1978
A Mother’s Testament
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“A Mother’s Testament,” Ensign, Mar. 1978, 46

A Mother’s Testament

Second Place Eliza R. Snow Poetry Contest

“And I did remember the words which they said unto me that their mothers had taught them.” (Alma 57:21.)

The record does not bear my name,

yet even so, I, a mother,

have been used by my Creator

to work destiny.

I have been the root of fertile stems,

the source of mighty men.

Beneath the coverlet of evening,

my sons with fathomless eyes

knelt by my side and learned to pray.

In the dawn they were taught to cast their eyes

toward the hills, to work and cultivate the fields.

Yet there were times as I spun fine-twisted linen

they listened to the stories I told of their father,

how he and his brothers buried their bows and arrows

slings, javelins, and swords in deep pits,

then stood on the mound declaring repentance,

vowing never to kill again.

It was then my sons unleashed their questions,

and I prayed the Lord to give me answers.

They grew, distilling the truth of my teachings,

following the face of their father,

knowing the meaning of faith.

Their knowledge shone forth as the sun.

They joined with the others,

two thousand valiant young men

heeding the words of their mothers,

to go forth with Helaman

into the hour of battle, the moment of terror,

strong and true in the Word of the Lord.

I sat by a low fire and thought

of willows waving in the wind

and felt no fear.