A Fitting End…Ode to a Mother

The sun is setting, and as the day ends around the world, so does Mother’s Day. Many of us are basking in the warmth of that Mother’s Day phone/skype call.

Today, in one of the LDS Missionary Email Groups, Bill – a lone male voice within a group of chattering mothers – laid homage to the role of a mother. So, I thought that his insights might be a fitting end to the day.

Thanks Bill for sharing these quotes and scriptures:

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Appreciation for the Mothers from the Mere Male‏

Just want to leave you all with five quotes and a scripture or two.

1. The first is from a fellow by the name of Monte J. Brough (from the First Quorum of the Seventy), who made these remarks at October Conference,1988.

He said:

“A few years ago while I was presiding over the mission in Minneapolis, Minnesota, an interesting event took place….A rather severe tornado hit  the area. It was severe enough that it came to the attention of the nightly news broadcast over the national networks to California, Arizona, Utah, and Idaho. Before long, the telephone started ringing in our office there at the mission home. This went on for two or three hours, with parents calling from many areas wondering about their Johnny or Richard”.

Elder Brough continues: “I recall later walking across the parking lot from the mission office to the mission home saying to myself, “You know these Mormon mothers. They just won’t undo the apron strings. They just won’t let their boys go.” As I walked into the mission home, the phone again was ringing. I picked up the phone and guess who? My mother! She was wondering how her missionary was doing under these circumstances.”

He concludes: “I learned a great and deep lesson. A mother’s love and concern never ceases – nor should it.”

2. This one is from Brigham Young, who said:

“Mothers are the moving instruments in the hands of Providence to guide the destinies of nations.”

3. According to David O. McKay (1969), motherhood:

“Is the greatest potential influence for either 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.”

4. It was Ezra Taft Benson (quoted by Joanne Doxey, 1987) who said:

[Mothers in Zion,] we pray for you. We sustain you. We honor you as you bear, nourish, train, teach, and love for eternity. I promise you the blessings of heaven and “all that the Father hath” (see D & C 84: 38) as you magnify the noblest calling of all.”

5. Lastly, James E. Faust (1988) said this one:

“I do not believe that God’s purposes on earth will ever be achieved without the influence, strength, love, support, and special gifts of the elect women of God. They are entitled to our deepest veneration, our fullest appreciation, and our most profound respect. I belive angels attend them in their motherly minsistry.”

6. Let me leave you each with a scripture from Moroni 8: 3, that goes this way:

“I am mindful of you always in my prayers, continually praying unto God the Father in the name of his Holy Child, Jesus, that he, through his infinite goodness and grace, will keep you through the endurance of faith on his name to the end.”

A Mother’s Mission

Our family has a long history of missionary service in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church). With the first LDS missionary arriving on the shores of this great country of Australia in the 1850’s, we are proud to have since contributed to that written history.

My husband’s aunt was the first full time missionary in our family. Back in the 1950s, she set the example for generations to come.

Both my husband and myself served proselyting missions: He in the Philippines Manila Mission (1975-77), and me in the Australia Perth Mission (1980-82). Over the years, our extended family has contributed to the worldwide LDS missionary force with close to 50 individuals serving variously in all four corners of the world.

Along with my daughter, who is currently serving (Apr ‘11-Nov ‘12),  we have also had recently three nephews serving in the Sydney Australia Mission, Ghana Africa Mission, and Milan Italy Mission.

The highlight of that contribution by our family would have to be when my husband’s brother recently served as Mission President over the Australia Perth Mission. He initially served there as a 19-year-old proselyting missionary back in 1977-79. So to be able to go back and preside over your own mission, some 30 years later, would have to be one of the greatest honors for an individual.

With all this experience, you might say that I would have all the answers. But from my seat, as I type this narrative, I keenly feel the difference between serving a mission and being a family member at home supporting a missionary.

My daughter is the first of my four children to make this commitment. How deeply I feel the need as a mother to ensure that she makes the most of the time she has out there. This is my current mission.

While I have a rich missionary heritage to draw from, I decided to start this blog so I could, not only share my experiences along the way, but, as the blog title suggests, create a meeting place where like minded mums and families can come to share and talk all things ‘missionary’ – after all, there are well over 50,000 of you out there.