Teachings for Our Time, by Jill Fairchild
Mothers and Daughters, Elder Ballard
It is not for you to be led by the women of the world; it is for you to lead the … women of the world, in everything that is praise-worthy, everything that is God-like, everything that is uplifting and … purifying to the children of men.
There is nothing in this world as personal, as nurturing, or as life changing as the influence of a righteous woman.
Today I wish to give you young women some suggestions on how to take full advantage of your relationship with your mother.
It is, unfortunately, all too easy to illustrate the confusion and distortion of womanhood in contemporary society. Immodest, immoral, intemperate women jam the airwaves, monopolize magazines, and slink across movie screens—all while being celebrated by the world.
The Apostle Paul spoke prophetically of “perilous times” that will come in the last days and specifically referenced something that may have seemed particularly perilous to him: “silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts” (2 Timothy 3:1, 6).
Popular culture today often makes women look silly, inconsequential, mindless, and powerless. It objectifies them and disrespects them and then suggests that they are able to leave their mark on mankind only by seduction—easily the most pervasively dangerous message the adversary sends to women about themselves.
...I urge you not to look to contemporary culture for your role models and mentors. Please look to your faithful mothers for a pattern to follow.
...Love your mother, my young sisters. Respect her. Listen to her. Trust her. She has your best interests at heart. She cares about your eternal safety and happiness. So be kind to her. Be patient with her imperfections, for she has them. We all do.
To MothersIf the mothers are thrifty, so are their daughters. If the mothers are modest, so are the girls. If the mothers wear flip-flops and other casual clothing to sacrament meeting, so do their daughters. Mothers, your example is extremely important to your daughters—even if they don’t acknowledge it.
... Let me assure you that even when you think your daughter is not listening to a thing you say, she is still learning from you as she watches you to see if your actions match your words. As Ralph Waldo Emerson is believed to have said, “What you do speaks so loud that I cannot hear what you say”
Teach your daughters to find joy in nurturing children. This is where their love and talents can have the greatest eternal significance.
Mothers, teach your daughters that a faithful daughter of God avoids the temptation to gossip or judge one another.
...your daughters cannot entirely avoid the blatant sexual messages and enticements that surround them. You need to have frequent, open discussions during which you teach your daughters the truth about these issues.
For example, they need to understand that when they wear clothing that is too tight, too short, or too low cut, they not only can send the wrong message to young men with whom they associate, but they also perpetuate in their own minds the fallacy that a woman’s value is dependent solely upon her sensual appeal. This never has been nor will it ever be within the righteous definition of a faithful daughter of God. They need to hear this—clearly and repeatedly—from your lips, and they need to see it modeled correctly and consistently in your own personal standards of dress, grooming, and modest living.
Teach your daughters about things of the Spirit. Point them to the scriptures. Give them experiences that will help them cherish the blessing of priesthood power in their lives.
May God bless us to teach, nurture, and prepare one another within the walls of our homes for the great work that must be done by all of us now and in the future is my prayer in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, amen.