HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY to all of the mothers and mothers-to-be out there! I especially love this day as a missionary because I get to talk with my family face-to-face via the interwebz! It was a whole de-ja-vu moment because it snowed again on Mother's Day this year!
As life and time goes by, I realize more and more each day the importance of a mother's influence on her children. Especially with having the opportunity to work with so many families on my mission....For instance:
1. Fathers generally do not sign up on our dinner calendar to feed us. They usually leave that to the mothers because, let's be honest, only the moms really know the schedules of the family.
2. If mom says no, you often go to your father. And you know what he says? "Go ask your mom."
3. For the past couple of months, we've been meeting with a less-active family who are coming to church again for the first time in years. The reason why they hadn't been going to church was because the parents were offended. Hmm. And, in fact, their mother allowed the offenses to go so far as to cause them all to stop going to church.
A negative influence, yet a very strong influence.
We visited this family last week and decided to share with them a talk by Elder Bednar "And Nothing Shall Offend Them" which addresses directly those members who are "less-active" and don't attend church. We were so so so very nervous that we were going to offend them by sharing this talk with them but then that would defeat the purpose of our visits.
We began by asking them, "What are you going to do differently this time so that you keep going to church, you keep reading your scriptures, and you keep praying rather than fall away into inactivity again?"
They tried to avoid the question. So we pulled up the talk on their TV and watched it with them.
Afterwards, we heard, "Now, I have an issue with one of the things that he said in there."
*frozen* Did it offend him...? And what was that..?
He brought it up and with ALL of the help of the Holy Spirit, we said words that apparently helped them understand more of what Elder Bednar was saying. By the end of the lesson, they said, "Yeah, we know that that's something we really need to work on." So we asked the question again. What are you going to do differently this time around? And they made a resolve to not allow any people or offenses to get in their way of receiving blessings from heaven.
The way Elder Bednar put it:
"Because someone at church offended you, you have not been blessed by the ordinance of the sacrament. You have withdrawn yourself from the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost. Because someone at church offended you, you have cut yourself off from priesthood ordinances and the holy temple. You have discontinued your opportunity to serve others and to learn and grow. And you are leaving barriers that will impede the spiritual progress of your children, your chidlren's children, and the generations that will follow" (emphasis added).
Don't let people's remarks offend you and, most importantly, don't allow people to get in the way of receiving blessings!