Motivation from Marjorie Pay Hinckley
One of my favorite motivational speakers was Marjorie Pay Hinckley. She was a tiny woman with a huge love of learning and life. She was a homemaker, civic leader and very supportive of her husband, President Gordon B. Hinckley.
Marjorie was very active doing genealogy and family history. She traveled around the world, speaking at conferences, seminars, and dedicatory services of more than twenty LDS temples. She was mother to five children, and was known for her quick wit and warmth, which endeared her to many.
She shared her life experiences giving gentle encouragement and advice to others to help them get through the problems of each day. Here are a few of her sayings, recipes, thoughts, poems, quotes, and favorite scriptures.
Who knows but that something wonderful may happen today. Have faith that it will. After all, every morning is a chance at a new day!
Marjorie enjoyed baking home made bread. A friend found an antique bread mixer for her with a hook attached to a handle. There was a clamp that secured it to the table and it could be operated by her children, who took turns cranking it rather than kneading the bread. They worked together to make yummy loaves of bread. She felt that the smell of bread baking slowed down the world and could feed your soul.
Her recipe for Wheat Bread
3 ½ cups warm water
1 1//2 cups dry powdered milk
1 cup oil
4 eggs, beaten
¾ cup honey
2 tablespoons salt
1 or 2 cups white flour
Approximately 10 cups of whole wheat flour
Firstly, dissolve two packages of dry yeast in ½ cups water with ½ tablespoon honey or sugar. Mix the remainder of the ingredients one at a time with the dissolved yeast mixture in a bread machine. After it is kneaded, let it rise until double. Divide into six small loves. Knead and shape. Let it rise in greased pans. Preheat over to 400 degrees F. Reduce to 300 degrees F and bake for one hour.
‘Til it sticks to you.
Beginners are many,
Finishers are few.
The trick is to enjoy life. Don’t wish away your days, waiting for better ones ahead.
Thee lift me and I’ll lift thee
And we’ll both ascend together
- John Greenleaf Whittier
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 – especially to your Heavenly Father .
Life, believe, is not a dream
So dark, as sages say;
Oft a little morning rain
Foretells a pleasant day.
- Charlotte Bronte, Life, 1846 st. 1
Marjorie felt that making soup was especially satisfying on a cold, wintry day. Here is her recipe for Clam Chowder
Combine the following ingredients and heat in a heavy saucepan:
½ to 1 cup bacon, fried and crumbled
2 large potatoes, peeled boiled and diced
1 can cream of celery soup
1 can (6.5 oz) clams, undrained
1 can (14.75 oz) corn, drained
1 heaping tablespoon butter
The key to enjoying cooking is embracing simplicity. Simplicity in food is honesty, warmth, pleasure, modesty, even fairness. Simplicity in cooking is ease and grace…Simplicity...is not a compromise but a treasure. - Mark Bittman from The Minimalist Cooks at Home
Life is full of challenges. Many of them involve balance and temperance. Complete abstention may be much easier than moderation. It’s easier for me to completely abstain from smoking than to try to balance my day – a little for this, a little for that, a little for him, a little for her.
Here is some useful advice she gave to young mothers:
I know it is hard for you young mothers to believe that almost before you can turn around the children will be gone and you will be alone with your husband. You had better be sure you are developing the kind of love and friendship that will be delightful and enduring. Let the children learn from your attitude that he is important. Encourage him. Be kind. It is a rough world, and he, like everyone else, is fighting to survive. Be cheerful. Don’t be a whiner.
When the voices of children are heard on the green
And laughing is heard on the hill,
My heart is at rest within my breast
And everything else is still.
- William Blake, Nurse’s Song
It’s a valuable exercise to close your eyes every once in a while and think, what is the most wonderful moment I have lived through during the past year? It might be part of a grand event or a very simple moment, perhaps a brief interaction with another person. The grand or the simple, it doesn’t matter. Just the remembering will lift your spirits, and warm feelings will fill your soul.
I had to laugh at this one she shared:
I decided that if I lived to be eighty-five, I would stop counting calories and eat anything I wanted to eat. And I do! I would make my mother’s lemon pie, but I have quit cooking too!
At least she shared the recipe:
Lemon Pie Filling
3 tablespoons flour
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1 cup sugar
Pinch of salt
1 ½ cups boiling water
2 eggs yolks, beaten
Juice and grated rind of 1 lemon
Mix flour, cornstarch, sugar and salt. Add water: Boil 10 minutes, stirring constantly. Stir in egg yolks, heat thoroughly. Add lemon juice and rind; Remove from heat, cool, and pour into baked crust. Top with meringue if desired.
Fifty was my favorite age. It takes about that long to learn to quit competing – to be yourself and settle down to living. It is the age I would like to be through all eternity!
When you are in your nineties you find that many of your dear friends have gone on. But even with these separations, my love for them remains intact and I look forward to renewing those close relationships. How grateful I am for the gospel and for the assurance that even friendships are eternal.
The thing about growing old is that when you wake up with a new pain, you can just about count on it becoming a permanent part of your life!
Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.
-Ralph Waldo Emerson from Essays: First Series, Circles (1841)
I have two choices. I can choose to be happy or I can choose to be sad. I choose to be happy.
Each day brings its own challenges, but life would be a total waste without knowing what it is all about and where we can get help.
She says that she enjoyed the smell of dinner baking in the oven.
1 ½ cups tomato juice
½ cup uncooked rice
2 tablespoons chopped onion
½ pound extra lean ground beef, uncooked
½ cup grated cheese (or to taste)
Salt and Pepper to taste
4 green or red peppers
Place tomato juice, rice, and onion in a pan over low heat. Cover and simmer until juice is absorbed (about 20 minutes). Combine rice mixture with ground beef, cheese, salt, and pepper and fill green peppers (slice off tops and seed). Place in casserole or pan with lid and bake at 300 degrees for one hour.
Be kind. Everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.
No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.
- Aesop, The Lion and the Mouse
It’s nice to be smart, but it doesn’t mean much unless you work hard. Working hard is even better than being smart!
Being a mother at any age is a blessing, but as we age and our children become interesting and productive adults we really begin to savor the joys of the harvest, the fruit of our labors. How could we have known when they were young, and the demands so constant, that we would ever have the luxury of simply enjoying their loving companionship?
Keep the faith. It pays such great dividends!
They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength., they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary, and they shall walk, and not faint. – Isaiah 40:31
There are some years in our lives that we would not want to live again. But even these years will pass away, and the lessons learned will be a future blessing.
My mother taught me some basic philosophies of rearing children. One is that you have to trust them. I tried hard never to say “no” if I could possibly say “yes”. I think that worked well because it gave my children the feeling that I trusted them and they were responsible to do the best they could.
The kitchen table is where we mark milestones, divulge dreams, bury hatchets, make deals, give thanks, plan vacations, and tell jokes. It’s also where children learn the lessons that families teach: manners, cooperation, communication, self-control, and values. – Doris Christopher Come to the Table: A Celebration of Family Life
Refrigerator Bran Muffins
2 cups boiling water
6 cups Kellogg’s All-Bran cereal
1 cup shortening
1 ½ cups sugar
1 quart buttermilk
5 cups flour
5 teaspooons baking soda – sift this into flour to remove any lumps
1 teaspoon salt
Pour boiling water over brain in large bowl. Add shortening. Stir until shortening is melted and let cool. Add other ingredients. Stir to mix well. Use immediately or cover and put in refrigerator and bake as desired. Batter will keep in refrigerator up to two weeks. Drop by spoonfuls into well-greased muffin pans. Bake at 400 degrees for about 10 mnutes. Test with a toothpick for doneness.
Travel is wonderful, but if you do very much of it, the places all become a blur. But the people—when you get wherever you’re going and begin to meet the people, you come alive again. People are wonderful. Each one has a story, each something to give, each knows something interesting, something that can make your life richer.
Children rise higher when they are treated with respect. Use courteous and respectful language when you talk with your children and others. Bruno Bettelheim, a world-famous psychologist, said, “You can’t teach children to be good. The best you can do for your child is to live a good life yourself. What a parent knows and believes, the child will lean on.” You don’t teach a child not to yell by yelling. We cannot expect to be respect if we treat others in demeaning ways.
She quoted her husband, President Gordon B. Hinckley:
Man is in reality a child of God. Nothing in the universe is more important than the individual. His spirit was begotten of God; consequently all men are brothers in the literal sense.
I hope you learned as much from Marjorie Pay Hinckley as I did. She was amazing!
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