Sharon Welker is a mom, wife, daughter, sister, caregiver, friend and grandma. She has six children and three grandchildren. Sharon has been active in her church and held many positions. She served a two year inner-city mission helping less fortunate and a three year mission giving tours of the LDS Conference center as well as an LDS Temple ordinance worker. She ran a women owned business that supported the INF treaty from 1990-1993. She volunteers at walk MS and bike MS and has participated in the walks in Utah and Arizona. She supported her husband during his military service that took him away for extended periods of time and during war. She currently spends most of her time caring for her ninety year old mother, her disabled veteran husband and her son who has severe, primary progressive multiple sclerosis. She enjoys being with her family, reading and running.
PHILOSOPHY OF PARENTING
My philosophy of parenting is love is number one. Teach with love, listen with love, discipline with love. Tell your children that you love them.
Live the golden rule—teach children to treat others as they would like to be treated. Also speak to others as they would like to be spoken to.
Teach work. Spend time working with children, and make work fun. Children should have daily chores so they can learn responsibility and respect.
It is in the home that children learn honor, virtue, self-control, honesty, work, importance of education and the privilege of life.
Children learn through gentle direction and persuasive teaching. They should help create some family rules. Children should be praised or rewarded in some way when rules are obeyed. When rules are broken, they should know what the consequences will be. Children are more willing to accept discipline when they know they are loved.
IMPACT OF MOTHERHOOD
I have been a mother more than twice as long as not being one. It is who I am, how I think, how I act. Motherhood changed just about everything about my life.
I went from being a college student learning from professors to learning from my children. Learning patience, unselfishness, wisdom, and how to experience love unconditionally. I became a nurse, chauffeur, counselor, teacher, and chef just to name a few.
I realized that work is never done and often unappreciated but also satisfying.
I learned to pray more, sacrifice, give service, love and laugh.
Motherhood has been a great adventure. It has been challenging, fun and rewarding. It is often filled with joy but also sorrow requiring everything I have-physically, spiritually and emotionally.
As a mother, I feel I have a duty to teach greater kindness, empathy, sympathy, compassion, gentleness and love.
One of my most recent, wonderful experiences was being with my daughter when she gave birth to her daughter. Watching her become a mother and being so in love with her child brought back so many tender memories of when each of my children were born and now she will be continuing the circle of love.
From 1990-1993 I ran a business that had a contract with the US government to supply Russian language support for the INF treaty. The INF Treaty was an agreement between the United States and the USSR. It was signed by President Ronald Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev. The treaty eliminated all intermediate range nuclear capable missiles, as well as their launchers. My husband was one of the Russian linguists so were able to work together to fulfill the contract.
We have always tried to teach our children to be tolerant and understanding of others. Even though the Soviets were considered our “enemies” at the time, we had some things in common with them. They loved their children and families. We had the opportunity to spend time with them participating in varies community activities. One of their favorite activities was having picnics up the canyons. Our children were able to join us for some of these activities and interact with the inspectors from the Soviet Union. The inspectors missed their children and they were thrilled to be able to interact with children here.
Over the years I have had several people tell me when they came to the US from other countries my children were the first to befriend them and make them feel welcome.
I have had the opportunity of serving two missions for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saint. My first mission was a two-year inner-city mission which I served with my husband. As service missionaries we had the privilege of caring for the poor and needy. My mission was not easy but it was a great learning experience. I learned that you can’t judge a book by its cover. I learned to love people that I would never have met otherwise. I learned to love as the Savior loves. I learned that even though we know and understand the positive choices for these families to make, we could not make them choose to go that way. They had to make decisions for themselves. When they chose to make a poor decision, we had to continue encouraging them and guiding them.
We helped individuals overcome personal challenges, improve their lives and get back on their feet financially. We counseled families on how to budget, helped them find better employment, arranged dental and medical services. We introduced them to community programs and benefits.
My second mission was for three year at the LDS Conference Center. We were admonished to avoid proselytizing in the Conference Center. Instead we were there to educate our guests about the building, all of the beautiful artwork and the community. We wanted the world to know that we are a friendly, patient, spiritual and tolerant people.