I woke up yesterday morning and the strength of womanhood pulsed through my soul. In truth, as a caring conservative Mormon woman I was wracked with conflict. I yearned to March with Women everywhere and I worried that I was wrong for what I was feeling.
At home with 4 of my 8 children exercising my body and soul through Saturday morning chores, my mind was envisioning millions of women across the world marching together for love, unity, and kindness. I wanted to feel what that Women's March would feel like! My soul felt so tired of standing apart and I just yearned to march forward together.
I wanted my five daughters to know that we can be different from the world and still be unified with our sisters in the world.
I wanted to shout to all who would listen, "They that are with us are MORE than they that are against us."
The motto "Charity NEVER Faileth" echoed with strength and power through my mind and I finished our laundry with determination and precision.
As I was tidying rooms I glanced one of my daughter's Young Women necklaces laying on a nightstand and I put it on. I knew that my symbol of power that day would not come from the hat that I wore but from the power of virtues that I held high, virtue that I embodied, and virtue that would light the way as I marched forward into an unknown future.
And, at that moment I KNEW that my desire to March with my sisters was not wrong- it was foreordained.
My friends and neighbors marched together in nearby towns and around the world. They were showing support for their gay brothers, their Palestinian mothers, the dignity of women, their fear of tyranny and oppression. And, my heart marched beside them even when I wasn't completely with them.
I found myself sweeping up stray Legos while chanting "Let he who is without sin cast the first stone" and "Neither do I condemn thee," over and over in my mind.
While so many I know felt called upon to highlight how we are different from the world, I knew that every fiber of being was shouting how I am the same.
We are SISTERS.
We come from the same eternal Father and Heavenly Mother.
Our hearts yearn for charity, compassion, and love.
We are all MOTHERS who love our children and His children.
We can stand for truth and righteousness all the days of our lives AND we can join with our sisters to march forward in unity, seeking peace, seeking love, recognizing our power, and responding to the clarion call that was issued in premortal realms. Daughters, you were born to lead and to govern. Arise and shine forth!
I learned a lesson years ago as a mother. One of my children was fighting and contentious. His Spirit was angry and his words were harsh. My initial response was to call him out, push him away, send him to his room, and feel self-righteous in labeling the wrong within him. In that moment, I was taught by Heaven. I knew that I could not fight anger with my own "righteous anger". I looked at this child and saw my son, who I loved, in his own personal struggle. I recognized my struggle at that very moment was not so different from his.
Instead of moving away from him, I moved closer, lovingly touching his arm. In my own mind, I powerfully cast hate and anger out and I willed my heart to swell with my greatest most powerful love.
In that moment I absolutely felt our ability to recognize sin separate from soul and I felt the command to LOVE more. I knew that "we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. (New Testament, Ephesians 6:12)."
"But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him. (New Testament, Luke 15:20)."
"And the Pharisees and scribes murmured, saying, This man receiveth sinners, and eateth with them. (New Testament, Luke 15:2)." And even as we read this scripture we might miss the fact that it is not showing Christ's mercy, it is showing our own pharisitical blindness and pride. EVERY single meal he ate was with sinners because we all are. He TOUCHED the lepers. He healed them and he loved them. THEY are not the lepers- WE are. WE are not marching with THEM. HE marches with US.
My soul naturally swells with compassion, mercy, charity, and hope. I am grateful that my husband has a nature that guards, protects, and warns against danger. I feel great safety in his care even as my natural tendencies are so different. To deny the nurturing, loving, embracing part of my soul is to deny my very womanhood and my greatest strength.
Today, I will raise my torch high!
Today, my voice will sing His praise.
I will stand and I will MARCH with my family, with my mothers, with my sisters, with my brothers.
I'm not always sure where I will march forth or how I will march forth but I do know why.
I will MARCH because my soul knows that LOVE NEVER FAILS. NEVER!
"A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.
By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another. (New Testament, John 13:34-35)."
Marching forward I can SEE mists of darkness all around us. There is great confusion, deception, and danger on the right-hand and on the left.
We CAN press forward, united, as we hold tightly to the word of God and look towards the light, the great tree of life, symbolic of the LOVE of God. We do not need to stand alone, and we do not need to be ashamed. We can only be with our families for eternity if we gather in His Love.
We are not fighting our family or even standing against our sisters. We are pressing forward TOGETHER towards love, through darkness. We are on the same team, and because we have a torch we must lead the way.
Oh women of God, shall we not go forth in so great a cause?
My mother taught me a great lesson. Trust your gut.
Listen, learn, hold to the rod, and then go forth with faith!
We are filled with the love of God and we will feel His power pushing us to love and serve His children. We don't need to suppress our generous thoughts, feel ashamed by our compassion, or shy away from mercy. We can know truth and love freely.
Mormon women, we CAN, we SHOULD, and we ARE marching forward with our sisters. We are doing this everyday by how we talk, how we act, and how we serve. HOLD tightly to truth! Press forward through mists WITH your families, neighbors, and friends.
We can hold our heads high, raise our torches, and let the love in our hearts pour into our homes, our streets, our neighborhoods, and our world!
Charity Never Faileth!