Heavenly Mother’s Day: God the Mother Revisited
Guest Post by Janice Allred
I first began thinking seriously about God the Mother around 1987. My sister, Margaret Toscano, was already doing work in this area, and reading her work and talking with her helped me to realize how important this topic is. I had always been interested in philosophical questions, which led me into theology. My first theological essay, which dealt with forgiveness, was published in 1978 in Sunstone. Several years before this I had already started developing an understanding of the Godhead that differs from the current Mormon teachings. It is based on the Book of Mormon teaching that Jesus Christ is the Eternal Father; there are not two (or three) separate male members of the Godhead. When I started thinking seriously about God the Mother, I realized that she had a place in this interpretation of the Godhead. My first essay on God the Mother, “Toward a Mormon Theology of God the Mother,” was based on this reinterpretation of the Godhead. In this paper I proposed that the Godhead consists of two persons, the Eternal Father, who as the Son redeems us, and the Eternal Mother, who is the Holy Spirit. Since writing this paper, I have continued to develop this understanding of the Godhead. I now see God the Mother and God the Father as both fully involved in Creation, Redemption, and the work of the Holy Spirit.
A viable interpretation of a fundamental concept sheds new light on difficult questions, opens up new areas to explore, and reveals embedded structures. I have been working on the theology of God the Mother for almost thirty years and I have found abundant material in the scriptures that supports and expands my understanding. Although I have refined and expanded the ideas in “Toward a Mormon Theology of God the Mother, I still believe and continue to build on the ideas presented in it.
My work on the theology of God the Mother was originally motivated by my belief in equality and justice and my desire to incorporate these ideals into my understanding of the Godhead. My emotional connection to her and my longing to know her personally came many years later. Here I share two pieces with you that give this aspect of my quest for knowledge of the Heavenly Mother. The first is a poem I wrote for this occasion. It is inspired by Eliza R. Snow’s “O My Father.” The second is an excerpt from a presentation I gave in a 2012 Sunstone panel, “Heavenly Mother and the Letter of the Law.” Since the Church forbids us to pray to Heavenly Mother, the panelists presented letters to her. I was asked to end the session with a letter of blessing from her. The blessing is based on my study of the scriptures. I take the liberty of putting it in the voice of the Mother.
O My Mother
O my Mother, you who bore us
In that high and glorious place,
When shall I regain your presence
And again behold your face?
Will your arms again embrace me
As they did so long ago?
Will your still, small voice enfold me?
Tell me, for I long to know.
I had learned to call you Father
From the church and scriptures too,
But until the seed was planted
Veils of mystery shrouded you.
In my heart the seed is growing,
Giving me new eyes to see.
The holy books yield up their treasure;
Seeds of knowledge nourish me.
Jesus Christ, who came to save us
From the shackles of the Fall,
Revealed the way, the truth, the glory,
And your love, suffusing all.
In the heav’ns are parents equal?
Surely there you are as One,
Father, Mother, Holy Spirit,
Gracious Daughter, Savior Son.
When he comes in clouds of glory
On that long-awaited day,
Will your voice announce his presence.
When he comes to us to stay?
Will you be with us together
When the rivers roll down peace?
Will your leaves of life then heal us,
And your mercies never cease?
I am always with you. My spirit is in and through all things. My eyes are upon you; my voice is in your heart. My heart knows your longings and my ears hear your cries. Nothing can separate you from the love of God, which is in me and in Christ Jesus. Neither height nor depth, neither tribulation nor distress, neither persecution nor peril, neither the machinations of evil men nor the torturers of hell, neither the deceit of the crafty nor the terrors of death, neither the cares of life nor the confusion of ideologies—nothing can separate you from God’s love. My love endures. It overcomes all obstacles and brings strength out of tribulation, comfort in peril, salvation from evil, help in cares, light in darkness, and life out of death.
You wonder why I am not in the scriptures. I am God and when they speak truly of God, they teach of me and they are inspired by me. I work in many ways to bring salvation to my children. I am in the scriptures. Look for me and you will find me.
With My Beloved I created the earth. My form is in the fire that transforms all things. I move with the wind and she whispers with my voice. The mountains are my home. They remain holy and bring the solace of eternity. The rocks are my companions and the hills love my feet. My rain is tender and gently gives life; my dew distills and quietly blesses. My fountains are everlasting springs of life. My rivers carry gifts and my oceans surround and protect all life. I am in the sun, the moon, and the stars that give you light. My trees yield their fruit and my grains sustain life. I am the fold of the lamb and the lair of the lion. I delight in all my creatures; they know my voice and come when I call.
You wonder and have asked about my priesthood. My priesthood is without beginning of days or ending of years. The power of the priesthood, given to those who serve God, is in me. The power of God, who is in the bosom of eternity, who is in the midst of all things, proceeds from the presence of God. It is the light which is in all things, which gives life to all things, which gives nature its laws and upholds and sustains worlds without number. The priesthood which is after the order of the Son, the Holy One, My Beloved, is offered to all who desire to follow him in love, truth, and service.
Beloved children, I bless you. I never leave you. My eyes are upon you. My arms are around you. My cloak covers you, and my voice whispers to your spirit. But eye has not seen and ear has not heard, neither has any heart imagined, the joy that will fill your soul when you see me with your eyes, and hear my voice with your ears, and feel my embrace, and know that I am.