Latter-day Saints in Canada Celebrate Motherhood

Women and mothers around the world will be recognized on May 8, Mother’s Day. Women represent half of the world’s population and are overwhelmingly the primary caregivers in the nurturing of children and family, while often juggling many other roles simultaneously.

Members and leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have honoured and celebrated the imperative and unparalleled contributions of women and mothers since the beginning. Although present knowledge is limited, Church doctrine and leadership clearly point to the existence of a Heavenly Mother. In 1909, the First Presidency of the Church stated that “all men and women are in the similitude of the universal Father and Mother, and are literally the sons and daughters of Deity” (“The Origin of Man,” Improvement Era, Nov. 1909).

Mothers and mother figures can take many forms. Betty Prowse, a Church member in Victoria, British Columbia, is a retired air force nurse and midwife who has spent the better part of her life in the service of others. Prowse never married, nor has she borne children of her own. Regardless, she has proven to be a treasured aunt, adopted grandmother and adopted great-grandmother. She says, “Motherhood is the greatest thing to happen to a woman. My job is to be a good example to my grandchildren and to everyone.”

Tiffany Manville, of Grande Prairie, Alberta, is a Mormon mother of one child, whom she and her husband adopted three years ago. Manville views motherhood as “a feeling; an instinct we are born with; the feeling of wanting to help someone after they have fallen, in wanting to create something beautiful. Some mother every day; some mother for those [whom] they are in contact with through life’s travels. Whoever it may be, someone knows that they are loved, cared for and never alone — that is what motherhood means to me.”

Meaghan Purnell, a Mormon mother of four young children in Lacombe, Alberta, adds her sentiments about motherhood: “Families were created for us to have joy, and although it’s harder than I ever anticipated, I try to find [joy] in motherhood. [Motherhood] can be monotonous and not fun, but we can try to find the joy that Heavenly Father would want us to have through glimpses. Motherhood is a journey, and I didn’t have a good example biologically, but I have been blessed by wonderful examples to emulate.”

In the Old Testament, the book of Genesis tells us that Eve was referred to as the mother of all living, despite the fact that, at that point, she had not borne any children. Her innate potential was already known and recognized, much as each woman’s ability to mother is not limited to her ability to bear children.

The art and legacy of mothering began as we know it with Eve in the Garden of Eden and continues on throughout the generations. May we all remember the gifts given us by our mothers.

Contributed by Samantha Smith-Bird

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