Then at the end, I added a few paragraphs, which I'll share here.
Parents are important, because it is from them that children learn whether or not the world is dark and cold or warm and inviting. I know that their confidence and personhood is first developed at home. Home should be a place where they are built up, not brought down.
Elder James G. Duffin declared, “We, as parents, give an account to our Father and Mother in heaven of the manner in which we have conducted ourselves toward the precious souls entrusted to us.”
Speaking of a Mother in heaven, I think it would be disgraceful to go through Mother's Day and not reference Her at some point. The publication, A Short History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter- day Saints says, “The theological conception of a Mother in heaven as well as a Father lends dignity to motherhood and wifehood.”
I would add that it lends dignity to womanhood and manhood: humanity and personhood in general. When we elevate the persons who created us, we elevate ourselves and understand our potential more greatly.
Elder John A. Widtsoe wrote: “The glorious vision of life hereafter . . . is given radiant warmth by the thought that . . . [we have] a mother who possesses the attributes of Godhood.”
How do we come to know Her? Just as Christ says we cannot know the Father but through him, I think that as we follow Christ, we grow closer to our Heavenly Mother. She is there. I do not think our lack of scripture and writings dedicated to her do not demonstrate that she is not important in our lives and eternally, but that we do not recognize her importance.
President Rudger Clawson urged, “It doesn’t take from our worship of the Eternal Father, to adore our Eternal Mother, any more than it diminishes the love we bear our earthly fathers, to include our earthly mothers in our affections.” Rather, “we honor woman when we acknowledge Godhood in her eternal prototype.”
When God comforts his children, so does she. When He wept before Enoch, I believe she was crying too. Together our Heavenly Parents bring us miracles, care for us, love us, sustain us. Together they grants us wisdom, command us, judge us, and edify us. They sent their Son to show us how to kind to each other and to be patient and merciful. I believe in the gospel of Christ, and I find hope in eternal life. Through Joseph Smith, many wonderful truths were brought together again to aid us in our eternal journey. I know our leaders are trying very hard to show us the way back to Christ. Happy Mother's Day to everyone. (name of Christ amen)
As an aside, I had to read my talk from my smartphone and that last paragraph somehow got deleted in the transfer from my laptop to my phone, so I had to come up with my testimony on the spot which involved crying and an off-handed remark on how I'm a mother who doesn't know a thing.
How was this received? I got lots of great feedback- much more than my intro-to-the-ward talk last year. Many people loved the structure of using the Sermon on the Mount and a few people mentioned how wonderful it was that I mentioned Heavenly Mother. One even asked for a copy of the talk so she could share it with her husband who wasn't here. The Heavenly Mother quotes I used at the end there were from this new BYU Studies paper, A Mother There, which I plan on doing a review on later this month.
How was Mother's Day in your ward? I'm guessing most wards gave Heavenly Mother the common shout-out in O My Father today, though strangely, ours didn't. We had a brunch afterwards for all the young women and Relief Society sisters instead of going to Sunday School or Relief Society classes and the men took over our callings (I was Sunbeam-free today!). There was a presentation highlighting the ways women in our ward have served in their lives and a focus on how we can serve in many different ways. Wonderful day overall.
Happy Mother's Day!