- To the women within the sound of my voice who dearly want to be mothers and are not, I say through your tears and ours on that subject, God will yet, in days that lie somewhere ahead, bring “hope to [the] desolate heart.” As prophets have repeatedly taught from this pulpit, ultimately “no blessing shall be withheld” from the faithful, even if those blessings do not come immediately. In the meantime we rejoice that the call to nurture is not limited to our own flesh and blood.
He speaks of the early years of motherhood where typically, parents are in school, more is very tight, and sleep is nonexistent. He tells husbands and church leaders to be sensitive and wise in what is asked of mothers during these formative years.
- Remember that families are the highest priority of all, especially in those formative years. Even so, young mothers will still find magnificent ways to serve faithfully in the Church, even as others serve and strengthen them and their families in like manner. Do the best you can through these years, but whatever else you do, cherish that role that is so uniquely yours and for which heaven itself sends angels to watch over you and your little ones. Husbands—especially husbands—as well as Church leaders and friends in every direction, be helpful and sensitive and wise. Remember, “To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.”
He speaks to mothers directly about their role and how the role of mother includes partnering with God to bring to pass His ultimate purposes. He speaks about what each of us can do to have the spirit with us and to make the decisions that God wants us to make.
- May I say to mothers collectively, in the name of the Lord, you are magnificent. You are doing terrifically well. The very fact that you have been given such a responsibility is everlasting evidence of the trust your Father in Heaven has in you. He knows that your giving birth to a child does not immediately propel you into the circle of the omniscient. If you and your husband will strive to love God and live the gospel yourselves; if you will plead for that guidance and comfort of the Holy Spirit promised to the faithful; if you will go to the temple to both make and claim the promises of the most sacred covenants a woman or man can make in this world; if you will show others, including your children, the same caring, compassionate, forgiving heart you want heaven to show you; if you try your best to be the best parent you can be, you will have done all that a human being can do and all that God expects you to do.
He speaks of the heartbreak that occurs when a child makes decisions that we don't want them to make. The anguish this can cause needs to push us more towards God instead of away from Him.
- Sometimes the decision of a child or a grandchild will break your heart. Sometimes expectations won’t immediately be met. Every mother and father worries about that. Even that beloved and wonderfully successful parent President Joseph F. Smith pled, “Oh! God, let me not lose my own.” That is every parent’s cry, and in it is something of every parent’s fear. But no one has failed who keeps trying and keeps praying. You have every right to receive encouragement and to know in the end your children will call your name blessed, just like those generations of foremothers before you who hoped your same hopes and felt your same fears.
Mothers need wisdom and guidance and the best place to receive that is from God. We should not parent alone. God is our partner and we need to turn to Him for help. His ultimate purpose is to see us succeed so He will help us in our times of need.
- When you have come to the Lord in meekness and lowliness of heart and, as one mother said, “pounded on the doors of heaven to ask for, to plead for, to demand guidance and wisdom and help for this wondrous task,” that door is thrown open to provide you the influence and the help of all eternity. Claim the promises of the Savior of the world. Ask for the healing balm of the Atonement for whatever may be troubling you or your children. Know that in faith things will be made right in spite of you, or more correctly, because of you.
- You can’t possibly do this alone, but you do have help. The Master of Heaven and Earth is there to bless you—He who resolutely goes after the lost sheep, sweeps thoroughly to find the lost coin, waits everlastingly for the return of the prodigal son. Yours is the work of salvation, and therefore you will be magnified, compensated, made more than you are and better than you have ever been as you try to make honest effort, however feeble you may sometimes feel that to be.
He concludes with encouragement for us to turn to God for help.
- Rely on Him. Rely on Him heavily. Rely on Him forever. And “press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope.” You are doing God’s work. You are doing it wonderfully well. He is blessing you and He will bless you, even—no, especially—when your days and your nights may be the most challenging.
Mothers are amazing. They take on so much responsibility with very little thanks. Their happiness is built in the results of seeing their children grow to be responsible adults. I have watched the mothers in my life find just joy in the raising of their families. But I have also seen hurt and anguish when children make decisions that are not in line with the teachings of the Gospel. In these times, I have found comfort in the idea that we can ask God for help. God wants us to help His children, He wants to see us succeed. There is no better partner in our parenting than God. Despite how great God is, He still wants us to simply call Him father. He is our father and we can go to Him for guidance on how to raise our children. Just like our earthly parents can help us, so our Father in Heaven can help us.