Today, a successful woman is one who sacrifices her life, her relationships, for a promotion. Last year, I lived in the dorms amongst freshman girls—girls who were determined to disprove the stereotype that they were only there for a husband. All BYU freshmen females fight this typecast. They want to be doctors, business women. They are going to tour the world and save the pandas in China. Now, I do not think this is a problem. I respect women with a drive for success and intellectualism. And I believe every living person needs something to be passionate about.
But I do see a problem when girls decide there are more important things to accomplish before, or in lieu of, marriage and children. I am not writing of the fifties mindset that the woman is supposed to marry and shrink under the shadows of men. But I do think marriage and family are becoming less and less admirable. I’ve heard girls say they may get married in this life, but that it is less important than… let’s say those pandas. Now, Mother Teresa was never married and didn’t have any children. And she has done things for Heavenly Father’s children that no one else was capable of. Her works and her heart were so great that only a small number of people will accomplish things of the same magnitude. But think about those people who have been able to reach nearly every human being on this earth—mothers. And the fact that EVERY mother that earns the term in a non-biological sense has changed the lives of each of her children. I respect my own mother just as much as Mother Teresa.
Bobbylee Anderson has, alongside with my dad, done more for me than anyone else in this world. She is one of the most selfless people I know. For over a month, she spent every day she had off of work at court. From 9-5 she sat through a trial for the son of a woman in the ward she wasn’t particularly close to. I still remember a time that I called her on a Saturday and asked what she’d done and what her plans were for the rest of the day. She’d said that she’d helped a girl in the ward with something, gone to one of my brother’s games, had a presidency meeting, and was going to sew curtains for her niece’s new bedroom. Nothing for herself, only others.
On a bad day, there is no one I’d rather call. When I have exciting news, there’s no one who shares the excitement as well as she does. She knows me better than anyone else. When I am debating a decision, I always call her. Not as a mother who’d command me, but as a friend who knows what I’d like most and what would be best for me. I was never a rebellious child, so while growing up, I was able to build a strong friendship with my mom. No, she wasn’t one of those irresponsible mothers who just wanted to be a friend. She is every meaning of the word “mother.” But she knew I also needed a friend. And that’s what she’s become.
She’ll listen to me rant and follow all the tangents I take. She doesn’t try to control my life now that I am of the age to make my own decisions, and never has. I tell her the things I’ve decided and she tells me what she thinks. But if I need advice, I always go to her and am always helped. When I’m wrong, she’s the only right I’ll see. She has a strength and a testimony unlike any I’ve ever seen. She loves me in a way no one else in this world does. She loves me despite how well she knows me, despite all the weaknesses I’m sure she’s seen. And yet, I feel as if she sees good things in me I’m not aware of, strengths only the love of a mother can detect.
And I know everyone feels this deeply about their own mother. Who could feel otherwise about a woman who wants nothing other than their happiness? So I call for the realization of the ideal role model—our own mothers. And for the respect and awe for the sacred calling of mother.