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Heavenly Mother

The doctrine that we have a Mother in Heaven declares unequivocally that women—and more specifically, women's bodies—are created in God's image. The doctrine enables us to envision God as female (Abr 4:27). In creating images of a female divinity, we run the risk of idolatrous projection or wish-fulfillment, just as we do when we create images of a male divinity. Still, images of God the Mother can serve as vehicles through which the Spirit teaches us about God's love and our own divine nature. Such images can also help us envision what it would look like for women and men to collaborate as fully equal partners in family, church, and society.

Despite the importance Latter-day Saints place on knowing that we are literally children of God, Heavenly Mother remains largely invisible in LDS devotional life. Suspicion of feminism, and perhaps a desire to downplay doctrines that might seem "weird," have created a climate in whch many Saints are uncomfortable even talking about the Mother. Nevertheless, an unknown number of LDS individuals have found a spiritual connection to God the Mother to be heartening and empowering. Eliza R. Snow's hymn "O My Father" provides precedent for addressing the Mother as well as the Father in prayer. For those who feel frustrated by official church silence about the female God, there is hope in the promise that no mortal power can hinder the outpouring of revelation by which all Gods are to be made manifest (D&C 121:26-28, 33).

Related Topics:
Christ as Female    

 When I leave this frail existence,
 when I lay this mortal by,
 Father, Mother, may I meet You
 in your royal courts on high?

 Then, at length, when I've completed
 all You sent me here to do,
 with Your mutual approbation
 let me come and live with You.
Eliza R. Snow, "O My Father" (Hymns 292)

Orson F. Whitney: Men and women are the sons and daughters of heavenly Parents, who said in the beginning, "Let us make man in our own image—male and female."
Conference Report, October 1914, 85

Rudger Clawson: It doesn't take from our worship of the Eternal Father, to adore our Eternal Mother. . . . We honor woman when we acknowledge Godhood in her eternal Prototype.
“Our Mother in Heaven,” Latter-day Saints' Millennial Star, September 29, 1910, 619-620

Karen Sorenson Smith: Women in the Church have never had the blessings of a divine being of the same sex as a role model. My first yearnings in that direction occurred during pregnancy. I felt that surely no one could totally understand or explain my deep ongoing feelings like my God-Mother could.

Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought 9, no. 4 (Winter 1974), 5

Theodore M. Burton: When I personally think of Elohim, or Father, I think of mother also. To my mind they are one because they are one in perfect knowledge, power, purity, all-wise, all-knowing, and all-loving. . . . They are united in all wisdom and in doing what they do together.

God's Greatest Gift (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1976), 17

Eugene England: Modern scriptures and revelations suggest quite plainly that we would more accurately and profitably read the scriptural references to "God" as meaning God the eternal partnership of Heavenly Father and Heavenly Mother. They have a more perfect unity even than that of God and Christ and the Holy Ghost, and so the word God implies both of them.

"Becoming Bone of Bone and Flesh of Flesh," As Women of Faith
(Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1989), 110

Carol Lynn Pearson: We live in a Motherless house. In our worship we are Motherless. In our hymns, our prayers, our scriptures, our temples, our religious discourse, we are Motherless. In the symbols that connect our minds and our hearts with our origin, we are Motherless. The double picture frame on our mantle that has space for divine parents has only one picture in it—the face of a male.

"Healing the Motherless House," Women and Authority
(Salt Lake City; Signature Books, 1992), 231-232

Lynne Kanavel Whitesides: Women have begun to identify with God the Mother. It is an empowering experience to see your body in the body of God. . . . Some of us pray to a mother god because we believe she is talking to us.

"Find Our Bodies, Hearts, Voices--A Three-Part Invention," May 1992,
quoted in Women and Authority (Salt Lake City; Signature Books, 1992), 261

This website is an independent effort to discern the Spirit's voice in LDS teaching. The site is not sponsored by the LDS Church. Quotations from the teachings of any individual should not be taken to imply that the individual does or would endorse this website or other statements made here.