"'Mother,' more than any other word, is held in universal esteem by all peoples everywhere. It brings forth from the soul the most tender of hidden emotions, prompts more good deeds, kindles memories' fires as they burn low and reminds all to strive to be better.
"'Mother,' or its abbreviated version, 'Mama,' is the first word tiny lips form. What joy fills mother's heart when first she hears this expression from her child. 'Mother' becomes the most frequently spoken word, as well. As little ones grow, they call mother to their side to share each new discovery, each accomplishment, each disappointment, each concern. And mother always obliges.
"Years pass, and children become more independent. They move away from mother's protective care; but they are ever influenced by mother's teachings, mother's example, and mothers love. Some appear by their actions to have forgotten this influence. Wild and wasteful pathways are pursued, evil deeds done, and honor sacrificed for the sham of worldly gain. However far from the home hearth the wanderer travels, the word 'mother' mentally and emotionally brings him homeward once again. And mother, as always, stands ready to forgive."
- Thomas S. Monson, "Honor Thy Mother," Mother's Day Pamphlet, 1981; see Teachings of Thomas S. Monson p. 198
President Monson's tender and sincere appreciation for women and mothers is apparent in this excerpt, as he acknowledges the powerful influence a mother can have on children in many different ways and over many years. Even the simple word "mother" evokes memories and emotions that can bless and support us through challenges and trials, since it represents the person who we know loved and supported us in so many ways.
Even as we grow and mature, becoming "more independent," the influence of mother's teachings, example, and love continue a powerful force. There are times when we long for a conversation, a touch, a reassurance from a mother who is no longer here; but we always know her love will abide, and that knowledge can bless and sustain us more than we would expect. May God bless noble mothers everywhere!
(Compilation and commentary by David Kenison, Orem, Utah, 2017)