Sister Sheri Dew, CEO of Deseret Book Co. and former member of the General Relief Society Presidency of the Church spoke to sister missionaries, Young Single Adults and member sisters in the Houston, Texas area January 24-25, 2014. The Saturday meeting was broadcast to thousands of women in 23 buildings across the Houston area.
Elder Dan Jones an Area Seventy from Houston who attended the Saturday presentation noted, “Her practical perspectives and profound gospel knowledge touched the sister’s heart as she taught them of their divine attributes and destiny.”
Sister Dew encouraged all to “exercise your agency to authorize the spirit to teach you”. She stated, ”As endowed women we have access to God’s highest blessings. Priesthood power is available to everyone that receives the temple ordinances.”
The recent death of a loved one and a heart attack scare reminded Dew of the importance of focusing on essentials. Dew quoted Cicero, saying, “I think I’m much more interested in the long hereafter than in the brief present.”
Sister Dew encouraged focus on belief in your divine errand, focus on receiving revelation, focus on the atonement and healing power of the Savior, and focus on gaining knowledge of divine, absolute truths.
In a separate interview Sister Dew was asked her opinion on why so many sisters are responding to mission calls. “This is a generation prepared. It’s not coincidental that 6-7 years ago Sister Dalton as General Young Women’s President started really, really talking about a return to virtue so that when the age change came there were a whole lot of girls ready and worthy and wanted to go,” she replied. Sister Dew then emphasized, “I think it is designed to save the next generation of women and to prepare a generation of women to be mothers in the most complicated time in the history of the earth.”
Responding to the question of what women need to be doing right now, Sister Dew was very direct, saying ,”Learning what we actually believe so we know where to go to get help from heaven so we are not left to our own devices is absolutely crucial. Left to your own devices in this day and age I think you don’t make it. I think you get swept away by cleverly articulated but very secular points of view that sure sound smart but simply aren’t true.”
“In our world today it is one of the huge challenges because articulate people who have a little pizzazz are a dime-a-dozen and once they get a pulpit being beamed around the world 24/7 you can find any point of view anytime. So the question is what you are going to do about that. You measure what someone says by the truth. You don’t measure truth by how articulate it is,” Dew said.
Sister Dew shared her hope for the women in Houston: “I would hope that they increasingly gain confidence about who they are as daughters of God and feel confident in speaking the truth when truth needs to be spoken.”
At the close of the weekend, Janet Westwood, Stake Relief Society President for the Houston North Stake, remarked that all the responses heard from women were that expectations were exceeded. “We were excited to host this event and were so pleased that so many women in our area were able to be strengthened and unified by the messages and beautiful music. We hope that all women will realize that despite the business and distractions of life, we must focus on that which is most important,” she concluded.