Growing up in the LDS Church, and still involved today as a leader in my ward’s Young Men presidency, the verse of scripture I’ve always clung to is 2 Nephi 26:33, where it says that God “inviteth . . . all to come unto him and partake of his goodness; and he denieth none that come unto him, black and white, bond and free, male and female; and he remembereth the heathen; and all are alike unto God, both Jew and Gentile.” This single verse, more than possibly anything else in the LDS canon, speaks a thunder that shakes my bones and my soul. This is the Gospel, articulated at a level of purity, simplicity, and openness that’s proven difficult to attain. I feel the church has struggled and still struggles to be a spiritual home for people of all races, as this verse directs, just as it has struggled and still struggles to be a spiritual home for all people, regardless of gender and sexuality.
I believe that any church claiming to be a kingdom of God, and any church claiming to believe the words quoted above, must be a place where people enjoy the ability to pursue their own relationships with Divinity and the Eternities in an unfettered, unobstructed, lovingly open and accessible way. To restrict something like the priesthood—something that, according to LDS doctrine and policy, carries crucial spiritual, administrative, and ecclesiastical power—to only certain people according to biological sex is to limit the ways individuals create spiritual identities in a dramatic way.
There is no need for such distinctions and limitations. By opening priesthood ordination to all people, the LDS church will take a huge step toward finally becoming a place where people can work individually and collectively with God to define and pursue whatever spiritual identity they desire. When Abraham “[desired] also to be one who possessed great knowledge, and to be a greater follower of righteousness, and to possess a greater knowledge” of the Eternities, he became a priest. My hope is that the church will open itself up in such a way that everybody has the ability to do what Abraham did—that is, to seek out whichever spiritual paths they desire. The church’s current take on priesthood ordination and gender limits the ability of half of all our Heavenly Parents’ children to do this. I believe women should be ordained.