Ordain Women Hopes to Start a Conversation

%28Photo+Courtesy+of+Ordain+Women%29

(Photo Courtesy of Ordain Women)

(Photo Courtesy of Ordain Women)
(Photo Courtesy of Ordain Women)

 
The words “Ordain Women” covered the front pages of newspapers in June and July. But despite the lack of summer sun, the group hasn’t cooled its efforts.
Ordain Women, an organization advocating for gender equality in the priesthood of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, gained national attention this year after its founder, Kate Kelly, was excommunicated in June.
Kristy Money, chairperson for Ordain Women’s Community Support Committee, said she is surprised by the amount of support for the group, especially after Kelly was excommunicated.
“Kelly galvanized people who were on the fence,” Money said. “A lot of people didn’t think it was fair, what happened to her.”
Eric Gutowski, an undeclared sophomore and a member of the LDS Church, said he knows the basics of the Ordain Women group but hasn’t formed an opinion yet.
“I definitely need to do more research and read more articles,” Gutowski said. “But for me, personally, I’m a feminist, and I definitely support girls doing their thing.”
The Ordain Women group has grown since its inception and launched an international platform earlier this month.
However, some say Ordain Women is an apostate group, meaning they disobey cardinal Church teachings. Money has felt this opposition firsthand. She said many in her family have not been supportive of her decision to align with the group. But she believes gender equality is not incompatible with the Church.
“I believe that feminism is informed by my Mormon upbringing,” she said.
Despite the stress of losing familial relationships, Money said the movement has been worth it.
“The most rewarding aspect of it is the hope that the movement has instilled in me that Mormonism will be more inclusive for my daughter,” she said.
Money said people are taught different things about gender roles in the Church but should ultimately do what is “healthiest” for their personal values.
“Hold true to the values you’re taught as young men and women and hold in there,” she said. “I haven’t had to abandon older values, and I’ve been able to utilize them for standing up for what I feel is right.”
Sarah Bowers, a freshman in political science and international politics, said she is no longer an active member of the Church but was raised according to the principles.
“I definitely think that women should be equal,” she said. “But the LDS religious doctrine is very patriarchal, which I really dislike.”
Ordain Women plans for its members to watch broadcasts of the priesthood session of the LDS Church’s General Conference this Saturday at local stake centers of the Mormon Church. The priesthood session is one of six segments of General Conference and is specifically aimed toward men. The group is focusing on this session because women can’t hold the priesthood or attend the men’s meeting in person at the Conference Center on Oct. 4. They will tweet and Instagram the event.
“For me, personally, I want to demonstrate my readiness for the priesthood,” Money said.
In addition to pushing for the priesthood, Money said, the group is also working on race and culture issues. They plan to start with discussions.
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@Ehmannky