Relief Society Sister Makes Declarative Statement
HELPER, UT—In a bold move that has sparked discussion and anger in the Helper 2nd Ward, Sister Rosemary Watts made the following comment in Relief Society last Sunday: “There is absolutely no scriptural evidence to support your theory.” The statement was in response to teacher Kathleen Bailey’s comment that Bathsheba tempted David by purposefully bathing naked outside his window.
Other Relief Society women said it was the phrasing, not the actual words, that caused the subsequent furor.
“Rosemary didn’t preface her remark with something like ‘Maybe it’s just me’ or ‘I don’t know if this is true or not,’” explained Relief Society president Lacey Holding. “She just came right out and said it. Even a milder phrase like ‘I was just going to say’ would have helped.”
Holding’s first counselor, Lisa Fowler, says that Watts’s comment has “completely ruined” the spirit of peace and friendship among the sisters. “I don’t know if this will be a good quote for your story or not, but Relief Society is about love and sisterhood,” she says. “Self-effacement is what holds us together. It makes us feel like no one is smarter than anyone else, so that no one feels threatened.”
The Relief Society secretary, Terrie Moore, cites Watts’s master’s degree in philosophy as the reason for her inability to “get along” with the group. “I guess I’m really stupid compared to Rosemary, but at least I don’ t make the teacher burst into tears halfway through a class discussion,” she said.
“Maybe I’m wrong, but it seems like authoritative
statements are more of a priesthood thing to do, ” said Moore.