Yesterday I gave a lesson in Relief Society on the Godhead, the Plan of Salvation and the role of Heaven Mother. This is what we discussed. All quotes are from LDS.org.
After reviewing the Godhead and what Their roles are in the Plan of Salvation, we discussed a fourth Being who is also perfect, who loves us, who is very involved in our Salvation. One who is often overlooked.
Her Existence is Mainstream Doctrine
"This understanding [of Heavenly Mother] is rooted in scriptural and prophetic teachings about the nature of God, our relationship to Deity, and the godly potential of men and women. The doctrine of Heavenly Mother is a cherished and distinctive belief among Latter-day Saints.” -Mother in Heaven LDS.org website
“Each [person] is a beloved spirit son or daughter of [H]eavenly [P]arents, and, as such, each has a divine nature and destiny.” -The First Presidency, 1995, The Family: A Proclamation to the World
“Our theology begins with [H]eavenly [P]arents. Our highest aspiration is to be like them.” -Elder Oaks
Talking about Heavenly Mother Honors Women
“We honor women when we acknowledge Godhood in her eternal Prototype.” -Elder Clawson
We are Created in Her Image
“[A]ll men and women are in the similitude of the universal Father and Mother, and are literally the sons and daughters of Deity.” -The First Presidency
Elohim is a plural, masculine and feminine pronoun in Hebrew meaning God."So God created man in [Their] own image, in the image of God created [They] them." -Genesis 1:27
Heavenly Mother and Heavenly Father are Equal
“The divine Mother, [is] side by side with the divine Father.” -Susan Young Gates
Our Heavenly Parents are our perfect example of an equal partnership in marriage, which is something we are commanded to achieve.
God the Mother Created the Plan of Salvation
“We are part of a divine plan designed by Heavenly Parents who love us.” -Elder M. Russell Ballard
God the Mother Actively Helps us Return to Her
“We forget that we have a Heavenly Father and a Heavenly Mother who are even more concerned, probably, than our earthly father and mother, and that influences from beyond are constantly working to try to help us when we do all we can.” -President Harold B Lee
God the Mother Sent Her Son Jesus Christ to Earth
This is obvious. We are just as much children of our Heavenly Father as Jesus Christ is a child of Heavenly Mother. Heavenly Mother created Christ's spirit with Heavenly Father. He is Her Son too. She sacrificed when She sent Him to earth too.
Eliza R. Snow was the First Person to Publicly Teach about Heavenly Mother
John Willard Clawson
“…[E]arly Latter-day Saint women recalled that [Joseph Smith] personally taught them about a Mother in Heaven. The earliest published references to the doctrine appeared shortly after Joseph Smith’s death in 1844, in documents written by his close associates. The most notable expression of the [doctrine] is found in a poem by Eliza R. Snow, entitled, “My Father in Heaven” and now known as the hymn, “O My Father.”- Mother in Heaven LDS.org website
We Have a Hymn Celebrating, Speaking to, and Acknowledging Mother in Heaven
VS 1. O my father, thou that dwellest
In the high and glorious place,
When shall I regain thy presence
And again behold thy face?
In thy holy habitation,
Did my spirit once reside?
In my first primeval childhood
Was I nurtured near thy side?
VS 2. For a wise and glorious purpose
Thou hast placed me here on earth
And withheld the recollection
Of my former friends and birth;
Yet ofttimes a secret something
Whispered, “You’re a stranger here,”
And I felt that I had wandered
From a more exalted sphere.
VS 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.
VS 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.
LDS Hymn Book, Text: Eliza R. Snow, 1804–1887, Music: James McGranahan, 1840–1907
One Heavenly Mother
In every instance on LDS.org and in every quote included above each reference to Heavenly Mother refers to a single Mother in Heaven. There is no evidence found on church websites or scriptures to suggest that we have more than one Heavenly Father or Heavenly Mother.
I was so impressed with the sisters in my ward. Each contributed to our discussion. One person shared that since all quotes were from LDS.org she was able to relax and focus on the content of the lesson. From now on each time I teach the Plan of Salvation or the Godhead I will include Heavenly Mother in those lessons.
I am filled with gratitude to Eliza R. Snow for being the first person in the history of modern Christianity to openly teach the doctrine of Heavenly Mother. How remarkable that in the 1800's, before women were even allowed to pray in church, that she taught this doctrine and formulated her thoughts in the poem that became a hymn.
Remember Heavenly Mother in your prayers, express gratitude to Her and for Her, talk about Her in lessons and testimonies. And most importantly, realize that Heavenly Mother is your PARENT.
To help you remember this essential truth, try to replace the words Heavenly Father with the words Heavenly Mother. I have found that in almost every instance the sentence is just as true. Once this habit was established I put both of Their names, Heavenly Mother and Heavenly Father, together. I treat Them as Equal because THEY ARE. Now that I have done this, the thought of every leaving One out makes me want to cry. It feels incomplete like half of my heart is missing.
Talk to God in prayer. Connect with Deity. Anything that keeps you from praying to God, bonding with God, or relying on God... IS NOT OF GOD. It is Satan that tries to keep us from Them. It is Satan that tells us we are unworthy of that connection. Historic cultural bias may have contributed to this warped understanding as well. Your life and your worship will be transformed as you connect with both of your eternal, perfect Parents.
ALSO, remember that Heavenly Father is not a single parent.