True Greatness

A prophet of God gave these beautiful words:  
"To do well those things which God ordained to be the common lot of all man-kind, is the truest greatness. To be a successful father or a successful mother is greater than to be a successful general or a successful statesman. One is universal and eternal greatness, the other is ephemeral"
(Joseph F. Smith, 1986, Gospel Doctrine: Selections from the sermons and writings of Joseph F. Smith) 
I loved this! How can we amount to our "truest greatness" during this life? It's not by doing something unique, that only a choice few get a chance at. In God's plan, He wants us all to achieve our highest potential. And that is why He sent us down here in families.

It rings true to each one of us who are striving to be successful parents. It's not easy. In fact, for me it's the most difficult thing I've ever done. But it's worth all our efforts, day after day, week after week, and year after year, because it's the most important thing we could be doing. President David O. Mckay taught the same thing in different words:

"The greatest work you will ever do will be within the walls of your own home." 
                                                                   (See Harold B. Lee, Strengthening the Home, 1973, p. 7.) 

Although these quotes may seem to uninclude the childless, I think they are all inclusive. There are men and women who are not able to be a father and mother of their own children, but who have taken upon themselves the responsibility to be a parent-figure in a child's life. I think they too are reaching toward true greatness. Their familial experiences may be slightly different. But they have reached outside of themselves and put forth effort and sacrifice to love, nurture, mentor, teach, and support a child of God. That too, is considered true greatness. 

In our world where individualism is praised and so many other things are valued and given precedence to marriage and children (such as an education, a successful career, involvement in the community, recreation, materialism, etc.) we need to remember what God intended this life to be about. 

Last week at the Republican Convention, Mitt Romney boldly stated that the work his wife, Ann, did as a mother was more important than what he was doing as a successful businessman and politician. The audience cheered in agreement! To me, that says that as a whole, they haven't forgotten what this life is really about. And that is families. 

The proclamation states, 
"The family is central to the creator's plan for the eternal destiny of his children."


  1. LOVE this! Sometimes being a stay at home mom seems so mundane, unimportant and definitely unglamorous. It's nice to have that reminder that this is the greatest work a person can do! Thanks for sharing!

    1. Yes, I agree. Since Paul has been working at home, I've been comparing our work (I know, I probably shouldn't). I've decided, and he agrees, that I work a lot harder. But what I try not to remind him of, is that my work is a lot more rewarding and fun. Yes, I'm running all over the place, from one child to the next, just waiting for a minute to do something for myself...but, I also get to enjoy all the outings and fun times together. You gotta look at the positive, because it's demanding!

  2. I taught a Relief Society lesson a few weeks ago on Elder Ballard's talk from the last conference (That the Lost May Be Found) and it goes right along with this. I was impressed by Rick Santorum's speech at the RNC because he said a lot of the same things that were in the talk! If we focus more on families then every aspect of society will improve. Thanks for all your posts! I'm sure you're a fabulous teacher!

    1. Hi, Alison! Thanks for commenting! I missed your lesson, so this makes me want to go reread Elder Ballard's talk. And I missed Santorum's speech (putting kids to bed) so I'll have to listen to that too! All throughout the conventions, I was thinking that government shouldn't have to fix these problems we have in our country. Parents and families are the only ones who can really fix some of them. Families are falling apart, and as the Proclamation warns us at the end, "the disintegration of the family will bring upon individuals, communities, and nations the calamities foretold by ancient and modern prophets." It's such an interesting time!!

  3. This is one of my all time favorite quotes. I love, love, love it because it is true and shows the greatness in the common things we are presented in life. Thanks for your beautiful blog.