Monday, May 10, 2010

Moms in the Book of Mormon- a Belated Mother's Day Post

We had a great Mother's Day yesterday- and by we I mean the whole fam, although I probably enjoyed it the most. "We" all enjoyed breakfast in bed (yay, no pictures this year!); "we" enjoyed See's candy; "we" enjoyed the Hershey's bar they passed out at church; and "we" had a fantastic dinner of steak, shrimp, asparagus, potatoes, salad, and coconut cream pie (thank you Katy, Dad, Bob, and Dan!). Wow, that was all about the food! I guess "we" didn't care as much about the hand lotion I got, or the lipstick, although I enjoyed them.

It was fun to have mom and Judy there, so it was a pretty big celebration. After dinner, we watched The Blind Side, which I thought was appropriate, because really, has there been more awesome mom in the movies recently?

Now how does this relate to my post title, "Moms in the Book of Mormon"? Well, a few weeks ago Emily was going to bed when she asked me the question every girl in the church eventually asks, "Mom, does God love boys more than girls? Because the scriptures are all about men, and I just don't understand why. Are they more important? That just doesn't seem fair!" Oh, I remember wondering the same thing. At that age just on the cusp of adolescence, we experience the convergence of several things that all lead to this natural question: a growing awareness that our gender means something- that it is different than our hair color- and that it will influence our life and what we will be; worries and doubts about ourself, our ability, and our worth; and an increased knowledge about the stories in the scriptures. So we have a heightened awareness of gender and are wondering what it means, and when we read the scriptures they seem to be always talking about men, and then we take a leap to wonder if this is a comment on our worth.

I told her that was a very good question, and I reassured her that the Lord loves women as much as men, and we talked a little about how language has changed, and how "men" and "mankind" often refered to both men and women . . . .etc. It calmed her down for the night, but I've had it in the back of my mind that I need to be able to give her a more thorough answer (but at a time other than at 9:15 on a school night).

Then today, the day after Mother's Day, I came across this wonderful article about Nephi, and how he wrote about women. The author notes that Nephi's writing, when compared to the Old Testament, is remarkable for how he discusses women. Nephi was very aware of the feelings of his mother, his wife, his sisters, and sisters-in-law, and he speaks about them and the trials they endured and the faith they displayed numerous times in his record.

The author also notes that Nephi's writings contain important accounts of both Eve and Mary. In discussing Eve, Nephi corrected the record and provided an accurate picture of the mother of us all, as a loving mother who had a deep understanding of the gospel. And Nephi's vision of Mary is one of the clearest descriptions we have of her; quite a tribute is paid to her in that, when the angel tries to convey to Nephi the meaning of the Tree of Life, and how it represents the condescension and the love of God, he starts by showing Mary, and then by showing her holding the baby Jesus- and then Nephi gets it.

Reading this made me excited to show Emily that we can find women in the scriptures. I hadn't considered that in Nephi's writings we get pictures of some very significant women- Eve, Mary, Sariah the wife of Lehi, and Nephi's wife. Women may not show up very often in the scriptures, but when they do, they are remarkable.

Just like you, mom.

1 comment:

Donna said...

Nice thoughts for Mother's Day. Interesting article too.

You can tell Emily is definitely growing up and thinking about things a little more deeply. She's lucky to have a mom who also thinks deeply about these things.