I offer whole-hearted support to Ordain Women. At first, I thought it to be an impossible goal and maybe even counter-productive to support women’s ordination to the priesthood. The more I have read, studied and enjoyed the profiles on OW, the more I am convinced it is the future of the Church. The Church resisted integration for 15 years after the Civil Rights legislation of the early 60’s. Fifty years ago, I was on my LDS mission, a few miles away from where 3 young men my own age and on a similar, but very different mission, were murdered. We were told not to contact or teach blacks, so we did not even think of knocking on their door and introducing them to the Gospel. I wish I possessed the courage that Schwerner, Goodman and Cheney had when they were knocking on doors of black families, to get them to register to vote. We denied the priesthood to all worth males for far too long. We should not make the same mistake again in continuing to deny the priesthood to all worthy members.
In 1954, President MacKay wondered if he should change church policy about ordaining black men. He was told that the church members were not ready. Pres. Kimball continually prayed, studied and ask over and over again about giving the priesthood to all worthy male members. After many years of struggle, he was finally able to get the Brethren to also ask and to accept his vision of the future.
The same thing will happen again when we receive the news that all worthy members can receive the priesthood. There were many conference talks up to June 1978 that explained how the church policy on blacks could not and never would change. And it is still hard to explain letters from the First Presidency that today would be considered racist and backward.
If the church wants to grow and share its good news about the restoration of the gospel, ordaining women to participate would be a great leap forward. Women should be praised and honored for wanting to participate fully, not chastised and shut out.
I have been a branch president, high counselor, bishop’s counselor, have been to two solemn assemblies and married in the Salt Lake Temple. I was interviewed for my mission by a young Elder Packer at a time when all missionaries had to be interviewed by a General Authority. I was interviewed by Elder Delbert L. Stapley so I could teach at BYU. When I first heard of Ordain Women, I felt it was too bold, too confrontational, too much to change. Then as I saw the logic and truthfulness of it, I still felt it may take decades. I pray that it will not.
But as I read the profiles and testimonies of Ordain Women, I know it is definitely what the true gospel should and must embrace. Giving women equality in church governance and access to power of the priesthood would be a blessing, not only to church members, but to the whole world. Rather than call in any sister to a church court, they should call them to administrative and priesthood positions where they can greatly contribute to the eternal progression–not just of church members, but to all our brothers and sisters, in every nation on earth. They are ready, willing and absolutely able. It would just take a letter from the Brethren to make it happen. I believe women should be ordained.