This post has been a long time in coming. Initially I wanted to keep it to myself. I was one of the first 16 people to have a profile on Ordain Women (OW). Kate Kelly told me last fall I was the first profile up by about 15 seconds! To be honest, I didn't think the website would get much attention and it would fade into the background like other similar websites had done.
Some supporters, like my friend Suzette, have been upfront with their ward and stake leadership about their involvement. Suzette let her leaders them know when her profile was up, when she went to the Salt Lake Priesthood session actions, etc., and let them know she was open to any questions they might have for her about her involvement. I admire this. She's a good soul. I was not so forthright for a couple of reasons.
First, I try to not bother a bishop unless I have to. I don't want to take bishops away from their families if I don't have to. I save bishop meetings for temple recommend interviews, tithing settlements, the rare confession, and if they ask to meet with me for a calling. Other than that, I don't think extra meetings are needed. I don't want to be known as the woman who bothers the bishop for everything. My relationship with the Church and my relationship with my ward are two different things. I want to be known as the person magnifying her calling, accepting requests to give talks and prayers, bringing meals to people who need it, etc., not the one who calls up the bishop about things she puts on the Internet.
I also wanted to give the bishop and stake president plausible deniability. If there was any push from Salt Lake to discipline people on the site, they'd have the ability to go, "Oh? We had no idea she was involved with that! She never mentioned it to us..."
So I put it up as quietly as I could, which actually was not so quietly. The night before the site went live March 17, 2013, a person in my stake (excitedly) announced to a group of people in the stake, including the stake president and my current bishop (new as of fall 2013) and lots of ward members that this great Ordain Women site was going up the next day! My OW invisibility in my stake was gone before the site went live.
I just secretly hoped that people forgot what the url for the site was or that they had lives too busy to bother with the Bloggernacle.
And no one said anything to me, so that was good. I continued to do my calling, do my visiting teaching, all the normal Mormon-y things.
In October, right after we got a new bishop, I went to the Priesthood Session action, pretty quietly. I didn't tell many people about it. I didn't even tell my brother who lives in Utah that I was in town.
In November, McKay and I were asked to give talks at church. So we did. If the bishopric knew about my trip to Salt Lake the previous month, it apparently had no bearing on whether or not the bishop thought I'd be welcome to speak in sacrament meeting (btw- I rocked that talk!). At tithing settlement in December, the bishop was the one who brought up OW and I mentioned, "Oh, you know I have a profile up, yes?" He said he had read it when it was first up in March.
I went to the April 2014 action, this time with a little more openness. People in my visiting teaching group asked if I was going to the Priesthood session action and I was honest that I was.
I was getting good support and responses from people in my ward so by the time May came I thought, "Hey, I'll be open and spill it all out here!" But when I went to write this blog post, it was too long and wordy (as you can tell).
Then I heard that the fMh podcast was doing a series of episodes where OW supporters are interviewed. I thought, "Oh! That'd be a great way to shorten the post- tell it all there and then link to the podcast!" I signed up and recorded my interview.
The week after the podcast interview, it was announced that Kate Kelly had an impending disciplinary council.
That was a roller coaster for us all. I planned our local vigil for Kate Kelly. It was lovely and multiple people from my ward came in support. I have been so lucky and I'm grateful for my ward. I know they want me there and that they feel I'm an important part of the ward, even if I have some kooky ideas. Heck, even this past week I substituted for the youth Sunday School class and subbed for piano in Relief Society.
So, here I am linking to the interview if you want to listen. It was recorded before any discipline regarding Kate Kelly was made public, so that'll explain why that was never mentioned. I actually haven't listened to the podcast yet, so if the editors cut down the audio to say I hate kittens, I'm really sorry. I like kittens. If McKay weren't allergic, I'd get a cat.
So that's it!
I have an Ordain Women profile here. It was written March 2013, so if it seems "short" that's because we were told to keep it short and we had only so much room. I've seen longer profiles and I've been a teensy bit envious.
You can listen to the podcast episode here.