Years ago, the family ward I attended always gave out potted marigolds on Mother’s Day. The primary children sang songs and embarrassed their mothers by pulling faces or making rabbit ears for their neighbor, or crying and pulling up their skirts to hide their faces. At least, my kids always did. This singing event meant I was obligated to attend with my children. We would come home with at least four plants, all of which would die from lack of water and sun and my kids would bemoan their fate. “You are supposed to PLANT the flowers, mom!” When the kids grew older, Mother’s Day became a Sunday that I boycotted with zeal. What single mother needs to be reminded of failure in the home?
Recently remarried, I have somewhat reluctantly attended Mother’s Day services for the last two years. This year I would have reverted to calling it Mother’s Day Off From Church and abstaining, but my husband and I were recently asked to the position of CTR 3 Babysitters which mandates weekly attendance. Apparently our ward needs to read some of the comments found on the bloggernacle about the youth and men teaching Primary so the women can attend Relief Society meeting and eat cheesecake. But I digress…
The dangling carrot for me showing up to sacrament meeting on this horror of holidays was that for the last two years our ward has given out gifts of delicious fudge from a local shop. So off we went – even 45 minutes early for choir practice – armed with a mother’s day project for our class of 9 energetic preschoolers, and a story about the Prodigal Son designed to rivet their attention and keep the lesson from disintegrating to comments about Paw Patrol.
Honestly, I don’t specifically know what the talks were about because I spent the meeting in silent protest, texting platitudes to the various women in my life, surfing Instagram, and waiting for the fudge to be handed out. There were two women who spoke about the wonderful motherly examples in their life. The young women sung a song about the love of a mother, composed by a ward member. A man spoke at length on an unrelated church doctrine topic.
Finally the meeting drew to a close and the High Priests passed out…a pamphlet? “The Influence of Righteous Women” by Dieter Uchtdorf. I attempted to walk past without getting one but the man at the door wouldn’t let me exit without a booklet in hand.
The pamphlet was a September 2009 Ensign article, reprinted and available FOR FREE on the LDS.org website. How many times have we already heard this message? What of the environmental impact of this useless booklet? And who profited from the printing? According to Deseret Book it’s a best seller this spring. For shame, LDS church!
Finally, what am I supposed to do with this booklet now? And what happened to my fudge? I’m holding back $2.99 from my next ward donation – the cost of the unnecessary pamphlet – to get my own fudge. What do you bet the local Deseret Industries is flooded with these pamphlets over the next couple of months, all marked $1.