GCBC Week 17: “Love Her Mother” by Sister Elaine S. Dalton

When I heard this talk in general conference, tears quietly rolled down my cheeks.  My poor husband probably thought he was failing miserably at her message; he wasn’t, but I just felt so touched that she was addressing this important subject in conference.  I felt so grateful for my good husband, for my good father, and for my sweet daughter.  I hoped my boys will someday grow into the kind of fathers that are found in their family’s legacy.  I loved Sister Dalton’s charge to fathers that loving their wives and being the guardians of their daughter’s virtue can bless young women in very important ways.  It’s so true.  There is nary an example of this kind of father in the modern media of today, and oh, how the girls need to see it in their own homes.

Love Her Mother by Sister Elaine S. Dalton

[http://youtu.be/tuyGiF7URpE]

“How can a father raise a happy, well-adjusted daughter in today’s increasingly toxic world? The answer has been taught by the Lord’s prophets. It is a simple answer, and it is true—“The most important thing a father can do for his [daughter] is to love [her] mother.”1 By the way you love her mother, you will teach your daughter about tenderness, loyalty, respect, compassion, and devotion. She will learn from your example what to expect from young men and what qualities to seek in a future spouse. You can show your daughter by the way you love and honor your wife that she should never settle for less. Your example will teach your daughter to value womanhood. You are showing her that she is a daughter of our Heavenly Father, who loves her.”

Friends, this would be a great week to invite your husbands to join you in GCBC study.  What stood out to you as you studied this talk? Feel free to sing the praises of your own husband or father, and please express your love and appreciation to them.  If you are a single mother or do not currently have a husband that can carry out this role, what positive message can you still take away and learn from Sister Dalton’s talk?  Share your thoughts in the comments below.

To anyone who is checking out GCBC for the first time, the goal is to read one General Conference talk a week and discuss it together as an on-line “book club.” If you want to learn more, go here, and join the discussion here each week.

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16 thoughts on “GCBC Week 17: “Love Her Mother” by Sister Elaine S. Dalton

  1. I loved this talk.

    I loved how personal it was. She mentions her three sons that had baby girls and addresses her advice to them — and by extension to all fathers.

    I am grateful for a husband that loves me and shows that love in front of our daughters. I am grateful for a father that loved my mother. I learned very quickly that my normally patient dad did not put up with any criticism to or about my mother.

    I agree with her advice to fathers – especially the advice that if she doesn’t come home from a date on time, to go and get her. I hope my husband will do that. I believe he will.

    My daughters are young, but my husband spends time with them. It brings me joy to see them together. He takes our 3 1/2 year old to the home depot workshop each month, he lets them help him when he is working. Sometimes I am surprised at what he lets them help with (like my 3 year old running a drill press! with lots of help and guidance, of course), but I can see their confidence grow as they help him.

  2. I believe that this talk is right up there with President Benson’s “Beware of Pride” Talk. And it is my humble, rank-and-file opinion that it transcends ANY talk ANY woman has ever addressed to the body of the Church, let alone the priesthood holding members of it. My husband and I have listened to this talk many times since Sis. Dalton gave it and while her delivery is so incredibly humble and loving, it is powerful and piercing, cutting where it may. Sis. Dalton has clenched her place on the top of my “Who I Want to Be Like When I Grow Up” List. And my husband says Sis. Dalton is his favorite General Authority :)

  3. The thoughts I had as I read this were…
    How can I support and help my husband to accomplish these things?
    How can I emulate these things to build my daughter & son?
    I can replace the word “father” with “mother” and the word “daughter” with “son” and can apply this talk to my relationship with my boys.

  4. As a single mother, reading this talk makes me worry about my daughter. Her father is still a part of her life, but clearly not the kind of man or father that I thought he would be. I hope that the influence of her grandfather, uncles and priesthood leaders in our ward (three cheers for faithful/loving home teachers!) will help her to learn the principles Sis. Dalton spoke of in this talk. I hope the Savior will help to fill in the gaps for me–and more so for her.

  5. I loved this talk. Thought it applied equally well to women and what I can do to improve my marriage and life.

    Honestly, my husband is wonderful – not perfect, but so wonderful to me. I’m grateful that he loves our sons and daughters and works hard at being a good dad.

  6. I really loved this talk. It was hard not to highlight the entire talk. I too worry about my oldest as I am divorced from her father. She still has contact with him but he is no longer a member of the Church. She has a great step-father, grandfathers and uncles and of course our Heavenly Father to help her see what a priesthood holder/father should be.

    I also like the idea of replacing father with mother and daughter with son!

  7. This was my favorite talk from conference. After five sons, I know my husband has struggled with being a “father of a daughter,” yet he’s doing great. We also had a brand new “father of a daughter” in our family when this was given, and learned shortly after conference that there’s another granddaughter on the way. So, this was a very timely talk. Sister Dalton is one of our favorite “general authorities” also! More thoughts here.

  8. This was a hard one to think and write about. The family is under attack from every possible direction. The roles and dignity of men and women is being destroyed. Men are made out to be overbearing buffoons, while women are encouraged to be course and ‘assertive.’ If we could understand the true nature of both men and women contribute to the raising of well-adjusted children, we would leave off our poor behavior and listen to the words of General Authorities.

    I have lovely granddaughters and understand what sort of world this is. Neither of my boys is married, making it obvious that these five beautiful girls belong to my daughters. I can’t exactly instruct my sons-in-law, but I do pray that they paid attention during conference and read the talk later.

    Luckily, my sons saw their father treating me like a queen. He pitches in, when help is needed, opens my doors, provides very well, and tries to be always positive. I agree that switching the words to mothers and sons is applicable. Spouses ought to be loyal to one another and use this loyalty to demonstrate just what a healthy marriage is supposed to be.

  9. Thanks for the idea from the comments to read this talk with my husband. He loved it and especially liked the idea of going after them if they are not home on time from dates.=) Our girls are very young, but we both got great counsel from Sister Dalton on being involved in their lives – especially the important things – their testimony, their friends, how they are doing keeping the commandments. Our kids have so much to teach us and inspire us with too.

  10. I asked my husband to read the talk. He doesn’t even want to read it. Enough said. How can I teach my daughter and son the words of this talk when my husband is not a good example of them? I as a woman am trying my best but I cant be a father or an example of the father they need. I cant do that. I am not a man. I cannot fill that gap. I am so worried my daughter will fall into the same mistake I made. Marry a man like my husband, as I married a man like my father. My father treats my mother with no respect, and my husband treats me the same. I am deeply concerned that my son will marry and treat his wife they way mine treats me. And the cycle will go on. I am so sad, deeply sad. I have talked with my children, that they are to be kings and queens and that when they marry to treat their spouses as such and my son said, “Why mom, dad doesn’t treat you like a queen”.

    • I’m sorry that things have not turned out like you hoped. My only thought is to do what is counterintuitive— increase the love and service toward your husband, not because he deserves it but because it reflects the kind of marriage you want to have. I don’t think a person can remain unchanged over time when he is a recipient of that kind of love. This article happened to be featured today on mormon.org, so I thought I’d pass it along. Thanks for your comment.

      http://www.lds.org/general-conference/2006/04/nurturing-marriage?lang=eng&query=love%20marriage

      • If her husband is merely neglectful, or not really fulfilling his role as a church-goer and father, than increasing the service and deference to him is great idea, and doctrinal. Be careful though, with blanket advice since we never know when abuse or controlling situations lurk behind closed doors. Each husband-wife dynamic is unique, and some wives are putting themselves in a dangerous situation when they are too docile if the husband sees that behavior as permission or invitation to abuse or control more. Against the Lord’s original intention, abusive and controlling men can confuse ‘service’ with ‘servitude’. And some women who have been controlled and abused tend to offer service in ways that lean more toward servitude than service, since they are have been subconsciously trained as to what calms their spouse. If anyone who is reading this is in a situation where her emotional and/or physical safety is at risk, and have been advised by clergy or professionals to distance yourself from bullying or controlling patterns–please evaluate each service situation to determine for yourself if it will help or hurt the situation.

        (A good summary of what I’m referring to is found exemplified by the 2nd type of marriage in this article: http://drkellyflanagan.com/2012/03/02/marriage-is-for-losers/ )

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