Hi, I’m Tina.
I was born into a Mormon family and raised on primary songs about pansies, popcorn and summertime. When I was ten, I visited my aunt who was very involved in the 1980’s Mormon Feminist Movement and the ERA. She told me that women could be leaders, that there was a necessary place for female divinity within Mormonism, and that maybe even I could be allowed to pass the sacrament when I was twelve. I wasn’t sure what to make of this, but I loved my aunt very much. Later, things went very badly for her. She was publicly kicked out of the church due to her erratic behavior for her feminist cause. Since this caused much shame for my family, she was basically shunned. Later her son committed suicide. Although certainly it isn’t clear that her excommunication was the cause of this, the way that my aunt was treated by members and her family was part of my cousin’s sad story. It turned out later my aunt had a mental illness. Perhaps if she had been treated with kindness and Christ-like love things might have turned out differently.
My problems with the church began when I started to say things that were out of the usual script that is heard every Sunday. For instance, once I gave a talk with an emphasis on women in politics. Perhaps it was a coincidence, but I was released from my calling soon thereafter. Another time after hearing a lesson about how the Relief Society helped women get the vote, a jovial stake presidency counselor told us ladies that from now on men would review every enrichment activity – even the ones where we made freezer meals or quilts. He told us that was how we wanted it. The final straw for me, though, was the modesty lessons that my daughter heard in church. One time when the church was too hot, little girls were scared to take off their cardigans because their shoulders might show. As innocent girls, they had no idea why it was shameful, just that it was. I didn’t want my daughter to be ashamed of her body and left the church.
These posts in Ordain Woman have opened my eyes to the beauty of the Mormon family that I still in some ways belong to. I particularly love the references to Christ and His amazing, grace-filled love for us – no matter who we are. Thank you all for posting and yes, I believe that women should be ordained.