Friday, October 16, 2015

Jeffrey R. Holland offers a tribute to mothers

Elder Jeffrey R. Holland (b. 1940) served as Church Commissioner of Education from 1976-1980, as the president of BYU from 1980-1989, as a Seventy from 1989-1994, and as a member of the Quorum of Twelve Apostles since 1994.
"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....
"You see, it is not only that they bear us, but they continue bearing with us. It is not only the prenatal carrying but the lifelong carrying that makes mothering such a staggering feat. Of course, there are heartbreaking exceptions, but most mothers know intuitively, instinctively that this is a sacred trust of the highest order....
"A wonderful young mother recently wrote to me: '...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." (John 17:4)' ...
"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 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 (see Obadiah 1:21), and like the Master you follow, your love "never faileth" (Moroni 7:46; see also 1 Corinthians 13:8).' I can pay no higher tribute to anyone."
- Jeffrey R. Holland, "Behold Thy Mother," General Conference, October 2015, Saturday afternoon session
Click here to read the full talk

Elder Holland shared a tender tribute to mothers in his October 2015 conference talk. This is not the first time he's addressed this topic, one that is dear to his heart. He gave some poignant examples of the depth of love and devotion usually expressed in this responsibility. This thought rings true to me—it is not just the bearing of children in which a mother shows her devotion that is pure and lasting:

In acknowledging that motherhood is often very challenging and difficult, Elder Holland reassured those who might be struggling through some aspect of their lives to have peace and patience.  "You are doing better than you think you are."

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