Sunday, May 11, 2008

Mother's Day

All that I am, or hope to be, I owe to my angel mother.
-Abraham Lincoln

After this world passes away and we have access to the Book of Life, we will see that those who wielded the most influence for good in the world were not kings or queens, presidents, magistrates, dictators, emperors, legislators, judges, lords, or ladies but Mothers. Sadly, our society downplays the importance of Motherhood. It has become ancillary to the pursuit of a career; children have become a waste of time and are left to daycare operators and schools to be raised, rather than being taught by loving Mothers.

On this day dedicated to Mothers, let’s remember the centrality of Mothers in God’s plan for us.

Within the Gospel, although the roles of each are different, the rights, powers, and responsibilities of Motherhood are equal to the rights, powers, and responsibilities of Priesthood. See The Family: A Proclamation to the World. I saw this first hand growing up. Mom and Dad worked together to bring my siblings and me to the Lord. Dad presided in our home, loved us, provided for us, and protected us while Mom nurtured us, loved us, and taught us.

Even though my parents had eleven children, Mom stayed home to take care of us while Dad worked long hours as the manager of a Church Welfare Farm. Dad made good money which would have allowed a smaller family to live quite comfortably.

But we weren’t a smaller family.
Most of my clothes were hand-me-downs except for the two shirts, one pair of pants, and one pair of shoes I got at the beginning of each school year and the random clothing I got for Christmas. And it was worse for my older siblings. Some years, they didn’t have enough for Christmas, and there were times when all they had to eat were potatoes.
The temptation for Mom to get a job must have been great. With the money she would’ve earned, she could’ve provided the luxuries of life for her children. But she never went to work, and I thank God every day that she didn’t because she gave me riches far greater than new clothes, fancy toys, cars, electronics, and the other wants of life.

You see, Mom gave me a testimony of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. My earliest memories are of Mom telling me the stories of Daniel and the Lion’s Den, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego and the Fiery Furnace, Nephi, and Jesus with the little children of Jerusalem and Bountiful. The seed of faith Mom planted within my heart took root, sprouted, grew, and has begun to bring forth fruit. It is a seed I hope to plant within my children.

When I got older, I often had trouble sleeping. Mom would stay up with me, and we would talk until I could finally sleep.
I knew Mom loved me by the way she treated me. And by loving me, Mom made me want to live the Gospel. When I disobeyed as a teenager, she didn’t need to scold me because I could see how deeply disappointed she was with my behavior. I don’t think she did it intentionally, but her feelings would bleed through to her face. And because I loved her, all I wanted to do was not to disappoint her.
And my mother was not the first woman to have a lasting influence on her son. For example, the Book of Mormon teaches of two thousand young men who left to fight a war in place of their fathers who had covenanted with the Lord they would not go to war. When faced with fighting a foe who greatly outnumbered them, even though they had never fought before, they remembered the words of their mothers, "that if they did not doubt, God would deliver them. . . . [And they did] not doubt [their] mothers knew it." (Alma 56:47-48).
The young men fought several battles, and while many of their allies and enemies died, not one of the young men perished. (Alma 56:56; 57:25). All because their Mothers took the time to teach them Faith in God.
If more mothers would teach their children like these two thousand young men’s mothers, the number of casualties to sin would be significantly lower, and whole cities and societies could escape the destruction and plagues caused by immorality and crime.

My beloved wife, Misty, although her capacity, intellect, and ability far exceed my own, has elected to stay home with our children. Of the two of us, her job is far more difficult than mine. And considering my own capacity, intellect, and ability, I know I would fail miserably to teach and nurture our children in the ways of the Lord in the same way she does.
I love to watch her with our children and to listen to her love-filled voice as she speaks to them. And even though I get jealous, I love it that our children prefer Mommy over Daddy because I do too. Who can blame them for wanting to be with the most loving, beautiful, kind, and caring person there is?
God be thanked for Mothers everywhere who love their children more than money, careers, and prestige and who teach them to walk in the ways of the Lord!

And to all those Mothers, especially mine and the Mother of my children, HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY!


mistyp said...

Thanks...a little belated! ;)

Prof. Osler said...

It is strange it is only one day...