In the Psalms we read, “He maketh the … woman … to be a joyful mother of children” (Ps. 113:9).
President David O. McKay, ninth president of the Church, said, “Motherhood is the greatest potential influence either for good or ill in human life. The mother’s image is the first that stamps itself on the … young child’s mind. It is her caress that first awakens a sense of security; her kiss, the first realization of affection; her sympathy and tenderness, the first assurance that there is love in the world” (Gospel Ideals, Salt Lake City: Improvement Era, 1953, p. 452).
Following are paintings and commentary from Latter-day Saint artists celebrating motherhood.
Mother and Children Picnicking, by Scott M. Snow, Salt Lake City, Utah. Each year of motherhood brings with it new challenges and opportunities for mothers to teach their children as well as to learn from and with them. “A mother’s influence is immeasurable. Even the most insignificant moments can have lasting impact.”
Mother’s Love, by Del Parson, Cedar City, Utah. “I had especially tender feelings for families during the period I painted this. It was during the Persian Gulf War. There was great tension and concern for the world and what the war might bring. As a result, I felt protective of my family and depicted those feelings in this painting of mother and son.”
First Child, by Anne Marie Oborn, Bountiful, Utah. “The parents of this little girl struggled through ten years of childlessness before their first child was born. Now the parents of two children, they are enjoying long-awaited joys of family life. I have learned from their experience that Heavenly Father has a deep, personal love for each of us.”
Making Memories, by Lori Anderson Wing, Provo, Utah. “I didn’t get to spend much time with my grandparents, so I recognize the importance of making memories with them. Great joy can come from something as simple as baking Christmas cookies. These priceless memories can live within a child forever.”
Love, by Judith Campion, Seattle, Washington. “The special bonding that occurs between mother and baby is a unique and powerful love. This painting was to show the confidence that grows in an infant when it feels protected and loved.”
Grandmother, by Keith Larson, New York City, New York. As mothers become grandmothers, they extend their nurturing to grandchildren, a role that is yet another dimension of motherhood, as they continue to watch over their adult children.
“Where Love Is, There God Is Also,” by Ardith Oddous, Laguna Hills, California. “Springtime blossoms have always been a touching, tender, yet profound expression of God’s love for us. They are a promise of the harvest to come. While on a picnic with a mother and her children, I saw this mother’s glorious love of her children and realized they are her promise and will become her harvest into the eternities. I carried home within me a great love of Christ that resulted in this painting.”
Living Water, Living Bread, by Sally Poet, San Ramon, California. “These women represent the great diversity of mothers worldwide and yet depict the universality of mothers working with children at their side. In their daily tasks, mothers pass on skills and traditions. Through their everyday touching, working, and talking together, mothers truly teach profound truths.”