Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Models of Motherhood

My mother and grandmothers have been the greatest influences and role models in my life.

My mother, Elaine Dalton, is currently serving as the General Young Women President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. As such, she has championed a return to virtue. She lives and teaches that at the very core of virtue is chastity and moral purity. She has said, "I believe that the disintegration of faith and families… are directly related to the lack of virtue in our society. And I believe that a return to virtue could save an entire nation.” She teaches that each girl is important, a daughter of God. She travels from nation to nation to teach and visit young women and their leaders. Her own virtuous life is a testament to young women all over world.

From my mother, I have learned that consistency in small things over time leads to great success. Because of her, I know that I can find strength to do work beyond my individual capacity by relying upon God for strength. I can teach these things I have learned to my daughters. I hope that from my example, they can know that the world does not define them; they can rise above moral pollution and live as befits daughters of God.

Another role model, my maternal grandmother, Emma Schwartz, is an unsung hero. Through her teenage years and beyond, she continuously cared for her mother, who suffered from a series of strokes that left her paralyzed and unable to speak. Later, she cared for her father who was also of ill health. She married and all too soon her husband died. She focused on raising her small children while also supporting her family by teaching school for 43 years. She is now in her 90th year. My grandmother’s life of service and her strength, even in times of struggle, are lessons I internalized as I cared for my husband throughout his recovery from a stroke.

My Grandma Dalton at age 92

My paternal grandmother, Jessie Dalton, lived a beautiful and full life. Yet, at a young age, when she was unprepared for great sorrow, my grandma lost a child – her only daughter Anna Jane, just after Anna’s first birthday. She wrote of this experience, “The only comfort comes from the knowledge that we will be united sometime, somewhere at the proper time.” In a similar manner, experiencing the loss of a child through stillbirth has helped me to understand better the eternal nature of families and that being a mother is a privilege beyond compare.

My role, as a daughter and granddaughter, is to pass this legacy to my children. It is my hope that I can lead my daughters Ella and Louisa down the same paths that stood before my mother and grandmothers – paths of virtue, service, education, courage and hope.

Because of those who have gone before me, I have learned that through motherhood I can affect the future.


Elaine dalton said...

A beautiful blog by one who lives a beautiful and sanctified life. I love being your mother!

Mindy said...

Emmy, you are pretty amazing. You inspire me.
Mindy( Lavigne)

Mikel said...

Beautifully stated.