I was born and raised in Provo, Utah into a very old Mormon family (on my mothers side). My mother’s family are well-known Utah democrats. In fact, my great grandmother was the first elected woman in Utah’s state legislature after it became a state in the Union. My mother and grandparents taught me to take nothing for granted and to question everything. They also taught me that a testimony was personal to the individual and could not be given (or taken away) by anyone else. I was also raised to believe that the Mormon faith is a principle-based faith, not a legalistic faith, nor like the pharacsees or sadducees. We follow Christ’s admonition to follow the higher law. Finally, I was taught that there are 3 primary keys to salvation 1) Love God 2) Love thyself (implicitly stated) 3) Love thy neighbor as thyself, upon these hang all the laws and all the prophets. I feel anything that contradicts this is not the will of our Heavenly Parents.
I am Mormon because I choose to be Mormon. Why? I think the moral of the book/movie Life of Pi states it best: “I like the story better”. I choose to believe that God is both male and female. I choose to be Mormon because I like the story and idea that I can grow up eternally, with my spouse, to be a god someday.
I believe Mormon women should be ordained because Mormon history is replete with examples of women using faith to heal and transform lives. I have been taught that when women marry in the temple they receive the the priesthood through their husbands. I’ve also heard people try to explain that women don’t need the priesthood–that it’s really just a crutch for men. But I see no reason why women and men shouldn’t fully enjoy all the benefits of the priesthood. There is plenty of supporting evidence that Joseph Smith also believed this. I think asking the brethren to fast and pray on this matter is a valid solution.