I learned about motherhood in a way different than most people. I have seen many wonderful mothers from around the world. There are good mothers in every country upon the earth as well as in all religions.
However, I also know that just because a woman gives birth to a child does not make them a real mother. God gave most women the ability to conceive a child, nonetheless, how they treat a child is what I believe makes them a mother.
I honor and respect Mothers, and have always done all I can to help them protect and raise their children in righteousness. I also helped children to honor and respect their mothers, just because they gave them life. And when their mothers loved and respected them, that was easy. When they did not, that was not easy.
My sister’s words introduced me to my own mother, and not having a memory of her, that gave me insight into how happy I might have been if she had lived. It is easy for me to honor and respect her because she chose to give me life, even at the cost of her own. While she did not die giving me birth, she died because she gave me birth.
I know that she read the scriptures, because one of the items she left behind was an old, worn bible, and the other was a painting of an angel watching over two little children on a rickety old bridge over a raging water below.
One of those who knew my mother, said that she put me in a shoe box lined with cotton and then placed that on the door of the stove so I could stay warm. I only weighed 2 pounds when I was born. Back in the 1940’s, they did not have special intensive care units for small babies as they do now. Most of those who were that small died. Mother gave me life, and then helped me survive for the time she was well enough to watch over me.
Sissy told me a story once, that mother used to drink coffee and she would boil it on the stove, then put it in the window sill to cool. One morning, she placed her cup of coffee in the window sill to cool while she was in another room doing something. My sister pulled a chair up to the sink then helped me up on it. She reached up and brought the cup of coffee down. She said that together, we drank it, and then fearing mother might get upset, we put mud into the cup and filled it with water, then put it back on the windowsill.
When mother came in and saw what we had done, she chased us around the house and when she got us, rather than beat us, she tickled us in the tummy until we all giggled together and then told us to never do that again.
When sissy shared this with me, I was living in a yard with animals for mothers. My sister was hiding behind the grape arbor and whispered it to me so she would not be heard.
Our step-mother at that time was not a good example of motherhood. I was not yet 5 years old and animals were kinder to me than she who was suppose to be my mother. I was born in October 1945, my mother died in April 1949.
My sister was a mother to me. She pushed bread under the door of the closet so I could eat. She told me bible stories and taught me music when she found mother’s bible and autoharp. She allowed me to hear words my father spoke to mother and her while he was out to sea during World War II. She spoke to me whenever she could, and suffered for me when our step-mother tossed scalding water at me for not being quick. It seemed as though those who loved me paid a high price for that love.
When I was rescued, the doctors wrote down that if I had been outside much longer I would not have survived. I had what is called “protein malnutrition.” I had survived by eating fruit that fell from the trees, and berries which grew on the back fence and around the yard. I was kept warm by cuddling with animals at night. All children need mothers.
One of those who could have been a mother to me, was a woman who sent me to a school that taught of Jesus Christ. I do not know how old I was, but I do know I had not turned 10 years old yet. Many years later, I learned she had told her own child that if abortion had been legal back then, her last child would never have been born. To me, a woman who could tell a child such a horrible thing is not a mother. However, she did give the child life, and the child who that mother said should not have been born, became a good mother to her own children.
My first example of real motherhood came from a woman who never had a child of her own. This good woman treated every child who came within her care with such tender love and encouragement, for me and hundreds of other children, she was a real mother.
She made sure we had food to eat, clean living quarters, laughter, lessons in many areas, and protected us from evil. She gave me the first example of good, clean love. I shall be eternally grateful to her for that.
I believe in motherhood. I believe that every child deserves a mother who can nurture and protect them and teach them by example how to be a good person. I know that good mothers deserve good husbands who will help them be safe, provide for their families and love their children.
One of the highest honors I received was when one of my step-daughters told me how much she loved me. She thanked me for the time we had together. She had never known a mother’s love, and I had the honor of being a mother to her.
My other step-daughter was shocked when I stood up to her father on her side and how her father backed away and felt shame. Even though I only had her a few times, I was blessed to be a grandmother to her children.
It was an honor to teach them right from wrong and encourage them to not be like those who should have loved them. To let them know that it did not matter what they had done in the past, they deserved to improve and find peace rather than shame.
I was blessed to teach my step-son how a mother should be. He saw that his own father was a better man because of the example of a good mother in the home. (I say this not to brag, but to show that a woman’s influence can make the difference between sorrow and happiness, good and evil). That boy became a better man because I was able to teach him right from wrong with God’s love rather than cruelty and encouraged him to be a better man than he could have become. All I did was treat him as if he were my own son. I am so proud of him for the act of courage he displayed when others tried to force him to do evil.
God gave us women a special gift. For those who love the Lord, and accept the Atonement, we can become mothers even if we never have our own children. When we follow the examples of good women, we are only walking where God wants us to walk. We are becoming just like our Heavenly Mother. Motherhood is a divine calling, in my humble opinion. We have been given the honor of helping the children of God to be safe and to feed, nourish and respect them with love while they are upon the earth.
In this troubled world, we need to show those who are not mothers and only gave birth, how to repent and become mothers. When we make mistakes, we need to tell our children we are sorry, and then prove we are sorry by doing better.
One example I had of a real mother was back in 1982 in Sunland, California. This good woman allowed me to be mother to her children for a period of time and I learned by watching her and then applying what I learned. I saw how to handle it when a child does something wrong and how to say sorry when I was wrong and the child was right.
There are many mothers in the world. But as I stated earlier, giving birth to a child does not make a woman a mother. My heart goes out to all those who have murdered their unborn children because they were tricked into not knowing abortion is really murder. I know that those sweet spirits forgave those women. I know that those wee ones went right back to the highest degree of the highest heaven. Jesus loves children and so should we all.