I recently had the opportunity to read Sheri Dew’s book, Women and the Priesthood: What One Mormon Woman Believes. (You can read some of my reflections on the book as part of a series recently published at LDS Living.)
I should note that I don’t usually share book reviews on this site; we have made a deliberate decision to make this a non-commercial space. But I am making an exception for this book because I believe the doctrine of the priesthood and the doctrines that surround it are so priceless and important. I have long had a deep passion for the power of womanhood in God’s plan (hence the creation of this site!). It is my hope that sharing about her book can help someone want to do more to study and ponder “life-changing, mind-expanding eternal principles” (p. 10) that relate to and bump up against the questions that many people have about why Mormon women aren’t ordained to the priesthood.
In fact, one of the things that sticks out most to me about the book is that Sister Dew wrote it with the hope that “it will spur men and women alike to study, ponder, pray, discuss, and seek revelation for themselves” (again, p. 10) on doctrines related to the plan of salvation and women’s role in that plan. (At the back of the book are blank pages for writing notes and reflections — a nice touch.)
Sister Dew writes, “My prayer is that what follows will either stand as a second witness to what you already know to be true or propel you forward in your own journey of spiritual discovery” (p. 14).
For me, reading this book was more of a “second witness” experience. At the same time, the way Sister Dew organized and developed her ideas was not what I was expecting. As I read, I was intrigued and delighted by how her book invites the reader to take several steps back from the question of why Mormon women don’t hold priesthood office to consider more fully doctrines such as the reality of God and Jesus Christ and the Restoration, the importance of personal revelation, the eternal nature of our existence, the central role of motherhood in the plan of God, the critical place of the temple and its ordinances, and the importance of conversion (and more).
These are doctrines those of us who are members of the Church both need to have more deeply rooted in our hearts and need to share more with the world.
I would like to invite Mormon Women: Who We Are readers who are members of the Church to “join the conversation” (to use words from Elder Ballard) about important doctrines such as these. As Elder Ballard said in an Education Week talk earlier this year:
We need now for you women of the Church to know the doctrine of Christ and to bear testimony of the Restoration in every way that you can. Never has there been a more complex time in the history of the earth. Satan and his minions have been perfecting the weapons in their arsenal for millennia, and they are experienced at destroying faith and trust in God and in the Lord Jesus Christ among the human family.
All of us—men, women, young adults, youth, and boys and girls—have the Lord and His Church to defend, to protect, and to spread throughout the earth. We need more of the distinctive, influential voices and faith of women. We need you to learn the doctrine and to understand what we believe so that you can bear your testimonies about the truth of all things….
In the spirit of hoping to facilitate a little of what Elder Ballard has invited us to do, and in the spirit of Sister Dew’s hope for her book, I asked the publisher of Women and the Priesthood if I could give away a copy of the book. They have agreed to send a copy to one of our readers. Again, this is not my usual modus operandi, but I am excited to give someone the opportunity to read it.
AND the invitation I would then extend is for the receiver of the book to share some thoughts here (or on a personal blog or Facebook wall) about some of the doctrines explored in the book and/or to simply share personal testimony about the Savior and the Restoration of His gospel.
To enter the giveaway, simply leave a comment here or on our Facebook page sharing a snippet of your testimony and/or something you hope to be able to understand a little better by reading Sister Dew’s book.
OR if you have a personal blog, you could also write something there and then link back to it either here in the comments or on our Facebook page. (We’d love to help you get more traffic to your site as you seek to share your testimony with others.)
OR you could submit a guest post if you prefer.
The goal is obviously to invite sharing and discussion and testimony building about the doctrine of Christ, the doctrine of the priesthood, the reality of the Restoration of the gospel, the way questions asked in faith can lead to personal revelation and insight…. Let the Spirit guide. But join in the conversation!
Deadline to be entered into this giveaway is Saturday night at midnight, MST.
I am grateful to Sister Dew for taking and making the time to gather her thoughts and numerous quotes and teachings about such important, powerful doctrines. These doctrines mean everything to me; studying and pondering them throughout my life has enriched my life immensely. I look forward to hearing more of what you have to share about your faith and testimony, or about the questions you may have that you hope the Spirit can help you understand more fully.
Managing Editor, Mormon Women: Who We Are