Wednesday, September 24, 2008

The war against women

Several years ago, while serving as a bishop in Oregon, I had an experience that is still influencing my thinking today. Much of my time spent in counseling was with women, most of them unhappy in some way. Although they came to me with many different types of pain (marriage, children, callings, etc.), the common thread seemed at its basic level to be a lack of self-worth or a sense of personal value. Even with some of the strongest sisters, who served with tremendous capacity in a wide range of responsibilities, there was a near-constant struggle with feelings of inadequacy. After several months of this, it became clear to me that I was in fact witnessing a very subtle plot against women, designed by the Master Deceiver. The intent of it was obvious: If he could get women to forget who they really were, instead focusing on who the world told them they should be and what they must do in order to have value, then entire families, even generations, would be at risk. I remember once standing in front of our Relief Society sisters and telling them that they were being targeted and that if they weren't rock solid in their testimony and commitment, his lies would prevail in their lives.

All of this came back to me the other day as I was reading a talk by Sheri Dew given at the recent BYU Women's Conference. It was entitled "Awake, Arise, and Come Unto Christ" and was as clear a call to arms as I think I've ever read. When Ginger came back from the conference in May and shared with me what Sister Dew said, I knew I needed to read it for myself. Now having done so, I feel it is required reading for every woman I know.

There is a phrase that the members of the Quorum of the Twelve use when they are instructing each other that has application here: "Therefore, what?" To you, dear reader, whether man or woman, I would say, "Therefore, please read this and then share it with at least one woman you know." If every woman in the Church would read and internalize this message, it would be life-changing for them and perhaps world-changing as well. In my humble opinion...

Click here for her message...


  1. I will share this with the most important women in my life. I think she's felt much the way those women in your ward felt. Thank you for sharing this.

  2. I love how inspired you are!! Last night in the General RS meeting President Ucthdorf spoke about this very thing. I had not shared this with you and that makes this Blog all the more profound. I have had many discussion this week with women I know who struggle with this problem- including, sometimes, myself. I love and appreciate your wisdom.

  3. ps Felicia read that talk that very night. She knows how very true it is and how it's hard not to get sucked into it. Thanks again.