Today’s Sunday Spotlight is from Kristen, who opens up about her fears of raising a son or daughter in the LDS faith.
My name is Kristen. I’m a wife, mother, news producer, and dog sport enthusiast. I am most happy when I’m outside, especially if a boat is involved. I was born and raised in the LDS Church. I have been married nearly 7 years and have an adorable little boy, two border collies, two turtles, and two sugar gliders.
I submitted a profile to Ordain Women in the spring of 2013… just a few days after finding out I was pregnant. I’ll never forget staring at that stick, and having one of the first questions that popped in my head be, “Can I raise a child in this Church?”
Ever since I was a teen, I struggled with the roles and plan for me prescribed by the LDS church. I couldn’t accept that my gender would determine what I was supposed to do with my life. And because I’m a woman, I was upset that I would always have to answer to a man when it came to church issues, even for procedural things. I couldn’t even find peace in the Temple.
And the worst part, I seemed to be utterly alone in my feelings. Everyone I knew seemed perfectly content and happy with the way things were. When I brought up gender inequality issues within the church, I was quickly dismissed. When I tried to get a hiking trip for my Young Women, I was told they were too weak to handle it. I couldn’t find anyone wanting or willing to make changes.
I worried for my future child. If it was a girl, she was facing a lifetime of being told no, modesty shaming, and limited church-approved options for her career prospects. If it was a boy, he was facing a lifetime of work piled on him that can’t be shared with women willing to help. Fatherhood would not be held in the same light as motherhood, and he would be told he needed the church to be a good man.
These were the thoughts that ran through my mind the day I logged on Facebook, and saw an article about Ordain Women. My interest was piqued, and I clicked on it.
My heart was full as I read about women and men like me. I went on the website, and read their stories. For the first time, I didn’t feel alone. I cried as I read these heartfelt stories. I hadn’t heard of any of these people before, but I felt an instant connection to them. I admired their bravery in something as simple as submitting a profile, and being courageous enough to speak up. An hour later, I wrote up my own profile and submitted it.
I’ve been cheering on Ordain Women from afar. Work and distance has kept me from attending the main actions (although I did have the opportunity to meet several members this last December at an event). I’ve found a wonderful online community where I can share my thoughts on women and their place in the church. I’m strengthened by the stories shared, and I love that there are people brave enough to talk about these issues, and make a difference for those who want to remain in the Church.
I hope women become ordained, and I truly believe it will happen. I believe the church will grow stronger if men and women work together, and not just in the roles prescribed to them.