Sunday, May 10, 2015

Mother's Day

Hannah Toone Puzey with her first two children, my mom Sheila and her little sister Sandra.

After a lovely Mother's day with a talk in church by Sister Anne Tingle that made me remember this talk I had transcribed from my grandmother, I realized I had only typed it up but had never shared it with my family. So here it is as best as I could compile it. It wasn't given on Mother's Day but it certainly fitting. 

Talk given in Champion, Alberta by Hannah Toone Puzey in 1963. 

[Typed on 5x8 inch notecards. Red type included. Some typing errors were corrected in this transcription. Where some parts of the talk referenced text not included on the note cards, I have located external sources that may reflect some of the missing content. This will be in italics]  

Motherhood ….March 25, 1963

There are three words that sweetly blend,
That on the heart are graven
A precious soothing balm they lend
They are Mother, Home and Heaven.
Mother the word itself has a Magical sound …. As I think of Mothers through the years, happy peaceful kindly thoughts arise… Patience, self-sacrifice, denial, courage, tenderness and love.
There was Eve, and Sara, and Rachel and Hannah and Ruth, Esther and Mary and oh so many others.
Yes, through the years, Mothers have guided and inspired and played such significant parts in the lives of their children as fame has been attained by them.  This emulation and praise, they have not sought nor indeed clamored after with an eagerness for acclaim and recognition.

Twas Emerson who said, ‘Men are what their mothers make them.’

You remember Abraham Lincoln’s famous “All that I am or hope to be I owe to my angel Mother.” It was also he who said, “ A woman is the only thing I am afraid of that I know won’t hurt me.”

And one of the early reformers said, “My mother was the source from which I derived the guiding principles of my life.”  [John Wesley]

Thomas Edison issues this tribute, “ My mother was the making of me; she was so true, so sure of me that I felt that I had someone to live for, someone I must not disappoint.”

And I cannot refrain from relating here this experience of a mother’s love and encouragement. (Enrico Caruso)  [ Retrieved from WikipediaCaruso's father, Marcellino, was a mechanic and foundry worker. Initially, Marcellino thought his son should adopt the same trade, and at the age of 11, the boy was apprenticed to a mechanical engineer named Palmieri who constructed public water fountains. … At his mother's insistence, he also attended school for a time, receiving a basic education under the tutelage of a local priest. He learned to write in a handsome script and studied technical draftsmanship. During this period he sang in his church choir, and his voice showed enough promise for him to contemplate a possible career in music.  Caruso was encouraged in his early musical ambitions by his mother, who died in 1888.]

Yes, in the shadow of every great man’s fame walks his mother.  Let us together recall a Mother or two for whom we can be eternally grateful.  First I am thinking of a stalwart strong loyal woman.  One who had great faith in a grandfather’s prediction when he said, “It has been borne in upon my soul that one of my descendants will promulgate a work to revolutionize the world of religious faith.”
This mother struggled through disappointment, sorrows and rigors that most of us can only imagine.  She sacrificed as only a mother can and saw her husband and many of her children pass on before her.  Two of her sons murdered in cold blood.  Yet her faith buoyed her on… she poured out her heart in gratitude to God for her blessings… She acknowledged His hand in the trials she suffered and the persecutions she endured. Her history is a record of a truly great Christian life.  An inspiration and guide and a comfort to all who study her biography.  She experienced great pride and joy in the knowledge and realization that she was the mother of the Prophet of God.  Yet she was called upon to pay the full price for this glorious privilege… poverty, persecution, trials and sorrows of the bitterest kind were to be her lot.  She was Lucy Mack Smith… Mother of the Prophet Joseph

Lucy Mack Smith
And now I have just completed reading the life of a very wonderful man.  His mother was a Scot.  Her life is a record of difficulties and triumphs.  She was a heroine of her day.  No trial, however severe, dampened her zeal, nothing embittered or disturbed her faith.  She endured, without murmur, hardships, hunger and toil.  Her faith in God was wonderful, almost perfect.  She was unusually susceptible to the whisperings of the still small voice.  Listen to her diary… (page 19/20).

 [in lieu of this missing reference, you can read of her experiences here.]

Yes this is Margaret McNeil Ballard, the mother of 11 children.  She died July 21, 1918.  Her life was crowned with sacrifice and service, a truly noble, wonderful woman.  No small wonder that her son Melvin J. was such an inspiring Apostle.

And again, There is a sweet little lady who visited in our home many times when I was a youngster.  She is a granddaughter of President Brigham Young and a Pioneer Canada Baby.  She lived and endured all of the excitements and hardships of pioneer life in a new country.  She recalls often the humble log cabin which was her home in Cardston as a small girl.  She has known the heartaches of war as her husband served his country and her son was killed while serving as a pilot in the RCAF. What happy memories we have of her and her family as we often spent our holidays together in the hills west of Claresholm fishing, a sport my father loved.
She has been a guide and blessing to her husband and family and of her and his mother her husband has said, “ I cannot refrain from speaking of my angel mother who, when I was a little child, had faith in my destiny and all through my life helped me to believe and try to be worthy of it… I would be ungrateful if I did not acknowledge that Zina Card Brown, my beloved wife, is more responsible for my being here today than I.. To these two women, I am profoundly grateful and thank God for their lives and their influence on my life.”

Zina Card Brown

And I think again of another mother who came to this new country as a young bride, who lived the first winter in a tent banked to withstand the cold blizzards, one who faithfully served the Lord in building up His kingdom here.  I well remember her services in the Relief Society in times of births and deaths.  Many times when no doctor could arrive, she attended the Mother and the new born babe and all this on top of her responsibilities of a mother with 6 sons and 3 daughters.  I recall her enthusiastic reports of experiences as she served as Stake Primary President and had many exciting time s with President Brown in the early days of our Stake as she travelled from Burdett to Rosemary to Calgary, Champion and Stavely.  One time with her son Leo, a baby of 3 months, the sleigh upset on way to Pine Coulee with Sister Standford but they filled the assignment.
She entertained many Church Leaders in her home as her husband served as Bishop of the Starline Ward and Champion Branch. Whiskers frozen.  Later on the High Council and as Patriarch.
Through disappointments, privations illness and death, I’ve never heard her complain.  At the death of her husband nearly 26 years ago, it was she who comforted and carried on.

Yes I must strive always 

To make my standards of life noble and fine 
With you for a mother, dear mother of mine… Bessie Toone.

Bessie Toone in her rock garden

President McKay has said,
If you order a white carnation, your mother will be pleased.
If you write her a letter of appreciation and love, she’ll shed tears of happiness.
But if you keep the spotless character and purity of soul she has given you, she will rejoice as the most blessed of mothers.
Yes, a Mother’s heart is always with her children.

President Joseph F. Smith has said, “Every boy thinks or should think that his mother is the best… the noblest woman in the world.  When that mother has in her heart the love of the Gospel and is devoted to the Church, then her example and teachings deeply impress her teachings.”  [note: see back but nothing was written there]
Yes as our President has said,  “True Motherhood is one of the answers to the world’s greatest need. “

I’m thankful for my dear wonderful mother and pray that our Father in Heaven will bless Mothers everywhere.


I'm blessed to be a daughter, grand daughter and great granddaughter of wonderful mothers. To end off, here's a picture of me with all 3 of these women I have to look up to!

Mom, Grandma and Great Grandma (or Sheila Rhodes, Hannah Puzey and Bessie Toone) with me!

1 comment:

Ked Kirkham said...

Thank you, just what I needed this evening!