Listen to Natalie’s podcast interview here:
I grew up in Oregon in an LDS home with a wonderful mom, dad and five sisters. I served in my Beehive, Mia Maid and Laurel class presidencies and graduated seminary. I graduated from Brigham Young University, and during my last year there I was married in the Columbia River Temple. I live in Los Angeles now with my husband, working as a photographer and director.
I believe in the doctrine of continuing revelation; it is one of the most wonderful aspects of the LDS Church. I am grateful for President Kimball’s inspiration to “ponder promises” made by Brigham Young and earlier prophets concerning African Americans receiving the priesthood, and I invite our prophet today to ponder Joseph Smith’s promise in 1842 to the Relief Society to make them a “kingdom of priests as in Enoch’s day.” Verses that speak of female apostles and deacons in the Bible are undeniable.
My life was shaped by powerful women. When I received my endowments, the truth that women are meant to have an equal role in priesthood authority was so overwhelming to me that I wept. The more I thought about my experience in the temple the more I realized that women could have greater responsibilities in the Church on earth than they do now. This inequality of priesthood ordination is easily explained away by many who say that women instead can create life. There is nothing in the scriptures that cites this, and there is no consolation for women who are barren or are unmarried and were waiting to have children until marriage.
There was never even a correlation between the ability to create life and priesthood until 1954 in the revision of Apostle John A. Widtsoe’s book, “Priesthood and Church Government.” Building up motherhood to be so superior to fatherhood that ordination is needed to create a balance doesn’t resound with me, and I do not believe that our Heavenly Father and Mother see an imbalance between those two roles without the priesthood. Being a father and mother are both miraculous, and equal. And women who cannot have children are not inferior to those who can.
I have believed women should be ordained for almost 4 years, and never felt comfortable saying it out loud until OrdainWomen.org launched. It’s been that same fear that kept me from submitting a profile for a year now. It isn’t right for our LDS Church and community to support and contribute to a culture that creates fear within our members to voice their beliefs. I know that our worldwide church can change. I believe women should be ordained.