A divine calling

"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 angels."
-The First Presidency-

*Before I write on this subject, I would like to make it clear: I know there are women who cannot have children naturally in this life, due to health reasons; and there are women who won't ever marry and have the opportunity to be a mother. To you women, know that you also have a divine role in this life. While you won't have your own children, you can still help nurture others, serve others, help others, just as a mother does for their child. And our Father in Heaven has made it clear that those women who are not able to receive the blessings of eternal marriage and parenthood in this life will receive those blessings in the next. I would also like to say that fathers also have a huge role to play in raising children and it is not just the mothers job. I will be writing a future post on the important role of fathers.*

M. Russell Ballard, during the April 2008 General Conference, said the following:

"There is no role in life more essential and more eternal than that of motherhood."

The ability to be a mom is given to you by a loving Heavenly Father. He has commanded us to replenish the earth; and to do that, those women, who are able, must exercise that divine birthright of motherhood.

My favorite prophet on this earth was Gordon B Hinckley. I know of no apostle who spoke so highly of women and of mothers than him. He once said:

"Women for the most part see their greatest fulfillment, their greatest happiness in home and family. God planted within women something divine that expresses itself in quiet strength, in refinement, in peace, in goodness, in virtue, in truth, in love. And all of these remarkable qualities find their truest and most satisfying expression in motherhood....The greatest job that any woman will ever do will be in nurturing and teaching and living and encouraging and rearing her children in righteousness and truth. There is no other thing that will compare with that, regardless of what she does."

Going off of that quote, there is an awesome woman and mom I follow on Twitter who raised 5 children of her own. She recently tweeted the following:

"I've experienced some amazing things in my life - but nothing, nothing comes anywhere near the sacred privilege of carrying and bearing 5 children. Women who could but don't embrace this, have traded the divine for a mess of pottage."

Now, before you jump to conclusions; I'm not saying women shouldn't go to college, or have a career. I am saying, however, that when the time comes that you get married, you should strive, with your husband, to raise children to your Heavenly Father. While I am not married (yet), I am speaking as an observer of being raised by a strong, gospel centered mother; of watching my 2 sisters and my sister in law and how their roles in their children's lives are a role given to them by God. They all work, they all have careers; but they make sure to use the divine gift given to them by our Father in Heaven to rear children up in the gospel. 

Image result for Motherhood ldsA friend of mine, Anne, had this to say on motherhood:

"Motherhood is the hardest thing I've ever done, and yet bringing the most satisfying and heart wrenching experiences. The most important life lessons I've learned have come to me because of my motherhood. Being a mother gives me a glimpse of Heaven and the indescribable love my Heavenly Parents have for me. It's how we learn to be divine; to love as our Savior loves."

Nowhere in history has motherhood ever been made out to be an easy task. To carry a child for 9 months, then raise them for 18 years; and always be there for them when they struggle as an adult... it's going to be the hardest job you'll ever have in this life; but it will also be the most fulfilling and blessing filled job. 

Another friend, Laura, had this to say about her role as a mom:

"Bearing children and becoming a mother is among the greatest callings. It is a holy, honorable, eternal calling. It is rewarding, joyous, beautiful, humbling, but also immensely difficult and painful...Becoming a mother transforms the spirit in such a unique way, there is nothing like it and there is no going back. All priorities change; trivial matters fall to the side. The amount of love you hold in your heart expands to sizes you never knew you could reach, and then it keeps growing. By experiencing [motherhood] we get just a glimpse of the amount and kind of love our Father in Heaven has for us."

It warms my heart when I see the joys that motherhood has brought those women I am friends with. To see how clearly they understand the role and divine gift they've been given and that they don't take that gift lightly. 

My mother raised 4 of us; my oldest brother, 2 sisters and myself. She worked as a nurse at the beginning and then quit her job as a nurse and started working part time, so she could center her focus on her children. She taught us from home, both school subjects and the gospel. She helped us learn life skills, such as budgeting and helping her balance a checkbook. And she was always there for us, whether we needed a shoulder to cry on or a listening ear. She is the reason I know that motherhood is a divine, God given gift. 

I enjoy watching my sisters and sister in law and how they never take for granted how important their job is.
Neil L. Andersen had this to say on the importance of family:

"The family is ordained of God. Families are central to our Heavenly Father's plan here on earth and through the eternities. After Adam and Eve were joined in marriage, the scripture reads 'And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth.' In our day prophets and apostles have declared: The first commandment that God gave to Adam and Eve pertained to their potential for parenthood as husband and wife. We declare that God's commandment for His children to multiply and replenish the earth remains in force."

If we, as children of God, are able to have children and actively choose not to; not only are we abandoning the blessings of being able to raise children, but we are disobeying a direct commandment from our Heavenly Father. 

I look forward to the day that I am married and have the opportunity to be a parent, but to also watch the role my future wife has in being a mother.

A final quote from my friend, Shandy:

"Not only is motherhood a gift, it is our divine duty as women to bring God's children into this world and care for and nurture them. Any woman who chooses to avoid this responsibility is choosing to step off the path that leads us back to [our] Father."

Alma 56:47 - ...They had been taught by their mothers, that if they did not doubt, God would deliver them.

Proverbs 1:8 - My son, hear the instruction of thy father, and forsake not the law of thy mother.

Proverbs 31:28 - Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her.


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