Posted by on Nov 20, 2013 in | 0 comments

When I was a child, I remember wondering why only men were ordained to Priesthood offices and being grateful that I was a boy, so I could be ordained. My question persisted, but I learned to accept things as they were.

As I researched the issue later in life, though, I began to realize that there were clear parallels between female ordination and the ordination of black men, who were denied Priesthood ordination for a period of time. Was there ever a revelation from God saying black men should be denied the Priesthood? I don’t believe there was. There was plenty of speculation and folk doctrine, but no revelation. Was there ever a revelation from God saying women should be denied the Priesthood? Again, I don’t believe there was. There’s a long history of men in Priesthood leadership roles, but I can’t point to an original pronouncement by God that women should not hold Priesthood offices.

Perhaps more importantly: Do Mormon rituals already talk about priests and priestesses, and do women already perform certain Priesthood ordinances as a part of temple worship? I believe they do. Even without being ordained to offices, women perform ordinances for other women on a regular basis, and they have been doing so almost since the Church’s origin.

I do not believe that ordaining women will contradict any established doctrine. No change in doctrine will be required to switch from the current practice of allowing women to perform only select ordinances, and to perform other pastoral duties at the ward, stake, and church level under the authority of the Priesthood, to the future practice of ordaining women to offices within the Priesthood. It would merely be a change in policy and emphasis, quite like the reversal of the Priesthood and temple ban for black members. That change in policy will also allow us to more easily cast aside the harmful folk doctrines that have arisen as a way to explain gendered Priesthood, such as the supposed spiritual superiority of women over men, which devalues the Priesthood by casting it as a crutch for spiritually-hobbled men, or the alleged parallelism between motherhood and Priesthood, when it is clear that fatherhood is the only reasonable parallel to motherhood.

As a man, I would hope that all men would want their wives, daughters, sisters, and mothers to be on equal footing, not only in the eyes of God in heaven, but in the structural governance of the Church on earth.

I believe we will one day look back on this time and wonder why there was so much opposition to female ordination, and we will be glad the old days of male-only ordination are over.