In this episode of TWIH, we talk to Debra Jenson, Chairperson of the organization Ordain Women, which seeks to change the LDS church’s stance on ordaining women (and girls) into the priesthood. Debra gives us an overview of Mormonism and what it was like to grow up as a young girl in the faith. We also talk about what it is like to be a female parent in an organization where your role in the spiritual life of the community is limited and why it’s important to the life of the church to include women in the same sacraments as men.
Note: This episode was recorded before the announcement by the LDS church about LGBTQA parents and the restrictions of baptizing their children. This post from the Ordain Women website discusses this decision.
Debra Jenson is from Ogden, Utah and is the current Chairperson of the Ordain Women Executive Board. She writes: “I am lucky to be married to a wonderful man I don’t deserve and we have three great kids. I love movies, biking and swimming, and Neil Diamond! I am finishing a PhD in Communication and work for a non-profit organization that serves people with intellectual disabilities and I serve in the Relief Society Presidency.
I have been an active Mormon since I was 13: I came for Girl’s Camp and ended up staying for the gospel. The knowledge that I am a daughter of a Heavenly Father and Heavenly Mother who love me gave me the courage and confidence to try just about anything, from competing in triathlons to parenting.
I have struggled with the role of women in our church since I came here as teen. Now that I have children of my own—a teenage son and two Primary-age daughters—I see this inequality in even more startling ways. It is increasingly difficult, with each passing year, for me to explain to my daughters why they will never be old enough to pass the sacrament. I want my daughters to be full and faithful servants: walking to collect fast-offerings or cleaning up the sacrament table after church. And I dream of standing next to my husband to give a parents’ blessing together.
I am a Mormon and I believe women should be ordained.”
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