Posted by on May 28, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

These letters were collected by Abby Hansen, who graduated from BYU and has lived in Utah her whole life. She married her husband in the temple and and is a stay-at-home mom to three awesome kids.  She has a profile on Ordain Women.

Thank you so much to everyone who donated to our very successful fundraiser to help women travel to this last General Conference action. Many are flew or drove in who had never been to a live session of conference before. We raised over $11,000 and were able to give financial assistance to 23 women.

We had women travel from Canada, Alaska, Mexico, Minnesota, Arizona, Idaho, California, Washington, Ohio, Virginia, Oregon, New Mexico, Texas, New York, Washington DC, Massachusetts, Indiana and more. Some received full and some partial funding to pay for airfare and gas. Multiple women broke down and cried tears of joy and gratitude when we told them we could bring them out.

Thank you from the bottom of our hearts to everyone who donated. In no particular order, here are additional notes of gratitude from some of the women who received funding:

From Danielle
My heart is so full of gratitude. Each person who contributed to the fundraiser helped make it possible for me and many others to travel to this historic event and I am so impressed by how many giving hearts Ordain Women has standing behind it. Thank you all for giving me the chance to stand with so many courageous women.

From Leah Marie
I want to offer a very sincere thank you to everyone who donated to the OW fund, for the April 5th Priesthood Session Action.  Without help, it would have been impossible for me to go. As I sat at home and watched what happened from afar during the October action, my heart broke to not be standing with my sisters as a witness.  I have now, because of the help of others, been able to add my voice to those women asking for further light and knowledge on the issue of female ordination.  Thank you, thank you for this gift.

From Anya
Dear sisters and brothers: Even if I wanted with all my heart to attend to the OW event last April 5th, I wouldn´t make it without your help.  Nowadays I´m a master’s degree student in Mexico City, with government scholarship, I can´t deny it helps me with all my expenditures, but isn´t that good for travel. When the OW sisters approached our group of Mormonas Feministas and told about the scholarship so we can walk with all of you, my heart beat faster. Even I felt fear, what my mom told me was enough: “you are fighting for something fair, so go and be brave.” So I got ready, I made some sacrifices, but what I felt with you was worth it. I didn´t feel alone anymore, you made me dream of a more inclusive church. Brave, faithful and big hearted women. Along with great men that showed us respect and love while walking with us. With light in their eyes that inspires love, respect and compassion.

Without your help I couldn´t experience that, I probably would felt alone and faithless about that things can change. I hope soon I can help others to attend OW events so they can feel and experience love and light. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart.

Queridas hermanas y hermanos: Aunque con todo el corazón deseaba caminar con ustedes en el evento del 5 de abril de Ordenen a las Mujeres, no lo hubiera podido haber hecho sin su ayuda. Actualmente soy una estudiante de Maestría en la Ciudad de México, con una beca del gobierno, no puedo negar que me ayuda con mis gastos, pero no es suficiente para viajar. Cuando las hermanas de OW se acercaron a nuestro grupo de Mormonas Feministas y hablaron sobre la posibilidad de tener una beca para caminar junto a ustedes, mi corazón se aceleró. Aun cuando sentía miedo, las palabras de mi madre fueron suficientes: “su causa es justa, ve y se valiente”. Alisté todo lo necesario para poder ir, hice sacrificios, pero lo que sentí junto a ustedes valió la pena. Me hicieron sentir acompañada, me hicieron soñar en una iglesia más incluyente. Mujeres valerosas, de fe y con un gran corazón. Acompañadas de grandes hombres que nos muestran su respeto y amor al caminar junto a nosotras. Miradas cristalinas  de hombres y mujeres que inspiran respeto, amor y compasión.

Sin su ayuda no hubiera podido sentir eso, seguiría sintiéndome sola y sin fe en que las cosas cambiarán. Espero pronto poder tener la capacidad de ser parte de quienes ayudan a las demás a asistir a eventos de OW. Para que puedan sentir amor y luz. Muchas gracias, desde el fondo de mi corazón.

From Lisa
Dear Gracious Fundraiser, My heart is filled with so much gratitude for your generosity, I consider the money I received to be sacred funds. Attending the action in SLC on April 5 continues to be a huge blessing in my life, as I was able to be with my sisters and brothers. Being together as a group makes the photos, names and profiles into something real as we share our stories, feel less alone, supported and loved. I was able to bear my OW testimony to many people I met, not going to OW.

One significant blessing of coming a second time was connecting with friends from last time and making new friends. One new friend is a woman who attended for the first time. We both came to the action alone, she said I was an answer to her prayer, and we both wept as she asked and was turned down for a ticket to the priesthood session. She was and is a blessing to me and we are in contact and I hope to stay friends for a very long time.

Thank you for supporting Ordain Women and I really appreciate you helping all of us, and especially for helping me attend.

From M
For many factors, this trip was important and we needed the funds to travel. My daughter, two older sons and I needed this time – away from all other influences – to talk about what kind of relationships and families we *should* want to build, and how to construct a family that honors the authority and power of each individual. When we met the Church representative at the door, I gathered these teenagers together and said, “We have been teaching that men and women are meant to form families in which both partners have equal power and authority. We would like you to help us teach that by letting us all in.” She wasn’t able to do that, but it meant a lot of us to have the chance to say it, exactly that way. I want to thank those who pulled together the funds so that we could have that experience. It made a difference for us.

From M’Lisa
Thank you to everyone who donated to the OW fund. I really felt like I needed to be there with my OW sisters and y’all made that possible. Thank you for for being so gracious and giving. Your kindness means the world to me. Thank you again.

From Jennith
When I think back on my experience at Temple Square, I am filled with so much gratitude for those that made it possible. As someone who received funding to travel to stand with my sisters and brothers, it is incredibly humbling to know of others’ sacrifice so I could be there. Thank you so much for your willingness to share. I feel strongly that love is what pushes this movement forward, love is what caused me to want to go, and your love made it possible for me to be there.

Thank you.

From Amy
I want to express deep gratitude for the women and men who showed such charity in providing funds for me to be able to travel to Utah from Canada to attend the April action with Ordain Women. It was an incredible experience to be able to ask with my physical body for the desire of my heart. I was also so touched at the opportunity to be in the presence of other amazing women and men who share the same desire as me. It is an experience that will always remain with me. Thank you for making it possible.

From Kera
Donors: thank you for making it possible for me to feel like my voice was heard. I am not a new feminist , but I am new to the Mormon feminist movement. I had no idea it existed until this last January! The opportunity to be around so many like-minded women was invaluable. Thank you so much for this experience.

From Emily
Thank you so much for your donation, helping me to go wait in line with OW for the priesthood session.  I would not have been able to go without funding, and it was such a beautiful experience to unite with all the thoughtful women there and knock symbolically at the tabernacle to show our willingness and hopefulness for a revelation leading to the inclusion of women in the priesthood. I was honored to be there and can’t thank you enough!

From Hannah
To the amazing men and women who donated to help send me to Salt Lake, thank you thank you thank you! I live in Cleveland, Ohio, and I knew there was no way that I could afford to go to the priesthood action, but I wanted so desperately to go. When the Church press release came out, I just felt a burning in my bosom, and I knew I had to be there. For the last few years Church has been very hard for me, and I have pulled away. It is Ordain Women that has pulled me back. Standing in City Creek park, surrounded by my sisters, listening to the words of my sisters I felt so inspired, so galvanized to action. When all five hundred of us sang Come Come Ye Saints, I wept, because I felt so much love, so much power. To put it in Mormon-speak: I felt the Spirit, and I felt it strong. The opportunity to stand in line (or in my case sit, as at six and a half months pregnant I opted for a wheelchair), and ask for my place in the priesthood session was incredibly empowering to me. I know that it was a very painful experience for many, but for me it was so incredibly freeing. I felt like God was telling me “This is how you can stay. How you can raise your daughter in this Church you love. Stay, serve, speak.”

Thank you for your service, for your gift to all of us who were able to come to Salt Lake, but especially I want to thank you for your gift to me. Because that is exactly what this experience has been. A true gift, one that has brought peace and light into my life. I honestly didn’t expect that. I will carry this with me for the rest of my life. You gave that to me. Thank you with all my heart.

From Holly
I felt so honored to attend the OW event at the Priesthood session. It would not have been possible financially to make it work with our “young starving student” status. It was life changing. I felt such a conformation that I was indeed at the right place at the right time. I was humbled at the thought of sharing this experience with my daughter as she grows. I was moved to tears of gratitude at the offer of financial help. Thank you thank you whoever you are. Your deed will always be a part of the memory of that day.

From Liz
Dear Donor,Thank you so much for your donation to Ordain Women. Because of your generosity, I was able to fly up to Salt Lake City from Arizona and attend the Priesthood Session event. It meant a lot to me to be there. I am not active in the Church anymore, largely because of how the Church treats women. So many women I know have left because there was not a place for them. I wanted to stand for those women at this event. To stand for those have been pushed away. I was able to do that, and that meant the world to me. Thank you for giving me that opportunity

From Esther
It felt good and right to have my feet following my heart! When I requested access to the priesthood session it was like bearing my testimony, the same strong feelings overcame me. I felt blessed by all the great women and men I met that day. I felt their love and full understanding. When I traveled back home I was stronger. Thank you for this opportunity.

Comme il était bon de sentir enfin mes actions s’harmoniser avec les aspirations de mon coeur! Pour moi demander accès à la conférence de prêtrise fût comme donner mon témoignage, les mêmes sentiments m’ont alors envahis. J’ai été bénie ce jour-là de rencontrer plusieurs femmes et hommes qui m’ont fait sentir aimée et comprise. À mon retour à la maison, j’étais plus forte. Merci de m’avoir donné cette opportunité.

From Thelma
I am so grateful to those who donated so that I could come be a part of the Ordain Women event.

Beginning with the training meeting on Friday it was so wonderful to put a face to all the women I’ve been meeting online during organizing. Being able to hug each other, share our experiences and connect was invaluable. We are truly a  remarkable sisterhood and partaking in the spirit of energy of all the events was beautiful. On the day of the action I managed the Ordain Women Twitter feed and tried to convey through it the resiliency, sincerity, and activity of the 500 women and men there. When the very last women, after 2 hours of asking, hugged the Church’s PR lady, that’s when the enormity of everything finally hit me. I hope that more women can find the courage to be open about the things that have been weighing on their heart.

From Kristy
To my Anonymous Benefactor, I am so grateful for you kindness in helping me attend the April 5th action.  When I heard the news, I cried and felt like this was a direct answer to prayer.   My family has responded harshly to my very public activism, and that stress, combined with little kids, constantly changing plans due to circumstance, and unemployment, made for an extremely stressful time.  And your thoughtfulness eased my mind so significantly.   I had a phenomenal experience walking through Temple Square and waiting for my turn to ask personally if I might be admitted into the Tabernacle, where I have so many fond memories.  Though denied, I felt like any lingering fear I had about being authentic and speaking my truth dissipated into thin air.  I have you to thank for that experience, as your travel help flew me there.  I feel like I can face my future with courage, and remember my feelings when I walked with my 500 brothers and sisters that day, that we physically expressed our desire for equality in the Church I love, and want so much to be the change I want to see in it.

From Laurin
OW to me is a given. It is hard for me to remain in a church that to me is unfair to one gender. It would be impossible for me to stay without being able to voice my perspective. I need this Church.  After leaving a long serving role in the adult industry, my only other identity is being a Mormon. It gives me guidelines on how to live my life, and it’s important. So, going to the source itself, to the priesthood session, remains paramount. I’m not the type to sit quietly by and cheer people on. I like to get suited and booted, and use my own words. Unfortunately, giving up my prior career meant giving up my paycheck and feel like my contributions seem distant more often than not.

But because someone was loving, because someone, somewhere, inside them KNEW, that this was important and gave selflessly so that I could have my voice heard, that my feelings were important…they donated to OW.

Is there ever a way to say thank you that is fitting? Maybe not. In my instance, my life changed drastically with this trip. I was able to speak up.  I was able to take care of an ongoing legal issue that might change the lives of women in human trafficking. I was able to ask the woman who guarded the door, preventing me from entering a church service, why I would be turned away? Jesus never turned me away.

It was important and meaningful. And whoever gave, made a difference in the world and my world for sure.

From Shelly
To everyone that donated: Thank you so much! When I first read about the fundraiser, I thought that there would be tons of women applying and that I shouldn’t bother applying. But when I saw that the original fundraising goal had been exceeded, I decided to apply. And I’m definitely glad that I did. Being in Salt Lake over Conference weekend with so many of my OW sisters and brothers was an empowering and faith promoting experience for me, and I wouldn’t have been able to be there without the support of everyone who donated.

From Kristen
I want everyone to know how thankful I am to be blessed with the extraordinary experience of standing with such amazing saints at the Ordain Women Priesthood Session event. Without the generosity, love and care of so many, I could not have participated in this historic, necessary and worthy event.

As an LDS woman, mother of five, student and advocate I believe that our Heavenly Parent’s love each of us and know our hearts. As a mother, I desire my daughters to have the same opportunities and full blessings of the gospel, which includes the Priesthood. I remain in awe of the outpouring of support from around the globe for the Ordain Women movement. I look forward to the day when I can stand with my sisters and brothers in Zion, equal in the eyes of all of heaven and earth.

From Janan
Coming out to support my sisters and brothers during the Ordain Women action was an emotional pilgrimage for me. While we were not to watch the priesthood session in the center, it was truly an honor to walk for the cause of gender equality within the Church. I’m forever grateful to those who donated to the fund so I, and many others could come out. Thank you, thank you, thank you. Many blessings always.