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Cover image: “Delivered” by Jenedy Paige (author of this article).
The following was excerpted from ChurchofJesusChrist.org. To read the full article, CLICK HERE.
I remember feeling uncomfortable as I learned in college about the lives of great artists. It seemed like the truly memorable and remarkable ones had become great artists by neglecting their family and sacrificing their sanity. Great artists painted on Christmas morning while their kids opened presents. One was married six times. Another cut off his ear and sent it to his loved ones. And another even killed someone! I started to wonder if becoming a great artist while also being a great wife and mother (all while keeping my sanity!) was even possible.
My professors taught that if we really wanted to become great, we would have to make sacrifices for it. We would have to work harder than anyone else. We would have to put art first in our lives. My mind would often question, “But if an artist kept the commandments, put first things first, and had the Spirit of the Lord to direct their work, couldn’t they become just as great and possibly even greater?” This question stayed with me throughout my studies.
By the time my husband and I graduated, we had been married for a year. Elder Russell M. Nelson (at the time, he was a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles) came to speak at our graduation. A luncheon followed, and only 16 students were invited to attend. Oddly enough, both my husband I were selected to be there. When the discussion was opened for questions and answers, I raised my hand, looked Elder Nelson in the eye, and expressed my concerns about being both an artist and a mother. I had worked so hard to build my talents in school, and I wanted to continue to work hard and improve, but I also knew that motherhood took precedence. Was there a way to do both? Elder Nelson’s eyes sparkled as he replied, “Absolutely!” He encouraged me to improve upon my talents and to pray to Heavenly Father for help in knowing how I could do both and that with Him, I would be able to do things I once thought impossible. I took that advice to heart.
To read the full article, CLICK HERE.