Ann Romney, Sheri Dew, others share thoughts at Time Out for Women in Salt Lake City

Published: Tuesday, Nov. 26 2013 5:00 a.m. MST

Claudia Crump, center, listens to S. Michael Wilcox speak at Time Out for Women at the Maverik Center in West Valley City on Saturday, Nov. 23, 2013.

Kristin Murphy, Deseret News

SALT LAKE CITY — When life throws a curveball, “we just do the best we can,” Ann Romney told thousands of women at Deseret Book’s Time Out for Women event Nov. 22.

Romney, the wife of 2012 presidential candidate Mitt Romney, is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and was one of several authors and musicians to appear during the two-day event which focused on uplifting and inspiring women.

This year’s theme was “Higher” and based on the scripture Isaiah 55:9.

The Salt Lake event was the last of several events this year across the U.S. and Canada. Events were also held in Australia and New Zealand.

The program also included Deseret Book CEO Sheri Dew; authors Terryl and Fiona Givens, S. Michael Wilcox, Mary Ellen Edmunds, Laurel Christensen Day and Jennifer Brinkerhoff Platt; and musicians Sandra Turley, Hilary Weeks and the new musical group Hudson Lights.

Trials and mothering

Romney talked about raising five boys and now being a grandmother, dealing with multiple sclerosis, her husband’s presidential nomination and her new cookbook, “The Romney Family Table” (Shadow Mountain, $29.99), in an interview/question-and-answer session with Dew.

“I’m grateful for trials I’ve gone through,” Romney said of having multiple sclerosis, a disease that affects the nervous system. She was diagnosed in 1998.

“Sometimes the only way is to endure and enduring is part of what we have to learn in life," she said.

It also gives her perspective on others who suffer and gratitude for those who continually “reached out to me when I was without hope.”

On raising a family, she said that her boys would be so well-behaved at church, but at home, “boys like to bounce balls and bounce heads and bounce each others’ heads.”

Romney said that once when Mitt called home from a business trip, he told her to hang in there because what she was doing was more important than what he was doing. That helped give her new perspective on being a mother and mothering.

“When you’re a young mom, just hang in there,” said Ann Romney, who was baptized when Mitt was serving a mission in France.

When their family was young, they lived in Cambridge, Mass., during the 1970s. She would get awful looks and responses when she would walk down the street with her two young boys and was pregnant with No. 3.

“You know in your heart you are doing what’s right,” she said. “I had to be strong. I had to be firm.”

During Mitt's campaign for president, she said she had to remind herself daily why they were running and who she was running with — her husband — to help insulate herself against the negativity and criticism that comes with running for the nation’s highest elected office.

“I loved campaigning. I loved seeing the country and the people in it,” she said.

She’s recently been in the media, but for a different reason.

“It’s a huge relief to not talk about politics,” Romney said of the response she has received from “The Romney Family Table,” which includes family stories and recipes. In doing interviews about it, she’s been able to talk more about the importance of families.

Women and the gospel

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