Sheri L. Dew


Sheri L. Dew

Sheri L. Dew (b. November 21, 1953) is a Latter-day Saint leader, inspirational speaker, writer, White House delegate to the United Nations, and the president and chief executive officer of Deseret Book. In 2003, she was described as “the most prominent single LDS woman right now”. [Cecil O. Samuelson, quoted in [http://newsnet.byu.edu/story.cfm/42545 "Play Examines Singles Stigma"] , BYU NewsNet, 24 February 2003.]

Biography

Born in Ulysses, Kansas, Dew grew up on a farm, obtained a degree from Brigham Young University, and quickly moved into the Mormon publishing business. Between 1997 and 2002 she served as a counselor to Mary Ellen W. Smoot in the general presidency of the women’s Relief Society, the first non-married woman called to this position in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church).

Dew has given many speeches to audiences in the United States and around the world, traveling in Colombia, Africa, the Philippines, Cambodia, Ecuador and Japan. As an author, Dew wrote authorized biographies of two LDS Church presidents, Ezra Taft Benson and Gordon B. Hinckley. She also has also written the biography of 1985 Miss America Sharlene Wells and four inspirational volumes: "No Doubt About It"; "No One Can Take Your Place"; "If Life Were Easy", "It Wouldn't Be Hard"; and "God Wants A Powerful People".

As a White House delegate to the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women, Dew defended American president George W. Bush’s conservative social agenda, proposing sexual abstinence and monogamy as the solution to the AIDS pandemic and other global ills. She often speaks about the sanctity of marriage, motherhood, and the family, while opposing progressive social trends such as same-sex marriage or the idea that there should be no difference between the gender roles of men and women.

After a 1999 trip to Ghana, Dew began to spearhead a humanitarian program to send children’s books to impoverished areas of the world. The first shipment of 6500 books was sent to Ghana and Fiji in July 2005.

Controversial speech

Sheri Dew was embroiled in controversy resulting from remarks she made in February 2004 at an event sponsored by a conservative religious coalition in Washington, D.C.. Dew showed the audience a picture of a same-sex wedding; the photograph depicted two men getting married at the San Francisco City Hall and holding their adopted infant twin daughters in their arms. “This is hard for me to stomach,” said Dew. “What kind of chance do these girls have being raised in that kind of setting?”

In the same speech Dew suggested a comparison between not having done anything to oppose the rise of Adolf Hitler and not doing anything to oppose the rise of families headed by same-sex partners: “At first it may seem a bit extreme to imply a comparison between the atrocities of Hitler and what is happening in terms of contemporary threats against the family—but maybe not.”

Dew’s speech was posted on the website of " [http://www.meridianmagazine.com/ Meridian Magazine] ", but the expression, “This is hard for me to stomach” was changed to “I was, frankly, heartsick.”

In March 2004 issued a statement expressing their “outrage” at the comments made by Dew. “We agree with LDS Church president Gordon B. Hinckley when he says that families are under attack,” read the statement. “But when we see LDS leaders provoke disgust at our families, spend millions of dollars so that we will never be able to marry, and lobby so that our children will never have two legal parents, we arrive at a different conclusion about who is the aggressor and who are the victims.”

In September 2004 the Human Rights Campaign and the National Black Justice Coalition called on Bush to repudiate Dew for making “deeply offensive comments about GLBT Americans.” Dew had been scheduled to give a prayer at the Republican National Convention of 2004. Only days after the letter was sent to Bush, Meridian Magazine pulled Dew’s speech from its website. Stories about the controversy appeared in Utah’s two major newspapers, in "Sunstone Magazine", and on several websites.

In April 2005 Dew broke her silence about the controversy during a speaking engagement at Brigham Young University. According to a "Deseret Morning News" reporter, Dew emphasized 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.”

“I have friends living an openly gay lifestyle with kids,” she added. “In every instance, they are caring parents who love their kids and their kids love them. They know I feel it's not my prerogative to judge them. It's their right to choose. ... Those that deal with same-sex attraction have my respect.” [ [http://deseretnews.com/dn/view/0,1249,600124014,00.html Deseret Morning News | Lack of morals called recipe for family disaster ] ]

Publications

* "Ezra Taft Benson: A Biography". Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1987
* "Sharlene Wells, Miss America". Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1985
* "God Wants a Powerful People" (Compact Disc). Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 2004.
* "No One Can Take Your Place". Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 2004.
* "No Doubt About It". Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 2001.
* "Go Forward with Faith: The Biography of Gordon B. Hinckley". Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1996.
* "If Life Were Easy, It Wouldn't Be Hard: And Other Reassuring Truths". Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 2005.

ee also

*Barbara Thompson (Mormon)

Notes

ources

* Tad Walch, “Lack of Morals Called Recipe for Family Disaster,” "Deseret Morning News", 6 April 2005.
* “Anti-Gay Coalition Meets Near Washington DC” (14 March 2004, [http://www.affirmation.org/media/2004_03.shtml] ).
* Doug Robinson, "Living the Unexpected Life," "Deseret News," 10 March 2002.
* “Sheri Dew Tells Students to Live Worthily, Repent from Sin” (BYU NewsNet, 9 Dec 2003, [http://newsnet.byu.edu/story.cfm/47285] .
* “Conservatives Rally in D.C.” ("Deseret News", 29 February 2004).
* “Dew to Join Women’s Panel” ("Deseret News", 1 March 2003).
* Sheri L. Dew, “Defenders of the Faith,” Interfaith Conference on Defending Marriage and the Family: By Faith and by Reason, Washington DC, 28 February 2004.
* “Deseret Book President Attacked Unfairly,” "Deseret Morning News", 17 March 2004.
* “As Gay Couples Marry, LDS Leaders Decry Efforts to Destroy the Family,” "Sunstone", March 2004, pp. 71-72.
* Richley Crapo, “Dew Was over the Top” ("Deseret News", 19 March 2004).
* William H. Munk, “Disgusting, Hate-Mongering Statement” ("Salt Lake Metro," 29 April 2004, p. 11, [http://slmetro.com/2004/1/letters.shtml] )dead link|date=October 2008.
* “Rolly & Wells: Web Site Squelches ‘Hitler’ Talk” ("Salt Lake Tribune", 24 September 2004).
* “Meridian Magazine Censors Offensive Speech” [http://www.affirmation.org/media/2004_09.asp] dead link|date=October 2008.
* "Gay Leaders Call on President to Reject Inflammatory Speakers." Press release by the Human Rights Campaign, 30 August 2004, [http://www.hrc.org/Content/ContentGroups/News_Releases/20042/Gay_Leaders_Call_on_President_to_Reject_Inflammatory_Speakers.htm] dead link|date=October 2008.
* “Debasing Our Culture” ("The Boston Phoenix", 3-9 September 2004, [http://www.bostonphoenix.com/boston/news_features/editorial/documents/04097844.asp] ).
* “Feel the Hate” ("The New York Times", 3 September 2004).


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