A once-in-a-lifetime family event happened a week ago: our only daughter was married. It was a wonderful day, made that way because of a lifetime of good choices made by a wonderful girl.
May I pay tribute to this wonderful woman, my daughter Rachell?
Nearly a year ago, Julie B. Back, now General President of the Relief Society of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, gave a powerful address entitled "Mothers Who Know." As I have reflected on the qualities of such women Sister Beck described, I've realized that my daughter epitomizes them, young as she is. Using a few of Sister Beck's points, I'll tell you what I mean.
"Mothers who know desire to bear children." Not only have marriage and children long been a desire for Rachell, she has prepared herself for those opportunities. Unafraid of the challenges the world throws our way that would discourage successful marriages and families, Rachell understands that "children--not possessions, not position, not prestige--are our greatest jewels."
"Mothers who know honor sacred ordinances and covenants." Rachell has always honored these holy things, dressing carefully for Church meetings; sacrificing to attend the temple; and faithfully fulfilling Church callings.
"Mothers who know are nurturers. . . . . Another word for nurturing is homemaking . . . including cooking, washing clothes and dishes, and keeping an orderly home." Once when Rachell was still in grade school, I left for a day of shopping with a grandma and cousin. Rachell was not invited along. Instead of moping, she went to work, and when I got home, she had cleaned the entire house, done laundry, and fixed meals for her brothers and dad. At the time not even 12, she still values and practices that kind of nurturing.
"Mother who know are leaders." Sometimes leaders have to stand alone, and Rachell did that, not without some anxiety and tears, but always faithfully, through her teenaged years. Rachell led out in keeping Gospel standards, including dating standards, scripture study, modesty in dress and behavior.
"Mothers who know are teachers." Shortly after the return of our most recently-returned missionary son, our family was discussing the Atonement of Jesus Christ. Rachell taught some profound insights about the Atonement. Her brother asked, "Where did you learn that?" She said, "In my personal scripture study." He was amazed--he hadn't learned it until halfway through his mission, and his little sister four years younger than he had gleaned it on her own and was now teaching it to others.
"Latter-day Saint women should be the very best in the world at upholding, nurturing, and protecting families." Rachell will do, in fact is doing, this very thing. Even though I am her mother, I am humbled and grateful to follow her example.
I love her very much.