Ordain Women Action, Storified

Editor’s Note: This is an amalgamation of the many tweets that came from those who participated in the Ordain Women Priesthood Session Action on October 5, 2013. It is important to note that Exponent II is not affiliated with Ordain Women in any way. Our mission, however, is to provide a safe forum to tell Mormon women’s stories. Tonight was a historic event for Mormon women and feminists. Several of our Exponent permas, as well as other participants, used Twitter to tell their story of waiting in line to attend the Priesthood session. We have gathered these tweets in an effort to document this moment in Mormon women’s history.


  1. I am so surprised. I felt a literal pang in my heart. What man is there of you, whom if his daughter ask bread, will he give her a stone?

    After the talk commending the man who asked a window to be opened, when he was not allowed to enter the building in South Africa, and then rejoicing when he was able to fully join the community of Saints, and the talk by Elder Uchtdorf radiating compassion and begging us to come unto Christ and promising us a place, with my experience of never being turned away from attending priesthood meetings, I could not envision a world where this would be acceptable. My immediate reaction was “does the Prophet know they are doing this?” – there must be some mistake. I am surprised, and confused, and hurt. It does not make sense.

  2. I have to admit I’m still deciding how I feel about the OW movement, or maybe I have decided and I’m too scared to admit it to myself.

    At any rate, my reaction to this is exactly that of the Young Mormon Feminists’ tweet: I didn’t expect to feel this crushed. I just cried despite finding some comfort in Elder Anderson’s talk this afternoon.

    I guess it was because I saw the picture of the empty seats inside the Conference Center at the same time the group was being told there were no seats. And to echo another tweet above, the fact that any male can attend this session in the CC, regardless of his membership status in the church or whether or not he’s ordained. Plus the fact that they broadcasted this live (I had trouble accessing it on my phone, actually) — the OW group could have watched it from home, but so could any of the men sitting in the CC, and there were empty seats so what was the problem with admitting the women?

    The picture of the garbage truck is just rubbing salt in the wound and disgusts me a little bit. I don’t believe for a moment that’s a coincidence and that they were planning to do any grounds work the Saturday night of GC.

    • Sorry, just re-read that caption about the truck. Not grounds work (though maybe that too). I’m sure they need to collect the garbage but placing it right outside an exit door had to have been some sort of fire code violation.

      • I did not know about the garbage truck blocking the entrance until this article, but your comment really hit home for me.

        A GARBAGE TRUCK?! Clearly this was either purposefully chosen, or is a huge Freudian Slip. The truck symbolizes their deep misogyny. Their “Benevolent Patriarchy” surely rears its ugly head.

        As Mary Daly was fond of saying, “If you let them keep talking, eventually they will say it all.” The Garbage Truck is eloquent, don’t you think?

  3. Thank you so much for compiling these! I was able to see things I could not see from where I was located at the event.

    Here is what the experience was like for me:

    When I arrived at the park, I saw crowds of women talking to reporters about their desire to fully participate in the work of the Lord as priesthood holders. After spending most of my life following social stigmas that silence women and compel us to feign that we love our exclusion, it was like a miracle to see so many women willing to openly express their righteous desires to fully participate in the church to the masses.That was the best part of the evening for me.

    When we arrived at Temple Square, Church Spokesperson Ruth Todd met us and asked to speak with the four women who had been corresponding with her–including me. She seemed like a lovely person but, of course, she did not have good news for us.

    While we waited in line, one of the men attending priesthood session took it upon himself to police us. He marched up to us and told us we were “out of order”. He was saying things like, “You think women should baptize? Pass the sacrament? Be bishops?” as if that would be horrible. But one of my colleagues disarmed him with some talk about their shared Scottish roots and he calmed down.

    I was near the front of the line, so I was one of the first to be turned away personally. I thought I was prepared for that, but I was a little surprised at how hurtful it felt to me. I know that male spectators were allowed to watch Relief Society in the tabernacle last week, and we were not even allowed that.

    Since I was done so soon, I offered to help a wonderful sister who came all the way from Germany to claim the international tickets her bishop had ordered for her from will call. To my knowledge, she was the only woman among us who was successful at getting tickets from her local priesthood leader. We went to will-call where, for the first time that evening, I encountered a grumpy, angry volunteer usher instead of a trained, smiling PR professional. He shooed us away from the will call line, not even allowing us to ask if my German friend’s tickets were there, and demanded that we go to Gate 20.

    “What do you think is at Gate 20?” asked my friend.

    “A PR professional who will tell us that the session is only for men and boys,” I replied. And I was completely right. Unfortunately, that particular PR professional happened to be a really nice person from my own ward, who is married to my Relief Society President, who I also really like. That was probably the hardest part of the evening for me. I felt sorry for this German woman, who had come so far and so desperately wanted to get in to the session, and I felt bad that my friend had to go through the unpleasantness of enforcing the gender restriction. (And I wondered if we are still friends. Hope so.)

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