About 20 or more years ago, a group of sisters compiled a delightful book called "Mary and Martha." On one side of the page were recipes and on the other were spiritual encouragements especially for sisters. I relished my copy as did many other sisters.

There was one particular article by Sister Lois Johnson that ended with this paragraph:

"It is good always to keep in mind that bread, clothes and shelter alone will prepare a child for nothing but the grave. A true daughter of Sarah will serve her little ones the Bread of Life, shelter them in God's Word, and seek to clothe them and to be clothed herself with Christ, that she and they may live to praise Him both now and forever."

As a young mother, I was very moved by Sister Johnson's wise words. These words helped put my efforts into spiritual perspective. For the next 15 years these words hung on my refrigerator motivating me to concentrate my greatest efforts in serving my children that "good portion, which shall not be taken away . . ."

Later, in the early 1980's I found an article that Sister Jane Roberts had written in 1883 which added to the lesson I had learned from Sister Johnson:

"The things pertaining to the present life are so urgent in their demands, that if you give in to them, you will have no time or opportunity for taking in and assimilating the things of the spirit.

"You have to recognize the situation, and frame your life accordingly. Something must be left undone. Some give the preference to the mere passing requirements of every-day life. They tax themselves to get all the supposed necessary things done. And they, and their houses and children, look like it. Everything is in what is called "apple-pie order." Much time is bestowed on each department, and the verdict is that they have not a minute to spare for reading. It takes them all the time to get through. They must have the children looking nice, and they cannot bear a spot or stain anywhere on their furniture. What shall we eat and what shall we drink, and how shall we best set out the delicious things we contrive, to please the palate, and wherewithal shall we be clothed, are the all-absorbing themes with them, and any interruption to this regular round of self-imposed slavery is a cause of irritation and loss of temper. . . . If she would stop to consider, she might as well, and much better, take a little time - make a little time, for taking in the wisdom that is to guide her in the way that leadeth unto life - content to get along in other things in a middling way. Let her make sure of that as a first necessity, and she will be helped to find out what the things are that she can leave out."

Of course, you wouldn't want to be reading spiritual classics all day while your home and your children go unattended, but you can choose to work faster and smarter at taking good care of the basics so that the cares of this life do not crowd out the precious time needed to prepare your children to live to praise God both now and forever.

There is no greater joy a mother can experience in this life than to see her children walking (strong, sheltered and clothed) in the Truth.