Sheri L. Dew invites BYU Women’s Conference participants to live celestially in a telestial world

Sheri L. Dew speaks to participants of BYU Women’s Conference on May 5. Sister Dew invited them to live celestially in a telestial world. (Megan Zaugg)

Sheri L. Dew encouraged men and women to live celestially and strengthen their relationship with God during her BYU Women’s Conference keynote address on May 5.

Lita Little Giddins, associate vice president of the BYU Office of Belonging, opened the session and introduced Sister Dew.

Participants of women’s conference engaged in an evening of service on May 4 creating hygiene kits, meal kits, gathering supplies and more. “You were absolutely marvelous,” Little Giddins said of participants. “You performed miracle after miracle.”

Sister Dew began by thanking everyone for attending and sharing words of encouragement to those in attendance.

She said she often receives questions from individuals about if she has ever struggled with her testimony. “The short answer to that is ‘no,'” she said. “I’ve never struggled to believe that God’s my father or that Jesus is the Christ.”

However, Sister Dew said she has had times where she struggled to feel there was a place for her in the Church. She said she wanted to discuss what kept her faithful during those times.

Sister Dew said being a publisher, referencing her position as CEO of Deseret Book, she has had the opportunity to interact with many of “the most articulate, faithful minds in our culture.”

BYU Women’s Conference goers take a selfie together. Sheri L. Dew spoke to participants of BYU women’s conference on May 5. (Megan Zaugg)

Sister Dew referenced the story of Enoch from the book of Moses. According to the scripture, Enoch was slow of speech and could not preach to the people. However, God promised him that if he would open his mouth, it would be filled, Sister Dew said.

“As members of the Lord’s church, we care about words,” she said. “Because the Lord cares about words, so does the adversary.”

Sister Dew said the adversary often uses words in the form of flattery to drag individuals down, and with the “glut of information available at our fingertips,” it can be difficult to discern what is truth and what is not.

“Talk about a war of words and a tumult of opinions,” Sister Dew said. “Joseph Smith’s description of his day describes ours perfectly.”

She later shared an experience she had after attending the temple for the first time in her young adulthood. “Candidly, I didn’t love the experience,” she said.

After a few years, Sister Dew told her Stake President her temple attendance was low. “He looked at me and he just said, ‘Sheri, just go,'” she said.

Sister Dew said increasing her temple attendance made her feel both spiritually and emotionally stronger.

“Just go, and keep going. It will literally change your life,” she said.

BYU Women’s Conference goers walk together after the keynote session on May 5. Sheri L. Dew spoke about living celestially during her address. (Megan Zaugg)

In closing, Sister Dew invited individuals to follow the prophet. She said there are some who think they are smarter than prophets and who pressure them to conform to societal standards. “Be wary of those,” she said.

Sister Dew also said she was not suggesting the prophets are perfect, “because they aren’t.”

“If prophets, seers and revelators are not perfect, then why should we trust them maybe more than anyone else? Because they are the most infallible leaders on Earth,” she said.

Sister Dew said no singular leader, even the senior apostles, act alone. Every decision made by the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles must be unanimous, she said.

Above all, Sister Dew testified that Jesus Christ is the Savior and the answer. “That is why prophets are so crucial,” she said.

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