With eight young children — including two sets of twins — plus one on the way, Kat Miller Reynolds said her family tends to “stand out” wherever they go.
Sister Reynolds of the Platte River Ward in the Golden Colorado Stake was named the 2014 Young Mother of the Year in Colorado. As she and her husband raise their large family, they strive to help each of their children to gain faith in Christ and to learn the value of hard work.
“If they have those two things, I think they’re going to be OK. At the core of all our beliefs and decisions on how to live and raise our children is our faith,” said Sister Reynolds. “We believe Christ’s life was devoted to teaching and serving with a pure and unconditional love. We hope that if our children have a firm faith in Christ and come to see Him as the perfect example of how to live they will want to be good, honest and helpful to those in need.”
Of work, Sister Reynolds said she hopes to teach her children that “you need to learn to love work.” One way she and her husband, Reese, do this is by encouraging their children to choose something they enjoy doing and develop that talent.
“They need to strengthen their talents and abilities to help them function in an ever-changing and challenging world,” said Sister Reynolds. “Hard work and selfless service give us a sense of accomplishment, value, compassion and self-worth. We also have a greater ability to feel gratitude for the efforts of others when we understand the value of work.”
With faith and work at the center of her parenting philosophy, Sister Reynolds said, “The gospel gives us directions [in life]. It gives us something to work toward and develops every aspect of your life.”
For example, Sister Reynolds said, the gospel teaches children and families practical things. When her children read scriptures, they are developing their ability to read. When they go to Church, they are learning how to be reverent and respectful, which, Sister Reynolds said, prepares them not just for Church, but for other aspects of life, including work and school.
“Religion is everything,” said Sister Reynolds. “It develops your character and certain traits you need for your life.”
Sister Reynolds also wants her children to be able to see the value of raising a family.
“It takes some sacrifice on your part to raise good children. It’s worth something, putting your focus on them. [Being a mom] is a dream come true. I’m doing the most important thing I can do right now. I am doing missionary work by raising kids.”