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).
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.
in the Image of the Son: Being Female and Being Like Christ,"
LDS Women’s Treasury (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book,
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
(Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1998), 93