This is my account of the events of that afternoon. My opinions and actions are mine, and many other women have similar stories. I'm just blessed to be able to voice my own.
I arrived to City Creek Park just before everyone started lining up to leave. I was herded into line right after many of the women in leadership positions, and other prominent figures like Joanna Brooks and Margaret Toscano. As we started leaving the park, there were a handful of men with signs that started yelling at us. One yelled, "Get back in the kitchen and make me some cookies!" Another yelled, "Go make me a ham sandwich and get me a Coke!" I stifled the urge to laugh... the only sandwich I would be making for a man would be a knuckle sandwich... to the crotch. But as I walked past them, I blew them both a kiss. In that moment, there was no better expression of love and compassion I could have given them.
"You're blocking f****** traffic!" From another, "Get out of the street! Get out of the Church!" How can it possibly be seen as Christ-like, when you are screaming and flipping people off? How would Christ react to us? What would He say to us?
"If this doesn't show my will and dedication for the hard work, and dedication of the priesthood, I don't know what will."
We walked confidently, with our heads held high. As we started getting near the Tabernacle, many of the men looked at us with scorn, and distaste. There was even a man asking to see our Temple Recommends. Yet nothing, not even the hail pelting my skin, could diminish my resolve, nor put out the fire burning inside of me. I was doing what I knew to be right.
Suddenly, without warning, an older gentleman ran right into me, cutting me off, causing me to stumble, and almost fall to the ground. I couldn't believe it. There is no way that he could not have seen me! I was walking two by two near the front of a long line of women! I regained my balance, and called out to him, asking if he was ok. He never once looked back at me.
Before I left, I asked her one more question. I asked, "Kim? Because this is the general priesthood meeting, are non member males, or male members who have not yet been ordained, allowed into the meeting?"
She said yes.
I replied, "Even though they do not hold the Priesthood, they are still admitted?" She answered yes again, saying that it was part of their instruction as men in the Church, similar to how women have the Women's Meeting, even if they are not members.
I then said, "Well, that is unfortunate. I could understand being barred from the meeting if it was a matter of not holding the priesthood, because then the man who lives next door to me would also be denied entrance. But it is unfortunate that my only disqualifying trait is the fact that I am a woman." I thanked her, and I gave her a hug. Before I walked away however, I paused at the closed door of the Tabernacle, and I stepped up to touch the door. I could feel the faint vibrations from the activity inside, and I said a very quick prayer of thanks, and asked the Lord to bless me with strength and patience. As I opened my eyes, a faint voice told me, "Stay yet a little longer." Only then, with my strength renewed and my testimony reinforced, did I walk away.
Salt Lake Tribune the Church statement about the event... claiming that we refused to leave when asked, among other things. About a week before General Conference, the Church banned the media was from entering Temple Square. Without the press, the Church's statement is the only information released, and the information is extremely one sided. I was never told by a Church employee to leave. In the end... the fact that the Church issued this misleading statement, hurt me more than anything else over the weekend. And in hindsight, I am so glad that I had the opportunity to speak to the press after we were denied entry to the meeting. It is important for people to know what had happened, through the eyes of the people who experienced it.
Regardless of your personal feelings towards Ordain Women and it's mission, and regardless of whether or not you agree with my view of the world, and my views on the Church, what do you think Christ would have done. Would He have honked His horn and yelled out of His car window at me? Would He have caused me to stumble and fall? Would He have ridiculed me, questioned my testimony, and tell me to leave His Church? No! He would have waited patiently in His car, and caught me as I fell, so I could steady my unstable feet. He would have told me that He loved me unconditionally, and made sure that I felt welcome and valued in His Church. He would have welcomed me with open arms. So knock. Ask. Have strength, and have courage. But ask yourself... What Would Jesus Do?