This article was written by Savannah G.
“The highest and noblest work in this life is that of a mother.” – Elder Russell M. Nelson, CR 1999
“The influence of a mother in the lives of her children is beyond calculation.” – President James E. Faust, Aug 2004, Liahona
“Motherhood is near to divinity. It is the highest, holiest service to be assumed by mankind. It places her who honors its holy calling and service next to the angels.” – President Heber J. Grant, Teachings of ch. 22
“No love in mortality comes closer to approximating the pure love of Jesus Christ than the selfless love a devoted mother has for her child.” – Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, CR 2015
Aren’t they wonderful!?
There are so many amazing role models of mothers! These may be our own mother, our grandmother, aunt, neighbor, friend, or even scripture story mothers.
One of these awesome ‘scripture story’ role models are the mothers of the 2000 stripling warriors.
These 2000 young men were the sons of the Anti-Nephi-Lehi’s who, before their conversion, were, “A stiffnecked people (whose) hearts delighted in the shedding of blood; whose days were spent in the grossest iniquity.” (Alma 26:24)
Yet, these people changed and became some of the most amazing people talked about in the Book of Mormon. They converted to the truth with their whole hearts.
Putting their complete trust in the Lord, these people had children and raised them in truth and righteousness; when it came to sending their sons to battle to defend the country, they did so trusting in God.
These mothers had a lasting effect on their sons. When faced in battle with a choice of whether to flee or to turn and defend their freedoms these sons remembered what their mothers had taught them.
“Now they never had fought, yet they did not fear death; and they did think more upon the liberty of their fathers than they did upon their lives; yea they had been taught by their mothers, that is they did not doubt, God would deliver them. And they rehearsed unto me the words of their mothers saying: We do not doubt our mothers knew it.” (Alma 56: 47-48)
“Behold those two thousand and sixty were firm and undaunted. Yea, and they did obey and observe to perform every word of command with exactness; yea, and even according to their faith it was done unto them; and I did remember the words which they said unto me that their mothers had taught them.” (Alma 57:20-21)
These mothers changed the lives not only of their sons, but of the whole Nephite army and millions since who have read the Book of Mormon.
“The influence of a mother in the lives of her children is beyond calculation.” – President James E. Faust, Aug 2004, Liahona
These mothers taught their sons to trust in God. They taught them to be obedient. They taught them to follow the prophet. They taught them to have faith. Their influence truly was incredible!
Mothers are angels on earth.
“Motherhood is near to divinity. It is the highest, holiest service to be assumed by mankind. It places her who honors its holy calling and service next to the angels.” – President Heber J. Grant, Teachings of ch. 22”
But, why does it seem that motherhood is becoming less and less popular in society today?
The family is under attack and Satan is doing everything he can to stop the powerful influence of a family with a father and a mother fulfilling their God-given responsibilities.
Sheri Dew said, “It is no wonder that Satan has declared war on motherhood. He understands full well that those who rock the cradle can rock His earthy empire.” (CR 2001)
We as members of Christ’s true church need to make sure we do our part to make a stand and defend the family.
In 1995, President Gordon B Hinckley issued ‘The Family: A Proclamation to the World’ addressing the importance of fulfilling the important responsibilities we have as sons and daughters of God.
“The family is ordained of God. Marriage between man and woman is essential to His eternal plan. Children are entitled to birth within the bonds of matrimony, and to be reared by a father and a mother who honor marital vows with complete fidelity. Happiness in family life is most likely to be achieved when founded upon the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ. Successful marriages and families are established and maintained on principles of faith, prayer, repentance, forgiveness, respect, love, compassion, work, and wholesome recreational activities. By divine design, fathers are to preside over their families in love and righteousness and are responsible to provide the necessities of life and protection for their families. Mothers are primarily responsible for the nurture of their children. In these sacred responsibilities, fathers and mothers are obligated to help one another as equal partners.”
I am so grateful for the revelation and guidance given to Prophets and Apostles of the Lord! They are the “watchmen on the tower” and can see what we need. What they tell us is true and is from the Lord. If we follow their council and their direction we will be blessed.
It is a mother’s duty to nurture children.
Nurture is such a rich word. It means “to train, to teach, to educate, to foster development, to promote growth, and to nourish or feed.”
Sister Julie B Beck taught: “To nurture means to cultivate, care for, and make grow. Therefore, mothers should create a climate for spiritual and temporal growth in their homes…Home is where women have the most powerful influence.” (Daughters of My Kingdom: The History and Work of Relief Society)
President Howard W Hunter when speaking to the Priesthood brethren said: “We urge you to do all in your power to allow your wife to remain in the home, caring for the children while you provide for the family the best you can…a man who holds the Priesthood has reverence for motherhood.” (CR 1994)
I am so grateful that my dad made it possible for my mom to stay home and care for me and my sisters. My mother has taught me so much and has been such a powerful influence in my life. I am so grateful that she knows her roles as a mother and she fulfills those roles. She is an amazing example to me and I look up to her so much!
Like the 2000 strippling warriors, I remember the thought of going on a mission was daunting and when I was on a mission times got tough and hard. But one thing I would always go back to was the faith of my mom and the things she had taught me. To trust in God and to rely fully on Him. She has taught me this my whole life and not just by words, but her actions as well. I am so grateful for her!
I asked some mothers some advice they would give. These are some things they said:
“It is so important to be a mom and there is nothing greater! Sometimes you’ll think that there are more important things, but the truest joy comes from mothering.” – Susan
“From growing up without a mom, it helped me see what I lacked and what I wanted to be in the future! And it is amazing to be able to be a mother now, and follow the Savior’s example. It is not a role to take causally. This is an amazing experience that God entrusts us with. To be a true mother we must put in the effort. Take the Savior as your role model and you will be able to see miracles happen!” – Becky
“Being a mother isn’t easy. It is a lot of tears, a lot of tired days, a lot of discouraging days. But it is so worth it! Being able to see your children grow and learn is so amazing!” – Sara
“We as woman committed before this earth to be mothers. We need to make sure we live up to that role.” – Samantha
“When we grow up, we wear many hats and take on many roles. Wife, friend, sister, aunt- we may go on and gain education in different fields, work in various jobs and commit ourselves to various causes. There is no role more precious, more all-encompassing or more eternally impactful than the role of being a Mom. Heavenly Father has gifted us with the family unit to help us progress spiritually. When you become a mother, you have the power to influence your children spiritually more than anyone else on earth.” – Becky
“The role is not easy- it can be overwhelming at times. Satan’s is rampant on the earth to try and diminish the role in our social hierarchy- it is more in fashion in the world to achieve worldly success outside of the home. It is often heard that someone as “just a mother”. Remember that your role as mother is eternally precious in God’s sight.
In the times when your patience is tested and your energy is spent caring for, nurturing and teaching your children, these are the biggest opportunities for you to choose to act as the Savior would. Your motherhood is an act of service to your children, your family, to the earth, and to Heavenly Father.” – Sara
“The seeds you plant now within the hearts of your children will echo into the literal gathering of Israel and for the gospel truths to replenish the earth. It is both a great responsibility and a great joy. Every woman has the opportunity to nurture and influence if by some circumstances or personal choice you do not becomes mother. We are the caregivers and the nurturers- we can model the Savior’s love like no other!” – Anne
What amazing advice from some wonderful mothers!
Another amazing example of motherhood happened in 1838 with Amanda Smith.
In late October 1838, Amanda and her husband, Warren, with their children and other members of the Church, were on the way to Far West, Missouri. They stopped at a mill to make some repairs on their wagon. While they were there, a mob attacked Latter-day Saints who were working at the mill, killing 17 men and boys and wounding 15. Amanda, who had hidden during the attack, returned to find Warren and their son Sardius among the dead. Another son, Alma, was severely wounded. His hip had been blown off by a gun blast. Amanda later told of the personal revelation she received so her son could be healed:
“I [was] there, all that long, dreadful night, with my dead and my wounded, and none but God as our physician and help.
“Oh my Heavenly Father, I cried, what shall I do? Thou seest my poor wounded boy and knowest my inexperience. Oh Heavenly Father direct me what to do!
“And then I was directed as by a voice speaking to me.”
Amanda was directed to make a lye, or washing solution, from the ashes of their fire to clean the wound. Then she was directed to make a poultice out of cloth and slippery elm to fill the wound. The next day she found some balsam and poured it into the wound to soothe Alma’s pain.
“‘Alma, my child,’ I said, ‘you believe that the Lord made your hip?’
“‘Well, the Lord can make something there in the place of your hip, don’t you believe he can, Alma?’
“‘Do you think that the Lord can, mother?’ inquired the child, in his simplicity.
“‘Yes, my son,’ I replied, ‘he has shown it all to me in a vision.’
“Then I laid him comfortably on his face, and said: ‘Now you lay like that, and don’t move, and the Lord will make you another hip.’
“So Alma laid on his face for five weeks, until he was entirely recovered—a flexible gristle having grown in place of the missing joint and socket, … a marvel to physicians.
“On the day that he walked again I was out of the house fetching a bucket of water, when I heard screams from the children. Running back, in affright, I entered, and there was Alma on the floor, dancing around, and the children screaming in astonishment and joy.”
This story is one of many which shows the powerful affect mothers have on their children.
Motherhood truly is a partnership with God and a mother plays an essential part in God’s work.
Sheri Dew said, “Motherhood is more than bearing children, though it is certainly that. 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.” (CR 2001)
I love the song:
As Sisters in Zion:
As sisters in Zion, we’ll all work together;
The blessings of God on our labors we’ll seek.
We’ll build up his kingdom with earnest endeavor;
We’ll comfort the weary and strengthen the weak.
The errand of angels is given to women;
And this is a gift that, as sisters, we claim:
To do whatsoever is gentle and human,
To cheer and to bless in humanity’s name.
How vast is our purpose, how broad is our mission,
If we but fulfill it in spirit and deed.
Oh, naught but the Spirit’s divinest tuition
Can give us the wisdom to truly succeed.
Mothers truly are amazing!
Sisters, look for ways you can be mothers in people’s lives regardless of whether they are your children.
Brothers, continue to support motherhood and do all in your power to support women in their God-given role as mothers, nurtures, and homemakers.
“To all of our mothers everywhere, past, present, or future, I say. ‘Thank you! Thank you for giving birth, for shaping souls, for forming character, and for demonstrating the pure love of Christ.” – Jeffrey R. Holland, CR 2015
I echo his words.