Thursday, May 5, 2016

D. Todd Christofferson on the unequaled influence of mothers

Elder D. Todd Christofferson (b. January 24, 1945) was called to the Seventy in 1993, and as a member of the Quorum of Twelve Apostles in 2008.
"Women bring with them into the world a certain virtue, a divine gift that makes them adept at instilling such qualities as faith, courage, empathy, and refinement in relationships and in cultures....
"A woman's moral influence is nowhere more powerfully felt or more beneficially employed than in the home. There is no better setting for rearing the rising generation than the traditional family, where a father and a mother work in harmony to provide for, teach, and nurture their children. Where this ideal does not exist, people strive to duplicate its benefits as best they can in their particular circumstances.
"In all events, a mother can exert an influence unequaled by any other person in any other relationship. By the power of her example and teaching, her sons learn to respect womanhood and to incorporate discipline and high moral standards in their own lives. Her daughters learn to cultivate their own virtue and to stand up for what is right, again and again, however unpopular. A mother's love and high expectations lead her children to act responsibly without excuses, to be serious about education and personal development, and to make ongoing contributions to the well-being of all around them....
"My plea to women and girls today is to protect and cultivate the moral force that is within you. Preserve that innate virtue and the unique gifts you bring with you into the world. Your intuition is to do good and to be good, and as you follow the Holy Spirit, your moral authority and influence will grow."
- D. Todd Christofferson, "The Moral Force of Women," Ensign, Nov 2013, pp. 29-32
Click here to read the full talk

It's good to ponder and appreciate the unique qualities and characteristics that women have. Elder Christofferson describes "a divine gift" given to women, enabling them to be "adept at instilling" special qualities in others. I've witnessed that ability on many occasions! What a treasure that divine gift is, and how it should be appreciated, used, and magnified.

And particularly in the home setting, Elder Christofferson explains, where a mother's ability to instill those qualities can have such a lasting impact. It's a profound claim that "a mother can exert an influence unequaled by any other person in any other relationship" as she teaches her sons and daughters by word and example.

But gifts that are given must be received, developed, and implemented. Hence the plea of the closing paragraph to women and girls everywhere, to preserve and treasure that divine gift, allow it to grow in influence and goodness!

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