“I know that there are deep and painful and terrible and frightening risks, but we will succeed,” said Laura Pennock from Bountiful who occasionally attends her local Latter-day Saint ward.
"Ordain Women" uses scripture about seeking answers from God to recieve guidance. The group sent letters to The First Presidency and Twelve Apostles asking they prayerfully consider ordaining women to the priesthood.
Latter-day Saints teach only men can hold and exercise the priesthood power.
"God gives priesthood authority to worthy male members of the Church so they can act in His name for the salvation of His children. Priesthood holders can be authorized to preach the gospel, administer the ordinances of salvation, and govern the kingdom of God on the earth," according to the Church website Lds.org.
One woman says she believes Thomas S. Monson, who is the acting President of the Church today, is a spokesman for God but she also wants the power of the priesthood so that she can bless others.
Many members of the group shared stories about how young Latter-day Saint men have mistreated women.
One man shared a story about how when he was a cub scout, the boys in his troop discussed the kinds of chores they would assign their wives when they eventually married.
Another woman shared a story about her 18-year-old brother citing the priesthood as a reson to correct her Cambridge educated mother.
Latter-day Saint Apostles and Prophets teach men and women are equal, but have different roles in marriage. They teach the role of women is to bear and nurture children and the role of men is to provide and preside in the home as well as protect women and children.
An “Ordain Women” website was launched March 17, 2013. It contains profiles of women and men who support Latter-day Saint women holding the priesthood.
Latter-day Saint Church spokeswoman Jessica Moody released this official statement in response to "Ordain Women":
"There is nothing in the scriptures which suggests that to be a man rather than a woman is preferred in the sight of God, or that He places a higher value on sons than on daughters. The worth of a human soul is not defined by a set of duties or responsibilities. In God's plan for His children, both women and men have the same access to the guidance of His spirit, to personal revelation, faith and repentance, to grace and the atonement of His Son, Jesus Christ, and are received equally as they approach Him in prayer. The practice of ordaining men to the priesthood was established by Jesus Christ himself, and is not a decision to be made by those on earth."
Click on the attached link to watch the most senior female leaders in the Latter-day Saint Church talk about leadership and the priesthood. The time codes in the video follow the questions below.
Ruth Todd asks:
1) How do you access the priesthood in your lives? (at 5:49)
2) How do you utilize the priesthood as you are leading and guiding your individual organization? (at 7:21)
3) Some women are concerned that they don't hold the priesthood and feel like they're not equal. What do you say to them? (at 9:19)
Below is an email sent to ABC 4's Noah Bond about this article. He posted the email to maintain full transparency. The suggestions below were implemented into this article.
"Your coverage of Saturday's meeting on giving LDS women the priesthood was disappointing and unprofessional. You chalked it up to a bunch of women telling stories about how they've been hurt by Mormon men. The people who were running it don't actually see how you came up with that. You didn't even mention there were men in attendance. You made it sound like it was a bunch of women with chips on their shoulder, and then ended with quotes and links refuting the idea of female priesthood (which of course are fine to mention for the sake of balance), instead of, say, a link to the website of the group you were supposed to be covering. You completely left out the nuance of the movement, that it is based in scriptures that tell us to ask when we have questions, that there are mountains of historical precedent for change after requests or actions by members. Please remedy these mistakes through some correction or second article."
Another email reads, "Noah, I attended the Ordain Women launch last night and am rather surprised at your story. I didn't hear "Many members of the group shared stories about how young Latter-day Saint men have mistreated women." The focus of your story also centers around statements from the church and not what went on in the actual meeting. Why are you linking to church PR and not to the Ordain women website at the end?"