Happy Heavenly Mother’s Day?

Who is Heavenly Mother?

One of the unique doctrines of Mormonism that separates it from Christianity is the idea that just as we have a Heavenly Father, so we have a Heavenly Mother. A recent article in the Salt Lake Tribune discusses the differing views that Mormons have of her, some of which have been offenses worthy of excommunication.  While some Mormons may wish to discount this idea as mere “folk Mormonism,” there is mention of her in official teaching manuals and even in general conference.

Although little is known about her, she is described as the person who Eve resembled in appearance, and the image in which all daughters of God are made. Spencer W. Kimball mentioned in a General Conference address that, “Finally, when we sing that doctrinal hymn and anthem of affection, “O My Father,” we get a sense of the ultimate in maternal modesty, of the restrained, queenly elegance of our Heavenly Mother, and knowing how profoundly our mortal mothers have shaped us here, do we suppose her influence on us as individuals to be less if we live so as to return there?” Notice that this hymn is labeled as “doctrinal.” Verses three and four mention heavenly mother specifically.

3. I had learned to call thee Father,

Thru thy Spirit from on high,

But, until the key of knowledge

Was restored, I knew not why.

In the heav’ns are parents single?

No, the thought makes reason stare!

Truth is reason; truth eternal

Tells me I’ve a mother there.

4. 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 forth to do,

With your mutual approbation

Let me come and dwell with you.

One of the things that has always interested me about this doctrine is the fact that no one knows her name. To my knowledge, her name has never been revealed by Mormon prophets. Not only that, but Mormon are strictly forbidden to speak to her in prayer. Gordon B. Hinckley stated in general conference, “However, in light of the instruction we have received from the Lord Himself, I regard it as inappropriate for anyone in the Church to pray to our Mother in Heaven.”

Let’s assume for the sake of argument that I was a true believing Mormon woman. Scary thought, I know. If I was promised to be an equal partner in Godhood, yet was never allowed to reveal my name to my children or even speak to them, I would not be happy. I understand the Mormon, feminist mindset that wants equality and the freedom to address the Goddess in whose image they were made. Obviously I don’t believe any of this, but I do understand where some Mormon women are coming from.

What I don’t understand is how the Mormon concept of Godhood is appealing to Mormon women in the first place. Why would someone look forward to an eternity of procreating an entire world full of children who do not know your name and are prohibited from talking to you even if they did know your name? I guess perhaps that might be why the name of heavenly mother has never been revealed. One of her children might actually be tempted to use it. If earthly mothers are granted a 10 minute, Mother’s Day conversation with their children who are on missions for the Mormon Church, then it seems a crime to be forbidden to speak to your children for a lifetime.

 

11 Thoughts on “Happy Heavenly Mother’s Day?

  1. Cherib on May 10, 2013 at 8:18 pm said:

    The things that separate the Church of Jesus Christ from all other Christian churches is that we believe in continuing Prophets, scripture, revelation and a restoration. While other Christians have a portion of truth, we have all that God has revealed and we believe He will continue to send revelation as weak men can handle it.

    Think of how mankind desecrates the name of God with a lack of respect and reverence, using His sacred name, and that of His Son, as swear words. I’m sure that out of respect to Mother in Heaven, He has kept her in the background and understandably so. Women will be doing more than “procreating” in the world to come, just as they do here.

    Your comments only show your complete ignorance. We don’t pray to anyone except our Father in Heaven in the name of His Son, Jesus Christ, the same as we don’t pray to the Savior’s Mother, Mary – do you, and if not, why not? I am fine with the way that Father in Heaven has counseled mankind, and I understand His reasoning. ♥

    • Cherib, you said , “….we believe in continuing Prophets , scripture, revelation and a
      restoration.” This doctrine of an Almighty female Goddess in heaven as a Mother
      to mankind is an example of ” continuing revelation “? Sorry, but no thanks .
      Concerning this sad scenario of Mormons not being allowed to pray to their Mom in
      heaven : you believe that this is because she should’nt be subject to the swearing/
      lack of respect for God’s name ? That only raises more questions , it certainly is
      no answer . Keith rightly asks what’s stopping YOU from praying to your Mother?
      Certainly you are’nt among those who your Heavenly Father is shielding your Mother
      from , right? It seems Mormons may be more concerned with not questioning their
      leaders than following simple common sense and doing the right thing like showing
      gratitude to your Mother above by telling Her how much she is appreciated etc .
      Mormon church publications counsel LDS to honor their parents —-Ex 20:12 .
      This is right and normal Christian behavior , and it consists of among other things,
      taking time to verbally communicate with their parents that their love and nurture is appreciated . Yet despite that this behavior is to be also rightly rendered to their
      Father in Heaven , Mormons are told that this normal christian behavior is not
      allowed to be given to their Mother in Heaven !
      This sad scenario is reinforced when we read the following by Mormon General
      Authority Bernard Brockbank in Conference of April of 1971 :
      ” IF we love our Father in heaven , we SHOULD pray and talk to Him …”
      Mormons will see the logic of that simple truth and how it rightly should apply
      towards their heavenly Mother as well. Hopefully this issue will help LDS to come
      to realize that their leaders can’t be trusted to be stable guides .
      Accepting the aberrant doctrine that there is an Almighty Mother Goddess in
      heaven is one thing but then for Mormon leaders to tell LDS that it is not
      appropriate behavior to talk with Her , is wrong times two .

      God help the Mormon people to take time and test their prophets .

  2. Cherib,
    You have missed the point. Who cares what “unbelievers” say about heavenly mother? Should SHE not have the right to communicate with her own children? How would you feel if your kids never even knew your name and were forbidden from talking to you?

  3. Jess on May 11, 2013 at 2:07 am said:

    I remember the first time I learned about ‘heavenly mother’ in Primary, and I was told that the Bible and BOM didn’t mention her because like Cherib said she was too sacred for man to defile. It didn’t make sense to me. If you suppose what the LDS church says to be true about Godhood with potential to become gods and goddesses and that you have the same personalities and qualities in the afterlife (Gospel Fundimentals Capter:35 Life After Death) then the natural role for ‘heavenly mother’ would be the nurturing role to her ‘spiritual offspring’ and God’s role would be to preside and provide which are the gender roles according to The Family: A Proclamation to the World. However the bible (and BOM for that matter) clearly shows that there is ONE divine being (God) that is doing the nurturing, presiding, and providing for us here on earth. If God simply left her out because he didn’t want her defiled do u really suppose he would take credit for what she did for us? Because that is the type of ‘eternal companion’ I would be looking for! It’s another example of how in the LDS religion a+b does not =c.

  4. Good insight.

  5. JRSG on May 12, 2013 at 3:54 am said:

    A Heavenly Mother is mentioned by the leaders in talks, from the days of Joseph Smith to today. Members can acknowledge and talk about Heavenly Mother and by so doing we honor Her. The church leaders have told the members that we can not pray to Her. We are not to teach anything about Her or speculate about Her beyond what has been taught by the church leaders. This is my understanding from what I have read in church publications.

    We have been instructed (told/taught) to pray to Heavenly Father in the name of Jesus Christ. Jesus Himself taught how we are to pray – Matthew 6:9 – “After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which Art in Heaven…”. John 16:23 – “And in that day ye shall ask me nothing. Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, He will give it you.” (There are other Scriptures like these) Jesus taught we are to pray to Heavenly Father, in His (Jesus’) name, which is exactly what LDS members do.

    We do not know why there is little known about Her. There is evidence that in ancient Israel a female deity was worshiped. Non LDS scholars and LDS scholars have written articles and books about the subject.

    • You haven’t said anything I didn’t already know. My question is, “Why?” Why are Mormons forced to ignore their heavenly mother? Why is she forbidden from communicating with her own children? How would it make you feel to be restricted from talking to your own children. That just doesn’t seem right.

  6. JRSG on May 12, 2013 at 5:50 pm said:

    Hi Keith. I understand what you are saying. Very good questions that many have asked. You probably already know about what I am going to say, lol! 🙂
    Mormons are not forced to ignore our Heavenly Mother. I know to people who are not members it appears that way. One main reason why She is rarely spoken of is cultural and / or folk doctrine. Some members have said things beyond what members are supposed to say about Her and got into trouble with Salt Lake City leaders, so the thinking is that we can never speak of Her.
    We can speculate as to why She can not communicate with Her children. We just do not know. LDS believe in revelation and there has not been any revelation concerning Heavenly Mother. I don’t know why. I am just a regular LDS member. I truly believe that it would take a revelation to reveal Her name and what Her role is. For some reason the church leaders do not feel a need to ask for information about our Heavenly Mother. It isn’t important for our salvation. Yeah, it would be nice to have answers. I know that is not the answer you are looking for but it is the best I can do. Is there any LDS person out there that has an answer or explain it better? Thanks.

    • JRSG, will all do respect , but you still don’t seem to track with what Keith is
      saying , nor what I have stated as well . Do you understand what a mother
      dishonoring policy your leaders have created with their counsel about not
      allowing you to pray to your heavenly Mom and tell her ” thanks ” for Her love ?
      Why would you think I would want to follow prophets today who invent this kind
      of doctrine and then package it as ” Godly counsel” or “spiritual guidance ” ?
      You said that you are just a regular LDS member . That means you are a follower
      of a man who claims to be the prophet for today . We must be careful who we follow
      Matt 7:15 . I would ask you to return to following those apostles who are trustworthy
      guides in spiritual truths , their counsel is in the Bible . Please replace your leaders
      with them . I hope you’ll ponder what I have said and take the time to test your
      prophets —1 Jn 4:1
      Take care.

    • JRSG,
      Hear is what I hear you saying. “We are not forced to ignore Heavenly Mother. We can talk ABOUT her, but we cannot talk TO her. I don’t know why, but I follow my leaders anyway because Heavenly Mother has nothing to do with my salvation. Heavenly Father does and so does one of my spirit brothers.”

      How do you think this is honoring to Heavenly Mother?

  7. Anni on May 12, 2013 at 5:51 pm said:

    Her name is Lilith.

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