The Mother’s Day Talk PSA

I am confident that a poll of active Mormons would show that Mother’s Day sacrament meeting is, hands down, the one meeting of the year most fraught with difficulty for the people who attend. I have seen women leave the meeting in tears, and I know others who have learned, through sad experience, that it is best for them to take a break from church on Mother’s Day. I wonder if this phenomenon is uniquely Mormon. Do other Christian women struggle with church-going on this day? If it is unique to us, I wonder why we have a corner on the Mother’s Day anxiety market.

Over the years, I’ve heard some very good Mother’s Day talks, but I have also heard some that were cringe-worthy. I’ve decided to see if I can discern consistent reasons why the good ones are good and the bad ones are terrible. This blog post is the result of my musing. Keep in mind, this is from a male perspective, and my opinions might be worth exactly what you paid for them. Please use the comments to make your own contributions.

The first consideration is that you, the speaker, need to begin with your audience in mind. You wouldn’t give a talk in a single adult ward about the joys of scouting. Your ward contains women at various stages of their lives, including some who don’t have children and never will. Think about your message and how it will sound to the entire spectrum of your sisters in the ward.

President Eyring once said that when he meets somebody for the first time, he assumes that person is struggling mightily with an intractable problem, and cannot see any possible solution. More often than not, his assumption is correct. Bear in mind that most of women in the congregation have lives that haven’t turned out the way they expected. It isn’t uncommon for LDS women to be dealing with some combination of the following factors: a difficult marriage, no marriage, no children, difficult children, health problems, loss of faith. And this is all in addition to the everyday problems like getting the bills paid and the laundry done. I recommend that you take President Eyring’s approach and assume that the women to whom you are speaking are doing their best, but that often their very best means just barely hanging on. Measure your words with that assumption in mind.

The good talks that I have heard tend to address the details of an individual woman’s life, in all its messiness and particularity. The bad ones tend to deal with the big generalities, praising motherhood without even pausing to define whether we are speaking of women who have given birth, or womanhood in general. If you want to deal in rose-colored platitudes, you are probably gunning for the high council, so save it until then.

The best Mother’s Day talk I’ve ever heard was an illustration of this principle. The woman described her family as she was growing up. Just after she became a beehive, her mother had an affair. When her dad found out that there was a whole lotta shakin’ goin’ on without him, he summarily divorced his adulterous wife and took the children to live with him. A year later he died in a car accident, and the children went back to mom, whose life was now very different. Loverboy was gone, she was outside of the church, and she had no means of support. The speaker described how she saw her mother take stock of the smoking wreckage of her life, humble herself, and begin the heroic and difficult work of transforming her life into something she didn’t need to be ashamed of anymore. She worked during the day and took classes at night, and created a home for her children where they knew love.

Avoid speaking of angel mothers. When we speak of mothers as people who are incapable of gross sin, they know we are lying. And, even worse, we are also cutting them off from the grace and redemption that Jesus offers. If you’re already perfect, who needs it?

What do you think when you see a used car lot with a sign like this: “Honest Abe’s Used Cars! We’ll give you an honest deal! Honest!” Isn’t it reasonable to think that Abe is trying a little too hard, and might be overcompensating for something? In the same way, when we make a dramatic production of Mother’s Day, I fear that we are sometimes trying to compensate for the way we devalue the real and important work they do on the other 364 days of the year. Beware the philosophies of Hallmark, mingled with scripture.

It is good to share personal stories, but be aware that your own family might be a bit stranger than you think. The worst talk I ever heard came from a woman who described how her mother used to sit by her during piano lessons. So far, so good. But her mother held a yardstick, and if her daughter played the wrong key, her mother smacked her across the back of her hands, thus providing sufficient negative reinforcement to motivate her to do it right the next time through. She told us that as a girl, she would sit in her room crying, with big welts on the back of her hands, but now that she was grown up, she understood why her mother did it, and she was grateful, by golly. At least half the ward was so embarrassed for her at this point that they looked as if they wanted to crawl under the benches. Love for mothers is good, but sometimes there is a fine, fine line between love and dysfunction. Make sure you understand where that line is.

A friend once proposed a thought experiment. What would happen, if, at the start of sacrament meeting on Mother’s Day, the bishop announced that there would be two separate meetings. If you want to hear about angel mothers and perfect people, remain in the chapel. If you want to hear from real women who have read scriptures and held FHE and family prayer, but whose son is in jail or whose 16-year-old daughter is pregnant or whose husband has left her, then you should meet in the cultural hall. Which meeting do you think would be more meaningful to the participants? More importantly, which meeting do you think would be more likely to provide meaningful support?

I don’t envy you people who have been called to give talks next week. Speaking for myself, I think Father’s Day is much easier. For sacrament meeting, we can give the men a sternly worded warning about the danger of teh pernogriffiez. After church we can give dear old dad a cookie in a baggie and a kick in the pants, call it good for another year, and send him home. No fuss, no muss.

Comments

  1. This is brilliant, Mark. Thank you. As for me, I will be sitting this Mother’s day out.

  2. Kevin Barney says:

    Very useful counsel, Mark. Although Mother’s Day is not fraught for me the way it is for so many, I will be watching with interest next Sunday to see which way our meeitng falls.

  3. A cookie in a baggie? I’ve lived in numerous family wards, and I’ve never gotten as much as a crumb for Father’s Day, at least not from church.

    And yeah, audience is important. Focus on womanhood and examples of strong women, not on a perfect homemaker mother. All women should strive to be strong, and can become strong. Not all women can become real mothers. A day focused on mothers is hard enough for many women, and much more so when that’s all they hear about at church.

  4. Thank you, Mark.

  5. StillConfused says:

    I have not attending other churches that have mothers day services aimed at mothers. They may have services on Holy Mother Mary … but then again, she left her son behind in Jerusalem and didn’t even notice she had forgotten him for quite some time before going back to look for him… so not sure about her mothering skills ;))

    Personally, I go to church to learn about Jesus and Christ like attributes. I don’t go to be honored or get a gift. So I would personally prefer if they didn’t do those honor-mothers meetings.

  6. Excellent suggestions, Mark. I wish you were speaking in my ward! But since you’re not, I’m bowing out this year. I’m finding actual motherhood so exhausting that I just can’t bear to hear about angel mothers right now.

    I didn’t enjoy Mother’s Day during my years of infertility, but I’ve been surprised that I enjoy it even less now that I have children. I do look forward to handing the kids over to my husband for the day, but I’ll take a pass on sacrament meeting.

  7. NewlyHousewife says:

    The only Mother’s Day event for another church I’m aware of is when a friend told me that in her church the main talk is always about Christ no matter what holiday it is, but when it’s just the women the speaker will focus on motherhood and Christ’s teaching about mothers. At the end they’ll get a rose with some message tied onto the stem with ribbon about how Jesus loves all women.

    Sometimes its good, sometimes it’s bad. But she’s never experienced the horrors I have where the local ward nut case talks about how his wife isn’t putting out thanks to menopause.

  8. David T says:

    So, I am assigned to give a talk next week. I’m also a High Councilor, who always tries very much not to speak in “rose-colored platitudes” that, sadly, you associate with High Council speakers. I already have felt many of the concerns expressed, and approach this assignment with fear and trembling. I have been given mostly free reign on my message. Any suggestions as to what you would truly and realistically appreciate being presented?

  9. I spoke one Mother’s Day about Eve and Mary, and thought it was a good talk and well-received. Scriptural women are perhaps safer :-) And in our ward, the men get cans of Dads Root Beer or Sugar Daddy candies.

  10. Brian F. says:

    My favorite Mother’s Day talk was my own talk. It was my missionary farewell, back when such things were acceptable. I only mentioned Mother’s Day once, and I said how much my mom hated the hypocrisy of Mother’s Day, and that we should treat women right every day of the year, not give platitudes one day of the year.
    You can guess how well that went over. My mom still to this day says it was the best Mother’s Day talk ever. I think she says that just because she is my mom.

  11. Brian F. says:

    That being said, my ward will be nice and quiet next Sunday, one of the joys of the YSA wards.

    Nice post Mark, I think we do need to be careful about how we say some of the things we do in church, and elsewhere.

  12. Please add to the possibility of what LDS women are dealing with: they didn’t have the best mothers themselves, they are the adoptive parents of mothers who, for whatever reason couldn’t be a mothers, (adoptees and foster children or adults that have been in foster care could be particularly vulnerable as well); they work outside the home and love it, they work outside the home and hate it, they can’t stand being mothers, the list could go on and on. Feelings of guilt, shame, loneliness, anger, disappointment, abandonment, and not measuring up to impossible expectations are prevalent. I actually feel it is not so dissimilar on fathers day, particularly since the disparity between them can demean men. Can’t we just give praise and gratitude for the atonement, and human goodness and resiliance inspite its adversity and imperfection? I want to hear about the mother who lost all her children, because she made a lot of mistakes. She never got her kids back and they never forgave her, and she died of some incurable stress induced disease. But guess what?! God still loves her, and her life still had value and meaning…THE END!!

    I think I’ll check myself in to a nice bed and breakfast…. and read for the day…LOL, isn’t that a nice dream??

  13. I issue a challenge to top this worst Mother’s Day sacrament meeting talk. It was given by one of my high school friends. He had returned from his mission and married (as did I), and he was asked to give the main Mother’s Day talk. He did not have any high-profile ward or stake calling at the time, not that it matters. My wife and I were not in his ward to hear the talk, but he told us about it later. He chose to base his talk on “To The Mothers In Zion”, and used it to essentially chastise and condemn working women, and it sent half the ward fuming into the bishop’s office. Needless to say he was not asked to speak in sacrament meeting for a long, long time.

    I would expect him to give a talk like that because he is so utterly black and white in his thinking and he never heard a strict utterance over the pulpit that he did not love. I believe he has mellowed and gained wisdom over the years and was a part of a later bishopric.

  14. Just pass out the chocolates and let all the women go to a park where buckets of KFC, potato salad and slaw are in abundance and/or veggie pizza and cheesecake. Make it a FUN day!!! I have nine children, eight grown, am temple divorced and remarried to a nomo. I’ve endured (and that’s the right word) too many Mother’s Days that were awful, meaningless, and unrealistic. I went to Sac. Mtg. to hear my little kids sing and for my older kids to pass out a flower. all while X sat smugly on the stand. Ugh….chocolate and cheescake….and NO TALKS!!! at all…..

  15. JA Benson says:

    Put me in the column of those who think Sacrament Meeting should be about Christ. The two adult speakers should center their talk on Jesus; if you want, assign a youth speaker to speak on Mothers, the Primary sings a song, and pass out the flower at the end.
    Perhaps the reason so many women have an aversion to an all Sacrament Mtg. Mother’s Day theme, is the spirit is trying to witness to us at what a dumb idea it is.

  16. NewlyHousewife says:

    anon, pretty sure hearing about an old guy’s non-existent sex life is worse. Especially since whoever asked him to speak didn’t learn their lesson and he said the exact same talk a year later. Only for the second time he also included a segment about how if his wife was a better homemaker maybe his kids wouldn’t have such screwed up lives.

  17. #16 – They asked him to speak again?! Speechless.

  18. NewlyHousewife says:

    They really did. And that concludes the story of how NewlyHousewife learned not to attend church on Mother’s Day.

    For those in Europe, is Mother’s Day celebrated to the same awful-gut-wrenching extent?

  19. Werner says:

    This was very informative and interesting. I feel for how it hurts people to attend church and the sorrows they bear. I know my own mother dislikes being called a good mother because she feels so awful about how she raised us from her perspective. I love her and think she did a great job with the limited resources she had. I also have plenty of friends who are single sisters and they mourn growing older and menopause because they won’t be able to have the children they want to hold and love. Perhaps it shouldn’t be mother’s day, but be Woman’s day and celebrate the contributions of women of faith in their families and communities. I find women in general to be compassionate and sensitive to other people and a joy to be around. Although, I hate how as a single man, some married women run from me cause they think I’m going to try to seduce them or something.

  20. I haven’t had a bad Mother’s Day since I divorced my ex and the day stopped being about making my kids miserable so that he could appear to be a good husband. So for over a decade, I’ve loved Mother’s Day, just because I know it won’t end with all of us crying. The perfect sacrament meeting talk? Primary kids singing, oh, 12 songs, and then someone real standing up and talking about the incredible power of hope, even when we feel that we don’t measure up, and the wonder of the atonement and God’s love for us. And chocolate. My bishop knows where it’s at, and we always get Dove bars, Milk for those of unrefined taste and Dark for the rest of us. My best friend (unmarried, childless at 51) has been asked to speak. We are confabbing about how to turn the tables on Hallmark.

  21. My own dear mother, long since gone to her reward, summed up the essence of the perfect Mother’s Day talk quite nicely. Said she, “If you haven’t convinced your mother that you love her the other 364 days of the year, nothing you say on Mother’s Day is worth a damn.”

  22. Sharee Hughes says:

    This year in our ward we are having a missionary farewell for Mothers’ Day–not the old kind where the new missionary and all his/her family speak, but the new kind where the new missionary will be given a topic. In this case it will likely be mothers, and the Primary kids will sing, too. I am 70 years old and have never been a mother, but I had one. I spoke about her one year. She was not a perfect mother, but I loved her. Even now, 4 years after her passing, I miss her. I’ve never objected to any Mothers’ Day program, and in my ward, all women get a gift, married, single, divorced, widowed, with or without children. So no one is left out. I know some women get upset because they aren’t mothers, but it doesn’t bother me. I figure maybe in the next life I will be someone’s Heavenly Mother.

  23. Peter LLC says:

    For those in Europe, is Mother’s Day celebrated to the same awful-gut-wrenching extent?

    Not at church anyway. Some years it gets a nod, other years the talks are unrelated. Mother’s Day is celebrated, and increasingly commercialized, but my impression of the local situation is that one’s obligation to honor one’s mother is largely discharged at home.

  24. For those in Europe, is Mother’s Day celebrated to the same awful-gut-wrenching extent?

    In the UK, my experience has been that sacrament has at least one talk and often a few.

    This year in my ward the emphasis was shifted slightly from being a mother to our mothers. Flowers were also given to anyone who wanted to wear one in honour of their mothers. People seemed to feel good about it but Mark is right about it being a fraught day.

  25. KerBearRN says:

    I thought my husband (Sonny) had already posted this, but maybe not, or I’m just blinder than usual. Worst Mom’s Day talk ever: when we (and most of our friends) were newlyweds, one of our friends (a guy) was asked to give the big “glory of motherhood” talk. (did I mention he and his wife were not parents yet?). His topic? Why Women, Especially Mothers, Working Outside the Home is an Abomination Unto the Lord. Yes. On Mothers’ Day. Yeah. Gag. I mean big ol’ gnarly wretch. We were utterly gobsmacked. And he completely meant it too. Although I have the suspicion that he had an ulterior motive of hoping never to be asked to speak again. I don’t know how that worked out for him. we have never ceased head-shaking about his, well, completely horrific timing…and choiceoif topic…and general ignorance and intolerance (and sheer bovine stupidity). Sadly, though, it probably caused a lot of pain to the listeners.

  26. queuno says:

    We got the story about women blessing their cows a couple of years ago. Thanks for the reminder. I’ll be hiding in the clerk’s office.

  27. Excellent. Thanks Mark.

  28. Jeannine L. says:

    I Know I would like Mother’s Day more if they changed the official hymn of the day from “Love at Home” to this one (to be sung from the perspective of the mother):

    I Have Work Enough to Do, no. 224

    1. I have work enough to do,
    Ere the sun goes down,
    For myself and kindred too,
    Ere the sun goes down:
    Ev’ry idle whisper stilling
    With a purpose firm and willing,
    All my daily tasks fulfilling,
    Ere the sun goes down.

    2. I must speak the loving word,
    Ere the sun goes down.
    I must let my voice be heard,
    Ere the sun goes down:
    Ev’ry cry of pity heeding,
    For the injured interceding,
    To the light the lost ones leading,
    Ere the sun goes down.

    3. As I journey on my way,
    Ere the sun goes down,
    God’s commands I must obey,
    Ere the sun goes down.
    There are sins that need confessing;
    There are wrongs that need redressing
    If I would obtain the blessing,
    Ere the sun goes down.

  29. In my home ward, we once had a Mother’s Day Sacrament Meeting the topic of which was the priesthood.

    Yup.

    But in Argentina, where Mother’s Day is in October, they also tended to recognize International Women’s Day (March 8) even in church (in addition to a wide variety of other holidays – Children’s Day, Grandparent’s Day, etc.). The division of labor between the holidays helped to alleviate some of the awkwardness of the women = mothers mindset that we face in the US.

    Which also makes me wonder about why we Americans don’t recognize International Women’s Day. It might be that it was a holiday originally conceived by the US Socialist Party and propagated by the Soviets. XD

  30. I am infertile, though I now have three children through adoption. I actually gave two sacrament meeting talks on Mother’s Day during our childless/infertile years. My preference is for a talk focusing on women of the scriptures. Not necessarily mothers–just women. Those were the kinds of talks I gave, and that’s what I would rather listen to. I come to church to be fed spiritually, and sappy poems and stories are never ever going to measure up to the meat that scriptural examples can provide. Even though Mother’s Day is now a reasonably happy day for me personally, I still find that my mind is focused on how other women in my ward might be experiencing it.

  31. Oh, and my husband is speaking in our ward this Mother’s Day. After living with me for almost 17 years, he’d better get it right!

  32. The Mother’s Day talks in my singles’ wards have been quite sensitive to childless women, but still pretty women-on-pedestalsy. One of my favorite talks ever wasn’t a Mother’s Day talk but was given by a mother talking about mothering (we were on vacation, so didn’t know the woman speaking). She talked about how when she was single she was very shallow, only cared about clothes and makeup and boys, didn’t prepare herself spiritually, didn’t have much of a testimony, and then upon marrying found herself extremely immature and woefully unprepared to be a spiritual leader in her home. Then she spoke with conviction about the grace of God–the grace that helped her forgive herself for the serious problems she caused her children that could have been prevented if she’d prepared herself, and the grace that helped her achieve later in life the spiritual depth she had lacked when her children were young. It was so honest and hopeful all at once. I remember my dad saying it was one of the most powerful and real talks he’d ever heard in a Mormon church meeting. It spoke to the special importance of mothers to their children, but also made clear that as with other mistakes, the effects of mothers’ failings can absolutely be healed by the Atonement.

  33. I remember being confused by a few Mother’s Day talks growing up. Men tended to speak about angel mothers who bore no resemblance to mine. On the other hand, women tended to speak about motherhood as the most emotionally-exhausting and time-consuming chore imaginable. Their talks often included poems about the immeasurable amount of crap mothers had to deal with. Then they would close by saying that it was the most wonderful blessing imaginable.

    Forgive me for not understanding the blessing part of it. I still don’t understand it, which is probably why I’m still very nervous about having kids.

  34. Mark, This post was positively Uchtdorfian!

    “Beware the philosophies of Hallmark, mingled with scripture.” lol

    One thing I would add is that somehow we need to stop telling LDS women that they need to do everything in 6 days and 90% income with smiles on their faces and do it better than their non-LDS peers. It’s a complete set-up for failure. Mormon women are harder on themselves than any other group of ladies I have associated with. They always see what they haven’t done instead of what they have because they are constantly reminded of what they should be doing. At a certain point, their best has to be enough. Pres Hinckley and apparently Mark has it right.

    I too have wrestled with the infertility monster and MD was always a nightmare. My husband told me to stop focusing on myself and think about who mothered me instead. Since my mom has unacknowledged mental health issues, this is my oldest sister and a lady in L.A. who I still keep in contact with. I also choose to focus on the women in the scriptures like #30 has mentioned. I was asked to speak 3 times on MD during my infertility phase. Sisters would come up to me and express that MD was hard for them also for various reasons–one was abused by her mother while another friend had lost a mother she loved as a teenager so cried all day long. MD really is a no-win. Some women think that you don’t talk enough about mothers while other people think you talk too much about them. I agree with #15–youth speaker, song and chocolate and the rest of the meeting devoted to Christ.

    #28 Love the song choice of “I Have Work Enough To Do” as a tribute. Classic! Actually now that I do have children, the primary song “I’m so glad when Daddy comes home” has taken on a new meaning for me. Here’s my updated version:

    I’m so glad when Daddy comes home,
    Glad as I can be
    Clap my hands and shout for joy!
    And out the door I flee….

  35. Tyffani says:

    So, just an FYI to the LDS people here… Non-denominational Christian churches focus EVERY day (especially Sunday) on God/Jesus Christ… Generally the take home message (this would apply to mother’s day s well) is that we are human so we are sinners and if we accept Jesus Christ as our savior then we can hand him our trials (very difficult to do) but when we don’t and we are struggling He still loves us. Mother’s day will likely be about God’s unconditional love for us and how it pains Him to see us struggle… And how even mothers cannot quite reach that level of love, but we understand the concept because most of us love our children in much the same way (but n

  36. Tyffani says:

    Focus your talk on how much we ALL need Jesus (even mothers) because we are all sinners (read the Bible… It tells us so). THAT is what non-denominational Christian churches do :)

  37. kaphor says:

    kc – I love me some Pres. Uchtdorf, but you have to admit he gets pretty Hallmark(y) sometimes. We’ve had sermons based on bumper stickers, Willy Wonka, the Grinch, and quite possibly Chicken Soup for the Soul, etc. from Pres. Uchtdorf. They’re all very good, and not being critical, but Hallmark w/ scripture would seem to be one way to describe the style of Pres. Uchtdorf. Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

  38. #37 Now that you mention it, Uchtdorf is pretty Hallmarky. Maybe the Hallmark channel should use some of his conference clips as fillers when movies end early. However, Uchtdorf also gets women and articulates that better than most. Mark did as well in his post…minus the saccharine and accent.

  39. Mark Brown says:

    “positively Uchtdorfian”

    Thanks, kc! That’s the nicest thing anyone has ever said to me!

  40. Mark, very good advice IMO. However, like you, I thought Father’s Day was a done and done. Then I served in a Branch with 90% women who had absent husbands and who also grew up with absent fathers. I found out the hard way after a long list of them declined to give the talk.

  41. charlene says:

    I gave a MD talk one year and focused on Emma Smith, Naomi the MIL of Ruth and my daughter who was a young mother at the time. I think Emma and Naomi are very neglected women in our teachings (understatement considering the general neglect). MD is a day I prefer to play hookey, especially now that my mother is currently lost in alzheimer’s disease.

  42. #21 – The perfect comment. Thank you.

  43. Great post, Mark!

  44. I like the post. I do think a lot of Mormon women enjoy talks that validate their efforts at motherhood, and I think some of these talks get interpreted as “angel mother” talks when they’re really not. My wife spoke on Mother’s Day (which I originally thought was a bad choice, because she herself appears to the outside world to be the “perfect mother”) about her own mother and some of the simple things her mother had done for her that made a big difference in her life and how grateful she was. She talked about how her convert mother negotiated church attendance with her inactive husband, how she brought the gospel into the home to the extent she could while maintaining close family ties and coping with her own faith struggles, and how her example and choices blessed her home. Her mother didn’t come across as being perfect, but rather imperfect but faithfully trying, and her simple persistent efforts turned out to be eternally valuable. From all accounts, her talk was very well received. But from my description, it sounds like the typical platitudinous MD talk.

    I too am irritated by mother-worshipping in MD talks, but at the same time, I think many Mormon women identify so strongly with being a mother and so many have sacrificed just about everything to focus on that specific role, that they really appreciate a little validation, a little boost of confidence that what they’re doing is significant and has meaning. I think this can be especially true for women who feel they’re just holding on. I don’t think sacrament meeting is such an inappropriate place to do that, either. There’s got to be a way to show a little appreciation and recognize their importance and significance without it being guilt-inducing.

  45. I love this. Thank you. I would love to avoid Mother’s Day meetings, just because they are usually tedious, but I love to go for the sake of seeing my kids sing.

    I always had this huge chip on my shoulder about refusing the flowers because I wasn’t a mom (I had kids later in life), but my own mother would force me to take it because it was a free flower.

  46. Thank you for writing this blog post. It hits pretty close because I’m one of those “lucky” people who get to speak on Mother’s Day this year. At first I was wishing that I wasn’t, but after thinking and praying about it for a few weeks and speaking with friends and family, I’m rather excited about it. I’ve decided to speak on how motherhood allows me to develop Christlike attributes (knowledge, patience, temperance, etc…ref 1 Peter 1:4-8) through daily struggles and reliance on the atonement and then finish with how wonderful it is that “mother” is only one of the facets of who we are as we strive to become strong women of God. I just pray that the spirit can convey the message that seems so exciting in my heart.

  47. In one of my wards, the women of the congregation were given wooden spoons as their gifts at the end of the meeting. It just screamed, whoops, we forgot to order flowers in time and ran out to walmart last night and bought up whatever womanly thing we could find.

  48. Corrina says:

    May 2011 was the best mother’s day sacrament mtg I’ve ever attended. The speakers were: 70-year-old married sister w/ no children; mid-30’s sister who works full-time, dh is the stay-at-home parent, and they’ve adopted 2 children through the foster care system; and a single sister. It was a powerful meeting and very real.

    Plus, I thought it was extra cool that the Bish consulted the RS pres. (i.e. me) before deciding on these speakers.

  49. This post should be required reading for all Mother’s Day speakers.

    That said, I can’t say I recall ever hearing a bad Mother’s Day talk. I can’t remember the last time I heard a bad sacrament meeting talk, period. Or any talk. My kids are way too distracting.

  50. StillConfused says:

    The hard part for me is when I hear talks about “angel mothers” where I actually know whom they are talking about. Because I know the real story so it is distracting from the fake one that they are giving.

  51. Our HC speaker will be talking about forgiveness this Sunday at the special request of our Leadership. I can’t quite relate that to Motherhood but maybe he will.

  52. greenbaymichk says:

    Our current ward celebrates Mother’s Day with the obligatory talks. The deacons hand out small potted plants to all women 12+ years, then the sisters eat cake in Relief Society (served up by the RS presidency.).
    In order to equally celebrate Fatherhood , the males (12 years+) all get Nachos on Father’s Day (served up by the RS Presidency.). The fathers don’t seem to feel as guilty about things as the mothers do,,,,

    I plan to skip church on Mothers’ Day morning to visit my mother in “the home” and I will receive my Master’s Degree that afternoon! I only wish my daughter could come in for graduation – I am sure we would skip church together that morning!

  53. I’m against handing out plants on Mother’s Day. That’s the last thing a mother needs, responsibility for yet another living thing.

  54. Madhousewife,

    What do you think should be handed out for Mother’s Day? I’m asking this out of genuine curiosity/responsibility for handing stuff out.

  55. Snickers. JUST kidding. (Sorry to barge in madhousewife)

    One year they handed out Sheri Dew’s talk “Are We Not All Mothers?” and I thought that was cool. But I still think the Dove bars our bishop chooses rock the holiday.

  56. J.a.t. says:

    I’d like to see the swords beaten into plow shares this mothers day … And for once ( just once) the SAHM vs working mom verbal cat claws retracted. I don’t want to hear Sister Beck’s controversial “mothers who know” talk, or president benson’s talk “come home” talk. Id also like a break from a poem in the EFMormons which says that no painting, no book, no song penned by a mother could be as great as a worSocrates by their children in the future, so spending your time raising the next generation is the greatest thing you can do.

    Until I see a longer lasting cease fire, I’m staying home MD (with my mother and daughters).

  57. Serious question for everyone, just out of true curiosity:

    How many of these horror stories happened in the last five years?

    I know they happened fairly regularly in my own adolesence and early adulthood, but I can’t remember one I’ve heard personally in quite a while.

  58. As a member of our bishopric, I assigned the topics for this week’s talks, all motherhood focused, and I have forwarded your paragraph with Elder Eyring’s quote to each of them. As the son of a mother who was destroyed every Mother’s Day, and seeing many similar experiences here, I plan to stick to the Christ-centric meeting next year. Thanks.

  59. I don’t remember terribly well, but at the Episcopal church I attended for a while, I don’t think Mother’s Day was nearly as emphasized as it is in the LDS church, because it’s not part of the liturgical calendar. I think it’s terribly sad that growing up Mormon, I never heard anyone make any serious attempt to talk about Heavenly Mother on Mother’s Day. Actually, I’ve never heard anything about Heavenly Mother beyond, “Isn’t it so wonderful that we believe in a Heavenly Mother?!”

  60. Charly says:

    I don’t see why having a Tiger Mom would be necessarily any more or less traumatizing than having a Don Draper Mom.

  61. I choose to stay away for most MDs and all FD. If my kids are with me on MD I go, but FD is just too painful.

    I have to say that I was almost offended that there would be an assumption that FD would be a piece of cake. I am glad you had a good father, but honestly, that attitude is what keeps me away. I wish that EVERY ward had a FD talk on what unrighteousness dominion is, and why it should be the job of every priesthood holder and father to raise sons who understand it and daughters who won’t stand for it.

    My worst MD talk came in the Fast and Testimony meeting the week before in which my father, who was visiting since he no longer lived in our ward, decided to give some incredibly intimate details about his divorce and why he blamed it on several of his children, but not others. Just as he was getting into how pornography helped him through the divorce, the bishop stepped up and escorted him from the podium.

    The best MD talk was from a woman who gave a list of all the things she wished she had known when she was 18. It was a very honest list, but emphasized that the things she would change had nothing to do with looking good, acting a certain way, or different callings. I don’t remember all 18 things, but two of them stuck with me, even 15 years later.
    1) Peanut butter sandwiches served with a smile tastes much better than the fanciest meal served with a side of stress.
    2) If your outfit doesn’t match, no one who matters will notice.

    Well, I won’t bore you with all the mediocre talks over the years, I will just tell you that the best song for MD from the primary children was Armies of Helaman. I think mixing it up, at least every other year, from Mother I Love You, is nice as a mom.

  62. I’ve been jinxed. Not within an hour of reading this post did I get a call from a member of our bishopric asking me to speak on Sunday. Nuts. Well at least I know what not to talk about.

  63. #46 – That is an awesome idea for your talk. I may have to borrow that.

  64. I didn’t realize Mothers’ Day was so close. Thanks for reminding me so I can stay home. I don’t like the sappy talks about the perfect mothers. If they give out a plant that I can put in the ground, I’ll be sad to miss that, though. Up ’til now, I have endured going because I thought I had to. My kids are too old for primary and don’t go to church anyway (and my mother died when my youngest was 2 yrs old), so I have no reason to go and hear all about how perfect someone else is, or that I should have been perfect, or the lie that all of us mothers are perfect.

    Maybe I’ll get a pizza and tell the kids to cook it for breakfast when Sunday morning comes.

  65. Madhousewife:

    In Bishopric meeting this year, I quoted your little sister regarding plants. “Oh, great. Something else for me to kill.”

    So this year we are setting up tables and chairs in the gym, hauling in meat and cheese and veggies and chocolate, and the Bishop will talk for five minutes and then we will let everybody socialize while I play the tuba for the entire primary.

  66. Meldrum the Less says:

    I have attended other Christian churches enough to realize why it is much less likely that they have painful mother’s day talks. It is based only partially on a professional clergy with access to time-proven messages and more likely on fundamental theological differences.

    Christian churchs teach that you are inherently bad, that it is not entirely your fault and that Christ has already saved you and after He gets around to telling you (if He hasn’t already) that you forgiven and are His, you will do nonspecific good things he directs because you will naturally want to do them.

    We teach that you are basically good or even great (gods in embryo), that you are responsible for your actions and that you can actually make other people do what is right through prayer and works especially your children, that the sins you accumulate both those of commission and omission are entirely your fault, that Christ is not really in the middle of the picture until you really screw up and commit something unforgiveable like adultery and that you need to try harder to keep every one of those commandments or you are going to lose your reward of having a planet & of having eternal sex , and the celestial DFAC will snatch your children from you and destroy your perfect family sprouting from the buried nuts of polygamy where mother valently hoisted the impossible burdens.

    Theologies have consequences. Ours, like most, has its strengths and its weaknesses. In the spirit of the quib in #21 we should just cancel these commercial holidays.

  67. Meldrum the Less says:

    How could I forget? The perfect hymn for Mother’s Day Sacrament meeting.

    My oldest, the musical and noisy one, composed parodies of many favorite primary songs about a decade ago when she was under the tyranny of those zealous but misguided young mothers. One of her favorites:

    I’m so bad when daddy comes home,
    Drunk as he could be….

    Variations included a verse for when mommy comes home stoned, with descriptions of bratty violent Mormon children and a terrible version only whispered with stifled giggles including titillating, lolita overtones. I can’t quite get them right and they would certainly be expunged by the moderators anyway.

    Comic relief on this solemn day?

  68. hawkgrrrl says:

    Well, count me among the lucky ones who are speaking this coming Sunday. And I’m batting clean up.

    I was reading about the origins of Mother’s Day. I had assumed it was a greeting card holiday of commercial origins, but it is actually (like Christmas) based on Roman pagan traditions. Ancient Romans and Greeks would celebrate Cybele / Rhea, the mother of the Gods with festivals in the spring time. They would eat honey cakes and give flowers. At one point they cut down a tree and paraded it into town to symbolize the mother of the Gods (Asherah, anyone?).

    A later version of the holiday occurred in Europe where they would celebrate the Mother Church (the church as the bride of Christ and as the mother of their spiritual rebirth through baptism) and they would decorate the church with flowers and jewels.

    Not until the 1600s did people start associating the holiday with their own actual mothers (Mothering Day in the UK). It was a one day break from the 40 day Lent cycle to give a feast in honor of Mom with cakes and flowers and her grown children visiting from afar.

    The Puritans weren’t big on celebrations, so they dropped it when they colonized Massachussetts. The US holiday was only adopted in 1870 and was also used to protest the sacrifices mothers had made when their sons were killed at war or killed the sons of other mothers during the Civil War. Although the later version of Mother’s Day in the US was to honor mothers, it retained its association with peace as carnations were given out as a symbol of peace (white if one’s mother was dead, pink if alive). Over 70 countries observe Mother’s Day, but some of them still retain these spiritual roots whereas in the US it’s mostly a commercial holiday.

    My own plan of attack: 1) lay some knowledge on people (see above), 2) talk about our own mothers and that they are real people who faced real struggles, 3) the Plan of Happiness (is that what we’re calling it now?) could have had us all come to earth as adults, but instead we came as infants needing 24 hour care to survive; there must be something we need to learn from being dependent on parents, and 4) share some motherhood quotes.

    That feels a little thin still, so I’m glad this post exists. I’ll be checking back!

  69. The best MD talk I ever heard was given by my neighbor. She used several stories from the NT about Christ & his mother Mary to illustrate principles that we can all use to improve our relationships with others. It was both simple and profound.

  70. What do you think should be handed out for Mother’s Day? I’m asking this out of genuine curiosity/responsibility for handing stuff out.

    Personally, I like cookies. But I realize others prefer plants. Diabetic others, for example. It’s impossible to please everyone. I did live in one ward where the mothers always got plants but the fathers always got cookies. There are diabetic men, aren’t there? Even men who are on diets. I don’t think it would occur to anyone to give a man a plant for Father’s Day *, but it’s very common to give women plants for Mother’s Day. I don’t know why that would be, unless people are just assuming we ache for something more to nurture. I guess plants are pretty and mothers are pretty. But aren’t mothers also sweet, like cookies? Come on.

    I would be totally okay if they did nothing for Mother’s Day at church. I’m even okay when they hand out plants. I just don’t like when they push the plant on me after I’ve politely declined it. I don’t mean to be rude, but I know I will have anxiety over killing it and then I *will* kill it and then I will have to look at its dead body. I guess mothers also die, just like plants, but not usually at our own hands. Is this really the Mother’s Day message I need?

    *As I type this, I know for a fact that someone out there is going to respond that their ward gives men plants for Father’s Day every year. My own father would probably appreciate a plant, but fortunately he enjoys cookies too.

  71. Kristine says:

    I think we should dispense with handing out things and tell everyone we’ve made a donation to a local women’s shelter or program for mothers in need.

  72. counselor #1 says:

    I’m the counselor in charge of calling speakers for Mother’s Day. This has been a big concern for me, as there are many women in the ward who are very sensitive to the “Perfect Mother” talks, and I didn’t want to heap on to their burdens. After a lot of thought and prayer I called two sisters to speak on some of the blessings and also the challenges of raising children in the gospel. I explained that I was not calling any men to speak, due to their tendency to give “perfect mother” talks, and felt they could do a better job giving an honest uplifting talk that could be of benefit to the mothers in the congregation. After the explanation, both seemed excited and accepted the challenge willingly.

  73. Sharee Hughes says:

    Regarding the giveaways: in my ward for the last several years, all of the women have been given chocolates on Mother’s Day (very nice ones). I don’t recall what the men are given on Father’s Day, but at one time in my ward they gave them nice ball point pens.

  74. So I’m on for Mother’s Day and have been assigned Julie Beck’s talk on the history of Relief Society as topic. I’m sort of hoping that the person before me goes too long and I have to wrap up with my testimony. But one thing is for sure, I’ll be drawing on much of this. Oh and starting with Anthropologist Hrdy’s observations on what a plane full of chimps rather than humans would look like. Nothing, wakes people up in sacrament meeting like talking about chimpanzees dismembering each other.

  75. My mother died just a little less than a year ago, and I find that I never appreciated Mother’s Day at all until now that my mother is gone. So I will be going to church on Sunday, even though I never go to church, so I can remember my mother, who was never a Mormon. I have heard good talks and bad talks, and really dislike the sacralizing of the universal and perfectly average activity of mothering. But I love my mother, and I miss her, so I’m hopeful that the experience will be a good one.

  76. Great idea, Kristine. #72

  77. To all of you giving talks, good luck on navigating the mine fields! It seems like awareness and knowing your audience as mentioned before, is half the battle.

    One of my talks I focused on Moses and the 5 women at the beginning of his life and the different roles they played: Shiphrah & Puah, the midwives who saved his and countless other Hebrew boys’ lives, Jochebed his birthmother and what it must have taken to put him in the basket and shut the lid (she’s a stronger woman than I am!), Miriam his sister who obeyed her mother and stayed with him and suggested her mother be his nursemaid, and the daughter of Pharoah, who raised him. Kind of “it takes a village/ward to raise a child” philosophy. Not a perfect example but I was striving for some other options besides stripling warriors’ moms. (Although I love the song idea for the Primary #65) Mary’s life is always appropriate, Lucy Mack Smith, Hannah & Samuel, etc. They are there, you just have to do a little digging.

    Pertaining to gifts: #53 “I’m against handing out plants on Mother’s Day. That’s the last thing a mother needs, responsibility for yet another living thing.” lol! When chocolate is handed out, our children end up begging for it but it’s the one day I won’t share. Maybe we should do it eucharistic-like so I don’t have to feel guilty? Sorry for the sacrilege… I think all women want massages but not sure the church is the right place for it. I’m sure that attendance in RS would be higher on that day though. What if you brought in padded RS chairs for the YW & PRI workers, including Nursery sisters, so that they can feel a little comfort on that Sunday? Or better yet, teach their classes and let them attend RS for a day? Nourishing their souls instead of feeding their bodies? Or the best of both worlds…send all women to RS and have the chocolate there so you get the women to walk through the door instead of to their cars, and so the kids aren’t begging for it? Nourishing both body and souls….Just my humble opinion

  78. Our old ward in NY would take the funds normally used to purchase flowers, chocolate, etc. on Mother’s Day and donate it to a women’s shelter. I loved it!

  79. I actually think it’s good to celebrate both Mothers and Fathers Days — with the caveat to be sensitive to the feelings of those who have difficulty with that celebration.

    With that in mind, there are great ideas in this discussion thread of ways to do exactly that.

    Since my husband gets to give
    THE major Mother’s Day talk in Sacrament Meeting in our ward this week, I have forwarded all of this discussion on to him! Thanks for all your thoughts.

  80. Steve P,
    You might drift over to what has been considered ‘the rebuttal’ of ‘Mothers Who Know’ given at the next conference session by Elder Ballard. It very gently re-addressed several of the points that were flying in the newspapers and throughout the church in the ‘Mothers Who Know’ backlash. I’m amazed that we aren’t using the most recent conference materials . . especially when there are clear re-phrasings and clarifications.

    Daughters of God

    http://www.lds.org/general-conference/2008/04/daughters-of-god?lang=eng

    Ray (#58) Steve P’s post is evidence that a talk from 2007 which has been essentially corrected is still being recycled today. Yes, the rhetoric has calmed down, but is certainly still present. Didn’t we predict this? Steve P. won’t be the only one this Mother’s Day asked to speak on that controversial talk, it’s still in heavy circulation in wards. (Just what mothers need on an already stressful day . . . more guilt and more controversy.)

  81. Jeremy says:

    Great, and I was just asked to talk on Sunday, I guess I will be very careful.

  82. As a mother of six kids, I’ve had some serious depression about motherhood in general over the years — but not usually on Mother’s Day. Still, I think the flak about Sister Beck’s talk is nonsense. I just read that talk again; and I see nothing wrong with it. We do need to have some kind of an ideal, even if we may not measure up to it occasionally, or even ever! Geesh!

  83. Why do *we* have to have an ideal? If you personally need one, that’s fine, but not everyone needs a model for something that is experienced differently by everyone.

    My grandmother is my ideal of both a woman and a mother, but she was married to an alcoholic so I understand if she is not the ideal for others.

  84. Do you also not need an idea such as the Savior, your Father in Heaven or your Heavenly Mother? Just asking.

  85. I meant an ideal — not an idea! Although I like the idea of them as well!

  86. We know very little about HM and HF really. As far as Jesus is concerned, he was sinless so is able to stand as an ideal. Show me a sinless mother and she can be my ideal too.

  87. I’m catching up on the comments, but Kristine’s suggestion in #72 is perfect.

  88. I agree Ray. I am on the Speakers Bureau for the Rape Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN) and we would welcome the donations too.

  89. My mother was an ideal, and she is schizophrenic, couldn’t cook water without burning the pan, never cleaned a thing in the house while we were children, had “rebellious” to some degree or another, etc. Why was she an ideal? She loved us unconditionally – heart and soul.

    We need ideals – especially ones who aren’t ideal, so we can redefine “ideal”.

    Tracy M posted an amazing video that deals with the general concept of this post in a really insightful way. I recommend it highly:

    “This!” (http://dandelionmama.wordpress.com/2012/05/08/this-this-is-what-i-believe/)

  90. I meant to type “rebellious children” in #90.

  91. I would say that since Christ is supposed to be the express image of his Father that we do know quite a bit about the Father. Since I believe he (the Father) and my Heavenly Mother are probably equals, I’d say we know a lot about her as well! Ideals — ALL!

    I’m thankful for ideals — even when I don’t measure up — not even often — let alone all the time. I think it’s good to have something to air at!

  92. I also really like Kristene’s suggestion and everything like unto it as EOR suggested. Really perfect for MD!

    According to our teachings, Jesus the Messiah wasn’t just sinless, He was God. So He can be ideal AND real. The rest of us mortals should stick with real. Too much idealism masks reality and can quickly become propaganda and lies. Intent matters, and I don’t believe the idealism we are fed is meant to hurt, but rather to uplift. It falls short when it is not delivered with love, patience, acceptance, humility, an understanding of the limitations of REALITY, and the the Gift of the Holy Ghost. It would just be nice to complete our idealism with a good dose of reality. End of rant…

  93. Great post, Mark! That’s why you’ve been my cyber-crush for years.

    I have suggested the donate-money-to-the-shelter thing for about four years now; it gets a blank stare, followed by a startled, “oh! Well, counselor x/counselor y is in charge of May, I don’t know what he’s doing for sure . . . . ” But since we have instituted Mother’s Day as the day my family ditches church and meets my parents at Shoshone Falls for a picnic, I look forward to it every year.

  94. Just a question here, since I am new to this blog. What is the trigger to close the thread? Just wondering. Is it callender time, number of posts, how irritated the host is with the comments! (just kidding). Seriously, it would be nice to have some idea.

  95. Alece,
    It can be any of those. Most threads die a natural death. Others must be killed or they’ll live forever, injuring regular folk.

  96. Kristine says:

    Alece, it’s usually when the admins sense that the conversation is no longer productive, or when we don’t have time or patience to keep monitoring the thread. So, yeah, “how irritated the host is with the comments” is pretty much it.

  97. Ann (#76), I’m sorry to hear about your mother’s passing. I hope Sunday goes well for you.

  98. #93 – Ruth
    Your comment was excellent, especially this part: “Jesus the Messiah wasn’t just sinless, He was God. So He can be ideal AND real. The rest of us mortals should stick with real.”

    It would be much easier for me to hear mothers’ day talks if they were “real” instead of ideal, though I’d prefer a good sermon on Christ, instead.

  99. For those who disagreed with my thoughts (above) about our needing ideals to aim at in our lives, I fell upon a quote from C.S. Lewis moments ago which speaks directly to those thoughts:
    “Aim at heaven and you will get earth thrown in. Aim at earth and you get neither.” Feel free to disagree with Lewis as well, but I feel like I’m in pretty good company at this moment!

  100. Alece 100 it is a bit rich for you to interpret that your comment and that quote by Lewis mean the same thing. Aiming for Heaven is again looking to the sinless for examples, not to an episode of Leave it to Beaver.

    An ideal is fine to have in your own life, but imo it is dangerous to attempt to have one for a worldwide religious organization. I personally am skeptical of ever looking to people for ideals. Examples? Maybe. Ideals–no, no maam not for me. That in no way shape or form precludes me from looking to Christ/HF/HM for ideals.

  101. Re-reading my comment (101) it sounds very harsh even though that is not how I mean it to sound. I am not sure what other words I can use to convey my meaning when I rely so heavily on tone. :( Everyone can just disregard parts that may sound harsh–or disregard the comment altogether I reckon.

  102. Wow! I was supposed to talk two weeks ago on the purpose of the Sacrament but ended up in surgery instead, and upon returning to church last Sunday was asked to reschedule. Mother’s Day was open so I said ok, I will come up with something appropriate. This morning I decided to Google search ‘Mother’s Day LDS talks’ and came upon this article. I just spent two hours reading all the comments, viewing the video mentioned in #90, and taking notes. I hope none of you mind if I quote from this. This has been a great reminder to be sensitive to all in the congregation with the Holy Ghost as a guide. I can only pray no one will take offense, as I certainly never mean any offense.

    I remember something I was told many years ago by a young man in Provo, UT. In simple terms his philosophy was that the church is not true because it is madeconsists of people who are imperfect and therefore not always true to all of the ideals taught. However, the restored gospel is true and is a steady guide for us in nagivating the oftimes foggy seas of life. In my nearly 40 years in the church that has borne true. I have seen, heard and experienced much of the imperfections, joys and sorrows in life, and know that reaching out for and holding on to the Iron Rod brings souls closer to the ideals with every step. Deep gratitde is owed to our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ for the Atonement which allows us each to recover from any missteps, no matter how far off the path one may stray.

  103. I know I don’t have any say on when the thread closes, but it would be interesting to hear feedback from how each person’s respective wards handled MD, and how the people assigned to talk felt their messages were delivered and/or received.

  104. I’m not going tomorrow. I was dreading it, but I was rescued by my sister coming to town for the next 3 days yayyyy

  105. Tony, thanks! How cool someone reading my rambling!
    EOR, I would venture to say, even with being fairly new to BCC that few here mean to give offense. I’m grateful for it. We can all sound harsh at times, but this seems to be a community of sorts and following through on the different dicussions helps put context to opinions expressed. Im sorry too for the harshness In my expression in a previous thread regarding your views of sacrament meeting.

    It has been another hellish week, reminding me of all my faults and short-comings as a mother, all that went wrong for me as a daughter, and it has all brought me a liitle closer to God, who is repeatedly teaching me that one-size-does-not-fit-all, or most or even many.

    Alece, I also love CS Lewis, and agree that we should look to higher ground in our mortal journey. Yet, we have a tendency to go to extremes, particularly culturally, forgetting that we are worshiping God, and that we are not God nor expected to be God in this, our mortal state. Oh yes, I’ve read the scriptures to be like Him, to be perfect. But I’ve also read this:

    “40  Behold, ye are little children and ye cannot bear all things now; ye must grow in grace and in the knowledge of the truth.

    41  Fear not, little children, for you are mine, and I have overcome the world, and you are of them that my Father hath given me;

    42  And none of them that my Father hath given me shall be lost.”

    I won’t be attending this Sunday either, but as always will honor my own mother by being the best mother I can be to my hurting children.

  106. I believe the best thing a man can do is not to love his wife in word, but to help her find and be and become whatever she truly wants to be and become – outside of her role as mother.

  107. Ziff, thank you. Kristine, thank you again. It was a nice meeting. The first speaker was a single father, then the bishop spoke, then the stake president spoke. The first speaker was my favorite. Being there with my son was very nice.

  108. From Sacrament Meeting today –

    first adult speaker: “Motherhood is like a roller coaster: there are lots of ups and downs, and sometimes you just have to close your eyes and scream.”

    second adult speaker, quoting a Native American proverb: “The soul would have no rainbow if the eyes had no tears.”

    benediction, by a former Bishop: “Heavenly Father, we speak with thee every day, and we look forward to the day when we can renew our relationship with Heavenly Mother.”

  109. I wonder if a member of our bishopric reads this blog? So our ward did 3 talks on Christ with each one saying one sentence of gratitude about their individual moms right before bearing their testimony. Primary kids sang “I’m so glad when Mommy comes home”… refreshing change. We were each handed full size chocolate bars that had been wrapped at the end of Sac Mtng. 3rd hour had all of the PRI & YW leaders including the YW themselves in RS with homemade lemon cakes from the teacher. Our head count was 85 sisters which is super for us. Regular G.A.S. lesson about prayer. Nice meeting. A nod to moms but no pedestal worshiping. It seemed to strike just the right tone.

    #109 Ray–loved the roller coaster quote on motherhood. Classic!

  110. On Sunday Morning my sister and I drove almost 2 hours each way to go visit my maternal grandmother’s grave. It was the first Mother’s Day since she died. I would say that my grandmother was like a second mother to us, but really she was like a first mother. There was nothing you could do that would ever make you feel like she didn’t love you, but she always told you the truth about your behavior and was not afraid to be entirely real with you even when you wanted to lie to yourself. She was a wonderful example for motherhood, womanhood, and peoplehood. I was honored to have known her, and to have been able to claim her as my own. I miss her something terrible, and being at the grave-site really brought all of those emotions to the surface. We got there at about 7:30 AM and one of my Aunts had already been there and left flowers for her. She is buried in the same plot as my great-grandmother as well so it was nice to be able to be there with them again.

  111. Burt McDougald says:

    Yea like all of you My Mother sucked too. She was not worthy of any review from me.
    She only did half the things a good mother would have done.
    At my ward the angel mothers were to aspire to.
    Most of us brought up to beleive that the man of the home was were it was at.
    My Mother will one day reach the godstage with my Father and will have there own planet.
    when she becomes a God like I know she will she will be an inspriation to all ladys,
    But as for now no praise deserved but the praze to the heavenly Father.

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