Happy Mother’s Day! To celebrate, let’s reflect on a few apostolic words about the magnificence of mothers. If you remember Elder Holland’s magnificent talk, “Behold Thy Mother,” you see his deep love and appreciation for mothers. You also are reminded that Christ reveres motherhood. Elder Holland quotes Isaiah 53:4, “’He hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows.’ A majestic latter-day vision emphasized that ‘[Jesus] came into the world … to bear the sins of the world.’ Both ancient and modern scripture testify that ‘he redeemed them, and bore them, and carried them all the days of old.'”
Then Elder Holland addresses the similarities between maternal love and Christ’s love for their children:“Bear, borne, carry, deliver. These are powerful, heartening messianic words. They convey help and hope for safe movement from where we are to where we need to be—but cannot get without assistance. These words also connote burden, struggle, and fatigue—words most appropriate in describing the mission of Him who, at unspeakable cost, lifts us up when we have fallen, carries us forward when strength is gone, delivers us safely home when safety seems far beyond our reach. ‘My Father sent me,’ He said, ‘that I might be lifted up upon the cross; … that as I have been lifted up … even so should men be lifted up … to … me.’ But can you hear in this language another arena of human endeavor in which we use words like bear and borne, carry and lift, labor and deliver? As Jesus said to John while in the very act of Atonement, so He says to us all, ‘Behold thy mother!’”
Elder Holland’s loving words climax when he states, “Today I declare from this pulpit what has been said here before: that 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. When Isaiah, speaking messianically, wanted to convey Jehovah’s love, he invoked the image of a mother’s devotion. ‘Can a woman forget her sucking child?’ he asks. How absurd, he implies, though not as absurd as thinking Christ will ever forget us.”
To illustrate this, Elder Holland shares a letter from a young mother that read, “How is it that a human being can love a child so deeply that you willingly give up a major portion of your freedom for it? How can mortal love be so strong that you voluntarily subject yourself to responsibility, vulnerability, anxiety, and heartache and just keep coming back for more of the same? What kind of mortal love can make you feel, once you have a child, that your life is never, ever your own again?
Maternal love has to be divine. There is no other explanation for it. What mothers do is an essential element of Christ’s work.
Knowing that should be enough to tell us the impact of such love will range between unbearable and transcendent, over and over again, until with the safety and salvation of the very last child on earth, we can [then] say with Jesus, ‘[Father!] I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do.’”
I love my mother. I have no idea where I would be without her and I’m grateful that through her love I have been able to taste the love Christ and Heavenly Father have for me. I lend my voice to Elder Holland’s in praising mothers:
“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.’ To Mother Eve, to Sarah, Rebekah, and Rachel, to Mary of Nazareth, and to a Mother in Heaven, I say, ‘Thank you for your crucial role in fulfilling the purposes of eternity.’ To all mothers in every circumstance, including those who struggle—and all will—I say, ‘Be peaceful. Believe in God and yourself. You are doing better than you think you are. In fact, you are saviors on Mount Zion, and like the Master you follow, your love ‘never faileth.’’ I can pay no higher tribute to anyone. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.”
P.S. If you haven’t seen our Isaiah Mother’s Day Memes, go take a look!