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LDS Church News

Motherhood makes us the best we can be

By Kara McMurray

LDS Church News

Published: Saturday, June 7 2014 12:05 a.m. MDT

GLENDORA, CALIF.

Being a mother “makes us the best we can be,” said Janna Davis O’Bryant, who was named the Mother of the Year for California by American Mothers, Inc.

“It puts us in a position where we have to rise to the occasion,” said Sister O’Bryant, a member of the Glendora 2nd Ward, Glendora California Stake.

Sister O’Bryant put a strong emphasis on Christ and love in her home, where she raised six children — three boys and three girls.

“If we had problems, we always knelt down and prayed about it because we wanted the Spirit to be there,” she said.

The gospel and the desire to have a Christlike home drove her parenting.

“Everything we learn about Christ, we try to emulate,” she said. “We just try to live Christlike lives and are trying to help our children live Christlike lives.”

Sister O’Bryant said she always tries to love her children the way Christ loves, and that includes being firm.

“I was a parent, but I was also their friend. They knew I wouldn’t compromise my own values as a mom,” she said. “Christ didn’t compromise. He loved them through it.”

Janna Davis met her future husband, Daniel O’Bryant, when they were called to serve together as co-chairmen of the youth committee in their stake. Not long afterward, he was called on a mission to Denmark.

They were married in the Los Angeles California Temple on Oct. 13, 1978; their first child was born a year later.

“It was like overnight, I completely fell in love with being a mom,” Sister O’Bryant said. “I could never get enough of it.”

For the first five years of their marriage, Sister O’Bryant worked as an on-call nurse to put her husband through school. After they had their third child, she was able to be a stay-at-home mom.

“While they are stay-at-home children, be a stay-at-home mom. Make those children a priority” was Sister O’Bryant’s philosophy. “If your circumstances allow, while they are full-time children, be a full-time mom.”

Sister O’Bryant lives with her husband in Glendora, California, and her six children are spread out in Arizona, Nevada, Utah, Connecticut and Texas. Her youngest son is serving a mission in Idaho. Even though her children are all far away, she said they all know they can rely on her to be there for them.

“Mothering and being a grandmother is truly a priority in my life,” Sister O’Bryant said. “And they know it.”

kmcmurray@deseretnews.com