mind and heart. I am striving to be honest in acknowledging this dissonance while still remembering and being grateful for the spiritual gifts that life has afforded me. Imperfection is to be expected in human institutions, including the Church. I believe it has some structural problems that do not necessarily reflect the mind and will of the Lord.
As a church, we see with one eye when we could see with two, missing spiritual depth. We hear with one ear instead of two, impairing our ability to orient ourselves in this world. As an organization, we may miss half of the whisperings of the Spirit. The ingredient missing for us to further the work of the Lord more effectively is greater equality.
In our homes, happiness, in my experience, can be achieved when we are equally yoked, when each person’s perspective is equally voiced, listened to and honored. Why would we ever expect our present, almost-all-male leadership to know the minds of our faithful women?
How can we expect our leading bodies to prioritize well in serving our worldwide membership, if their collective vision and hearing are impaired? We can do better.
Our ecclesiastical home needs to be a safe place, a loving place, a place that encourages growth and maturity. Our churches need to be places where men connect with their emotions and empathy and women find their voice and trust their intellect–and vice versa.
I’m a part of this church. I do not desire to “vote with my feet.” My loyalty is a tribute to all the good Mormon men and women who have acknowledged my worth, my voice and my spirituality, thus awarding me a spiritual home where I have felt and continue to feel much happiness. I hope to continue to be useful by serving well. Now let us together prepare our minds, as a worldwide family, to take the next step toward spiritual maturity. In order to serve the Lord (even) better, I believe that women should be ordained.