Colorado Young Mother of the Year Says the Gospel Is Everything

Contributed By Rachel Sterzer, Church News Staff Writer

  • 4 September 2015

Shalyn Heath, who was recently honored as the Colorado Young Mother of the Year, with her husband, Alex, and children: Josh, 13; Garrett, 11; Taylor, 10; Carson, 6; and Aubrey, 3.  Photo courtesy Shayln Heath.

Article Highlights

  • Motherhood helps develop Christlike attributes.
  • Parents can learn from the examples of other parents in their ward family.
  • The plan of salvation keeps our families grounded in what is most important.

“The gospel is everything. I honestly don’t know where I’d be without it. I know why I’m here. I know what I’m doing. In the end, that is what matters.” —Shayln Heath, Colorado Young Mother of the Year

For Shayln Heath, who was recently recognized as the Colorado Young Mother of the Year by American Mothers Inc., the honor is flattering, humbling, and uncomfortable.

“I hate all the attention,” Sister Heath, a member of the Chatfield Ward, Columbine Colorado Stake, said.

Despite any discomfort, if there’s anything she’s passionate about, it’s being a mom. “I really do love it. I love that I get to be here and learn with [my kids]. I love seeing their achievements as well as their struggles. I’m very, very grateful.”

Sister Heath and her husband, Alex, have five children: “some wild ones and some quiet ones. They all came with their own distinct personalities,” Sister Heath said. Ranging in age from 13 down to 3, they “make life fun and interesting around here.”

As a family they enjoy spending time together, including board games, family home evening activities, and anything outdoors. “The kids are always begging to go on bike rides,” Sister Heath said.

Recently, Sister Heath has tried to slow down and enjoy the little things, like taking the time to let her kids balance on the sidewalk curb. “My kids find joy in the smallest things,” she explained. “I’ve learned to not be so rushed and let them move and experience and explore. They want to experience everything. If I let them stop and pet the dog, it makes their day.”

Sister Heath said she always knew she wanted to be a mother but was surprised at how little she felt she knew when becoming a mom. “I remember bringing home a newborn baby and being surprised how much time and attention they needed. … But I was also surprised at the instant love and connection I felt,” Sister Heath said.

Sister Heath shared that motherhood, among other things, has helped her to develop Christlike attributes. “You learn humility, patience, love in ways you never understood before,” she said.

Like other mothers, Sister Heath said she sometimes struggles with “mom guilt.”

“You always worry, ‘Am I doing enough? Are they learning?” Sister Heath said.

One of the things that has helped her combat those feelings has been to look to the examples of other moms—in both her extended family and her ward family.

“I learn so much from the women in my ward and in my Relief Society. There are so many skills and things that they’ve taught me that I can bring home and use in my everyday life. I just watch the other mothers and women in my ward and how they handle things. I don’t know how families raise children without a ward family,” Sister Heath said.

Ultimately, the thing that keeps her grounded is her knowledge of the plan of salvation. “The gospel is everything,” Sister Heath said. “I honestly don’t know where I’d be without it. I know why I’m here. I know what I’m doing. In the end, that is what matters.”