Posted by on Jun 15, 2014 in , | 0 comments

I believe the Church and its lay leaders and members should embrace and engage with those who have questions, express doubts, or advocate for change.  Organizations are weakened when they use exclusion and intimidation to squelch public commentary.  The Church should welcome questioners and see conversations with them as opportunities to draw members closer. Doing so would, from my perspective, enhance the view of the Church in the eyes of nonmembers, too.  Many, many nonmembers are absolutely unreceptive to missionary appeals because they see the Church as a patriarchy where women are subordinate to men.  Many, many members struggle with staying active in the Church because they are uncomfortable with the patriarchy and its male-centric decisions and actions.

I have long empathized with women who want direct participation in deliberations and in decision making, and I know many other priesthood holders who empathize, also.  Exclusion has resulted in many women being dissatisfied with, and alienated from, the Church because of their lack of influence and meaningful involvement.  Better decisions would be made if both men and women contributed on an equal basis to the decisions.  The threat to excommunicate Kate Kelly is a startling example of the poor decisions that are made when men act unilaterally.  Clearly, men should not be unilaterally making decisions that affect women.

Men are not able to see the Church and the world from the perspective of women.  Men do not have the same experiences as do women.  Men cannot fully understand what women need and want, or how women are impacted by particular decisions and situations. If decisions are made that affect both men and women, the perspectives of both men and women need to be considered when those decisions are made.

Women will only be able to have meaningful participation in the Church if they have the priesthood.  Consequently, I support and am advocating for women to have the priesthood.”