Heavenly Mothers Day: My Absentee Heavenly Parent
Many women—and men—yearn for our heavenly mother.
I don’t. When I believe in her at all, I tend to resent my absentee heavenly parent, just as an abandoned child would resent an earthly parent that doesn’t communicate with her child.
President Dieter F. Uchtdorf has taught that “We improve our relationship with our Heavenly Father by learning of Him, by communing with Him.” Reference A
If this is how strong relationships with deity are formed, it is obvious why I don’t have a healthy relationship with my heavenly mother, if she exists. I don’t learn about her in my Sunday meetings and communing with her through prayer is expressly forbidden.
Most church curricula describe our heavenly family as a single-parent family with a loving Heavenly Father. When heavenly mother is mentioned, she is often mentioned as something of an afterthought, with her name in lowercase letters as if to punctuate how unimportant it is to know her:
The scriptures teach that faith is a spiritual gift and “all have not every gift given unto them.” (D&C 46; Corinthians 12) I do not feel that I have been blessed with the gift of faith. On the contrary, developing faith is hard work for me. It takes study, prayer, and nourishment from my religious community to teach me how to recognize God’s hand in my life. Developing faith in a God I worship regularly and pray to daily, whose attributes I have learned about since childhood, has been hard enough; developing faith in an absentee heavenly parent is a task that doesn’t interest me.
While I may not be naturally faithful, I do have the gift of hope. And so I hope that our heavenly mother is there. I hope that it is only because we view the eternities through patriarchal lenses that we cannot see her and not because she is as aloof and uninterested in us as our church teachings and practices would suggest.