Missing in Theme
Proving again our oddity, Mormons proudly proclaim an acknowledged—but sparse—doctrine of Heavenly Mother. While the thought of a Heavenly Father without a corollary Heavenly Mother “makes reasons stare,” we spend most of our church lives behaving as if she isn't there. And if she is there, well, she's auxiliary.
Even the Young Women theme—the Young Women theme!—ignores her entirely.
We are daughters of our Heavenly Father, who loves us, and we love Him…
All true, but of all church programs, isn't Young Women one place where we could—and should—explicitly acknowledge that we are also daughters of a Heavenly Mother, that she loves us, that she was a co-creator of our spirits, that we are created in her image?
Missing in Conference
In General Conference there are ample opportunities to mention her specifically. Most of the time, however, our leaders shy away. The old wives' tale about Mother in Heaven being “too sacred” to be mentioned is false. So why do we do this time and again?
President Dieter F. Uchtdorf twice also said “heavenly parents” and once “eternal parents,” but each time he immediately reverted to speaking only of God the Father.
Pondering this truth—that we are children of heavenly parents—fills us with a sense of origin, purpose, and destiny.
It is good to remember that you are always a child of God.
However, it is also important to remember that being a daughter of eternal parents is not a distinction you earned or you will ever lose. You will always and forever remain a daughter of God. Your Heavenly Father…
You are dear to your heavenly parents.
The infinite and eternal Creator of light and life knows you! He is mindful of you.
The first of Uchtdorf's references to “heavenly parents” was footnoted with a quote from Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph F. Smith:
God is not only our Ruler and Creator; He is also our Heavenly Father. All men and women are literally the sons and daughters of God. President Joseph F. Smith taught that “man, as a spirit, was begotten and born of heavenly parents, and reared to maturity in the eternal mansions of the Father, prior to coming upon the earth in a temporal [physical] body.”
If our spirits were literally born of “heavenly parents,” then is Heavenly Mother not also our “Creator”? Are not “all men and women literally the sons and daughters” of Heavenly Mother as well? I cannot imagine another reading of this statement, but we seem to believe explicitly stating it would be heresy. Why?
Missing in Creation
The Family: A Proclamation to the World states:
All human beings—male and female—are created in the image of God. Each is a beloved spirit son or daughter of heavenly parents, and, as such, each has a divine nature and destiny. Gender is an essential characteristic of individual premortal, mortal, and eternal identity and purpose.
If “gender is an essential [eternal] characteristic” for each of us, doesn't it stand to reason that the God whose image women are created in is actually Heavenly Mother's rather than Heavenly Father's?
Lest you think I'm on the edge here, all my positions have been made by latter-day apostles and prophets as well. We just seem to have forgotten them.
Not So Missing in Art
The one venue in which Mormons seem to comfortable acknowledging Heavenly Mother is in art. With Eliza R. Snow setting the precedent with O My Father, this method of expression has sticking power.
Recently I just became aware of a beautiful song written by Julie de Azevedo Hanks expressing a longing to know our Mother in Heaven, it is titled “Mother, Where Art Thou?” She is currently in the process of seeking donations to produce her new collection with this beautiful song included!
Please consider donating to make this a reality. With only a $20 donation, you will receive a download of the EP album!
Perhaps it is time to ask for more light and knowledge.
“A Mother There”: A Survey of Historical Teachings about Mother in Heaven by David L. Paulsen and Martin Pulido and published by BYU Studies, is now available for free download here. Please read!
If you need prodding, this quote from the paper should suffice:
In this paper, we will share important historical accounts that cast serious doubt on the specific claims that, first, a sacred silence has always surrounded this treasured Mormon doctrine and that, second, Heavenly Mother’s ascribed roles have been marginalized or trivialized. With respect to the second claim, we will share historical portrayals of Heavenly Mother as procreator and parent, as a divine person, as co-creator of worlds, as coframer of the plan of salvation with the Father, and as a concerned and loving parent involved in our mortal probation. Finally, we will sketch portrayals of her role in the eschaton.