March 2016 Visiting Teaching Message: Created in the Image of God
This message is a continuation of messages being heralded around the Family Proclamation. But this one is more fun because it is focused on us being created in the “image of God.” The formal visiting teaching message talks about the Brother of Jared’s experience of seeing Christ in the flesh and includes quotes from the New and Old Testament, President Monson and the Doctrine and Covenants that all support and uphold the idea that we have bodies that mirror our Heavenly Parents.
And that is the fun part. “Heavenly Parents.” Meaning Heavenly Mother. I see no purpose in teaching that we reflect the image of a male god, so celebrate in the reflection of Our Mother God. In this frame, and because of recent emphasis in Exponent posts about self care (here and here and even here), I am simply including quotes about Heavenly Mother, and ask, “what are YOU doing to look after yourself? Because taking care of one’s health– mental, physical and spiritual– is paramount in developing a healthy relationship with the Divine, because our bodies are temples of God. Yes, even me. And you. Especially you.
“Sisters, I testify that when you stand in front of your heavenly parents in those royal courts on high and you look into Her eyes and behold Her countenance, any question you ever had about the role of women in the kingdom will evaporate into the rich celestial air, because at that moment you will see standing directly in front of you, your divine nature and destiny.” -Glenn L. Pace, “The Divine Nature and Destiny of Women,” devotional address, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah, March 9, 2010.
“The home is patterned after the heavenly dwelling of our Divine parents.” And, “The divine Mother, side by side with the divine Father, [has] the equal sharing of equal rights, privileges and responsibilities.” -Susa Young Gates, Improvement Era 23, April 1920.
“I have heard it said by some that the reason women in the Church struggle somewhat to know themselves is because they don’t have a divine female role model. But we do believe we have a mother in heaven….I have never questioned why our Mother in Heaven seems veiled to us, for I believe the Lord has His reasons for revealing as little as He has on that subject. Furthermore, I believe we know much more about our eternal nature than we think we do, and it is our sacred obligation to identify it and to teach it to our sisters and daughters, and in so doing, strengthen their faith and help them through the counterfeit confusions of these difficult latter days.” -Patricia T. Holland, BYU Today, June 1987.
“It doesn’t take from our worship of the Eternal Father, to adore our Eternal Mother, any more than it diminishes the love we bear our earthly fathers, to include our earthly mothers in our affections. . . . We honor woman when we acknowledge Godhood in her eternal prototype.” -Rudger Clawson, “Our Mother in Heaven,” Millennial Star, Sept. 29, 1910.
“When we ask about the Mother, might not the Lord give us a similar reply? ‘He that hath seen me hath seen the Mother.’ We think of the Godhead as united in purpose and similar in character. If we as Mormons are going to assert the existence of a female deity, shouldn’t we assume that Her Son mirrors Her perfection as well as that of the Father?” -Kathryn Shirts, Women Steadfast in Christ, Deseret Book, 1992, 101.
What are your favourite quotes about the Mother? How can you care for yourself in the same way that your Heavenly Mother wants you to care for yourself?