Despite being an active, believing member for the first 30 years of my life, my faith in the LDS Church came at a very high cost in terms of how I functioned and thrived in my personal life as a woman.
From a very young age, I was aware that women who find themselves not desiring to bear and raise children were not in harmony with God. This caused me a great deal of personal anxiety that could have been softened by a more expansive view of what women are capable of.
Despite having lost my faith and being inactive for several years, the rise of the Ordain Women movement and the issues surrounding gender in the Church reawakened both interest and hope for progress in this area. It also reactivated the pain and frustration I experienced during my years in the Church, as I witnessed abusive comments directed at Kate Kelly and OW members from their fellow faithful members. This, in addition to the Church’s refusal to ever meet with these sisters face-to-face to hear their concerns, confirmed to me once again that for women who are unable to mold themselves into the limited role deemed as acceptable, life in the Church can become excruciating to the point that it becomes detrimental to their emotional well-being.
The LDS Church has a view of women that is so archaic that it would take generations to change even if it were to ordain women today. Ordaining women is not the last step to giving women an equal voice in the Church — it is the first. But deciding that it’s not even willing to have a conversation about it demonstrates that the Church desires to regress to a point that is bound to compound shame and embarrassment when the chasm between its view on gender equality and that of future generations becomes even more stark.
To those who I hope actually take the time to read this, know that either way, your decision regarding Kate Kelly will make history. I therefore urge you to seriously and honestly consider, in good conscience, what your name(s), participation and decision will mean to the future generations that look back at this pivotal moment in LDS history.