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May 7, 2014
Latter-day Books
Pleasing Reads for the Women in Your Life
by Laurie Williams Sowby

Heads up: Mother’s Day is coming. I’ve personally never liked it. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t give me flowers or chocolate; I’ve just always had a problem with some of the sappy and/or guilt-inducing words we hear this time of year — and some of the “gifts” we’re handed at church on that day.

Give me the choice of a wilted plant or something to read, and the plant will lose every time. But the reading material had better be good.

For those who like to play it safe, here are a few suggestions for brightening some woman’s day, pre-screened by one who knows.

In The Measure of a Mother’s Heart, Toni Sorenson extends the definition of motherhood — “immortality’s kin to godhood” — to include any woman who cares for, nurtures, teaches, and provides love in a child’s life. That includes a lot.

In a conversational tone, she urges women not to wait to be honored and thanked (which may or may not happen), but to take a pro-active approach to the day by recognizing and paying tribute to the women around us, especially those who may be overlooked.

Her down-to-earth humor and inspiring observations (“Love your own life”) are worth far more than the price of this well-written 16-page booklet ($2.49, Covenant 2014).

David J. Ridges expounds on A Mother’s Perfect Hope in 14-page pamphlet from CFI (Cedar Fort  2014, $2.99). The “perfect hope” is rooted in a woman’s sense of her own eternal worth as well as her children’s, he explains.

With brief scriptural examples and some from personal experience, the author boils “successful mothers” down to just three things: They must have a desire to be good, have a deep and abiding confidence in the Savior’s Atonement for themselves and others, and “understand and believe they are celestial material.” It’s an encouraging message that LDS women should welcome.

An organization called Power of Moms has released Motherhood Realized: An Inspiring Anthology for the Hardest Job You'll Ever Love. Following last year’s Deliberate Motherhood, this compilation of blogs is accurately described by POM as “a tangible representation of a living, breathing community of mothers.”

The authors are all moms who are trying to find joy in the journey, albeit a messy, disorderly, and unpredictable one from day to day. They offer smiles and chuckles along with plenty of real-life encouragement in this handsome, nicely edited book that bridges religious boundaries. Order it on for $12.74 (paperback, 206 pages, from Familius Publishing).

Covenant has assembled A Mother’s Prayer: Inspiring Stories to Warm the Heart from its stable of writers and recorded speakers, more than one of them an admitted non-fan of Mother’s Day.

The 11 women (Susan Easton Black, Josi Kilpack, Michele Ashman Bell, and others) share personal experiences with knowing that their prayers as mothers, and the prayers of their mothers and grandmothers before them, are answered.

Their true stories share heartbreaking realities of motherhood such as dealing with depressed and suicidal teens, supporting a missionary who must return home because of illness, sharing news of a loved one’s shooting and subsequent death with their children, and spending a painful first Mother’s Day after a divorce.

Balancing the hard realities are uplifting assertions of God’s hand in their lives and feeling the Savior’s presence beside them in their trials (2014, 80 pages in paperback, $9.99).

Popular speaker Jack R. Christianson offers an antidote for those of us who “have a difficult time with Mother’s Day” in Women of Joy: Celebrating Motherhood, another nicely priced pamphlet (Covenant 2014, 16 pages, $2.49). His words are aimed not at just women, but all who struggle.

Addressing the distorted view that people often have of themselves and their situation, he says, “Consider this: anyone feeling wounded or broken can enjoy Mother’s Day — and other now-painful holidays and occasions — by learning to set aside their personal filters and seeing things instead through lens of the Holy Ghost.”

He quotes President Thomas S. Monson on adversity and the importance of enduring and finishing the race and repeats the comforting words of Elder Bruce R. McConkie about gaining the eternal reward as long as we’re on the path. The inadequate and imperfect among us will benefit from reading this small book.

Now, please pass the chocolate.

Copyright © 2024 by Laurie Williams Sowby Printed from