If there were a way to freeze time, I might have frozen tonight. I was tired and a little worn down by the time dinner rolled around but I knew Christian would be working late so instead of making what I had planned for dinner, I asked the kids what they wanted to eat. I already knew the answer: pancakes. So, I whipped up a quick batch and started thinking about what I wanted to do for family night. For the past couple weeks, I had been really feeling like we needed to talk about "The Family: A Proclamation to the world." The kids have been listening to a Scripture Scouts CD about it and I wanted to make sure they really knew what they were hearing on this CD everyday in the car. So, I decided that we would read it together as a family for FHE. I suspected that it might not go over all that well because 1)it's long 2) it has "big" words and 3) there are no pictures. But I plugged forward with the plan anyway, hoping for the best. We sang the song, "If the Savior Stood Beside Me" for an opening and closing song because the kids are singing it for their cousin, Kate's baptism in a couple weeks. That song gets me every time. It's simple testimony is so inspiring. So after the song and opening prayer I began reading the Proclamation. As soon as the first few words came out of my mouth, I was immediately struck by it's power. I'll admit, it's been a long time since I've read it in it's entirety and I had forgotten how inspired it truly is. I tried to hold back the emotion as I read on. But, I was so overcome when I got to this paragraph:
"The family is ordained of God. Marriage between man and woman is essential to His eternal plan. Children are entitled to birth within the bonds of matrimony, and to be reared by a father and a mother who honor marital vows with complete fidelity. Happiness in family life is most likely to be achieved when founded upon the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ. Successful marriages and families are established and maintained on principles of faith, prayer, repentance, forgiveness, respect, love, compassion, work, and wholesome recreational activities. By divine design, fathers are to preside over their families in love and righteousness and are responsible to provide the necessities of life and protection for their families. Mothers are primarily responsible for the nurture of their children. In these sacred responsibilities, fathers and mothers are obligated to help one another as equal partners. Disability, death, or other circumstances may necessitate individual adaptation. Extended families should lend support when needed."
I cried because I felt the great responsibility I have as a mother to my sweet children. Mine is a solemn responsibility and I am so grateful for my calling. And, I cried because I know that I can only fulfill these obligations when I have the help of my Savior and His Atonement. I love being a mother and I love my family so much.
After I finished, I told Oliver and Amelia that I was crying because I knew the proclamation was from Heavenly Father and that if we follow His commandments in it, we will be able to live together as a family forever. It was such a special, spirit-filled moment and one that I hope I will remember for a long, long time. I could tell they felt it as well because they snuggled up to me and sat totally silent the entire time (rare).
After FHE, the sprinklers came on and the kids asked if they could go run through them. What better after-FHE activity?? I didn't even make them change in to their swimsuits which gave me major cool Mom points, I'm sure.
Sidenote: Oliver is supposed to be in bed right now and he keeps coming out of his room telling me he's hungry. Our rule is that once bedtime prayers are said and teeth are brushed that eating time is over (I realized that the kids will use hunger as an excuse to stay up later). He keeps telling me that he's going to die now b/c he's too hungry. "I'm going to die in the middle of the night, you No-Food-Giver." All of this at the end of our wonderful night just goes to show the highs and lows of motherhood.