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).
When I leave this
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.
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
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
|“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
|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,
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