Women and The Priesthood: What One Mormon Woman Believes; by Sheri Dew; 2013

Women and The Priesthood: What One Mormon Woman Believes; by Sheri Dew;

Sister Dew was Second Councilor in the Relief Society General Presidency from 1997-2002;

Published 2013 by Deseret Book;

-I am for progression of woman’s rights, “but I am not a feminist”.

-In trying to make women equal to men, we can forget how women have special divine gifts.

-There is nothing constraining about being a girl.

-Polygamy ended 120 years ago in the Church.

It was a minority of the Church which practiced it, mainly the leaders thereof.

-For the men it’s a little more lined out with missions, formal education, providing for a family, etc. Ambiguity in a woman’s life path shows Heavenly Father’s trust in their ability to choose.

-Ask questions of faith: ask what will the Lord teach me about this rather than saying something like ‘well I don’t get this so the Church must not be true.’

-Questions are good, they lead to answers.

-Administrative and policy changes occur in the church, but those things are not the same as church doctrine.

-There are many ways women involvement in the Church could improve, but if it doesn’t I’m my lifetime, my testimony won’t quake- I’ve had too many witnesses that it’s true.

-This book is not to set forth doctrine.

-Covenants bind us to God and God to us.

-Following Christ is never easy.

-I hang on the teachings of Prophets and Seers and Revelators.

-“I know God expects women to receive revelation.”

-“I know Woman have a divine errand.”

-“I know converted women can change the world.”

-“I know women can access the highest blessings just like men.”


-There are 6.5 million LDS women like or better than me.

-100’s of thousands of women in auxiliary leadership positions in the Church. Countless opportunities for them to teach and pray etc. Roughly one half of the teaching in the Church is done by women. This is not new or based off of current politics, since 1842 this has been the case.

-I’ve found no organization on earth (in my world wide travels and research) that has it’s women do as much as this one.

Does that sound like an organization that underscores it’s women to you?!

-Man can’t be exalted without woman. Critics of the Church who say only men can ascend into positions of power in this life or the hereafter haven’t even cared to look at the doctrine of the Church.

-For Mormons, Priesthood Ordination doesn’t account for the amount of influence a person can have.

-Over 150 years the Mormons have had women at their pulpits teaching.

-No religious organization has similar beginning as the Mormons that I’ve heard of; this church began with a young boy seeing God the Father and The Son, and many visitations of angels.

-President Hinckley said “what do we do for our woman? We get out of their way and watch in wonder what they do.”

-Emma Smith (wife of Joseph Smith founder of the Church) was expected to teach the Church, preach, and to study and learn much. God said it’s his voice to all women not just her. Does that sound like women don’t have influence or importance in this church?

-Some bloggers bash on the Church without even lifting a finger to read what the actual doctrines of the Church are.

-Joseph Smith said that to the dead, the men will minister to the men, and the women will minister to the women.

-Joseph Smith said that the Church was not fully organized until the women’s organization was organized therein.

-Joseph Smith spent much time teaching women, and will someday be recognized as one of the great champions of women.

The noble and great ones who helped God create the earth included women (Elder Bruce R. McConkie said).

-Men and women walk side by side not the woman in front or behind. (said Elder John Woodsoe)

-God didn’t intend men and women to be alike.

-President Hinckley said “Having looked over all of this, He declared it to be good. He then created man in His own likeness and image. Then as His final creation, the crowning of His glorious work, He created woman. I like to regard Eve as His masterpiece after all that had gone before, the final work before He rested from His labors.

I do not regard her as being in second place to Adam. She was placed at his side as an helpmeet. They were together in the Garden, they were expelled together, and they labored together in the world into which they were driven.” (see https://www.lds.org/general-conference/1991/10/daughters-of-god?lang=eng)

Speaking of the women of the Church, President Hinckley said, ““I see this as the one bright shining hope in a world that is marching toward self-destruction” (“Standing Strong and Immovable,” Worldwide Leadership Training Meeting, 10 January 2004 [Salt Lake City: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 2004], 20)”

-“Truth and justice demand us to speak as women of the Church. The woman of the Church are no less than any woman.”

-In 1868 Brigham Young encouraged women go to college, get a classical education, and study medicine.

-“Relief Society encourages industry as well as intellectual culture”.

-The Relief Society sold 200 thousand bushels of wheat which they had made and stored to Herbert Hoover for the government to help at wartime.

-Brigham Young had a view that women have immense influence on directing woman affairs.

-Do all you can, at the end of the day it’s in the hands of God as to weather you live or die. Do all you can to keep your covenants.

-Joseph Smith said that the same organization of Relief Society existed in the ancient Church, it was merely under a different name.


Ch2: About who are are etc.

-Plato said that our object in life is to become as much like God as possible, that such was an honor not a diminishment.

-Arrhenius said we start out as men in the beginning so we can try to become gods in the end.

-C.S. Lewis said that the bible, churches, all of these things of Christian religion are for the purpose of making us little Christ’s, and they are not accomplishing that, they are useless.

-C. S. Lewis said “it is a serious thing to live in a society of possible God’s and Goddesses, to consider that the dullest person you talk to may one day be a creature you are strongly tempted to worship. It is with awe that we should deal with them. You have never talked to a mere mortal.”

-In the pre-earth life, men were given Priesthood assignments, women were given other assignments, and such are as important as the assignments the Prophets and Apostles receive. (President Spencer W. Kimball)

-Each person, men and women included, has a divine destiny.

-Heavenly Father loves his daughters, whom we are.

-“Our spirits long for us to see ourselves the way they [really] are, because it effects everything we do; how we see others, how we progress, how we handle success and defeat, how we feel about the Lord and his Christ and his message, [and] weather or not we are more interested in this life, for forever.”

-When Saul understood that he had been chosen pre-mortally, he changed not only his name but his life.

-It’s easier to motive someone to do something hard than something  easy, although that may seem counter-inutuitive. This is because our spirits crave progression. They crave the feeling of moving forward, growing, and learning, even if our steps forward are small. This is why the lack of progress brings sorrow, and steady progress brings optimism. It would not be very motivating if God said ‘be ye mediocre’. We are aspiring to perfection; none of us wants to stay just as we are. Embedded in our spirits is the need to become more and more like Jesus Christ God’s [perfect] Son.

-The vision of accomplishing something we have never accomplished before can be the motivation we need to accomplish it.

-Human potential is most magical, but we often get most complacent about it.

-Defeat begins most with blurred vision of what we can accomplish more so than Ogre’s in our path.

-“If you always sound apologetic or [obsessive about] an inferiority complex, get over it. At times we think others are going to do better than us, but they won’t. They are just like you.  Be believing.” (Elder Holland)

-“We don’t just hope for a glorious future, we believe it’s actually possible to dwell with God in a state of never ending happiness.”

-As children of God we are special, even if we are a “nobody” in the world.

-Jehovah said “I have said, Ye are gods; and all of you are children of the most High.” (Psalms 82:6 (see also Isaiah 41:23, John 10:34)

-“Heavenly Father knows us each by name and by attributes. Our hearts, weaknesses, strengths, spiritual gifts he has given us, and our potential, what we were foreordained to do on earth, our insecurity, [etc.]”

-Heavenly Father loves us completely and entirely.

-Paul said “I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 3:14). This is speaking of becoming a God.

-The Savior didn’t always know about the glory or power he possessed before he came to this earth but eventually it was made known to him. He had to go through a time of not knowing just as we must concerning ourselves. 

-Coming here [to earth] we forgot all that we might be free indeed to choose good or evil.

-Elder Oaks said that we had progressed far as we could without a body in pre-mortality before the time came for us to be born here in mortality.

-When we die we go through another veil which separates this life from the next.

-It’s just as well that we don’t remember the pre-mortal life, the language there, our acquaintances there, the first lessons we learned there, or the identities of our heavenly tutors, …but we were there in heaven before the foundations of the earth were laid. We were among the heavenly hosts which sang. We know that through pre-mortality we had the agency to make our own choices, and that those choices effect us in this life. Some [in pre-mortality] were more fit than others because of keeping the commandments. They may have had an equal start, for we know all men were innocent in the beginning, but because the right of free agency was given them [pre-mortal spirits], eventually the spirits of men were not equal.

-In pre-mortality we stood firmly by God and by Jesus. Now we need to choose the stand with Jesus again in this life.

-” Our birth is but a sleep and a forgetting:

The Soul that rises with us, our life’s Star,   60
        Hath had elsewhere its setting,
          And cometh from afar:
        Not in entire forgetfulness,
        And not in utter nakedness,
But trailing clouds of glory do we come   65
        From God, who is our home

” (Wordsworth)

-Each of us are serving a mission in this stage of mortality to prove if we want the kingdom of God more than anything else.

The Lord is testing our desires.

We must once again choose to follow Christ in this life. Christ said my sheep hear my voice and follow me. This is because “they remember and recognize his voice and the voice of his servants”

-Tad R. Callister said this life is a probationary state. (see book for more).

-George Q. Cannon repeatedly taught that God reserved his most choice spirits to come forth in the last days [now]. That we are selected and ordained for a mission before the world was, just as our Savior had his mission ordained for him. These selected for the last days would have the courage and the power to face all the evils of the Evil One. They are to build the kingdom of God fearless of all consequences. God would not have taken a chance on the outcome of the last days be sending anyone but the strongest men and women he could encounter.

-Those helping to raise the children this late in this dispensation must certainly be the noble and great ones.

-We may not feel great but neither did Enoch. When the Lord called him in to service he said I am slow of speech and as a child why have I found favor in thy eyes? The Lord promised to walk by him and give him words. Then Enoch’s words were so powerful that his people were taken up into heaven. But this only happened after Enoch learned who he was, and that he had a mission to perform.

-This world does not celebrate women of God but we must cheer each other on rather than compete with each other.

-Stand up for our differences even if that means standing alone.

-Satan hates the woman because he knows he is almost out of time and he knows the tremendous influence for good women can have on the Church and the world. It’s no secret to him that covenant keeping women of the Lord are one of the most potent weapons the Lord has.

-“Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time.” (Rev. 12:12).

-“Therefore, the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.” (Joseph Smith Translation (JST), Rev. 12:17). The woman is interpreted as the Church, but I also read it literally, and consider how women are some of the principal targets of Satan. He tries to get them abused oppressed seduced or encourages them to seduce men, and encourages them that their only value is the sensuality of their bodies. He encourages them to swirl around their gender, and all this to keep them from comprehending their majesty and the plain fact that the Plan of Salvation utterly depends on women via her primary role and bearing and rearing children.

-Even Mary and Eve two of the greatest women in the world are distorted by others, some worshiping Mary, and some hating Eve. We do not worship either person, but we revere them for their unparalleled roles in making The Plan of Salvation a reality; Eve for setting in motion the process by which spirits can progress from pre-mortality to mortality and Mary for being worthy and willing to bear and rear the Savior.

-One woman at the top of Wall-street [where the men were] said attaining what she did was at too high of a cost, that she didn’t get to rear children, and she encouraged others not to follow in her footsteps.

-Now to get people to attend movies they portray women as sensual.

-With increased vision comes increased motivation.

We are not here by an indefinable big bang that’s undefinable that works by magic.

-““Nothing is going to startle us more when we pass through the veil to the other side than to realize how well we know our Father and how familiar his face is to us.” (President Ezra Taft Benson, “Jesus Christ—Gifts and Expectations,” in Speeches of the Year, 1974, Provo: Brigham Young University Press, 1975, p. 313.)

-Roman philosopher Scicero declared he was far more interested in the long hereafter than the brief present.

-“The more clearly we see eternity, the more obvious it becomes that the Lord’s work in which we are engaged is one vast and grand work with striking similarities on each side of the veil” (President Spencer W. Kimball, “The Things of Eternity—Stand We in Jeopardy?” Ensign, Jan. 1977, 3)

-All we have to do is decide what to do with the time that is given us.

-“I believe the Lord meant just what he said: that we should be perfect, as our Father in heaven is perfect. That will not come all at once, but line upon line, and precept upon precept, example upon example, and even then not as long as we live in this mortal life, for we will have to go even beyond the grave before we reach that perfection and shall be like God.” (Joseph Fielding Smith, Doctrines of Salvation, comp. Bruce R. McConkie, 3 vols., Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1954–56, 2:18–19.)

-“The command Be ye perfect is not idealistic gas. Nor is it a command to do the impossible. He is going to make us into creatures that can obey that command. He said (in the Bible) that we were “gods” and He is going to make good His words. . . . The process will be long and in parts very painful; but that is what we are in for. Nothing less. He meant what He said.” (C. S. Lewis, “Counting the Cost,” Mere Christianity (New York: Macmillan, 1960), 174–75. Quoted by Elder Tad R. Callister in “Our Identity and Our Destiny” BYU Speech Aug. 14, 2012. (http://speeches.byu.edu/?act=viewitem&id=2060)

-“Because the spirit is eternal it is more important than any earthly acquisition or honor.”

-“This (our time on earth) is our chance to prove that we do not seek first the things of this world but to build up the kingdom of God and establish his righteousness.” (Sheri Dew)

-“We need to understand that there are such thing as right and wrong and good and evil. And these distinctions are established by God not by man. Truth is not relative. Right and wrong cannot be gauged by a sliding scale nor can they be dictated by popularity poles scientific studies or the approval of the masses.” (Sheri Dew)
-“This is the time to come to know for ourselves who we are and who we have always been. That we understand why we are here and that we comprehend what we may ultimately become.” (Sheri Dew)

-“My dear sisters, we believe in you. We believe in and are counting on your goodness and your strength, your propensity for virtue and valor, your kindness and courage, your strength and resilience. We believe in your mission as women of God. We realize that you are the emotional (and sometimes spiritual) glue that holds families and often ward families together. We believe that the Church simply will not accomplish what it must without your faith and faithfulness, your innate tendency to put the well-being of others ahead of your own, and your spiritual strength and tenacity. And we believe that God’s plan is for you to become queens and to receive the highest blessings any woman can receive in time or eternity.”(BY ELDER M. RUSSELL BALLARD

Of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles “Women of Righteousness” April 2002. (https://www.lds.org/ensign/2002/04/women-of-righteousness?lang=eng)

-“That is the first step to progression in God’s kingdom, is understanding who we are and who we can be.” (Sheri Dew)


Ch.3 about Revelation to Women

One bishop speaking to a young woman, a Beehive president, asked if the Lord has revelation for this ward who is he most likely to give it to? You. Then it is our job (as Bishiop etc.) to listen to you.

-The Lord revealed to President Eyrings wife about staying at a certain job before President Eyring got that inspiration. He said that is good enough for me, but then his wife wisely encouraged him to find the answer for himself.

-One Stake President told Sheri Dew that the Lord would tell her what to teach the Stake. Whatever he (the Lord) tells you to teach the Stake is what I want you to teach the Stake. This showed that the Stake President and the Lord had faith in her.