Each man and woman born into this mortal world of ours came through a mother. Some mothers have been warm and gentle, some young, some old, some wise, some willful. But each has been willing to give of herself that another might live.
All women carry within them the seeds of life, and their own sprinkling of the characteristics of the life-giver. As Sister Barbara B. Smith, former general president of the Relief Society, said and is noted in “Treasures of Womanhood,” “There are unnumbered women who have ‘mothered’ children who are not their own. … Mother is a title that belongs to every woman by lineage from our earliest mother, Eve — and also by eternal destiny.”
Lucy Mack Smith was mother of the Prophet Joseph Smith, who organized The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Her courage, tenderness, patience and wisdom won the love and confidence of the entire church. According to accounts, both men and women came to her for counsel, for comfort, and for guidance. When she was placed in charge of an entire boatload of Saints heading from the Waterloo Branch in New York to the new gathering place in Kirtland, Ohio, she gave to the task all the energies and convictions of her soul. She organized prayer and hymn-singing twice daily. When many of the mothers neglected their children she did not hesitate to warn and scold them. “We cannot get our children to mind,” the women complained.
“I could make them mind me easily enough,” Lucy responded, as is shared in “Stories of Lucy Mack Smith: Mother of the Restoration.” “And since you will not control them, I shall.”
She established little ways and patterns for them to follow in responding to her, and took their words of promise, which they were eager to give and keep. She gathered them around her to hear stories and to sing the little ditties of childhood that made the days pass more pleasantly for them (see “Stories of Lucy Mack Smith,” by Susan Evans McCloud, pages 44-45).
When the boat became encased in ice, and there seemed no means of going forward, the discouraged group faced possible weeks of waiting until the ice could be broken through. With the beauty of her own spirit shining as a standard before them, Lucy told the brethren and sisters, “Where is your confidence in God?”
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