I guess I'm twisted like that. But it's been a fun day with my feet up, enjoying linking from place to place.
Ohhh, there's lots of talk in the bloggernacle about LDS General Conference, and specifically about Sister Beck's talk on Mothers Who Know. And I'm saddened by the number of people who've been offended or hurt, or even frustrated by her talk.
For those who didn't hear it, you can listen here, or just to quickly summarize; she talked about the mothers in the Book of Mormon, who taught their children so well about the gospel that the children grew up to do miraculous things.
What did those mothers know? What did they do to give their children such strength? She boiled it down to this:
Mothers Who Know:
- desire to bear children
- honor sacred ordinances
- Are nurturers - including homemaking arts
- Are leaders
- Are teachers
- Do less
And I guess I'm just so sad to hear about how many people are having trouble with these things. There seems to be a lot of bitterness and even name calling. If you liked her talk you are a mindless robot. If you didn't, you are one of the apostate minions.
Here's my take. When I listened to her talk, I will say it was a kick in the pants for me. I heard her say a lot of things that I KNOW I should be doing better. In fact, there were things in every category that struck a guilty chord for me. Every category.
But you know what I heard overall? I heard Sister Beck validate me. She told me in front of the whole world, that the career choice I've made is an honorable one if I try to do it well. There is NO inherent goodness in choosing to be a sahm if I sit home and do nothing all day long. I have to put forth effort and MAKE it a career.
And I would think it would be extremely comforting to those who work outside the home - that this one choice doesn't make you better - but it's the choices you make every day that really count. The same choices for everyone.
Do you honestly try to live the gospel and to teach it to your children? Are they the center of your life? Or are they something you have to squeeze in time for here and there?
The hottest button as I see seems to be the nurturing =homemaking idea. And if you want to really get women riled up, start talking about their housekeeping skills. If you don't have experience to tell you that housekeeping really is a very important part of nurturing, you can thank your lucky stars! I have known people who lived in filth - real filth. And I can't imagine a child feeling nurtured in that environment. There just comes a point where you can't physically keep a person safe in filth. And someone has to be responsible for that. Do dad's have a responsibility? Absolutely. I'm married to one of the grand champion puke cleaners of the world - but the talk was not entitled "Parents Who Know", it was about mothers.
(And can you imagine the backlash if she had talked about parents more generally instead of mothers? Lds single-moms would have gone crazy asking why nobody cares about them!)
You know, no mother I have ever met thinks she's doing a good enough job. I can see where someone standing up and asking us to reevaluate and try to do a little better could be frustrating. But hey! Instead of calling names and complaining and murmuring, how about if we maybe pray about this stuff and ask directly what we - individually- should be working on right now. I don't think God has any illusions that we will all jump up and become perfect overnight. Just try to do a little better.
I applaud Sister Beck in her directness. I applaud her getting up and giving what she HAD to know was going to be a very controversial talk. I am grateful for her willingness to hand it out straight - no sugar coating.
She told us that we - all of us - no matter where we started from - now have the opportunity to pick it up and do a little better. And for that I am grateful.