Our MM Mothers

Bored in Vernalfamilies, Mormon, Mother's Day 5 Comments

John Dehlin:

I love my sweet Mom (Nan McCulloch) — for a hundred different reasons. She’s a wicked cook. A spectacular actress. A fantastic decorator and homemaker. She lets me come stay at her house at a moment’s notice, whenever I need a place to sleep. She’s empathetic. Supportive. Witty. Wise. EXTREMELY thoughtful. And smoking hot (as far as Mom’s go, anyway). I could go on, and on, and on. But what do I admire most about my Mom? I would have to say….it is her openness and curiosity. As a multi-generational, faithful Latter-Day Saint, she has always taught me tolerance of others (gays, intellectuals, feminists…Utahns. You name it). Once more, she is a fantastic example of a faithful, yet curious church member — who is not afraid to study things out, and to face the toughest questions.

And at 70ish (sorry, Mom!)….she isn’t showing any signs of slowing down.

Bored in Vernal:

My mom is a professional woman, an athlete, a musician and a fabulous mother!  She insisted we live up to our potential and told us we could do anything. And she’s always provided the example in her own actions. Near the end of a successful career as the principal of a private school, she returned to the university for an advanced degree (in the days when this wasn’t done very frequently). She told us of a birthday she had when she was required to be in class, where she didn’t know many of the other young students. Instead of feeling sorry for herself, she brought cupcakes and made it into a party! She makes friends wherever she goes. Last year she won a State running competition in her age group (70-80) and qualified to go to the Senior Olympics competition in California where she took second place in the 200 meter dash. The local newspaper reported: “With every hair in place, Nancy Lund raced to victory Friday in the women’s 200-meter dash, smashing age and gender stereotypes as she went.”

That’s my mom!

Mormon Heretic:

My mom really does Rock!  She has a way of making me never want to disappoint her–my dad doesn’t necessarily have this trait.  She has always been a good listener to me, even when she didn’t agree with some of my crazy ideas.  Growing up, she really was my best friend, and a wonderful confidant.  I have often said that my mother has the patience of Job.  She is a true saint, and follower of Christ.

I love her immensely.


My mom was one of David O. McKay’s secretaries before she married my dad – one of the youngest to ever hold that job.  She was a top-notch executive secretary, but she walked away from employment to raise her children.  When her first four pregnancies ended in miscarriages and a still-born daughter, my parents almost gave up having any biological children – but she wanted to try one more time, so my dad agreed.  The birth of my sister, followed by me 13 months later, followed by twins 11 1/2 months later led to a diagnosis that almost stopped the growth of their family again – but she wanted more children, so my dad agreed.  My mother had eight children, and I never heard her yell or raise her voice once.  She loved us with all her heart, and she prayed for us with all her soul.  I am grateful for the example she was to us of a totally dedicated daughter of God. My mom is a pianist – and she instilled in us a love of music that will never die.  I sing because it is natural for me, but I play the piano because she is my mother.  My mom translated things into Braille for the blind, typing away on the old Braille machines most of you probably have never seen.  My mom is less than 5′ tall, and I still can see her sitting on the floor in the winter, under the desk (where the opening for the chair was), next to the heater, reading a book – generally an inspirational/spiritual book or the scriptures.   Happy Mother’s Day, Mom.  I love you!

Single Mormon Chick:

“A mother is not a person to lean on, but a person to make leaning unnecessary.” ― Dorothy Canfield Fisher
My mother did this, but what she also did, twenty years after I left home,was to allow me to lean on her. It was brief, but it was significant.
I was raised by the best kind of mother. Firm, but loving. Tough, but kind. Always helpful, but never interfering. She taught me about faith and enduring through hardship and trials. She showed me that a genuine smile can really brighten someones day, so be generous with those smiles.  I inherited her smile, so I try to share it as she always has. I don’t have children, but i find that in addition to her smile, I inherited her maternal instinct. It shines through when dealing with my nieces and nephews and even some of the women that I serve in my calling at church.  We all need mothering sometimes no matter how old we are.

I am grateful to have the best mom.


(I know the picture seems weird, but my mom will understand.)

You brought me into this world and have been on my side ever since. During the most painful moments in my life you have been there. You bandaged me up (and sometimes took me to the hospital 😉 ) after so many accidents. You supported me in my many eclectic endeavors in my youth. You wrote to me religiously when no one else did. You were willing to listen when no one else wanted to hear it. You were open to discussion when everyone else was against me. You affirmed me, and yet you did not agree with all my conclusions. You loved me when I wasn’t sure anyone else wanted to. I cannot conceive of a better mother for me than my own. Thank you mom, I love you!


My wife Charlotte became the primary breadwinner of our family after my heart attack, which led her to expand piano teaching from a form of service to a full time business. That would have been enough, but her sense of the Spirit calling her wouldn’t let her rest. She realized her young piano students and the sick and elderly had something to offer each other. She built on opportunities to provide entertainment at a local Methodist-affiliated nursing home to create a now-10-year old program of monthly recitals that involve dozens of students from most major world religions. When a friend contracted breast cancer, she committed herself to find a way to produce music CDs that would be given as gifts to offer hope to patients undergoing treatment at Johns Hopkins Medical Center in association with the Avon Foundation. That “one-time project” quickly led to a request for supplying further CDs to a women’s hospital in the United Arab Emirates, where breast cancer carries with it social stigma unappreciated in the West. Her students brought her stories of personal tragedies among their families and friends, and before she knew what hit her, she was creating a foundation that recorded and sent music CDs to children’s hospitals throughout the United States. While jockeying for position in a gas line with another car, she discovered that the driver of the other car was responsible for helping to coordinate programs for wounded soldiers returning from combat – so the foundation was launched on a project, still ongoing, to deliver music gifts to Fischer Houses and USO’s at bases throughout the US and in Germany. So here’s my tribute to a Mother in Israel whose willingness to act on the leadings of the Spirit awes me.

Joanna Brooks

My mom is a force to be reckoned with.  She’s done so much genealogy that the Church has dedicated a wing of the Granite Mountain Records Vault to her.  In heaven, there are at least ten Cougar Stadiums’ worth of baptized, endowed, and sealed ancestors waving white pom-poms and chanting her name.  My mom has taught Gospel Doctrine so well and for so many years that she carries a chalk pen in her purse.  Every day.  Just in case.  Always ready with the scripture reference.  Always ready with the Journal of Discourses quote.

I’m just saying:  Don’t mess with my mom. You’ve been warned.  My mom rules.

I love you, Mom.  Happy Mother’s Day


When I think of my mother it is usually as I hear her words escaping my mouth, or even just her tone.  I wonder how many generations of mothers have said these same words in this same tone.  My mother was a convert to the church when she was 28, and from her, I gained perspective on spiritual matters like meaningful dreams, being willing to do something even without rational justification, and a healthy dislike for intolerant and judgmental attitudes (that differ from my own anyway).  In addition to these gifts, my mother gave me important life skills like a ruthless German efficiency (we both have the milk put away before it ever hits the cereal), a strong commitment to order and cleanliness, above average vocabulary and spelling ability, cheap-skatery (that has served me well!), and a strong independent streak coupled with a sense of adventure.  And above all these gifts, I will always be grateful for the moments in life when my mother defended me against injustices, protected me from my own worst instincts, and cut me slack when I didn’t deserve it.  To me, those are the hallmarks of motherhood.  I love you, mom!

A very Happy Mother’s Day to your mothers and ours!

Comments 5

  1. Pingback: Sunday in Outer Blogness: Happy Mothers’ Day Edition! | Main Street Plaza

  2. My mother was disinherited by her family and sacrificed a great deal to become a part of the Church. She was always there, every morning, every night, willing to listen, to help and to care. May God always be with her, as she was with her children.

  3. As a single teenager in the very early 60’s, my mum found herself pregnant. She defied significant pressure to give her baby up for adoption and chose instead to keep and raise her child, suffering the social stigma that came with it regardless. She was a convert to the church a few years later and married a divorced father of 3. She took on the role of mother to kids who didn’t want another mum and made that crystal clear. She was resilient and strong when rejection could have broken her. Over the years, she has been loving, understanding and steadfast when circumstances could have allowed her to be otherwise. She has forgiven more than I can concieve of and she continues to be the person I most admire in this world. When I grow up I want to be just like her. And I am forever thankful that she chose to keep me and be my mum.

  4. I have the good fortune to be one of the mothers honored here today. I am grateful for the recognition and kind words that were spoken to me.

    My family has faced many diverse and extreme trials over the years. We have recently had another one thrust on us. It will break hearts, bring sorrow and many tears. We will make our way through it as we have before.

    When my son willingly opened his heart to tell me how I had impacted his life, it was like having living waters wash over me. Strength and courage will ebb and flow, smiles and laughter will revisit, and I will be able to get through the tough days.

    Thank you, my son, for the gift.

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