My name is Ronald. My parents were married in the Mesa, Arizona Temple, which at the time was called The Arizona Temple. My ancestry includes a Mormon polygamist name Andrew Lars Hyer, who had two wives, and 25 children. I also had an ancestor name William Neeley who was a Captain in a Mormon Pioneer company led by Orson Pratt.
Growing up, I’ve served in the Presidencies of all three Aaronic Priesthood Quorums, Deacons, Teachers, and Priests, and as such attended a number of BYC meetings. I found that the girls attending those meetings were just as capable, if not better, in their leadership then most of the boys attending. They typically took their leadership more seriously, and were less inclined to try to get out of the meetings.
I’ve read Sheri Dew’s book “Women and the Priesthood” and while she does not specifically advocate for or against women’s ordination, she does present an excellent case that supports that idea of giving women greater authority and leadership roles. One example in particular is the story of the problem of grain spoiling in the silos of the Bishop’s storehouses. The men in leadership couldn’t solve that problem, but the women of the church found a solution that saved the grain and allowed the church to stockpile greater amounts. I believe there are many problems that the church needs to solve that would be solved more quickly and efficiently if women were placed in some of the top level positions of church leadership that are currently reserved for men only.
I currently feel that I can not be comfortable attending a church that isn’t interested in correcting such problems or even admitting that the Church has problems. I firmly believe that my nieces are no less worthy or capable of using the Priesthood to bless the lives of others, than my nephews, and it is for their sake that I advocate gender equality in the Church. The Church corrected a grave error in 1978 when they began allowing black men to have the Priesthood and now there are two African General Authorities, one or both of which may someday make excellent additions to the Quorum of the Twelve. It’s well beyond the time to take the next step in making the church better and correcting mistakes of the past for the current and future generations. I believe women should be ordained.