This past week I got some extra hours at the BYU Bookstore by volunteering for Women’s Conference. It was a lot more exciting and thought provoking than I thought that it was going to be. To set up the scene a little better, imagine thousands of women shopping for books, CD’s, totes, cinnoman bears, and keychains in a tent that’s about 100 feet by 100 feet. In Provo. In inexplicably cold 44 degree weather in APRIL. You might think that it was like a Black Friday, where people are elbowing, pushing and shoving each other for the bargains and buys for the holiday season, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. Everyone single woman had a smile on her face, and when I would ask them what the best part of the conference was, they would say, “all of it!” My initial thought was that this was like scout camp/girl’s camp/EFY for middle aged women, and that’s why they loved it so much. But upon further reflection, I think they love Women’s Conference because of the appreciation and love that they are shown.
Most places in the world don’t pat moms on the back for doing laundry, dressing kids, putting kids and husbands ahead of everyone in their lives. They pat women on the back for “taking strides in the workplace,” or other worthy accolades. While it’s great that women want to work outside the home, they are not generally commended for the nurturing and love that they instill into those that they have the greatest responsibility over.
M. Russell Ballard said: ““Is a woman’s value dependent exclusively upon her role as a wife and mother?” The answer is simple and obvious: No. Although there is nothing a woman can do that has more far-reaching, eternal impact than to rear her children to walk in righteousness, motherhood and marital status are not the only measures of a woman’s worth. Some women do not have the privilege of marrying or rearing children in this life. Yet if they are worthy, these blessings will come later. Men and women who do have the privilege of rearing children will of course be held accountable for that priceless, eternal stewardship. Although there is simply not a more significant contribution you can make to society, to the Church, or to the eternal destiny of our Father’s children than what you will do as a mother or father, motherhood and fatherhood are not the only measures of goodness or of one’s acceptance before the Lord. Every righteous man and woman has a significant role to play in the onward march of the kingdom of God.”
This is such a great message for everyone to remember, but especially to women, who are constantly told that they are told by society that no matter what they do, they are:
Not doing enough, making enough, serving enough, loving enough, or making enough of a difference.
When in all reality, they are doing more, making more out of less, serving more consistently and certainly more enthusiastically, show more love, and making all the difference in the world.
I think that this is the power of telling someone that they are appreciated is something that is rarely done, and rarely taken seriously. Mother’s Day is a day that we all hug and kiss our moms, do the dinner, give her little gifts, and tell them how much we love them. It’s a day that we do the dishes, and celebrate womanhood, and all the things that they do. Why don’t we do this more often? Why do we only do this for women that we are related to?
For every woman that has shown me love, from mission moms, ward moms, friend’s moms, my best friend’s wives, my best friends, and of course everyone in my family, THANK YOU! I wouldn’t be here without you.
P.S. Please. Tell your mother that you love her.
P.P.S. Tell her what you appreciate about her, and what you love about her, what she’s done for you. This will help her know that you’re not just saying it.