I'm honored to present four beautiful women in this post, who will share some of their sweet and profound thoughts about motherhood. Each one of them, have come into my life in different ways, but all of them, rooted in the very same cause: a love for the family as ordained by God. There have been more than a few occasions that each of us have had cause to find ourselves in either personal one-on-one conversation, or in a group discussion about serious issues affecting home and family, which all of us are deeply concerned about, and find reason to share a sweet sisterhood; which is why I am sharing all of these sisters with you this week. I can't think of a better way to connect with other LDS women, than on this occasion of honoring divine womanhood and every woman's inherent nature to mother.

I wish I could tell you, specifically, details about each of these women; worthy of your time to get to know beyond this page. Of the four, thus far I have only met Jan in person. And oh my, she is just as fun as you would think she would be, by looking at her in the picture you see here! And as wise as her writing.

Diane and I have plans to attend family conferences in the future. And Jocelyn and I will no doubt meet eventually; it's in the cards, I'm certain. It's not possible to keep crashing into the same person over this thing or that, and not be destined to be in the same place, eventually. Christina and I have recently found a connection. There is no doubt we are on a similar path; we think too much alike. I love how this great web continues to weave our lives together.

On this day, I honor four beautiful Mothers in Israel: Jocelyn Christensen, Christina Bartholomew, Diane Robertson and Jan Tolman, and thank them, for sharing a part of themselves, with us...

Jocelyn Christensen:

I love that my daughter wants me to scratch her back "for a long time" before she'll fall asleep at night. I love hearing her sing mostly incoherent words throughout the day, as if her heart is spilling out into a song that she cannot contain.

At age four, her schedule seems to be one long string of lyrics and melodies interrupted only by lunchtime, nap time, and dinner.

It is said that happy is the child who sings. But I know a companion truth: Happy is the woman who hears her children sing, day in and day out, within the walls of her home.

Sometimes my kids aren't singing. They are crying or screaming or arguing. And sometimes I'm the one who is snapping back. And do you know what the best sound is then? It's the sound of one or all of us saying, "I'm sorry, will you forgive me?"

Those words are often difficult for me to say to anyone else, but for my children, I'll be wrong a million times over in order for them to give me just one more chance to become better every day and one more chance to show them, "I love you forever, no matter what."

Some of the sweetest words I've ever heard as a mother, outside of "I love you," were spoken by my son the night before he started kindergarten. Seeing the mix of emotions in my eyes, he hugged me tight, as if he were the adult and I was the child, and said, "Don't worry Mom, you've done enough."

You've done enough. Words that we seldom hear in the world. However, in motherhood, it is rewarding to know that every once in a while, our very best is just exactly enough.

Jocelyn Christensen is a former TV producer (CNN) turned stay-at-home mother of four. She is the author of God Gave You a Body (a free download) and shares her love of motherhood, children, and the Savior at We Talk of Christ, We Rejoice in Christ.
Diane Robertson:

My name is Diane Robertson. I am a stay at home mom to 9 kids, and wife to my best friend, John. My oldest is 15 and my youngest is 9 months.  I wash about 4 loads of laundry a day and I have more dishes than I ever imagined possible outside a restaurant. I wouldn’t change my life.

This week I will be attending a reorganizing meeting for a non-profit political group that I write and volunteer for, United Families International/ United Families Utah. I work with some of the most amazing women I have ever met. They do so much good for families across the globe. I am honored to be a part of their organization. I feel called by God to be a part of their organization. With this organization, I stand up for political issues that affect the family. Sometimes this is frightening. I am not working on the glamorous politically-correct side. Still, this work is more exciting than changing diapers, wiping noses, and reading that favorite story for the one hundredth time.

 When I go to this meeting, I will be asked to donate more time. I want to do more. Eventually, I want to do a lot more and eventually I can do a lot more. Family policy is important to me. My family is important to me too-- much more important to me. Right now, my family is young.
As a covenant mother, my first calling is to my family. There will be nothing I can do—not service—not a job—not a church calling—that is as important as my job as a mother. I will regret losing time with my young children if I make them my secondary job.

In today’s world, being a mother is not glamorous. Being a mother is looked down upon. You might get more praise from the world if you choose to be the manager of McDonald’s. Being a mother is hard work. You are not going to get a pay raise for a job well done. You will probably be tired every day. That is okay. Feeling tired, under appreciated, and overworked is very little cost for the joy your family and your children bring when motherhood is your number one priority.  And that joy will last for today, for tomorrow and for always even as you wash that 1000th load of laundry.

I blog about my family at The More the Merrier

I am a writer at the United FamiliesInternational Blog

Christina Bartholomew:

This week, we celebrate what some of my younger children refer to as "Smother's Day." After the way some of them behaved at Church recently, jostling for the prime position on my lap, breaking my necklace, refusing to attend nursery without me there and then writhing on my lap refusing to engage with the other children for the next hour and a half, I felt just a bit smothered.

My great-grandmother was fond of saying, "Your children are your priceless possessions." She said it often throughout her life. In her later years, as her mind got more and more confused and scattered, this one phrase would stay constant. She said it to everyone multiple times a day, and one day when she said it to me, I heard her daughter and primary care-giver mutter under her breathe in exasperation, "I feel possessed."

Smothered and Possessed. That's the way of life when you're the primary care-taker and nurturer full-time. Tied down. Letting your talents lie dormant and losing yourself and your intellect in the stifling stagnant atmosphere of your own home.

Or so many teach in the world today. Success is measured in wealth, power, and prominence, and choosing to stay at home nurturing children brings none of those things. It is a quiet road with few honors and recognitions.

But it has much to offer, this road. The Savior has taught that the worth of one individual soul is great and His ministry was so often to the one. He has taught that when we minister and help the “least of these” we are really serving him. The truth is, my children are not objects to be possessed, they are souls to be nurtured.

As a mother of nine precious souls, I’ve learned what it is to minister. Each child I have is unique and wonderful and it is a privilege to work in partnership with God to create a home that helps them to reach their very best potential. I am a gardener growing the most precious of plants. It’s not an easy job. The work is tiring, the weeds never-ending, the sun and storms unrelenting at times. Sometimes (ok – often) the call of the work comes in the middle of the night. Hardest of all is that my plants take time to cultivate and on a day-to-day basis, it’s hard to see the progress I’m making. Being a mother is not convenient, it’s not easy, and the call of more prominence or prestige could cause me to neglect these tender plants. But the satisfaction of knowing that God’s hand is in my life, directing my labors and helping me meet the needs of his precious children, is the greatest reward of all.

So I’m happy to accept being smothered and possessed at times. It’s part of the package of being given the greatest job in the world, that of Mother.

Christina Bartholomew is the mother of nine young children and blogs about life in a large family at http://handsfullmom.blogspot.com/

Jan Tolman:

Our role, as mothers, has been influential throughout history. Eve partook of the fruit that man (kind) might be. Rebekah knew just when to send Jacob in to receive his birthright (as father of the House of Israel). During hard times in life it is the mothers who stay home to save, preserve, and influence.

In our day, mothers need to be the spiritual lighthouses that call out and bring to safety Heavenly Father’s children.

Ever since Eve’s first profound words we women have understood what it means to bring life to this world. “Were it not for our transgression we never should have had seed, and never should have known good and evil.” (Moses 5:11)

Later the Lord commands “to teach these things freely unto your children,” (Moses 6:58).

The Doctrine and Covenants declares that wives are given to men:

…to multiply and replenish the earth, according to my commandment, and to fulfill the promise which was given by my Father before the foundation of the world, and for their exaltation in the eternal worlds, that they may bear the souls of men; for herein is the work of my Father continued, that he may be glorified. (D&C 132:63)

I have a glorious purpose, as a woman of God, in this world and the world to come. The following explanation of this verse comes from Rodney Turner, a former professor of Religion at BYU:

“This remarkable statement greatly enlarges upon the stated reason for childbearing as found in biblical references. It establishes a four-fold purpose for marriage and procreation: a) to fulfill the measure of the earth’s creation by bringing upon it the spirit progeny of Man (1 Ne 17:36), b) to fulfill the Father’s promise to his spirit offspring that those who kept their first estate could be added upon with mortal bodies and thereby be given an opportunity to obtain eternal life (Abr 3:22-26), c) to enable those who did, in fact, gain eternal life to join their Father in his work and his glory by also bringing forth spirit offspring (Moses 1:39), and d) to assure the continuation of the never-ending work of God (D&C 132:31).” (Rodney Turner, Woman and the Priesthood, Deseret Book, 1974)

These are the last days and we have the fullness of the gospel. It is up to us, who are women of God, to bring to pass the opportunity for all of Heavenly Father’s children to be born on this earth, to teach them, raise them unto the Lord, and guide them to the temple, so that they can receive all the blessings unto salvation.

Thank you Mothers! For doing the work of the Lord with power, strength, and conviction.

Jan Tolman, wife, mother of six, grandmother of five, student, cook, writer, Relief Society President, voracious reader, sometimes insane. Please see her website at www.ldswomenofgod.com.

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