The Wisdom of a Consecrated Life

Just the other day I spent the afternoon with my mother-in-law to celebrate her 85th birthday. She is wise, always has been. We took her to lunch at Olive Garden and had a great visit. She's still sharp as a whip and I think her social life could rival that of any YSA in the Church. She knows pretty much everything important that is going on in the lives of her life-long friends, her eight living children and ever-growing posterity. I love and respect her greatly. 

We enjoyed a number of different conversations, mostly catching up on the family gossip (all positive). But the one thing she brought up that kind of surprised me, was when she shared her brief thoughts about those who take issue about (what she considers, and I agree) the little things in the Church and blow them out of proportion. Meaning, they have nothing to do with our salvation. She specifically referred to those who advocate outside of the Church for priesthood ordination (although she didn't say it exactly like that, but I knew).

If this doesn't tell you how 'with it' my mother-in-law is at 85 I don't know what would. This is a woman, who still recalls sitting out on the lawn at Temple Square, while her husband (then serving in a stake presidency) was inside the Tabernacle attending priesthood meeting. She would listen intently and trust that the counsel being given by Prophets' of God would not only bless their lives, but more importantly the lives of all members of the Church -- male and female. Not once did she feel that she was being barred from some secret society. After she shared those thoughts with me, she just shook her head and I knew what she meant -- though her words were few.

As women in the Church, we have so much. We are blessed beyond earthly boundaries with power and authority to do the eternal work of the Lord because of the priesthood of God here upon the earth. There are no 'them and us' when it comes to equality from an eternal perspective. Truly, I felt her sadness (and perhaps a little frustration) for those sisters who do not see "things as they really are." More than anything, I sincerely believe that she shared her feelings with me to convey the thought that women in the Church are best to focus on those things that will bless our lives, here and now, and that of our families for eternity.

When you're 85, I imagine one tends to focus on what's most important in life. This makes hearing the thoughts of someone at that age pertinent. The seemingly little things that many of us spend time fretting about will likely not claim our time and emotions in the not too distant future. Rather, life's lessons and challenges will have mellowed us out and we will hopefully be more focused on what truly matters for time and eternity. Those are the experiences intended to help us become like Christ.

With these thoughts in mind, I am more fixed than ever to make sure that my own time and talents are spent in building up the kingdom of God and looking for the positive. I pray that the legacy I leave my own children will be similar to that of so many valiant LDS women who have gone before. These courageous sisters served the Church and their families faithfully, without complaint. I am confident that the peace each of us seek, as daughters of God, comes from knowing who we are and trusting that a consecrated life is sufficient to claim all the blessings of Exaltation. 

Isn't it interesting that the Lord in His perfect wisdom allows the seemingly elderly (considered out of touch) to lead His Church here upon the earth. I can't wait to hear their counsel and teaching over the next week.


Kathryn Skaggs


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