*Traditionally on Mothers Day the Mothers in our church receive a flower to pin on their clothing.
On a spring day in 1902 Kathleen May Mainwaring, or Granny Steers as her grandchildren would later fondly call her, was born in Claude Rd. A small country town in the North West of Tasmania.
At the age of 16 she married David Richard Steers, a gentle soul who was 12 years her senior.
Together they had 8 children.
Before her death in 1987 she would out live three of her own children.
One of those children was Louisa Madge Steers, or Nanna Cox as she was later known.
Nanna Cox was also born in the North West of Tasmania.
Indeed, the house she was born in can still be seen from the road as you drive through the town.
Nanna Cox married Pop in the winter of 1941 and lived the harsh life of a farmers wife on a farm in Latrobe.
Together they grew their family to 7.
One of those children was my mother, your Nan.
Merilyn Ann Cox, born in Latrobe in 1948.
The thing all of these women have in common, apart from being a part of your own mothers matriarchal line, is that they all have similarities.
Indeed, for all their differences, they are also very similar.
Granny Steers, although not a member of our church, still taught each of her children great morals and values.
Morals of integrity, resilience, independence and courage.
These morals were passed down to Nanna Cox who valued kindness and education.
Your own Nan who has now been a widower for over 12 years. Has taught me all the values of Granny Steers and Nanna Cox and how to work hard and act sensibly.
Now as an adult I hope to pass on these morals and values which I know to be true.
Not just to you, but to everyone I meet.
Because motherhood is not just about maternity.
Motherhood is much, much more.
Sheri Dew said the following: ('Are we not all Mothers' Nov 2001 Ensign)
"The subject of motherhood is a very tender one, for it evokes some of our greatest joys and heartaches.
Few of us will reach our potential without the nurturing of Mothers who bore us and the Mothers who bear with us."
On a September day in 1988 my Mum was induced five weeks early with her fourth child.
She was named Jessica Mary Gibson.
I was the youngest, but I wasn't just spoilt because of my place in the family.
I was spoilt because after being introduced to the gospel almost a year earlier, my family were baptised and confirmed members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.
Spoilt because I was raised among a group of women who understand their divine inheritance.
Raised valiantly, not only by my own Mum, but also by Sisters and my Mothers in the ward.
Sister Challis taught me to serve.
She was serving in my primary well into her 80's.
Later, when I was in young women's she was called as a counsellor and she served with the determination and dexterity of someone half her age.
Sister Clarke taught me the importance of an open heart and an open home.
For many years she served in Young Women's and in Young Single Adult's and she opened her home to us more times than I could ever remember, to have a safe place to learn and hang out and to eat yummy food.
Sister Reeve taught me how to clean, how to disassemble toilets and wash walls and skirting.
I swear that she could roll up her sleeves telepathically and beam sponges into her hands.
Sister Sewell taught me to volunteer.
She was constantly involving us with multiple events and charity organisations.
Sister O taught me to love the scriptures.
She would rise every morning to come teach at early morning seminary, day in and day out, filling my mind with the greatness of the gospel.
Sister Jones taught me the value of honesty.
She would never pretend that her life was perfect but would always instill stories of courage against adversity in my mind.
All of these Sisters and many more became my other Mothers, my Mothers in the ward.
A little over three years ago, just before you were born and growing very big in my tummy, I got a phone call from your Aunty Simone.
At the time she was pregnant with her fifth child.
She told me of how the heart of the little baby had stopped beating.
Soon after she was induced and gave birth to a beautiful, very tiny and very precious baby girl.
Her grief for little Charlotte was overwhelming. I felt the sorrow of our loss because little Charlotte was a part of all of us. A part of our family.
Aunty Simone tells me her definition of motherhood changed that day.
That she feels as if the veil is thinner and her family has an extra protection around them because of Charlotte.
She now has a deeper, more spiritual connection with her role in motherhood.
When she came to see you for the first time after you were born, I was worried that holding such a tiny new baby might upset her.
When I placed you in her arms and saw her gaze down at you with such loving mothering eyes, I knew you would be truly spoilt.
Spoilt because of all your other Mothers.
Just like me.