Sunday, March 27, 2011

Behind every good man...

I've noticed that different people tend to either over- or underestimate the influence of women. There are examples in the scriptures of the influence some women have had for good or for bad. The truth is, women are capable of influencing generations because of their nurturing roles within their families. Righteous women "partner" with their husbands to "preside, provide, and protect" their families. They support their husbands in their priesthood duties and they teach their children to trust Christ and keep His commandments. They keep those commandments themselves.

In our Pearl of Great Price class, we recently read Abraham 2 / Genesis 20 wherein Abraham's wife, Sarai/Sarah, is instructed not to reveal her identity as wife of Abraham for their safety in Egypt. The Encyclopedia of Mormonism entry for Abraham states the following about her obedience to this counsel:
Sarah's action demonstrated, says one LDS Apostle, "her love and integrity to her husband" (JD 23:228) and was, says Philo, one of "numberless proofs" of her "wifely love…. Everywhere and always she was at his side,…his true partner in life and life's events, resolved to share alike the good and ill" (On Abraham, pp. xlii-xliii).
The Institute manual also stressed the importance of Sarah's righteous action, and I loved the following quote I found there:
Elder Bruce R. McConkie explained: “The Lord never sends apostles and prophets and righteous men to minister to his people without placing women of like spiritual stature at their sides. Adam stands as the great high priest, under Christ, to rule as a natural patriarch over all men of all ages, but he cannot rule alone; Eve, his wife, rules at his side, having like caliber and attainments to his own. Abraham is tested as few men have been when the Lord commands him to offer Isaac upon the altar (Gen. 22:1–19); and Sarah struggles with like problems when the Lord directs that she withhold from the Egyptians her status as Abraham’s wife. . . . And so it goes, in all dispensations and at all times when there are holy men there are also holy women. Neither stands alone before the Lord. The exaltation of the one is dependent upon that of the other” ( Doctrinal New Testament Commentary, 3:302).
If we want our families to be happy, to be exalted, we have to "step up to the plate" and get them there. Obviously it isn't entirely up to us, but we have great power to influence those we love for good. We have to be willing to serve and lead with our husbands and to make the Gospel of Jesus Christ a part of who we are.

1 comment:

  1. :) What self mastery it takes to influence others, particularly spouse and children positively and what a far reaching effect!!!! It is so easy to underestimate ourselves, and Satan sure wants us to do this! eliz