Hi, I’m Matt. As a child I was not raised in a home where religion was taught. My father had had his fill of organized religion growing up Catholic and my mother was generally distrustful of religion-ites. As such, a belief in God was a foreign concept and church was something that I saw only for Christmas Mass because it had pretty music. Sundays were a day to read the funnies (I feel old saying that now), watch the 49ers, mow the lawn, and procrastinate as long as possible before doing homework. Coincidentally, those moments mowing the lawn when it was just me, a 2 cycle Lawn Boy (miss that blue cloud of smoke), and the yard were the moments I found myself musing about the “big” picture and whether there was some higher power.
I “found” the church through a sweet, fun, cute, young women in high school who would awkwardly say “uh-huh” to my equally awkward marriage proposal 10 years after we met. Her and her family provided a safe environment for me to feel like myself and experience a different facet of life, one with family and God. I struggled with faith for a long time but ultimately found peace (except with my parents) and belonging in the LDS Church. The principles of love, family, eternity, and prophetic direction rang true. I loved the concept that there were spokespeople for God and Christ on the earth. I drank deep from the restored Gospel and its Living Waters (firehose).
15 years later, I now find myself discomforted with our “prophets, seers, and revelators” and the Church’s truth claims. Where are the prophecies? Where are the revelations? Why does everything new that is taught make logical belief so much harder? Further, I am disheartened to see the church protecting its image and boundaries instead of extending love and compassion to those who don’t fit the mold.
For years I towed the party line that priesthood and motherhood were equivalent and that was just how God wanted it. Yet, I find it harder and harder to contemplate and love a God who would organize His Church and His eternities in this manner. As I have read, observed, and pondered on the subject of gender equality in the church, it has become apparent to me that the inequalities are of man and not of God. I believe God loves his daughters as much as his sons. The limitations and relegations of women in the Church are hurtful to all and they create a culture that perpetuates stereotypes and antiquated gender roles.
I’ve watched Ordain Women from afar for months. I’ve seen the consequences of support in my family and through Facebook. Yet, I don’t believe this issue will be resolved by giving increasingly larger table scraps to women from the table of the priesthood. There is one solution. I believe women should be ordained.