a mother hen: Principle of Gathering

[I know, I know… I’m just getting longer and longer these days in my babbling posts. But I share because this is my space to note important things to me… and this is … well… important in my life. I suppose this is the beauty of blogs… uninterested persons can just ignore me and my babbling.]

In the Summer 2010 I went to an AFG Counselor Retreat Reunion. The theme: Gather Joy. This week my thoughts have been centered on the principles shared there on Gathering. When I was searching for my daily purpose with lots of little ones at home all day, I realized that part of the good I do as a mother is to be here in the home with my children, even if I don’t feel like I’m accomplishing a lot of chores or errands or tasks. Being here and gathering my children around me is of utmost importance. I realized it’s part of my purpose here on earth to help my family feel the Love of God. I can best do this by gathering them to my heart to feel love, learn truth, feel the Spirit. So when I’ve been flustered or overwhelmed this week, I’ve tried to keep these thoughts of GATHERING close to the surface.

[It started the other day when I knew I woke with a bad attitude. I was tired and didn’t feel very well. I told Jimmy I needed to change my attitude if I were to be a nice mother. One thing he reminded me of, that we’ve talked about lately, is that if we can have the Spirit with us, we will be filled with love and patience and wisdom as parents. We also have talked about how sometimes it’s hard to take time to do the things that bring the Spirit into our life. I don’t have oodles of time during the busy days to ponder quietly and such. But I decided I could keep thoughts in my mind and heart that would remind me to have the Spirit. Anyhoo… that’s where this started. So that day I thought of the principle of GATHERING.]

Thoughts shared at our retreat and I wanted to note them here:

“The doctrine of gathering is eternal in nature and broad in scope. We shouted for joy while gathered in the Grand Council in the premortal life (see Job 38:7). Our prophets have wisely taught us to gather to the stakes of Zion in our homelands “for a defense, and for a refuge from the storm, and from wrath when it shall be poured out without mixture upon the whole earth” (D&C 115:6). We gather in general and stake conferences to receive counsel from our prophets and leaders. We gather each Sunday to be taught, to testify, and to renew sacred covenants. We gather for auxiliary and leadership meetings to get organized and to enjoy the company of other Saints. We gather in holy temples to redeem the dead and remind ourselves of holy commitments.

“But the home is the vital gathering spot. We find refuge in our homes as we gather each Monday night in uplifting family home evenings. There is safe haven as we gather daily in family scripture study and family prayer. We gather for bonding conversation at meals. Each day we find a few moments of peace and calm in a troubled world as we gather up our scriptures and immerse ourselves in them. Our feet are shod with the gospel at each gathering. Each gathering is a defense and a refuge from the world. Indeed, each gathering strengthens, purifies, and prepares us.”

Spencer V. Jones, “Messages from the Doctrine and Covenants: Finding Hope in the Second Coming,” Ensign, Jun 2005, 58–60

Doctrine of Gathering in the Scriptures:
D&C 33:6 “Even so will I gather mine elect …, even as many as will believe in me, and hearken unto my voice.”

Moroni 50 tells about how Moroni gathered his people together and built strongholds to protect them from the Lamanites. I love this analogy when thinking of gathering our family in our home … to protect and strengthen.
:1 heaps of earth round about all the cities
:2 upon the top of these ridges of earth … timbers built up to the height of a man.
:3 upon those works of timbers there should be a frame of pickets…; and they were strong and high.
:4 towers to be erected that overlooked … pickets, and places of security … built upon those towers.
:6 Moroni did prepare strongholds against the coming of their enemies, round about every city in all the land.
:12 “Moroni, with his armies, … did increase daily [in strength] because of the assurance of protection which his works did bring forth unto them.”

3 Nephi 10:5
“How oft would I have gathered you as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings.”
Christ speaks to the people in America after hours of destruction and darkness. There was no glimmer of light… and Christ talks about gathering. He compares himself to a mother. Christ is always ready to gather … to protect and comfort under His wings… as a mother hen gathers her chicks.

{Every day
Gather our Children…
help them feel the LOVE OF GOD, love… comfort… safety… healing
ask them for forgiveness…
love them…
teach gospel principles…
invite the Spirit…
conversations…
don’t let a day go by that you don’t bear your testimony in some way to your kids…
power in testimony!!…}

Lastly… I saw this quote on Pinterest today and decided it has to be my new answer when grocery store clerks say I’ve got my hands full. It’s perfect…. and it reminds me how blessed I am to have little ones to gather. I need to remember that on days when I’m physically weary from all the wiggly snuggles from tots.

4 replies
  1. Julie P
    Julie P says:

    Heather, I just love this (and you) so much. I have been thinking a lot about canceling our tv, limiting after school things, etc., etc., all so we can be together as a family more. And the other day I thought “and if it feels hard to gather my children and have everyone feel love NOW, just wait 5 or 10 years!!” But that’s why I think it’s so important to start this early…so that this is how it is always done. You’re such an inspiration – and the love shining out of you in those pictures with your kiddos above? Speaks volumes.

  2. Shauna
    Shauna says:

    LOVE THIS! We are gathering this weekend to attempt to create a family mission statement and possibly our family rules. I love these thoughts to ponder as we prepare for this special “gathering”… you are so inspiring. And, I LOVE your hair! So cute.

  3. Carrie
    Carrie says:

    Heather – You are so inspiring and inspired. Thank you for allowing me to be a part of your thoughts. They are fantastic. Your little chicks are so lucky to have you!

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. […] Yesterday I taught the TFOT Lesson in R.S. I combined last month’s “Stand Strong in Holy Places” by Robert D. Hales & “Obedience to law is liberty” by L. Tom Perry. It contained great lessons for me personally. Saturday night I came across an additional resource … a 2008 Women’s Conference talk by Julie Beck. It was the perfect inspiration to get me excited about working on our weaknesses as a family & personally. Her comparison in Alma 48 was worded so well describing how to fortify our families. I also loved the resources I found from our AFG Retreat a few years ago about Gathering. […]

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