(This is something I sent to my family in an e-mail and I thought I would share it on here as well.)
Yesterday I taught the Young Women lesson on Homemaking. As usual I’m sure that I learned the most from my reading and preparing. I really loved one particular talk by Susan W. Tanner called Strengthening Future Mothers. The reason why is that I learned something very important which we’re taught all the time but it hit me in this instance when thinking about our Mom. And that is the power of example. Sister Tanner shared how the 3 most important things in teaching our YW is our example, example, example. Well, I started thinking about this related to Homemaking skills and how we are to teach our children to desire to have them. Another thing that happened that help me realize this even more is I was making bread to take for my lesson and Liji asked me how old I was when I learned how to make bread, then he said were you 10, 11, 12? He thought, I guess because I’m so good at it now;), that Mom must have taught me all about baking and cooking from a very young age and that’s not the case. I didn’t learn how to make bread until after I was married, which he was very surprised at. How could someone like me who loves baking, cooking, sewing, decorating, ect. and above all else since as long as she can remember has only ever wanted to be a homemaker/mother not have learned to bake bread until after she was married?
Now I don’t remember mom teaching me how to do that but I do remember sitting on the counter talking with her while she worked and the same thing while she was using the sewing machine and the same thing while she was cooking dinners, I watched her a lot. I remember her always cleaning up after everyone and making huge plates of food for Dad or special dinners for him or other families that I didn’t get. I remember her waking up in the middle of the night and cleaning up my throw-up and then getting me medicine or whatever I needed to help me feel better, clear through High School. And most importantly I realized that I most remember her never complaining about any of these things and I even remember that she always seemed happy in doing these things. This example of joy in homemaking is what I believe gave all of us children such an appreciation and love for this most divine role, including the boys and their desires for the wives now. That is why I was the girl in YW or in her school class who when asked what she wanted to be when she grew up and all the other kids had said all these famous and “glorious” professions I would slowly raise my hand and rather shyly say, “A Mom.” It wasn’t teaching us the skills necessary, that eventually I know we have all gone to her to learn anyways, but teaching by showing us of the joy in this most sacred, holy and satisfying calling. With that knowledge we later all sought on our own to acquire all the skills necessary through going to her, or our classes in school or our jobs because we knew that is where true joy lays. I know I did cook dinners and bake in High School, I don’t want it to sound like Mom didn’t teach us any of these skills, she did, I just remember being able to do it though and I don’t specifically remember the teaching part, I think that went on through all the watching I did while she was working. But I just wanted to point out that knowing how to do those things wasn’t what gave me the desire to be a homemaker, it is the example I have talked about.
I’m sure many of you have already realized this by now but I just thought I would share it with all my wonderful sister and sister-in-law mothers who want to teach their children of the importance of a homemaker’s role and hope that you realize how profound of an impact your little displays of positive or negative attitudes about fulfilling your role in the home does make a huge impact on the views your children will have on it in the future. I have already seen all of you do a wonderful job at displaying such a positive attitude. And I wanted to thank Mom for being such an amazing example so that I can have this strong testimony of my role as a woman today and share that with others, when it seems that there are becoming less and less of these woman who know.
This is a little quote from Sister Tanner about her Mom’s example to her that I loved.
“My best and most consistent example in learning the joys of homemaking and mothering was my own mother. She told me many times every day how much she treasured being a mother and homemaker, and then she lived those words in every action. She sang as she folded laundry, she exulted over the clean smell in a freshly scrubbed bathroom; she taught me how to read and write, sew and cook, love long-suffering, and temperance, I felt it and I wanted the same things in my life.”
She also said this, “Serving families is a way of covenant keeping, and covenant keeping reaps the promised blessing of having the Spirit in our lives.” That is where the joy comes from.