Mothers Day

Published: 2021-07-28 10:55:06
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Category: Mothers Day

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When I was first asked to give a talk on mothers, since it would be mother’s day. I started wondering how Mother’s Day came to be. I was surprised to discover that Mother’s Day has a history longer than Christianity! Ancients celebrated Isis (Mother of the Pharaohs), Rhea (Greek Mother of the Gods), and Cybele (The Great Mother). The worship of these ancient goddesses is similar to the reverence we show to Mary, Jesus’ mother as these Mother Goddesses are often depicted with a baby in arms. A later tradition that emerged in Europe was a celebration of the Mother Church.
People would travel to their home town and decorate the church with flowers and jewels. In our church, we do something similar when we clean the chapel, which gives us a chance to show our gratitude and appreciation. In the 1600s in the UK, this evolved to include a day off for those in service (e. g. maids and butlers) to go home on this day and also enjoy a family feast in the middle of Lent in which they honored their own mother with a cake. This holiday was known as Mothering Day. When the Puritans colonized America, they dropped this tradition.
However, after the American Civil War, Mother’s Day was instituted in the US as a day of peace and protesting war because of the sacrifices mothers had to bear whose sons had died in the war. In 1908, mothers began to be recognized with carnations:  white for deceased mothers, pink or red for the rest. After WWI, France, who had adopted Mother’s Day from the US, added a twist by encouraging repopulation. Mothers were given an award based on how many children they had, a gold medal and straightjacket to those with 8 or more children. Over 70 countries celebrate Mother’s Day now. In South Korea it’s Parents Day.
In Armenia it’s Mother’s Day and Beauty Day. Arab countries celebrate it at the beginning of spring. In Yugoslavia and Serbia Mothers Day is part of a 3 day celebration before Christmas. The first day is Children’s Day, and the children are tied up until they promise to behave well. The next day is Mother’s Day, and the mother is tied up until she gives them treats. The third day is Fathers Day, and he’s tied up until he promises a lavish Christmas. While thinking about the subject of Mothers, I found a few stories involving devoted loving mothers that did what they could to help or save they’re children.
First, one of my favorite stories that I’m sure a lot of you are familiar with is Harry Potter, there are a couple of strong lessons on the love of a mother hidden in there. The ultra short summary of the series is this: bad guy goes on a rampage of killing people he considers unclean, bad guy targets a specific baby due to a prophecy he heard, mother gives life to save baby, baby survives and goes on to give bad guy a series of bad days. In Harry’s case, his mother’s love left a powerful shield on him such that the bad guy could not touch or directly harm him.
Also, his mother’s love protected him while he called his aunt’s house his home. Now, we don’t live in a realm of magic, but our mother’s love can still protect us from the evils of the world. One example from the scriptures that came to mind is a classic story out of Egypt. The king at the time had gotten the idea that the next generation of slaves were going to revolt and cause trouble in his kingdom. His plan was the same plan that had been used through the ages; go kill all the boy children. Word of this order trickled down to a young family who had just had a baby boy.
This young mother loved her new baby boy and couldn’t stand the idea of killing him. Everybody at this time knew where the royal family bathed in the Nile. Therefore, the mother hatched a plan where she floated her son in a basket into the royal bathing area while the queen was bathing. If you haven’t figured it out by now, this is the story of Moses and we all know where his story went from here. What’s important to get from the story is the fact that his mother saw an evil in the world and took a pretty extreme risk to protect her son from it.
In Proverbs it talks about a woman that feareth the Lord and how she will be blessed. In the book of Alma we read about a group of God fearing mothers who, with their husbands, took a covenant with the Lord not to bear arms again. These mothers raised their sons to be peaceful, God fearing young men. However, as tends to happen in times of peace in the olden days, somebody wants something that somebody else has and declares war on them in order to get it. The fathers were still of military age, but chose not to take up the sword because of their covenant.
As such, a large group of young men answered Helaman’s call and took up the sword so that their parents would not have to break their covenant because their mothers had taught them that if they did not doubt, God would deliver them. So, with the leadership of Helaman and the faith in God taught them by their mothers, these stripling warriors raised havoc with every military group they encountered. According to Sister Ardeth Greene Kapp, “It’s ok that your parents aren’t perfect; no one’s are. And it’s ok that they didn’t have any perfect children either; no one’s are. I think that’s an important thing to keep in mind. We all strive for perfection, of course, but there will be bumps and headaches along the way. After awhile I asked myself this question, how can we honor our own mothers on this day? While searching the internet a came upon a copy of the 5 Love Languages, a book that talks about how people recognize affection. For example, some people are skeptical of presents, feeling like they are wasteful and only given out of obligation and that people expect something in return, but other people feel presents show that someone was spending time thinking about you.
No matter what we give, the gift should be something that comes from the heart that the receiver will value. Given the variety of Mothers Day traditions, a few I mentioned before, there are traditions that fit all five of these love languages: First: • Words of Affirmation. Argentinean children surround their mother and read poetry. In Mexico, the family serenades the mother with songs. In Japan, they write cards to their mothers and also participate in an art contest every fourth year in which children draw pictures of their mother. Second: • Quality Time.
Visiting home, or barring that, a phone call. Many traditions include a family feast followed by time together playing games. This is one of 2 days a year that Mormon missionaries are allowed to call home. Third: • Receiving Gifts. Traditional gifts include flowers, chocolates, jewelry or as I remember giving my mother growing up was a book of coupons, such as a 10min. massage, playing nicely with my siblings for one whole day, cleaning my room or emptying the dishwasher without complaining, and other things like that. Fourth: • Acts of Service.
Doing chores, breakfast in bed, cooking the meal, all of these are common Mother’s Day presents. Some countries have a tradition of giving to charity, especially to women’s charities. Others use the day to proclaim peace or protest war. The Mothering Day tradition of decorating the church is also an act of service. Fifth: • Physical Touch. Many women appreciate a spa certificate or massage or even a weekend retreat. In Ethiopia, after the family feast, the women and girls put butter on their faces and chests and then the whole family dances and sings.
I suppose being tied up like they do in Yugoslavia involves physical touch. As someone once said: “There is no way to be a perfect mother and a million ways to be a good one. ”  We were sent to the earth as infants, dependent on imperfect adults to care for us, to teach us, and to love us despite our own imperfections. We came from a perfected Heavenly Mother and Father who entrusted us in the care of an imperfect human mother. Clearly, no matter how imperfect our mothers were, they were deemed good enough by Heavenly Parents for the purpose they needed to fill.
Richard G. Scott said, “Mothers have a vision of the power of obediently, patiently teaching truth, because they look beyond the peanut-butter sandwiches, soiled clothing, tedious hours of routine, struggles with homework and long hours by the sickbed. ” Another way to honor our mothers is to reflect on what they have taught us. From my mother, I have learned: • How to act in faith. Both my parents may have grown up in the church but they always encouraged me to have faith, and are a great example of attending church every Sunday.
My Mother encourages me to go to other church activities outside of Sunday also. • A Hard work ethic. My Mother encourages and helps me all she can for me to maintain a 4. 0 grade average, along with going to tumbling practice 9-12 hours a week. • And The importance of getting enough sleep. This may or may not have been a direct lesson. But having twins come into the family sure had an affect on both of my parents sleep habits. My mother caught up on sleep whenever she could by taking short naps. While growing up I never liked naps, I thought they were a waste of time.
But with early morning seminary, having to get up at 5:45 Monday-Friday, I’ve learned she was smart to take naps and I often take naps myself. Like our physical dependence on imperfect mothers, we are spiritually dependent on our perfect savior. 1 John 4:19 says of our relationship with the savior:  “We love him, because he first loved us. ”  Likewise, we love our mothers because they first loved us before we knew how to love or to care for others. And as with the savior, there isn’t just one day a year for showing our appreciation.
If you haven’t convinced your mother you love her on the other 364 days a year, nothing you do on Mother’s Day will convince her. I am so grateful for the wonderful mother I was blessed with. She has helped me with everything and has always supported me in school, in sports, and in anything else she could. I know she loves me and I love her more than I probably show or say. She has sacrificed so much to provide for and support me and she always knows just what to say in any situation. I’m so glad I was born to the mother I have, I couldn’t ask for a better mother. I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ amen.

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