by Andrew :)
I was asked to give a talk in church about the influence of women and mothers. As I thought and prayed about this topic, I felt like I should talk about the influence that my own mother has had on my life in the area of showing faith throughout trials. I want to share the thoughts that I have about this with my beautiful Mother today.
I was born into a wonderful family who had the gospel in their lives and parents who love me, and I’m very grateful for those blessing. At the ripe old age of 6 years old, my parents called myself and my 6 brothers and sister together to announce that they were getting a divorce. At that point in time, I’m pretty sure I didn’t know what divorce was, and I certainly didn’t understand the change it would have in our lives. As we transitioned into this change, we saw our mother less and less. She was a very busy woman trying to take care of 7 kids and work to put food on the table for us. It was difficult for us as kids, and I can’t even begin to fathom what pressure and stress that put on my mother’s shoulders. As time went on, she continued to work long hours and the rest of her time was pretty much spent sleeping, doing church responsibilities, or helping us kids with our needs. She didn’t have the support she should have from my dad to ease her burdens and despite that, we were very blessed as a family.
As I’ve looked back, I’ve learned many important lessons from my mom. A few of those key lessons include:
The value of hard work
The first lesson I’ve learned from her is the value of hard work. When I was young, I knew my mother was working a lot, but I didn’t understand the sacrifices that she was making for our family. My dad wasn’t helping her support us, so at times she was working 2 or 3 jobs to make ends meet. She was also working hard in her time outside of work to be a mother to her children. She was willing to sacrifice her interests and hobbies to put her family first. Whatever she had to do, she did it for us. My mother emulated that work ethics that the Nephites had when they came to the American continent (see 2 Nephi 5:15-17, 27). Much like the hard work of the Nephites, with my mother, happiness prevailed. I have come to learn that happiness is one of the results of hard work.
Going to church on Sunday
Another lesson I learned is the importance of going to church every Sunday. Monday through Saturday at the Macey home was hectic and mom wasn’t around as much as we would’ve liked her to be. Sunday was the day I looked forward to because I knew that I’d be able to be with my mom. My mother was an excellent example of being at home for church on Sunday and also having a family dinner. She once told me that church was something that she couldn’t sacrifice, she needed it too badly.
Elder Kevin S. Hamilton of the Seventy in his October 2013 conference talk, shared a story about the importance of regular church attendance. He said,
“My father could remember the very day, even the very hour, that his family—father, mother, and four children—left the Church, many never to return again in this life. He was 13 years old, a deacon, and in those days families attended Sunday School in the morning and then sacrament meeting in the afternoon. On a beautiful spring day, after returning home from Sunday morning worship services and having a midday family meal together, his mother turned to his father and asked simply, “Well, dear, do you think we should go to sacrament meeting this afternoon, or should we take the family for a ride in the country?”
The idea that there was an option to sacrament meeting had never occurred to my father, but he and his three teenage siblings all sat up and paid careful attention. That Sunday afternoon ride in the country was probably an enjoyable family activity, but that small decision became the start of a new direction which ultimately led his family away from the Church with its safety, security, and blessings and onto a different path.”
I know that there were times that doing something else sounded better and church wasn't what she wanted to do with her free time. I'm sure dragging 7 kids over to the church with you isn't an easy task as a single mother. I will be forever grateful for her decision to make church a priority during her trying times and teaching me the importance of observing Sunday as a day for church.
Paying a Full Tithe
The final lesson that I’d like to share that I learned from my mother are the blessings that come through paying a full tithe. We are taught in Malachi 3: 10 that if we pay a full tithe, the Lord has promised us great blessing. He said, “Prove me not herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.” I’ve have multiple conversations with my mother about tithing and how she was able to be faithful during her toughest trials. She told me that she had the mentality that she couldn’t afford not to pay her tithing. She has shared with me some special moments that happened when she paid her tithing and some of the blessings our family have seen through it.
Andrew and Maichael
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