This week, as Mother’s Day is around the corner in many parts of the world, we at Mormon Women thought we would focus this week on the divinity of womanhood and particularly motherhood. The important influence of women was a repeating theme in our recent General Conference. Take, for example, the following quotes:
There has grown in me an overwhelming testimony of the value of daughters of God. So much depends on them. In my visits with the sisters, I have felt that there has never been a greater need for increased faith and personal righteousness. There has never been a greater need for strong families and homes. There has never been more that could be done to help others who are in need. –Sister Julie B. Beck, General Relief Society President
Unless we enlist the attention of the mothers and daughters and sisters—who have influence on their husbands, fathers, sons, and brothers—we cannot progress. –President Boyd K. Packer, President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
There is nothing in this world as personal, as nurturing, or as life changing as the influence of a righteous woman. …[A]ll women have within their divine nature both the inherent talent and the stewardship to mother…. –Elder M. Russell Ballard, member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
While circumstances do vary and the ideal isn’t always possible, I believe it is by divine design that the role of motherhood emphasizes the nurturing and teaching of the next generation. –Elder L. Tom Perry, member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
The Lord has placed upon parents the primary responsibility for the spiritual nurturing of their children. Sometimes this responsibility falls to a single parent. My own mother was relatively young when my father died, leaving her alone with four children. But she faced her adversity with faith and courage, promising us that if we stayed on the road of truth, the end would be better than the beginning. Like the children of valiant mothers in the Book of Mormon, “we [did] not doubt our [mother] knew it” (Alma 56:48). Brothers and sisters, I understand in a personal way the great influence of mothers. -Elder Bradley D. Foster, of the Seventy
All women, regardless of age, marital status, and personal circumstances, can have great influence for good. We can all “mother” children and youth around us in our families (nuclear and extended), neighborhoods, communities, church congregations, and other places. We can all look for those around us who need our loving care and succor. As we turn to God for guidance and seek to prioritize our lives so that the most important relationships get our best time and effort, we can be powerful instruments in His hands for eternal good.
This video was created using the words of a dear apostle (now deceased), Elder Neal A. Maxwell.
We know so little, brothers and sisters, about the reasons for the division of duties between womanhood and manhood as well as between motherhood and priesthood. These were divinely determined in another time and another place. We are accustomed to focusing on the men of God because theirs is the priesthood and leadership line. But paralleling that authority line is a stream of righteous influence reflecting the remarkable women of God who have existed in all ages and dispensations, including our own. Greatness is not measured by coverage in column inches, either in newspapers or in the scriptures. The story of the women of God, therefore, is, for now, an untold drama within a drama.
…[R]ighteousness is not a matter of role, nor goodness a matter of gender. In the work of the Kingdom, men and women are not without each other, but do not envy each other, lest by reversals and renunciations of role we make a wasteland of both womanhood and manhood….
When the real history of mankind is fully disclosed, will it feature the echoes of gunfire or the shaping sound of lullabies? The great armistices made by military men or the peacemaking of women in homes and in neighborhoods? Will what happened in cradles and kitchens prove to be more controlling than what happened in congresses? When the surf of the centuries has made the great pyramids so much sand, the everlasting family will still be standing, because it is a celestial institution, formed outside telestial time. The women of God know this.
Read the entire text of Elder Neal A. Maxwell’s talk “The Women of God.”
(This post has been slightly edited from the original.)