Approximately 300 people gathered at BYU on Thursday, Oct. 1 to participate in a Q&A and book signing with Ann Romney.
Romney’s book, “In This Together,” discusses her journey from patient to advocate and tells of her struggles with being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. All proceeds from her book will go to the Ann Romney Center for Neurologic Disease at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. Romney became a household name among conservatives during her husband’s 2012 presidential campaign.
“My book was written as a dedication for those who are suffering or going through trials,” Romney said.
Romney further said her goal in this book was to be transparent and honest about her journey from despair back to hope.
During the Q&A, Romney spent a majority of her time discussing her love of horses, which she called her partners in the healing process. She talked about the harmony that exists between a rider and a horse and shared one experience when a horse wouldn’t listen to her because he was afraid of the wind. She was frustrated because she could see the big picture and had the outside rein but the horse wouldn’t listen. Romney made a comparison to the gospel from that experience.
“I realized that’s exactly how God feels about us. We need to give up. God has the outside rein. As we go through life and are distracted, we forget to be quiet and listen to God,” she said.
Romney further talked about how she failed miserably the first time she rode after receiving her diagnosis, but she said she’d never been happier than she was in that moment.
“Failure was good. I was participating in life again. I was taking risks,” Romney said.
Romney described how she found through the course of her life that one of the most important things a person can do is take care of the mind, body and spirit.
She said people suffering through illness have a new body and new rules of how to take care of it. She also discussed the importance of having a positive attitude in order to take care of the mind. Finally, she suggested people take care of the spirit by remembering how to utilize the Atonement in their lives.
The event was cosponsored by the Women’s Service and Resources and the BYU Store. Director of the Women’s Service and Resources Tiffany Turley said she was thrilled with the turnout and with Romney’s messages in the Q&A.
“I knew Ann Romney would be inspiring, but I think she was more inspiring than I could have imagined,” Turley said. She also added that she could tell that the audience had been moved by what she had said as well.
Tami Barber, the book buyer for the BYU Store was also pleased with the opportunity to host this event, saying it was a rare experience for somebody of Romney’s caliber to come to BYU for a book signing.