Reflections On Mothers Day, 11th May 2008 to my children


Women of Devotion

During my past years of leadership in the Church, I have had opportunities to meet with several leaders of the Church both male and female who came to visit Kuala Lumpur. Some of them have written books or booklets and occasionally our family were privileged to be given an autographed copy of their publication. One of them was Barbara Bradshaw Smith who served as the President in the General Presidency of the Relief Society in the period 3 Oct 1974 to 7 Apr 1984. She had accompanied her husband, President Douglas Hill Smith who was then visiting as a member of the Second Quorum of Seventy, who served in the period April 1, 1989 to Oct 3, 1992.

Barbara Smith with Shirley W.Thomas published a thin book entitled “Women of Devotion” which basically contains profiles of fifteen remarkable mothers of today. On this mother’s day, I thought it appropriate to share the profile in her book of Frances Beverly Johnson Monson, wife of the current President of the Church:

“If a boy could choose his mother, he might ask for someone very like Frances Beverly Johnson Monson. Though a woman of feminine tastes, she somehow understands the heart of a boy. For example, when one of her sons wanted to have pigeons- Birmingham Roller pigeons – she let them have them. Not only did she let him have them, but when she knew he was serious about it, she also helped him travel to England, where he became acquainted with the Birmingham Roller specialist of the world. She allowed her other son to keep a pet snake in the bathtub, and on one occasion drove him all over the valley to find the particular quail he wanted to buy as his newest pet. If he wanted the biggest pumpkin in town, or a special tree for his own room at Christmastime, she was happy to help him find it. Moreover, if it happened that her son couldn’t get home in time on a particular night, she would feed and water his pets.

The truth is, Frances Monson is a supportive mom.
The Monson’s daughter knows that as well as the two boys do. Although her parents had to be away at times, she had the kind of attention from them that assured her of their love and interest. When she came in from a date or a party, her mother was there, and they usually spent the next few minutes in a late-night chat. Because there was only one girl in the family, Frances Monson and her daughter developed a particular closeness.

Their relationship was a source of strength and comfort when Ann, her husband, and their three children were moving back to the West. It was a major move for this couple, and all of their possessions were packed into a moving van for transit. En route, the vehicle became involved in a serious accident and caught fire, burning the contents completely.

They were a pretty shattered young family when they arrived at the Monson home. After Sister Monson had made them comfortable with food and clean rooms to stay in, she was able to help them gain a perspective about their losses. She let them see that their furniture was replaceable and that even if it were not, no chairs or desks or beds,however valuable, were eternal. Of greater worth, and more to be regretted, was the loss of their marriage and baby’s blessing certificates. Sister Monson reminded them that even these are only representative and that the priceless intangibles they stand for cannot be destroyed by fire.

Sister Monson enjoys being close to her children. When they were younger, she managed her time in order to be with them as often as she could. She frequently gave up other choice opportunities so that she could be at home when they were there. The children remember particularly that she made what many might call sacrifices for them and for their father without complaining. Her son Clark, as he spoke of her, said more than once, “My mother didn’t complain.” This is a notable remembrance of childhood for a home in which the husband and father was required by assignment to be away often.

Frances Monson has the useful attitude of enjoying the intensity of the away-from-home world that she and President Monson frequently share and of being content when she is at home. Since she is required to be “on call”, often going quickly from one of these situations to the other, it serves her family well that she does it with grace and pleasure. I see in this flexibility the same attitude that enabled her to give her children the freedom to develop their own interests with independence – even if it meant snakes in the bathtub – yet on the other hand give them counsel of guidance or sympathy as it was needed.

President Monson has sometimes spoken of “the miraculous strength and mighty power” in a mother’s love and in a child’s love for Mother. This is borne out in his own home, where the strength and power of Sister Monson’s love for her children and their appreciation for her have combined to provide a bulwark against the hurtful forces of the world."

Photos from the visit of President Douglas Hill Smith with wife Barbara Bradshaw Smith in April 1990 at the PJ meeting house.

A picture paints a thousand words.


So what can we say about your mother? She may not be the wife of a General Authority of the Church but without Mom, none of the following pictures would ever be possible and I wouldn't be able to share my heart and mind with any of you. So let's always keep in remembrance about our mother in how important she has been to not only make our lives possible but for how she always sacrifices herself for the betterment of her children. For your mother particularly,you should also be grateful for her inborn talents and creative resources that have blessed us richly in our family. Let the following pictures speak for themselves.

Becoming a mother

Chong Fei Min - 14 Jun 1984

Chong Su Min - 4 Oct 1985

Chong Woon Han - 19 Oct 1990

Chong Woon Shuan - 8 Nov 1992

Chong Woon Ern - 16 Jun 1995

Chong Woon Ray - 2 Nov 1997

Being a mother

Feeding, a daily chore
Handling crying babies
Taking care of health
Developing talents

Enjoying with the children

The Beach
On the Skating Ring
On Nature trips

With picture perfect moments of a growing family

At the hospital
At home
At the studio
By the pool side


Our Father in Heaven. We thank you this day for our mothers. We are so close

to them that we often see their faults instead of remembering

all their love and unselfishness. Help us to show by gifts, words

or helpful actions that we appreciate them.






                                                                                                                                                                                 Post dated event                                    

                                                                                 In memory of my mother, Cheah Kooi Sim           In memory of the mother of our family, Thong Geok Lee


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