I love Mother’s Day, but I realize that many women don’t share my enthusiasm. Some feel left out of this holiday because they haven’t borne children, and others dislike it because they have. But from my point of view, Mother’s Day is truly special. I never cease to be amazed that when Heavenly Father created women, He not only gave them the capacity to bring life into the world, but He also endowed them with the gifts required to shape and teach all of us. Women not only bear children, they bear with all of humankind in life-changing ways.
I found myself thinking about this recently as I listened to my wife, Wendy, deliver the commencement address at a major university. Drawing upon her experience as a professor of marriage and family therapy, she spoke about the crushing impact of contention on relationships, society, and even on our health. As she spoke, I couldn’t help but wonder how many were changed by her insights. I’ve seen the impact of her influence again and again. She never bore children, but Wendy has mothered groups large and small.
I’ve personally experienced the unique influence of women countless times—beginning with my own mother, whose trust in me gave me confidence and spurred me to make better choices. And then there was my eighth-grade teacher, Miss Collins, who would not accept mediocrity. Her voice still rings in my ears: “Russell, you can do better work than this!”
Then I fell in love with and married a remarkable woman, Dantzel White. In addition to bearing and nurturing our 10 children, Dantzel brought out the best in me.
After her passing and until I married Wendy, I experienced the haunting absence of a companion and realized even more just how much Dantzel’s strength had bolstered my own.
So on this Mother’s Day, I pay tribute to the life-sustaining influence of all of God’s daughters. Our Heavenly Parents love you for your sheer courage and for the unequaled influence you have in this world of ours. Happy Mother’s Day!
Today I joyfully pay tribute to three of the women and mothers who have blessed my life in extraordinary ways.
My mother passed away more than 30 years ago, but I am blessed every day by the fundamental lessons I learned from her about Heavenly Father’s plan of happiness and the power of faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and His Atonement. Her quiet example of devotion and service continues to be a powerful example to me.
My wife’s mother is a righteous woman, wife, mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother. Her hallmark characteristics are selfless service and an unwavering determination to defend the truth. She has helped our family and me in innumerable and important ways for more than four decades. She truly is a remarkable woman.
And my wife, Susan, loves the Lord and honors her womanhood. Her touch brings a smile to the face of a child with a scratched knee, and her loving attention lifts all with whom she comes in contact. Her sustaining support and encouragement have strengthened the members of our family to do things we did not think we could do.
How grateful I am for the influence these three women have been and continue to be in my life.
Happy Mother’s Day to all women everywhere—and thank you for all you do to bring love and light into the lives of so many people.
Who are the righteous women in your lives? What will you do to honor them?