My name is Mindy.
When I look at my three children, the future I envision for them is not different based on their genders. I hope they find loving partners, become nurturing parents, gain an education, and find a satisfying work-family balance. I look at my daughter and see a dynamic personality with the potential to inspire and lead others. I look at my youngest son, a natural nurturer, and see him gently caring for his children.
While I was always aware of gender disparities in budgets and leadership roles throughout my life as an active LDS woman, they have become more important to me as I watch my children grow. My children are currently primary age and their gospel instruction is not divided by gender, nor is their vision of serving God in the future. They are coming upon an age, however, when they will become divided by gender and this concerns me.
My sons’ path toward leadership and priesthood authority will be made very clear, beginning at age 12. They will be taught to act in the name of God and lead and bless all people, regardless of whether or not they become fathers. My daughter’s path, conversely, will become very focused on her role as a mother and she will be directed toward leading children and women. I worry about this focus when I consider the possibilities for her if she does not fit comfortably into the gender roles defined for women in the LDS Church. When my children look for visual representations of spiritual, monetary, and organizational authority, they will primarily see men.
These inequalities did not necessarily lead to the idea of ordination for me until recently. I see many solutions within the culture and structure of the church that could address some of these inequalities. Some are as simple as changing which callings require priesthood authority, reinstating the previous Relief Society autonomy, and addressing some of the language we use within the church.
I realized the importance of ordination last year when I watched the faithful sisters from Ordain Women request admission to the Priesthood Session of General Conference – even to watch via satellite in the tabernacle – and witnessed each one being turned away. As I watched men and boys pass these women by, it struck me that I want my daughter to have the same opportunities to serve her God as her brothers – to heal the sick, baptize those that she teaches, perform ordinances, bless her children, and lead men, women, and children. I want my sons to be men who would step out of line to stand with these women, even walking with them to the doors, offering to have these sisters attend in their place.
I believe women should be ordained because my children’s ability to serve their God is not defined by their genders. I envision a future where they serve God side by side in faith in all capacities; leading, blessing, baptizing, nurturing, and healing through the power of the Priesthood.