"No One Can Take a Woman's Place" - Mother's Day Lesson for Church

I taught the lesson on Mother's Day in church At first I considered using a newly published book, "Christ's Gifts to Women," as the basis for my lesson, but I was led to do something different.  I still wanted to highlight this beautiful book.  The artwork is wonderful and so are the messages.


As a Relief Society Presidency we wanted to make sure to include ALL women in the lesson on Mother's Day and focus on the blessings of being a woman and the blessings of having women in our lives who have "mothered" us in so many different ways. I decided to post my lesson in case someone else needs an idea for a lesson to give on Mother's Day.

"No One Can Take a Woman's Place"


I want to wish you a Happy Mother’s Day. At times the words ‘mother’ and ‘motherhood’ have divided rather than united us. Some of us feel guilty about having children who didn’t turn out the way we had hoped and prayed; some of us had mothers who were abusive, unloving, bad examples; some of us fiercely miss our mothers who have passed away; some of us haven’t been given the opportunity to have children. Motherhood can be a tender subject that can evoke strong emotion, ranging from great joy to great heartache.

As daughters of our Heavenly Father, and as daughters of Eve, we are all mothers, and we have always been mothers. It is the essence of who we are as women. It defines our very identity, our divine stature and nature, and the unique traits and talents that our Father in Heaven gave us. We tend to equate motherhood with maternity, but in the Lord’s language the word mother has layers of meaning. Eve was called “the mother of all living” before she ever bore a child. Moses 4:26 says, “And Adam called his wife’s name Eve because she was the mother of all living; for thus have I the Lord God, called the first of all women, which are many.” The Lord does nothing with a short-range view; our motherhood began before we were born. Motherhood is more than the bearing of children, though it is certainly that.

Prophets have taught the doctrine of motherhood again and again, without the slightest variation. What does this doctrine mean to all women? That motherhood is divine and eternal and core to the nature of every woman. It is the work of the women of God. Elder Matthew Cowley of the Quorum of the Twelve taught that “women are born with an inherent right, an inherent authority, to be the saviors of human souls…the regenerating force in the lives of God’s children.” Motherhood has an unparalleled role in helping God’s children keep their second estate.

For reasons known only to the Lord, some women are required to wait to have children. The delay and the disappointment are not easy for any righteous woman. But the Lord’s timetable doesn’t change our very nature. We are all needed as mothers; all around us are those who need to be loved and led, nurtured and mentored. The spiritual rewards of mothering are available to all. Few of us reach our potential without the nurturing of mothers—the mothers who bore us and the mothers we have been blessed to have as grandmothers, aunts, Primary teachers, visiting teachers, youth leaders, neighbors, and friends. These mothers in Israel have loved us, encouraged us, and helped us build a sense of confidence, safety and security while they have shown us where to find peace and truth.

I would like to spend the rest of our class time in celebrating and expressing our gratitude for the women in our lives who have mothered us in various ways.  There are too many to count so we are only going to focus on five and while we read the following scriptures I would like you to think of the women who have blessed you or someone you know.  I would love to have you share some of your thoughts and feelings if you feel prompted to do so.

1. The first word to discuss is the word "Bear" Hannah is cannot bear or have a child and is depressed.  Read Scripture #1:  
1 Samuel 1:10-11, 17-20.  Do you know the story of your birth? Would someone like to share a story about your birth mother's gift of life to you, or someone you know? 

2. The second word is the word "Nurture" with D&C 121: 41-42. Read Scripture #2. Bonnie D. Parkin said that nurturing feels like the words in these verses. Who are the women that have nurtured you? Tell about someone who mothered you by nurturing you.

3. The third word is the word "Protect" by reading 1 Nephi 5:7-9. Read Scripture #3
 Women always want to protect others, especially children.  How has a woman protected you? Do you know of a prayer or prayers for your protection? Tell about a woman "mothering" you by protecting you or praying for you.

4. The fourth word is the word "Teach" by reading Alma 56: 47-48. This is about the 2000 Young Stripling Warriors that volunteered to go to war in the Book of Mormon. Read Scripture #4. 
One of the main jobs of a woman is teaching the gospel. Who has mothered you by teaching you about faith? What did she teach you? Share your experience about this woman.

5. The fifth and last word is "Lead." In Proverbs 31:10 it says: “Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies.” Read scripture #5: 2 Nephi 31: 9-10. As Jesus Christ showed, the best leading is by example. Share an example of a virtuous woman whose influence and example has touched you.

Closing: This quote is by Sheri Dew from her book, “No one can take yourplace.” The chapter is: "Are We Not All Mothers?" She was a counselor in the General Relief Society Presidency.  She wasn't married and she didn't have children.

“Every one of us has an overarching obligation to model righteous womanhood because our youth may not see it anywhere else. Every sister in Relief Society, which is the most significant community of women on this side of the veil, is responsible to help mother someone--beginning, of course, with the children in our own families but extending far beyond. Every one of us can show by word and by deed that the work of women in the Lord's kingdom is magnificent and holy. I repeat: We are all mothers in Israel, and our calling is to love and help lead the rising generation through the dangerous streets of mortality.  Motherhood is not only about those we have borne, but also about those we are willing to bear with. Every woman can show by word and by deed that the work of women in the Lord’s kingdom is magnificent and holy. And our work influences not only the here and now, but reaches into the eternities.”

“Mother” is the word that will define a righteous woman made perfect in the highest degree of the celestial kingdom. Let us stand united and steadfast as mothers in Israel and as women of God. As mothers we have a sacred stewardship and a holy crown in the kingdom of God. 
No one can take a woman's place.   No one can fill your shoes or serve those around them like you can.  You have been born at this place and time with your sphere of influence for a reason.  No one can take your special place in this world.  We love you, the Lord loves you.  I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.
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Notes: 
  • wrote the title of the lesson on the top of the chalkboard: "No one can Take a Woman's Place." 
  • I had five printed signs with the words: Bear, Nurture, Protect, Teach, Lead and the scriptures for each one printed under the word.  I put these under the lesson title the chalkboard.  
  • handed out the five scripture references to individuals in the class to be ready to read when I asked for them. 

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