*****Disclaimer: I am in no way trying to strike an argument. Please don't fight with me or post mean comments. I am simply sharing a journey that I have experienced and things that I have learned on this journey for anyone else who may be experiencing difficult feelings associated with Motherhood. Please be respectful.*****
Nearly 8 years ago Jeff and I got married. I couldn't wait to go to the temple and learn there. There I learned about and committed myself to covenants that hold me to a higher standard. My desire to become perfect and clean grew by 10 fold through these experiences. We can learn all about the covenants made in the temple with out even stepping foot in one, they are all throughout the Old Testament and there are several books written by apostles and leaders of the church published for all to read concerning these covenants. There is no secret there. The reason for my post today is something I have been experiencing for the past 5 or 6 years. I am not even close to perfect but I am doing my best, that's all I can do.
To preface my stance I will take you to the scriptures so you can see or try to see where I am coming from. In Matthew 13:24–30
24 ¶Another aparable put he forth unto them, saying, The bkingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good cseed in his field:
25 But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed atares among the wheat, and went his way.
27 So the servants of the householder came and said unto him, Sir, didst not thou sow good seed in thy field? from whence then hath it tares?
28 He said unto them, An enemy hath done this. The servants said unto him, Wilt thou then that we go and gather them up?
30 Let both grow together until the aharvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together bfirst the tares, and bind them in bundles to cburn them: but gather the wheat into my barn.
(I left the words linked so if you have questions about any of the words that are linked follow them. Learn more for yourself.)
This is from the bible dictionary(emphasis added):
Tares. Matt. 13:25. The word denotes darnel grass, a poisonous weed, which, until it comes into ear, is similar in appearance to wheat.
Since young wheat and young tares look like each other, when would be the best time to separate the wheat from the tares?
Here is another account of the parable if you'd like to read it found in: D&C 86:1-.
In my opinion our choice is clear, black or white, we're either on one side of the fence or the other. I realize not everyone sees life that way but I know we cannot afford to be fence sitters today. We have to choose which side we're on before we are faced with life decisions, so when they come we know what our path should look like. The Lord will only harvest the wheat. That's what I want to be. I want to fulfill each one of my callings the best I can. Women have a sacred responsibility to bare and nurture children. I believe it is a calling in the highest form. I know I was foreordained to become a mother and that all women were called and chosen for this sacred work. Sheri L. Dew gave a fabulous talk concerning this called: "Are we not all Mothers?"
Here are some quotes that I absolutely love. They are the most profound statements and talks given on the topic. I have plenty more references and quotes, if you are interested in getting them from me please feel free to ask. I just didn't want to spend the time I have with my kids today writing this down.
Ezra Taft Benson
"In the world today, there are observed strenuous efforts to distorts and desecrate this divine pattern. We hear much talk-even among some of our own sisters-about so-called 'alternative life-styles' for women. It is maintained that some women are better suited for careers than for marriage and motherhood, or that a combination of both family and career is no inimical to either. Some have been so bold as to suggest that the church move away from the 'Mormon woman stereotype' of homemaking and rearing children. God grant that that dangerous philosophy will never take rood among out Latter-Day Saint Women!
"I repeat: You are elect because you were elected to a certain work. How glorious is the knowledge that you are dignified by the God of heaven to be wives and mothers in Zion!
"The church recognizes that not all women in the church will have the opportunity for marriage and motherhood in mortality. Of necessity, some of our sisters have had to choose careers as a means of their own livelihood, and in some instances to provide for their families. But we do not encourage our young women to enter into careers as lifelong objectives nor as alternatives to marriage and family. There is a godly and noble reason for this counsel. You were not created to be the same as men. Your natural attributes, affections, and personalities are entirely different from those of man. They consist of faithfulness, benevolence, kindness, and charity. They give you the personality of woman. They also balance the more aggressive and competitive nature of a man.
"The business world is competitive and sometimes ruthless. We do not doubt that women have both the brainpower and skills-and in some instances superior abilities- to compete with men.But by competing they must, of necessity, become aggressive and competitive. Thus their godly attributes are diminished and they acquire a quality of sameness with man.
"...The conventional wisdom of the day would have you be equal with men. We say, we would not have you descend to that level. More often than not the demand for equality means the destruction of the inspired arrangement that God has decreed for man, woman, and the family. Equality should not be confused with equivalence. It is well to remember the inspired counsel of President David O. Mckay: 'Woe to the home where the mother abandons her hold mission or neglects the divine instruction, influence and example-while she bows, a devotee at the shrine or social pleasure; or neglects the essential duties of her own household, in her enthusiasm to promote public reform(CR, Oct 1907, p63)" (emphasis added) (Woman, Deseret Book Company, Salt Lake City, Utah; 1980, p. 70-71).
The First Presidency
"Motherhood is near to divinity. It is the highest, holiest service to be assumed by mankind. It places her who honors its holy calling and service next to the angles" (Woman, Deseret Book Company, Salt Lake City, Utah; 1980, p. 19).
Russell M. Nelson
"The Good Shepherd said, 'Feed my lambs.' (John 21:15.) So a woman feeds her loved ones, providing succor and sustenance just as the Savior would do. Her divine gift is to nurture, to help the young, to care for the poor, to lift the brokenhearted.
The Lord said, 'My work and my glory [is] to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.' (Moses 1:39.) So His devoted daughter-disciple may truly say, 'My work and my glory is to help my loved ones reach that heavenly goal.'To help another human being reach one’s celestial potential is part of the divine mission of woman. As mother, teacher, or nurturing saint,...in partnership with God, her divine mission is to help spirits live and souls be lifted. This is the measure of her creation. It is ennobling, edifying, and exalting... A woman's richest rewards will come as she rises to fulfill her destiny as a devoted daughter of God" (emphasis added) (November 1989 ensign, P. 20).
I love the part that says "in partnership with God". Even if she can't marry or bare children, if she partners with God she will fulfill her destiny.
David O. Mckay
"some young couples enter into marriage and procrastinate the bringing of children into their homes. They are running a great risk. Marriage is for the purpose of rearing a family and youth is the time to do it. I admire these young mothers with four or five children around them now, still young, happy.
" The principle reason for marriage is to rear a family. Failure to do so is one of the conditions that cause love to wilt and eventually to die" (emphasis added) (Gospel Ideals, p. 466).
"If we do not put the proper value on parenthood, we are not emotionally or socially ready for marriage." (Conference Report, April 1956, p.9)
Boyd K. Packer
"When you covenant in marriage and are free to act in the creation of life, when you stand at the threshold of parenthood, know that you stand on holy ground" (Conference Report, October 1966, p 132).
Spencer W. Kimball
"I have told many groups of young people that they should not postpone their marriage until they have acquired all of their education ambitions. I have told tens of thousands of young folks that when they marry they should not wait for children until they have finished their schooling and financial desires. Marriage is basically for the family, and when people have found their proper companions there should be no long delay. They should live together normally and let the children come.
"There seems to be a growing feeling that marriage is for legal sex, for sex's sake. Marriage is basically for the family; that is why we marry—not for the satisfaction of the sex, as the world around us would have us believe. When people have found their companions, there should be no long delay. Young wives should be occupied in bearing and rearing their children. I know of no scriptures where an authorization is given to young wives to withhold their families and to go to work to put their husbands through school. There are thousands of husbands who have worked their own way through school and have reared families at the same time. Though it is more difficult, young people can make their way through their educational programs" (emphasis added) (BYU Speeches of the Year, 1973, p.262-263 Or here)
"Numerous Divorces can be traced directly to the day when the wife left the home and went out into the world into employment. Two incomes raise the standard of living beyond its norm. Two spouses working to prevent the complete and proper home life, break into family prayers, create an independence which is not cooperative, causes distortion, limits the family, and frustrates the children already born" (emphasis added) (As quoted in President Ezra Taft Benson's To the Mothers in Zion (Salt Lake City: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1987), p. 7, a pamphlet).
Here are some links to my favorite talks about motherhood:
A Mother Heart
Mothers Who Know
If you or someone you know is struggling with the calling and pressures of being a mom, share uplifting information with them. We need to be beacons of light and truth especially when others are struggling. Just commiserating could make the situation harder.
I am so happy and blessed to be a mother. Like I said before, I have been on a journey that has brought me to where I am today. Attending the temple as often as possible, reading about motherhood and understanding my role and responsibility as a mom, and praying to gain a stronger testimony and love for my calling has been deeply involved in my journey. Every day is not perfect. I have had some really hard days when I have thought "How can I do this?!" I am still learning and growing. I am still being qualified and tested. I know I can't do this on my own, it has only been when I submit my will to the Lord's that happiness and comfort have been found. I just couldn't sit back and let my voice go unheard, with all that's been going on lately when I have such strong feelings on this matter. It is not any of my business what the Lord's plan is for other people. I cannot be critical of the timing of marriage, motherhood, and the spacing of children because that is strictly between spouses and the Lord. I do know that my life is better and more fulfilling when I follow the plan that is given me by a loving Heavenly Father. I honestly encourage all women, young and old, to try and gain a testimony of their role as mother. Again, I know that not all will marry here on earth or bare children. Sister Sheri L. Dew in her talk ("Are we not all Mothers?") talks about leading other children in our callings or professions in a motherly way. She also said: "No woman who understands the gospel would ever think that any other work is more important or would ever say, 'I am just a mother,' for mothers heal the souls of men... As mothers in Israel, we are the Lord's secret weapon" (emphasis added) (November 2001 Ensign).