Thursday, February 21, 2013

A Far More Important Choice

Art by Mary Cassatt

The following is from my friend, Cocoa over at Chocolate on My Cranium. It was posted on Facebook in a Large Families group I'm a part of, and it REALLY helped me today.

May we all remember today what is truly important!
"President Gordon B. Hinckley’s sister, Sylvia, lived in the small town that I grew up in. She was extremely brilliant and was the Valedictorian at BYU when she graduated. She could have done anything or been anything in this world. She was a shining example to me all of my growing up years. She had 11 children, married to a farmer, and she died of cancer in the late sixties when her youngest child was 8 years old."

"A neat and tidy, very kindly sister from the ward came over to Sylvia’s home to help out one day. She went to the kitchen and thought that she would start with the dishes. Milk buckets and strainers, piles of dishes were everywhere. Too discouraged to help with that, she went to the laundry, unbelievable amounts of dirty clothes met her. Then she thought that she could iron some clothes---yes, this was in the days of ironing! Piles and piles of unironed clothes! Too overwhelmed, she went to the mending. Again, too much to even contemplate. I am unsure how many chores overwhelmed her, but she left having done nothing to help. This has always been my favorite RS story about serving each other!"

"But at Sylvia’s funeral, both President Hinckley and President Kimball spoke. They told of what a perfect example of womanhood she was. They said that her reward was assured because she put having children and raising them with firm testimonies above all else. President Hinckley went so far as to say that other woman had not made that sacrifice and choice and had put lovely homes and calmer lives ahead of that greater and far more important choice. I don’t remember their exact words as this was a long time ago, but the message was clear."
"Choosing a large family is choosing chaos, and humility by being looked down upon, but it is also choosing life in a righteous family for Heavenly Father’s beloved spirit children. It is the same choice Adam and Eve made in the garden—perfect, orderly life vs. chaos and trials. They made the right choice and we do too, when we choose family first."

"Chin up, you are all doing a great work, the most vital work that we are ever to do during our life on earth. Family is what it is all about."



  1. Thanks for sharing this Rachel. It really touched my heart today. A reminder that what I've chosen is important.

  2. When I was growing up, I was certain I was going to be a mother to many. I was positive I would have the impact on so many little lives, and I was going to rock at it. (modest I am not! ;D) When I found out that I was only going to be granted 3 little men, I was sad. It took a long time to get to the point that quotes like these didn't bring me to tears.

    BUT, Right now, I am raising my little men to be the kind of people that the world needs. I may not have a perfect house, I may not look put together all the time, and I may not have EVERYTHING that I used to think I wanted...

    ...but I am blessed beyond measure.

    Thank you so much for posting this as it gives me hope. It gives me strength and it gives me a reaffirmation that I am doing what I am supposed to be doing. That is, I am raising children of God up to Him. It may not be as many as I wanted, but darn it, I am doing a pretty good job! (again with the modesty!) :)

  3. Really nice. Thanks for the uplift today.


  4. The part about humility struck a chord with me. We were at the zoo the other day when a guy remarked to his friend loudly how we have a lot of kids, it involved using the Lord's name as well. It made me so embarassed, not because I was ashamed at my family size, we have seven so far;) , but because I have never been so publicly ridiculed. Obviously it stuck with me. Unfortunately. Thanks for once again reaffirming that motherhood is divine and that large families are just another way the Lord goes about furthering his work.

  5. Before many children: idealistic notions about what life will be like, and there remains a feeling of "being in control." People still think of you as normal. (Other women may be judgmental, just lacking understanding from not being in our shoes)

    Being a family of many children: reality hits. That's why I appreciate so much the part of the quote above that mentions chaos--loss of control (it comes in fits and bursts and can be hard to get used to at first) and also being looked down on, or patronized constantly, by others.

    It really does help to know others experience these feelings, they are normal, and to hear from others ahead who say, yes, it is worth it anyway.

    Thank you for sharing!!

  6. What a wonderful story. My mom was one of fifteen and was an advocate of large families. My dad had only one sister, so when together they had five he couldn't take anymore, while Mom felt like that was only 1/3 of a family. I didn't get married until I was thirty; six months after my fortieth birthday I had our fifth child. I wish I'd begun at 20 and could have had five more. It's really difficult for me to understand women who would choose a career outside the home rather than what I consider (and so do the prophets) the most important career of all. When all is said and done and we are on the other side what will have mattered? Will we meet spirits who want to come to earth born in the covenant but have to wait for any opportunity because the women of covenant aren't preparing their bodies and choosing to have large families? My heart truly goes out to those who desire but can't have children. That is surely a sore trial, one that will be made up for in the next life according to our desires. Thanks for sharing. You made my day.

  7. Thank you for your kind comments, ladies! I'm so grateful for the sentiments, too, and KNEW other moms must be feeling less-than-adequate, too! We will make it, sisters! :-)


  8. Family is what it is all about; thanks for this lovely story today.


  9. Thank you for the story, and I LOVE the picture from this post, too!


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