Today’s Sunday Spotlight comes from Joanna! Just when you think she can’t get any better, she does!
What gives you hope for the future
I believe Mormons are amazing, good, divine people and I believe that they will both individually and collectively strengthen their families, communities, countries and ultimately the world.
Aside from ordination, what are some changes you would like to see implemented immediately in the Church?
I would love to see women consulted more, women guiding more and given more chances to administer and teach instead of just ‘serve’. Many of the most spiritual experiences of my life included women stepping out of their assigned roles and truly administering to those around them.
Tell us more about your connection to Mormonism?
I was born in Provo, Utah and lived there until I was 8 when my BYU professor Dad took a job at the U of U so we moved to Draper. I’m a descendant of Hyrum Smith and raised to be very proud of that heritage. I had liberal/intellectual Mormons around me all through my formative years from my parents, aunts/uncles and local leaders that really helped me to realize that personal revelation is the best part of Mormonism.
What was your favorite calling?
I loved being a Relief Society teacher, I felt like it pushed me out of my comfort zone but I learned so much. I also loved being primary chorister. The first year is rough to come up with new material/interest every week but after that you realize that the kids just want to sing and enjoy and learn about goodness, it becomes easier.
What are some of the things you love about the Church?
I love our people. I love our traditions. I love our corny music. I love our crazy, mixed up history and am constantly amazed at where we are now. I love baptism and it’s symbolism and I love the Priesthood.
What are some examples of gender inequality you see in the Church?
I see it everywhere, everyday from the fact that my 12 year old son gets personal letters from the stake president to the fact that my daughter will never feel like she can seek ultimate answers from her leaders. I rarely hear women speaking in church and I rarely see men in my area respecting them fully.
How did you discover Ordain Women?
I read about it on Feminist Mormon Housewives and said out loud to my computer screen, “these are my people!”
What prompted you to put up your profile?
I put up my profile when I realized that most women in the church were seeing Ordain Women Supporters as faceless… the women in my childhood ward were saying awful things and I was convinced that if they realized WHO they were saying this about, a fellow sister, that they would stop and listen, respect and stop the vitriol. (I was wrong.)
Have your feelings grown or changed since submitting your profile?
I am more committed then ever. I now not only have faith that one day women will receive the priesthood, I know it will happen someday and I know that even though that growth is hard… as a church we will get there.