One of the focuses this weekend at an inspiring church conference was the influence and power that mothers have in this world. Highlighted was one of my favourite scripture stories that I thought I would share today. It is from a book of scripture called "The Book of Mormon", which is an account of ancient peoples in the Americas (600 BC to 400 AD).
This story centres around a group of people who lived without God's light in their life. They had lived many years warring with people in the land, seeing much bloodshed and loss. When they finally heard God's word, they were converted, and had no more desire to participate in violent acts against the people of the land. So they made a covenant with God that would give up their lives before killing again. They buried their weapons of war so that they would never take them up again. Even after making this covenant this people still found themselves under attack, to the point that a neighbouring city offered them a refuge and protection.
The times were still wrought with violence, and this new covenant people saw the suffering of their protectors. They were brought to the point of wanting to break their covenant so they could assist in defending their city. However, a commander named Helaman knew the seriousness of a covenant with God, and knew they could not break it for fear of losing their souls. Fearing there was nothing to do, the brave sons of the covenant people stood up. They had not yet been born when the covenant was made, and so were not under the same promise. They gathered together to fight for their parents. They entered into a covenant of their own, that they would never give up their liberty, even if they had to lay down their lives for the cause.
2000 brave young men took up arms to fight under Helaman. They had never fought before, and yet did not fear death, for they knew that their cause was good, and that God would be with them. When asked what inspired such great courage in them, their response was this:
"We have been taught be our mothers that if we do not doubt, God will deliver us. We do not doubt our mothers knew it."
These boys had been taught from their childhood to trust God. They didn't doubt the existence of God, because their mothers believed. The miracle of this story is that although they suffered great injury, not one of the 2000 young men were lost in the battles they fought.
I yearn to instill this same courage and knowledge in my own children. They will fight for freedom in many ways: yes, they may one day need to fight in a physical war (pray, never!), but they will definitely need to fight the war on families, freedom, faith and God. I am feeling the weight of my mothering responsibility like never before. "The hand that rocks the cradle is the hand that rules the world". It is my privilege and responsibility to teach my sons truth and raise them in courage.