The Prayers of a New Mother

“The Prayers of a New Mother,” Ensign, August 2018

Latter-day Saint Voices

The Prayers of a New Mother

Woman doing laundry

Illustration by Joshua Dennis

As a first-time mother of a small and precocious boy, I sometimes feel my life consists of little more than diaper changes and feeding schedules.

While adjusting to motherhood, I found myself ignoring my spiritual needs. Instead of reading the scriptures, I would usually sneak in a much-needed nap or one more load of laundry. Prayers were simply hurried pleas to my Father in Heaven for my son to fall asleep and stay asleep, or for help to just make it through the day.

When my son was around four months old, I realized how depleted my spirit had become. My desire to strengthen my testimony was waning. I didn’t feel like sitting through all three hours of church, and other responsibilities at home and at church seemed like things I didn’t have time or energy for. I wanted to feel the light of the gospel again, but I was exhausted and didn’t know where to begin. One night I fervently prayed for help.

The next morning, I dragged myself to church. While listening to the lesson in Relief Society, I saw a poster illustrating the purpose of Relief Society. I had seen the poster every Sunday, but I had never internalized its message before. It states that the purpose of Relief Society is to help sisters “increase faith and personal righteousness, strengthen families and home, and seek out and help those in need.”

I read it again. This time my mind focused on “increase faith and personal righteousness.” It became clear that before I could fulfill my Church callings and serve others effectively, I needed to tend to my own spiritual health. I started by setting time aside each day to read the scriptures. I also worked on being more thoughtful when I prayed.

As I began to nourish my own faith and personal righteousness and seek guidance from Heavenly Father, I felt my love for the restored gospel of Jesus Christ reignite. Serving in callings, visiting my Relief Society sisters, and partaking of the sacrament each week became meaningful in my life again. And the things I once viewed as having no time and energy for have now become a comfort and strength to me and my family.