Book cover of Women and the Priesthood, by Sheri Dew
Women and the Priesthood

Women and the Priesthood: What One Mormon Woman Believes, by Sheri Dew (Latter-day Saint doctrine)

“In Women and the Priesthood, Sheri Dew discusses the varying responsibilities of men and women in the context of key doctrine of the Church, including the eternal truths that women are vital to the success of the Lord’s Church, that God expects women to receive revelation, and that both men and women have access to God’s highest spiritual blessings.”


Sometimes a book comes along that gives me much more than a glimpse of Zion but an all-out vision of it. This is one of those books. The thing this book does best is detail the tremendous spiritual gifts available to women who are members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints right now and how—as powerful as we are now both individually and as a group—we will become even more powerful and able to accomplish the great work God has for us to do as we rise up and access the priesthood power already available to us. I’m sure that the reason this book resonates with me so much is that I share Sister Dew’s vision. I have long understood the principles she teaches in this book and have taught them to both women and men in the Church. The reason I feel so passionately that we should keep our reading wholesome and media habits clean is because such practices will better enable anyone to access the power of God. In the chapter entitled “God Expects Women to Receive Revelation,” Sister Dew talks about this reality:

Whereas impurity drives the Spirit away, purity invites the Spirit. Anything—movies, language, websites, apps, music, artwork, books, downloads, clothing, thoughts, feelings, actions, you name it—that is coarse, angry, profane, resentful, vulgar, dishonest, hard-hearted, immodest, or immoral, or that in any way supports the adversary’s agenda, will drive the Spirit away or prevent the Spirit from coming. . . .

Increased purity takes effort. But purity is a key to inviting the presence of the Holy Ghost and the ministering of angels. (pp. 59-60)

Chapter 3

Working to clean up our media habits and keep them that way is important, but it is only one part of the quest to become pure in heart. In the chapter “Converted Women Can Change the World,” Sister Dew describes what I believe is the very essence of becoming pure in heart and achieving Zion:

Conversion requires immersion. Immersion in truth. Immersion in the temple. Immersion through fasting, prayer, and time to contemplate the things of heaven.

We need to think about the Lord more. We need to seek to understand who He is and what He taught.

The more we know about the Lord Jesus Christ, the more we will want to know. The more we testify about what we know, the more it will become integral to who we are.

Immersing ourselves in the things of heaven is not about doing more. But it may be about doing things differently. It is definitely about covenant making and covenant keeping. It is about immersing ourselves in the gospel of Jesus Christ so that the Spirit testifies to our spirits in such sustained, penetrating ways that we no longer question, no longer doubt, and no longer entertain temptations to hold back from full commitment to the Lord and His work. (p. 170)

Chapter 8

That’s good advice for both women and men who want to better access the power of God in their own particular roles and responsibilities.

Woman at the Well by C.H. Bloch
Woman at the Well by C.H. Bloch

I can’t recommend this book highly enough. One of the things I really like about it is that it brings much of the doctrine on women’s relationship to the priesthood together in one place, told from a modern woman’s point of view. If you are embarking on your own study, this book will save you a lot of time, because it is bursting with quotations from prophets and apostles, past and present, on this important topic.

When Sister Dew was a member of the general Relief Society presidency, she gave many sermons that are on the Church’s website. Here are links to two of my favorites:

We Are Women of God
Are We Not all Mothers?

Below are links to articles that were pivotal to me as I worked to gain my own understanding of the spiritual gifts available to women:

What I Hope You Will Teach Your Children about the Temple, by President Ezra Taft Benson of the Quorum of the Twelve

“One Thing Needful”: Becoming Women of Greater Faith in Christ, by Patricia T. Holland

Spiritual Gifts, by Elder Dallin H. Oaks of the Quorum of the Twelve