Understanding the October 2014 Priesthood Session Action Participants

Posted by on Oct 15, 2014 in Blog | 0 comments

OW Conf

To try and understand more about those who participated in the October priesthood session action, I surveyed participants online and received 76 responses. Survey participation is voluntary, so it is unclear how many women and male allies attended the priesthood session.

Generally speaking, who participated in the Ordain Women October Priesthood Session Action?

  • Members of the LDS Church, who make up 95% of respondents
  • People who attend church regularly, with 73% of respondents attending church regularly–just 8% report that they do not attend church
  • Mostly young people, with 67% being age 40 or under
  • Mostly women, but 15% are men
  • Predominantly US residents, with 91% of respondents currently living in the US

Have participants experienced any difficulty with Church leaders as a result of supporting Ordain Women?

70% of respondents answered “No”

How did respondents participate in the event?

  • 55% attended/attempted to attend the priesthood session at a ward or stake building
  • 38% watched the session from home

What made respondents want to participate in this event?

The following are selected responses:

“I see myself as a prospective priesthood holder. I want to prepare for that responsibility and I want to show my local leaders and fellow Church members that I am sincere and ready to do the work.”

“I wanted to join with my fellow saints at the priesthood session and take the conversation to the community in which I live.”

“Well, I was taught in church growing up to have the courage to stand up for what you know is right, even if you stand alone.”

How did the participants feel about their participation?

71% of respondents rated their experience as “Positive” or “Very Positive”

Reflections on Local Actions – Colorado, California

Posted by on Oct 10, 2014 in Blog | 0 comments

 Account from Colorado

I watched General Conference at my mother-in-law’s and debated whether to attend the priesthood session. An unexpected change of plans, however, made things more complicated. The prompting to attend was so strong–and it only intensified when I tried to ignore it–that I managed to arrange transportation, despite the complexity, and went to the session.

I arrived about 20 minutes late, so no one was in the foyer when I entered. I stepped into the chapel and was welcomed by the one other woman who attended and a bishop friendly to our hope for ordination. I enjoyed all the talks I heard, and I made sure to belt out the alto part during the congregational hymn. I was glad to get to listen to President Monson speak, and overall the session was a good experience.

After President Monson concluded his talk and the choir began singing the closing song, one of the ushers asked us to step outside with him to talk. I was a little uncomfortable, but I felt that as representatives of OW, we should show that we were reasonable and agreeable, so we went with him. He assured us we were totally welcome to attend any session but then asked us why we were there. He asked if we were trying to cause contention and if we knew we could watch it on the Internet. I told him that we had come to worship and hear the words of the prophet and that the feeling of conference was much different when you are in a room full of believers versus hanging out at home on the couch with your kids.

He bore his testimony that President Monson was a prophet and that he received the direction needed to run the Church. He also bore testimony of the appropriateness of an all-male priesthood. He asserted that it wasn’t exclusionary but reflected the belief that men and women have different roles. Another usher joined him. They both told us they had daughters and that they loved serving in the Church. They explained to us that we could get to the Celestial Kingdom without the priesthood, and wondered why we worried about it. They concluded by telling us that we should ask our bishops about these things, because they had the keys necessary to deal with members’ questions.

Before we left, they also asked us about our callings in the Church and whether we were part of OW. We were honest with them and said we were. They then asked which stakes and wards we attended. I told them, but I kind of regret doing so …

As we left the building and headed out to the parking lot, the friendly bishop we’d met inside caught up with us and assured us that we had done nothing wrong. He wanted to make sure we were okay after our experience. The other woman was more shaken than I was and a bit teary. The bishop asked if we needed anything. We said, “No,” but I was super grateful for a male ally after what felt like an interrogation.

 

Reflections from Los Angeles:

We attended the General Priesthood Session in Los Angeles with our husbands and another male ally. We entered the chapel and sat near the back in an empty row. A local Church Public Affairs official came over to where we were seated and asked to speak to us outside. We followed him into the foyer, where he asked us if we realized we could watch the priesthood session online. We said we did, but we wanted to attend in the chapel. He then said, “I’m not going to ask you to leave, but I’d like to ask you to be respectful.” We told him we never intended to be anything but respectful and returned to our seats. We sang and prayed with our brothers. We listened as President Eyring noted examples of men who lovingly mentored boys in preparation for receiving the higher priesthood, and we hoped for the day when girls similarly will be mentored.After the session, we were approached again by the Public Affairs representative. He explained that he was there, because the stake president was unable to attend. He then thanked us for our reverence. We reiterated that we, adult women who had served in the Church for decades, were surprised he ever expected otherwise.

Reflections on Local Actions – Nevada, Oregon, Canada

Posted by on Oct 9, 2014 in Blog | 0 comments

Traci from Nevada

Dressed in purple, my husband and I headed out to meet an OW supporter for dinner before the priesthood session started. To our surprise, he brought his 11- year-old daughter with him. I was overjoyed and wished that we had brought our daughter too. We had a lovely time talking and getting to know each other. As we left to head over to the church, we came upon our car and a very flat tire. We hitched a ride with the friend we had just met.

The parking lot at the church was pretty full. I wasn’t expecting that. As we walked in, I noticed a few other men wearing purple. Soon I was greeted with a very warm smile and a handshake. All I could think was, “This is so wonderful. I’m being welcomed with open arms.” Not so. The handshake turned into a hand on my back pulling me in closer to a man who happened to be a counselor in the stake presidency. He said, “Oh, honey, this is a meeting just for the boys.” I pulled away from him, and I said, “Yes, I am well aware of that. However, I’d like to hear what’s said today too.” He then said, “Uh, well, um …” I didn’t wait for him to finish. I walked by him with my husband and friends and took my seat.


 A participant from Oregon

I had a lot of anxiety leading up to Priesthood Session.

We had a gentleman who greeted us in the hall and seemed genuinely confused at our attendance. He thought we were there to be disruptive. Another gentleman seemed more inclined to “put us in our place” and preach to us, but we were able … eventually [to]take our seats. If anyone else paid any attention to us, it was not obvious.

I felt the Spirit envelop me at the meeting. I heard the speakers talking to me. I felt like I did at Zone Conferences on my mission. I knew I was in the right place but did feel the sting of powerlessness in my community. I may have equal spiritual power, equal understanding of the scriptures, and equal love from my God, but my voice is not equal to my brethren.

 

An Ordain Women supporter from Canada

I have a wonderful husband who completely supports me and watched the session by my side.

Reflections on Local Actions – Utah

Posted by on Oct 8, 2014 in Blog | 0 comments

Debra’s Reflections from Ogden
I was 12 years old when the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints built a new stake center in my area. I had just started attending LDS services, and I was moderately interested in what this new building would mean. Over the years, I enjoyed countless firesides, seminary socials, Young Women activities, and more in that place. Eventually, I moved away and got married. Two years later, my husband and I bought a house in the same stake I had grown up in, and the stake center became my ward building as well. For more than 15 years, I spent more time in that building—for callings and activities and regular Sunday worship—than anywhere else except my own home. But there was always one meeting I was never allowed to attend: the General Priesthood Session. And from the age of 12, the reasoning behind it had bothered me. But I prayed about it, and I was patient. Then, on October 4, 2014, I was determined to walk through those doors so I could hear the words of the general authorities to current and prospective priesthood holders. I fasted the whole day and prayed continually leading up to that 20-yard trip to the front entrance. It was not an easy walk. I had to pass the disapproving looks of some members of the stake high council, and I was met with a reproachful message from women in my stake (some of whom I have known for 25 years). But that walk was worth it.

The messages of this meeting were addressed to “brethren,” but they resonated with my soul and touched my heart more than any words I had heard in the General Women’s Meeting. When Elder Cook discussed the importance of decisions we make today to reach goals tomorrow, and he included a focus on college and careers, I thought of how my daughters would not hear that counsel in the women’s meeting. When President Eyring tearfully described his preparatory experiences as an Aaronic Priesthood holder, I realized that my son would have these same opportunities to serve, but his sisters would not.

But most notable for me, though many people might not have felt it, was the stark contrast in tone at this meeting compared to the General Women’s Meeting. The mutual respect between the speakers and the audience was clear, and it was built on common experiences and shared responsibilities. The admiration given to the men and boys in attendance felt genuine: There was praise, but no pedestal.

Though the messages were not meant for me, they were meaningful to me. Though my leaders spoke to the brethren, I felt spoken to. And though attending that meeting may have cost me everything—including fellowship I have cherished for decades—the Spirit I gained from that meeting gave me comfort and strength that will see me through.
For the first time in years, I feel more optimistic for the blessings that may be shared, and I feel more prepared for the duties that I pray will come. This is the meeting for me, because I believe that women will be ordained.

Mark’s Reflections from Provo

Before heading down to Provo for the local General Priesthood Session action, I stopped in Centerville to pick up an Ordain Women Supporter from Montreal, Canada, who was the first active, full-time LDS missionary to submit a profile to Ordain Women. She just recently returned from her mission to Madagascar and was in Utah visiting family. She had requested a ride, so that she could publicly demonstrate her support for the ordination of women. As we drove, she told me stories of her adventures in Madagascar–of her efforts to implement programs to better the lives of the people–and she explained how gender inequality damaged the lives of the women she worked with during her mission. Listening to her talk, I could tell that I was listening to a person of exceptional courage and commitment. We drove on to American Fork, where we picked up three more Ordain Women supporters, one of whom was the organizer of our local group. She worked tirelessly to put our Utah/Salt Lake County group together for this action. The plan was to hold a short devotional in front of the Marriott Center at BYU and then enter the building to watch the broadcast of the General Priesthood Session. She is a wonderful leader. She has a very Mormon demeanor, and is one of the toughest people I know. She has sacrificed a great deal for her commitment to equality and to the ordination of women in the Mormon Church.

We pulled into the Marriott Center parking lot at 5:00 p.m., just as the press began to arrive. We quickly gathered and casually conversed with OW supporters and reporters, as we waited for the time to start our short devotional. At approximately 5:35 p.m., we began. A male OW supporter lead us in singing “Do What is Right.” Another spoke and gave us words of encouragement. He pointed out that our local group had more than twice the number of people who attended the organizing meeting of the Church in 1830. A female OW supporter said a prayer for success, and we were on our way.

The group headed toward the Marriott Center doors, where a female usher and her husband greeted us. Our spokeswoman told her she was sure they knew who we were. She replied, “Yes,” and asked if we knew that the General Priesthood Session was available online. Our spokeswoman explained that we knew but that it was important that women be allowed to attend in person. The back and forth had a ring of familiarity from our prior actions on Temple Square. I was sure that, once again, the women of OW were being turned away. I was surprised to hear her say: “We will not stop you.” Our spokeswoman gave her a big hug, and into the Marriott Center we went.

My seat turned out to be just behind an OW leader from Boston and her baby daughter, who, at 2 months old, was the youngest Ordain Women supporter in attendance.  A few more supporters arrived, making twenty-one supporters in all. For the most part, the men attending the meeting were polite. We watched the talks, sang “We Thank Thee Oh God for a Prophet,” and rejoiced in the thought that women had been allowed to openly attend the General Priesthood Session of conference at Brigham Young University.After the meeting, we drove to an OW supporter’s home for ice cream and cake. We were all euphoric after our experience. For me personally, this was my most spiritual priesthood meeting experience. I felt the warm embrace of our Heavenly Parents, who let me know that Ordain Women is making a positive difference in Their Church.

An Ordain Women supporter from Utah

I participated in the last April [Ordain Women] action by proxy card. I have not “gone public.” … So even though I considered it, I did not go to the Marriott Center today.

…I was troubled and depressed throughout the day about women and the priesthood. … I prayed several times … asking that the male leaders’ hearts would be softened. I checked media frequently to try to find out if the women had gained admittance to the priesthood session. I was overjoyed at 7:30 pm when I saw the photos in the Salt Lake Tribune [of] the very first woman to gain admittance to the Marriott Center priesthood session! [She was being hugged by a LDS woman who had been asked to be an usher] in anticipation of  women trying to get in.

…To me, the photo symbolizes the union of these two kinds of faithful LDS sisters—the older, traditional, unquestioningly obedient woman, hugging and warmly welcoming the younger, feminist-and-faithful sister to a priesthood meeting! I want to print this photo and hang it on the wall! I acutely feel the historicity of this moment …

Reflections on Local Actions – Arizona

Posted by on Oct 7, 2014 in Blog | 0 comments

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Eve from Arizona

As we approached the door, two men were standing on either side and one said that the session was available on TV. We were encouraged to watch it at home. I said, “It’s my understanding that it’s also available for us to watch here, and we’d like to attend at the building.” He basically said he guessed that was okay and opened the door for us.

We sat about 3/4 of the way up in the chapel. A man, who turned out to be a counselor in the stake presidency, came down from the stand and asked our names. He also asked about another woman he thought was going to attend. He told me we were welcome there and went back to his seat.

The session was uneventful. Afterward several men shook our hands and said they were glad we were there. One introduced himself as a bishop of one of the wards. A counselor in the stake presidency spoke with us for a few minutes, and we shared why we had attended. He told us he could tell that we were nice women with testimonies and encouraged me to talk about my concerns with my bishop. Then we left.

Reflections on Local Actions – Georgia

Posted by on Oct 6, 2014 in Blog | 0 comments

Reflections on Local Actions – Georgia

Reflections on the October, 2014, Ordain Women Priesthood Session Action

On Saturday, October 4, 2014, Mormon women throughout the world gathered as individuals and in groups at their local stake centers to attend the broadcast of the LDS General Priesthood Session. Some were admitted. Others were not. This week we will post the first-hand stories and experiences of women who in various ways participated in the Ordain Woman priesthood session action.  We will begin with Roswell, Georgia (an Atlanta suburb):

 

Joanna Wallace writes from Georgia

My bishop and stake president have been very understanding and loving toward me from the day I moved here. I’ve been open and honest with them about my support of Ordain Women, and they expressed their desire that everyone, “Listen more, judge less and love more.” Their words have been my mantra—a constant reminder to see things from both sides.

The week before conference, my bishop stood up in Sacrament Meeting to make a special announcement. “If anyone not invited to attend priesthood session is still planning on attending, please see me.” I debated for an hour before I decided to text my bishop. I wrote, “Sounds like we need to talk. I am planning on reverently and respectfully attending priesthood session on Saturday.” I was in his office less then 15 minutes later.

I was told that I would not be turned away but the stake president asked him to remind me that I was not invited. “This is a meeting for the men and boys,” he said. I smiled and responded, “Bishop, you know me. I will be there.” He smiled and told me he’d been praying for me all week and wanted to propose a solution. He was worried that, though I might still be let in at the stake center, I would just be tolerated. He didn’t want me listening to the words of our leaders in such an environment, “… because tolerated is a lot different then welcomed.” He invited me to attend with him at the local ward building. He offered to pick me up so that everyone knew I was there as his guest. He even texted me later in the week to let me know that the Elders Quorum usually planned an ice cream social beforehand. He wanted to move the time up so we could participate in that as well.

Later in the week, when I received a few texts from my bishop asking to meet with me as soon as possible, I knew it was too good to be true. We met that afternoon, and I was told that the stake president was not comfortable with the bishop’s offer. Instead, they both offered to watch the priesthood session with me, at my home or theirs, and said I could invite anyone I’d like. We could watch it together. I politely declined. I explained that I respected their views, but I didn’t feel it was appropriate to worship hidden in a closet or somehow ashamed of my faith. I told them I didn’t want to disobey them, so I would attend at another stake building. “No,” he said,  “that seems like the least desirable option. You can come to the stake center or ward building. We’ll leave the decision up to you, but please let us know what you decide.”

I texted my Bishop Saturday morning and told him I was planning on going to the stake center that night. His response was beautiful: “Okay. Whatever the results, you’re in my thoughts and prayers. I love conference weekend and hope … that you have a great conference weekend too. If you need a change of scenery, we’d love to have you join us at our place for any of the sessions.”

Last night, I put on my Sunday best and went to my local stake center with other faithful LDS women. We watched a short Ordain Women video and then prayed before entering. The sign on the building said, “The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Visitors Welcome.” The stake president was pacing the halls as we opened the door. “You are not invited here,” he told us. He then explained that he’d asked his priesthood leaders if we could attend, and they said, “No.” He told us he hoped someday we could watch the session together as brothers and sisters in Christ and that he would be thankful for that day, but “only after his leaders tell him that it is okay.” He then suggested we watch the priesthood session at home or online. He told me he loved me, but he turned me away. The kind, Christlike man I’d come to trust seemed nervous and scripted. I walked away feeling that trust betrayed and mourning its loss. I can’t shake the feeling that at that moment my stake president chose obedience over integrity.

Despite this experience, I will try to remember the multiple personal answers to prayers I received leading up to attending this event. I will remember the spiritual confirmation I had when writing my Ordain Women profile. I will remember the advice I received from past temple matrons who told me that the Lord has too much work to be done in the Kingdom to have only half of his saints administering it. Though my leaders are human and make mistakes, I will love them and try to have faith in them. I will pray for continued understanding that everyone is at a different point on this journey and that this is the plan my Heavenly Parents have for me.

 

Kristy Money writes from Georgia:

Three Ordain Women leaders prayed together under a stake center’s parking lot lamp on Georgia’s coldest night of the season–two of us on the Executive Board. My hands, clasped in supplication, were shivering. For inspiration, we watched Ordain Women’s newest video, hearing our own voices along with Elder Ballard’s lovely counsel and the melody to “As Sisters in Zion.” I was ready to walk into the Roswell stake’s priesthood session with my sisters. Joanna’s stake president was waiting for us. We each shook his hand and introduced ourselves. Joanna began speaking to her long-time family friend,

“Hi President. We are here to attend the priesthood session.” He responded,

“I knew what you were going to say before you arrived, just as I’m sure it will be no surprise to you what I’m about to say, that this session is for men and boys only. You are not invited to this meeting.  But you are free to watch it online or in your homes.”  Joanna respectfully and enthusiastically replied:

“Yes, but we want to attend this session, here. Women all over the country are being admitted into chapels, even at BYU’s Marriott Center. If even BYU, a church-owned school, won’t stop women from going inside, we can come in here.”

“I’m sorry, but I was directed not to.  I even brought it up the line, but the answer was still no.”

I followed up, “Excuse me, but can you tell me what you meant by ‘brought it up the line?’”

“I mean I asked my priesthood leaders. Even I have priesthood leaders, just as you have priesthood leaders: I’m Joanna’s stake president and I need to lead and guide her as Christ would, and this is what those who speak in behalf of our Savior have directed that we do. It is important that we all obey, even when we don’t understand.”

I kept close track of Joanna’s responses, because if she didn’t say something, I would. But Joanna did what I would have: she didn’t back down. She said,

“I read the letter from your leaders. It was published in the Salt Lake Tribune. It said we could be admitted. I feel this is very un-Christlike behavior to forbid women from coming in to listen to conference. If He were here, He would let us in. I know it.” She started to cry when she mentioned the Savior. I put my arm around her shoulder.

“Well, who knows what might happen in the future. Maybe someday women will be allowed to watch the session with the men and boys, and when that day happens, I will rejoice with you and sit down with you to watch it in this very building. But that day is not tonight. And in the meantime, we need to follow the counsel of our leaders and be patient.”

“He [the Savior] already does want us in that room.” Through the tears, her voice remained strong and steadfast.

“I’m sorry I cannot give you what you want tonight. I know how much it means to you, Joanna. And I don’t know you two (gesturing at Bryndis and me) but I can see how much you want this as well, and I would urge you to be patient. Where are you traveling from?”

“Georgia.” Bryndis replied shortly and sweetly with her melodic Southern accent. I smiled, and I also replied, “Me too. I drove almost 2 hours.”

Bryndis clarified, “Just to be sure I heard you correctly, you’re saying you won’t let us in, even though this meeting is being broadcast everywhere, and you know women are being let in around the world?”

“Yes, and I’m sorry you’ve traveled so far tonight and that I can’t give you what you want. I wish you the very best.”

“Well, we disagree with you, but we can disagree and still be respectful to each other.”

“Yes, that’s true, and I’m so glad I got to meet you two ladies, and to see Joanna again. She is such a strong spirit and a strength to our ward. I really appreciate her testimony.” He then held the door open for us to leave, adding, “Please drive safely tonight!”

The uncommonly cold air shocked me into reality.  I left Athens at 6pm. We entered the building at 7:57pm. We spent 5 minutes trying with every piece of information and heartfelt desires we had. But still, the answer was no. While Joanna and I organized this action worldwide, we knew there would be risks, and that some women might not be admitted. But the idealist in me was hoping for 100% success among our supporters. We needed some sunshine after such a rough six months. And all three of us were thrilled to see updates from our sisters getting into the session all over the world—our friends Abby, Cally, Steffi, Shannon, Debra, Chelsea, Hannah—all were eventually welcomed in.

“You know, we’re in good company tonight,” Bryndis observed. “Joseph and Mary were turned away from the inn, too.”

My thoughts turned again to Mary on the long drive home, after whom I named my second daughter. As I held her for her baby blessing (our story is referenced here), my husband blessed that she would have courage like her namesake, who brought the Savior into the world in spite of being rejected and misunderstood by her community. I realized that night I was truly blessed to be surrounded by such courageous women here in Georgia. And so many women I knew also bravely asked their leaders, most of whom were granted the desires of their hearts to attend with their husbands, fathers, and sons. And so, I will continue to be strong for my daughters and rely on the Spirit. Like Mary in Bethlehem. And Joanna and Bryndis in Georgia.

 

Bryndis Roberts in Georgia

This weekend has been a roller coaster of feelings and emotions. I am so excited that members and supporters of Ordain Women were able to attend the Priesthood meeting/session in so many areas. I am devastated that Joanna and Kristy and I were turned away from the Roswell Stake Building. When I decided to participate in this action, I knew that there might be men in the meeting who did not want us there. I also knew that there was a chance we would not be able to gain entrance into the Priesthood meeting. I just never really expected that three faithful sisters seeking to enter the House of God to hear present-day revelations from God would be told that we were not invited to the meeting and would be turned away at the door. When we parked our cars in a corner of the parking lot so we could find each other, watched the Ordain Women video, joined hands to pray to Heavenly Father and Heavenly Mother, and walked through the cold and dark Georgia night, I clung to the belief that our attendance would be at least tolerated. Alas, it was not to be! My heart aches at receiving additional evidence that the Church I love does not feel the same way about me. My heart aches for my dear sister and friend, Kristy, who drove almost two hours one way to be told, in essence, that there was no place for her at the meeting. My heart aches even more for my dear sister and friend, Joanna, who was turned away by a Priesthood leader she loved and and trusted. Tonight, I will cry to soothe the aching in my heart. Tomorrow, I will join hands with my sisters and brothers to continue the fight.

Ordain Women Mission Statement

Posted by on Oct 5, 2014 in Blog | 0 comments

I am going because…

Posted by on Oct 3, 2014 in Blog | 0 comments

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When Kate Kelly was excommunicated this summer, I found myself crying so hard over the phone that my husband offered to leave work to come home and be with me. I told him no, that I would be all right, but I knelt down and offered one of the most sincere prayers of my life. I prayed, “Is this my answer? I don’t belong here anymore, do I?” I wrote the opening paragraph of a resignation letter that afternoon but never finished it. If I’m being honest, I still don’t know if I will or not. I feel often like I am balancing on a narrow precipice, and I can see goodness and beauty in either direction that I choose.

I found Ordain Women just one year ago, almost to the day. The idea of women’s ordination was actually new to me, but the feelings of frustration, discomfort and pain in my Church membership had been building to an almost unbearable level internally for years. Only two months prior, when I was extended a calling to the new ward Primary presidency, I knelt and said, “I can’t take this anymore, but I don’t know what to do or where to go. The church I have been part of since birth is causing me far more pain than peace. I know You understand me, so please, help me know what to do.” The feeling that I experienced was to wait just a little bit longer. I accepted the calling.

When I found Ordain Women shortly after, it reignited a fire in me that had almost burned out. I felt like I had found my way to stay. I felt genuine hope for the first time in years. I believed that the Church could be a place of comfort again and that continuing revelation was a real thing that I might be able to experience in my own lifetime. I knew I was doing everything possible on my part, and I knew God knew it. I also knew that my questions were okay, even though there were no answers for them yet.

This recognition and my experiences this past year have brought me indescribable joy and almost unbearable pain. I have often left Sacrament Meeting in tears, attended other denominations, and had my own private Sunday School and Relief Society lessons at home, by myself. Some days I want to stay and make it work, and other days I really want to walk away and close this chapter of my life. I never could have predicted this, but I wouldn’t take back any of it. I am a different person than when I started this journey. I have more compassion and more openness to others. A terrible side of me that used to be rather judgmental and self-righteous seems to have slipped into the background so far that I hardly see her anymore. This year has been a refiner’s fire for me, and while I don’t wish to relive it, I feel nothing but gratitude for the understanding and experience I have gained.

So why am I going to attend the General Priesthood Session on Saturday with others who also hope for women’s ordination?

I’m going on Saturday because I see that what we did this past year made a difference. When I was about to give up hope, the faithful women I met leading Ordain Women extended a life line to me and said, “Stay with us, and we’ll make it better together.” I’ve heard more talks, discussions and lessons on women in the Church in the past year than I had heard in the past decade. I’ve seen policy changes that benefit me and all women in the Church–from the missionary age change and women praying in general conference, to a beautiful general conference sermon about women exercising priesthood power and authority in their callings.

I know that attending one specific meeting might not be a big deal, nor is it the point for me. The point is the discussion it starts and continues to move forward. I want other Mormon women like me to realize they are not alone, whether they live in Utah, Nebraska, Australia or South Africa. I don’t know if lining up for a meeting is the best way to reach out and encourage change for the better. It’s up for debate. Clearly, it feels antagonistic to some, no matter what our intentions are. All that I can see is that it worked. It worked in my personal life to find solace and comfort in knowing that I am not alone, and it worked in the broader Church by bringing very important, yet often overlooked, issues to the forefront of our collective conversation. So I’m doing it again, and I’m trying, I’m really, really trying, to find a place in the Church for a woman like me.

Abby Hansen

Next Action, October priesthood session

Posted by on Sep 17, 2014 in Blog | 0 comments

Men and women who hope for women’s ordination in the LDS Church will gather together in regional groups with Ordain Women and attend the General Priesthood Session on October 4, 2014, at local stake centers around the world.

Since Ordain Women will not be requesting tickets for the priesthood session on Temple Square, we trust that women will be welcome at their stake centers, as they have been previously. We encourage those who cannot attend with local groups to watch the session at home and share their experiences on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram using the hashtag #withwomen.

We are grateful for the Church’s decision last October to make the priesthood session broadcast available online to both men and women. One year from that historic announcement, we want to commemorate such progress through prayerful, local attendance. We hope this action will strengthen bonds within our Mormon faith communities.

Look for more information soon at OrdainWomen.org about local meeting times and places, and consider attending October’s priesthood session together with Ordain Women supporters worldwide.

Keep_Calm

Bienvenu

Posted by on Sep 8, 2014 in Blog | 0 comments

OW International

Bienvenue à l’Initiative Internationale du mouvement Ordain Women. Vous trouverez ici les profils des hommes et des femmes du monde entier qui ont eu le courage de nous soutenir. Parmi les nombreux pays représentés, il y a le Brésil, le Mexique, la France, la Suisse, les Philippines, le Royaume Uni,  l’Ouganda, l’Australie, les Pays-Bas, la Finlande, la Nouvelle-Zélande, le Québec, et l’Allemagne. Nous sommes ravis de pouvoir publier leurs histoires. Ils nous apportent la perspective nouvelle et mondiale dont nous avions besoin. Ces profils internationaux pourront être consultés sur notre site dans plusieurs langues, ainsi que notre déclaration de mission, la FAQ, et les “Six Conversations.” D’autres articles et documents seront ajoutés au fur et à mesure. La demande de l’ordination des femmes jaillit d’une volonté mondiale. Nous sommes une famille mondiale, des sœurs et frères unis pour demander aux dirigeants de l’église de soumettre cette question à Dieu dans la prière.