Guest Post: Why Heavenly Mother is Essential: Part 6
Guest Post by McArthur Krishna, McArthur comes from a pack of storytellers. And while the pack rightly insists she’s only in the running for third-best storyteller on a good day, she’s made her living in stories. Stories in words and visual art that inspire, demand, encourage and cajole us along this wild ride of life. If you know her, she will unabashedly tell your stories too (with some degree of truthiness). Look out.
This is the sixth of a seven-part series about why Heavenly Mother is essential.
I have been writing this series for a few weeks now. It feels good to spend time thinking about my Heavenly Mother, perhaps because (Proverbs claims) without a vision, the people will perish.
We can look around and see lots of perishing. This is real. This is painful. This is not something to stand in judgement on or to dismiss as wheat and tares sorting. We are taught we need the whole body of Christ. And, we have covenanted to “mourn with those who mourn.” I will continue to mourn and also to wish sincere Godspeed as I see friends and strangers take paths they need.
However, I will also work for vision.
And, as a woman, the vision is intrinsically linked to Heavenly Mother.
Elder Pace expands on the question of destiny of women.
“Sisters, I testify that when you stand in front of your heavenly parents in those royal courts on high and 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.”Elder Glen L. Pace, The Divine Nature and Destiny of Women
I don’t know about you, but I have questions. And some of those questions are more troubling than others. (Troubling? Let’s be more clear. Try “soul crushing.”) How… Why… What in the world…. well, I am sure you have your own.
“I’ve always had an inquiring mind. I’m not satisfied just to accept things. I like to follow through and study things out. I learned early to put aside those gospel questions that I couldn’t answer. I had a shelf of things I didn’t understand, but as I’ve grown older and studied and prayed and thought about each problem, one by one I’ve been able to better understand them.”
She twinkles, “I still have some questions on that shelf, but I’ve come to understand so many other things in my life that I’m willing to bide my time for the rest of the answers.”
I don’t claim to have her grace, patience or her “better understanding”. And I especially don’t always have a twinkle. But, I do appreciate knowing some firm buttresses about Heavenly Mother along the way. We have been discussing them in previous articles in this series, but let’s add this one:
Essential Fact #6: Heavenly Mother is our destiny and female role model
I want to interrupt here with this: this is not a zero-sum game. Our Heavenly Parents are not Greek gods jealously fighting over who is more important and who gets what. When we value our Mother in Heaven, it takes nothing away from the relationship I strive to have with my Savior and His other parent, Heavenly Father. They are united.
So, is Jesus a role model— of course. Is Heavenly Father a role model— of course. But is Heavenly Mother also a role model? Of course! And, for a woman to understand that Heavenly Mother is her destiny matters.
Elder Jeffrey R. Holland calls Heavenly Mother “crucial” in Her contribution to our lives.
“To all of our mothers everywhere, past, present, or future, I say, “Thank you. Thank you for giving birth, for shaping souls, for forming character, and for demonstrating the pure love of Christ.” To Mother Eve, to Sarah, Rebekah, and Rachel, to Mary of Nazareth, and to a Mother in Heaven, I say, “Thank you for your crucial role in fulfilling the purposes of eternity.”
If we are to be like our Heavenly Mother, it means we also have a a purpose to fulfill. And if we are to fulfill our purpose in eternity, what do we need to do? I appreciate Elder Holland’s list above… giving birth can happen in a number of ways (I have birthed businesses, ideas, projects, art pieces, relationships), for shaping souls (this one is stunningly intimidating), for forming character (ditto), and for demonstrating pure love of Christ (the doozy).
But then I was thinking more about what are the “purposes of eternity”: to become more godlike and return home to live with our Heavenly Parents. What does that require?
I think the most important thing it requires is a growth mindset. If you refuse to grow, you are stuck. Solid.
My husband and I have been living in India for eight years. I kind of expected this was going to be our place and our life. And then some things shifted. The most important was a shift with our kids. But after that, was a shift that made us realize that we were on the path to being stuck and that continuing in that location was exacerbating the situation. As this was an abhorrent thought to both of us, we decided it took some drastic action.
We have been pushed and pushed for growth. There are days I simply don’t like it. I am clearly bad at it. I am trying to learn to be braver. It helps me to know that I have Jesus to help me along the path towards my destiny of Heavenly Mother and when I feel that comfort I remember this quote:
“I have heard it said by some that the reason the women in the Church struggle to know themselves is because they don’t have a divine female role model. But we do. We believe we have a mother in heaven… Furthermore, I believe we know much more about our eternal nature than we think we do; and it is our sacred obligation to express our knowledge, to teach it to our sisters and daughters.”— Patricia Holland, counselor in the YW general presidency, One Thing Needful: Becoming Women of Greater Faith in Christ
I am trying, emphatically, to live up to that sacred obligation.