Sheri Dew: Living the unexpected life

'Unmarried' leader is almost a celebrity among LDS

Published: Monday, Oct. 28 2002 12:15 p.m. MST

In public, Dew is ever the confident, independent woman, but in private she still retains part of the same insecure girl of her youth. She peppers her sentences with self-deprecating humor and painful self-evaluations — "The truth is I've never been one of those girls who guys see on the street corner and think, 'I've got to take her out.' " She still thinks she doesn't measure up.

"I still struggle; I'm still surprised if I find out that somebody thinks I'm OK," she confesses.

"One of her charms is that she just doesn't get it," says Larson. "She does not realize what it is people love so much about her. She does not see herself as wonderful. She is a pure, honest human being."

Armed with the compassion and wisdom she has learned in the trenches, she is uniquely suited in her job as a representative of her church. There have been worse ideas than turning such a keen, sensitive heart and mind loose in the world to meet diverse people, to connect with them, to learn and observe, to extract life's truths and pass along to a church at large.

In her trips to Africa, for instance, she observed poverty, abuse, disease, starvation — but not the depression that's so prevalent in the United States. The people told her they were happy because of their belief in their religion.

"And we have everything here except sometimes happiness," says Dew. "I wonder who the Lord is really worried about — us or them? I have never heard people pray or sing as the people did in Africa. When it was time to fly home, I didn't want to leave. I was wiping tears all the way home."

For all the disappointments, Dew is living a rich life and she knows it.

"I love my life," she says. "I'm happy about my life."

E-MAIL: droby@desnews.com

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