This thought was shared on our Facebook page by Lesley Minchin
M T C = Mother’s Training Center, That is the real place missionaries are trained.
as with the 2000 stripling warriors “they did not not doubt their mothers knew it”
good missionaries are trained at the mother’s knee and will serve with honour if the mother tells them that this is what the Lord wants and expects.
Here are some great talks that could go with this theme. You could have a “MTC Night” it could help learn how to help their son’s (and daughters) get ready for a mission. One important things to remember is, that we are always missionaries, so we should all know all the important facts and learn to act right!!!
- Mormon Manners
- Coddling Boys Before Missions offsite
- They Had Been Taught by Their Mothers
- Mothers Who Know
Relief Society General President
There is eternal influence and power in motherhood.
Mothers Who Know Bear Children
Mothers who know desire to bear children. Whereas in many cultures in the world children are “becoming less valued,” 2 in the culture of the gospel we still believe in having children. Prophets, seers, and revelators who were sustained at this conference have declared that “God’s commandment for His children to multiply and replenish the earth remains in force.” 3 President Ezra Taft Benson taught that young couples should not postpone having children and that “in the eternal perspective, children—not possessions, not position, not prestige—are our greatest jewels.” 4 Faithful daughters of God desire children. In the scriptures we read of Eve (see Moses 4:26), Sarah (see Genesis 17:16), Rebekah (see Genesis 24:60), and Mary (see 1 Nephi 11:13–20), who were foreordained to be mothers before children were born to them. Some women are not given the responsibility of bearing children in mortality, but just as Hannah of the Old Testament prayed fervently for her child (see 1 Samuel 1:11), the value women place on motherhood in this life and the attributes of motherhood they attain here will rise with them in the Resurrection (see D&C 130:18). Women who desire and work toward that blessing in this life are promised they will receive it for all eternity, and eternity is much, much longer than mortality. There is eternal influence and power in motherhood.
Mothers Who Know Honor Sacred Ordinances and Covenants
Mothers who know honor sacred ordinances and covenants. I have visited sacrament meetings in some of the poorest places on the earth where mothers have dressed with great care in their Sunday best despite walking for miles on dusty streets and using worn-out public transportation. They bring daughters in clean and ironed dresses with hair brushed to perfection; their sons wear white shirts and ties and have missionary haircuts. These mothers know they are going to sacrament meeting, where covenants are renewed. These mothers have made and honor temple covenants. They know that if they are not pointing their children to the temple, they are not pointing them toward desired eternal goals. These mothers have influence and power.
Mothers Who Know Are Nurturers
Mothers who know are nurturers. This is their special assignment and role under the plan of happiness. 5 To nurture means to cultivate, care for, and make grow. Therefore, mothers who know create a climate for spiritual and temporal growth in their homes. Another word for nurturing is homemaking. Homemaking includes cooking, washing clothes and dishes, and keeping an orderly home. Home is where women have the most power and influence; therefore, Latter-day Saint women should be the best homemakers in the world. Working beside children in homemaking tasks creates opportunities to teach and model qualities children should emulate. Nurturing mothers are knowledgeable, but all the education women attain will avail them nothing if they do not have the skill to make a home that creates a climate for spiritual growth. Growth happens best in a “house of order,” and women should pattern their homes after the Lord’s house (see D&C 109). Nurturing requires organization, patience, love, and work. Helping growth occur through nurturing is truly a powerful and influential role bestowed on women.
Mothers Who Know Are Leaders
Mothers who know are leaders. In equal partnership with their husbands, they lead a great and eternal organization. These mothers plan for the future of their organization. They plan for missions, temple marriages, and education. They plan for prayer, scripture study, and family home evening. Mothers who know build children into future leaders and are the primary examples of what leaders look like. They do not abandon their plan by succumbing to social pressure and worldly models of parenting. These wise mothers who know are selective about their own activities and involvement to conserve their limited strength in order to maximize their influence where it matters most.
Mothers Who Know Are Teachers
Mothers who know are always teachers. Since they are not babysitters, they are never off duty. A well-taught friend told me that he did not learn anything at church that he had not already learned at home. His parents used family scripture study, prayer, family home evening, mealtimes, and other gatherings to teach. Think of the power of our future missionary force if mothers considered their homes as a pre–missionary training center. Then the doctrines of the gospel taught in the MTC would be a review and not a revelation. That is influence; that is power.
Mothers Who Know Do Less
Mothers who know do less. They permit less of what will not bear good fruit eternally. They allow less media in their homes, less distraction, less activity that draws their children away from their home. Mothers who know are willing to live on less and consume less of the world’s goods in order to spend more time with their children—more time eating together, more time working together, more time reading together, more time talking, laughing, singing, and exemplifying. These mothers choose carefully and do not try to choose it all. Their goal is to prepare a rising generation of children who will take the gospel of Jesus Christ into the entire world. Their goal is to prepare future fathers and mothers who will be builders of the Lord’s kingdom for the next 50 years. That is influence; that is power.
Mothers Who Know Stand Strong and Immovable
Who will prepare this righteous generation of sons and daughters? Latter-day Saint women will do this—women who know and love the Lord and bear testimony of Him, women who are strong and immovable and who do not give up during difficult and discouraging times. We are led by an inspired prophet of God who has called upon the women of the Church to “stand strong and immovable for that which is correct and proper under the plan of the Lord.” 6 He has asked us to “begin in [our] own homes” 7 to teach children the ways of truth. Latter-day Saint women should be the very best in the world at upholding, nurturing, and protecting families. I have every confidence that our women will do this and will come to be known as mothers who “knew” (Alma 56:48). In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.
They Had Been Taught by Their Mothers
This address was given Friday, May 4, 2007, at the BYU Women’s Conference
© 2007 by Brigham Young University Women’s Conference. All rights reserved
For further information write:
BYU Women’s Conference
My husband was called to preside over the Missionary Training Center in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, and that’s where we were when I received the call to serve as first counselor in the Relief Society general presidency. Because of this recent experience working with missionaries and helping them become true representatives of Christ to do His work, I would like to take the time today to recognize and celebrate the small things that you faithful women do in your homes every day to rear righteous children, preparing them to become missionaries. This is an errand of angels given to women.
I will begin by comparing the missionary training center to the house of God.
Once a week we all go to a session in the temple. It gives us an opportunity to reflect on the covenants we have made. It helps us to keep focused on the purpose of our existence, our mission on earth, and the worth of each soul.
In the Doctrine and Covenants, section 88 and verse 119, the Lord is speaking about establishing a house of God—a temple. I will liken it to a missionary training center. He said:
“Organize yourselves; prepare every needful thing; and establish a house, even a house of prayer,”
The day at the MTC always begins and ends with prayer. Prayers are offered during personal and companion study time, in district meetings, before meals, in classes, and in every meeting. It really is a house of prayer.
“. . . a house of faith,”
Missionaries strengthen their faith in Jesus Christ and His atoning sacrifice as they study the scriptures, understand the doctrine, and obey with exactness. They exercise their faith as they rely on the Holy Ghost to teach them and to help them learn.
“. . . a house of learning,”
A lot of time is spent in classrooms with instructors who teach about language, culture, teaching skills, doctrine, and Christlike attributes.
“. . . a house of glory,”
We hold worship services, devotionals, and firesides. We sing hymns. Every missionary prepares a talk each week, and they bear testimony.
“. . . a house of order,”
They learn to plan and use their time wisely. They also help keep their rooms and facilities clean, and they do their own laundry.
“. . . a house of God.”
In an atmosphere of love, respect, trust, and confidence, they become true representatives of Christ and share the gospel with others. There is a special feeling at the MTC. You feel the Spirit. It is a house of God.
When a young man or woman enters the MTC he or she will not suddenly transform into a well-prepared and obedient missionary. That preparation has already begun years before, in his or her home. Mothers play an important role in this preparation. Elder David A. Bednar of the Quorum of the Twelve stated, “The single most important thing you can do to prepare for a call to serve is to become a missionary long before you go on a mission.”1
To do that, it helps to live in a home where the gospel is at the center. Missionary spirit develops in a home where parents and children share the gospel one with another.
Missionaries need to know the doctrine; they need to know how to pray with real intent.
They need to know how to invite the Spirit into their lives. These things will give them the confidence, the strength, and the power to go and teach.
Some missionaries shared with me their feelings of gratitude to their mothers for helping them learn to love the scriptures, for teaching them to pray, for always making the effort to hold family home evening and ensure that they had a gospel discussion as part of it. An elder told me that his mother had served a mission and she always shared her mission experiences with him, which made him want to serve a mission. Another sister said her mother would invite nonmember friends into their home, and she would share her testimony with them. This sister missionary became very accepting of members of other faiths and felt comfortable sharing her beliefs with them.
These missionaries bring to mind the story of two thousand stripling warriors in the Book of Mormon. Helaman describes the faith, courage, and integrity of these young men: “And they were all young men, and they were exceedingly valiant for courage, and also for strength and activity; but behold, this was not all—they were men who were true at all times in whatsoever thing they were entrusted.
“Yea, they were men of truth and soberness, for they had been taught to keep the commandments of God and to walk uprightly before him” (Alma 53:20–21). “Yea, they had been taught by their mothers, that if they did not doubt, God would deliver them.
“And they rehearsed unto me the words of their mothers, saying: We do not doubt our
mothers knew it” (Alma 56:47–48). “Yea, and they did obey and observe to perform every word of command with exactness; yea, and even according to their faith it was done unto them; and I did remember the words which they said unto me that their mothers had taught them. . . .
“Now this was the faith of these of whom I have spoken; they are young, and their minds are firm, and they do put their trust in God continually”(Alma 57:21, 27).
What we learn from our mothers comprises our core values. A woman who patiently teaches a young child to pray, who makes time to read the scriptures, who teaches how to dress appropriately for worship services, who helps prepare talks and family home evening lessons is helping prepare a son or daughter to become a missionary. There are many other values, good habits, and skills that are taught in the home that help prepare our youth to become effective missionaries: learning how to study, doing assigned tasks well, finding joy in a job well done, assuming responsibilities, gratitude, personal cleanliness, basic cooking skills, treating others with courtesy and respect, getting up on time, obedience, the joy of giving service, self-reliance; the list goes on and on.
When our eight children were young, I never thought that our home was also a missionary training center, but in a real sense, it was. Our two boys served missions, and three of our six girls also found great joy in serving missions. “Out of small things proceedeth that which is great,” we are told in the Doctrine and Covenants (D&C 64:33).
I am grateful for the mothers who taught and prepared the two missionaries who knocked at my door forty-seven years ago, bringing the news of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ.
I am grateful for all the small things the noble women of the Church are doing to prepare the next generation of missionaries. They understand the significance of mothers getting their children where they need to be; they sense that mothers are the anchor of the good things that happen, the predominant figure in the righteousness of youth. My plea to you is keep doing it, don’t give up, you are laying the foundation of a great work, and the Lord is on your side. He will bless you, and your children will thank you for it.
I have a firm testimony of the divinity of Jesus Christ. He is our Savior and Redeemer, the Son of God. He loves us and has entrusted to us the important errand of teaching and setting standards in our homes. I pray that the Lord will continue blessing you as you prepare the next generation of great missionaries.
1. “Becoming a Missionary,” Ensign, Nov. 2005