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Emily Freeman on Women and the Priesthood

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Recently a dear friend shared a tender experience with me. For months she had prayed about a problem of great significance. Questioning her ability to receive revelation she asked for a Priesthood blessing. The blessing contained a line of counsel that brought her immediate strength and insight, “You are a beautiful, pure, and worthy daughter of our Heavenly Father. Why would He not give you personal revelation?”

One of the great complexities of life is to learn the pathway by which we may communicate with the Lord. We know what it is to pray, to pour out our souls as we plead for answers from on high. However, revelation often eludes us, leaving us to wonder if the Heavens really are open to a loving Father who will hear and respond to our cry.

The scriptures testify time and again of the active role the Lord longs to play our life. As Solomon prepared for the great task before him the Lord replied, “Ask what I shall give thee” (1 Kings 3:5). In answer to the longing of Nephi’s heart He questioned, “…what desirest thou?" (1 Nephi 11:2). When the Brother of Jared approached Him for advice the Lord asked, “What will ye that I should do?” (Ether 2:23). The pattern is clear; The Lord wants us to turn to Him.  But an even more important lesson is taught through these verses––He plans to respond.  And not just to His prophets, the scriptures teach of His desire to communicate with all of His children. “Hearken unto the voice of the Lord your God, while I speak unto you…my daughter” (D&C 25:1).

In her most recent book, Sheri Dew sets forth this principle of revelation, “My purpose…is to declare without reservation that our Father will reveal His mind and will to His daughters. Not only that: He expects His daughters to learn how to receive instruction from Him and then seek to do so” (Women and the Priesthood, pg. 50).

It is the word expects that captures my interest most and causes me to reflect on my own life. In times of turmoil, He expects me to receive inspiration. In moments of indecision, He expects me to receive inspiration. On the days when my heart is heavy, He expects me to receive inspiration. It is an invitation that comes with responsibility––He doesn’t just want me to pour out my soul, He expects me to receive His reply.  

As I have learned to expect revelation as one of His daughters it has been my opportunity to experience what Mormon testified of, “I do not know all things; but the Lord knoweth all things which are to come; wherefore, he worketh in me to do according to his will” (Words of Mormon 1:7, emphasis added). Through personal revelation I have felt the Lord working in me allowing me to more fully recognize His counsel, His guidance, and His blessings.

Learning the process by which He worketh in us requires preparation and often submission on our part. Sheri Dew explains, “To receive revelation we haven’t yet received, we will likely need to seek in ways we haven’t sought before and do things we haven’t done” (Women and the Priesthood, pg. 62).  

Her book outlines several ways that we can prepare and qualify to receive revelation. As I accepted the challenge to apply these principles more fully in my own life, I began to recognize revelation pouring into my mind and heart in unexpected ways. The experience was remarkable. I felt the Lord working in me. Through the process I quickly realized that to continue to receive this increase of revelation, more would be expected of me––I would have to live a life worthy to receive it. 

An expectation has been set forth--"He expects His daughters to both seek and receive revelation. Cultivating the ability to do so is crucial to gaining a full understanding, under the direction of the Spirit, of who we are as daughters of God” (Women and the Priesthood, pg. 71).

Today it is my opportunity to add my voice as another witness to Sheri Dew and others who testify of a loving Father who sends revelation to His children––both His sons and His daughters. As women in God’s kingdom it is our great privilege to receive personal revelation that will allow us to nourish souls, lift hearts, receive instruction, and witness miracles.  

He will work in us.  

Of this, I am certain.


Emily is the author of several books, including The Ten Virgins, 21 Days Closer to ChristThe Promise of Enough, and most recently, Written on Our Hearts. Emily and her husband, Greg, live in Lehi, Utah, with their four children.



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In Women and the Priesthood, beloved author Sheri Dew explores the doctrines surrounding a topic that is crucial for both women and men to understand: the role of women in the LDS Church and their relationship with the priesthood.

Key discussions include the varying responsibilities of men and women in the context of key doctrine of the Church and the eternal truths that women are vital to the success of the Lord's church, that God expects women to receive revelation, and that both men and women have access to God's highest spiritual blessings.

This enlightening book shows how studying the doctrine of the priesthood will help you find the answers you seek about women and the priesthood, about women in the Church, and about the vital influence righteous women can have in the world. Get it now Deseret Book

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