I believe that creativity can change the world.
I believe in Jesus Christ and in striving to make myself into what he preached instead of making his preachings into what I am.
I believe that people are good, and when they’re not it’s because they are either sick or they’re afraid.
I believe in God and that he’s still trying to guide us if we would only listen.
And I believe that God loves his daughters just as much as his sons.
I left home on Saturday at 4 in the morning and drove across the desert to get to Salt Lake City to join up with my fellow supporters of Ordain Women as we sought entry to the Priesthood session of general conference. In my religion, like most religions, only men hold the priesthood and by extension nearly all of the leadership opportunities, as well as bureaucratic and financial authority. Many women are not bothered by this because the system works for them. They have the good fortune to be surrounded by men who don’t abuse or dominate them, and have plenty of opportunities to exercise their talents and gifts. Many others don’t but want so desperately to be righteous that they make it work for them, grateful for what they do experience. But many many others, so many others that the weight of sorrow I witness often overwhelms me, see the unequal policies and feel intense pain at the thought that their Heavenly Father views them as less important than men. That the current church structure reflects the structure of heaven. That the silencing, and ignoring, and discounting, and even often cruelty they experience from men and leaders in their life might be a shadow of what awaits them on the other side.
What people often misunderstand in viewing these kinds of efforts is that the motivation comes from an abundance of faith, not a lack of it. If we didn’t love our leaders, it wouldn’t hurt. We’d shrug our shoulders and walk away, shaking our heads at the time we spent as part of this religion. If we didn’t have faith in the priesthood we wouldn’t want it. We’d go about our business and smirk whenever someone suggested it’s power, knowing how much power we could wield without it. But we don’t do those things. We drive alone across the desert, fly across oceans, walk past men refusing to meet our gaze, show up at the door and knock, only to be turned away. We can read the talks offered at the session, use them to teach our Relief Society lessons, watch it on television, but we can’t enter the building. And we mourn and we weep when we feel rejected by our church home, our righteousness questioned, our earnest faith unwanted.
We believe all that God has revealed, all that He does now reveal, and we believe that He will yet reveal many great and important things pertaining to the Kingdom of God.
-9th Article of Faith
I feel called to keep pushing on this issue. There are a lot of people who don’t like me because of it. I’ve lost friends, I’ve lost callings, I’ve lost jobs, I’ve been threatened, I’ve had family chase me from their home. But I am a believer. And I believe that God has more for his daughters.