Posted by on Apr 4, 2014 in , | 0 comments

“Dad, can a girl be a prophet?”

My 5-year old son asked me that question from the back seat of the car and part of me broke inside. Here, at a very, very young age, he was already observing that there are things in the church that boys are allowed to do that girls are not and he was about to learn that, in the Lord’s kingdom, girls have a glass ceiling.

I am an active, lifelong member of the church. I am a returned missionary, married in the temple for 11 years and counting, and have three beautiful, energetic (but incredibly exhausting) children. I am currently serving in the Elders Quorum Presidency in my ward.

I haven’t always been in favor of women’s ordination. My views have changed slowly over time. They’ve changed as I have worked for, and side-by-side with, extremely capable women leaders in the workplace. During my short career, I’ve worked for two very large organizations, both of which have women in high levels of leadership and both of which are the better for it. I believe that any organization benefits greatly from a myriad of diverse leadership experience. The church would be no exception.

I also believe that the church will never achieve gender equality until it gives women an equal seat at the decision-making table. Will women’s ordination immediately solve this problem? No, we will still have a long way to go. However, can true equality ever be reached without it? No, I don’t believe so.

Yet, it wasn’t until three years ago, with the birth of my daughter, that my views on women’s ordination really began to shift. My daughter is confident, bright, beautiful, and strong. She believes she can do anything her two older brothers can do. She dreams of being a doctor, a climber, an explorer, and Spider-Man. I want her to keep dreaming that. I am painfully aware that the harsh realities of the world may take their toll on those dreams. I don’t want the harsh realities of the church to do the same.

So it is for her that i have decided to speak up. I want her to grow up in a world, and in a church, where there are no glass ceilings–no limits placed on her potential. Where she feels free to make choices guided by her own dreams, aspirations, and relationship with God free from the judgment and constraint of how men may view those choices.

“Dad, can a girl be a prophet?”

I answered him in the only way that felt right–the only way I felt I could.

“Someday, bud. Hopefully, someday.”