Last year, Public Square Magazine asked me to write a piece on motherhood for Mother’s Day. I agonized over the invitation and prayed for guidance. How did I, a woman without children, define motherhood? Could I put into words my conviction that every woman expresses an eternal nature of motherhood? My concept of motherhood bore fruit as doctrinal clarity came. Words followed. I rejoiced in the divine opportunity I have as a covenant woman of God to participate in the eternal nature of motherhood, now, as I am, in my barrenness.
The Eternal Nature of Motherhood for All Women
Among most of the Christian world the ideal of an under-shepherd pertains to those who choose to take on the ministry, recognizing that as they are shepherding those in their congregations, the True Shepherd is Jesus Christ.
Matthew Cowley, a mid-twentieth-century apostle for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, expanded this idea in relation to women. He said that they “belong to the great sorority of Saviorhood. … You are born with an inherent right, an inherent authority, to be the saviors of human souls. You are the co-creators with God of his children. Therefore, it is expected of you by a right divine that you be the saviors and the regenerating force in the lives of God’s children here upon the earth.”
The theme continues in the ministry of current Church President, Russell M. Nelson:
My dear sisters, you have special spiritual gifts and propensities … I urge you, with all the hope of my heart, to pray to understand your spiritual gifts—to cultivate, use, and expand them, even more than you ever have. You will change the world as you do so. We need your strength, your conversion, your conviction, your ability to lead, your wisdom, and your voices. We simply cannot gather Israel without you. I love you and thank you and now bless you with the ability to leave the world behind as you assist in this crucial and urgent work. Together we can do all that our Heavenly Father needs us to do to prepare the world for the Second Coming of His Beloved Son.
Today, we find much debate over the meaning of womanhood or female identity. Latter-day Saint doctrine, then, provides significant clarity to these questions.
Yet pinned between loving accolades by Church leaders and the world’s blasting rhetoric combined with unjust acts against her, a woman’s covenant path to receive the Lord’s mantle of motherhood can be an arduous and soul-searching one.
The Lord “knowing the calamity which should come upon the inhabitants of the earth,” beautifully intertwined a woman’s journey to exaltation in His scriptures. He marks the path by highlighting women’s roles and purposes as she progresses from a virtuous daughter of Zion to a bride, to a mother of nations, to a mother of all living while resisting the juxtaposed roles proffered by the adversary.
The Lord invites women with or without husbands and with or without children to become covenant mothers in Zion who are “the saviors and regenerating force in the lives of God’s children” and “to prepare the world for the Second Coming of His Beloved Son.” Each woman’s path is personally tailored to her circumstance and talents and enabled by the Savior’s atonement for her to become a joint-heir with Christ.
Click on this link to read the rest of the article: “The Eternal Nature of Motherhood for All Women” on Public Square Magazine.