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Monday, December 22, 2014

A Mother's Touch

A Mother's Touch

The role of a mother has been something that has weighed heavily on my mind for the last two years. I've taken my responsibility seriously but more so in the last few years as I have taken on the additional role of educating my children as well.  I worry over what my children are learning and if they are learning the right things. It has taken me a little while to realize it's okay if my set of guidelines look different from the public school guidelines.  After all I don't have the same values as the crew that put together Common Core standards. 

I have had a great shifting in my thoughts on motherhood in the last few years.  Three years ago I was perfectly fine with sending my little ones to the end of the block to school. I hurried them out the door with their sack lunches and back packs and then my day begin.  There was grocery shopping to do, floors to mop, laundry to fold, bathrooms to clean, beds to tidy and Facebook to check. Since pulling my kids out of public school I have had to greatly change how my day looks.  Shopping now consists of 4 kids tagging along with me, so of course it takes longer to get the job done.  My laundry stacks up but my kids are learning how to pitch in and fold.  My dishes don't always get done right after breakfast like I would like them to, my floors aren't mopped as often. As for Facebook it is history, it sucked to much time out of my day.   Upon giving up my time during the day, I have given my children something precious, my time and full attention.  In return I am learning so many amazing things right along with my children.

I continually have to remind myself, it is okay if the kids make a mess while they are learning.  In the long run will my clean house (and I really like a clean house) be what people know me by or what my kids remember the most about me?  Or will they remember doing science experiments like Elephants Toothpaste, or blowing soap up in the microwave?  

So what does all this have to do with a mother's touch? That brings me to a quote by Brigham Young:

"The duty of the mother is to watch over her children, and give them their early education, for impressions received in infancy are lasting. You know, yourselves, by experience, that the impressions you have received in the dawn of your mortal existence, bear, to this day, with the greatest weight upon your mind. It is the experience of people generally, that what they imbibe from their mothers in infancy, is the most lasting upon the mind through life... Children have all confidence in their mothers; and if mothers would take proper pains, they can instill into the hearts of their children what they please. You will, no doubt, recollect reading, in the Book of Mormon, of two thousand young men, who were brought up to believe that, if they put their whole trust in God, and served Him, no power would overcome them. You also recollect reading of them going out to fight, and so bold were they, and so mighty their faith, that it was impossible for their enemies to slay them. This power and faith they obtained through the teachings of their mothers. (Journal of Discourses 1:66-70)

For me that quote reminds my of my duties as a mother, to raise my children up in righteousness and prepare them for going out into the world. Mothers play a great role in the lives of their little ones. 

In the Book of Mormon, one of my favorite stories is that of the 2000 stripling warriors.  These young men volunteered to go into war to defend their freedoms and their families.  Helaman lead them with great courage. These young men became an army to fear because they were so successful in war. They could have boasted of theirselves but they didn't. When they returned from war not one single soul from their 2000 warriors had perished at the hand of their enemy.  

19 But behold, my little band of two thousand and sixty fought most desperately; yea, they were firm before the Lamanites, and did administer death unto all those who opposed them.
20 And as the remainder of our army were about to give way before the Lamanites, behold, those two thousand and sixty were firm and undaunted.
 21 Yea, and they did obey and observe to perform every word of command with exactness; yea, and even according to their faith it was done unto them; and I did remember the words which they said unto me that their mothers had taught them.  Alma 57:19-21

What great young men these must of been, they fought with courage for their families, yet they gave the credit to their mothers.  Their mothers had taught them in righteousness.  I can just imagine these young men as children setting at the feet of their mothers learning not only the gospel of Jesus Christ but how to be firm and undaunted. What great faith they must of had in not only their mothers but in our Heavenly Father and his ability to be able to protect them as they went off to war. 

What courage these mothers had to see their sons go off into  battle, not knowing if they would return but praying that they would and hoping that they had taught them well.  How their faith in God must have been strengthened as they watched their young sons return home.  I'm sure many prayers of thanks must have been given that day.  

Mothers, today we have a great responsibility to teach our children. Not all of us will be sending our sons and daughters off to fight for our freedoms and our families, but there is a war of good over evil waging against our precious children daily.   Are we teaching our children how to be "firm and undaunted". Do they know to turn the TV or computer off when pornography, violence or foul language comes on?   I ask myself daily, what am I doing to strengthen my children so that as they face their own personal battles they are "firm and undaunted".  Are we  teaching them to be firmly planted in the gospel of Jesus Christ?  What kind of touch are we leaving on the impressionable minds of our little ones? As Brigham Young said, what mothers teach their children will have a lasting effect upon them and will shape their ideas of the world around them.  

My house my not be as tidy as I like but I am working on how I can touch the lives of my children for the better. I will consider myself successful if I can teach them to be firmly planted in the gospel of Jesus Christ. I will be successful if I can send them into the world with the confidence that they will be "firm and undaunted" in the challenges that they will face. Yes, my day has changed greatly and I no longer have enough time to accomplish everything, but I am doing the most important thing possible, I am shaping young people to become great members of society and to love their Heavenly Father. Hopefully my mothers touch will be one that will give them direction and guidance. As I have taken on the role of spiritually and intellectually mentoring my children, I pray that I will be guided by my Heavenly Father and be able to follow His will. 

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