Can a Woman Forget Her Child?

1 Nephi 21:13–16

13 Sing, O heavens; and be joyful, O earth; for the feet of those who are in the east shall be established; and break forth into singing, O mountains; for they shall be smitten no more; for the Lord hath comforted his people, and will have mercy upon his afflicted.
14 But, behold, Zion hath said: The Lord hath forsaken me, and my Lord hath forgotten me—but he will show that he hath not.
15 For can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? Yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget thee, O house of Israel.
16 Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands; thy walls are continually before me.

Elder Jeffrey R. Holland wrote:

“This poetic passage provides yet another reminder of Christ’s saving role, that of protective, redeeming parent to Zion’s children. He comforts His people and shows mercy when they are afflicted, as any loving father or mother would toward a child, but, as Nephi here reminds us through Isaiah, much more than any mortal father and mother could do. Although a mother may forget her sucking child (as unlikely as any parent might think that could be), Christ will not forget the children He has redeemed or the covenant He has made with them for salvation in Zion. The painful reminders of that watch care and covenant are the marks of the Roman nails graven upon the palms of His hands, a sign to His disciples in the Old World, His Nephite congregation in the New World, and to us in latter-day Zion that He is the Savior of the world and was wounded in the house of His friends.”

(Christ and the New Covenant: The Messianic Message of the Book of Mormon [1997], 84.)

 

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