Don’t you just love how good things keep going? How family members can inspire a legacy of service, of passions, of skills, character, and knowledge (among many other things) to their loved ones?
I hope to leave a legacy behind me and keep good going. I want my children to look fondly on my mothering and respect the person I am when they are grown. I want to be a great mother that they wish to emulate. I think most parents want this. However, I want my kids to be even better at mothering than me. And, it is my hope and prayer that I can teach my children, most of all, that faith in God is a glorious thing. I want to instill within my children a legacy of faith, like my mother did for me.
I love my imperfect mother. And the trait and legacy I am most thankful to have bestowed upon me is her legacy of faith.
My Faithful Mother
My mother is a convert to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. She was tracted out by missionaries knocking on doors on Halloween. She told them she thought they were too old to be trick or treating, but they assured her that what they had was a treat. After some time investigating the church, she was baptized and became a member of the church as a 20-something single mother living in DC.
A couple years later she met my goofy-looking, 6-years younger, father. They dated and were then married in the Salt Lake City Temple. My mother would end up birthing eleven enormous babies (another thing I inherited – though thankfully they come with easy pregnancies too), most of whom are only 15-18 months apart. And sadly, she would lose two of them, six months apart from each other.
My parents were not wealthy. Are not wealthy. And chances are will never be wealthy. And it was hard on our family, and especially on my parent’s relationship. Not to mention, my dad was a truck driver who left my mother at home for days and sometimes weeks at a time to raise eleven kids on her own.
As my mother often says, she claimed “temporary insanity” years ago. I bet you can guess why.
But, through all of life’s difficulties, losses, financial stresses, chaos, clutter, and accidents, my mother never lost her faith and her testimony in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and His church on the earth today.
And that is the legacy that my mother has left for me: a legacy of faith.
My mother took all of us kids to church, half an hour away (at least until I was about 10 years old, then it was only five minutes away), for three hours of church, every single Sunday, with or without my father being home. She also faithfully paid a 10% tithe even though she could barely afford necessities for such a large family, and would double her Fast Offering when times were getting even leaner because she knew, although it doesn’t make sense logically, that when she gave more money to the Lord and His work, He would provide a way and mean for our family to still keep food on the table and a roof over our heads.
My mother also faithfully served in church callings, like as a Sunday School teacher, Relief Society President, Nursery worker, and Visiting Teacher, just to name a few. She would regularly stand up and bear her testimony in Sacrament meetings as church. She also made sure that we said grace over dinner, attended all of our church meetings, and said prayers before bed. She expected all of us kids to abide by church teachings and keep the commandments.
My mother wasn’t perfect at teaching us about faithfulness, and several of my siblings struggled (and still struggle) with their own testimonies and beliefs, but if there was one constant attribute and lasting legacy of my mother, it was her unwavering faith regardless of life’s difficulties.
Continuing Her Legacy of Faith
Like my mother, I am striving to keep good going, by instilling within my children faith in our Savior Jesus Christ. I especially desire this as I see how difficult, confusing, and challenging the world is becoming with its array of endless possibilities and many false teachings. I want my children to know in whom they can trust, find comfort, and hope. But, honestly, I want my children to be even better at this than me, and better than my mother before me. I hope they can keep the good traits and lessons they learn from me (and ignore the less stellar ones) and make them great traits to pass onto their kids, who will then make them even greater.
Tell me – What good legacy was bestowed upon you by your mother? How have you kept it going?