Each young man will strengthen his relationship with his mother and respect her.
Scriptures for each young man.
Pencils for marking scriptures.
Pencil, paper, and envelope for each young man.
Before class, write the following questions on the chalkboard:
Who placed her life in jeopardy that you might come into this life?
Who has shown great love for you after your birth?
How can we best show appreciation for those who sacrifice so much for us?
Contact the mother of each young man in the quorum and ask her to relate at least one thing her son does to strengthen their mother-son relationship. Put all the mothers’ responses on a poster. If any of the young men does not have a mother, ask a relative or guardian to relate one way the young man helps at home.
Suggested Lesson Development
Mothers Are Important in God’s Plan
Chalkboard and discussion
Draw the attention of the young men to the questions on the chalkboard (see “Preparation”). Read all three questions aloud.
What one word answers the first two questions? (Mother.)
Tell the young men that you are going to leave the questions on the chalkboard so everyone can think about them during the lesson.
Explain that even though we all love and appreciate our mothers, we often take them for granted. Sometimes we don’t realize how much our mothers do for us until we have been away from them or away from home.
Camping out had been an exciting experience for all the young men in one ward. The first few days they all said they were glad to be away from home. However, as the end of the camp drew near, they began to look forward to going home. As they gathered at their last meeting, the adviser asked the young men to share some thoughts they had about their mothers during the week at camp.
Ask the young men to present the following comments given by the young men on that final evening at camp.
“Do you know how my mother used the money she received for her birthday? It was supposed to be for a new dress, but instead, she used it for my new sleeping bag so that I could come to camp. Every time I crawl into that sleeping bag, I remember the sacrifice Mother made for me. She is always making sacrifices for me.”
“We all have to take our turn doing dishes at our house. Before I always thought of it as just a job that I had to get over with. When it was my turn at camp for dishes, I suddenly missed my mom. I realized that when I did them at home, she was always right there helping me so that we could use the time to talk. I really missed sharing my day’s activities and problems with her. It’s nice to know you have someone who will always listen when you need to talk.”
“I sat on a big rock and watched several squirrels scratching around, running back and forth. That reminded me of when I was little. I was always trying to catch insects or wild animals. My mom taught me that we should let them live free, as they were meant to, and not harm or frighten them by trying to catch them and cage them up. She loves animals and is always telling us that they are Heavenly Father’s creations, and that we should regard all life reverently.”
“You guys are probably really glad my mom taught me how to cook. Otherwise, you would have been very disappointed last night when we were all so hungry and it was my turn to cook. She says when I go on my mission, I’m going to be glad I learned a few things about cooking. I don’t have to wait—I’m glad right now.”
“Last Sunday my sister had her baby blessed in fast and testimony meeting. When she bore her testimony, she said she had never really appreciated our mother until she had her own child. Now she realizes a mother’s time, money, effort, and thoughts are for her children. When I saw that little baby, I thought about how I started out just like that and how much my mom had to do for me just to get me up to this point. Watching my sister take care of her baby really helped me appreciate my mom.”
Chalkboard and discussion
(Use good judgment and consideration if any of the young men do not have mothers in their home.) Ask the young men to help make a list of the contributions their mothers make to them and their family. Write on the chalkboard as many things as the young men can think of in two or three minutes. You will not have time to make a complete list of everything, but include enough things that they can see how many acts of service and love mothers perform every day that we all take for granted. To get the young men started, you might have them imagine they are just getting up in the morning; then have them go through a typical day, picking out their mothers’ contributions.
Conclude from the list that we should give our mothers our love and gratitude, as well as our honor and respect.
Read and discuss the following statement by President David O. McKay:
“Motherhood is the one thing in all the world which most truly exemplifies the God-given virtues of creating and sacrificing. … The mother who, in compliance with eternal law, brings into the world an immortal spirit occupies first rank in the realm of creation” (Gospel Ideals [Salt Lake City: Improvement Era, 1953], p. 456).
Read John 15:13. Have the young men underline this scripture.
Point out that we honor soldiers returning from battlefields for being willing to risk their lives for us, yet every mother who gives birth shows her willingness to lay down her life for that child. We do not always show the honor and express the gratitude we should to our mothers. Not only do they go through the pain and danger of birth that we might be born, but they also sacrifice their time and talents throughout their lives to raise us.
We Can Strengthen Our Relationship with Our Mothers
Scripture and discussion
Draw the young men’s attention to the last question on the chalkboard. Do not ask for an answer at this time. Point out that Christ set the example for us. When he was on the cross, one of his last thoughts was for the welfare of his mother.
Have a young man read John 19:25–27.
Even though Jesus was suffering, he was so concerned for his mother that he asked John to take care of her.
What can you do to show your concern and appreciation for your mother?
Encourage each young man to contribute at least one idea. Explain that one thing that makes mothers happy is to have close, loving relationships with their sons. Show the young men the poster you have prepared. Tell them you interviewed their mothers and these are some of the things that the mothers felt strengthened their relationship with their sons. Discuss the ideas presented.
President David O. McKay said, speaking of mothers, “If you tell her in a letter of your appreciation and love, she will shed tears of happiness” (“The True Mother,” Instructor, May 1960, p. 142).
Distribute pencils, paper, and an envelope to each young man. Ask each young man to write a note of love and appreciation to his mother. Each young man may want to include a few commitments to show greater respect for his mother and improve his relationship with her.
Suggest to the young men that as much as words of thanks and little acts of appreciation mean to our mothers, one of the best ways we can really thank them is by honoring our priesthood and growing up to be the honest, faithful individuals they would like us to be.
Explain that each young man is like a monument to his mother. He may honor his mother or dishonor her by the way he lives. Challenge each young man to honor his mother by living a righteous life.