In the years that I have been engaged in openly and publicly advocating for female ordination in the LDS church, one of the most common responses from men and women in the church comes along the lines of, “if you want extra meetings on Sundays, I’d gladly trade you,” or “I don’t know why you would want even more responsibility, women already do everything!”  Never mind these statements are contradictory (do women in the church have more free time or less free time than the men, exactly?) it has never stopped being remarkable to me that this is what the Power of God on earth is reduced to when I express a desire to access it.

It’s funny because when I listen to or read talks from the “priesthood” session of conference, there is a different theme:

Brethren, our ordination to the priesthood is an invitation from the Lord to walk with Him. And what does it mean to walk with the Lord? It means to do what He does, to serve the way He serves. –Eyring, April 2017


Many things may help strengthen our younger brothers to rise up in the priesthood, but nothing will be more powerful than our helping them develop the faith and confidence that they can draw on the power of God in their priesthood service. – Eyring, October 2016


Think of this: the priesthood conferred upon us is the very same power and authority through which God created this and numberless worlds, governs the heavens and the earth, and exalts His obedient children. – Nelson, April 2016

Let’s please decide once and for all what being a Priesthood Holder ™ really means. It either means you have access to the Power of God and this edifies you and everyone around you, or it just means you have access to leadership positions in the church that take a lot of time and effort.

Maybe both?  But then one or the other cannot be used to dismiss my desire to be a part of it.

To be clear, I’ll continue to advocate for access to it either way.  Women need to stand with men shoulder to shoulder both spiritually and within the hierarchy, if the church is ever to achieve full gender parity.  But, you should get your story straight.

Leah Marie earned a BA in Political Science, and a Masters in Public Administration. She is currently working towards her PhD in Public Policy. She is wife to an English professor, and mother to 3 beautiful boys.

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