I am Mary Ellen, daughter of Ruth, granddaughter of Teresa, and great-granddaughter of Mary Ellen.
The great-grandmother for whom I’m named was a midwife and served in the Relief Society for decades. The pioneer fortitude and tenacious faith of four generations runs through my veins.
The parochial school I attended for six years gave me a valuable familiarity with the Bible. This foundation was also helpful to my graduate work in women’s studies in religion.
In graduate school, I met women pastors, women professors, women studying to become ministers, women providing pastoral care and counseling to their congregations. I saw women engaged in both rigorous theological inquiry and the practical application of gospel principles. I saw women leading their flocks, guiding worship services, teaching parishioners, and rendering compassionate service.
As I watched these women of God, I longed to serve my religious community the way they served theirs. Although I have felt called to ministry, the option is not open to me as an LDS woman.
It pains me that LDS women who feel pulled toward ministry cannot use their gifts to serve their church. Consequently, the church is deprived of the spiritual depth and ministerial gifts LDS women have to offer.
I believe women should be ordained. I support the pioneering efforts of women asking for this change. Gender should not be a barrier to ordination or the capacity to act on God’s behalf to give loving service to others.