Monday, February 6, 2012

Warrior Mothers

I was talking to my daughter the other day. She has a new job at an answering service for funeral homes. She’s not always comfortable with this enployment. Sometimes the callers need answers that she isn’t able to give them in her position. But one woman called recently who needed to just talk out her grief to someone who would listen. It was hard but she was able to help. Have you had the opportunity lately to make just a little difference in someone’s life?

“You are the guardians of the hearth,” said President Gordon B. Hinckley in the general Relief Society meeting in 1995. “You are the bearers of the children. You are they who nurture them and establish within them the habits of their lives. No other work reaches so close to divinity as does the nurturing of the sons and daughters of God.”
Our most significant responsibilities are centered in strengthening families and homes—no matter our current circumstances. “ Barbara Thompson, upon hearing this thought “ remembers, “I felt the significance of the message. I also found myself thinking, ‘This is a great guide for parents. It is also a big responsibility for parents.’ I thought for a moment that it really didn’t pertain too much to me since I wasn’t married and didn’t have any children. But almost as quickly I thought, ‘But it does pertain to me. I am a member of a family. I am a daughter, a sister, an aunt, a cousin, a niece, and a granddaughter. I do have responsibilities—and blessings—because I am a member of a family. Even if I were the only living member of my family, I am still a member of God’s family, and I have a responsibility to help strengthen other families.’”

I was reading an article last week about warrior mothers. These are women who went to battle for their ideals, their children, their country. These are women like the Celtic Queen Boudicca, Cleopatra, Catherine the Great, Isabella of Spain, Harriet Tubman, and Susan B. Anthony. While I was reading I kept thinking of the Mother’s of the 10,000 stripling warriors in the Book of Mormon. They taught their children to uphold their values and fight for their rights, and country, and faith.

Susan B. Anthony said,
• “The older I get, the greater power I seem to have to help the world; I am like a snowball -- the further I am rolled the more I gain.”

My mother was a warrior in her own way. She grew up in a time when women were not accepted equally with men. She was the first woman to graduate from the school of landscape architecture at BYU and her professor was not happy to have her in his classes. He felt it was not a womanly occupation. When she was hired by the Utah state government as a landscape architect her boss had her only use her initials so that she would get equal pay for equal work. When we moved to New Mexico in a small company town she fought and changed government policies to benefit the women in town giving them more options.

Ralph Waldo Emerson once said that a hero is no braver than an ordinary person, but they are braver for five minutes longer.

How can you become a warrior mother, a guardian of the hearth?

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