Hi, I’m Sarah. I’ve grown up in the Church and I treasure the spiritual whisperings it has helped me hear. My confusion with the Church began when I transitioned from the Young Women’s program, where I felt my personal growth and development was supported, to Relief Society, where personal progress seemed to be less and less relevant.
To me, it seemed that women’s progression ceased after marriage in the Church. Still, I tried to sweep these impressions under the rug, attempted to “have a better attitude” and prayed and read my scriptures. I still knew my Heavenly Father loved me and cared for me and had had enough spiritual experiences to continue in the Church. I married my college sweetheart in the Nauvoo Temple at the young age of 21. At this age I was willing to ignore the patriarchy I experienced in the Church, even though it was the only place I had ever experienced gender discrimination.
The male-centric precepts of the gospel along with the feeling of being silenced were accentuated after going through the temple and gaining more adult experiences in the Church. My heart still aches that I was not able to publicly participate in my two daughters’ blessings and the thought of their baptisms taking place with me as a silent bystander is almost too painful to conceive. I want my girls to know that their spiritual inspirations can be spoken publicly, and that their spiritual discernments do not have to be spoken through men. I want them to be full-fledged members of the Church and active participants in their spiritual lives, instead of being encouraged to be silent onlookers.
During my silent trials, I have found comfort as I have reached out to Heavenly Mother for guidance and love. I have felt her strengthen me and have felt the reassurance and spirit of my Heavenly Parents that they do love me and my trials concern them as well. The most spiritual experience of my life came when I received a personal confirmation that female ordination will only strengthen families and bring us closer to our God-like potential.
Men and women have so much to gain spiritually and emotionally from expanding the priesthood to all members. The organization and decision-making bodies would benefit tremendously from a more complex understanding of the female experience. A more egalitarian priesthood presence in the family and the Church can touch the hearts of more people, guide stronger, better-informed leader and encourage all children to reach their full spiritual potential. I believe women should be ordained.