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Christ as Female

Even though Jesus was Jewish, we are used to seeing him portrayed in art (especially in nativity scenes) with various racial or ethnic identities. Depicting Jesus as if he belonged to one's own racial group can reinforce prejudice. But multiracial depictions of Jesus can also remind us that all people are in God's image and that Christ invites individuals of every nation, kindred, tongue, and people to be one with him.

In a comparable way, even though Jesus was male, the scriptures also offer images that let us envision Christ as female. Christ's love for us is described as a mother's love, the love of a hen gathering her chicks under her wings (3 Ne. 10:4-6; Matt. 22:37). If salvation through Christ is a second birth, then Christ is the mother who delivers us (Moses 6:59-60; John 3:3-5). The scriptures exhort us to see Christ in anyone—woman or man, girl or boy—who is hungry, poor, sick, lonely, or in need (Matt. 25:31-40). Any person who receives Christ's image in her countenance becomes the image of Christ (Alma 5:14). Because Christ has taken on the pains and infirmities of every person (Alma 7:11-12), Christ has experienced, in the words of Chieko Okazaki, "the physical realities of a woman's life." Female images of Christ bear witness to the truth that male and female are alike to God (2 Ne. 26:33; Gal. 3:28).

Related Topics:
Heavenly Mother    

Kathryn H. Shirts: When Philip asked to be shown the Father, Jesus replied that the Father was made manifest through the Son. "Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father?" (John 14:9.)

When we ask about the Mother, might not the Lord give us a similar reply? "He that hath seen me hath seen the Mother." We think of the Godhead as united in purpose and similar in character. If we as Mormons are going to assert the existence of a female Deity, shouldn't we assume that her Son mirrors her perfection as well as that of the Father?

. . . [H]e is the mother hen who would gather her chicks under her wing. (Matt. 23:37; 3 Ne. 10:4-6; D&C 10:65.) The Savior used many images to describe the Atonement—the image of grain being buried in the ground to ensure a harvest, the image of a building being destroyed and rebuilt, the image of a man laying down his life for his friends. (John 12:23-24, 2:19, 15:13.) He also used the image of a woman in labor. (John 16:20-22.)

It is this image of Christ's spiritual suffering to bring forth spiritual life, as a woman suffers physically to bring forth physical life, that reverberates throughout the scriptures. . . . King Benjamin declares that because the hearts of his people have been changed through faith in Christ, they have become "the children of Christ, his sons, and his daughters." (Mosiah 5:7.) King Benjamin uses dual imagery. Christ has spiritually begotten them—in other words, he has become their father—and they are born of him, in essence making him their mother as well.

"Women in the Image of the Son: Being Female and Being Like Christ,"
LDS Women’s Treasury (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1997), 56-58

Janice Allred: Jesus Christ is also a revelation of God the Mother, not in the sense that Jesus embodies the spirit of the Father, but in the sense that he models the role of the Mother. He became a human being so that we could become gods, and he, as a man, took upon himself the most fundamental role of a woman so that both genders could understand their equality and know that this equality can only be realized when women seek and find their masculine identity and when men seek and find their feminine identity as well as their masculine identity.

God the Mother and Other Theological Essays (Salt Lake City: Signature Books, 1997), 30

Chieko N. Okazaki: I take what he says very literally. I truly believe that he understands our lives in detail, without flinching or turning away from even the most terrible things that have happened to us and even the most terrible things that we have done. I believe he knows about the messy, complicated physical realities of a woman's life. I believe that he understands the fear that swept my heart when I realized I had breast cancer. I think he was with me in the struggle after surgery, strengthening me as I thought through what it meant to me as a woman to be without a breast. I think he knows about childbirth and nursing.

Disciples (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1998), 93

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