Hi, I’m Stephanie.
I was raised in the LDS Church, married in the temple, and have been a stay-at-home mom raising my four children. Though I have always been uncomfortable about the fact that women did not hold the priesthood and were therefore unable to participate in major decisions within the church, I kept it to myself for fear of being seen as a radical. I had no desire to be out of the mainstream of my culture and religion.
It wasn’t until my 12-year-old daughter began asking difficult questions about why she couldn’t hold the priesthood or pass the sacrament or why women didn’t sit on the stand presiding over a congregation, that I had to finally confront my own feelings. I couldn’t lie to my daughter. As my daughter grew into a lovely young teenager, she began asking harder questions. “Do you believe that withholding the priesthood from women is a form of institutionalized discrimination?” Hmmm. ” Do you believe the church will someday state that withholding the priesthood from women was akin to withholding the priesthood from blacks and disavow the former teachings that led to the banning of priesthood from women, just as they have disavowed the teachings that led to withholding the priesthood from the blacks?” I wouldn’t be surprised, though probably not in the near future.
The important thing is that my daughter is asking questions and I am listening. I hope the leadership of the church will likewise listen to the genuine concerns and questions of its sisters. The ability to think for oneself and ponder difficult questions is a gift from God, not something to be punished. I believe that women should be ordained.