My mother is very much living, and I’m so grateful for that. But she’s still an angel.** And although I could probably write a book on the things I’ve learned from her, in honor of Mother’s Day I thought I would share just three of the most important lessons she taught me.
(when I was one week old)

#1 – The Importance of Obedience
One summer evening I was playing outside with the neighborhood kids and we were having a great time. Then I heard the call from my mom that it was time to come inside for bed. “Ah, Mom, pleeeease, just five more minutes, okay?” She consented and we returned to our game, which was some sort of tag involving a broom. I’m not sure how it happened, but the next thing I knew I had blood streaming from my finger and was headed into the house anyway, where Mom took care of me without a single “You should have come in when I called.” But I learned the lesson anyway. Whenever I see that scar I’m reminded of the importance of obeying quickly.

#2 – The Importance of Education
Mom had only one year of college before she and Dad got married and started their family. When I started high school, she started working on her college degree again, through independent study. It felt a little odd to have a mom doing homework with you, but it showed us kids that she really valued education. And it also showed us how to set a goal and keep working at it until it was accomplished. We graduated from BYU together, in August 1984. (Wayne and his brother Kevin also graduated at the same time.) #3 – The Importance of Service
Mom is the epitome of putting others first. One thing that has made the greatest impression on my life is my parents’ decision to adopt children. Holly and Richard are 8 and 12 in this graduation picture. Holly has cerebral palsy and Mom is her main caretaker. I vividly remember one day, after being discouraged for having to change an umpteenth diaper, realizing that at some point I wouldn’t have to deal with that, but that Mom always would. I’m so grateful for a mother that serves her family, friends, and God willingly and cheerfully. (And a father too, but this is Mother’s Day.)
(Mom and Dad, Thanksgiving 2008)
Thanks for being the best mother in the world, Mom. I love you. Happy Mother’s Day!
** “My beloved brothers and sisters, I testify of angels, both the heavenly and the mortal kind. In doing so I am testifying that God never leaves us alone, never leaves us unaided in the challenges that we face. “[N]or will he, so long as time shall last, or the earth shall stand, or there shall be one man [or woman or child] upon the face thereof to be saved.” On occasions, global or personal, we may feel we are distanced from God, shut out from heaven, lost, alone in dark and dreary places. Often enough that distress can be of our own making, but even then the Father of us all is watching and assisting. And always there are those angels who come and go all around us, seen and unseen, known and unknown, mortal and immortal.” (Jeffrey R. Holland)