How can anyone not like Sheri Dew?

I love Sheri Dew and I mean that in a most professional and respectful way. She is absolutely one of my favorite living authors. I love her style, her stories, her humor, her depth of understanding of the gospel and her deferential respect for the priesthood of God. I do not know her personally and have not met her, but feel as if I know her through her writing and public speaking. Carol has shaken her hand and introduced herself at one of those book sales they have at Deseret Book for the sisters during the Saturday night priesthood session of General Conference. Of course I don't expect Sheri to remember her as she has met so many thousands of people over the years. I just can't understand why anyone would suggest that Sheri Dew is arrogant or ignorant as some bloggers have commented. She is neither.

Like I have said in a previous post about another public figure who was misunderstood, Sheri Dew doesn't need me to defend her. But she is a highly visable and prominent LDS author who as the CEO of Deseret Book heads up the publishing arm of the Mormon church. Actually, the church has a separate publishing division but Deseret Book is the commercial side of the house. Carol and I have read several of her previous books together, "If Life Were Easy it Wouldn't be Hard," "No Doubt About it", and "No One Can Take Your Place." We are currently reading her newest book, "God Wants a Powerful People." We also enjoyed reading the biography of President Hinckley, "Go Forward With Faith," which she wrote and another of President Benson which she also authored. It takes an amazing talent to write as well as she does but I know it also takes a lot of hard work and sacrifice. Sometimes the only way to get something written is to get up very very early, pray for inspiration and then start writing. You have to actually do the work to get the results.

Sheri was embroiled in a little bit of controversy a few years ago when she spoke at an event sponsored by the Family Action Council International, a conservative religious coalition in 2004. Some took offense at her words. The fact is, they twisted and mis-represented what she said just like those who attacked Rush Limbaugh did when they claimed that he called members of the armed forces who oppose the war "phony soldiers." This is a common tactic of those who oppose people who are doing good - to twist their words. Sheri quoted a statement made in 1941 by journalist Dorothy Thomas, who said each person in the world would be forced to choose sides either for or against Adolf Hitler. She then paraphrased Thomas to apply the principle to immorality.

"Before this era is over, every living human being will have chosen," Sheri said. "Every living human being will have lined up in support of the family as God has defined it or against it. Every living human being will either have opposed the onslaught against the family or supported it. For if we make no choice, that in itself is a choice. If we do not act in behalf of the family, that itself is an act in opposition of the family." Sheri, I want you to know that Carol and I are opposed to gay marriage which is an onslaught against the family. We support the declaration of God through the prophet that marriage should only be between one man and one woman.

Gay-rights groups allege that Sheri compared gay marriage to Hitler. She later responded and clarified that her point had nothing to do with Hitler. "I wasn't comparing anybody to Hitler," she said. "Hitler is irrelevant to the point I was trying to make." The principle she was trying to stress is that too many people stand by and do or say nothing when they see things they don't like or with which they don't agree. Sheri later expressed remorse that some people told her they were hurt by her comments in 2004. Sheri has taken a stand against gay marriage, but no more so than any other member of the church following a living prophet has done or will do. She just became a target because she is such a high profile member of the church.

Read Sheri Dew's books. Try to meet her in person. You will love her as we do because she is valiant in her testimony of Jesus. She is not afraid to stand up with courage and speak against that which is wrong. God bless you Sheri Dew. Now just so you know what President Hinckley has said about gay marriage and same-gender attraction, here are his words: "We love them as sons and daughters of God...If they do not act upon these inclinations, then they can go forward as do all other members of the Church." He also said, "Our hearts reach out to those who refer to themselves as gays and lesbians. We love and honor them as sons and daughters of God. They are welcome in the Church. It is expected, however, that they follow the same God-given rules of conduct that apply to everyone else, whether single or married."

This issue will continue to come up because the world does not accept the words of a living prophet.

Comments

Anonymous said…
Ms. Dew is a closeted lesbian, which is documented by many close to her. It is apparent that her comments stem from a deep self-hatred. It is sad that Mormons make it an either or; she cannot be herself, and be "righteous". Families are torn apart by the LDS stance on homosexuality; that a mother or father should have to make that choice between a God and a child of God, to me, makes that religion nothing less than fiction. No just God would force that choice. Read your Bible and start adhering to every piece of scripture in it and then you can stand on the side of those opposing homosexuality. Otherwise, you are as much a "sinner" as a homosexual. Ignorance is not bliss to those affected by other's ignorant views.
Tim Malone said…
Ordinarily I would delete your comment but I'm going to leave it and try to open a dialog if you are willing. I do this in the spirit of the recent announcement by Dave Melson of the gay Mormon support group Affirmation that representatives of the church have agreed to meet with leaders of the group in an effort to improve strained relations.

Your comments were obviously intended to provide shock value. They were shocking. Do you have any evidence to back up your claim? As you can tell from my post, my impression of Sheri Dew has been completely the opposite of yours. I have read almost all of Sheri Dew's published works and have come to sense her deep and abiding faith in Jesus Christ and love for His prophets and all children of God.

I disagree with your point that a gay person cannot be righteous. Straight people are tempted with lustful desires but are righteous as long as they do not act upon them. The same thing applies to gay people. They experience same sex attraction. For some people, it is just part of life, it is just a part of who they are. I make every effort to control my lustful desires. Thank God for repentance.

I too have seen the awful things that can happen to a family when some members are less than loving and accepting to those who have same sex attraction. It stems from fear and is not from God. It is difficult to deal with the hurt feelings on both sides. So much healing can take place when family members forgive one another.

The church does NOT teach that a father and mother have to choose between their child and God. Of course God wants us to love all our children, no matter if they are gay or straight. I agree with you that any religion that teaches otherwise is not founded on the teachings of the Master. Unfortunately, some parents choose their responses wrongly. It can be a major test of their faith and some don't do well.

I agree, no just God would force parents to reject their children. That is wrong. God does not do that and the Church does not teach that. The LDS stance on same sex attraction is to be loving and accepting of those who suffer from this temptation. It is not a disease. It is not a sickness to be gay. It is a temptation.

I concur with your point that we cannot and should not be ignorant of the issues of homosexuality in the Church. There are so many good resources that have been published by the Church in the recent past. Note especially Elder Holland's talks in General Conference and the remarks of Elder Oaks and Elder Wickman in the LDS Newsroom.

Please read my post about same sex attraction that I wrote back in October of 2007. Elder Holland wrote such a good article in the Ensign about the issue that I just had to write about it.

Dealing with same gender attraction is a problem for many people in the church who have not yet matured to the level of the Christ-like love that we should have. They have not yet learned to separate the sin from the temptation. Again, forgiveness on all sides is in order. What do you think? Can it be done? Can attitudes of the members be changed and bigotry be removed? I hope so.
u33c said…
I note that "Anonymous" has not yet responded, and it's been more than a year. So much for claims regarding Sheri Dew's behavior.

What is lost on this commenter is the total inconsistency of the behavior he accuses her of and her own actual behavior towards others and her clear spiritual insights.

No one who is guilty of a lack of self control--especially in the moral arena (read "sexual morality") can have such spiritual insights. A pure well will give pure water, and likewise, an impure well will give impure water. It's that simple--really!

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