Guest Post: Why Heavenly Mother is Essential: Part 7
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 last of a seven-part series about why Heavenly Mother is essential.
Essential Fact #1: Heavenly Mother is essential to the definition of God
The Old Testament was written in Hebrew. In that language, one of the words for God is Elohim— a plural term. Elohim is used over 2500 times the Old Testament— however, not all of those are references to Heavenly Mother. But Genesis seems clear— We are taught that we are made in Their image, both male and female. The plural and the gender being both male and female indicates that the Gods are both.
Heavenly Father and Heavenly Mother are God together. It is the union of the two that creates God.
“No matter to what heights he has attained or may attain, he does not stand alone; for see by side with him, in all her glory, a glory like unto his own, stands a companion, the Mother…”Elder Melvin J. Ballard
“We are informed that it required the male and female, united to make one image of [God’s] own body…”Elder Franklin D. Richards
And while I think is is vital to underscore the essential nature of Heavenly Mother, I do not want to hurt my LGBTQ+ brothers and sisters with this quote. With that in mind, I dug in to ask people who have thought more about this topic from their respective angle.
I called Tom Christofferson, who kindly gave me his wisdom.
“My experience in this life is that I don’t desire the male-female union that has given so much joy and meaning to the lives of most of the people around me, and among those I love are they who experience all genders/no gender. That doesn’t mean I discount or devalue woman-man union: I am its product, both Heavenly and earthly. I rejoice that most of my Heavenly siblings have a sense of a next life that fills them with peace and gratitude. The Spirit whispers to my soul that I, and all of my LGBTQ siblings, have an honored place in the family of Heaven and that the perfect love Heavenly Parents feel for each of their children will also be the quality of love we will feel for each other. I hope to know more; for now, that beautiful image is sufficient.”
Jennifer Finlayson-Fife works on helping couples become healthier. She had these thoughts
“The divine model is a balance of masculine and feminine…and couplehood is divine…but how that plays out in the eternities is still unknown to us.”
To me, this makes sense. My husband and I each have a spectrum of masculine and feminine energy and balancing those creates harmony. Pre-marriage we were on the edge of deciding whether or not to move ahead in our relationship. We set out to go hiking in Sedona and someone (we think of him as perhaps one of the Three Nephites but for sure an angelic presence in a gold convertible) warned us the hike we had picked out was very masculine energy. We chose a different hike. Now, do I know Sedona vortex energies are real? No. No idea. But I do know that we were already in a fight and adding anymore aggressive energy to that would have been a disastrous doozy.
We have been taught that gender is eternal — but we don’t know much beyond that. How this works, I don’t pretend to understand. I just want to be clear that we all have a Mother in Heaven and that somehow union creates divinity. As Bethany, my co-author says, “Expanding from only a male god to both male and female is moving a more expansive definition of God. That can only be good.” Increased representation is GOOD.
When I consider this earth life, I think of infinite pie. (Specifically, strawberry rhubarb with a great crust, if you wondered.) This is not the pie that says more divinity for some is less divinity for others. I just have to remember that excluding the feminine does not solve all theological problems with a LGBTQ+ community. And, we all benefit from expansiveness— while understanding that there is also trickiness. I don’t know the answers, but I want to be clear I support the questions.
Additionally, if we think of Heavenly Mother as essential… that means that the supreme power of the universe is not just one entity. To me, this makes divinity a much more powerful concept. While our Heavenly Parents are united, They are (quite obviously) not the same.
Sameness is not divinity. Unity is divinity.
Now, what becomes interesting to me is what I do with this knowledge.
In General Conference October 2021, Elder Renlund’s expressed this:
“Do you think that the people were unified because they were all the same, or because they had no differences of opinion? I doubt it. Instead, contention and enmity disappeared because they placed their discipleship of the Savior above all else. Their differences paled in comparison to their shared love of the Savior, and they were united as “heirs to the kingdom of God.”
How does this apply to our lives? There are obvious applications to married life. But I also think it has a more universal application which is applicable to all regardless of marital status or gender.
Recently I have been thinking about loving the other and what it means to be a united people. United in our families, our church, our country our world. This is not an exercise in nicety. Christ was clear: “I say unto you, be one; and if ye are not one ye are not mine,” D&C 38:27. To read more on this, you can see my LDS Women Project post “Loving the Other”.
What does being united look like? What does it feel like? How do we get there? These are more questions I think are worth considering. However, one of the key take-away lessons from understanding that Heavenly Mother is essential is that Her existence demonstrates how two opposites can work united and create GLORY.
We are Their work and Their glory.
Let us all work to find divinity in being united and thank our Heavenly Mother and Heavenly Father for illustrating this powerful way.