Motherhood is more than bearing children, though it is certainly and definitely that. It is the essence of who we are as women. Motherhood defines our very identity, our divine stature and nature, and the unique traits, talents, and tendencies with which our Father endowed us.
President Gordon B. Hinckley stated that “God planted within women something divine” (Teachings of Gordon B. Hinckley, 387). That something is the gift of and the gifts associated with motherhood. Elder Matthew Cowley of the Quorum of the Twelve taught that “men have to have something given to them [in mortality] to make them saviors of men, but not mothers, not women. [They] are born with an inherent right, an inherent authority, to be the saviors of human souls . . . and the regenerating force in the lives of God’s children” (Matthew Cowley Speaks, 109).
Motherhood is not what was left over after our Father blessed His sons with the privilege of priesthood ordination. It was the most ennobling endowment He could give His daughters, a sacred trust that gave woman an unparalleled role in helping His children keep their second estate. As President J. Reuben Clark, Jr., declared, motherhood is “as divinely called, as eternally important in its place as the Priesthood itself” (“Our Wives and Our Mothers in the Eternal Plan,” 801). And President Boyd K. Packer taught this: “The obligations of motherhood are never-ending. The addition of such duties as those which attend ordination to the priesthood would constitute an intrusion into, an interruption to, perhaps the avoidance of, that crucial contribution which only a mother can provide. The limitation of priesthood responsibilities to men is a tribute to the incomparable place of women in the plan of salvation. . . . Men and women have complementary, not competing, responsibilities. There is difference but not inequity. . . . In the woman’s part, she is not equal to man; she is superior! She can do that which he can never do; not in all eternity can he do it” (Things of the Soul, 172).
No wonder President Gordon B. Hinckley declared that “mothers can do more than any other group” to reverse today’s sobering social trends (“Walking in the Light of the Lord,” 100).