Viewpoint: Mothers Are Marvelous

Contributed By From the Church News

  • 11 May 2014

President Thomas S. Monson has taught that “love of mother and her teachings has prompted more bad men to be good and good men to be better than any other motivational force.”

“‘Mother,’ more than any other word, is held in universal esteem by all peoples everywhere. It brings forth from the soul the most tender of hidden emotions, prompts more good deeds, kindles memories’ fires as they burn low, and reminds all to strive to be better.” —President Thomas S. Monson 

Every human soul living on the earth can acknowledge the gift of life received from their earthly mother. God honors righteous mothers and women, as witnessed by Joseph F. Smith in a vision of the spirit world, where the righteous dead were awaiting the advent of the Savior. “Among the great and mighty ones who were assembled in this vast congregation of the righteous were … our glorious Mother Eve, with many of her faithful daughters who had lived through the ages and worshiped the true and living God” (D&C 138:38–39).

The power and responsibility mothers wield in shaping humanity is awe-inspiring. Each one of us has been affected by mothers.

When a person spells mom upside down, it spells wow. Rudyard Kipling wrote, “God could not be everywhere, and therefore he made mothers.”

President Thomas S. Monson also spoke of the importance of mothers when he said, “I think it significant that usually the first word a child utters is ‘Mama.’ … Love of mother and her teachings has prompted more bad men to be good and good men to be better than any other motivational force” (“Timeless Truths for a Changing World,” BYU Women’s Conference, May 4, 2001).

What positive qualities have you witnessed from the mothers in your life? Here are some to consider.

A mother teaches by example. USA Today cited a recent U.S. Religious Landscape Survey by the Pew Forum that shows women attend church more than men do. It found 39 percent of U.S. adults—45 percent of women and 34 percent of men—attend worship services at least weekly. In all the stakes of the Church, it isn’t hard to find a lone mother tending to her children at church. Most mothers are striving to live the counsel given by Moses to the children of Israel: “Only take heed to thyself, and keep thy soul diligently, lest thou forget the things which thine eyes have seen, and lest they depart from thy heart all the days of thy life: but teach them thy sons, and thy sons’ sons” (Deuteronomy 4:9).

A mother spends quality time. An Associated Press/MTV poll conducted in 2007 surveyed 1,280 children ages 13 to 24 about what makes them happy. Spending time with family was the top answer to that open-ended question, according to the extensive survey of more than 100 questions. “They’re my foundation,” says Kristiana St. John, 17, a high school student from Queens in New York. “My mom tells me that even if I do something stupid, she’s still going to love me no matter what. Just knowing that makes me feel very happy and blessed.”

A mother shows love. To the world, a child is only one person, but to a mother, her child is the world. Many people often have wonderful memories about their mothers loving and caring for them when they were injured or sick. In the book Trauma and Recovery, author Judith Herman explains that wounded soldiers often cry out for the first source of comfort and protection in life, their mothers. The proclamation on the family says, “Parents have a sacred duty to rear their children in love and righteousness, to provide for their physical and spiritual needs, and to teach them to love and serve one another, observe the commandments of God, and be law-abiding citizens wherever they live.”

A mother has faith. It’s inevitable that a mother at some time, or many times in her life, will fear for the well-being of her family due to illness, death, financial challenge, spiritual decline, or disobedience. Elder Quentin L. Cook of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles said in the April 2011 general conference: “Our women are not incredible because they have managed to avoid the difficulties of life—quite the opposite. They are incredible because of the way they face the trials of life. Despite the challenges and tests life has to offer—from marriage or lack of marriage, children’s choices, poor health, lack of opportunities, and many other problems—they remain remarkably strong and immovable and true to the faith.”

A mother knows how to work. According to happyworker.com, moms take two minutes and five seconds on average to change a diaper. That adds up to three 40-hour workweeks each year with an average of 10 diaper changes in a 24-hour period. The Guinness Book of World Records reports that Mrs. Vassilyeva of Russia set the record for most births at 69. She gave birth to 16 pairs of twins, seven sets of triplets, and four sets of quadruplets between 1725 and 1765. Imagine doing the laundry for that many children. A quote by an unknown author states, “A man’s work is from sun to sun, but a woman’s work is never done.”

The mothers in our lives do so much. Their divine sacrifices should be remembered and honored. Reuters news service reported in 2010 that a U.S.-based international calling firm called VIP Communications conducted a study about call volumes on holidays. The firm found that call volume on Mother’s Day is the highest. It’s interesting to note that one of the Savior’s last concerns at death was a plea to His disciple John to care for His mother: “When Jesus therefore saw his mother, and the disciple standing by, whom he loved, he saith unto his mother, Woman, behold thy son! Then saith he to the disciple, Behold thy mother! And from that hour that disciple took her unto his own home” (John 19:26–27).

President Thomas S. Monson expressed perfectly why disciples of Christ acknowledge the mothers in their lives when he said, “‘Mother,’ more than any other word, is held in universal esteem by all peoples everywhere. It brings forth from the soul the most tender of hidden emotions, prompts more good deeds, kindles memories’ fires as they burn low, and reminds all to strive to be better” (“Honor Thy Mother,” Mother’s Day pamphlet, 1981).