Listen to Zack’s podcast interview here:
I have been a Mormon my whole life. I love the Church and have devoted more time to it — a two year mission, four separate stints in Elders’ Quorum Presidencies, and many other time-consuming callings and assignments — than most people would consider sane.
I have a beautiful and amazing baby girl. I have never loved anyone or anything in the way that I love her. Every second I get to be her daddy is an incredible miracle to me and a testimony of God’s love for the world and for me. And because her mother and I are sealed in a Mormon temple, I have an infinite number of seconds as her daddy to look forward to.
As much as a I try to enjoy her now without heaping expectations on her, I can’t help but wonder what her life will be like. Will she be smart like her mommy? Will she make bad jokes like me? Will she be a scientist, a businesswoman, a lawyer, a teacher, a mom?
And because I’m a devout Mormon, I also wonder if she’ll love the Church like I do. Will she go on a mission? Be a relief society president? A primary teacher?
If she were a boy, that last list could look a lot different. Will he be a bishop? A stake president? An apostle? Will he be the prophet someday? I can’t imagine that my sweet little baby girl has any less inherent potential for spiritual greatness than whatever future prophet is spitting up on his mom’s shoulder right now.
I love the scriptures, including the Bible and those books that we Mormons have all to ourselves. The Doctrine and Covenants says “no power or influence can or ought to be maintained by virtue of the priesthood, only through persuasion, by long-suffering, by gentleness and meekness, and by love-unfeigned.” Unfortunately, right now ALL power and influence within the Church is maintained by virtue of the priesthood. Every presiding authority in the Church — the prophet, apostles, stake presidents, and bishops — is required to be a priesthood holder and, because the Church does not ordain women: a man.
I don’t think that is right. I am sure that women are capable of exerting righteous power and influence through gentleness, persuasion and unfeigned love every bit as much as men. I know God has better things planned for His Church than it can accomplish without allowing its full membership (including me and my daughter) to fully participate in that work.