My name is Martha. I was born and raised in a Utah family with Mormon ancestors back to Nauvoo, with polygamists on both sides of my family. We were a typical LDS family in the ’70s and ’80s. While we went to church, served in callings, and participated in activities, but we were not vigilant about FHE or family scriptures and prayers. But that was typical of all families I knew at the time.
I married my husband in my parent’s back yard, and I loved it. My father walked me down the aisle (joking with me the whole way) and we were able to celebrate with all friends, inactive family members, nieces, nephews, and everyone we wanted. After 13 years of marriage we were sealed in the temple. I have served in most callings available to women in a ward.
My married life can be divided in two; the first half was spent as a homemaker and primary care giver, and the second half as full time outside of the home worker and co-care giver. During the first time period I worked primarily with women in church and PTA roles. During this second half I have worked almost exclusively with men in engineering workplaces. I feel I am in a good position to compare the contributions in both groups.
Looking back now, I see that the PTA would have benefited by having more participation from Dads. I bet our elementary school Valentine tea parties would have been more exciting with the involvement of a couple of fun Dads to spice it up, and the end of the year fun run was always made better by the involvement of our super athletic male principal to urge the kids on to do their best.
In my current work as an engineer I find that the men I work with see me as an equal, value my contributions, and seek me out for workplace advice. I am valued as someone who brings unique contributions to our team, as every member does, and am not demeaned or honored, nor given a special role, just because I am a woman.
I believe that the church needs the contributions from all members. Especially in this time of fast-paced changes in society, the church needs the contributions from women. Not just as advisers with no authority, but with equal status to the men. Men and women have different gifts and talents to bring to the table. The only way to fully realize the blessings of all these gifts is to give authority to all that bring the gifts. We are not equal in gifts and talents, but we need to be equal in our abilities to contribute those gifts. That is why I believe women should be ordained.