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Motherhood: An Essay 2 of 3

Sister Julie B. Beck, Relief Society General President said: “Mothers who know are nurturers. … To nurture means to cultivate, care for, and make grow. 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. ... 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 (see D&C 109). Nurturing requires organization, patience, love, and work."

Now I don't know about you, but that is a lot of pressure. Just reciting that quote sends my mind into a tailspin of failings, dissapointments and regrets. It takes a lot of silent convincing before I can actually allow myself to accept that Sister Beck is right. Not because I don't view her words as divine, but because I view myself as so impossible to the task that I naturally resist it.

Elder Holland, reassures me, May I say to mothers collectively, in the name of the Lord, you are magnificent. You are doing terrifically well. The very fact that you have been given such a responsibility is everlasting evidence of the trust your Father in Heaven has in you. He is blessing you and He will bless you, even—no, especially—when your days and your nights may be the most challenging.”

Several years ago during a stake training meeting the Primary presidency I was in was given this encouragement, 'You are not failing. Sometimes--a lot of times—it surely feels as if you are overwhelmed with work and that you are never going to truly succeed. So let me repeat myself, you are not failing. Failure only occurs when you stop trying and you have not stopped.'

There is this woman named Stephanie Nielson who is a prime example of not giving up. In 2008 Stephanie and her husband Christian were in a terrible plane crash and Stephanie was burnt over 80% of her body. When she woke, months later, it was to discover that none of her children recognized her. She was completely disfigured. Now, three years later she still struggles with the very things that you and I take for granted.

She says, Last night I called for my girls to join me in my bed for a chat. Tears welled up in my eyes as I looked at my daughters. Such gorgeous things. I told them how sorry I was, how sorry I was that the airplane crashed. I wept. They looked stunned at my boldness. Claire patted my head softy and Jane wrapped her arms around me. There were no words, just tears. I told them that I would never ever let anything like that disturb our family again. I won't. Then we all linked pinkies to reinforce the very powerful, very serious pinkie promise. Then we smiled and my pain felt lifted. As they jumped off my bed to retire to there own, I told them I loved them and that Heavenly Father has big plans for our family, and we need not worry just trust in Him. Jane looked at me and said; "Is that why the airplane fell out of the sky? Did he do that?"

"Yes-well no" I slowly answered, a little confused myself "but He saved our lives and that was the beginning of the part of our big plan. We are in the middle of it right now and It is going to get easier." I heard myself mimicking exactly what my Mom had told me earlier [that day] and now I believed it. I had too. My pain, heartache and confusion have led me to a state of mind that all is lost, but when I look into my children's eyes I see my Savior and I know that it is not lost, it is just the beginning of a "big plan" for us. I hope the big plan includes lots of cupcakes. I have a feeling it will.

Sister Beck says that [Mothers who know are] women who are strong and immovable and who do not give up during difficult and discouraging times.” 


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