My name is Meredith, and I’m 25 years old. My hometown is Chicago, but I’m currently living in Ohio. I enjoy playing piano and organizing Church activities. I really like chocolate and hanging out with my group of amazing, wonderful friends. I’m divorced and been living independently for about one year. I work as a secretary for an accountant. I teach piano lessons to little kids from my ward in my spare time. That’s one of my favorite moments of the week.
The Church has always been a big part of my life. I love the Church, but I believe there are some things that should be changed. When I was younger, I was not aware of the submissive attitude that many women in the Church seem to have. I worry some men think women don’t have as many responsibilities as them, that women are created to please them, and they don’t see women as their equals.
When I was 19, I married an ex-missionary who was the same age as I. We agreed I didn’t have to attend college since he was the one who would support our future family. We both had to work two jobs to pay bills, fees, tuition, and other household expenses until he finished college. Those jobs left us very tired at the end of the day. I remember being the only one doing housework so that he could focus on college and work only. We both had responsibilities in the Church, and he was getting too stressed by all the things he had to do. Nor was it easy for me, but I didn’t feel he understood that. I remember him telling me I was his wife and had to do things. I thought he was right.
My closer friends encouraged me to face him because they didn’t want me to get hurt any longer. He said he was the one holding the priesthood in the house, so I had to support him. But I didn’t want to give him the type of support he needed. We later divorced.
I doubt I’m the only one who has gone through this. I regret having left college because I thought I was supposed to stay at home. I regret having endured my situation too long. But I don’t regret having stopped him from treating me that way. I believe gender equality is necessary in the Church so that men can understand that we women are their equals, not their subordinates. Women should be allowed to hold the priesthood as a measure of equality. I believe women should be ordained.