Conference talks are a source of strength and this week I would like to share my thoughts of one talk in particular.
When Elder Jeffrey R. Holland began to speak about the divine and grand nature of Mothers past and present, my thoughts jumped immediately to my Mother. I thought of her influence, guidance, protection, time, energy, and forethought that have gone into my life thus far and will continue to be a part of my life even as I grow older and gain 'independence' (though are any of us truly independent of our mothers?). As I pondered I had to agree with Elder Holland and his assertion "that 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". When we ponder the love of God for us and the love and understanding that Christ has for us, we're left in sheer awe that a being could possess so perfectly the heavenly attribute of charity.
A moment that struck me deeply was when Elder Holland related the story of a dear friend who was passing from this life to the next. As part of his musings at the closing of his life he stated that "however painful it is going to be for me to stand before God, I cannot bear the thought of standing before my mother. The gospel and her children meant everything to her. I know I have broken her heart, and that is breaking mine." I thought about the love of my Mother and the worry I must have instilled and the sorrow she surely felt as I made mistakes throughout my life. But I know that through these trials and experiences of mine that my mother, in similar fashion to the Savior, "hath borne [my] griefs, and carried [my] sorrows". Though in this life I don't have my Heavenly Parents standing by my side visible to the mortal eye while I go though mortality, I do have my mother. In many instances the voice of my Mother has come to me in my mind to lead me aright and keep me on the straight and narrow. We may pass through this life separated from heaven, but a righteous and diligent mother is the next best thing.
As wonderful as this message came to me, I must again acknowledge that my own mother has likely been impacted even more by this powerful talk. It has struck me and instilled in me a great respect for anyone who will or is carrying the title of mother. I use the word 'carrying' very specifically because the job of motherhood never ends. It is a calling that will continue through the eternities and will form and shape more of God's children into righteous posterity than any other calling aside from the Savior of the World.