Sunday, May 17, 2015

The Blessings Of Being A Missionary Mom

I can see by the wrinkles under my eyes that I'm getting older all the time. One of my Primary children looked at me today and asked quite sincerely, "are you in your 80's or in your 50's?" I just laughed. He's 7 years old. I said, "I am certainly not in my 80's!"

I've had many blessings in my "less that 80" years. God has been very kind to me. One of the cherished blessings I will always be grateful for is to have had children who chose to serve the Lord as His missionaries. I've had the opportunity to be a "Missionary Mom" three times. Elisa went to West Virginia, Ian went to Brazil, and Seth is serving his last week as a missionary in Georgia. I've worn my Missionary Mom pin on a number of occasions. I wore it to church today, and next week will be my last week to wear it. It's just a little thing, but it means so much.

In the Old Testament, we read about a woman named Hannah. She prayed for a child and longed for a child for many years. God finally granted her the desire of her heart, and she dedicated that child to the Lord's service. She was the mother of a servant of the Lord. She rejoiced in that. Hannah loved God, and she offered the best she could to Himher firstborn son. God blessed her with many more children after that.

It is a wonderful thing to be the mother of a servant of the Lord.

Elisa surprised us when she told us she wanted to serve a mission. We hadn't anticipated it. It was a blessing to her, and it was a blessing to us. We hoped that our sons would also make the choice to serve the Lord as missionaries, and they did.

We have a picture that hangs over our mantle in our living room. My husband said we needed to hang the picture when we moved to our home. It is the scripture from Joshua that reads, "As for me and my house we will serve the Lord." Joshua 24:15 It symbolizes that we try to not just think just about ourselves. We wonder what service we might offer others that will bless their lives as well. We believe that "when ye are in the service of your fellow beings ye are only in the service of your God." Mosiah 2:17 (The Book of Mormon)

So part of our family service has been to share the message of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ with those who might be interested in that message. The years of missionary service have been voluntary. No one forced my children to serve. Their lives have been enriched, and hearts have been touched. Most of their service has been quiet service.

The blessing to me has been to know that I had something to offer the Lord. They were adults when they chose to serve and leave home. I did what I could when they were children to teach them the ways of the Lord and to instill in them a love of God. I have always been grateful for the two Mormon missionaries that taught me the gospel. They sacrificed their time for two years to find me and to offer me the message that has blessed my life now, and that will bless me and my family throughout eternity. How do you say thank you for something like that?

You simply try to give back.

The way I try to give back and say thanks is to share the gospel with others. I write this blog. I have other social media accounts. I serve in church. I offer the Savior's message with those who might be interested. I prepared missionaries for the Lord.

"Thus shall my thanks be thanks indeed."

Seth comes home next week. We've missed him. He's always been a delight to us. His mission has shaped him in new ways that will add a dimension to his life that he could have received in no other way. He has sacrificed his time to serve God and serve others. That causes the missionaries to look beyond themselves and to think of others before themselves. That service blesses both ways.

I suppose when I am really in my 80's, I will look back at my life and ponder a lot of things. I will be at the end then if I live that long. I think the memories will be mostly sweet even though there have been a lot of trials along the way.

One of my sweetest memories will be the time I can look back and say that I was a

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