I’m 22 years old, and I’m a student, a sister, a daughter, and a friend. I was raised Mormon; my parents joined the church 34 years ago. I have attended Mormon church services in Minnesota, Arizona, Africa, and China.
Since I was young, I’ve struggled with gender inequality in the Church. I distinctly remember the first time it occurred to me that I was not equal to Mormon males: I was 13 years old and was sitting in the chapel watching the boys pass the sacrament. I stared at one boy in particular and wondered what was so special about him. Why did he get to pass the sacrament and I didn’t? I was embarrassed to sit quietly and take the sacrament from boys who were my age—boys I saw everyday in school. They were my peers outside of church, but in church they always had more responsibility than I did. I found this unfair and hard to deal with throughout high school as I watched my male peers advance through the ranks of the priesthood and leave on missions. If I was taught to respect the priesthood as the power of God, then wouldn’t it make sense that I wanted to have it, too?
To me, Mormonism means helping everyone, everywhere, always. It’s comforting to know that no matter where I am in the world I have a group of people who will take care of me and my friends and family members—whether they are Mormon or non-Mormon, it doesn’t matter.
I thought gender inequality in the Church would become easier to bear as I got older, but instead it has become more hurtful and harder to tolerate. I support female ordination because as we become adults in the Church, doors continue to open for men to serve and bless people, whereas for women these doors remain closed. Ordaining women would open many of the doors to them, and it would only strengthen the Church. There are too many Mormon women who feel called to minister but can’t.
I’m a Mormon, and I believe women should be ordained.