SALT LAKE CITY — A group of individuals advocating for ordaining women to the priesthood of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints marched to Temple Square during the LDS Church’s General Conference Saturday, and church officials said they were disappointed by the group’s actions.
LDS Church Spokesman Cody Craynor issued the following response regarding supporters of Ordain Women taking their advocacy efforts onto Temple Square, which is private property owned by the LDS Church, Saturday evening.
“Despite polite and respectful requests from Church leaders not to make Temple Square a place of protest, a mixed group of men and women ignored that request and staged a demonstration outside the Tabernacle on General Conference weekend, refusing to accept ushers’ directions and refusing to leave when asked. While not all the protesters were members of the Church, such divisive actions are not the kind of behavior that is expected from Latter-day Saints and will be as disappointing to our members as it is to Church leaders.”
Women who were among those who marched with Ordain Women spoke with FOX 13 News about the issue, click here for their interviews. The women told FOX 13 News their actions amounted to a respectful request, rather than a protest.
LDS Church officials had announced earlier in the week they were not allowing news media on Temple Square during the two-day conference, and they said the decision was in response to the interactions between news media and protesters on Temple Square in October of 2013.
Church officials said in that statement “We found the interaction between protestors and news media to be disruptive to the sacred atmosphere of Temple Square and do not wish to play host to similar circumstances again.”
Other protests were planned in and around Temple Square to coincide with the conference, including an event coordinated by atheist groups.