Recently in the April 2010 General Conference, Elder M. Russell Ballard said this:

There is nothing in this world as personal, as nurturing, or as life changing as the influence of a righteous woman.

This — the importance of nurturing as a primary role of women in God’s plan — is something we talk about a lot as Mormons. And yet, sometimes questions arise: “How can I nurture others?” “What if I’m not the ‘nurturing’ type?” “What if I’m not a mother myself?” The “nature to nurture,” as Elder Ballard calls it, is something we believe can manifest itself in many ways. We each have different personalities and strengths and weaknesses, but each of us has opportunities to nurture — all the more so if we look for and create opportunities to reach out to others.

Here are two powerful  — yet very different — examples of nurturing women who have inspired us.

Lorien’s daughter had been asked to conduct the opening hymn. During the beginning of the hymn she got a little lost in the meter. Sitting on the second row, I had a clear view of her sweet 12-year-old face. I watched intently as she kept grinning while also trying so hard to figure out where she was in the hymn and get back on the beat. At one point she even mouthed the words,

“Help me.”

From my vantage point I could also observe Lorien, who was sitting directly across from her daughter, but in her periphery. Lorien clearly wanted and tried so desperately to help out her daughter. But her daughter couldn’t see her.

Read the whole story in the post, Amen sister.

Lynn McPherson has lived the gamut of experience, from abused wife to homeless mom to homeless advocate. She’s gone from being agnostic to being a born-again Christian to recently joining The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. But her heart was one of a nurturing woman long before faith in God became part of her life. What inspired her to pull her little family out of life on the streets?

It was a mother’s love, and an attitude that she would never be denied the opportunity to see the day when her children could eat their own meals, in their own house and sleep in their own bed.

“I didn’t believe in God. I didn’t believe that he believed in me,” McPherson said. “My faith in him didn’t bring me through those years of terror. His faith in me did.”

Read more about her journey, and particularly about her walk from Canada to Mexico (nearly 2,000 miles) to raise awareness of the plight of the homeless.

Someone who knows Lynn said:

Lynn’s a good reminder that we don’t judge people for why they need something: If you’re able to do it, and they need it, then you give it.

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Of course, for those who are mothers, one of the most important ways to seek to develop the “nature to nurture” is within the realm of the normal ebb and flow of day-to-day life with children. We appreciated this reminder about the nurturing that mothers do every day, about how even the routine elements of life really can be sacred, divine work.

Holiness can be found in things as small as preparing a family dinner, things as mundane as continual loads of laundry waiting endlessly to be done, and in things as simple as a two-minute discussion with a child on the way to soccer practice. Holiness can be found in all that we do as mothers as we let the Savior into our lives.