I bought a book several months ago because it had a catchy title (and I had some points I needed to use from Deseret Book). It is by Sheri Dew (one of my absolute heroes!!) called "No One Can Take Your Place." I picked it up this afternoon and have not been disappointed. (I don't think it's possible to be disappointed with Sheri Dew!) But I got to chapter 3 entitled, "Are we not all Mothers?" If you know Sheri Dew, she is an older woman who never married or had children, but is still a strong leader and advocate for mothers and women everywhere!) She relays a story of walking through a very tough crowd with her four teenage nieces. She was so worried for them and would do anything to protect them. That is precisely how I feel as an Auntie. I love those little girls with everything I have and would do anything to make them safe, happy, and healthy.
"While we tend to equate motherhood solely with maternity and to, in effect, limit it to that definition, in the Lords language the word mother has layers of meaning. Of all the words or titles they could have chosen to define her role and her essence, both god the Father and Adam called Eve "the mother of all living" (Moses 4:26)-and they did so before she ever bore a child. "And Adam called his wife's name Eve, because she was the mother of all living; for thus have I, the Lord God, called the first of all women, which are many" (Moses 4:26)" Eve was "mother" before she bore children. Are we not then all mothers?
"Motherhood is more than bearing children, though it is certainly and definitely that. It is the essence of who we are as women. Motherhood defines our very identity, our divine stature and nature, and the unique traits, talents, and tendencies our Father gave us."
"Motherhood is not what was left over after our Father blessed His sons with the privilege of the priesthood ordination. It was the most ennobling endowment He could give His daughters, a sacred trust that gave woman and unparalleled role in helping his children keep their second estate."
"Women who through no fault of their own cannot exercise the gift of motherhood directly, may do so vicariously." (Elder John A. Widtsoe) I know that I am doing this, in essence, by being the best Auntie I can be, by being the best Sunbeam teacher I can be.
"God bless those mothers who are not yet permitted through no fault of their own to be mothers in very deed, but who are nevertheless mothers at heart" (Elder Melvin J. Ballard)
"The Lord does nothing with a short-range view. Everything He does if for forever."
These words are some of the most touching I have ever had the experience of reading. My heart is full, my mind is busy. I can be better. I know that the Lord has prepared a way for all of us. I know that He doesn't make mistakes. I know that He cries when I cry, He aches when I ache. I am sure He is saying, "Child, be patient. I have a plan for you. Trust me. Exercise faith." I have been so very inconsolable lately with my infertility. I have let myself go physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. But tonight, I have a glimmer of hope. I pray that this feeling lasts, I pray that I may understand my divine nature as a "mother" despite the fact that I don't have my own biological child. I held one of my dear, sweet Sunbeams on my lap today and he grabbed my arms and wrapped them so tightly around him. He pulled my face up to his and he whispered in my ear "I love you." My heart melted, my eyes watered. I don't have to be a mother to make a difference. By just being me, I am doing something remarkable. The Atonement is real and for all of us.