News Story

Celebrating Mother’s Day Across Canada

This Mother’s Day, members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, along with others across the nation, will take time to reflect on the meaning of motherhood. In 1995, the First Presidency of the Church published a document entitled “The Family: A Proclamation to the World,” which declares, “All human beings — male and female — are created in the image of God. Each is a beloved spirit son or daughter of heavenly parents.”

The idea of the existence of heavenly parents and our connection to them is central to the doctrines and programs of the Church. The Church Gospel Topics essay “Mother in Heaven” teaches that “the doctrine of a Heavenly Mother is a cherished and distinctive belief among Latter-day Saints.”

Eliza R Snow, the second general president of the Relief Society, the women’s organization of the Church, penned a poem called “O My Father.” In it she posed the question “In the heav’ns are parents single?” Her answer, “No, the thought makes reason stare! Truth is reason; truth eternal tells me I’ve a mother there.”

Elder M. Russell Ballard of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles has taught, “Our Heavenly Parents’ love and concern continues to this very moment” (Our Search for Happiness [1993], 70).

Mother’s Day is a day meant to celebrate motherhood. To many, this day brings happy memories of childhood homes filled with love. This is a day to celebrate these memories and our relationships with mothers.

Catherine Jarvis, a member of the Church in Montreal, Quebec, commented, “Mother’s Day is a time for me to reflect on the many wonderful women, including my own dear mother, who have mentored and supported me. I feel overwhelmed just thinking about the many sacrifices and acts of love extended to me by these mothers.”

For others, the emotions surrounding Mother’s Day are deep and complex. Some mothers spend this day happily surrounded by their children, while other mothers are overwhelmed by feelings of failure and inadequacy.

Janell Gehmlich of Montreal, Quebec, “mother” of the St. Laurent young single adult branch and a mentor and blogger at Childless Mormon Support, reminds us to “remember and express love for those who mourn a lost child, whose arms are empty when they would have [children] otherwise, who lost their mother too soon or who have never known a loving mother’s embrace.” Mother’s Day is a day to celebrate mothers but also to reach out to those who need love and support.

Jesus Christ’s teachings offer hope and peace. He taught that the inherent qualities of motherhood are available for all to develop, regardless of marital standing or family circumstances. Upon her creation, Eve was named “the mother of all living” (Genesis 3:20), though she had yet to bear a child. Motherhood is more than an act or lifestyle choice; it is a description of character.

When the resurrected Christ returned to the Earth, He announced Himself by using the metaphor of a mother hen. He lamented, “How oft would I have gathered you as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings” (3 Nephi 10:5). In this, He exemplifies the true meaning of motherly love.

All can offer refuge and safety. All can gather in the lost and afraid. All can extend a hand of love and friendship. All in this sense can be mothers. May we celebrate the Christlike attributes of tender caring and love on Mother’s Day.

Contributed by Janine Thompson

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