Living by the scriptures

. . . And to be a joyful mother of children. Praise ye the Lord. - Psalm 113:9.

Being a "joyful mother of children," seemed natural and easy for me. But one afternoon the veil between heaven and earth seemed unusually thin as my three delightful little boys, ages 5, 3, and 6 months, sat in my lap while we sang songs, read stories, and hugged, loved, and giggled.

The Holy Ghost became powerfully present, and the joy became so intense and poignant that I could hardly bear it. Then I realized my little ones were going to grow up and be gone, and that this particular afternoon would dissolve and be gone forever. I saw that I would someday be old and not have my children on my lap anymore, and at that thought, I felt that my heart would break into a thousand pieces.

Oh, how I wanted to hold onto this exquisite joy forever! I yearned to take this very afternoon, and all the many wonderful moments of being a mother, and put them in a bottle and store it on my bookshelf, so that I could take the bottle down from the shelf some lonely afternoon, and open it, and "be here" again, a young mother holding these three happy children. I thought I should fairly die if I could not preserve these precious moments forever.

In that instant, the Holy Ghost confirmed to me things of eternity, and I knew that eternal parenting was the highest and noblest of all divine gifts; I knew I was born to that exalted station, and that nothing less could satisfy my soul, and that no earthly power of dissuasion would keep me from it. Thirty-six months later, my youngest son died of leukemia. That was 17 years ago. My two oldest sons are grown and away at college, and this is that "lonely afternoon." How grateful I am that I had the spiritual awareness to enjoy my little ones while they were young, and to make and keep temple covenants. Being a "joyful mother of children" - eternal, and everlasting, remains the most intense desire of my heart, and the most glorious promise for the future.

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