Monday, March 28, 2011

Letters From Jane: Preparing Your Children For this World

Dear Friends,

I know I’ve dropped off the planet. As many of you know, I’m in school right now—finishing the degree I started 30 years ago. I haven’t been able to decide what to do about this blog. One great highlight of my life is checking in and reading your comments and feeling connected to you—especially when I hear about your successes in using a loving approach to parenting.

And being in school, really experiencing the attitudes and trends of the world, I feel more dedicated than ever to supporting your work right now—your work as mothers of small children. The basic values that form the foundation of my life—a knowledge of the reality of God and of his son Jesus Christ, the family—a mother, a father and children, a clear line between right and wrong—all these things are being systematically altered and blurred into unimportance.

These days you have now with your children are not only precious but more important than they’ve ever been. They are your chance to establish faith. Weekly family home evenings and attending church are so good but not enough. Talk of Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ can be woven into all of their days—expressions of gratitude, prayers over simple problems, repentance, stories from the scriptures, parables and commandments. There will come a day in their lives when doubt will be cast upon all the things you’re teaching them—about the rightness and wrongness of things, the origin and meaning of life and the reality of God. You are preparing them now while they are so believing and full of faith, for that day.

I know that the academic, secular environment of a non-religious college campus is extreme and it’s been jarring to my sheltered spirit. But because I came into it with deep faith in some things, that faith has been strengthened by the experience. Maybe it’s the contrast—light in darkness or clear truth vs. subjective fuzziness, but my faith has held up. And it gives me hope that all of our children can meet the world in this way.

I think we’ve all grown up hearing about how we’re a chosen generation reserved for these times. But of this upcoming generation—the ones playing at your feet right now—I believe it’s true. Their world is something altogether different than mine was—or even yours. It swirls with technology and ideas and global connectedness. Isn’t it interesting that the ancient truths of the scriptures are still the key to their gaining wisdom and understanding? The same gospel that made an anchor to the soul of Daniel and Nephi and Paul and the stripling warriors is available to your children in its fullness. It’s your mission to infuse and transmit those truths into the “fleshy tables of the heart” each day.

Don’t do it with fear but with faith. As the forces for good and evil line up, you are on the winning side. The powerful eternal truths of God told in your simple words and with your familiar voice are all that is needed. In all of your doings every day, do this.

I can’t make promises about how often or well I will be able to maintain this blog, but I’m staying with it because I just think I need the support right now—the support of powerful mothers in a shaky world.

All my love,

If you’d like to read more on this topic, check out this article.


  1. Jane, you are a treasure to your readers and it warms my heart to know that you feel supported here as much as we do. Brava for finishing your degree! It's hard to balance (it took me 9 years to get my degree, the last 1.5 years of which I was a mother) but I know you are doing it well.

    Thank you for the encouragement to be a fearless mother. We are on a team with Heavenly Father and the Savior to raise these children and I always feel so much better about how I'm doing when I remember who is on my team!

  2. I agree with Barb. Jane, you are an inspiration to me! I only just found your blog before you put up the last post about Dragon training, and I laughed so hard because my little boy was just learning to walk, and his little waddle looked like Toothless :-) He is definitely a Dragon, but I've been able to tame him a little at a time by using your advice and approaches. Thank you for being such an amazing example of the kind of mother I want to be.

    Keep up the good work on your degree!

  3. Thank you for your wonderful words of faith and wisdom. I have been a bit down the past few weeks. I found myself wondering if I was really making a difference in my little children's lives. You helped me see how important my job is and that these days with mom, with help them as they grow into responsible faithful adults. Way to go on finishing your degree! Thanks again!

  4. Jane, I appreciate everything you post, no matter how few and far between. Good luck with your degree!

  5. I LOVE LOVE LOVE your website- as mothers it seems like we need encouraging boosts like these daily to keep us focused, energized, and in tune. THANK you for providing that for me on many occasions!

  6. It seems at my most frustrating moments being a mother you put up a post that's like a fresh drink of water. It always makes me feel better and reminds me that as difficult as it may be sometimes, I'm doing important work. Thanks for reminding me how blessed I am to be the mother to these special little choice spirits!

  7. Great post-to remember to come at parenting with faith and not fear. I'm so excited to have our first FHE with our new baby :)

  8. Thanks for the post -- a great reminder of why what we're doing is important. Good luck in finishing that degree.

  9. I am a new reader and I absolutely loved this post. It is just what I needed. These things have been on my mind a lot lately. I have a baby and toddler and sometimes I feel inadequate, like I don't know the scriptures enough or I am imperfect which makes me a poor example. I realize these things are the adversary working against me and that I need to make sure I keep doing the best I can by being spiritually prepared.

    Please don't quit this blog! We need more voices like yours. They are a breath of fresh air in this difficult world.

  10. This is beautiful, thank you!

  11. Thank you so much! I have a two toddlers right now and sometimes I am terrified when I think of what awaits them even just a few short years down the road. I worry so often that even my best is not enough because there is just so much out there that can hurt them and drag them down.

    Thank you for your thoughts on faith. I will keep going with the faith that they can stay strong as they grow older.

  12. So nice to have you back. As a mother of young girls, I need all of the reminders and encouragement I can get. I look forward to future posts from you.
    ps. Good for you for going back to school to further your education! Hold Strong!

  13. I have missed you! I was so excited to see a new post! Thank you for your words today, they reminded me of a quote I read on my sister's blog:

    "Today we all want/expect our children to be these quiet, docile, and passive kids that do whatever we want. But in reality, the Lord is now sending his strongest, toughest spirits so they can withstand the adversary and defend the church in these last days. It's not going to be easy to raise our kids."
    -Sister Julie B. Beck

    With all that is going on in the world, I am starting to really feel like we are really heading into the end of things. So much to do and teach my children! Keep blogging when you can, I have shared your blog with many friends as they struggle with aspects of motherhood. I appreciate being able to read your encouraging words :)

  14. Whatever you do, PLEASE DON'T STOP POSTING ON THIS BLOG. I come here for strength and wisdom. You have an uncanny ability to "say it like it is", with so much power. Even if we just get 1 post a year, it's worth it. Don't give up on it, please! Thanks for all you do!

  15. Oh Jane, I loved this. Thank you for posting again. I have missed your posts. I am a newer follower of your blog, and look forward to be taught by you and the commenter's.

  16. Good Job on School!!! PLEASE post when you can. I love this blog. I have been checking it a couple times a week to see if there are any updates!

  17. Ditto to what these ladies have said. Your posts are chock full of such needed encouragement and wisdom. I also very much admire your tenacity...a mother of so many might be pooped by now, but not you! At a time in your life when many are ready to throw in the towel, you're completing a degree and mentoring so many young mothers through this blog (and via other ways, no doubt). I do hope to still read your words and strokes of inspiration as they come, though I'd say we all understand if you choose not to.

    Wanted to let you know I shared your blog with my mom, who is a RS President. She was asked to speak at her stake conference a few months ago, when Elder Quentin L. Cook was in attendance and speaking. She shared many of your wonderful insights about making time for personal gospel study as a mother, and was profusely thanked by so many women of all ages. Just thought you should know your words have probably affected more than you know.


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