I’m Meredith and I am an English teacher. I love to hike, write stories, and bake treats. I have been devoted to the gospel my entire life. I graduated from seminary, served a mission, taught at the MTC, married in the temple, and have fulfilled many callings, including Relief Society President. I am currently a ward missionary.
I have always loved the gospel: the clarity of the Plan of Salvation; the hope of the Atonement; the compassion of Visiting Teaching; the peace of revelation; the beauty of a personal relationship with Deity. The gospel brings so much joy to my life.
Concurrent with that joy, however, has always been heartbreak at gender inequality in the faith I love. Since I was a girl, I have struggled to reconcile how the restored gospel could hold such a marginalized role for women. I am particularly troubled that priesthood power isn’t just about channeling the sacred power of God in rites and ordinances – it’s about being in charge.
I first considered ordination a few years ago when I held my 1-year-old son at a baptism and watched men conduct, preside, perform the baptism and confirmation, and act as witnesses. I had attended many baptisms before in which men held all the positions of authority, but as a new mom, I suddenly considered how my son would view me at that baptism if he were older. At home, he would see me presiding equally with my husband, but at this baptism, and all church meetings, he would see that men always lead, that priesthood leaders always have the final say over women. This unequal balance of power would inevitably create a perception, even subconsciously, that men are more important. There is a reason people get up for a snack when women speak at conference – our church doesn’t give women equal voice, and ultimately, that exclusion depicts us as lesser. It broke my heart that my son would see how my influence is so limited. I realized that until women had the priesthood, we would never be completely equal in the gospel.
But despite my desire to join OW, I hesitated. I was reticent to petition the Lord’s anointed, to “counsel the Lord,” rather than “take counsel from his hand.” I have always sustained the prophets and was reluctant to question church doctrine. This reluctance has been ameliorated, though, as I have prayerfully sought God’s will about this movement and have strongly felt His Spirit and love.
I desire for our prophet to seek revelation about female ordination because so many women endure inequality silently. My mom, who is the most faithful Mormon I know, agrees with me that women are treated unequally in the church, but is waiting for the Lord to fix it in the next life. My aunt, who is completely devoted to the gospel, confessed her greatest fear is getting to heaven and discovering Heavenly Father’s sons really are more important than His daughters.
We need to address the issues in our faith that make righteous women feel such fear. The Brethren in recent years have emphasized women are just as important in God’s plan. If it needs to be stated, it’s in question. And it’s in question because men hold the priesthood exclusively. If our moms and sisters and daughters could hold that authority, that sacred power, with our dads and brothers and sons, no one would need to assert we are equal; it would be evident.
I believe women should be ordained.