Hi, I’m Sarah–a wife, mother, teacher, ally, and believer in Ordain Women. I grew up a member of the LDS Church in Southern California. As a young woman, I had an incredible example in my mother, who ran my father’s private law firm, was an aerobics instructor, triathlete, Relief Society President, and also an amazing baker. Her example showed me how diverse, strong and powerful women can be in our society. When she spoke, people listened.
But this strong example contrasted with a not so hidden reality that I witnessed, where women were being limited by rules and social conventions throughout my religion. My mother’s example was a desirable path, yet hard to follow with the cognitive dissonance I experienced. The contrast between how things could be and what they actually were was impossible for me to reconcile as a young Mormon woman.
At 19 I married the man who chose me as his wife, although I knew it was not the right path for me. That cognitive dissonance was there, telling me “this is what I was expected to do…. regardless.” The marriage lasted four years and through it I was blessed with many spiritual experiences that affirmed to me my divine worth, even as everything in my marriage made me feel like nothing. I know that our Heavenly Parents love their daughters and want everything good for them, and that includes the priesthood. This was reassured to me when I received my temple endowments.
Leaving my first marriage was devastatingly hard. Change is hard. Admitting we have made mistakes is hard. Taking the steps to make something better is hard. The one thing that saved me, literally saved me, during this time was that confirmation that I had received many years prior that I too was a child of Heavenly Parents that deserved all the rights and privileges that my male counterparts received.
My life is better and clearer now. I have two beautiful daughters and a new husband who loves me and loves our family. We chose each other. No longer do I fight the cognitive dissonance that I experienced as a young Mormon woman who saw how diverse, strong and powerful women can be, yet did not live up to it due to what I learned and observed at church, rather than what I learned at home. As a family, we all know that we are equally beautiful and precious to our Heavenly Parents.
I believe that the same understanding will happen when Mormon women have the priesthood: we will all see more clearly that we are all equally beautiful and precious to our Heavenly Parents.
Our Heavenly Parents are waiting for us to take this step and make this situation right. We must not disappoint them.
For the sake of my daughters, my mother, my sister, and all of the little girls I love, I believe that women should be ordained.