Mothers: Symbols of the Savior (+CD giveaway)

What has motherhood taught you about Jesus Christ?

That’s the question I asked Whitney Permann of MERCY RIVER because it’s the central theme of my blog– finding the divine among the daily details of motherhood.  MERCY RIVER is a musical trio of LDS women (Brooke, Whitney, and Soni).  With thirteen kids between them, they understand how busy a mother’s life can be, and they also juggle being recording artists and inspirational speakers.  Check out this video for a peek of them rehearsing and entertaining seven kids at the same time.

Here is Whitney’s answer:

What has motherhood taught me about Jesus Christ?

Motherhood has taught me many things. I’ve learned that patterned shirts hide snot and spit up better than plain shirts. I’ve learned that cell phones don’t work correctly after they’ve been sucked on too many times. And I’ve learned that I should always check for stray pull ups before I throw a load of laundry in.

I’ve also learned about polar bear habitats, all five signs of strep throat, and the name of every member of the BYU football team.

But most importantly, motherhood has taught me a lot about Jesus Christ. As a mother, I’ve learned about justice and mercy, faith and prayer, joy and sorrow, and deep, intense love. Each of these things connects me to Him.

We are taught that as mothers, we are “partners” with Christ. We offer ourselves as vehicles through which spirits can come to earth. But perhaps we are more than just “partners” with Him.  Take a look at Moses 6:58:

“As ye were born into the world by water, and blood, and the spirit…even so ye must be born again into the kingdom of heaven, of water, and of the Spirit, and be cleansed by blood, even the blood of mine Only Begotten.”

Isn’t that stunning? Physical birth (from a mother) is symbolic of spiritual re-birth that will take place later in life (from Christ). So, as mothers, not only are we partners with Christ–

We are symbols of Christ.

We offer our physical bodies in pregnancy and childbirth to provide life for our children. Jesus Christ offered His physical body in death, to provide life for God’s children. And both involve water, blood, and the Spirit.

But it doesn’t stop there. A mother’s offering does not begin or end with her body. Yes, a mother offers her body through sleepless nights, weary arms, a well-worn lap, an aching back, and a listening ear. But what a mother offers most is her heart. Her entire soul. And isn’t that what Jesus Christ has offered us as well? Just as we see it symbolized in motherhood, He offers us His body, and His heart and soul.

So I ask, how does this knowledge–that we are symbols of Christ–change the way we view motherhood? Does it change the way I see myself or my children? Should it? And what is the meaning of it all? Why has He chosen to use mothers in this beautifully symbolic way?

I think it means He thinks we’re pretty special.

I think it means that mothering should be reverenced and protected.

I think it means that by daily nurturing, loving, teaching, and sacrificing for my children, not only am I coming to know more about Him, I am coming to be more like Him.

And I wouldn’t have it any other way.

I love that, Whitney, and I absolutely agree.  Perhaps no other calling on earth can give more opportunity to become like Christ than the calling of a mother.  Thank you!

MERCY RIVER has just released a new album, “Higher,” and they are offering a free copy of their CD to one lucky reader.  There are some beautiful songs on this album.  I think my favorites are two songs I was already familiar with from the Christian radio station I like to listen to:  “Blessings” and “Better than a Hallelujah.”  This is great Sunday music, but it’s also upbeat enough for any day at home or in the car.

If you want to hear a song from this album, you can go to their Facebook page here and listen to “Beautiful Life.”  You’ll also find more information about their current blog tour and any upcoming performances.

So, you wanna be a winner?  It’s simple really.  In just one or two sentences, answer the same question Whitney did:  What has motherhood taught you about Jesus Christ? (Your answer doesn’t have to be original, just true to you.  It can be longer, too, but no pressure.)  Each person who comments before midnight on Friday will be entered in a drawing to win Mercy River’s new CD.

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38 thoughts on “Mothers: Symbols of the Savior (+CD giveaway)

  1. I think one of the greatest things I have learned about the Savior through being a mother is His unconditional love. Even when my children are frustrating me to no end, I still feel such love for them and desire to help them reach their full potential. I am sure that the Savior and our Heavenly Father feel the same way about us.

  2. The Savior sacrificed everything because of His love for us. I have learned about sacrifice from my children. I have sacrificed sleep, fashion, dignity, time, my own interests because of my love for my children. Motherhood is the absolute hardest thing I have ever done, but I love it so much and it has made me into a more loving, charitable person. I would do it all over again for my 5 amazing children!

  3. I would also have today sacrific is one of the big things I have and still am learning. When I stop and think about all that I sacrific for my children, then think about all the savior sacrificed for me, I am overcome with gratitude for him.

  4. That video clip was cute; I think I would like that song a lot. I’m now wondering what makes the difference between a mom who can see the purpose of it all and the mom who (like me) struggles to see that. Testimony? And do the ones who see the greater purpose see it all the time? I’m just wondering.

  5. Oh Amber I don’t see it all the time. I strugge with it as well. Any Mom who says she doesn’t struggle is not being truthful in my opinion I find if I write my feelings down in a journal or on my blog it helps me see it more often. If I focus on seeing it, it helps change my perspective. The temple helps me so much with perspective and I try to go regularly to have the right attitude.

  6. I love Mercy River. They really speak to me as a mother in Zion. I’ve learned a lot about my Savior with this sacred calling. But one of the biggest things I’ve learned about Him is creation. Being a part of creating a little life has helped me to understand what the Savior must have felt like when He created all things!

  7. That message was exactly what I needed to hear. I think motherhood has taught me exactly how it is that Christ can love us so unconditionally & never leave us no matter how bad of a person we are or the bad things we do. He never word because he will always live us no matter what.

  8. On those hard days, I always think about “opposition in all things”, like if we don’t experience the hard times, we can’t have the good times. I have been touched as I have had promptings about different children. I know that it is a sacrifice to have children in some ways, but I also know that if I was living a different life, I wouldn’t be who I am. I wouldn’t be as nurturing. I wouldn’t be as sympathetic to other moms. I couldn’t be as Christ-like. I am in no way perfect, but I am on a journey of working for it!

  9. I learned about motherhood from my Mom. It starts with the feelings you instill in your children. I learned about being loved from my Mom. Feeling this parental love when I was still young enough to be in her arms taught me that there are people in the world who love me and also that there is a God who loves me too. If I hadn’t felt that from my mother when I was young, it would have been hard to feel that ANYONE loved me. Thanks Mom for giving me that lesson through your loving and caring actions as my MOTHER.

  10. Whitney, that was beautiful! There is a lot to think about and learn from your post.

    I have learned that I can endure through the physical pain and hardship of pregnancy and labor to provide a body for these choice children and that it really is “but a small moment” just as Christ has suffered for me. I know that because He has suffered He understands!

    {don’t include me in the giveaway. Mercy River is coming to my blog on Friday!}

  11. It has taught me how deeply he loves each of us, in the same way that I love my children. I guess that is more of a Heavenly Father then Jesus response. It has also taught me a lot about sacrifice and how that when you do love, as much as a mother does, you are willing to sacrifice pretty much anything.

  12. Beautiful post. Being a symbol of Christ as a mother makes sense at the same time that it is so “wow! how did I never see that before?”

    I have learned what it really means to be patient and gentle. Or I am learning that still… It is bringing new meaning to coming to Christ being meek as a little child, and finding out how patient I can be.

  13. I have learned how much Heavenly Father really knows and loves each one of us and how it is possible to love each addtional child just as much as your first. And that not a day goes by that Jesus dying for me requires me to continue to repent and be better each and every day.

  14. I’ve learned how much Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ must love us. With the mistakes, bumps, and bruises we see our children make we still love them no matter what and we forgive, encourage, lift and support. To think that our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ feel that infinitely more with the bigger mistakes we make and bumps and bruises we get, is humbling. But it also shows that we can and are becoming like them.

  15. I have learned that my children were with me such a short time to raise and now they are adults and I learn from them. It gives me an idea of how our Heavenly Father wants us to make right choices for the right reasons and that we have our agency. I love the analogy of being a “type” of Christ.

  16. I am not a mother, not yet anyway. I will be one someday (whether in this life or the next) but I think that this calling of motherhood is not just for those who have given birth, but for every woman who can take joy and comfort in the nurturing of those children around her, Whether it is your nieces/nephews or those children in your Primary/YW classes. It is our divine role as women to be “mothering” and nurturing all of those around us. I have learned to appreciate the awesome role that we all have in the “creating” of these bodies for such awesome spirits. Though this trial of “not-yet-Motherhood” I have drawn closer to my Savior and know that He does know me personally and knows of EVERY feeling that I have and it is ONLY through His Atonement that I can face each day without being so bogged down by my feelings of inadequacy. I have a greater understanding of His plan for ME, and have strived to continually seek His Guidance for education, jobs, etc. that will help me one day fulfill this role that will be given to me in a manner that will please Him. Thank you Mercy River for the wonderful music that we all can share of your testimony of Jesus Christ and help boost and build our own

  17. It has taught me unconditional love, patience, unconditional forgiveness….I feel as if those were important characteristics of our savior and although I haven’t mastered them all (ie. patience) I feel as I have a better understanding as to why our savior has and I try harder every day to be more like Him.

  18. I’ve learned that unconditional love is sometimes hard in the difficult moment, the moment when it’s most needed, but if the Savior loves me that much, even in the most difficult moment, then I can continue love my kids unconditionally, even those ugly, difficult, patience-trying moments. That’s when the Savior keeps on loving me, even as He’s loving them.

  19. I have recently come to the realization that my children were sent to me to help me become more like my Savior in every way. They were sent here to be my teacher and to help me reach my divine potential.

  20. Each child is of value and loved. The pain, sacrifice, inconvenience, embarrassing moments are a very small price for the joy and love that grows for each child as we submit to the blessings of this sacred role of mother. I learn a bit of how love truly grows for those we serve and how His love is so much greater for He has done so much more for each of us. There is always room for one more and love overflows.

  21. One of the things I noticed right away after I had my first baby was that my life was not my own anymore. Before having a child, even though my husband’s, friends’, coworkers’, etc. needs could change my schedule for the day, I was usually able to plan how my day would go and get things done that I wanted to get done. That has completely changed since becoming a mother. The majority of my time is spent being selfless (whether I always like it or not). Jesus spent his days being selfless, and I hope I am starting to become more like Him.

  22. Motherhood has taught me how much *I* need the Savior. I’ve come face-to-face with my weakness and inadequacy more intensely as a mother than in any other role. I’m continuously having to remind myself that God’s plan includes sending these beautiful, innocent children to imperfect parents. I need His mercy so much. I’m so grateful for the Atonement.

  23. After having my children, I now know more than ever how much my Savior loves me. You never know how much you can love someone until you become a mother, and to know that my Savior loves me even more than that is indescribable. Makes me very happy.

  24. Being a mother has shown me that by “losing myself” in serving my family, I find my true self and true happiness. That doesn’t mean it is easy, and motherhood has a way of “showing me my weaknessess”. But with the Savior’s help I am becoming better, a little bit at a time. I am so grateful for the example of the Savior, that even when He was tired (and maybe not feeling His best) He still called the children to come to Him, and He talked with them and loved them and blessed them. Whenever I feel like I don’t have anymore to give I *try* to remember His example and love my children the way He does.

  25. Every time I feel frustrated by something my boys do (writing their name on the carpet, flooding the bathroom, or scattering an entire costco size bag of craisins all over the house) I marvel at how many times I have done senseless things in my life and yet God never pushes his “smite” button to punish me the way I want to punish them. Motherhood also gives me the “opportunity” to repent and take advantage of Christ’s atonement each and every day 😉

  26. The first thing is love. He taught us to love through action and example. When my first born was younger I would get so frustrated over little but HUGE things and wonder how he did it. The more I thought the more it was love. Just love. And love some more. I continue not to work on not getting worked up but staying calm but I feel it is because of His example.

  27. Motherhood has taught me that I can do anything with Him and that I can trust him always. Motherhood isn’t easy and loving Him isn’t always easy, but he helps me accomplish both. I am excited to hear their version of Better than a Hallelujah because I had the opportunity to hear it sung by it’s writer, Sarah Hart. I also had the opportunity to hear her talk on the Sisters of Christ. It was divine!

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