I was lucky enough to have an interview with Bryndis Roberts who has been passionately involved in supporting others in going to the temple, in the relief society and in the bloggernacle. In this interview she tells us about herself. If we are lucky, we may also get a follow-up interview about FEMWOC – Feminist Mormon Women of Color.
Tell us about yourself and how you fit into the Church and the Bloggernacle?
I was raised in the Black Baptist faith tradition and joined the LDS Church in January 2008. I have served as a Family History Consultant, Relief Society Teacher, Relief Society Second Counselor, Relief Society President, and Ward Welfare Specialist.
With respect to the Bloggernacle, I am an administrator of and permanent blogger for FEMWOC – Feminist Mormon Women of Color. I am also an administrator/moderator of and permanent blogger for FMH – Feminist Mormon Housewives. In addition, I am the current Chair of the Executive Board of Ordain Women.
How did you come to join the church?
2007 was the year I turned 50 years old. I had always been taught that the 50th year was a time of celebration – that it was the year of Jubilee. In preparation for my year of Jubilee, I embarked on a project to improve and enhance myself in all aspects of my life – emotionally, physically, financially, and spiritually. On the spiritual side, I started an intense Bible study. I also read other sacred texts and watched religious programming. In the midst of doing so, I happened to hear Gladys Knight bear her testimony about joining the LDS Church and decided that I would also read the Book of Mormon.
I then set out to find a Book of Mormon. I started with my favorite Christian book store and the clerk’s reaction made me feel as though I was asking for a book about worshiping Satan. I then went to Barnes & Noble but was still unable to find one. My quest for a Book of Mormon brought LDS Missionaries to my door, and the lessons spoke to my heart and my soul.
Can you tell our readers about your life away from the church and church related things?
I am an attorney and have my own firm – Jenkins & Roberts LLC – where my law partner is my ex-husband, William Jenkins, who also happens to be my best friend. I am the mother of two strong, intelligent, and beautiful daughters, Jennifer Jenkins and Jessica Fay. I am very excited about the upcoming birth of my first grandchild in September.
I am a lifelong Democrat and gladly accept the labels of liberal and/or progressive. I am an active and vocal champion of voting rights and women’s reproductive freedom.
I am passionately interested in genealogy and my favorite vacation spots are any locations where there are lighthouses and LDS Temples.
What is your group or project(s) you are known for or that are dear to your heart? How did you get involved in what you do? Who is involved with you? Give us the details of what you are doing and how you came to be involved?
I am currently serving as the Chair of the Executive Board of Ordain Women. There are a total of eleven people on the Executive Board. More than 600 women and men have posted profiles and more than 7,000 have indicated their support by liking our Facebook page.
I joined the Ordain Women Executive Board in the fall of 2014. I joined because, as I wrote in my profile: “[a]s important as the work is, I cannot believe that it is the divine will that so many workers are not allowed to participate, fully and equally.”
A large part of what we do in Ordain Women is engage in actions designed to “call attention to the need for the ordination of Mormon women to the priesthood.” On Sunday, May 29, 2016, we will be holding a Day of Fasting, Prayer, Reflection and Meditation during which we will be coming together in thought and in sprit “asking that our present-day Church leaders will hear our cries and that they will seek revelation about ordaining women to the priesthood in the LDS Church.”
How can people reach you or your group if they are interested in what you are doing? A link perhaps?
What question do you wish people would ask you that you would like to answer?
Since I love to talk and interact with other people, there are several questions that I would like to be asked and several issues I would like to discuss.
Perhaps the primary question that I would like to answer is why I stay and continue to advocate for change in the LDS Church. My answer to that question has three parts.
First, I believe that the only reason I joined the LDS Church is that God ordered my steps and led me to the LDS Church. Second, I believe that the promises I made as part of my baptismal covenant compel me to stand with and speak out for our LDS siblings who are being mistreated and marginalized. Third, because I believe that God led me to the LDS, I will stay until God directs me to leave.
Is there a question you have for our readers?
I would like to engage with your readers to brainstorm for ideas as to how, individually and collectively, we can make the LDS Church and Mormon culture more welcoming and inclusive.
I would love to hear from your readers on those points.