This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2016, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
The activist group Ordain Women, whose members want to open the Mormon priesthood to both genders, held a polite and purple demonstration between Saturday sessions of LDS General Conference.
About three-dozen people, most of them women, walked from City Creek Park to the Church Administration Building on South Temple, seeking meetings with members of the faith's governing First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. The walkers carried purple umbrellas, some with tags that bore the names of some of the 300 online supporters who could not attend Saturday's action, said Debra Jenson, past chairwoman of Ordain Women's executive board.
The umbrellas represented a metaphor, taught by a former women's leader in the LDS Church, that one person usually the father carries an umbrella to benefit an entire family and that male Mormons hold the priesthood for the blessing of all.
"We have heavenly parents who love us and care about us, who believe that men and women are each capable of carrying their own umbrella," Jenson said, " who believe that men and women are equally capable of receiving direct revelations, who see us all as equal partners in sharing this gospel."
At the Administration Building, the demonstrators stood in a line from noon to nearly 2 p.m. One by one, they walked up the granite steps to the locked brass-and-glass front door,and taped a calling card to the glass.
Demonstrators noticed people inside the building, though none came to the door. "It is validating to know that we're seen, even if they don't like what they see," said Joanna Smith, one of the event's organizers.
At the end of the march, Jenson took down the calling cards. The group intends to send the names of those who left cards, and a request for a meeting, to leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
"President [Dieter F.] Uchtdorf [of the governing First Presidency] this morning in his talk, the first talk of the session, spoke about how he has an email address," Jenson said. "We're going to use it."