Episode 3: Heavenly Mother
Episode 3: Heavenly Mother
The Q.More podcast aims to help navigate and start healthy conversations around tricky-to-ask questions about culture and doctrine in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. The podcast interviews great minds about questions that are submitted by subscribers of the podcast. If you have a question you want answered, please send in questions via voice memo to firstname.lastname@example.org.
As Latter-day Saints we are really blessed by the knowledge and benefits of prophets and apostles. They are able to teach and expound on potentially complicated topics. I think, as a people, we have grown really accustomed to wanting someone of higher authority to clear up gray areas, give us answers, or tell us what to do. But there are some very important topics that we just don’t have much on. Today we are going to have a conversation about one of those topics.
Below is the question discussed on the podcast-
“So in the church from a young age, the importance of families, and the family unit as a whole, and the ideal family, as mentioned in the Family Proclamation, and the importance of mothers and the sacredness of mothers and honoring the roles of mothers and how important they are.
For all that talk and teachings, why do we know nothing about our Heavenly Mother, beyond the fact that she exists?
In this crazy world of parenting, and so many ideas on how to parent, it would be really nice to have a Heavenly Mother to talk to about these children of mine that I’m raising, who are also her spirit children that she knows better than I do. So I would just love to know what your thoughts are on that, kind of coming from resolving the discrepancy we are taught about the sacredness and importance of mothers, and not getting any information about a whole other parent that we have.”
-Question submitted by a listener
On the podcast we hear from Maggie Franz and Rachel Hunt Steenblik. They both discuss Heavenly Mother and the complex questions and issues that follow this discussion.
Maggie is a trusted friend and confidant. She helps Rosie keep it real and talk about Heavenly Mother in a more vulnerable and intimate way, but also expresses that she is in a different place than Rosie, and that’s ok. Below was a question Maggie asked Rosie on the podcast to start more of a discussion-
“If you were to simply say, why is even knowing about Heavenly Mother , or learning about Heavenly Mother [important], why is it valuable?”
Maggie and Rosie listen to a hymn that mentions Heavenly Mother, “O My Father.” The section in the hymn, which was written by Eliza R. Snow, composed by James Mcgranahan, is one reference of the existence of Heavenly Mother.
“In the heav'ns are parents single?
No, the thought makes reason stare!
Truth is reason; truth eternal
Tells me I've a mother there.”
Rachel Hunt Steenblik
From Rachel’s website “About” section-
“Rachel Hunt Steenblik researched Heavenly Mother full-time with David Paulsen and Martin Pulido for BYU Studies article "'A Mother There': A Survey of Historical Teachings of Mother in Heaven." She also co-edited Mormon Feminism: Essential Writings with Joanna Brooks and Hannah Wheelwright for Oxford University Press, and writes for the Exponent Blog. She is a PhD student in philosophy of religion and theology at Claremont Graduate University, and has a Masters in library science from Simmons College and a Bachelors in philosophy from Brigham Young University. She has participated in summer seminars at the Wheatley Institution (2015), the Maxwell Institute (2014), and St. Olaf College's Hong Kierkegaard Library (2013 and 2012).”
Often, Heavenly Mother, is deemed to sacred too talk about, and Rachel’s response is-
“If she is a God, or she is on par with God, like many of the general authorities suggest that she is, that she shares the same glory and level of exaltation, and all of these other qualities of Godhood, that it doesn’t make sense to me that she wouldn’t be able to stand hurtful things said, or that she needs to be protected.”
-Rachel Hunt Steenblik
Rachel is the author of a poetry book, “Mother’s Milk.” A few of Rachel’s favorite poems from her book, Mother’s Milk, are-
“I searched for my Mother, the way a baby roots for her mother’s breast, head nuzzling from side to side, mouth, ready to suckle. But I was still thirsty. Then my belly grew, and my breasts grew, and a ravous little thing came out. I offer her my milk without money and without price. My husband offered it to her once, while I sat beside them on a train. She pursed her lips against the false nipple, and stared at me with sad eyes. I wondered then, if Heavenly Mother walked into another room so we would take the bottle. I wondered then, if we are weaned.”
“On Her daughter’s
first day of Earth,
they both wept.”
More information on The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints views on Heavenly Mother, click here.