I’m an active member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. I’m a returned missionary, married in the Salt Lake Temple and currently serving as Elder’s Quorum instructor in my ward. I hold the priesthood and believe it should be extended to all worthy women and young women.
With the power of the priesthood women will be able to be full participants in the Church alongside men. With the priesthood women will have the authority to bless children, the sick, or elderly, baptize, and administer the sacrament. More importantly, when women are ordained to the priesthood they will be able to fill leadership positions within the Church. Institutional equality cannot exist in the Church unless women fill all the same leadership positions men currently do. This is because a male-only clergy can never fully understand and administer the physical, emotional, and spiritual needs of women.
For example, what remedy can a male-only clergy provide to the pain of unfairness a young woman feels when she realizes she can never pass the sacrament? What balm is there for a sister missionary who badly wants to baptize her investigator she has toiled with for so long? What comfort can satisfy the desire of a young mother to bless and give a name to her new baby in church – or even stand arm on shoulder next to her husband when he offers the blessing. Women and girls want to participate and lead in the Church. Even if not every woman in the Church desires to bless, baptize, or administer with priesthood power, there are women and young women who do. By not giving them the opportunity the Church fails to provide women with a way to satisfy their righteous desires and also fails to utilize women to their full potential.
Also, there are many situations in which having a male-only clergy prevents the Church from providing the best guidance and council to all of its members. Even though women are able to advise male leadership on all levels of the Church, the final say in every policy and doctrinal decision rests only in the hands of men. And what influence can women’s advice have when all the leaders in the Church are counseled, recorded and overseen by men. When women are ordained to the priesthood and take leadership positions in the Church they will provide the additional perspective the Church needs.
Finally, I have nieces and nephews and I want them to grow up in a church where each can fulfill their righteous desires to participate in the priesthood. In a church where both men and women council, preside, and decide together. In a church able to provide for the spiritual needs of modern-day women and men and girls and boys.