In October 2007, Sister Julie B. Beck gave a talk titled, "Mothers Who Know." This talk is all about good, strong mothers who raise their children in righteousness. She talks about mothers who know how to keep the commandments and walk uprightly before God, and how the mothers of the stripling warriors knew these important things, and taught them to their sons. There are 3 ways that Sister Beck has mentioned that relate to missionary work and motherhood, which I am taking to heart and applying in my life.
1. Leadership and Planning
In her talk, Sister Beck said,
"Mothers who know are leaders. In equal partnership with their husbands, they lead a great and eternal organization. These mothers plan for the future of their organization. They plan for missions, temple marriages, and education. They plan for prayer, scripture study, and family home evening. Mothers who know build children into future leaders and are the primary examples of what leaders look like. They do not abandon their plan by succumbing to social pressure and worldly models of parenting. These wise mothers who know are selective about their own activities and involvement to conserve their limited strength in order to maximize their influence where it matters most."
A missionary spends several hours a week planning what they will do for the day or for the week. Missionaries set goals and make a plan to fulfill that goal. For example, I struggle daily with falling asleep and waking up on time, yet I've made it a goal to wake up 10 minutes before I need to, and to try to go to bed 10 minutes earlier so that I can get my needed rest. This principle of goal-setting will help me prepare for motherhood.
2. Teaching and Training
Sister Beck has also said,
"Mothers who know are always teachers. Since they are not babysitters, they are never off duty. A well-taught friend told me that he did not learn anything at church that he had not already learned at home. His parents used family scripture study, prayer, family home evening, mealtimes, and other gatherings to teach. Think of the power of our future missionary force if mothers considered their homes as a pre–missionary training center. Then the doctrines of the gospel taught in the MTC would be a review and not a revelation. That is influence; that is power."
Children come into this world with a blank slate, and will learn little to nothing without their mothers. As a missionary, I study for an hour by myself and an hour with my companion each morning so that when we are in a lesson, we will have the scriptural knowledge we need to answer the investigators' questions. I am learning now how to incorporate scripture study, prayer, and the singing of hymns into my daily life so that when I am a mother, I can teach my children to do the same things.
3. Standing for Truth and Righteousness
"Who will prepare this righteous generation of sons and daughters? Latter-day Saint women will do this—women who know and love the Lord and bear testimony of Him, women who are strong and immovable and who do not give up during difficult and discouraging times. We are led by an inspired prophet of God who has called upon the women of the Church to 'stand strong and immovable for that which is correct and proper under the plan of the Lord.' He has asked us to 'begin in [our] own homes' to teach children the ways of truth. Latter-day Saint women should be the very best in the world at upholding, nurturing, and protecting families."
I am confident that nothing is more important than being strong and immovable, and standing up for what I believe in. When I am blessed with the joyous gift of motherhood, I cannot and will not give in under pressure. I will stand for what is right, and defend my faith, for the sake of my children and for the sake of my God and my Savior. I will follow the prophet, keep the commandments, and be an example for my children of righteousness and faithfulness. As a missionary, I am doing these things each day.
It is my prayer that all sister missionaries will realize this in their service, and will do everything they can to allow their mission to prepare them for their next mission of motherhood.