Wednesday, May 21, 2008

God Wants A Powerful People

I've always considered myself a Sheri Dew fan. Loved her biography of President Gordan B. Hinckley. Her book, No Doubt About It, is truly one of my favorites. I love her strength. I love her leadership. I love her honesty.

However, I did not love this book. It seems beyond sacrilege to not love a church book, especially one with such a message, although I do admit to loving many parts of it. Her masterful references to scriptures, appropriate analogies to really drive a point home and self-deprication are spot on, as usual.

But, there is a judgmental tone throughout the book that left a slight unpleasant feeling afterwards. For instance, there is a part of the book where she is talking about our power and being powerful (I know...shocker) and mentions a young adult (or young woman. I can't quite remember) coming up to her after her talk to thank her for her message and how touched and motivated she was. All Sheri Dew seemed to notice was how the girl was dressed. Apparently, her dress standards weren't as stringent as a 50 year old woman and I felt sad that she pointed it out in her book. It made her story...less. Yes, bring up modesty and all of its power, but don't do it that way. Judging someone without their knowledge is never fair. I just didn't like it.

There are a few more instances, one involving overhearing other women at her workplace (which, I assume, is Deseret Book) discussing an Oprah show and her interrupting the conversation by quizzing them on how it compared to a certain General Authority's talk on the subject matter. Of course, they didn't know, or couldn't remember and she admits feeling disgusted and disappointed with these women for not knowing. Perhaps it's the knowledge that I also could never live up to her personal standards that has me feeling judged and combative, but there is a slight tinge of rancor throughout the entire book. It isn't solely uplifting, or encouraging. At least, not without pulling some others down along the way.

Lastly, she refers many times to some extremely difficult circumstances in her personal life. It's always vague and always...unhelpful. I feel like, if you're going to use something as an example, explain it. Don't dance around it. And if you don't want to share, don't. Only sort of, kind of, hinting of your problems isn't really sharing them.

Obviously, there is much good stuff. I probably should have focused on that in my review, but sadly, the power of the book was weakened considerably by my inability to get past the negative and her inability to solely focus on the positive

1 comment:

Amy Sorensen said...

I feel the exact same way about Sheri Dew: her message is lost for me in judgement and vagueness. The vagueness bugs me the most, which is saying a lot because I dislike judgement VERY MUCH. But the "this hard thing happened to me and here is what you should learn from what I experienced" thing, without telling the experience, is really the dumbest writing approach I can think of. I won't even read her books anymore because of that. Hopefully that will assuage your guilt a little bit for not loving it!!! ;)