Sunday, May 14, 2017


For some reason during the time I was writing the Thoughts I shared during the 12 Days of Christmas, I also managed to get about 10 weeks ahead on the writing of my weekly Sabbath Day Thoughts. The reason I am mentioning this is that today is March 8, 2017, but as the date on this Thought notes, I am writing the Thought which will be posted and published on May 14, 2017, which also happens to be the day Mother’s day is celebrated in the United States of America.

Ironically, the day March 8, 2017 when I was doing this writing, was also the International Day of Women and the women in the United States of America were staying home from work in protest against President Trump. I am not sure if these two events are coincidental or somehow deeply symbolic.

I am one of those strange creatures who has never understood the battle of the sexes or the race each seems to be waging for one to gain superiority over the other. I believe if I were to take an inventory of people who have been meaningful mentors in my life the balance between men and women would be pretty equal.

However, I being a man (I believe that is the universal excuse used when a person of the male gender lacks understanding about a trait which usually falls into the female gender’s psyche), I must confess I am more impressed by the mysteriousness which emanates from women, than any such phenomena from men.

For example, there are two rituals dealing with the birth of a new child, which I have found it wise to drift into the background when they are taking place. I have found that this distance barrier makes it possible for me to remain aloof of personal involvement and also gives me a panoramic view from which I can gain a great deal of undetected pleasure. It is almost like having a box seat to a wonderful play.

The first is the naming of the child. We all understand that this is definitely one of those arenas of life where pleasing all the members of the family falls out of the realm of possibility. I must make a bit of a confession here. That would be that I gained most of this wisdom long after Kathleen and I had named our six children pretty much on our own.

The second is a ritual about who the baby resembles once it has arrived. I have watched this identification ritual with wonder, coming to the conclusion, if you use enough of the features of the child, you can satisfy the entire ancestry possibly back to Noah. Eyebrows, nose, hair line, ears, eyes, chin, cheeks, fingers, toes etc. help parents, grandparents and every other member of the clan to feel they have gained a small bit of immortality through the perpetuation of their features.

These customs which surround the coming of a new child along with baby showers and every woman who ever comes near the newborn wanting to hold it in their arms, I try to understand, but I am sure I will never truly appreciate as does another women.

With that introduction, which I am pretty confident will end up being longer than the body of this Thought, I will switch gears and write about the contributions the mentors in my life, who just happen to be female, have given to me during my life. I will mention only two by name; my mother, Nina, who nurtured and mentored me daily for the first 19 years of my life and has left an influence upon me which will extend eternally, and my eternal companion, Kathleen, who as of this writing has been my companion, mentoring and influencing me, for almost six decades.

Benjamin, one of the great prophet/kings of the Book of Mormon, as he was teaching his people about being a child of the Savior Jesus the Christ, asked the question if He (Christ) could be seen in their countenances. (Maybe there is something to this seeing ancestor’s features in the newborn). The Savior added to this theme when he encouraged us to let His light shine through us.

Now let me attempt to tie my mother and wife as primary mentors in my life to the concept of what we should be striving to emulate in our beings to be seen by others.

These are a few of the things I have been taught by precept and example:

Our feet should be seen ever walking on the straight path, pressing forward toward righteousness, shod in holiness, never kicking against the pricks.

Our hands should be lifted to heaven as a sign of gratitude, doing acts of kindness, gently giving comfort, warding off the darts of the adversary.

Our heart should be warm, easily entreated, full of feeling toward the needs of neighbors, never hard.

Our shoulders should be willing to bear the burdens of others, lifting a neighbor, never shirking.

Our head should be bowed in humility, resolute in choosing righteousness, never lifted in pride.

Our eyes should be filled with the light of Christ, single to the glory of God, never looking lustfully.

Our mouth should teach, expound and exhort, bear fervent testimony of truth, never bearing false witness.

When the entire being is properly framed, others should see the image of Christ engraven upon the soul.

When life is over the only success which will really have any eternal bearing, is how closely we have come to emulate the life of the Savior.

I am pretty sure there have been many men who have added to my mentoring in these concepts about having the countenance of Christ engraven upon my own countenance, but like finding the best name for a baby or seeing grandmother’s twinkle in the newborn’s eyes, they will be more accurate and leave a lasting impression upon us and will sink more deeply into our natures because they emanate from the God gifted tender nurturing souls of women.



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