(You guys can read this, too!)
Do you all realize how many very, very good mothers we have in our family alone??!! How thankful I am for all of you!
In was so impressed with the talk that "someone" gave at General Conference....I was almost asleep, and don't remember the person who said it....but I think it might have been Pres. Monson.....and he said that the women in the church are to lead, not to be led by other women of the world. For some reason that really struck me. And it brought the memory of a story I thought I'd share, in honor of those women in our family who are leading by example and obedience. This story has to do more with confidence than leading, but there is a link between the two, I think.
When we were in the Air Force and had not yet begun studying the gospel, I was invited to join the NCO Wives Club. I've never been a "joiner", but for some reason I decided to give this a try. So, I went to the first meeting. I was 23 years old, pregnant with my fifth child. Everyone there was dressed very nicely in fashionable clothes and beautiful hair styles. I probably wasn't as strange looking as I felt, but my clothes were at least 6 years old, because I know I had not purchased any new clothes until quite awhile after we were married (when I was 17). Being pregnant with my fifth child seemed to cause quite a stir among several women, and I didn't feel anything positive from them! I felt frumpy, out of style and completely unknowledgeable compared with the conversation that they shared with each other.
Well, you can guess that I decided I probably didn't fit in there! I lacked confidence anywhere at that time, and only felt worse in this group.
We began studying with the missionaries shortly thereafter. I think you all probably already know that it took us a long time....four months of very intense studying and praying. -- before we were baptized.. Your Dad/Gpa was converted long before I was. I had to prove everything by prayer AND the New Testament, since I wasn't sure about the Book Of Mormon yet. (That's another story, though!) Everything was definitely there, in the New Testament, but it did take a lot of studying.
Anyway, by the time that we were baptized, I guess I knew more of what my life's purpose was and who I was. I didn't realize that I had really changed in my feelings about myself that much until I went to my second meeting of the NCO Wives Club......(don't ask, I cannot imagine why I went to the second meeting!) It had been several months, and I think they were still trying to recruit me. The surprise was that all the time I was there this time, I had NO feelings of inadequacy, frumpiness, unstylishness or lack of intelligence! But my eyes were now open and it was clear to me now that the things these women talked about, that I didn't know anything about - were mostly very shallow and not much worth learning! I didn't feel "above" them in any way, but I was just surprised that I hadn't been aware of this before! Without casting any shadow on them, I have to say that they were still, without realizing it, women of the world. I had no interest in spending time with them when my time was such a rare treasure, in which I could study and read and learn! I wished that I could share the gospel with them, but I was way too young and shy and as yet unprepared to do that.
Thank you, all of you, who are so valiant in your leadership! Your role as mothers, friends, wives and sisters and daughters will have much more lasting value than you can realize now.