Dear Heavenly Mother

Dear Heavenly Mother,

Is it “Heavenly Mother,” or do you prefer something else? Would you rather I used “God” or even “Mom”? So much about you is a mystery, even your name. Most people I know don’t even imagine that you exist, but I cling to your possibilities. So much of Mormonism is uncertain for me, but you are the one, unique, tantalizing piece of my religious upbringing I can’t—I won’t—let go of.

I find myself searching for you in books about the female divine and in music or art with hints of you. Lately, I spend my time creating vibrant, rainbow-hued, felted wool images of a heavenly woman surrounded by light. I conceive complex imagery where women, children, and men look in a mirror and see your reflection in return. The joy I feel in these creations is always tinged with the melancholy reminder that I am just piecing together bits of you found here and there. I am supposedly made in your image, but your visage is a mystery to me.

Up until tonight, I always envisioned you as an unwilling accomplice to patriarchy. While I could not reconcile the secrecy surrounding you with the strength and power I hope you hold, I never dared believe you complicit. But tonight, I wonder why you don’t respond to my queries or join me on Wednesdays to fight the patriarchy. Why have you deserted women? Why silence when we need your voice; when we’ve always needed it?

My biggest fear is not that you don’t exist, but that you do, and that you hold up the patriarchy.

           Dear Mother, please help me understand the divide between us. Are you just one prayer, one whisper away? Is “God” you or a Heavenly pair acting as one? Are you only lost until women unearth you beneath the weight of male supremacy and gendered power? How do we claim you when we know so little?

            I wish you would appear and cleanse the earth of patriarchy—not so I could believe in your existence, but so I could believe in you.

            Your existence has been kept secret (or sacred, as men say) for so long, that I fear calling upon your name. I’ve heard for so long Heavenly Mother is too precious, too perfect, too important. We can say your name, but not pray your name. Oh, how I long to publicly pray your name; to hear prophets praise your name.

            I refuse to imagine you on a pedestal; a delicate flower too fragile to expose to questions, ridicule, shame, or even worship. Are you protected or is your power so robust, so enviable, that men must contain it to feel strong? I like to imagine that my strength, my compassion, my wisdom, even my humor, come from you. When I look at my sisters, my mother, and my friends, I see you in their grins, their screams of frustration, their joyous declarations, and their weary tears. Please say that you are not white, bright, unobtainable perfection, but instead round, vibrant, loud, and brazen with your love.

            While I wish I could hold a book of words declaring your name, dear Mother, and unraveling the mysteries of the feminine divine, I’m also grateful that you remain relatively untouched by the revisions of men. Your absence from scripture protects you from patriarchal modifications keeping you perpetually pregnant, a plural wife, or an auxiliary of the Godhead. Perhaps you are a mystery only because you are for your children to discover unabridged.

            So, I will keep seeking you in the poetry, music, art, and words that both hint at your existence and shout your name. I’ll continue letting my fingers craft at will, weaving together strands representing your love, hope, and wisdom; symbols of my quest for you. And, when melancholy or doubt threatens, I’ll reach for those strands connecting me to your feminine divine.

Love,

Mindy

You may also like...

8 Responses

  1. Elisa says:

    Beautiful! As for names, I love the name “Mother God” from Carol Lynn Pearson’s book Finding Mother God.

  2. Jan Signore says:

    I love this, beautifully and poignantly expressed. Thank you.

  3. Ziff says:

    Wow, Mindy. This is amazing and beautiful!

  4. Heather B from SC says:

    I’m really loving Kristen’s poem referencing the All Mother.

    Also, I love all of this immensely. And you! Beautiful words.

    And I want to see the felt. All of it.

    Those who haven’t seen Mindy’s feltwork, it started as a new hobby during pandemic, and let me tell you, has progressed so beautifully to such art. I love it.

  5. Descent says:

    The writings of Margaret Barker, a Methodist theologian and Biblical scholar, were really helpful to me so I could better understand some of questions, especially “what is your name?” “What happened to you?” “Where are you now?”

    Of course I still have many questions, but I think you are getting at something when you say we can find Her unabridged.

    The worst thing that could happen to the world’s concept of Heavenly Mother is for it to be filtered through the patriarchal lens.

  6. Abby Hansen says:

    The more you think about the idea that Heavenly Mother is too “special” to be prayed to or talk about, the more absurd it seems. Isn’t the fact that she is so extremely special all the more reason to learn about her and try to communicate with her? Beautiful post. 🙂

  7. Beautiful post. I have many of the same questions.

  8. NeoDan says:

    Dear Mindy, as others have said, your beautiful post echoes the longings of many women, but as a man I can assure you that there are men who also share this reaching out for the Divine Mother and have done so for a very long time.

    I invite you to consider another possibility, one that reconciles all of the questions that you and others have asked about our Mother. For me, it is the best, in fact the only, concept that answers what is surely the most difficult question of all: given that Heavenly Mother exists, how could she not be present and involved in the lives of her children while in their mortal probation, the stage of existence that determines their eternal outcomes? The Father and the Son are there and highly visible as two members of the Godhead, so why is she not?

    Stated very simply, I believe that logic and scripture combine to tell us that the reason we know so little about the identity of the third member of the Godhead, the Holy Ghost, and the reason we hear so little about Heavenly Mother is that they are one and the same. The term “Holy Ghost” or “Holy Spirit” is simply a description of our Mother’s role – she is the comforter, the testifier, the one who reassures and guides her children by interacting with our spirits. Her spirit to ours.

    That she has a glorified physical body like the Father and the Son is a given, but as she reaches us in mortality through her spirit, she is termed the Holy Spirit. This is not the venue to deal with this issue, but the scripture passages translated to refer to the Holy Ghost as “he” actually do not mean the male gender.

    Heavenly Mother IS here, in our lives, fulfilling the role of a mother, but hidden in plain sight by the traditions of men.

Leave a Reply to Abby Hansen Cancel reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.