Hi, I’m Stephanie.
I live in Salt Lake where I am just finishing up my first year in a Clinical Psychology doctoral program. I earned my undergrad at BYU, but before moving to Provo, UT, I spent the first 18 years of my life in the south where Mormonism is a deeply misunderstood religion. I was the only Beehive, Mia Maid, and Laurel in our ward and the only Mormon in my graduating class of over 1,000 students. My father is not a member, yet my parents are still happily married to this day. My mother is a strong, devout woman, who earned her PhD in Chemistry while raising my sister and me. She led the household in prayer and scripture study daily and took us to church and activities weekly. However, when we were baptized, sick, or just in need of a blessing, she was not able to administer one. My mother, one the most devout, loving and CAPABLE human beings I know, is unABLE to give her children a blessing… This does not make sense to me.
When asked about the priesthood, she gives the same, standard answer most women in the church have been conditioned to give: “I don’t want it!”
This, of course, is completely irrelevant.
The fact that she doesn’t have a choice is wrong. My sister and I could’ve, over and over again, benefited from the priesthood in our home from a very early age. I missed out on all the blessings deemed too “trivial” to bother someone from our ward to come over and administer. I know my mother, on top of all her responsibilities as a professor, relief society president, and most importantly, as a mother, says she wouldn’t want additional responsibilities. But, knowing her and her drive to provide the best for our family, she would have, without a doubt, accepted this power to help her children and those she loves.
In these trying, last days, more priesthood leaders are needed and one’s gender shouldn’t be an obstacle in gaining this power. Ordain Women has gotten a lot of negative attention for going so public with this issue and a lot of members have complained that the true answers lie within personal prayer and study. I full-heartedly agree with this. However, when the answers I receive are contradictory to what is in place now, having a resource like OW and being able to see that others are struggling with similar issues brings me a great deal of peace because I know one day, this will change. Until then, I am not alone in believing women should be ordained