Mother’s Day in Heaven

Amy Gordon posted a Mother’s Day talk she gave in Sacrament Meeting this past week about Mother in Heaven. It’s a pretty unique to hear someone talk about the female divine in Sacrament these days. It’s one of those doctrines that nobody really talks about anymore for reasons that completely baffle me.  But she managed to discuss the topic openly and with a surprisingly straight forward approach.  So head on over to her blog and read her talk and see if it strikes your fancy.

10 comments to Mother’s Day in Heaven

  • Anonymous

    From these three prophets we learn the importance of the knowledge that we have a Mother in Heaven. Without that knowledge, the plan of salvation is incomplete, since without an understanding that we have a Mother we would lack an understanding of what it means to call God our “Father.” We would lose sight of the true nature of God.

    This is where she strayed from truth and should have been publicly corrected by the presiding high priest.

  • Anonymous, please tell us more. Why do you say her statement is incorrect?

  • When I read the first line of your post, I thought it said "mothers" in heaven, not "mother in heaven." I was thinking it was going to be a talk about mothers who have passed on. Haha… Thanks for sharing this talk. It's very thought-provoking and well-researched.

  • Anonymous

    When we speak of God, precise language is required. Is it God the Father, God the Son, or God the Holy Ghost? Or, is it God, representing the attributes of the divine presidency? The Godhead? Or some other definition?

    Her talk claims that without a knowledge of 'Mother in Heaven,' the plan of salvation is incomplete.

    The essential tenets of the plan of salvation have all been revealed.

    Her talk claims that without a knowledge of Mother in Heaven, we would lack an understanding of what it means to call God our 'Father.'

    Having a knowledge of Heavenly Mother is not essential to an understanding of what it means to call God our 'Father.'

    She further claims that we would lose sight of the true nature of God.

    Our sight should be fixed on those principles which have the power to save us. We will not lose sight of the true nature of God if we seek the spirit of revelation. The information she described is not relevant to the saving principles of the gospel- without a knowledge of which we would not progress.

    In my opinion, an unfortunate consequence of her giving this talk isn't that she succeeded in discussing a generally whispered topic. The unfortunate consequence is the confusion that can result from the imprecise language that she used. It is also why we're discussing this topic on your blog.

    P.S. I am glad that I can offer anonymous comments on your blog. I cannot offer them on hers, so I chose not to leave comments. I feel more free to offer up my thoughts anonymously.

    P.S.S.
    Also, I have met Margaret Toscano and read some of her writings. I've also attended conferences during which she presented. You've probably deduced that I'm not a gray person in my theological viewpoints. I would sooner fall in line with with McConkie or Packard than other (sometimes budding) theological luminaries in our church.

  • Amy

    Wow, Anonymous, comparing me to Margaret Toscano is quite the slur.

    I stand by my statement that without a knowledge that we have a Mother in Heaven, the Plan of Salvation is incomplete. Allow me to explain.

    1. My statement is backed up by the previous statement of Elder Talmage: "We are expressly told that God is the Father of spirits, and to apprehend the literalness of this solemn truth we must know that a Mother of spirits is an existent personality." (Is he black-and-white enough for you?) If we don't know that we have a Mother, then the word "Father" cannot apply to God the Father as we use the term "Father" on earth–it must mean something else–perhaps it is a metaphor. But an understanding that God the Father has a wife to whom He is sealed and with whom He begets children makes it clear that the word "Father" means the same in both cases. This fact, I would argue, is central to our understanding of God and of His Plan.

    2. Furthermore, central to the Plan of Salvation is the idea of eternal marriage and eternal families. It includes the idea of human exaltation and deification. Without an understanding that we have a female God(dess) as well as a male God, we would lose the idea that men and women are exalted together as husband and wife–instead, we would construct an image of a heaven in which only males are present and exalted with their Father. This image is at odds with what the Plan teaches us. This is why it is so important to understand that we have a Mother in Heaven–because it shows us that women can be exalted, too. I am supposed to become like God, but I can never be a Father or an Elder Brother. The fact that I can be a Mother–and like my Mother–means that I, too, can live with and live like God (meaning both Father and Mother).

  • Anonymous

    "Wow, Anonymous, comparing me to Margaret Toscano is quite the slur."

    I said nothing bad about Margaret Toscano. I only brought her up because you have both published on a similar topic.

    FWIW think Reuben has 'poisoned the well' by his comment on your blog directing you to read my original comment. Heresy is a strong word that would bias just about anyone.

    RE: your point 1)
    I see nothing wrong with your statements when explained as you just did. The problem lies in the perceived definition of Father. Some (indeed I would argue MOST) think of 'Father' when appended to God is the same as Mosiah 15 or the topical guide might attempt to define God as Father.

    RE: your point 2)
    "Without an understanding that we have a female God(dess) as well as a male God, we would lose the idea that men and women are exalted together as husband and wife–instead, we would construct an image of a heaven in which only males are present and exalted with their Father."

    This I disagree with because it is simply not sound doctrine. Lacking a knowledge of this topic does not cause us to lose the idea of mutual exaltation. Exaltation requirements are spelled out clearly in revealed doctrine sans mention of a Heavenly Mother.

    I reaffirm my belief that a knowledge of Heavenly Mother is not needed to obtain the highest degree of exaltation. It is not in any way central to the plan of salvation, nor is it a necessary appendage to the Plan of Salvation.

  • Anonymous

    Update to my earlier post:
    In my haste, I wrote Packard instead of Packer. Elder Boyd K. Packer.

  • Anonymous,apologies for poisoning the well. "Heresy" is indeed a very strong word that you didn't use. It was inappropriate of me to put words into your mouth.

    I tend to agree more with Amy on this, though – a full understanding of Mormon theology can only be gained through an understanding of male and female divine together – each contributing uniquely necessary attributes that neither divine partner could provide individually. Considering the whole gamut of LDS theological teachings about eternal progression, an understanding of the male divine alone is simply insufficient.

  • I liked Amy's talk and wish she had given it in our sacrament meeting. It discusses a lot of the issues I struggle with regarding lack of the feminine divinity in Mormon doctrine.

    She talks as if Heavenly Mother is as important and powerful and godly and etc as Heavenly Father. I 100% agree that She is, however, I struggle with Her almost complete absence in our doctrine, scriptures, and rituals.

    The difference between Anonymous' and Amy's comments illustrates my struggle, in part. Amy views knowledge of Heavenly Mother as an essential part in the plan, as do I. Anonymous says knowledge of her is not necessary or essential, as I see Mormon doctrine telling me.

    My question for Anonymous, or actually anyone: is knowledge of Heavenly Father an essential part of the plan of salvation?

  • Amy

    I'll answer your question, Alex, and perhaps hit on something that Anonymous and I seem to disagree on.

    I think what we're hung up on is whether a knowledge of Heavenly Mother is necessary to be saved, which Anon says it isn't, and in so saying, he's right. Technically, you don't need to know anything about the plan of salvation to be saved. You can just be born and die before the age of accountability.

    But my point wasn't that you need to know about Heavenly Mother to be saved, my point was that you need to know about Heavenly Mother in order to fully understand the plan of salvation. A semantic, but important, distinction.

    To answer your question, then, well, no, a knowledge of Heavenly Father isn't precisely necessary to be saved, but it is necessary to understand the full reach of the plan of salvation.

    Alex, I also struggle with feeling that the feminine deity has been left out of out liturgy completely. I miss Her. I don't have any easy answers, except to believe She is my mother and She loves me, and that one day I will understand Her roles and the influence She has had on my life–I will find Her and be satisfied.