Today was Stake Conference. I prayed this morning for a bit of direction, peace, or encouragement. In some of the last words of the conference our stake president told of a woman he taught on his mission. When the invitation to be baptized was extended to her she said, "I can't be baptized until I am certain it is true, because thousands will follow me". Our stake president said that she was a quiet woman, living a quiet life alone and he couldn't understand this statement. She repeated it again later when she was invited to be baptized. Finally she was certain, and entered the waters of baptism.
Years have passed now. Children, grandchildren, and even great-grandchildren have come. They have served missions, they have served in the church, they have shared the gospel. Thousands have been influenced by her careful decision to join the church. Thousands have followed. Our stake president mentioned that looking at the situation now perhaps "thousands" was a conservative estimate.
"Thousands will follow" was the message that the Spirit burned into my heart today. I am strengthened to handle all of the menial tasks associated with motherhood with the reminder that thousands will follow me. My children will teach their children the lessons I have shared with them, their children will teach their children, and in not so many generations thousands will be blessed to know the love that comes from their Savior, and His plan for our salvation!
If you doubt the influence of mothers consider the following story, told by Julie B. Beck in her talk titled Remembering, Repenting and Changing:
My next story is about a woman I will call Mary. She was the daughter of faithful pioneer parents who had sacrificed much for the gospel. She had been married in the temple and was the mother of 10 children. She was a talented woman who taught her children how to pray, to work hard, and to love each other. She paid her tithing, and the family rode to church together on Sunday in their wagon.
Though she knew it was contrary to the Word of Wisdom, she developed the habit of drinking coffee and kept a coffee pot on the back of her stove. She claimed that “the Lord will not keep me out of heaven for a little cup of coffee.” But, because of that little cup of coffee, she could not qualify for a temple recommend, and neither could those of her children who drank coffee with her. Though she lived to a good old age and did eventually qualify to reenter and serve in the temple, only one of her 10 children had a worthy temple marriage, and a great number of her posterity, which is now in its fifth generation, live outside of the blessings of the restored gospel she believed in and her forefathers sacrificed so much for.Motherhood is an important job and today I was reminded to choose carefully how I spend my time as a mother, because thousands will follow.
***edited to add***
I hit publish on this last night and went to bed. All night the Spirit nudged me to add the truth. This year, as I have studied the Plan of Salvation I have been strongly impressed that the Plan isn't in place so we can merely return to live with Him, it is there so that we can one day live like HIM. The Plan of Salvation was put in place so that we can become Gods. It is such a beautiful truth, so strongly evidenced through nature. A seed becomes like the plant it came from. To think that *thousands* will follow is thinking too small, WAY too small. There lies in me, only possible through the Atonement of Christ, the promise of posterity more numerous than the stars. Such a blessing is worth every effort! How great our God!