“8 …forsake not the law of thy mother. ”
(Child) 1. Mother*, tell me the story that I love to hear.
Tell me of heaven and why I came here.
Mother, tell how you love me, and gently speak,
And then I’ll go to sleep.
(Mother) 2. Child, I am here.
Can you feel that heaven is near?
Sleep, sleep; a lovewatch I’ll keep
To protect you through the night.
(Child) Mother, tell me of Jesus and how he is near.
Tell how he loves me, and I will not fear.
Mother, tell how his Spirit brings comfort and peace,
And then I’ll go to sleep.
(Mother) Child, he is there.
In his love you never need fear.
Sleep, sleep; a lovewatch he’ll keep
To protect you through the night.
*For Younger Children* Read or share Friend to Friend: A Mother’s Influence and discuss the different ways your mother has inspired you to be more Christlike, and what ways can you show your mother that you love Christ?
My mother is a very special woman. I am the oldest of eight sons, and I also have seven sisters. With such a large family, my mother had great responsibilities. The best thing my mother did for us was to be baptized into The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. She gave us the opportunity to learn about the gospel. This opportunity changed our lives.
I remember the day we received the missionaries. I was about 10 or 11 years old. The missionaries shared a message about the First Vision. As soon as my mother listened, she was converted. She believed Joseph Smith saw the Father and the Son.
We began to attend church. I didn’t want to accept the gospel at first, but the missionaries persuaded me to see what it was all about. As soon as I did, I loved it. I am so grateful for my mother. She received a testimony during that first visit of the missionaries. From her baptism until today, she never missed a Church meeting.
My mother was a tremendous support to us. She always cleaned our white shirts on Saturdays so they would be ready to wear on Sundays. We would polish our shoes and the shoes of our youngest brothers and sisters. We lived in a poor neighborhood in Guatemala, and our neighbors would laugh at us on Sundays as we wore our white shirts and ties to church.
My mother always gave us courage to do the right. Because of her influence, we were very active in the Church. I remember that at one time, my father served as the Sunday School president, my older sister served as the Primary president, my mother served as the Relief Society president, and four of my brothers passed, prepared, and blessed the sacrament.
Because of our financial needs, my father expected me to help earn money for the family. I wanted to serve a mission, but when I turned 19 years old, he asked that I wait one year to serve my mission so I could continue working to help my family. When I turned 20 years old, he asked that I wait another year to serve.
Just before I turned 21 years old, he wanted to request that I wait one more year. But my mother told him, “Let him go serve, and it will bless us.” This really happened. Before my mission, only a younger brother and I had worked to help support the family. As soon as I went on my mission, two more of my brothers and my two oldest sisters started working, so my family did better financially.
Every blessing and call that I have received in the Church have led me to admire my mother more. In every part of my life, I remember her excellent influence and example. My mother had only a basic education, but her knowledge of the truths of the gospel and her practical knowledge and understanding of life were superior.
My childhood was happy because I always had my mother at home taking care of me. She had a great sense of humor, and she would always find ways to have fun. She took hours and hours to share with us stories about her childhood and about my grandma and aunts and uncles and her relationship with them.
I believe in the commandment to honor our parents. Everything I do, even today, is because of the influence of my mother.
*For The Whole Family* Read through and share some from Because She is a Mother. Discuss different ways you can show appreciation for your mother, and talk about different things you are grateful your mother did for you.
There are some lines attributed to Victor Hugo which read:
“She broke the bread into two fragments and gave them to her children, who ate with eagerness. ‘She hath kept none for herself,’ grumbled the sergeant.
“‘Because she is not hungry,’ said a soldier.
“‘No,’ said the sergeant, ‘because she is a mother.’”
In a year when we are celebrating the faith and valor of those who made that exacting trek across Iowa, Nebraska, and Wyoming, I wish to pay tribute to the modern counterparts of those pioneer mothers who watched after, prayed for, and far too often buried their babies on that long trail. To the women within the sound of my voice who dearly want to be mothers and are not, I say through your tears and ours on that subject, God will yet, in days that lie somewhere ahead, bring “hope to [the] desolate heart.” As prophets have repeatedly taught from this pulpit, ultimately “no blessing shall be withheld” from the faithful, even if those blessings do not come immediately. In the meantime we rejoice that the call to nurture is not limited to our own flesh and blood.
In speaking of mothers I do not neglect the crucial, urgent role of fathers, particularly as fatherlessness in contemporary homes is considered by some to be “the central social problem of our time.” Indeed, fatherlessness can be a problem even in a home where the father is present—eating and sleeping, so to speak, “by remote.” But that is a priesthood message for another day. Today I wish to praise those motherly hands that have rocked the infant’s cradle and, through the righteousness taught to their children there, are at the very center of the Lord’s purposes for us in mortality.
In so speaking I echo Paul, who wrote in praise of Timothy’s “unfeigned faith … , which dwelt first,” he said, “in thy grandmother Lois, and [in] thy mother Eunice.” “From [the days when thou wert] a child,” Paul said, “thou hast known the holy scriptures.” We give thanks for all the mothers and grandmothers from whom such truths have been learned at such early ages.
In speaking of mothers generally, I especially wish to praise and encourage young mothers. The work of a mother is hard, too often unheralded work. The young years are often those when either husband or wife—or both—may still be in school or in those earliest and leanest stages of developing the husband’s breadwinning capacities. Finances fluctuate daily between low and nonexistent. The apartment is usually decorated in one of two smart designs—Deseret Industries provincial or early Mother Hubbard. The car, if there is one, runs on smooth tires and an empty tank. But with night feedings and night teethings, often the greatest challenge of all for a young mother is simply fatigue. Through these years, mothers go longer on less sleep and give more to others with less personal renewal for themselves than any other group I know at any other time in life. It is not surprising when the shadows under their eyes sometimes vaguely resemble the state of Rhode Island.
Of course the irony is that this is often the sister we want to call—or need to call—to service in the ward and stake auxiliaries. That’s understandable. Who wouldn’t want the exemplary influence of these young Loises- and Eunices-in-the-making? Everyone, be wise. Remember that families are the highest priority of all, especially in those formative years. Even so, young mothers will still find magnificent ways to serve faithfully in the Church, even as others serve and strengthen them and their families in like manner.
Do the best you can through these years, but whatever else you do, cherish that role that is so uniquely yours and for which heaven itself sends angels to watch over you and your little ones. Husbands—especially husbands—as well as Church leaders and friends in every direction, be helpful and sensitive and wise. Remember, “To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.”
Mothers, we acknowledge and esteem your faith in every footstep. Please know that it is worth it then, now, and forever. And if, for whatever reason, you are making this courageous effort alone, without your husband at your side, then our prayers will be all the greater for you, and our determination to lend a helping hand even more resolute.
One young mother wrote to me recently that her anxiety tended to come on three fronts. One was that whenever she heard talks on LDS motherhood, she worried because she felt she didn’t measure up or somehow wasn’t going to be equal to the task. Secondly, she felt like the world expected her to teach her children reading, writing, interior design, Latin, calculus, and the Internet—all before the baby said something terribly ordinary, like “goo goo.” Thirdly, she often felt people were sometimes patronizing, almost always without meaning to be, because the advice she got or even the compliments she received seemed to reflect nothing of the mental investment, the spiritual and emotional exertion, the long-night, long-day, stretched-to-the-limit demands that sometimes are required in trying to be and wanting to be the mother God hopes she will be.
But one thing, she said, keeps her going: “Through the thick and the thin of this, and through the occasional tears of it all, I know deep down inside I am doing God’s work. I know that in my motherhood I am in an eternal partnership with Him. I am deeply moved that God finds His ultimate purpose and meaning in being a parent, even if some of His children make Him weep.
“It is this realization,” she says, “that I try to recall on those inevitably difficult days when all of this can be a bit overwhelming. Maybe it is precisely our inability and anxiousness that urge us to reach out to Him and enhance His ability to reach back to us. Maybe He secretly hopes we will be anxious,” she said, “and will plead for His help. Then, I believe, He can teach these children directly, through us, but with no resistance offered. I like that idea,” she concludes. “It gives me hope. If I can be right before my Father in Heaven, perhaps His guidance to our children can be unimpeded. Maybe then it can be His work and His glory in a very literal sense.”
In light of that kind of expression, it is clear that some of those Rhode Island–sized shadows come not just from diapers and carpooling but from at least a few sleepless nights spent searching the soul, seeking earnestly for the capacity to raise these children to be what God wants them to be. Moved by that kind of devotion and determination, may I say to mothers collectively, in the name of the Lord, you are magnificent. You are doing terrifically well. The very fact that you have been given such a responsibility is everlasting evidence of the trust your Father in Heaven has in you. He knows that your giving birth to a child does not immediately propel you into the circle of the omniscient. If you and your husband will strive to love God and live the gospel yourselves; if you will plead for that guidance and comfort of the Holy Spirit promised to the faithful; if you will go to the temple to both make and claim the promises of the most sacred covenants a woman or man can make in this world; if you will show others, including your children, the same caring, compassionate, forgiving heart you want heaven to show you; if you try your best to be the best parent you can be, you will have done all that a human being can do and all that God expects you to do.
Sometimes the decision of a child or a grandchild will break your heart. Sometimes expectations won’t immediately be met. Every mother and father worries about that. Even that beloved and wonderfully successful parent President Joseph F. Smith pled, “Oh! God, let me not lose my own.” That is every parent’s cry, and in it is something of every parent’s fear. But no one has failed who keeps trying and keeps praying. You have every right to receive encouragement and to know in the end your children will call your name blessed, just like those generations of foremothers before you who hoped your same hopes and felt your same fears.
Yours is the grand tradition of Eve, the mother of all the human family, the one who understood that she and Adam had to fall in order that “men [and women] might be” and that there would be joy. Yours is the grand tradition of Sarah and Rebekah and Rachel, without whom there could not have been those magnificent patriarchal promises to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob which bless us all. Yours is the grand tradition of Lois and Eunice and the mothers of the 2,000 stripling warriors. Yours is the grand tradition of Mary, chosen and foreordained from before this world was, to conceive, carry, and bear the Son of God Himself. We thank all of you, including our own mothers, and tell you there is nothing more important in this world than participating so directly in the work and glory of God, in bringing to pass the mortality and earthly life of His daughters and sons, so that immortality and eternal life can come in those celestial realms on high.
When you have come to the Lord in meekness and lowliness of heart and, as one mother said, “pounded on the doors of heaven to ask for, to plead for, to demand guidance and wisdom and help for this wondrous task,” that door is thrown open to provide you the influence and the help of all eternity. Claim the promises of the Savior of the world. Ask for the healing balm of the Atonement for whatever may be troubling you or your children. Know that in faith things will be made right in spite of you, or more correctly, because of you.
You can’t possibly do this alone, but you do have help. The Master of Heaven and Earth is there to bless you—He who resolutely goes after the lost sheep, sweeps thoroughly to find the lost coin, waits everlastingly for the return of the prodigal son. Yours is the work of salvation, and therefore you will be magnified, compensated, made more than you are and better than you have ever been as you try to make honest effort, however feeble you may sometimes feel that to be.
Remember, remember all the days of your motherhood: “Ye have not come thus far save it were by the word of Christ with unshaken faith in him, relying wholly upon the merits of him who is mighty to save.”
Rely on Him. Rely on Him heavily. Rely on Him forever. And “press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope.” You are doing God’s work. You are doing it wonderfully well. He is blessing you and He will bless you, even—no, especially—when your days and your nights may be the most challenging. Like the woman who anonymously, meekly, perhaps even with hesitation and some embarrassment, fought her way through the crowd just to touch the hem of the Master’s garment, so Christ will say to the women who worry and wonder and sometimes weep over their responsibility as mothers, “Daughter, be of good comfort; thy faith hath made thee whole.” And it will make your children whole as well.
In the sacred and holy name of the Lord Jesus Christ, amen.
Missionary Mom Locket
She Shall Bring Forth A Son – Liz Lemon Swindle
No-Bake Chocolate Covered Strawberry Cheesecakes and Funfetti Cake Waffles
No-Bake Chocolate Covered Strawberry Cheesecakes
- 2 tbs unsalted butter, melted
- 8 oreos
- 1 cup frozen strawberries, thawed
- 6 ounces mascarpone cheese, at room temperature
- 8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
- 1/3 cup sweetened condensed milk
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp salt
- whipped cream for topping
- fresh mint for garnish
- 4 ounces dark chocolate, chopped
- 1 1/2 tbs heavy cream
1. Add oreos to a food processor, blender or simply crush them in a bag with a rolling pin – and blend until you get crumbs. In a small bowl, mix together melted butter and oreo crumbs until wet. Press a few teaspoons of the mixture into the bottom of each jar or glass, pressing down with the bottom of a thicker object (like I used an ice cream scoop) to flatten them out. Refrigerate while you make the cheesecake.
2. In the bowl of your electric mixer, add beat cream cheese, mascarpone and strawberries (and their juice) until combined and smooth, scraping down the sides when needed. Make sure the strawberries are pretty blender, but if a few lumps remain, it’s fine. With the mixer on low speed, slowly drizzle in the condensed milk, continuing to scrape down the sides until the mixture is very smooth. Add in vanilla extract and mix one more time to combine. Pour cheesecake mixture evenly over top of crusts. Refrigerate for 2-4 hours.
3. Heat the heavy cream until warm, then pour over the milk chocolate, stirring until melted to make a ganache. Remove the cheesecakes from the fridge and spoon an equal amount of the ganache over top of the strawberry cheesecake. Refrigerate for another 30-60 minutes. Serve with whipped cream on top and a garnish of mint, plus a chocolate covered strawberry if desired.
Funfetti Cake Waffles
- 1 box Funfetti Cake Mix
- 1 cup water
- 1/3 cup oil
- 3 eggs
1. Mix together the cake mix, water, oil, and eggs in a large bowl until well combined.
2. Drop 2 1/2 ice cream scoops of the cake batter into a preheated Belgian waffle iron and cook for three minutes. Use less cake batter if you’re using a smaller waffle iron.
3. Serve with a scoop of ice cream and a drizzle of chocolate syrup.
(From BunsinmyOven.com )
Keep the Joker at the Top!
Don’t Blow It! All you need is a glass bottle (I suggest an empty Jones Bottle), a deck of cards, and a timer. Simply set the deck of cards face down on the bottle with the joker being on the bottom of the pile face up. Then start the timer. The contestant will then gently blow the deck of cards and trying to keep the joker on top. This task must be completed in under a minute.
Pack tightly flour into tall container -> unmolding the flour tower by turning upside down onto plate -> Lay a large button on top of flour tower -> then take turns slicing away at tower with butter knives to see who will be the first person to make the button fall from the top.
Aleah is a graduate of Southern Virginia University, where she studied English, Creative Writing, and Dance. She now works full time as a marketing and product manager, writer, and editor. Aleah served a mission in California and loves baking, Lang Leav poetry, Gaynor Minden pointe shoes, and Bollywood movies.