The notary was signing our homeschooling affidavit when, with respect and awe in her voice, she remarked, “Mom and Teacher. Wow.”
I replied with a shrug, “Eh. I used to be a teacher. That’s not hard. It’s actually the ‘mom’ part that weighs more heavily on me.”
It wasn’t till I heard and reflected upon my own words that I realized just how much I knew that to be true.
A teacher, by the world’s understanding, can certainly be a wonderful influence for good and even impart valuable life lessons. More often than not, though, a teacher’s goals and ability to guide are bound and determined by a particular and finite end in mind. A teacher can certainly instruct with truth yet the focus will undoubtedly be limited by standards which fluxuate with worldly views and moral relativity.
But, what of a mother? A mother’s goals and ability to guide are determined by standards of eternal value. A faithful and dedicated mother will diligently provide an education which teaches “out of the best books words of wisdom…even by study and also by faith” for her life’s greatest joys will hinge on knowing that her “children walk in truth” and light.
Suddenly, a flood of eternal truths and principles regarding the role of mother came to my mind. Things I had been taught my whole life of motherhood suddenly rang true in my heart. I am Mom. As such, I knew I had been entrusted with the responsibility of bringing these little spiritual beings back home to Him from Whom they had been loaned here on earth. To honor this responsibility, I knew I would need to become a partner with God in my mothering.
Thomas S. Monson has reminded, “One cannot forget mother and remember God. One cannot remember mother and forget God. Why? Because these two sacred persons, God and mother, partners in creation, in love, in sacrifice, in service, are as one.”
I understood, as Boyd K. Packer explained, “no teaching is equal, more spiritually rewarding, or more exalting than that of a mother teaching her children.” I was determined to be worthy of such rewards in my dedication to teaching my children of all things, both spiritual and temporal.
The few hesitations and fears of inadequacy I initially had were replaced by Jeffrey R. Holland’s promising reminder, “Cherish that role that is so uniquely yours and for which heaven itself sends angels to watch over you and your little ones.”
My role as ‘mom’ had always included being a teacher. The only difference being that I was now declaring it to the world through a notarized affidavit. I am Mom.
By Shelby Rodgers