On This Day in History: July 01, 

2019 – May God Bless and Save the United States of America – Our Constitutional Republic !

MOTHER’S DAY 2000

When the phone call came last week from Brother Bertoldo, I was really surprised. Usually they have the fathers talk, not the mothers. But I told him I would do it. Ever since then, it has not been far from my mind, little thoughts coming to me at any time and place. I decided, that I didn’t want to get up here and just talk about the same things we always hear. I want to talk about feelings, the feelings a mother has during the time she is raising her children.

When I was a young college student at BYU Hawaii, I had asked in prayer that my Father-in-Heaven would let me know with assurity that I had met the man He knew would be the companion I should have, to give me the greatest joy and happiness in the remainder of my life. I didn’t know that it would happen so soon in my life, but that is just what happened. I had a confirmation of the Spirit when I looked across the room at him not even knowing his name. But I made sure that I met him. We had a whirlwind courtship that lasted eight days. After that, it was a 5-month wait for him to be a member long enough for us to be married in the temple. What a blessing he has been in my life. What a joy to share all the experiences we have had together.

When I think back thirty-three years ago to the time when I was expecting our first child, it brings back so many memories. The first time, we don’t know what to expect, it is all so new. After that, we are never sure if a pregnancy will affect us with morning sickness, tiredness, swelling, etc. With our first, I was so sick I ended up in the hospital for four days, first because I was unable to keep anything down and lost 14 pounds in a week. They put me on an IV to restore the fluid balance and then discovered that the needle they used had given me blood poisoning. I had to have medication to counteract that. I remember getting out of the hospital on Thanksgiving. It was a good thing I didn’t have to do a turkey that first one we had together, because I’m not sure it would have turned out. We had a ward dinner in Hawaii and I remember Will carving 14 turkeys for the dinner. Such memories.

I hunted through my trunk of pictures and keepsakes to find the pages I wrote when our first daughter was born. I had described the anticipation when the due date came and went. Family arrived and still there was no baby. I was big, uncomfortable, tired, and anxious to know if I would really know when the labor started. Believe me, you really know. I was awakened at 2:00 a.m. with labor pains and woke Will to ask for the clock to time the pains. He handed me the clock and went back to sleep. Such is life. About 7:00 a.m., I called the Dr and we were on our way.

Quoting from my journal of that time. “ There is such a wonderful feeling of love and closeness when you are sharing the miracle of the bringing forth of life. We had hoped and prayed for a normal, healthy baby and the Lord heard and answered our prayers. She had an olive complexion with dark wavy hair and was so beautiful. We named her Liesl Marie and love every inch of her.”

You new mothers of today don’t realize that back then, we only got to have our babies with us at feeding time. They kept them in the nursery and we didn’t really get to know them until we took them home. Today, they are in your room most of the time and fathers are let into the delivery room or you have a birthing room where you can have grandparents, good friends and siblings if you want to be there. How much more wonderful than having the fathers out in the waiting room.

Again quoting from the journal, “It is such a wonderful feeling to hold your creation in your arms and to give her your love. I’m looking forward to going home with her tomorrow and having her daddy hold her and feel the wonderful tenderness I feel just looking at our child.”

This was just the first time out of eight that I experienced the joy of motherhood. Did I remember the pain of the labor, yes? But the joy of holding your child in your arms and experiencing the love and closeness that come to parents when a new gift from our Heavenly Father comes into our lives far outweighs the pain and discomfort that we have in the miracle of birth.

After this new life is in your home, you are no longer a couple that can just do what you two want to do when you want to. You have brought new responsibility into your lives and from that time on, you must consider the needs of your children before your own. Are there times when you don’t want to do that, most certainly? It is your calling from the Lord, though, to put their needs before your own. Sometimes sacrifices have to be made of your own wishes for the best interest of your children.

Are there rewards, you bet! As each of our daughters took the next step in their life and moved on to another experience, how great have been our challenges and our joys. Let me share a few of them with you.

There is the time in kindergarten when your child brings home their handprint in plaster of paris. For years, it hangs on the wall proudly, and then when you have another accomplishment, this one goes in the memory trunk. After all, where would I have hung eight of these?

I have a trunk full of just such memories. There have been the sweet Mother’s Day cards made by the elementary age children. Then when they get a little older, they do them a bit more technically.

As I look back on the years that I was either pregnant or nursing and caring for all our blessings, it has been a joyous one. As they grew older, we had to go through all the stages of their lives, teaching them, correcting them, loving them and being blessed by them. Is it a wonder that our life has been so full?

Can you imagine the day-to-day challenges of keeping this group clothed, (And that’s another story), fed and taught the principles of the gospel each day. What a challenge. Whether you have one or eight, the challenges are the same. We teach by example and love no matter what comes along.

As they grew older there were the joys of seeing them graduate from high school and move on in their lives. Then there are the courtship days and having them choose mates for their lives. Sometimes they are not listening to the Spirit and choose mates that we would not have them choose, but at this stage in their lives, they have their agency. We have taught them correct principles and then we have to let them go to make their way in life just as our parents did to us.

Sometimes they make a tremendous mistake and then we have to love them anyway. I went through several years of lashing myself with strips figuratively, but truly emotionally, when some of my children made choices that were harmful to themselves. It took a lot of struggle, counseling and prayers for me to realize that these were their choices, not mine, that I did not fail as a mother just because they made choices that I knew were wrong. They were taught correct principles, but had their agency. We had to continue to support them and give them counsel. They need to know that the door is always open and our love will never cease.

You must remember that when they have left your home and go on with their lives just as you did, that you are not done. There is nowhere in the scriptures that says you can stop being their mother or father. We must continue to be there for advise and counsel as asked for. Our door has been literally open, as all six of our married daughters have lived with us at some time. We always say that they leave home, but when they come back they have multiplied. My goal has been to be the kind of mother that they want to turn to for advise and a listening ear. That they will want to come home and have their children know and love their grandparents.

One of the greatest joys I have now, is to watch my daughters and their husbands deal with the daily challenges that arise. I just sit back and smile as I watch them cope with raising their own children. What a listening ear I must have now. Most of the time they just need to bounce their thoughts off someone else, and who better than their Mom and Dad!

Brothers and sisters, this has not been a talk that has been taken anywhere from the scriptures, just from my heart. Remember that the only thing that counts is that we love our children. It doesn’t matter what they have done that might be in error. We don’t have to love the sin, but we do have to love the sinner. We have to help them to find the path that they should be on. It sooths the hurt in my heart to remember that the scripture says, “Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it.

Love your children, give them your whole heart.

Given Mother’s Day 2000 in Pueblo West, Colorado.