A Mother’s Gift
June 1986

“A Mother’s Gift,” Ensign, June 1986, 53

A Mother’s Gift

I like myself! That may sound egotistical, but I believe it is the greatest legacy my mother has given me. What better gift could a child be given than to be taught to like herself and to feel loved, important, and capable of anything she might like to try?

My mother did many things that helped build my self-esteem, but my favorite was the “TL,” which meant “Tell Last.” When she had heard something good about me, she would tell it last—after I told something good that I had heard about her. If I didn’t have a “TL” for her, she would let me “owe her one,” and she gave me hers anyway. These special compliments have been a great source of confidence in my life. Even in my lowest moments I knew I couldn’t be too bad because someone thought well of me.

My mother never criticized her children in front of others. She always praised us—not just as her children, but as individuals in our own right. Now that we are all married, she and my father praise our spouses and our children so that they know how important and loved they are, too.

I feel that the best way I could honor my mother is to pass on to my children the great gifts my mother gave me. Oh, that they might like themselves, that they may fulfill their great potential!

Elizabeth Willis Barrett
Gilbert, Arizona

Illustrated by Chris Creek