Ordain Women attempts to deliver messages to LDS leaders ahead of General Conference

Posted at 9:30 PM, Apr 01, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-01 23:30:31-04

SALT LAKE CITY -- Among the many who will converge upon Temple Square in Salt Lake City during the LDS Church's General Conference this weekend will be representatives from the group Ordain Women.

They've previously called upon leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to grant the priesthood to its female members. But, currently, their attention is focused on asking the church to allow women to take on opportunities within the church which have historically been closed to women, but do not require holding the priesthood.

Specifically, they'd like women to be able to hold a baby during a blessing and to be able to serve as official witnesses at baptisms, temple ceremonies, and leadership interviews with other members, including youth.

In recent months, Ordain Women has called upon its supporters and other church members to share written thoughts on these topics.

Friday, members of Ordain Women attempted to deliver roughly 150 such letters to church leaders, but were unsuccessful.

A spokesperson for the LDS Church told FOX 13 News it has a long-standing policy that all packages arriving at the Administration Building must go through the mail, and no drop-off deliveries of any kind are allowed.

Ordain Women says they'd written to multiple church officials in advance asking them to receive the letters in person on Friday, but none responded.

"I think our leaders are all men of God, called of God, and I think we have to be lovingly persistent," said Bryndis Roberts, who stood outside the Church Administration Building alongside fellow Ordain Women member Debra Jenson until the building closed for business at 5 p.m.

The pair plan to be back on Saturday and Sunday, along with other supporters from the group.

As one visitor to Temple Square passed their "Ordain Women" table sign, he paused to ask Debra when she was going to "follow the prophet." Another church member, Susan Herbst, said she was disappointed to see her fellow sisters in the LDS Church taking what she sees as an unnecessary and divisive position.

"It's just a really silly argument to me that people feel like they need to have the priesthood when they obviously don't understand that the priesthood is all about service," Herbst said. "It's not any big thing to the men, it's not some crown on their head. It's just an authority to do acts of service. And women get all the acts of service we need and want."

Ordain Women says in addition to the 150 letters they've collected so far, dozens, if not hundreds, more have already been sent to LDS Church leaders through the mail.

They say letters still in their possession after General Conference may be mailed to the church at a later date, as a last resort. But they're holding out hope a church leader will come and speak with them this weekend.