Have you ever googled yourself? I decided to give it a go. Pretty sure after seeing the results that I am the only one with my name out there, at least in the United States and maybe the world.
Not so with my maiden name. Really! I googled Montserrat Ventura and guess what? There are at least a half dozen roaming the earth. One is a professor at a university. One is a body builder from Spain, a female Arnold Shwarzenegger.
It’s amazing what the human body can do, what it is capable of achieving, of enduring. My body doesn’t even remotely resemble that other Montserrat Ventura. I’m 30 pounds overweight, can only run one mile before I am done in, and I eat too much chocolate (and potatoes). But despite all that I realized I am a body builder too.
I am a body builder!
I have been blessed with the incredible ability to birth children, ten soon to be eleven of them, to build the bodies they will have throughout their lives: bone, muscle, sinew. It is what God designed my body to do. It’s an ability passed on by all my foremothers; an ability shared by fellow women and mothers.
We are the builders.
From the very beginning of a human life a mother nurtures and teaches. She does this best by following the example of the Savior, the Master Teacher. He taught lessons of obedience and love. Mothers do too.
Mothers follow the injunction to “Feed my lambs.” (John 21:15) On a daily basis they provide both temporal nourishment through meals cooked and spiritual sustenance as they teach children to pray, read the scriptures, and guide them to Christ.
At the end of the day husbands and fathers, children and other loved ones seek the refuge wives and mothers have created in their homes. “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” (Matt. 11:28)
Those homes have been created with much care and are defended at all costs. Just as Jesus drove the moneychangers from the temple and taught “It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves.” (Matt. 21:13) so mothers and wives drive out all the evil influences of the world making their homes a sacred space.
We clothe the naked, care for the sick, and sacrifice daily.
“Motherhood is the greatest potential influence either for good or ill in human life. The mother’s image is the first that stamps itself on the unwritten page of the young child’s mind. It is her caress that first awakens a sense of security; her kiss the first realization of affection; her sympathy and tenderness the first assurance that there is love in the world.” President David O. McKay (Teachings: David O. McKay, Chapter 16: The Noble Calling of Parents)
We also make mistakes. Daily. As we turn to the Lord for guidance and help and forgiveness He offers us His grace. It is in these moments of weakness when we know we have failed in some measure that Satan steps in to discourage us even more. We cannot allow him to dampen our efforts! For we are building something great, something glorious.
“When the real history of mankind is fully disclosed, will it feature the echoes of gunfire or the shaping sound of lullabies? The great armistices made by military men or the peacemaking of women in homes and in neighborhoods? Will what happened in cradles and kitchens prove to be more controlling than what happened in congresses? When the surf of the centuries has made the great pyramids so much sand, the everlasting family will still be standing, because it is a celestial institution, formed outside telestial time. The women of God know this.” (Neal a Maxwell, Women of God)
Mothers are body builders, soul builders, family builders.