Motherhood discussed by First Presidency’s wives in panel discussion

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    By ETHAN SCOTT

    The joys of motherhood and the power of prayer were central topics of a Women’s Conference panel discussion Friday featuring the wives and daughters of the members of the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

    The members of the panel, Sister Marjorie P. Hinckley, Sister Frances J. Monson and Sister Ruth W. Faust, appeared with their daughters, Kathleen Hinckley Barnes, Ann Monson Dibb and Jana Faust Coombs.

    Sister Hinckley, wife of President Gordon B. Hinckley, told the Marriott Center audience that motherhood is tough, but worth the effort.

    “Mothering really is hard, but it doesn’t mean you can’t love it,” Sister Hinckley said. “I say to you, have joy in your children. I know it’s hard, but try.”

    All three of the mother-daughter pairs shared special experiences they had with prayer.

    Sister Faust shared an experience she had while she and her husband, President James E. Faust, were attempting to have children early in their marriage. For several years the Fausts had no success in their attempts to have children, she said.

    Sister Faust said it was a tough time because her greatest desire was to be a mother.

    For a period of time the couple prayed, fasted and went to the temple while consulting with doctors in an effort to have children, she said.

    Finally the Fausts sought a priesthood blessing. Soon afterward they were able to conceive and went on to have five children in 10 years. Sister Faust described this as the time of her most significant prayers.

    Sister Monson also told of an experience when her prayers were answered. After getting married to President Thomas S. Monson, Sister Monson decided to get her patriarchal blessing. Before receiving the blessing the patriarch told her, “This blessing is for you.” The blessing went on to answer several concerns that she had been pondering over.

    While motherhood was a popular topic for the panel, Sister Hinckley also related a story of the impact made by a woman who never had children.

    Nellie was the sister of Sister Hinckley’s grandfather. Nellie never married and considered her life a failure because she had no posterity, Sister Hinckley said.

    However, the care that Nellie showed for members of her family left a lasting impact. When members of her family had children, Nellie, who was a nurse, moved in for a time to help care for the mother and new children.

    When Sister Hinckley’s mother was dying at the age of 91, she called out for Nellie, saying that no one was ever able to make her feel more comfortable when she was ill.

    While a common thread ran through many of the topics the panel members discussed, listeners found many different messages to take to heart.

    Jolyn Nelson, a 17-year-old who attends Timpanogos High School in Orem, said she was impressed by the comments the panel members made about motherhood.

    Nelson said she appreciated the comments about how “motherhood is hard but worth it, because that’s something that’s coming up in my life.”

    Jolyn’s mother, Janey Nelson, also of Orem, said she appreciated the relationships exhibited by the mothers and daughters of the panel.

    “All those mothers and daughters were best friends. Next to my husband, my daughters are my best friends,” she said.

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