Speaking in this last General Conference, President Russell M. Nelson expressed the following,
"...we need women who. . . are courageous defenders of morality and families in a sin-sick world. We need women who are devoted to shepherding God's children along the covenant path toward exaltation; . . .women who know how to call upon the powers of heaven to protect and strengthen children and families; women who teach fearlessly."
More than ever before our children need us to be the "guardians of the hearth" that President Hinckley mentioned. We need to feverishly be dedicating ourselves to strengthening our marriages, families, and homes so that our children have a haven in which to develop and leave with testimonies firmly in place.
Time and again, we as women have been championed with defending and fortifying these three elements.
Strengthening Our Marriages
I am presently in my second year of homeschooling my five children and a move for our family allowed my husband to now work from home. We are nearly always all together. The biggest difference I have noticed from when my husband worked in an office and my children attended public school is the need I have for consistent date nights with my husband. Prior, we would maybe get one date a month, sometimes not, but it was enough. However, as my duties as a mother have increased, so has my need to cleave unto my husband more often. I need those quite moments, just he and I to reconnect, to discuss our day without eavesdroppers, to plan and prepare for our future together. Strengthening my marriage allows me to be a better mother and to better focus on my family and home. A former Bishop's wife once told me that she knew her husband was the one when he told her that as much as he loved her, he would always love the Lord first. As hard as it may be sometimes, the order in which we put our efforts should be, first to God, second to our spouse and third, to our children. The order matters.
Strengthening Our Families
Sister Zina D.H. Young, the third Relief Society President, counseled, ". . .Warn the children of the evils that surround us. . .that they may not become a prey to these evils, but grow up in holiness and purity before the Lord." There are times when I wish desperately to shelter my children from the evils in this world, to allow them to maintain innocence. But there is a difference between innocence and ignorance. Keeping our children ignorant to the dangers of the adversary will prove detrimental.
Strengthening Our Homes
We live, as President Nelson declared, in a "sin-sick world." Our spouses and children are being constantly bombarded by Satan's lies. It is becoming ever more important that our homes are a place where the Spirit dwells, where it truly becomes heaven on earth. For us, this means being particular as to what media we allow in our homes. We don't have books or movies in our home we wouldn't want our children reading or watching. This also means we monitor shows on television We recently had to ban "tween shows" from Disney when our girls started focusing more on the materialistic and worldly qualities that the characters displayed. We try to teach our children that the content is just as important as the rating. My husband and I do our best to hold ourselves to the same standards as our children. Our eight year old recently received a CD player for her birthday that also plays the radio. We have had to become extra vigilant as we teach her what music stations she absolutely can't listen to and how to monitor others, so if an inappropriate song comes on the station is changed or the radio turned off.
President Spencer W. Kimball once said, "The righteous woman's strength and influence today can be tenfold what it might be in more tranquil times. She has been placed here to help to enrich, to protect, and to guard the home--which is society's basic and most noble institution. Other institutions in society may falter and even fail, but the righteous woman can help to save the home, which may be the last and only sanctuary some mortals know in the midst of storm and strife."
As we aim to be better women, wives, and mothers, let us take up the charge with which we have been entrusted and work more diligently to dedicate ourselves to our marriages, families, and homes.
Destiny Mawson is a wife and homeschooling mom of five who tries her best to describe seasons to children who live in Southern Arizona. She blogs the randomness of family life at www.somemaycallitdestiny.blogspot.com