I have to admit that I have never really understood the angst and pain that many LDS woman talk about. It's just never been an issue for me, though I like to think myself to be progressive and sympathetic . . . Unfortunately, or fortunately, depending on how one sees the whole picture, that has changed a bit in the last 24 hours. I've evolved - maybe I can understand the issue better.
This may seem like the silliest, most obvious thing in the world, but I lost some sleep last night. Here is what happened.
Deep down I do appreciate and love the church, and yesterday as I was talking to my wife about church and some options/callings we might do to keep our branch functional in order to keep it going to so our kids will have that resource to help get them through their teenage years --- I made the comment to her that I was getting bitter and frustrated because I WANT to serve and I'm WILLING to help out the Branch in my calling, yet, according to the Church Handbook of Instructions, my days are numbered. There are some callings that require an active temple recommend, and I'm struggling right now to renew mine.
Anyway, so I tell my wife how frustrated I am that because of church policy my calling options are limited and I'm not going to be able to contribute to the LDS church like I want to and need to.
"Well, now you know how I've been feeling the last 20 years."
I'm not making any kind of statement in this post about any particular callings, and I certainly am not advocating that women be given the ability to administer Priesthood ordinances, but I really believe there are lots of things women could do in the Church from which they have been excluded historically. We took a HUGE step, in my opinion, in 2010 when Ward / Branch Council took the place of PEC as the top council in wards and branches, but I believe there still is more that can be done - without changing doctrine or theology in any way whatsoever.