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Have I done any good in the world today? If not, I have failed indeed! Then wake up and do something more than dream of your mansion above.
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Monday, September 23, 2013

Their Mothers Knew It

When I think about the Stripling Warriors, I don't think of the battle they won against the Lamanites or their bravery or courage. I don't think about how great of a leader they had or the weapons they used. I think about their mothers. Their mothers remind me of my mother, and she is who I would like to base this post on.


When I was born, my mother was working at the doctors office as a nurse. Every day as she went to work she would drop me off with my baby sitter who would take care of me until my mother picked me up. When my sister was born, my mother wanted to be involved in our lives us as closely as she could, so she quit working at the office and started working as a pacemaker/heart nurse from home. When she wasn't having as much business as she needed to continue her job from home, she had to make the decision to either work full time at the office or find another job. As she prayerfully considered what to do, and she decided to take up the career of being a stay-at-home mother so she could be with my sister and I when we came home from school.

I remember when I was very young, my mother was the Relief Society President. During that time, she must have cooked enough food for other people that she could feed an army. It got to the point that when she cooked our favorite foods or desserts, my family would get annoyed because we knew it was going to someone else. In some instances, we would even get in trouble for eating something she had made because she had made it to give it to someone else. My mother, being the angel she is, started cooking double of whatever she was making for other people so we would be able to have it too.

When I was a child and young teenager, I would often pass by my mother's room at night before I went to bed to tell her good night. Many times, I would see her kneeling at her bedside saying her prayers as I walked by. Other times, as I would be walking out the door to go to school, I would see my mother sitting at the kitchen table with a bowl of cereal reading her scriptures. I can't think of a single time when my mother said she couldn't go to church on Sundays because she was too tired to go to church or how she had too much to do. Even on vacations, we would always find an LDS church service to attend, even if we couldn't understand the language it was in.

On Sundays, I knew the paycheck had come because my mother would always pull a check out of her pocketbook and fill out a tithing slip and put it in the envelope with her money. My mother always fasted on Fast Sundays and donated a generous fast offering. Because of her and my father's faith and sacrifices, we received the blessings we needed to get along temporally. Never once did I see or hear her complain about having to pay tithing or fast offering.

When laundry needed to be done, if there was food needed to be made, or when the house needed to be cleaned, my mother usually took this responsibility upon herself, mainly because no one wanted to do it. When I would look in my closet to put on a shirt, there would somehow clothes would magically be there. When I would wake up starving late at night and go downstairs to find a quick snack to eat, my mother would wake up and follow me and make me something to eat, even when I would try to tiptoe down the stairs so I would not wake her up. Most of the time when she did this we would talk about how things are going, even if for a few minutes.

When I got a little older and was attending college, my classes started at noon. My mom had been called (and still is) as the seminary teacher for my home ward. I lived at home at the time and was commuting from home each day. As I woke up at 10 AM to get ready to go to class every morning, without fail I would walk into our dining room to tell my mother goodbye, and I would find her studying diligently and preparing her lesson for the following day.

Sometimes as I would be sitting in the recliner of our game room playing video games or watching movies, I would hear my mother listening to church music while working on her computer outside in her hallway office. Many times I would have a group of friends over to watch a movie or do something at night. If there was a girl there, no matter who she was or how long or well my mother knew her, if she was a member of the church or not, my mother would always stay up doing something in her office or chores around the house until everyone left to be sure that we were being good.

Although she may not have realized it, these small and simple acts of faith and obedience had a profound impact on me as I saw her example as a righteous mother and Latter-day Saint. Even when I told her how annoying she was with some of the stuff she said or did, or when I would tell her that disagree with a decision she made that I thought was stupid, or when I would yell at her for something that I thought I was right about, she would always take the time to come in later and humbly chasten me with a lesson that would sink deep into my soul, even when she didn't think it did. All of the times when she thought I wasn't listening to her or paying attention to things she said, even when she would do something small and kind for me and wouldn't think I would care or even notice, I did.

Now to the reason I think of the mothers when I hear the story of the Stripling Warriors. In Alma 56:47-48, it reads:

"47 Now they never had fought, yet they did not fear death; and they did think more upon the liberty of their fathers than they did upon their lives; yea, they had been taught by their mothers, that if they did not doubt, God would deliver them.

48 And they rehearsed unto me the words of their mothers, saying: We do not doubt our mothers knew it."

I have never in my life doubted that MY mother knew it because of her example. She didn't just talk about the gospel, she lived it. I never had to wonder if my mother knew she had a Heavenly Father who loves her and takes care of her, because I saw her down on her knees praying to Him each morning and night. I never once had to question if she knew the Book of Mormon was true, because I saw her reading it each morning. I never had to ask her if she knew the church was true because I saw her attend it every Sunday. I never had to question whether of not my mother loved me, because she showed me. And I never doubted that when I had trials in my life God would deliver me, because like the Stripling Warriors, I had been taught by my mother.

My mother "gets it". She understands the gospel of Jesus Christ. She reads her scriptures because she understands that she will gain spiritual power from reading the Book of Mormon, not just because she is reading a history book. She prays at night because she understands the fact that there is a loving Father in Heaven listening to and answering her prayers, not that she is just talking to the ceiling. She goes to church every Sunday because she understands that taking the sacrament is the most important thing she is going to do all week. She does her visiting teaching because she understands that she is helping people with their temporal and spiritual needs, not just going to give a lesson. She pays her tithing because she understands that she's not just paying a donation to the church, but that she will receive and has received many blessings from it, including being able to always have a current temple recommend. She sent me on a mission because she understands how much it will help me grow, the spiritual and temporal blessings my family will receive, and how it will effect our family and other families forever, not just that I am going away for two years and only being allowed to call two times a year at Christmas and Mothers Day.

I am forever indebted to my mother. I am as the Army of Helaman. I have been taught in my youth. I am now the Lord's missionary to bring the world His truth, and it is very much because of my angel mother! I love my mother, and I owe her the credit of helping me become the person I am today.

The words to the third verse the hymn "Abide with Me; ’Tis Eventide" make me think of my faithful mother each and every time I read them:

Abide with me; ’tis eventide,
And lone will be the night
If I cannot commune with thee
Nor find in thee my light.
The darkness of the world, I fear,
Would in my home abide.
O Savior, stay this night with me;
Behold, ’tis eventide.

My mother would never allow anything abide in our home that would bring darkness into it. My mother is the type of woman that Sheri Dew describes when she says: When I wake up in the morning and my feet touch the floor, I want Satan to look up and say, "Oh no, she's up again!"

In closing, I'd like to share the first verse of the hymn "Oh, What Songs of the Heart". It reads:

Oh, what songs of the heart
We shall sing all the day,
When again we assemble at home,
When we meet ne’er to part
With the blest o’er the way,
There no more from our loved ones to roam!
When we meet ne’er to part,
Oh, what songs of the heart
We shall sing in our beautiful home.

Oh, what songs of the heart I shall sing when I will step off the plane and see my wonderful mother after my mission. I may never become like Christ in this life, but if I could live my life to become like my mother, it will be good enough because she is the most Christlike woman I know.

6 comments:

  1. Elder Hill, no truer words could be said. I am impressed that you understand all of that and then some. Mothers, the blessings just keep on keeping on. I have my mom as my best friend and I can only hope that some day my daughter will say the same about me. Thank you for this wonderful words.

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  2. Wow! What a wonderful testament to your mother. I had the opportunity to watch you grow and to see some of the acts of this wonderful woman. She is definitely a spiritual giant! I am honored to call her 'friend'! Love to you both!!

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  3. Elder Hill, you honor your mother with this beautiful post. You know, its really true. If all mothers could be like Prissy Hill, this world would be so much better! She will read this over and over... and her heart will always be grateful for you! Love to you, and your wonderful family!

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  4. Elder Hill, what a beautiful tribute to your mom. Everything you said about her is 100% true. I hope I can be the kind of mom to my boys that she is to you and Madison. Love you all!

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  5. Oh what a tribute to your Mother! She is a angel and an example to so many. Enjoy the rest of your mission. We were talking about you this week.

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  6. hey Elder Hill this is a great tribute to my sister your mom; your nephews look up to you and what you are doing your example to Ethan has inspired him to want to serve a mission. We love you and we pray for you daily keep up the good work!!!!!

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