Hi, I’m Ryan. I’m 27-years-old, live in the Phoenix area, and am part of a wonderful family. My wife and I were married in the Mesa Temple and have a two-year-old son who is always keeping us on our toes. I graduated in 2012 from BYU with degrees in Geospatial Intelligence and Spanish. Now I work in the field of Information Security for a local government. I love living in the desert and can often be found zooming down a desert trail on my mountain bike with a good audiobook or podcast playing in one ear.
Why I am a Mormon:
I was born in the Church and had a wonderful time growing up in an area with so many other members. I had good leaders who spent many an hour planning activities and lessons. This truly made an impact on me. Over the past few years, I’ve been undergoing a faith transition that has caused me to change many of the views I once held. During this process, I have maintained my belief in a loving deity. The belief of God as a couple is something beautiful to me, although I think we do not emphasize it enough. Reading the scriptures has helped me during times of trial and those memories persist with me to this day. I’m a Mormon because it is a warm place where I can worship. I’m a Mormon because as trying as the theology might be, I believe that following many of its teachings can help me be a better person.
Why I think Mormon women should have the priesthood:
As I left home to serve my mission in South America, I assumed that the Church was the same everywhere. I was wrong. Due to the lack of male membership in my mission, I saw local Relief Society members stand up and take on responsibilities that they wouldn’t have had in a ward or branch in the United States. I’m not saying they were passing the sacrament or baptizing, but they took a more active role in ward councils, teaching assignments, and missionary work. They are some of the strongest women I have ever known and their hard work was not lost on me.
I believe in trickle-up revelation. I believe that the Church belongs to its membership. Ordaining women can help us simplify the way leadership functions and will help spread out the institutional load. Women should be able to speak with other women and girls in faithfulness interviews, temple recommend interviews, you name it. Women should be able to feel that their interactions with a given family or person are official.
Women should be able to feel the same sort of spiritually co-creative power with God that men do, which does not have to include a pregnancy. Their voices should be heard in sacrament prayers, in baby blessings, and in spiritual counseling. I have given and received many blessings in my life and they were, to me, remarkable. I’ve felt the hand of some sort of divine force that begs to be depicted as transcendent. I believe that the power of God is given for comfort. Who better to give a greater ability to comfort than to a woman, a sister, a mother, a daughter, a partner?
I would like nothing more than to be able to bless our children with my wife’s hands alongside my own. I believe we can ask. I believe we can change. For each of these reasons and more, I support the ordination of women.