Guest Post: A Hard Matter to Get Right
Her name is too sacred to mention. Look how people drag God’s name through the streets. Do you want them to do the same with hers?”
“Heavenly Father loves Heavenly Mother so much that He puts her on a pedestal to protect her.”
“Why does it matter? She’s there. She exists. Why does it matter that we learn about her or talk about her?”
It was a dark and painful Sabbath day for me. These comments were swirling around in my brain. It was me verses my sunday school class and I was fighting a losing battle. This subject was dear to me and I felt like the subject itself was being trampled in the streets. Why does it matter? Why do we care so much about gender? Why do we care so much about two parent homes? Who cares if a child has a mother present in his/her life? Obviously a mother gave birth to that child. Why do we care so much about two parent earthly homes, but we completely ignore the fact that we have a one parent heavenly home?
So if Heavenly Mother exists, is that enough? Can we be okay with the mere existence of a female deity, or should we be doing more to know her? In the words of Joseph Smith during his King Follet Speech, “My first object is to find out the character of the only wise and true God, and what kind of being He is…” So the very most important thing for Joseph Smith was to know God. If our Heavenly Father is married to a Heavenly Mother, how can we even truly know Him without knowing Her? My husband’s co-workers know some things about him. They know the working side of him. But they will never fully know him unless they know me. I am part of him. We have built a life together and no one can fully know one or the other of us until they know both of us.
If people are that complex in our characters, then knowing the true character of God also has to have an enormous amount of complexity to it. There will be many facets to God’s character, and we cannot fully know Him until we know Them, which means we need to know Her. Why is it important to know God in the first place? Because until we know Them, we cannot even know ourselves. “If men do not comprehend the character of God, they do not comprehend themselves.” (Joseph Smith, King Follet Speech)
So what are we missing in our lack of a full God? We can only know by coming to Her and Him. “Having a knowledge of God, we begin to know how to approach Him (and Her), and to ask so as to receive an answer. When we understand the character of God, and how to come to Him (and Her), (They ) begin to unfold the heavens to us, and to tell us about it. When we are ready to come to (Them), (They) are ready to come to us.” (Joseph Smith, King Follet Speech)
Since my dark day in Sunday School last winter, I have spent a lot of time and energy thinking about, studying about, and praying about Heavenly Mother. I have experienced what Joseph Smith is talking about here. I now have a glimpse of what the world would be like with a male and female God who parent us equally. Yes, she is there. She always has been there. But now I feel her. I recognize her presence because I know her. I have come to Her and I have felt Her come to me. Now when I look at angry people yelling about politics on tv, I feel nothing but compassion for them. I know they are loved by a mother and I feel that deep love for Mother’s children. I look into my children’s eyes and I see deeper into eternity. I know more fully the great responsibility I have for them. My own mother’s love is magnified a hundred times because I feel another mother’s love for them.
How much better would our world be if we could feel the presence of a Father’s and a Mother’s love? It does matter. We are missing out on so much light and beauty and love that could exist in our world if our female God was known.
Joseph Smith said, “It is necessary for us to have an understanding of God himself in the beginning. If we start right, it is easy to go right all the time; but if we start wrong we may go wrong, and it will be a hard matter to get right.” Never were his words more prophetic. We started wrong. Now it is certainly a “hard matter to get right.” But we need to get it right. Let’s start now and begin again to bring our female God out from obscurity and into the light that will come to us with her presence.
Jenny is a mother of four who graduated from BYU with a degree in humanities. She loves reading, writing, and running. She just started her own blog at sandinthelens.blogspot.com to try to tear down walls that keep us from understanding “the other.”