(I gave this testimony at church on Sept. 4, 2011, while my mother was visiting me.)
I want to bear my testimony about the importance of being an example, and the importance of motherhood. My mother is here today, and I want to tell you about her example to me. She went on a mission and got married in the temple, but my dad was never active in the church. She took her six children to church every Sunday without his help. A few years ago my mother visited our ward, when Sister Kennedy was in our ward. Brother Kennedy was in the bishopric, and we were sitting behind Sister Kennedy and her children. During the meeting, my mother started crying, because watching Sister Kennedy reminded my mother of all the times she had sat in church wrestling with children all alone without a husband too. After that, Tara started sitting with them to help with the children.
I remember my mother driving a long distance each Primary day, (which used to be on a Wednesday after school) to pick up a cross-eyed girl named Glinda from an inactive family, to take Glinda to Primary with us. Later in my life, I was in the Young Women's presidency, and I had to drive miles out of the way to give rides to two young women from a very poor family. My little kids in the car would complain about having to pick them up, but I knew in my heart it was the right thing to do, because I had seen my mother do it.
My mother always strikes up conversations with people on airplanes, and gives them a Book of Mormon or gets their address and sends the missionaries to them. She has courage to confront people who speak badly of our Church. When the OSU Cowboys were going to be in the Fiesta Bowl with BYU in the 1970's, a business in Stillwater, Oklahoma where we lived put up a sign on their marquee which said, “Persecute the Mormons.” My mother walked right in there and explained to them the history of persecutions that the Mormons had gone through, and asked them to take down the sign, and they did.
I have learned from her to have a year's supply of food, and to do genealogy. I've seen her pray and read scriptures on a daily basis. She was an early morning seminary teacher when I was in high school, and I saw the diligence with which she prepared her lessons. That prepared me to be able to be a seminary teacher for the past four years. Her testimony of the truthfulness of the gospel, and her faith in God, and her gratitude for all her blessings are constant themes in her life.
I know that our examples are important, and that our actions affect our children and grandchildren. I am thankful for my mother's example to me.
In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.