Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Mother in Heaven

Here is a fun one for you. There is an underlining belief that God is married (which is consistent with the idea that you can be an “eternal family” and become a God yourself if you do everything right).

On the front page of they advertise the completion of the on-line text of what is called the “Encyclopedia of Mormonism”. As with most LDS material, it comes with a disclaimer…

Note: This encyclopedia is a joint product of Brigham Young University and Macmillan Publishing Company and does not necessarily represent the official position of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

My thought is that if you put it on your website, you obviously find it to be of value and support its use. If there were things in it that do not accurately show the “official position” of the LDS church, I’m sure they would have had them changed before they promoted it.

Anyways, I’m going to post selected topics that I think will be of interest. Here is what it says about the belief in a Heavenly Mother.

Latter-day Saints infer from authoritative sources of scripture and modern prophecy that there is a Heavenly Mother as well as a Heavenly Father.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints rejects the idea found in some religions that the spirits or souls of individual human beings are created ex nihilo. Rather it accepts literally the vital scriptural teaching as worded by Paul: "The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God." This and other scriptures underscore not only spiritual sibling relationships but heirship with God, and a destiny of joint heirship with Christ (Rom. 8:16-18; cf. Mal. 2:10).

Latter-day Saints believe that all the people of earth who lived or will live are actual spiritual offspring of God the Eternal Father (Num. 16:22; Heb. 12:9). In this perspective, parenthood requires both father and mother, whether for the creation of spirits in the premortal life or of physical tabernacles on earth. A Heavenly Mother shares parenthood with the Heavenly Father. This concept leads Latter-day Saints to believe that she is like him in glory, perfection, compassion, wisdom, and holiness.

Elohim, the name-title for God, suggests the plural of the Caananite El or the Hebrew Eloah. It is used in various Hebrew combinations to describe the highest God. It is the majestic title of the ultimate deity. Genesis 1:27reads, "So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him, male and female created he them" (emphasis added), which may be read to mean that "God" is plural.
For Latter-day Saints, the concept of eternal family is more than a firm belief; it governs their way of life. It is the eternal plan of life, stretching from life before through life beyond mortality.

As early as 1839 the Prophet Joseph Smith taught the concept of an eternal mother, as reported in several accounts from that period. Out of his teaching came a hymn that Latter-day Saints learn, sing, quote, and cherish, "O My Father," by Eliza R. Snow. President Wilford Woodruff called it a revelation (Woodruff, p. 62). 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. When I leave this frail existence, When I lay this mortal by, Father, Mother, may I meet you In your royal courts on high? [Hymn no. 292]

In 1909 the First Presidency, under Joseph F. Smith, issued a statement on the origin of man that teaches that "man, as a spirit, was begotten and born of heavenly parents, and reared to maturity in the eternal mansions of the Father," as an "offspring of celestial parentage," and further teaches that "all men and women are in the similitude of the universal Father and Mother, and are literally the sons and daughters of Deity" (Smith, pp. 199-205).

Belief that there is a Mother in Heaven who is a partner with God in creation and procreation is not the same as the heavy emphasis on Mariology in the Roman tradition.

Today the belief in a living Mother in Heaven is implicit in Latter-day Saint thought. Though the scriptures contain only hints, statements from presidents of the church over the years indicate that human beings have a Heavenly Mother as well as a Heavenly Father.

I'm curious to know what the "Christian" view on this is.


  1. Hello dear. I obviously cannot speak for the Christian/Evangelical s on this, however I am fairly certain this is a unique concept. I also sincerely hope that you have not posted this to stir up contention, as you know very well this is an extremely sacred subject to the Latter-day Saints, and should be treated with respect whether one agrees with it or not.

    From a feminine perspective, this doctrine is an absolutely beautiful concept. It honors the holiness and power of womanhood. It is admirable that in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saint's men and women are considered equals.

  2. I’m not sure I am your “dear” unless you are either my wife or mother. My wife would not make this comment and I’m pretty sure my mom refuses to read my blog so you must be neither and therefore not in the right place to call me such.

    I posted this to learn what others outside of Mormonism think about a Heavenly Mother. I am at the beginning stages of learning about other belief systems so I openly admit that there are few topics that I have a good understanding of from their point of view.

    It may be a “beautiful concept” but is it a TRUE concept? Is God married and if he is, does he have more then one wife? Mormon teaching states that plural marriage will be practiced in the Celestial Kingdome and some prophets have gone so far as to say that it is REQUIRED to receive exaltation. So, if God is married as Mormon teachings claim, how does it work? Does he have a world for each wife? Is our Heavenly Mother wife #1, #3 or #50? What does she do while he is at work answering all those prayers and helping people find their lost car keys?

    I have a hard time seeing how women are considered equal in Mormonism. And I certainly don’t see how being wife #3 for eternity is all that equal. Perhaps you could enlighten me on this.

  3. I am wondering how many "real christians" read your blog. I think it is mostly mormons who just want to be enlightened.


    -faithful reader

  4. I know a little about Mormonism, so I won't claim to be an expert by any stretch - HOWEVER, what I am SURE of is that woman are anything BUT equal in the LDS church. mormon soprano has a warped sense of reality.

  5. The christian view on this is that it is pure paganism, some kind of fertility cult religion.

    There is no mother god in the bible. The concept simply can not be found at all.

    God created all men out of nothing, ex nihilo. Before they were created they didn't exist.

    The bible says that God formed man out of the dust of the ground and breathed life into him. No procreation, no mother, only God.

  6. Pops - Is it believed that God has a set gender? That is to say, is he thought of as a man or merely and entity without a specified gender?

    Faithfull Reader – at one point it appeared my reading base was starting to shift from primarily Mormons to those of other religious ideas. I hope both groups find what I write enlightening and informative.

  7. God is always referred to as He when a pronoun is used.

    The bible specifically states that God is a Spirit, not a man, although Jesus took upon himself a human nature and is God and man, one person, two natures. In theological parlance it is called the hypostatic union.

  8. Interesting, I will have to think about that one a bit. Thanks for the info.

  9. Pops is right. God doesn't have a gender per se, being immaterial means that He would have no need for a gender, but is always properly referred to with the masculine gender. It is rank heresy to assume a secondary goddess figure and coupling to create. Christianity holds that God created the world and everything in it, including us, ex nihilo (something from nothing(

    I love the sacred defense from mormon soprano, a common tact to avoid dealing with issues head on.

  10. Wow... I had no idea the Encyclopedia of Mormonism spelled out the Heavenly Mother view so clearly. Since I have started studying Mormonism this particular view has appeared difficult to pin down and I didn't know for sure whether Mormons really believed this as described in such clear detail in this encyclopedia article you provided.

    I agree with pops and Arthur on the Christian view. God is a He, but is a spiritual being far above the baser elements of humanity. There is no marriage in heaven (Matt.22:29-30). God does not have a wife. There are things far better than sex to look forward to in heaven (I Cor. 2:9).

    The Heavenly Mother view is associated with paganism. There is no Biblical support for this view - it is extremely shocking and heretical and I am still astonished that the Mormon encyclopedia so unapologetically defines this belief.