"Our Mothers' Love": Reflections on Our Heavenly Mother
In the spring Exponent II issue of 1981, Susan Howe wrote an editorial called “Our Mother’s Love.” In the following excerpt, she begins by talking about her own relationship with her mother – how her mother often “extended love to me that I needed and was thankful for, but I couldn’t return it. Something in me hunkered down inside… I was inert. I certainly felt deeply, but I was incapable of voicing or extending that love. Incapable of receiving it.”
These thoughts about her earthly mother lead to some interesting reflections on Heavenly Mother. I am particularly struck by her optimism about receiving answers to her questions, by her belief that it is the members’ apathy that has stagnated revelations concerning Her.
What do you think? Do you also believe that we will only receive more knowledge of her when we actively reach out to learn more? Other than praying to Heavenly Mother, what are ways we can individually stretch ourselves to learn more about Her and honor Her? Any other responses to Howe’s ideas?
I sometimes think that we behave towards our Heavenly Mother much as I have behaved towards my earthly mother. I’m sure that She extends Her love to us and that we accept and are blessed by it. But when it comes to knowing Her or acknowledging and accepting who She is and how She feels for us, we hunker down inside ourselves and turn away.
I suppose that it is not so much that we are hurt (though we are) as that we are not willing to be responsible — eiteher for the relationship with both our Heavenly Parents or for the changes that knowing Them would require. If we don’t learn more about Them, we won’t have to become more like Them. We won’t have to grow.
So, ignoring the ninth Article of Faith (“…we believe that H will yet reveal many great and important things…”) we don’t ask for greater blessings, we don’t prepare ourselves for greater knowledge, we don’t fast, and we don’t pray. We keep our eyes straight ahead and never look up so that we won’t have to climb up.
We justify our lack of interest in our Eternal Mother with such excuses as “Oh, that just hasn’t been revealed.” But the doctrine has been revealed. It was revealed to Joseph Smith over a hundred years ago. We have received the doctrine. Isn’t it our responsibility to seek a confirming witness of this revelation, to strive for a testimony of our own?
And another excuse: “Heavenly Father must not want us to know about that right now. If He did, He’d reveal it to the prophet.” Can we honestly think that Heavenly Father would not want us to know about his eternal companion and the role She has played in our existence? Can we really imagine that He would feel diminished rather than enlarged, that He would want to keep this knowledge from us? Can we really imagine that He woul hesitate to reveal — if we were righteous and prepared and willing to learn — the glory of what a celestial union is really like? God would reveal it to the prophet, if we were worthy and prepared to accept the revelation.
I think that we can trust in the goodness of God. He is not sexist or demeaning. He would only want the greatest potential and the highest fulfillment for His daughters and His sons. God would want us to understand the glory possible for both sexes as we learn to live and love by celestial laws. I sense that both our Mother and Father yearn to lead us to a higher plane, and they would if we would stop hunkering down inside ourselves, afraid to seek more knowledge, afraid to ask.