Monday, December 2, 2013

The Greatness of Womanhood

Last week I went to stake council (in my role as the president of the stake Young Women). When I got there the other auxiliary presidents and I waited outside as the previous meeting of the stake High Council finished up. A few minutes later the door opened and we were welcomed inside. I was the first to walk through the door.

Everyone in the room stood up. At first I thought it was to make way for those of us passing by. But then I realized that they had all stood up in deference to the three women who entered the room; the Primary President, Relief Society President, and me. Each man smiled warmly and shook our hands as we took our places at the table. I quipped, "I feel like a celebrity. Or a queen."

That was my attempt to deflect the wave of emotion that almost knocked me over. I can't explain it but the feeling of love and respect was almost overwhelming, literally. I felt my eyes well up as I considered that these men honored me and my associates not as equals (though I have always felt equal) but as divine. I could see it in their faces; they were not merely polite, but rather . . . reverent. Does that sound crazy?

As mothers in Israel, we are the Lord’s secret weapon. Our influence comes from a divine endowment that has been in place from the beginning. In the pre-mortal world, when our Father described our role, I wonder if we didn’t stand in wide-eyed wonder that He would bless us with a sacred trust so central to His plan and that He would endow us with gifts so vital to the loving and leading of His children. I wonder if we shouted for joy at least in part because of the ennobling stature He gave us in His kingdom. The world won’t tell you that, but the Spirit will.
--Sister Sheri Dew

I use the terms motherhood and womanhood interchangeably as I believe that regardless of whether we bear children in this life or not, we women are endowed with the eternal calling of motherhood. I am grateful for a husband who truly does honor my role as a woman (and all women). And I am grateful to serve with a group of Christ-like men who honor their priesthood and reflect to me MY divine qualities, to remind me of my role as a beloved daughter of God.

President Gordon B. Hinckley stated that “God planted within women something divine.” That something is the gift and the gifts of motherhood . . . ”Motherhood is not what was left over after our Father blessed His sons with priesthood ordination. It was the most ennobling endowment He could give His daughters, a sacred trust that gave women an unparalleled role in helping His children keep their second estate. As President J. Reuben Clark Jr. declared, motherhood is “as divinely called, as eternally important in its place as the Priesthood itself.”
--Sister Sheri Dew

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