There are three scriptural accounts that tug my heartstrings perhaps more than any other when I think of a mother and her child/children.
The first actually has to do with a mother and her daughter-in-law. Yes, I'm talking about Ruth and Naomi. The love shared between these two women is not unusual, but the fact that it is recorded for generation upon generation of people speaks volumes of the importance of what family is really all about. These two women are not united by blood, but rather through a love so intense and so pure Naomi refused to be parted from her beloved mother-in-law. This love makes them more of a family than many other mothers and daughters in the world. What a remarkable woman Ruth must have been to have pulled such sacred feelings from another.
My second mother/child relationship comes from the New Testament. Of course my thoughts went to Jesus Christ and his earthly mother, Mary. The truest testament of what an extraordinary relationship these two shared can be seen even as he hung from the cross. When so many had turned their backs on the horror, this mother stayed as close to her son as possible. How her heart must have ached. How her arms must have wanted nothing more than to save her beloved son. She would not be removed from him.
Christ was aware of this. He saw His mother, and instead of wallowing in His own misery, He desired to know she would be taken care of.
"When Jesus therefore saw his mother, and the disciple standing by, whom he
loved, he saith unto his mother, Woman, behold thy son! Then saith he to
the disciple, Behold thy mother! And from that hour that disciple took her unto
his own home" (John 19:26-27).
Perhaps my most favorite testament to the power a mother can hold in the lives of those she is given to look after is found in the Book of Mormon, another testament of Jesus Christ. There are numerous wars abounding, and a group of young men have offered to go in the stead of their fathers who covenanted to never raise a sword in contention with another again. These young men are known to be the 2000 Stripling Warriors.
When relaying an account of their battles, and the extraordinary faith and strength of these young men, their captain (Helaman) states:
"For as I had ever called them my sons (for they were all of them very
young) even so they said unto me: Father, behold our God is with us, and he will
not suffer that we should fall; then let us go forth; we would not slay our
brethren if they would let us alone; therefore let us go, lest they should
overpower the army of Antipus.
"Now they never had fought, yet they did not fear death; and they did think
more upon the liberty of their fathers than they did upon their lives; yea, they had been taught by their mothers, that if they did not doubt, God would
deliver them" (Alma 56:46-47, italics added).
They had been taught by their mothers. Their faith was so great they didn't doubt deliverance nor fear death, because their mothers had taught them so. This was not the only testament of this from these remarkable sons.
"And as the remainder of our army were about to give way before the Lamanites, behold, those
two thousand and sixty were firm and undaunted.
"Yea, and they did obey and observe to perform every word of command with
exactness; yea, and even according to their faith it was done unto them; and I
did remember the words which they said unto me that their mothers had taught
them" (Alma 57:20-21).
As daughters of God we are given a calling to teach the children and youth to live righteously, to love the Lord, and to have faith in all His ways. I'm not just talking about those of us who have been blessed with children, but every woman. For some teaching children and youth comes so naturally it's almost like breathing. For others there is rarely anything asked of us that could possibly sound harder. Some of the most incredible teachers I've seen looking out for the little ones of this world are in the form of aunts, grandmothers, teachers, and good neighbors. Some of these amazing ladies have children of their own, others do not. It simply doesn't matter.
And so, on this glorious day, I honor everyone who has ever been a mother, who is now a mother, or who has ever mothered someone. You are so precious in the eyes of your Heavenly Father. Know that any child who has ever been treated with kindness thanks you for simply being you.