As I look back on the Mormon roller coaster that was 2014, I think of my family and my transition out of church activity. It was a tough year for me theologically and personally. 2014 was a year of real ups and downs but, one milestone sticks out clearly: this year gave us a new kind of heroine- Kate Kelly. Though I do not agree with every tactical decision of the Ordain Women I do appreciate what the movement has given us. A new model for change. A way to invest in the Church without letting it dictate for us the future.
Ordain Women has taught us an important lesson. Just because everything hasn’t changed doesn’t mean nothing has changed. Orthodoxy and radicalism can be intertwined and no group of white men can tidily untangle the mix.
The leader of the Ordain Women movement, Kate Kelly, was burned at the proverbial stake by Church leaders, and has since been vilified by multitudes of orthodox and heterodox Mormons. Disappointingly some of those scurrilous attacks occurred right here on this very blog. But, she has since arisen like a phoenix out of the ashes with a newfound grace and tenacity that I hope inspires my girls and young women like them.
Did Mormon women get the Priesthood? No. But, to see that as a failure of the movement is myopic. I do not think Mormonism will ever be the same.
Viliami, thanks so much for this post. After a tough year, it really means a lot.
Great reflexion, Viliami. I loved reading it and couldn’t agree more. No doubt Kate Kelly is our heroine and an inspiration to every womem.
I am glad you wrote this post, Viliami.
I agree with you that Kate Kelly is an exceptional and brave person, and that her impact on Mormonism is already being seen and will continue to be felt for years to come.
I always enjoy your posts. All that I’ve read of yours, I keep thinking, “I would love to hang out with him and his family!” I quit going to church this year as well and it has been very difficult. But people like you and Kate buoy me up.
A nice and insightful post, Viliami.
“Newfound grace and tenacity” = you nailed it!
Agreed. It's going to change for the better, and that may mean more leave it.
What a thoughtful, kind post. I also don’t agree with every aspect of Ordain Women, yet I am inspired by their very respectful efforts to seek change, and I wholeheartedly support them.
Kate Kelly was brave enough to get the conversation started. And it's still happening. The question of women's worth and equality has been proposed and brought to light within mormonsism far and wide because of her. Thank You Kate Kelly! And thanks for a great post Viliami Pauni!
What an inspiring thing to read on Rational Faiths!
I stopped going to church the week before Thanksgiving and my husband decided this last week to be done. It has been the best decision in my life but the hardest to realize the control the church had in my life. It has been a severe grieving process that most don’t understand around me. The persecution from my family has been the hardest and I only know they are afraid for me and my salvation (I know I was that way before so I don’t blame them for wanting to rescue me with sharp words of warning).
As a woman, when I was processing the priesthood, I was so pained how I believed that because they had the priesthood they had access to “stuff” that I didn’t. I took everything so literal, serious, and because of it I suffered immensely wondering why I didn’t have my burdens lifted off my back. As I have left, my burden is lighter. So hard to say that. My therapist says that because of the “control” (because I was so extremely in), the “release” was intense. I never realized how traumatizing “fundamental religions” are when your mind opens to greater light. I know some make it work with that knowledge but it is much to harming for me to stay.
I am glad. That you are coming around and breaking. The brain washing. Antics. Of the church. I feel bad for the. Women. The women. Are told you are held high with regard. To dignity but right. Out the same mouth. The men tell you stay. In you’re place and show you to you’re face. You’re value. In undermind. Christ. Jesus. Did not. Think. Of womem. In that way at all I,m glad. And hope. You can see that not all men think as twisted. As some. Men do. The men. Who value. There wife. And loves her. Like. His own ribs. Is the man that understand love. And shows. Off the wife. With honor and glory
Thanks for all the kind words. I’ve talked to Kate today and I know your support means the world to her.