thanks much for the assistance - my phone was locked out for 2 days and I was determined not to perform a hard reset, although my information was backed up..
I followed these steps, with a couple new ones in the middle.. when I tried it without WIFI turned on, it wouldn't work.
Once you are on the phone, you can pull down the top menu and look at email, texts, etc. (anything in the notification bar) - so I opened up an email and clicked on a link, you will get a notification to go to settings to turn on WIFI..
1. changed my password on my gmail account.
1A. **used my USB cable to hook my phone up to my laptop** (this may not have to be done)
2. made a call to my phone.
2A.**i turned on my WIFI on the phone** (info up top)
3. While on the call pulled down the top menu and tapped the sign in/ authenticate button.
4. A menu will pop up and ask you to put in your password to authenticate. (still on the call while doing this) I pulled up the keyboard by tapping in the password box or you can hit the menu key to get it to come up. Put in my new password and let it try to authenticate. (it cant because you are on the phone but let it try and give you the message that it is unable to authenticate)
4A.** it did authenticate for me, I was signed in**, but when the called ended, I had to perform step 5***
5.After that end the call and go back to the screen that says enter you gmail username (your gmail email address) and password. Put in this information.
6. It asked me to set a new unlock pattern. so I did the pattern twice and ended up at my home page.
WHEW!!! - Thanks so much - I hope this helps some one else as well!!!