Teachings for Mothers: October 2011 General Conference
“In 'the best of times [and] … the worst of times,' the true Saints of God, acting in faith, have never forgotten, dismissed, or neglected 'God’s commandment … to multiply and replenish the earth.' We go forward in faith—realizing the decision of how many children to have and when to have them is between a husband and wife and the Lord. We should not judge one another on this matter” (Neil L. Andersen, “Children,” October 2011 general conference).
Blessing and Commandment to Bear Children
“It is a crowning privilege of a husband and wife who are able to bear children to provide mortal bodies for these spirit children of God. We believe in families, and we believe in children.
“When a child is born to a husband and wife, they are fulfilling part of our Heavenly Father’s plan to bring children to earth. The Lord said, 'This is my work and my glory—to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.' Before immortality, there must be mortality” (Neil L. Andersen, “Children,” October 2011 general conference).
Children Who Have Strayed
“Parents who struggle to get a witness of the Savior into the heart of a child will be helped as they seek for a way to bring the words and the spirit of the Book of Mormon into the home and all the lives in their family. … The first step to full conversion is faith. Prayerful study of the Book of Mormon will build faith in God the Father, in His Beloved Son, and in His gospel” (Henry B. Eyring, "A Witness," October 2011 general conference).
Family Scripture Study
“My precious wife, Jeanene, loved the Book of Mormon. In her youth, as a teenager, it became the foundation of her life. … Jeanene confirmed early in her life that those who consistently read the Book of Mormon are blessed with an added measure of the Spirit of the Lord, a greater resolve to obey His commandments, and a stronger testimony of the divinity of the Son of God” (Richard G. Scott, “The Power of Scripture,” Oct. 2011 general conference).
Forget-Me-Nots of Motherhood
“Forget not to be patient with yourself. … Be thankful for all the small successes in your home, your family relationships, your education and livelihood, your Church participation and personal improvement. …
“For example, insisting that you have a picture-perfect family home evening each week—even though doing so makes you and everyone around you miserable—may not be the best choice. Instead, ask yourself, 'What could we do as a family that would be enjoyable and spiritual and bring us closer together?' That family home evening—though it may be modest in scope and execution—may have far more positive long-term results.
“Forget not the difference between a good sacrifice and a foolish sacrifice. An acceptable sacrifice is when we give up something good for something of far greater worth.
“Giving up a little sleep to help a child who is having a nightmare is a good sacrifice. We all know this. Staying up all night, jeopardizing our own health, to make the perfect accessory for a daughter’s Sunday outfit may not be such a good sacrifice” (Dieter F. Uchtdorf, “Forget Me Not,” general Relief Society meeting, Sept. 2011).
Importance of Motherhood
“Many voices in the world today marginalize the importance of having children or suggest delaying or limiting children in a family. My daughters recently referred me to a blog written by a Christian mother (not of our faith) with five children. She commented: ‘[Growing] up in this culture, it is very hard to get a biblical perspective on motherhood. … Children rank way below college. Below world travel for sure. Below the ability to go out at night at your leisure. Below honing your body at the gym. Below any job you may have or hope to get.’ She then adds: ‘Motherhood is not a hobby, it is a calling. You do not collect children because you find them cuter than stamps. It is not something to do if you can squeeze the time in. It is what God gave you time for.’
“Having young children is not easy. Many days are just difficult. A young mother got on a bus with seven children. The bus driver asked, ‘Are these all yours, lady? Or is it a picnic?’
“ ‘They’re all mine,’ she replied. ‘And it’s no picnic!’
“As the world increasingly asks, ‘Are these all yours?’ we thank you for creating within the Church a sanctuary for families, where we honor and help mothers with children” (Neil L. Andersen, “Children,” October 2011 general conference).
“Alma spoke of priorities when he taught that ‘this life became a probationary state; a time to prepare to meet God’ (Alma 12:24). How to best use the rich heritage of time to prepare to meet God may require some guidance, but surely we would place the Lord and our families at the top of the list. President Dieter F. Uchtdorf reminded us that ‘in family relationships love is really spelled t-i-m-e’ (“Of Things That Matter Most,” Liahona and Ensign, Nov. 2010, 22). I testify that when help is prayerfully and sincerely sought, our Heavenly Father will help us to give emphasis to that which deserves our time above something else” (Ian S. Ardern, “A Time to Prepare,” Oct. 2011 general conference).
Strengthening Children to Keep the Commandments
“It may appear to you at times that those out in the world are having much more fun than you are. Some of you may feel restricted by the code of conduct to which we in the Church adhere. My brothers and sisters, I declare to you, however, that there is nothing which can bring more joy into our lives or more peace to our souls than the Spirit which can come to us as we follow the Savior and keep the commandments. That Spirit cannot be present at the kinds of activities in which so much of the world participates. ... We must be vigilant in a world which has moved so far from that which is spiritual. It is essential that we reject anything that does not conform to our standards, refusing in the process to surrender that which we desire most: eternal life in the kingdom of God” (Thomas S. Monson, "Stand in Holy Places," October 2011 general conference).
Teaching Children to Experience the Spirit
“Parents and leaders, please help your children and youth to learn about and experience the Spirit of Elijah. But do not overly program this endeavor or provide too much detailed information or training. Invite young people to explore, to experiment, and to learn for themselves (see Joseph Smith—History 1:20). Any young person can do what I am suggesting, using the modules available at lds.org/familyhistoryyouth. ... Young people increasingly need to be learners who act and thereby receive additional light and knowledge by the power of the Holy Ghost—and not merely passive students who primarily are acted upon (see 2 Nephi 2:26)” (David A. Bednar, “The Hearts of the Children Shall Turn,” Oct. 2011 general conference).
Teaching Our Families
“ 'The responsibility to teach [effectively] is not limited to those who have formal callings as teachers.' In fact, every family member, Church leader, and Church member (including the youth and children) has a responsibility to teach. ...
“Parents who mirror the workings of the Holy Ghost create homes where families learn to value rather than just learn about values. In like manner, rather than just talking about doctrines, teachers help learners understand and live gospel doctrines. The Holy Ghost is unrestrained as individuals exercise their agency appropriately” (Matthew O. Richardson, “Teaching after the Manner of the Spirit,” October 2011 general conference).