Sunday, August 8, 2010

GC Recap #31 - Mother Told Me

Elder Bradley D. Foster, Of the Seventy spoke of a Mother's love. He began, " As President James E. Faust said: “There is no greater good in all the world than motherhood. The influence of a mother in the lives of her children is beyond calculation”.

"By divine design, nurturing seems to be part of the spiritual heritage given to women. I’ve seen it in my daughters, and now I see it in my granddaughters—even before they could walk, they wanted to carry and care for their little baby dolls."

Somehow I missed this talk in conference, but I just love this analogy he goes on with. He said, "In my profession as a farmer and a rancher, I’ve had a front-row seat to observe how a mother’s natural affection manifests itself even in nature. Each spring we take a herd of cows and their new calves up along Idaho’s Snake River, where they graze in the foothills for a month or so. Then we round them up and bring them down a road that leads to the corral. From there they are loaded onto trucks that carry them to their summer pastures in Montana.

"On one particularly hot spring day, I was helping with the roundup by riding at the back of the herd as it moved down the dusty road toward the corral. My job was to gather any calves that had wandered from the road. The pace was slow and provided me some time to think.

"Because it was so hot, the little calves kept running off into the trees to find shade. My thoughts turned to the youth of the Church who are sometimes distracted from the strait and narrow path. I also thought about those who have left the Church or who may feel that the Church has left their hearts while they were distracted. I thought to myself that a distraction doesn’t have to be evil to be effective—sometimes it can just be shade.

"After several hours of gathering up stray calves and with sweat running down my face, I yelled to the calves in frustration, “Just follow your mothers! They know where they’re going! They’ve been down this road before!” Their mothers knew that even though the road was hot and dusty now, the end would be better than the beginning.

"As soon as we got the herd into the corral, we noticed that three of the cows were pacing nervously at the gate. They could not find their calves and seemed to sense they were back on the road somewhere. One of the cowboys asked me what we should do. I said, “I bet I know where those calves are. Back a quarter of a mile or so, there’s a stand of trees. I’m sure we’ll find them there.”

"Sure enough, just as I had suspected, we found our lost calves taking a nap in the shade. Our approach startled them, and they resisted our efforts to round them up. They were frightened because we were not their mothers! The more we tried to push them toward the corral, the more stubborn they became. Finally I said to the cowboys, “I’m sorry. I know better than this. Let’s ride back and let their mothers out of the corral. The cows will come and get their calves, and the calves will follow their mothers.” I was right. The mother cows knew exactly where to go to find their calves, and they led them back to the corral, as I had expected."

I so love that story! He then concludes by saying, "Perhaps the reason we respond so universally to our mothers’ love is because it typifies the love of our Savior. As President Joseph F. Smith said, “The love of a true mother comes nearer [to] being like the love of God than any other kind of love”."

It is my deepest prayer that this is the the kind of love that I have, and the kind of love that I show to my children.

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