Thursday, October 8, 2009

Motherhood---The Greatest Calling

From the time I was very small, I remember wanting with all my heart to be a mother. In time, I determined that I not only wanted to be a mother, but, I wanted to be a mother of MANY! I think that came as a result of caring for 10-12 babies, infants all under the age of two years old, each Sunday for just over an hour. I had all of the babies in my care, all by myself. At times, it could be bedlam, but for the most part, it was such a rewarding experience! I would just make the rounds; changing diapers, feeding and then cuddling and loving them until their mothers emerged from their meeting.

I knew somehow, that the greatest and most rewarding occupation ever, would be that of mothering my OWN children. How blessed I have been to realize that dream! I am a mother of many! And, caring for them, nurturing and loving them has been my full-time labor of love. Up until my divorce, I was so very blessed to be able to home-school my children! Other than paper routes the children and I had for extra income, I was a "stay-at-home" Mom and I loved every minute of it!

I know that in today's world, being "JUST A MOM" is considered somehow unacceptable! IT is viewed as a waste of one's time and talents, and evidence that somehow anyone that would aspire to be a "stay-at-home" mother is terribly lacking in talents, abilities, motivation, lofty ambition, and or worthy goals! And yet, I believe that it is exactly this pervasive attitude and subsequent degradation of the role of motherhood, that is at the root of the moral decline and the behavioral crisis we are witnessing in our schools, and homes and communities.

All too often children are left to raise themselves and have become "latch-key" children---coming home to NO supervision and NO parental care. And, where are the parents? OFTEN they are seeking fulfillment in careers, volunteering and, well, anything that will keep them busy and OUT OF THE HOME! HOW in the world can we expect children to care, when their parents do not.

I pray that mothers and fathers will seek first to fulfill their responsibilities to their children! I pray we will have a return to deeply committed parents desiring to lovingly fulfill, and even excel in executing our call as parents. The Prophet that was the very first prophet I knew, and grew to love with all my heart, gave the following counsel on Motherhood! I LOVE HIS WISDOM and HIS WORDS on this.....

"Mothers can have a powerful influence for good on their children.

One of the greatest needs in the world today is intelligent, conscientious motherhood. …

Motherhood is the greatest potential influence either for good or ill in human life. The mother’s image is the first that stamps itself on the unwritten page of the young child’s mind. It is her caress that first awakens a sense of security; her kiss the first realization of affection; her sympathy and tenderness the first assurance that there is love in the world.

The noblest calling in the world is motherhood. True motherhood is the most beautiful of all arts, the greatest of all professions. She who can paint a masterpiece, or who can write a book that will influence millions, deserves the admiration and plaudits of mankind; but she who rears successfully a family of healthy, beautiful sons and daughters, whose immortal souls will exert an influence throughout the ages long after paintings shall have faded, and books and statues shall have decayed or have been destroyed, deserves the highest honor that man can give, and the choicest blessings of God.

Mothers sow the seeds in childhood that determine to a great extent life’s harvests in adulthood. A mother who instills into the souls of her children respect for one another and love for motherhood and fatherhood, renders a great service to the Church and to humanity in general. Children from such homes go out into the world as good citizens—citizens who will render the service which their parents have rendered, to fight the battles which their fathers and mothers have fought. …

Motherhood is the one thing in all the world which most truly exemplifies the God-given virtues of creating and sacrificing. Though it carries the woman close to the brink of death, motherhood also leads her into the very realm of the fountains of life, and makes her co-partner with the Creator in bestowing upon eternal spirits mortal life.

All through the years of babyhood, childhood, and youth, yes, even after her girls themselves become mothers and her sons become fathers, the mother tenderly, lovingly sacrifices for them her time, her comfort, her pleasures, her needed rest and recreation, and, if necessary, health and life itself. No language can express the power and beauty and heroism of a mother’s love. …

… Among my most precious soul-treasures is the memory of Mother’s prayers by the bedside, of her affectionate touch as she tucked the bed clothes around my brother and me and gave each a loving, goodnight kiss. We were too young and roguish then to appreciate fully such devotion, but not too young to know that Mother loved us.

It was this realization of Mother’s love, with a loyalty to the precepts of an exemplary father, which more than once during fiery youth turned my steps from the precipice of temptation.

No nobler work in this world can be performed by any mother than to rear and love the children with whom God has blessed her. That is her duty"

May we all be courageously, nobly and lovingly fulfilling our duty as MOTHERS and parents! The children we are so blessed to have, need us to return to this vision of a HOLY PROPHET OF GOD!