“Because our mothers love us, we learn, or more accurately remember, that God also loves us.” – President M. Russell Ballard
Motherhood is the highest, holiest, and most exalted calling in mortality! Mothers are co-creators with God in His divine work of peopling this earth for the purpose of being tested and, through the redeeming mercy of Jesus Christ, receiving eternal life in His Kingdom. Women bear a special responsibility as life-givers and nurturers. Motherhood is the essence of womanhood; the fulfillment of a woman’s sacred role. This Mother’s Day, I pay a warm tribute to all mothers, and especially to those who cheerfully embrace their divine calling.
From the beginning, our Father in Heaven has acted through families. We are His literal children and belong to His family. We lived with Him, learned from Him, and embraced Him before we came into mortality. Here on earth, our memories of that time with our Father have been veiled and temporarily hidden from us as part of this mortal testing period. However, the Lord reminds us of our Heavenly home by placing us in families with loving parents.
Mothers play a special role in the process of life. Of course, biologically, only women can have children. But beyond this, and much more importantly, a woman’s unique sensitivities are needed to raise children into peaceable, civil, and worthy adults.
By nature, women are more childlike. They operate more on an emotional level. They tend to care more about suffering. They are often more compassionate than men. They more frequently notice when others need help, when a hug would soften someone’s burden, or when a person simply requires a listening ear. All these traits – empathy, compassion, being able to relate to children – are tailored to motherhood.
God would have been a poor judge of character had He appointed men to do the work of nurturing. Don’t misunderstand, there are plenty of compassionate men who do a wonderful job rearing their little ones and reaching out to lift others. But men are not designed primarily for that role whereas women are. Women simply surpass men in nurturing. Men similarly outstrip women in those things God has appointed to their care. Thus, in His wisdom, our Eternal Father appointed woman to bear, raise, and nurture children.
Our Eternal God has placed such a heavy burden – that of nurturing His precious children – on women because He knows their abilities and trust them to do their work with all their hearts. Elder Jeffrey R. Holland once said:
“[M]ay I say to mothers collectively, in the name of the Lord, you are magnificent. You are doing terrifically well. The very fact that you have been given such a responsibility is everlasting evidence of the trust your Father in Heaven has in you” (Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, “Because She Is a Mother,” General Mother, April, 1997).
In our day of rampant feminism, many women have neglected their divine duties. But the Lord has nevertheless appointed them to be wives, mothers, and homemakers and to play a fundamentally crucial role in His Plan of Happiness. Those who embrace this calling – and there are plenty who faithfully do – bring light and joy into the world. They make the world a little better. Their influence sheds on others and inspired people to better themselves.
Women, the home is where you were designed to shine! It is in the home that you can do the most good for society. It is in the home where you can change society by training your children. It is in your role as a mother that you can do the most good for the world. It is also as mothers that you will find the most fulfillment and happiness and where your soul will be stretched beyond what you can imagine. The happiest people I know are those who have faithfully responded to the divine call of motherhood.
I now wish to pay tribute to four women in particular: My wife, my Mom, Mother Eve, and our Mother in Heaven.
First, I wish to express my love to my wife, Emma. Some months ago, we found out that she’s carrying our first child. We are extremely exited to begin the journey of parenthood and to have a family of our own this summer. I honor my wife for her sacrifice in carrying our child. It’s been fascinating to see the process unfold, watch our little one grow inside her, and know that our Father in Heaven trusts us enough to send one of His special spirit children into our home. I cannot express too profoundly how much I appreciate my wife’s willingness to fulfill her role as a mother. I love you, Emma!
Secondly, I wish to honor my own mother. My Mom is the best person I know. When I think of my Mom, the first descriptor that comes to mind is “selfless.” Always and forever she put me, my siblings, and my Dad above herself. She put our needs before her own. She made us food when she was hungry. She cleaned the house that we had made messy even when she was tired. She held us when we were sad. She cared for us when we were sick. She listened when we needed to reveal the innermost secrets of our heart. She centered everything on her God and her family. For that, I love her, honor her, and pay her the deepest tribute mere words can pay. My Mom is an elect woman, a true Saint, and I love her!
Next, I pay tribute to the most maligned woman in history – Mother Eve. I believe the Christian world stands condemned for falsely accusing and excoriating that special lady, the wife of the prophet Adam, the mother of our race. She transgressed like all of us. But she was faithful to the higher laws of God. She was loyal to her husband. She exemplified womanhood and motherhood in her willingness to fulfill her divine role as a co-creator with our Father in Heaven. May we learn to revere Eve and cease our condemnation of this tremendous Christian woman.
Lastly, I pay tribute to my Mother in Heaven. Our Father in Heaven has chosen not to reveal Her to us, perhaps out of respect for Her and to protect Her from the same indignities and insults which His disobedient children heap upon Him. If we are His children, and He is our Father, then it is the most logical and correct thing in the world to believe we have a Mother as well. This is far different from believing in the pagan conception of the “Queen of Heaven.” Rather, it is the logical conclusion of the human soul once that soul understands his true relation to his Eternal Father and the fact that we are part of His family. My heart fills with gratitude and longing whenever I reflect that I’m a child of God!
This Mother’s Day, I encourage you to honor your mother. Call her. Visit her if you can. Tell her how much you appreciate, cherish, and love her. Give her a bear hug. Let your heart beat for her and express its love in its magical, unspoken way.
In a general sense, honor all mothers. Honor those who willingly embrace their womanhood by becoming mothers to special spirits sent from Heaven. Honor those who do their best, however falteringly, to love, nurture, and care for their children. Pay your respect to the noble women who know that they are daughters of God and who live pure lives, embrace their feminine nature, and relish the high and holy calling of motherhood.
Dear mothers, please know that you are loved. Real men everywhere honor you. Real men appreciate you. Real men would die to protect you. Also know that your children, though they might not always show it, need you, remember you, and love you. The greatest work you will ever do will be in home. The greatest calling you will ever have is as a mother. The greatest joy you can experience will be to watch your own children grow in righteousness and put into action those things you so painstakingly taught them as you nurtured them in your home.
God bless you mothers! God bless you prospective mothers! God bless you young women who know that your destiny – your sacred calling – is to follow the path of Mother Eve and your own mother in bearing children and raising them to serve the Lord. Happy Mother’s Day!
May 9, 2020
Read my tribute to fathers here.