Dallin told me today:
“We love mommy, just like people who are not vegetarians love salami”
I guess that makes me a pretty good mom that my child loves me as much as cured sausage.
Happy Mother’s Day everyone!
I gave this talk today on mothers. Enjoy!
Brother Chapman asked me to share some of my thoughts and experiences on motherhood. For some reason whenever I think about motherhood and the kind of mother I want to be, my thoughts always turn to a talk given by Sister Julie B. Beck, the Relief Society General President. In the October 2007 General Conference, she gave a talk titled, “Mother’s Who Know.” That talk left a profound impression on me and has helped me to set goals to become the mother that she describes. Goals that I am continually working on and still far from achieving. Much of my talk today will be taken from Sister Beck’s talk.
First of all, what is a “Mother Who Knows” and what exactly do they know. We are all familiar with the story of the Helaman’s 2000 stripling warriors. In Alma chapter 56 verse 47 through 48, Helaman shared these words of those stalwart young men, “Now they never had fought yet they did not fear death; and they did think more upon the liberty of their fathers than they did upon their lives; yea, they had been taught by their mothers, that if they did not doubt, God would deliver them. And they rehearsed unto me the words of their mothers, saying; We do not doubt our mothers knew it.”
Mothers who know, know who they are, know who God is, know what the Savior’s atonement means to their lives, know the truthfulness of the gospel, - and like those mothers of those stripling warriors – they do not doubt it.
Sister Beck said,
“Mother who know desire children. In the scriptures we read of Eve, Sarah, Rebekah, and Mary, who were foreordained to be mothers before children were born to them. Some women are not given the responsibility of bearing children in mortality, but just as Hannah of the Old Testament prayed fervently for her child, the value women place on motherhood in this life and the attributes of motherhood they attain here will rise with them in the Resurrection. Women who desire and work toward that blessing in this life are promised they will receive it for all eternity, and eternity is much, much longer than mortality. There is eternal influence and power in motherhood.”
Mothers who know, make and keep sacred covenants. And they teach their children to make those covenants as well. Dallin will be turning 8 next month. We are so grateful and happy that he has such a strong desire to be baptized. We are grateful for the covenants that we made almost 10 years ago in the Orlando Temple. They strengthen and sustain us.
In “The Family: A Proclamation to the World”, we are taught that a mother’s primary role is to nurture her children. Sister Beck said, “To nurture means to cultivate, care for, and make grow. Therefore, mothers who know create a climate for spiritual and temporal growth in their homes. Another word for nurturing is homemaking. Homemaking includes cooking, washing clothes and dishes, and keeping an orderly home. Home is where women have the most power and influence; therefore, Latter-day Saint women should be the best homemakers in the world. Working beside children in homemaking tasks creates opportunities to teach and model qualities children should emulate. Nurturing mothers are knowledgeable, but all the education women attain will avail them nothing if they do not have the skill to make a home that creates a climate for spiritual growth. Growth happens best in a “house of order,” and women should pattern their homes after the Lord’s house. Nurturing requires organization, patience, love, and work. Helping growth occur through nurturing is truly a powerful and influential role bestowed on women.”
Mothers who know are leaders. In equal partnership with their husbands, they lead a great and eternal organization. These mothers plan for the future of their organization. They plan for missions, temple marriages, and education. They plan for prayer, scripture study, and family home evening. Mothers who know build children into future leaders and are the primary examples of what leaders look like. They do not abandon their plan by succumbing to social pressure and worldly models of parenting. These wise mothers who know are selective about their own activities and involvement to conserve their limited strength in order to maximize their influence where it matters most.
Mothers who know are teachers. We are never off duty and should take every opportunity life offers to teach our children. Sister Beck said, “Think of the power of our future missionary force if mothers considered their homes as a pre–missionary training center. Then the doctrines of the gospel taught in the MTC would be a review and not a revelation. That is influence; that is power.”
Mothers who know do less. Sister Beck said, “Mothers who know allow less media in their homes, less distraction, less activity that draws their children away from their home. Mothers who know are willing to live on less and consume less of the world’s goods in order to spend more time with their children—more time eating together, more time working together, more time reading together, more time talking, laughing, singing, and exemplifying. These mothers choose carefully and do not try to choose it all. Their goal is to prepare a rising generation of children who will take the gospel of Jesus Christ into the entire world. Their goal is to prepare future fathers and mothers who will be builders of the Lord’s kingdom for the next 50 years.”
In that same October 2007 general conference, Elder Dallin H Oaks said “In choosing how we spend time as a family, we should be careful not to exhaust our available time on things that are merely good and leave little time for that which is better or best. Some uses of individual and family time are better, and others are best. We have to forego some good things in order to choose others that are better or best because they develop faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and strengthen our families.”
President Monson suggested a few of those “best” things that we can spend our time doing with our children. He said:
1.Take time to always be at the crossroads in the lives of your children, whether they be six or sixteen.
2. Take time to be a real friend to your children.
3. Take time to read to your children. Remember what the poet wrote:You may have tangible wealth untold; Caskets of jewels and coffers of gold. Richer than I you can never be— I had a mother who read to me.
4. Take time to pray with your children.
5. Take time to have a meaningful weekly home evening. Make this one of your great family traditions.
6. Take time to be together at mealtimes as often as possible.
7. Take time daily to read the scriptures together as a family.
8. Take time to do things together as a family.
9. Take time to teach your children.
10. Take time to truly love your children. A mother’s unqualified love approaches Christ like love.
President Gordon B. Hinckley has asked us to stand strong and immovable for that which is correct and proper under the plan of the Lord. It is mothers who set the tone of the home. It ismothers who most directly affect the lives of their children. It is mothers who teach infants to pray, who read to them choice and beautiful literature from the scriptures. It is mothers who nurture them and bring them up in the ways of the Lord.”
I am grateful for my mother whose influence continues to bless my life and I am grateful for the opportunity I have to learn to be a good mother myself.
In closing I would like to leave you with one of my very favorite quotes from President Monson, “May the laughter of children gladden our hearts. May the faith of children soothe our souls. May the love of children prompt our deeds. ‘Children are an heritage of the Lord’ (Ps.127:3.) “
In the name of Jesus Christ Amen.