Guest Post: Why Heavenly Mother is Essential: Part 4

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 fourth of a seven-part series about why Heavenly Mother is essential.

Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7

Interpretations of the garden scene and Eve’s role in Genesis have done a lot of damage to the value of women. Trust me, it makes me grouchy. However, as LDS women, not only do we have a different interpretation of that event (one obviously more ennobling), we also can insert the wonder of Heavenly Mother into that scene. How that impacts us and the world can be extremely powerful.

Essential Fact #4: Women are made in the image of Heavenly Mother 

The Hebrew term Elohim is plural— and so when we read in Genesis that we are made in God’s image, the correct grammar is actually “Gods’ image”. Elohim does not always mean Heavenly Mother and Heavenly Father  but due to the gender of the verbs, it indicates male and female plural in this instance. And, we have prophetic testimony: according to President Kimball, “You are daughters of God… you are made in the image of our Heavenly Mother” (Conference Report, Mexico City and Central America Area Conference 1973).

I am made in the image of my Mother in Heaven.  

How does that change how we think of ourselves?

In the last few years I have been forced to think about what Heavenly Mother looks like: what her body looks like and how she is represented. When Bethany and I wrote “A Girls Guide to Heavenly Mother” and “A Boys Guide to Heavenly Mother” we intentionally recruited artists from around the world. In my immediate family we have Hawaiians, Blackfoot Indians, Haitian blacks, Far East Indians, and combinations of those! I was very very clear that I would not put out a book that canonized Heavenly Mother as one ethnicity or even one culture. We had artists from Cambodia, Nigeria, South Africa, Lebanon, Qatar, Argentina and more. We had art that depicted a Native American, Polynesian, Latina, and Black Heavenly Mother.  We stretched out as far as we could to be as visually expansive as possible.

Kwani Povi Winder, “Welcome Home”

In one year, there will have been three art shows on Heavenly Mother. We hosted one with the artists from our books in May 2021, Certain Women Art Show is happening now (SLC at Anthony’s until Nov 13, 2021) and the LDS Center for the Arts is hosting one starting in January 2022. The LDS art on Heavenly Mother has gone from a few pieces to literally hundreds. Check IG #heavenlymother for just some of them.

This both blows my mind and makes me want to stand and do a jig. 

Why does this matter?

Because what we take in informs how we see ourselves and how we see the world. 

Louise Parker

My youngest daughter flipped through the “Girls Guide to Heavenly Mother” She told me she was not interested in the words— but the art captivated her!  She spent hours poring over the piece and then came and showed me this. She had drawn her vision of many of the pieces in the book: the images were burned in her brain. And my heart sang. My girl knows she is a daughter of a loving Heavenly Mother. 

Our guide books started because Bethany’s oldest daughter had hit tween years and had some bold and normal questions about her body and how it works and how it’s valued. I had conversations with my older daughters about where your nexus of worth was— rooted inside yourself or externally swayed. Our daughters needed to know where to root themselves and their body image, and there is no better place than Heavenly Mother. 

As my co-author says, “When I think of a goddess, I don’t think of small or diminished. I think in grand scale— magnificent, voluptuous, expansive.”

Knowing that Heavenly Mother has a body isn’t just about our identity and our eternal destiny, it’s also about how we treat ourselves. This is new for me. I have spent most of my life paying extremely little attention to my body and having it do almost exactly what I want it to do. I have always been strong enough and healthy enough to move, lift, dance, boat. In fact, my husband told me that I had become infamous with men working on our farm in India because, “Madame just picks something up and moves it.” Yes, high bar.

And then, three things decimated me: covid, perimenopause, and falling down the stairs and ripping some muscles that put me in PT for almost a year. 

All of a sudden the body I had completely taken for granted was not an instrument of power, but an absolute hindrance. I was ill-suited for taking care of it. Food is a bother, I’m an insomniac, and exercise is, well, not my favorite.

However, I am living my way into this. I am trying to see that for all of my passion about the importance of Heavenly Mother, I need to honor that body that is like Hers. I need to honor the gift. 

Jenna Conlin, “In Her Midst”

Where my co-author lives, she is involved in food justice programs and another NGO that helps girls get healthy. A study found that girls became uncomfortable with their body, quit moving, adopted harmful body image issues and the results are a very diminished quality of life not just for teenage years but all the years we live this life. Quality of earth life matters!

I do know that I want to be a source for light, and that includes my physical form. When I get enough sleep, when I eat well, when I move my body, I am also honoring my Mother in Heaven.  

With that idea of light, I want to leave you with one story I read in my research. I apologize, I can’t find the source. It is not LDS, but the beauty of it struck me. 

May we remember we can be beings and bodies that are “waves of light”… like our Mother. 

“Shekhinah” is Mother in Heaven.

[Rabbi Abraham] walked through the streets of [his home town] Safed, crying out “Arise, for the Shekhina is in exile….” He longed, more than anything else, to bring back the Shekhinah out of exile.,,, [Advised to go to the Wailing Wall, after fasting, he set off on foot.] With every step he took, he prayed God to reveal … a vision of the Shekhina to him. By the time Rabbi Abraham reached Jerusalem, he felt as if he were floating, as if he had ascended from his body. And when he reached the Wailing Wall, Rabbi Abraham had a vision there. Out of the wall came an old woman, dressed in black, deep in mourning. And when he looked into her eyes, he became possessed of a grief as deep as the ocean, far greater than he had ever known. It was the grief of a mother who has lost a child; the grief of Hannah, after losing her seven sons; the grief of the Shekhinah over the suffering of Her children…. At that moment Rabbi Abraham fell to the ground in a faint, and he had another vision. In this vision, he saw the Shekhinah once more, but this time he saw Her dressed in Her robe woven out of light, more magnificent than the setting sun, and Her joyful countenance was revealed.  Waves of light arose from her face, an aura that seemed to reach out and surround him, as if he were cradled in the arms of the Sabbath Queen. “Do not grieve so, My son Abraham,’ She said. “Know that My exile will come to an end, and My inheritance will not go to waste.’


  1. I love that there are so many diverse images of Heavenly Mother now and how insistent you have been on not limiting the images to one race or culture.

  2. Okay, I have been reading and pondering your words, and I do look forward to your next posts. BUT.

    RE: I am trying to see that for all of my passion about the importance of Heavenly Mother, I need to honor that body that is like Hers. I need to honor the gift.

    Okay. I feel you. BUT. What about those of us who are intersex? Honestly, because so many are pushing for a gender binary Godhead, I fear for myself and others like me. In some ways, the search for Heavenly Mother has frightened me and made me feel even less welcome in female Mormon spaces. Not to mention that some of the pro-Heavenly Mother Facebook, Instagram and Twitter handles are aggressive and intolerant of those of us who feel most comfortable with a genderless God!

    I mean, ‘with all the “creation” ideology, doesn’t it make even a little sense that God might be an intersex being with both meal and female perfections through which They can create? Because that is what I am looking for in the eternities with my own perfection– the ability to create from within myself, and where I share that gift with a partner or spouse, but am not limited to only creation WITH or BY a partner or spouse.

    Many intersex people are not limited to a single gender on earth– why would we seek to be so limited in Heaven? Might not God be intersex? A Mother and a Father? And why would this be a bad thing?

Leave a Reply

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

Click to subscribe for new post alerts.

Click to subscribe to our magazine, in circulation since 1974.

Related Posts

How to Call Ourselves

"By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another." John 13:35 My favorite judge retired a few...

Orson F. Whitney: Apostle, Writer, Advocate for Heavenly Mother (Pt 2)

by Martin Pulido The “A Mother Here Art and Poetry Contest” is looking for 2-dimensional visual arts pieces and poems that portray Heavenly Mother. The...

Guest Post: Things I Wish I Knew As A Single Latter Day Saint

By: Ramona Morris I never wanted to get married. I never wanted to get married. I NEVER WANTED TO GET MARRIED! Before joining the church just before my...

Guest Post: Exposed

Guest Post by Jaime Clemmer, is a graduate of BYU with a degree in Psychology and Women’s Studies. She does research and training on...
submit guest post
Submit a Guest Blog Post
subscribe to our magazine
Subscribe to Our Magazine
Social Media Auto Publish Powered By :