The Hand That Rocks the Cradle
Is the Hand That Rules the World

William Ross Wallace

Blessings on the hand of women!
Angels guard its strength and grace,
In the palace, cottage, hovel,
Oh, no matter where the place;
Would that never storms assailed it,
Rainbows ever gently curled;
For the hand that rocks the cradle
Is the hand that rules the world.

Infancy's the tender fountain,
Power may with beauty flow,
Mother's first to guide the streamlets,
From them souls unresting grow—
Grow on for the good or evil,
Sunshine streamed or evil hurled;
For the hand that rocks the cradle
Is the hand that rules the world.

Woman, how divine your mission
Here upon our natal sod!
Keep, oh, keep the young heart open
Always to the breath of God!
All true trophies of the ages
Are from mother-love impearled;
For the hand that rocks the cradle
Is the hand that rules the world.

Blessings on the hand of women!
Fathers, sons, and daughters cry,
And the sacred song is mingled
With the worship in the sky—
Mingles where no tempest darkens,
Rainbows evermore are hurled;
For the hand that rocks the cradle
Is the hand that rules the world.

Spencer W. Kimball (1895-1985) - President

There has never been a time in the world when the role of woman has been more confused. There has never been a time in the Church when women are able to do more to show what their true role in the world can and ought to be. The impact and influence of women and mothers on our world is most important. The thought that "the hand that rocks the cradle rules the world" is more viable today than ever before.  (Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Spencer W. Kimball [2006], p.214-25)

David O. McKay (1873-1970)  President

"For the hand that rocks the cradle, Is the hand that rules the world."

I believe in the potency of woman's influence. I believe with Tennyson that it is "the woman who makes us most." ...

Of the responsibility of women in wielding their influence, Ruskin writes:     

There is not a war in the world, no, nor an injustice, but you women are answerable for it; not in that you have provoked, but in that you have not hindered.  

Do you remember reading in "Marmion" how the young woman who accompanied him in his wars, dressed as a page, buckled on his armor? Commenting on that custom, Ruskin says:     

The buckling on of the knight's armor by his lady's hand was not a mere caprice of romantic fashion. It is the type of an eternal truth that the soul's armor is never well set to the heart unless a woman's hand has braced it, and it is only when she braces it loosely, that the honor of manhood fails.  

At the turn of the century, in 1901, there was distributed throughout the Church, with the approval of the general presidency and general board of the Relief Society, a book entitled Woman, one paragraph of which is so applicable and true today that I quote it:     

As for woman, wherever she goes and whatever her mission-for travel or for service-her native instincts draw her homewards.     

She may have unusual power and be distinguished for versatility; she may have artistic ability and attain distinction on the stage or in the studio; she may make bargains behind the counter or "be mighty in ledger and great upon Change"; she may serve as shop-girl, toil as fieldhand or in factory, be a typist, ticket agent; . . . she may skillfully wield the pen and prove a very magician in journalism and in the nobler literatures; she may possess great persuasive power in the pulpit or on the platform; she may display diplomatic ability in the lobby or cabinet; she may fill the professor's chair or preside over college or university; she may, like Joan of Arc, be the heroine of many a battlefield, or, like Victoria, reign with "all the royal makings of a queen"-but wherever a woman is, or whatever a woman does, she is at her best, her divinest best, at home! There is the center of her power. Amiel says, "Woman is the salvation or destruction of the family. She carries its destiny in the folds of her mantle."

It is wonderful what a responsibility each wife and mother carries. A successful wife and mother is responsible, First, for the physical welfare of her children. Second, she must have the qualities of a teacher. She should be, indeed is expected to be, not only a disciplinarian but one who wisely guides her children in their quest for truth and knowledge. In this she becomes a confidant-she warns-she protects. Third, she must be a business woman. Fourth, upon her, even more than upon the father, depends the child's guidance in spirituality.  (Teaching of President David O. McKay, comp. Clare Middlemiss [2004], pp. 267-8)