Dear Friends, and Fellow Mothers,
I recently received a comment on my post about "Sharing the Importance of Motherhood" and feel the need to share it here on my blog, in a prominent post all of its own.
I do not wish to embarrass or be unkind to the woman who posted her comment, so I am choosing to keep her name anonymous.
I also want to publish my response to her because our comments are a good example of the debate and conversation that we, as Mothers in Zion, are having with the modern world on the subject of traditional motherhood.
Here's the comment from Ms. C.:
I just found your blog and I am sure my comment will be rejected. I was raised LDS, married in the temple and finally at the age of 26 decided enough was enough. I am a divorce attorney (GASP!), happily remarried to a nonmember (double gasp!) and left the church and its idiotic teachings long ago. I would love to know the percentage of women that follow this method of thinking are physically or mentally abused or whose husbands cheat on them (I promise it is more than you think). Women can have it "all" and are just as good, if not better mothers, because they can balance and multitask. I pray for the unsuspecting girl that stumbles on your blog (I did through a link from a friend's blog) and actually think what you are selling is worth buying. Women who know, know that they are worth more.
Here is my response to her comment:
Dear Ms. C.,
I chose to publish your comment here because I want to be fair, but also because I feel that your chosen words are a good example the voices out there in the world that seek to belittle the important work that the righteous mothers in Zion do.
I can also hear the hurt and anger in your words, and want you to know that our Heavenly Father loves you, and that His plan of happiness is the only way that we can find true joy in this life. Of course, we all have the choice to accept or reject God's plans for our lives, and we can choose how we respond to the challenges we each face. I can only imagine the pain you have experienced in your life that has brought you to this place of bitterness.
Are there members of the church that abuse their spouses? Yes; men AND women, both. But that is the same in ANY church, in all races and cultures, and among ALL people. Blaming the church for abusive situations is neither fair nor accurate.
When we-- men and women-- choose to follow Christ, we are not choosing the easy road. But His "yoke is easy" and His "burden is light" when we follow Him with a sincere heart, and a humble spirit.
"Women Who Know" know that selfishness NEVER can bring happiness. Only when we serve in the most intimate, humble way, (changing diapers, washing little faces, kissing little owies, dating our husbands, losing sleep, and being willing to sacrifice ALL) do we find the joy and peace the Savior has promised.
My worth and reward can not be seen by those in the world. To modern society, I am a chubby mom with "too many" kids who is crazy enough to homeschool and blog about traditional motherhood. But *I* know-- through my own extensive experience as a mother-- that the work of a mother is the most rewarding and sacred work any woman anywhere can do.
Ms. C., I urge you with love to someday find a quiet moment and go to the Lord in prayer. Ask Him if He's really there. I know it's difficult beyond anything else in the world. But if you can let down your wall of pain and resentment for just a moment, and go to Him with a broken heart, I know that He will hear you, and envelope you in His love.
I believe there's a reason I felt prompted to post your comment. YOU ARE LOVED. May the Lord bless you in your search for truth and happiness.
Ms. C., I want you to know that I respect and value you and your courage to post your comment. Thank you for being willing to share your voice with me and my readers today. While I disagree with your conclusions, I also know that you are a daughter of God, and He loves you. I offer my hand in love and friendship. Please feel free to e-mail me any time.
I know many women with the same view as Ms. C., but there is one thing I love about your blog, and that is that you don't "try to sell" your view, but rather share it, inspiring others to seek their own answers.ReplyDelete
I'm a new reader and just wanted to commend you on your willingness to post Ms. C's comment and to reply. I think you said everything very well.ReplyDelete
Thank you so much for your encouraging blog. I'll be praying for you and for Ms.CReplyDelete
If your blog is touching such a strong nerve, you must really have the Spirit here.ReplyDelete
Keep inspiring us. It matters.
Wow, I am so impressed with your response. You gave a voice to all of us who take the road less traveled and choose traditional women's roles. Thank you for eloquently stating how I feel about motherhood.ReplyDelete
I'm an LDS woman who has been through a divorce and remarried. I also grew up in an abusive home. I used to hate the priesthood and the LDS church for awhile because I thought all priesthood holders were abusive, based solely on the way my father and ex-husband treated me. It took me a few years to overcome this misconception and find the peace and forgiveness to realize that some people are abusers, no matter what their religion, race, or nationality.ReplyDelete
I have seen many examples of righteous men who hold the priesthood and honor their sacred duty to their wives and children to treat them with love and kindness. Sacrificing men who willing devote their time to providing for their families while their wives stay home with the children. It takes great courage for a man to be the only provider in the home. It is much easier for a man to have a working wife. It takes courage to live a traditional family lifestyle.
The world needs righteous women who hold true to their principles and values. We also need to value men who do the same.
I think it is ok to mention that for some women traditional roles may not work for them. That is ok and the Church loves and values sisters that may not choose the traditional method. I personally have an amazing husband who lets me have the traditional role and I love him more for it. I have seen women happy in both situations and I have seen unhappy women in both. I think that if Ms. C is happy more power to her. I love that you expressed love for her and tried to be very respectful of her feelings.ReplyDelete
I have a friend whose grandfather was a member of the Ku Klux Klan, (too bad he wasn't a member of the church, instead.) This man abused his son, my friend's father. Who in turn abused his son, my friend...ReplyDelete
And then one day, two Mormon missionaries came to their door. The family joined the church and began the process of changing. Because of the counseling and teachings of the church, his father repented and gradually became a very loving husband and father.
But even with the gospel, change didn't come overnight. It takes time, work, reprogramming, and constant repentance. So, when seeing people in the church who are abusive, you never know what things could have been like for that person WITHOUT the gospel.
The church is not a bunch of perfect people. It is there for everyone who wants to develop a relationship with Christ, overcome the natural man, and become better. The people who stay active in the church are people who are there for a reason...
I am happy to know that the chain of abuse can stop. Following the teachings of the church ended abuse in my friend's family, just as it can for anyone who follows the teachings of Christ through striving to live His gospel teachings.
I just want to let everyone know, but especially women like Mrs. C who have been hurt by the men in their lives, that there are many good LDS men out there who honor their priesthood, and their wives. I grew up with a father who had been physically abused as child, but who chose to end that cycle. My father is a very Christ-like person and is worthy of the priesthood that he holds, and I had a very happy childhood. I am now married to a man who is also a worthy preisthood holder, who is respectful and kind to me, and who truly puts my needs and the needs of our family ahead of his own. He has never been anything close to abusive, nor has he ever cheated on me. I do not pretend that either my father or my husband are "perfect," but I know without a doubt that there are many, many LDS men who are kind, considerate, and wonderful husbands and fathers. If a man is truly listening to and trying to follow the teachings of the Church, abuse and infidelity will never be a problem. Plenty of these men can be found! In fact, I maintain that they are the norm, not the exception. There are many very good and kind men in the LDS Church, and I think sometimes they don't get enough recognition.ReplyDelete
As for having it all, there are plenty of voices out there telling women to reject traditional roles and head out in pursuit of their own wants. I am glad that there are women like Mama Rachel who stand up for traditional values. Any unsuspecting girl who stumbles upon this blog will probably have been long flooded with those other voices, and I hope that she will see the value in what you are "selling" and will realize that the selfish ways that the world has been selling her are not the only way to live, or to be happy. Thank you!
I love what you said and totally agree. I love the line 'selfishness NEVER can bring happiness' and that whole paragraph is so true. I've found this blog once before, then forgot about it. I'm very glad to have found it again!ReplyDelete
I alway feel so sad when a dear sister has had such an experience. I am so proud of your comments to her. I feel they were lovingly given in a christ like manner.ReplyDelete
Love you for responding to her and blessings to you! LeAnn
Hello Mama Rachel,ReplyDelete
Good for you! Very well said, with love and humility, as well as an extension of the "olive branch" of friendship. I certainly hope Mrs.C. accepts it. Even though I am also divorced, I still hold true to the same ideals, that our biblical role is where we find the most fulfillment. Thank you so much for sharing.
It is so rare to find mature discussion and appreciation of different views on the internet. Thank you, Mama Rachel, for being a beacon.ReplyDelete
Thank you for this blog post! I enjoyed reading it.ReplyDelete
I am truly sorry that Mrs. C had such an awful experience. She is right, there are plenty of not-so-wonderful people inside the church. There are also many outside the church. I've met many who suffered greatly both inside and outside.
I can relate quite a bit to this partial paragraph:
"To modern society, I am a chubby mom with "too many" kids who is crazy enough to homeschool and blog about traditional motherhood. But *I* know-- through my own extensive experience as a mother-- that the work of a mother is the most rewarding and sacred work any woman anywhere can do. "
I believe that I fit that profile pretty closely. I see the blessings and the challenges on a daily basis. At times, when I am with the many acquaintances and friends outside the church, I feel quite peculiar. However, I am married to a wonderful man. I think that is what makes my life worth living.
Anyway, thank you for giving a voice to those of us who are not so good at putting words together so well!
Rachel, Thank you for your to the point, yet soft and loving response. Well done.ReplyDelete
I love all my readers! And I so appreciate all your beautiful comments. Reading them again today has lightened my heart and reminded me to be grateful for all the good there is in the world.ReplyDelete
Love to all,