By LINDSAY SKOUSEN
BYU’s first lady, Sister Marilyn Bateman, describes her role as a support, a mother, and a role model.
“Really, truly I believe my role is to be a support to my husband and to be with him wherever he is needed,” Sister Bateman said.
Sister Bateman believes that although her husband is very capable, her support is vital to his calling.
“I think it’s important that he has his wife by his side. It gives him added vitality and abilities,” she said. “It’s a hard calling and it’s nice to have that special relationship.”
Sister Bateman also believes her role is to be a mother figure to all the students attending BYU.
“I hope I present myself as a mom because I love all the young people. They are such a blessing to us,” Sister Bateman said.
As the mother figure of the campus, Sister Bateman has found that it is harder to find time to spend with her own children and grandchildren.
“The only disadvantage to (being BYU’s first lady) is that it’s hard finding time for my own family, which is very important to me,” she said. “I’ve really had to learn how to organize my time in order to be able to spend time with them.”
Sister Bateman also feels her role as first lady is to be encourage the spiritual development of women on campus.
“I hope that I’m a role model for someone, hopefully a young woman on campus,” she said.
Sister Bateman said she feels strongly that a girl’s first priority at BYU should be to get a good education.
“I think a girl should come to BYU with a desire to get an education,” Sister Bateman said. “Then, if the timing is right, she can find a young man and get married.”
Sister Bateman said she hopes that every young woman attending BYU will realize the importance of her education.
“A girl should expand her life in every way,” Sister Bateman said. “If at all possible, she should complete her education because it will give her something special to contribute to the people around her, and it will give her a sense of confidence.”
Sister Bateman said the importance of a girl’s education has changed a lot since she attended BYU.
“My generation didn’t really see the value in a girl completing her education. But, I think the young people today do,” she said. “Many women today who want to stay at home with their children are still recognizing the importance of getting an education. They’re trying to experience all that life has to offer and be true to themselves.
Sister Bateman said she enjoys her calling as BYU’s first lady.
“I feel more involved in this capacity,” she said. “And, I love to be around the students. They are so incredible, bright, capable and very full of life.”