My children are getting ready for Father’s Day, and this involves practicing that primary song about fathers of the home, the ward, and us all. So tonight we had an interesting dinner-table conversation, about whether the same structure applies to mothers. We have a mother of our home, and we have a mother of us all. Is there a such thing as the mother of the ward?
I’m not sure. If there’s a mother of our ward, the most obvious candidate is the Relief Society president. She’s the leader of the woman’s organization, the corrdinator of visiting teaching, and so forth. But the in other ways, the Relief Society president seems a lot less motherly than the Bishop fatherly. She is not as involved in ward members’ church lives in a structural capacity. Is she sufficiently involved to be the mother of the ward?
The other candidates are even less promising. Is the mother of the ward actually the Bishop’s wife? This seems doubtful — if the Relief Society president’s structural role is limited, the Bishop’s wife’s role qua Bishop’s wife is non-existent. What about the Primary president? In some ways, this is attractive — the Primary president is Bishop-like in her involvement with the Primary. However, the limited scope of her authority suggests that she is not the ward mother, either.
Other possibilities exist, but I’m not sure about them. Perhaps the “mother of the ward” is a polygamous role, with Relief Society president and Primary president (and possibly others) each sharing some of the duty. (Scary thought! Run away!) Or perhaps the mother of the ward will remain shrouded in secrecy and conjecture and hushed tones, similar to the status of Mother in Heaven.
Do any of these solutions make sense? (Am I missing some possiblities?) Or is it that the song is just necessarily unbalanced — 3 verses for Father’s Day, but only 2 verses if it were ever to be adapted for Mother’s Day?