Today we went to a funeral of a friend of Joel's. This isn't the first friend that has died since we've met. This friend was only 53 when he died playing golf last Sunday.
Nothing like a funeral to help you put your own life in perspective, eh?
I've been re-reading Sherri Dew's book Nobody Can Take Your Place. I love her. I love this book. I love the message in it. Just in the first three chapters I'm inspired to make a difference in my kids, and my kid's friend's lives. I want to be out in the yard, playing with them, teaching them the gospel with my example and how I'm living my life, how I'm treating them or teaching them to treat each other.
I love my role as a woman and a mother, in this world. I am thankful that I'm not a man, or have the demands on my life that a man has. I love the words of Margaret D. Nadauld where she said,
"Daughters of God know that it is the nurturing nature of women that can bring everlasting blessings, and they live to cultivate this divine attribute. Surely when a woman reverences motherhood, her children will arise up and call her blessed (see Prov. 31:28).
Women of God can never be like women of the world. The world has enough women who are tough; we need women who are tender. There are enough women who are coarse; we need women who are kind. There are enough women who are rude; we need women who are refined. We have enough women of fame and fortune; we need more women of faith. We have enough greed; we need more goodness. We have enough vanity; we need more virtue. We have enough popularity; we need more purity. "
Something I read in Sheri Dew's book yesterday really struck a chord with me. I've felt very urgently for the last couple of years that I must do whatever I can to bring up righteous children. I feel that I am raising soldiers for the army of God. I know that I cannot ask it of them if I am not willing to be it myself. The part I was reading is where she quotes President Woodruff saying, "The Lord has chosen a small number of choice spirits of sons and daughters out of all the creations of God, who are to inherit this earth; and this company of choice spirits have been kept in the spirit world for six thousand years to come forth in the last days... to build... up and to defend [the kingdom of God]"
She then says...
"That includes you, as one of those who have been reserved for this eleventh hour (see D&C 33:3). You are here now because you were divinely elected to be here now... It is humbling and a little scary. But do you think God would have left the last days to chance by sending men and women He couldn't depend on? There is no chance He would have been that cavalier or careless. The cumulative verdict of patriarchal blessings in our time is that we were sent now because some of the most trustworthy of our Father's children would be needed in the final decisive battle for righteousness. That is who we are, and it is who we have always been."
Satan has declared war on motherhood and on the family. She says, "He well knows that those who rock the cradle are perhaps in the best possible position to rock his diabolical earthly empire."
"As mothers in Israel, we are the Lord's secret weapon. We just cannot let the Lord down. And if the day comes when Latter-day Saint women are the only women on earth who find nobility and divinity in motherhood, so be it."
So be it.
I want to be a better mother, the kind of mothering figure that the Lord would be happy to have on His side. I hope that will be something I will be remembered for when it's my time to go. I hope that I've touched lives more that I could imagine.