“One cannot remember mother and forget God. Why? Because these two sacred persons, God and mother, partners in creation, in love, in sacrifice, in service, are as one.”
~President Thomas S. Monson
This post today is for all mothers and future mothers. However, it is also good for fathers and future fathers to read too! So, I guess it is really for everyone, but especially for the mothers.
Officially, I became a mother on October 6, 2015 at 4:56 pm when my little girl was born. However, I felt like a mother all throughout my pregnancy. As the oldest in a family of eight, I also felt that I had more practice than some in the art of mothering. However, nothing could have prepared me for the mother’s love that I felt at the birth of my little girl. I felt like it was a glimpse into how God must feel about all of His children.
Being a woman, though definitely not easy, is a wonderful gift from God. President Spencer W. Kimball once said:
“To be a righteous woman is a glorious thing in any age. To be a righteous woman during the winding up scenes on this earth, before the second coming of our Savior, is an especially noble calling. The righteous woman’s strength and influence today can be tenfold what it might be in more tranquil times” (“Successful Marriages and Families, p. 128).
So, as you can see, being a woman today (whether or not you are a mother) is so important. You are needed. You are valued. What you say is important. What you do is important. Your contributions to your home, families, and communities are so important.
However, motherhood is hard. My pregnancy was a bit of a nightmare. I was sick every day! The sleep-deprived nights are something that you cannot even imagine until you are in the thick of it. Luckily for me, that only lasted for a few weeks, but boy, what a hard few weeks! The monotony of days that include feeding, cleaning, feeding, cleaning can seem so endless and unimportant. It can be easy to think that the men and women working hard in the workforce are doing more than you are or are more important than you are. But that is just a lie!
In the book “Successful Marriages and Families,” one mother relates her feelings on this exact topic. She said:
“I reflected on the bachelor’s and master’s degrees I had received and couldn’t help but wonder how after all that preparation, I ended up on the floor with a rag in my hand wiping up juice spilled by my toddler. Hadn’t I been prepared to do something more significant? Something that would really make a lasting difference?” (p. 129).
As I read this I thought, “Yes! That is exactly how I feel! This is already the third time I have mopped the kitchen floor today and it’s only 11:30 am!” But do you want to know a secret? As difficult, insignificant and demeaning as it may seem at times, it is the most important work you could be doing. I am going to share some of my favorite quotes from prophets and apostles (both present and past) about motherhood. And, while you may not feel that this could really apply to you, I promise you, it does.
“Motherhood is near to divinity. It is the highest, holiest service to be assured my mankind. It places her who honors its holy calling and service next to the angels.” ~James R. Clark
“Mothers have a sacred role. They are partners with God, as well as with their own husbands, first in giving birth to the Lord’s spirit children, and then in rearing those children so they will serve the Lord and keep his commandments.” ~President Spencer W. Kimball
“The world would state that a woman is in a form of servitude that does not allow her to develop her gifts and talents. Nothing, absolutely nothing, could be further from the truth. Do not let the world define, denigrate, or limit your feelings of lifelong learning and the values of motherhood in the home.” ~Elder Robert D. Hales
“There is no one perfect way to be a good mother. Each situation is unique. Each mother has different challenges, different skills and abilities, and certainly different children. The choice is different and unique for each mother and each family…what matters is that a mother loves her children deeply and, in keeping with the devotion she has for God and her husband, prioritizes them above all else.” ~Elder M. Russell Ballard
“Of all the words they could have chosen to define her role and her essence, both God the Father and Adam called Eve ‘the mother of all living’—and they did so before she ever bore a child…Motherhood is more than bearing children…It is the essence of who we are as women. It defines our very identity, our divine stature and nature, and the unique traits our Father gave us.” Sheri Dew
These are just several of many, many quotes regarding motherhood in the gospel. But, all of this is to say that being a mother is important. You are not some second-class citizen in the world or in the kingdom of God. You are, as President Monson so eloquently stated, a partner with God in creation.