Thursday, April 29, 2010

Life and Gratitude and Motherhood~Inspired Quotes from an Inspired Lady

One of the people I have always wished I could meet was Marjorie Hinkley. I've read a book about her and her life was filled with love and compassion, gratitude and charity. She was a remarkable woman and there was a quote that she said once that has stuck with me for years. (More on that one in a minute)

I recieved an email from a friend and she had sent me this.

Photo by Scot Facer Proctor

I don't want to drive up to the pearly gates in a shiny sports car, wearing beautifully, tailored clothes, my hair expertly coiffed, and with long, perfectly manicured fingernails.

I want to drive up in a station wagon that has mud on the wheels from taking kids to scout camp.

I want to be there with grass stains on my shoes from mowing my Sister Schenk's lawn.

I want to be there with a smudge of peanut butter on my shirt from making sandwiches for a sick neighbor's children.

I want to be there with a little dirt under my fingernails from helping to weed someone's garden.

I want to be there with the children's sticky kisses on my cheeks and the tears of a friend on my shoulder.

I want the Lord to know I was really here and that I really lived.

Marjorie Pay Hinckley

I love that. I know that I am sometimes selfish and I don't want to share my time or my energy.....and then I think of the small quiet ways that I can support and help others. I only hope when I'm 90, I can look back at my life and feel that I really loved and really lived.

Okay, here is the other quote that really stuck with me. It is from Glimpses into the Life and Heart of Marjorie Pay Hinckley by Virginia H. Pearce (If you are every interested in reading more about this wonderful woman.)

"A grateful heart will give you a touch of refinement that can come in no other way.
I went to high school during the days of the famous Depression. It was a miserable experience. But, in a way, I wish you could have been there with us. Somehow it helped me to appreciate much more the prosperity we now enjoy. I know some of you think you are on a tight budget, and you are. I am glad if you are. But it is a tight budget because you have nothing else to compare with it. It isn't your fault that you have had three square meals a day, most every day of your life. It isn't your fault that somehow or other you have always been able to get a new pair of shoes, whether you needed them or not. It isn't your fault that you have at least five or six changes of clothing in your crowded closets. But all of this makes it doubly hard for you to be truly grateful.
Has the fear of not being able to get an education ever struck terror into your heart? Probably not, for you knew that somehow or other you would get here and that somehow or other you will stay as long as you so desire, for this is America, where only your own indolence can keep you from the good things in life.
And when you finally develop a little gratitude in your heart, make up your mind to express it. 'Appreciation unexpressed is not appreciation.' If you can't find someone to say thank you to for something, just take a look at your toothbrush and say, 'Thank you for being. You are a wonderful little gadget.'
'Thank you' is a wonderful phrase. Use it. It will add stature to your soul. Never let a day go by without saying thank you to someone for something - and especially to your Heavenly Father."

And my other favorite excerpt from the book......
"As I watched some of the young mothers come into this meeting with young children, restless from meetings that have preceded this one, I think I felt something of your frustration and challenge to be the perfect mother. Relax. There is no such thing as the perfect mother who fits all the eulogies. We just do the best we can with the help of the Lord, and who knows, these children who are struggling to be free may someday rise up and call us blessed.
The trick is to enjoy it. Don't wish away your days of caring for young children. This is your great day. Sometimes we get so caught up in the physical work and trivia that we forget the big picture. We forget whose children they really are. When the house is filled with children, noise and teasing and laughter, you get the feeling this is forever. Before you know it they will be gone. When our second son went away to school at the age of seventeen, I said, 'But Clark, I am not through with you. I feel there is so much I will need to teach you.'
'Too late, Mother, too late.'
Our children grow so quickly out of our reach. The rewards of mothering are not immediate. There are times when you are less than appreciated. I took from the oven one day what I thought was a beautiful casserole, only to have my six-year-old son say, 'Mom, how come you baked the garbage?'
There there is the unexpected hug, when you least deserve it. And while you are enjoying these days of mothering, be sure your demands on your children for perfection are not so heavy that they cannot be children.
Don't be like the mother I know who said to her ten-year-old daughter, who was the oldest of five children and from whom the mother needed a little help and cooperation, 'Sometimes you act just like a child.'
'But Mother, I am,' she wisely replied.
A busy parent writes: 'One morning I was hurrying my three-year-old's dressing procedure because I had only minutes to spare. In the middle of the commotion and worry, my little girl cleverly enjoyed a little joke of her own about something unrelated to the job at hand. I ignored her fun and indicated my disapproval . . . Her sweet, thought-provoking response: 'Mommy, don't we even have time to laugh?'
We all feel the pressures and stress of the sophisticated, fast-paced, complicated, competitive world in which we find ourselves. Not only do we feel it as adults, but the children feel it too. Because of TV, the press, and videos, our children are exposed to adult life very, very early. This makes it doubly important that mothers and fathers consciously strive to make it possible for children to be children before they become adults."


  1. Random fact of the day: My oldest son was born the day Sister Hinkley died. He was 10 days overdue and I was MISERABLE and even after I arrived at the hospital it was another 15 hours before he was FINALLY born. But about 2 hours before that blessed moment we had turned on the TV to try and find some distraction and the news was just coming on announcing that Sister Hinckley had died. (when you live in Utah that's headline news!)

    So from that day on we have told my son that he was just waiting to give her a hug before he came down to earth, which is why it took him so long to get here.

    Oh, and the day was April 6 so it's extra special in all sorts of ways.

  2. Actually, Sister Hinckley DID NOT say or write the pearly gates quote. A woman named NADINE HOBBY said this right before she passed away from cancer. She was quoted anonymously in LDS author Jack Christianson's book "What's So Bad About Being Good?" because she didn't want her name used. However, Bro Christianson gave me permission to use her name now and let her voice be heard. I have done research on this for a while to find the source since I used the quote in a talk in 1997. Pass it on and correct the error!


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