“Our Eternal Identity as Parents,” Ensign, June 2019
Sometimes I wonder if I’ll ever get to be a mother in this life or if I will have to wait for God’s promised blessings to be fulfilled in the next life. I wish I could say I never complain about being single. But if I’m being honest, some days are just hard. I feel lonely. I feel discouraged.
But also, being honest, I have some really, really good days. I have some days when I feel absolute peace about the direction I’m heading and so fulfilled by everything I’m learning. On one of those good days not too long ago, I had the thought: “Why am I so lucky? Why do I get to have all of these incredible experiences?”
I found my answer in the Book of Mormon: “God has entrusted you with these things, which are sacred, which he has kept sacred, and also which he will keep and preserve for a wise purpose in him, that he may show forth his power unto future generations” (Alma 37:14; emphasis added).
Even though that verse was written about the plates of brass, those words taught me something I’d never thought of before. God has entrusted me with these experiences so that I can bless future generations. So that I can help my future children, and all of God’s children, to know Him.
President Henry B. Eyring, Second Counselor in the First Presidency, explained that “whatever your personal circumstance, you are part—a key part—of the family of God and of your own family, whether in the future, in this world, or in the spirit world. Your trust from God is to nurture as many of His and your family members as you can with your love and your faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.”1
Some days I want so badly to be with my eternal companion and my children. It’s like part of me knows I still haven’t met some of the most important people in my life, and I wish I could give them my love.
But the truth is, even without them here, and even though it might seem like that dream is far away, I can make choices now for their sake.
President Eyring also shared the story of when he was a bishop and a young man came to his office. This man had made some big mistakes, but he wanted to change. He wanted his future children to be sealed to a father who could use his priesthood. He was willing to struggle through the process of repentance to give that gift to his children.
President Eyring said that this man “felt then the needs of children he’d only dreamed of, and he gave early and freely. He sacrificed his pride and sloth and numbed feelings. I am sure it doesn’t seem like sacrifice now.”2
I recently saw a picture of my mom as a little girl. She looked so cute with her curly hair and little blue dress. But when I look at that picture, all I can see is my mother’s face on a little girl’s body. I know it didn’t seem that way when the picture was taken—but she has always been my mother.
It made me think about all the gifts she prepared for me before I was even born. I thought of how she learned to create a beautiful home. I thought of how she worked hard in school to become a nurse, and how she studied the gospel to build her own testimony. I thought of how she chose to humbly sacrifice everything to take care of me and our family.
And then I realized: To my future children, I am a mother. And in God’s eyes, my eternal identity is that of a mother.
President Russell M. Nelson taught that “every woman is a mother by virtue of her eternal divine destiny.”3 Every woman is a mother, and every man is a father, regardless of if you have children yet or not. Our posterity may come in this life or the next, but that does not change our eternal identity as parents.
Right now, it’s difficult to imagine. Some days I feel so alone. Some days I worry if I’m really fulfilling my purpose or if I’m making a difference for anyone.
But I can choose right now to be a positive influence on the people in my life. There are children I can nurture and teach. There are ways I can use my experiences to bless others. And one day, maybe my kids will look back at a picture of me and not be able to comprehend my ever being anything other than their mother.