Heavenly Mother

Related Posts: Godhead: God or Gods?; Whom do we worship?; Trinity

It would be somewhat overstating the matter to say there is a heavenly mother “doctrine,” since all we know about a heavenly mother is that such a person exists. There is no reference to her in any LDS scripture. In fact, I know of only three places in official Mormon publications where this teaching can be found. It can be found in the hymn O My Father, a statement by the First Presidency entitled “The Family: A Proclamation to the World,” and a First Presidency statement from 1909.

The hymn O My Father reads,

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? Then, at length, when I’ve completed all you sent me forth to do, With you mutual approbation Let me come and dwell with you. (Hymn 292)

The 1909 First Presidency Statement reads,

All men and women are in the similitude of the universal Father and Mother and are literally the sons and daughters of Deity (First Presidency, “The Origin of Man,” taken from Ensign, Feb. 2002).

The Family: A Proclamation to the World reads,

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.

The heavenly mother teaching can be viewed as a conclusion from the doctrine of exaltation. Mormon theology teaches that the “same sociality which exists among us here will exist among us [in Heaven]” (D&C 130:2). Thus earthly relationships can reflect eternal ones. A man and woman may be married for time and all eternity in a temple, and, if they are faithful to their marriage covenants, be husband and wife for time and all eternity and become gods in their own right: “all things are theirs, whether life or death, or things present, or things to come, all are theirs and they are Christ’s, and Christ is God’s” (D&C 76:59). Doctrine and Covenants section 132 reads,

…if a man marry a wife by my word, which is my law, and by the new and everlasting covenant, and it is sealed unto them by the Holy Spirit of promise… [they] shall inherit thrones, kingdoms, principalities, and powers, dominions, all heights and depths…and if ye abide in my covenant…[then they shall enter into] their exaltation…which glory shall be a fulness and a continuation of the seeds forever and ever. Then shall they be gods, because they have no end…then shall they be gods, because they have all power, and the angels are subject unto them. (D&C 132:19-20)

After they enter into their exaltation they can then do what God did: create a universe and children, and a way for them to progress and one day marry for time and all eternity and become gods–the cycle continues. This cycle is further illustrated in the First Presidency’s statement “The Family: A Proclamation to the World”.

…marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God and…the family is central to the Creator’s plan for the eternal destiny of His children.

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.

As Joseph Smith put it, “God himself was once as we are now, and is an exalted man, and sits enthroned in yonder heavens!”[1] God became God by going through the same process that we can go through. Thus God is sealed to a wife for time and all eternity.

This process is illustrated in our hymn If You Could Hie to Kolob. It reads, “The works of God continue, And worlds and live abound; Improvement and progression have on eternal round” (lyrics).

See “Mother in Heaven” from Encyclopedia of Mormonism.

End Notes_______________________________________
See Kaimi Wenger’s “The Other Heavenly Mother Hymn” at Times & Seasons about another 19’th century Heavenly Mother hymn.

[1] Smith, Joseph, Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, Selected by Joseph Fielding Smith, Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Press, 1938 p. 345.