The proclamation on the family declares, “The family is central to the Creator’s plan for the eternal destiny of His children.” Assisting our Father in Heaven in bringing spirit children to earth and in teaching them “to walk uprightly before the Lord” (D&C 68:28) is one of the great honors He has given us.
Because Satan recognizes the power for good in families, he is vigorously attacking them. President Gordon B. Hinckley said: “The home is under siege. So many families are being destroyed. … If anyone can change the dismal situation into which we are sliding, it is you. Rise up, O women of Zion, rise to the great challenge which faces you” (“Walking in the Light of the Lord,” Ensign, Nov. 1998, 99).
Latter-day Saints need not be swayed by worldly voices that demean the divinely appointed roles of women. Virginia U. Jensen, first counselor in the Relief Society general presidency, said: “In today’s society there are many who challenge the importance of the traditional home and family. Some think there are other uses of a woman’s time and talents that are more important than the family. But prophets have been relentless in declaring that the role of homemaker is one of the most sacred and meaningful pursuits possible to … woman” (“Home, Family, and Personal Enrichment,” Ensign, Nov. 1999, 96).
One sister, after being criticized for having a large family and giving up a career outside the home, wrote: “I rocked my newborn baby into the night, overcome with gratitude. How would I have found the joy of having this child if prophets of God hadn’t lit my path and shown me that womanhood, motherhood, and wifehood were beautiful ways to serve that have brought me warmth of soul, closeness to my Father, and joy that sometimes seems to consume me?”
That joy is available not only to mothers but also to women who, having never borne children of their own, express their motherhood by nurturing the children of others. One woman paid tribute to a single sister who helped bear her burden: “Although I loved my three small children very much and knew I was doing an important work, I often felt worn out and confined to my home. My husband was working two jobs, but there never seemed to be enough money for a baby-sitter and an evening out. Then sweet Monica came into my life. She called regularly to say she was coming over on a given night to stay with my children. To the delight of my little ones, she always arrived with games and treats. My husband and I were free to attend a temple session or to go out for dinner knowing we would return to a peaceful home where everything was in order and children were tucked safely into bed. Monica consistently refused any payment for her efforts. This wonderful woman now nurtures my granddaughter.”
Mary Ellen Smoot, Relief Society general president, said: “Children are given to us as gifts from God. … All of us who love, lead, and guide God’s children know the depth of that commitment and the meaning of that gift” (“The Possible Dream” [address given at the 1998 Brigham Young University Women’s Conference], 11).