My Mother Taught Us!


Several years ago I was waiting just outside the chapel doors where many people were passing to and fro. A young man approached and greeted me. We shook hands and then he had this to say:

“Your brother is a member of our congregation and spoke this past Sunday. I have heard you speak and also your brother who is a member of a neighboring community, and I noted that in listening to all of you, that you all spoke highly of each other. All of you had nothing but kind and generous words toward each other. I wanted to know if this was taught to you or it is just coincidence?”

I replied “Well, it is not coincidence. My mother taught us to always speak kindly of one another and to look for the best in our siblings.  Each of us, of course has faults, but our mother taught us that the world would be hard enough on us, and that as brothers and sisters we should be supporting and uplifting to one another. Consequently, I think my brothers and sisters have been closer and enjoy one another’s company because there is little criticism of one another. In fact, my brother, who is only a couple of years older than me, and I, spent our entire childhood growing up and I can’t remember ever having words.  It was just not in our nature to look for the bad in each other.”

He gave me a big smile and thanked me for talking with him. As I walked away I thought how unique it was that a young man would have picked up on such a point. The world can be a cruel place and wouldn’t it be a wonderful feeling to know you have your brothers and sisters “on your side.” We need to learn to look for the strengths in each individual family member and celebrate their successes while also giving support in their time of need.

It is such a wonderful feeling to know that your siblings really rejoice when something good happens in your life.  Success in life by our family members should be embraced and promoted.  It adds to the enrichment of our lives and we truly become one when we see their success as ours and ours theirs.  Let us be forgiving and encouraging in all our words and actions. I always felt as the sons of Helaman when they declared, “I did not doubt that my Mother knew it”. (Alma 56:48)  I’m grateful to my mother because she saw the big picture and taught us that criticism of family members is not the way of the Lord.

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