Hi. My name is Stephanie. I am 27 years old and I am married with one daughter. I attended law school at Brigham Young University where I recieved a Juris Doctor degree. I later passed the bar exam but I am not currently practicing law. I enjoy outdoor recreation, watching movies with my family, creating and listening to music, reading, and experimenting with new hobbies- learning a language, learning an instrument, taking dance classes, etc. Three years ago, during my first year at BYU, I was baptized LDS. Since joining the Church I have served in the Relief Society as a teacher and Compassionate Service committee leader and member. I have also taught Gospel Doctrine.
When I joined the Church, I entered into an organization and religion I truly believed would make me a better person. A place I truly believed would help me to teach my children the values I wanted to instill in them. I saw my life and my children’s lives as happy and fulfilled as members of the Church. However, time and time again I have found myself disappointed by the subjugation of women, by the exclusion of commonly oppressed minorities, and by the adherence to early 1900’s Puritan values and gender roles.
I have had difficulties in the past few years grappling with some policies and doctrine surrounding women and families. I always thought, though, that those issues could work themselves out administratively and culturely. Since having a daughter, however, I have seen her future in a church where she will be proscribed to a single role, affected by doctrine and policy in which her voice will be silenced, taught that she is responsible for the thoughts and actions of men, and a host of other harmful teachings and messages that are not consistent with the values I wish to instill in her.
I have come to believe through careful consideration and prayer that the only truly effective way for her to be equal to her male counterparts is to be that- equal. She must be afforded the opportunity to speak, to serve, and to be heard. She must be involved, or have the opportunity to be involved, in meaningful ways on every level of church government. She must know that she is strong, independent, confident, and capable.
I believe she is those things. I believe she has Heavenly Parents who see her potential and her worth and they are not confined to opinions of 1950’s gender roles. I believe she deserves to be equal. I believes she deserves and needs opportunities to serve and progress.
I believe ordination is the best way to afford women the right to be equal- no matter their passions, backgrounds, employment status, or reproductive desires or abilities. I believe we as a church can be better. I believe we can better reflect Christ’s words when he said “neither bond, nor free, nor male or female.” I believe we can, and should, progress. I believe women should be ordained.