By bringing these choice spirits to earth, each father and each mother assume towards the tabernacled spirit and towards the Lord Himself by having taken advantage of the opportunity He offered, an obligation of the most sacred kind, because the fate of that spirit in the eternities to come, the blessing or punishments which shall await it in the hereafter, depend, in great part, upon the care, the teachings, the training which the parents shall give to that spirit.
No parent can escape that obligation and that responsibility, and for the proper meeting thereof, the Lord will hold us to a strict accountability. No loftier duty than this can be assumed by mortals.
Motherhood thus becomes a holy calling, a sacred dedication for carrying out the Lord's plans, a consecration of devotion to the uprearing and fostering, the nurturing in body, mind, and spirit, of those who kept their first estate and who come to this earth for their second estate "to see fi they will do all things whatsoever the Lord their God shall command them (Abr. 3:25)." To lead them to keep their second estate is the work of motherhood and "they who keep their second estate shall have glory added upon their heads for ever and ever (Abr. 3:26)."
This divine service of motherhood can be rendered only by mothers. It may not be passed to others. Nurses cannot do it; public nurseries cannot do it; hired help cannot do it - only mother, aided as much as may be by the loving hand of father, brothers, and sisters, can give the full needed measure of watchful care.
The mother that entrusts her child to the care of others, that she may do non-motherly work, whether for gold, for fame, or for civic service, should remember that "a child left to himself bringeth his mother to shame (Prov. 29:15). In our day the Lord has said that unless parents teach their children the doctrines of the Church "the sin be upon the heads of the parents (D&C 68:25)."
Motherhood is near to divinity. It is the highest, holiest service to be assumed by mankind. It places her who honors its holy calling and service next to the angels. To you mothers in Israel we say God bless and protect you, and give you the strength and courage, the faith and knowledge, the holy love and consecration to duty, that shall enable you to fill to the fullest measure the sacred calling which is yours. To you mothers and mothers-to-be we say: Be chaste, keep pure, live righteously, that your posterity to the last generation may call you blessed.
-President Heber J. Grant, Message of the First Presidency, General Conference, Oct. 1942
I was teaching from section 25 of the Doctrine and Covenants. In that section Emma Smith is told that she should give her time to “writing and to learning much” (verse 8). About three rows back sat a blonde girl whose brow wrinkled as I urged the class to be diligent in developing writing skills. She raised her hand and said, “That doesn’t seem reasonable to me. All I’ll ever write are letters to my children.” That brought laughter all around the class. I felt chagrined to have applied that scripture to her. Just looking at her I could imagine a full quiver of children around her, and I could even see the letters she’d write in purple ink, with handwriting slanting backwards; neat, round loops; and circles for the tops of the i’s. Maybe writing powerfully wouldn’t matter to her.
Then a young man stood up, near the back. He’d said little during the term; I’m not sure he’d ever spoken before. He was older than the other students, and he was shy. He asked if he could speak. He told in a quiet voice of having been a soldier in Vietnam. One day, in what he thought would be a lull, he had left his rifle and walked across his fortified compound to mail call. Just as he got a letter in his hand, he heard a bugle blowing and shouts and mortar and rifle fire coming ahead of the swarming enemy. He fought his way back to his rifle, using his hands as weapons. With the men who survived, he drove the enemy out. The wounded were evacuated. Then he sat down among the living, and some of the dead, and he opened his letter. It was from his mother. She wrote that she’d had a spiritual experience that assured her that he would live to come home if he were righteous. In my class, the boy said quietly, “That letter was scripture to me. I kept it.” And he sat down.
-Henry B. Eyring, Gifts of Love
One of the great tragedies of our day is the confusion in the minds of some which would cause mothers to go to work in the marketplace. Satan, that master of deceit, would have us believe that when we have problems with our children, the answer may be a nicer home in a finer neighborhood, that they might have their own bedroom, or better quality clothes, and maybe their own car. Satan would have us believe that money or the things money can buy are more important in the home than mother.
Now there are some mothers with school-age children who are the breadwinners of their family and they must work; they are the exception. Fathers and mothers, before you decide you need a second income and that mother must go to work out of the home, may I plead with you: first go to the Lord in prayer and receive his divine approbation. Be sure he says yes. Mothers with children and teenagers at home, before you go out of your homes to work, please count the cost as carefully as you count the profit. Earning a few dollars more for luxuries cloaked in the masquerade of necessity or a so-called opportunity for self-development of talents in the business world, a chance to get away from the mundane responsibilities of the home‹these are all satanic substitutes for clear thinking. They are counterfeit thoughts that subvert the responsibilities of motherhood. As you count the costs of mother working out of the home, please consider the following:
A mother gone when her children need her most or one who is too tired from a day spent in employment. Far better for a boy or girl to go to school in last year's shirts or hand-me-down dresses that are clean even though not in the height of fashion and come home to find mother there, than for a boy or girl to go to school in finer and newer clothes and come home to a new TV or a baby-sitter because Mother is away working.
-H. Burke Peterson, CR, Apr. 1974, p. 43
Girls, prepare yourselves to assume the roles of mothers by gaining knowledge and wisdom through a good education. We teach that the glory of God is intelligence, and so we must all be aware of what is going on around us and be prepared to thwart Satan in his attempts to divert us from our divine destiny. With knowledge, wisdom, determination, and the Spirit of the Lord to help us we can succeed.
We also believe that women should involve themselves in community affairs and in the auxiliary organizations of the Church, but always remember that home and children come first and must not be neglected. Children must be made to feel that mother loves them and is keenly interested in their welfare and everything they do. This cannot be turned over to someone else. Many experiments have been made and studies carried out which prove beyond doubt that a child who enjoys mother's love and care progresses in every way much more rapidly than one who is left in institutions or with others where mother's love is not available or expressed.
-N. Eldon Tanner, Conference Report, Oct. 1973, p. 127
Thought breeds thought; children familiar with great thoughts take as naturally to thinking for themselves as the well-nourished body takes to growing; and we must bear in mind that growth, physical, intellectual, moral, spiritual, is the sole end of education.
It is so obvious that the great good and the terrible evil in the world today are the sweet and the bitter fruits of the rearing of yesterday’s children. As we train a new generation, so will the world be in a few years. If you are worried about the future, then look to the upbringing of your children. Wisely did the writer of Proverbs declare, “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it” (Proverbs 22:6).
-Gordon B. Hinckley
“When God wants a great work done in the world or a great wrong righted, he goes about it in a very unusual way. He doesn’t stir up his earthquakes or send forth his thunderbolts. Instead, he has a helpless baby born, perhaps in a simple home and of some obscure mother. And then God puts the idea into the mother’s heart, and she puts it into the baby’s mind. And then God waits. The greatest forces in the world are not the earthquakes and the thunderbolts. The greatest forces in the world are babies.”
“Bring up your children in the love and fear of the Lord; study their dispositions and their temperaments, and deal with them accordingly, never allowing yourself to correct them in the heat of passion; teach them to love you rather than to fear you.”
-Brigham Young, quoted by Gordon B. Hinckley
“No power or influence can or ought to be maintained … , only by persuasion, by long-suffering, by gentleness and meekness, and by love unfeigned; …
“Reproving betimes with sharpness, when moved upon by the Holy Ghost; and then showing forth afterwards an increase of love toward him whom thou hast reproved, lest he esteem thee to be his enemy;
“That he may know that thy faithfulness is stronger than the cords of death”
How much more beautiful would be the world and the society in which we live if every father looked upon his children as the most precious of his assets, if he led them by the power of his example in kindness and love, and if in times of stress he blessed them by the authority of the holy priesthood; and if every mother regarded her children as the jewels of her life, as gifts from the God of heaven, who is their Eternal Father, and brought them up with true affection in the wisdom and admonition of the Lord.
-Gordon B. Hinckley
The calling of father or mother is sacred and carries with it great significance. One of the greatest privileges and responsibilities given to us is that of being a parent—helping to bring to earth a child of God and having the sacred responsibility to love, care, and guide children back to our Heavenly Father. In many ways earthly parents represent their Heavenly Father in the process of nurturing, loving, caring, and teaching children. Children naturally look to their parents to learn of the characteristics of their Heavenly Father. After they come to love, respect, and have confidence in their earthly parents, they often unknowingly develop the same feelings towards their Heavenly Father.
"It is a fundamental truth that the responsibilities of motherhood cannot be successfully delegated. No, not to day-care centers, not to schools, not to nurseries, not to babysitters. We become enamored with men's theories such as the idea of preschool training outside the home for young children. Not only does this put added pressure on the budget, but it places young children in an environment away from mother's influence. Too often the pressure for popularity, on children and teens, places an economic burden on the income of the father, so mother feels she must go to work to satisfy her children's needs. That decision can be most shortsighted. It is mother's influence during the crucial formative years that forms a child's basic character. Home is the place where a child learns faith, feels love, and thereby learns from mother's loving example to choose righteousness. How vital are mother's influence and teaching in the home-and how apparent when neglected!"
-Ezra Taft Benson (Ensign, Nov. 1981, p. 104)
Do not trade your birthright as a mother for some bauble of passing value. Let your first interest be in your home. The baby you hold in your arms will grow quickly as the sunrise and sunset of the rushing days.
Charity suffereth long, and is kind; ... is not easily provoked ...
-1 Corinthians 13:4-5
“In righteousness there is great simplicity. In every case that confronts us in life there is either a right way or a wrong way to proceed."
“Parents have a sacred duty to rear their children in love and righteousness, to provide for their physical and spiritual needs, to teach them to love and serve one another, to observe the commandments of God and to be law-abiding citizens wherever they live.”
-The Proclimation on the Family
President Hinckley has counseled parents: “Read to your children. Read the story of the Son of God. Read to them from the New Testament. Read to them from the Book of Mormon. It will take time, and you are very busy, but it will prove to be a great blessing in your lives as well as in their lives. And there will grow in their hearts a great love for the Savior of the world, the only perfect man who walked the earth. He will become to them a very real living being, and His great atoning sacrifice as they grow to manhood and womanhood, will take on a new and more glorious meaning in their lives” (quoted in Church News, 6 Dec. 1997, 2). Brothers and sisters, that glorious promise from our prophet can be ours if we read to our children from the scriptures.
There can be no greater joy than to know that our children love the Lord, no greater peace than that which comes when we feel of His love and understand the meaning of His atoning sacrifice. That spirit which comes when we share sacred things of the heart will bond us together as families. John expressed it well: “I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth” (3 Jn. 1:4).
-Gordon B. Hinckley, quoted by Anne G Worthlin, General Primary Presidency.
I've come to the realization the past few months that my kids don't want new toys, perfect clothes, treats, movies, or shopping.
They want me to sit with them, hold them, talk to them, spend time with them. It doesn't matter much what we do, whether we snuggle up together on the couch to read a book or take a walk to the park or just sit down on the floor to play.
My kids want me.
Do not try to control your children. Instead, listen to them, help them to learn the gospel, inspire them, and lead them toward eternal life. You are God’s agents in the care of children He has entrusted to you. Let His divine influence remain in your hearts as you teach and persuade.
-Russell M. Nelson
“When the real history of mankind is fully disclosed, will it feature the echoes of gunfire or the shaping sound of lullabies? The great armistices made by military men or the peacemaking of women in homes and in neighborhoods? Will what happened in cradles and kitchens ...prove to be more controlling than what happened in congresses? When the surf of the centuries has made the great pyramids so much sand, the everlasting family will still be standing, because it is a celestial institution, formed outside telestial time. The women of God know this.” -Neil A. Maxwell
"It seems strange that women want to enter into professions and into work and into places in society on an equality with men, wanting to dress like men and carry on men's work. I don't deny the fact that women are capable of doing so, but as I read the scriptures, I find it hard to reconcile this with what the Lord has said about women---what he has said about the family, what he has said about children. It seems to me that in regard to men and women, even though they might be equal in many things, there is a differentiation between them that we fully understand. I hope the time never comes when women will be brought down to the level with men, although they seem to be making these demands in meetings held . . . all over the world"
“Motherhood is the ideal opportunity for lifelong learning. A mother’s learning grows as she nurtures the child in his or her development years. They are both learning and maturing together at a remarkable pace. It’s exponential, not linear. Just think of the learning process of a mother throughout the lifetime of her children. . . For example, in the process of rearing her children, a mother studies such topics as child development; nutrition; health care; physiology; psychology; nursing with medical research and care. . . The learning examples could continue endlessly. . . My point is, my dear sisters—as well as for the brethren, who I hope are listening carefully—a mother’s opportunity for lifelong learning and teaching is universal in nature.”
-Robert D. Hales