Hi, I’m Nicola. I converted to the church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in my late teens, served a full-time mission and married in the temple. I have two grown-up sons and a beautiful grandson. I have served in leadership callings in the church, and as an early-morning seminary teacher for eight years. I have been a poster-child for Mormonism, and loved the community and the values espoused. I have felt guided in my life decisions.
In my working life I have succeeded in several male-dominated areas and expect to be treated as an equal to my male colleagues. Yet somehow I kept separate my belief in the equality of men and women and my faith in the correctness of the teachings of the church.
After reading “Daughters in My Kingdom”, and pondering the role of women in the church today, it came as an almost unwelcome revelation that something was not right. Women are meant to be equal in the church and they are not. At the time of this revelation I was serving as a Stake Relief Society President, and my witnessing of the sexism and lack of respect for women’s abilities helped to reinforce the impression. There are many good men who believe that they show respect for women, but the system endorses benevolent sexism and makes room for unrighteous wielding of power of men over women. And now that I have seen this, I cannot un-see it. When I visit branches and wards and see men in suits running around, overworked, while totally capable women are sidelined, I see the need for women to be ordained. When I sit in a CES welcoming fireside and all the people on the stage are men in suits, I see how invisible women leaders are to the young women of our church. And knowing that in Relief Society women have no control over funds, and must get approval from men to function, I know that something has to change.
The thought of a church where men and women work together as equals, with equal decision-making power is very exciting. I imagine a High Council meeting with men and women working together and providing complementary ideas and talents. I picture fathers and mothers blessing their children together. I picture women and girls being interviewed by other women. I picture a more colourful and vibrant leadership. I picture more light and joy. And I picture myself belonging – as a whole person.
I do not know why God has not yet revealed to the male leaders of the church that women should be ordained. I do believe it is time to start asking. For the church to grow and thrive and remain relevant in the 21st Century, I believe women should be ordained.