Ten Things We Say About Heavenly Mother that Make Zero Sense

1. “We probably don’t talk about Her because there are multiple heavenly mothers.” (Polygamy!)

There’s one guy, and a whole bunch more women…. so we only talk about the man because there’s LESS of him? If there are ten moms, wouldn’t we talk about them ten times as often because they are ten individuals with ten unique viewpoints to offer us? But instead we just let them all cancel each other out and learn nothing about any of them? Nothing about that makes any sense. (If we used this logic, why do we listen to all twelve apostles speak at general conference when we already have a prophet? He should speak the whole time because the other men will all be in agreement and have the same message as him anyway.)

2. “Heavenly Father wants to protect Her, so that’s why we don’t talk about Her.”

This can’t actually be necessary protection. Heavenly Mother couldn’t possibly be so weak and frail that she can’t handle Her children talking about Her and saying something mean. I am a mother of teenagers. Teenagers say very mean things all the time! As a mere mortal, I can handle it just fine, and I don’t ask my husband to hide me from them because of this. I can’t fathom that an actual eternal Goddess of the Universe being so unsure of herself that humans saying unkind words would hurt her feelings and make her feel bad about herself.

3. “When you talk to Heavenly Father, Heavenly Mother is probably listening in too and hears your prayers!”

Then why am I not allowed to say “Dear Heavenly Parents” when I pray? Is it because Heavenly Father doesn’t always realize she’s in the other room, listening with a cup on the door, and if I mentioned Her name he’d look around and find Her and be upset by it? If she’s listening, why is it wrong to say her name?

4. “On Mother’s Day, it’s really meaningful when people saying the prayer in Sacrament Meeting mention Heavenly Mother and express gratitude for her.”

If we are praying to our Father in Heaven, it sounds so weird to me to tell Him thank you for our Mother. Would you ever go to your earthly dad and say, “Thank you Dad, for giving us Mom, who just made this amazing dinner for us?” Dad gets credit?! Wouldn’t it make a thousand times more sense for us to just say, “Hey Mom, thanks for dinner. It was great!”?

5. “We have never received any formal revelation about Heavenly Mother to church leaders or scripture about Her, so we should avoid teaching anything about Her.”

We honestly don’t know a thing about Heavenly Father either, except that He exists and loves us. How come it’s fine to chat about our feelings of connection and inspiration that we believe come from Him all the time, but can’t talk about inspiration we believe came from Her? I’ve also never received revelation about my pets, but I love them and talk about them all the time. Since when can we only talk about someone we love if they are also named specifically in the scriptures?

6. “Heavenly Father provides all the communication with the divine that we need here in earth.”

If we are going to talk endlessly (ENDLESSLY!) about gender roles and the importance of having both a mother and father in a family, we are acknowledging that both the masculine and feminine bring different strengths to the table. Did any of you (female readers) prefer to talk to a man when you got your first period? Did you look for an experienced dad to ask your questions about pregnancy and childbirth? Did you go to a beloved uncle to take you bra shopping the first time? No! Those are feminine things and you try to talk to a person with those same characteristics because a primary source is better than a secondary source when possible. Why must we talk to a Father in Heaven about female experiences when a Mother in Heaven is supposedly right there beside him, doing apparently nothing but watching?

7. “A loving Heavenly Father keeps our Mother from us for good reasons, even if we don’t understand them in this life.”

I cannot, for the life of me, come up with any way that this is for our benefit or Hers. What Father would hide his wife in another room or house away from where Her children were for their ENTIRE LIVES? And even if He lets her silently watch from the distance, if He doesn’t let Her actively engage with Her children I can’t see this as anything other than outright abusive to both the mother and the children.

I recently watched a TV show where a mother was forcefully separated from her daughter and another family was allowed to raise the child. The antagonists of the story would allow the mother to see her daughter every so often, but only from a distance. The woman would sob and scream at the glimpse of her child, who didn’t know her mother was out there watching her.

Occasionally they would absolutely break the mother’s heart into pieces by taking her to see her daughter in person, and the girl wouldn’t remember her real mother at all. Knowing that her child didn’t know her was painful torture. Yet somehow it’s fine for Heavenly Mother to watch us and know we are cut off from any knowledge of Her? (If you’re curious, I was talking about The Handmaid’s Tale and June Osborne’s daughter Hannah.)

8. “Earth life is to prepare us for our eternal roles as exalted beings. For example, the priesthood prepares men to become Gods themselves by letting them use God’s power here on earth.”

Women theoretically don’t get the priesthood because our all consuming role here on earth is to just be mothers. We can’t be distracted in any way from nurturing and caring for our children, not even by being able to give them a blessing when they’re sick because that would somehow be too big of a distraction from our real purpose – nurturing them.

But the instant we leave this earth life and become exalted mothers in heaven, all nurturing will stop immediately. We will turn that role over to our husbands. He will listen to our children’s prayers, send them comfort, and provide guidance. It’s a good thing we didn’t waste time practicing priesthood power on earth, because we needed all the practice nurturing we could get in order to… let our husbands take over that job too for the rest of eternity. Women are preparing for an eternity of doing absolutely nothing.

9. “If there are multiple Heavenly Mothers (again, polygamy), we don’t pray to Her because we don’t know which one we’re praying to.”

Even if there are ten Heavenly Mothers, each of us would only have one that is *our* Mother. Do we think they’re too dumb to remember which kids are theirs, so they just turn all of the answering of prayers over to the husband because they all for sure belong to him? I had a seminary teacher who talked about the different main races he saw on earth (Caucasian, Black, Asian, Hispanic, Polynesian, etc…), and he made it clear that he believed they each came from a different Heavenly Mother with those particular features. If that’s the case, is one mother really that confused when a child that looks just like her asks for help? My kids look like me at the playground – but even if they didn’t look like me at all, I could still remember they were my kids when they said, “Mom, look at me!” No Heavenly Mother is possibly that dumb.
I came across this meme online, and I honestly can’t decide if it’s funny, mildly offensive, or just true.

10. “Heavenly Mother is absolutely equal to power to Heavenly Father. We’ll understand how later.”

There’s no way I can buy that we believe Heavenly Mother stands on equal footing to Heavenly Father when we also teach that she is too weak to even be talked about, She doesn’t want prophets or church leaders to ever teach about Her, that praying to Her is sinful, and that She’s perfectly content being a silent background figure eternally in the lives of Her children. There is absolutely no way this doctrine is right, and until it changes we are harming the girls and women who must exist in this space of eternal invisibility and insignificance. If I as a female was created in the image of God, then God is a woman too – unless church leaders are willing to concede that Heavenly Father has ovaries.


  1. You make many excellent points, which I have not considered before. My personal opinion (and it’s just that, an opinion) currently actually falls along the line of your 1st reason – multiple mothers. I think the brethren believe that we have multiple mothers, but not 10, more like in the thousands or even tens of thousands. My opinion is that if they were upfront with the female membership that they will be one of hundreds, thousands, or tens of thousands of wives in the eternities, there would be a huge backlash/exodus of the women from the church. I can’t imagine millions of women being fine with that. I know not a single woman who would, but I’m sure some are out there. I also think a lot of men would leave. Men who respect and love their partners.
    Despite talks that attempt to say how much women are valued etc., the reality is the church does not hold them even remotely equal to men and that extends into eternity – women will always be less than. Leadership does not want to admit this. We don’t pray to them, not because there are so many and who can know who is who, but because of how the church values them, or perhaps I should say doesn’t value them. They’re really just a means to create spirits, not a partner. I will reiterate that this is my current opinion and I have no actual basis to substantiate it, but it makes sense to me at this point in time. My opinion may change in the future.

    • Early church leaders absolutely taught that righteous men would have dominion over thousands of wives. It was doctrine, and it’s detailed very explicitly in our doctrine and covenants! Yet nowadays we barely even mention it, and treat it like an obscure doctrine that we don’t really know that much about, and may or may not end up practicing after all. It’s very frustrating to be a woman in the church who feels deeply about this teaching and to be told not to worry about it. I think every woman who is in the church (or loves someone who is, most especially a husband) should be very concerned about what has been believed and taught about the doctrine of plural marriage.

  2. Thank you for this post. The church’s teaching (or lack of teaching) about our Mother in Heaven makes me so sad.

    I think all of your reasons for the church not talking about Her can be lumped into one main reason: MEN ARE IN CHARGE.

    • Amen, MattMan! As long as men control all aspects of the church they will avoid talking about the subject and most probably punish the brave souls who speak out about this shameful church practice.

  3. Over the past 45 years since I was endowed and sealed, how much more empowered, valued and loved would I have felt, if my Heavenly Mother were talked about, reverenced, even portrayed in the temple. I wonder.
    I have felt both Heavenly Mother and Heavenly Father walking, as complete equals, with their arms around me supporting me in a time of crisis. This is in the last year and I am a senior citizen. I want my granddaughters to know of her reality.
    I am so thankful to now be aware of her and now understand she has been with me all along.

  4. Perhaps an adjunct to point #5: a reason I’ve heard is that Christ taught us specifically to pray to Heavenly Father, as recorded in the New Testament, so it is not acceptable to pray to Heavenly Mother. The same logic does not apply to lots of other things we believe/practice that are not specified in the New Testament.

  5. Forgive the crudeness of this statement, but I read once that, assuming the gestation of a “spirit baby” takes time (which is already quite an assumption), Heavenly Father would have to be constantly impregnating his thousands of wives, a different one every second, to create the numbers of humans on Earth. He would have no time for anything else. I’m not a dude, but that sounds exhausting to me.

  6. Fabulously thought out and articulated Abby. I’m convinced the reason for #5 is that The Brethren (TM) have never given a moment of consideration to pray for revelation on the subject. They, like all good so-called conservatives, are probably too busy faithfully safeguarding the status quo to consider something so “radical” as, say, seeking further light and knowledge from a woman. I wish I were wrong.

  7. We literally know the name of Yahweh’s partner –the Goddess Asherah.

    She was worshiped as prevalently or more prevalently than him prior to the exilic period. During the reign of Josiah temple worship that could have rivaled his preferences was ended.

    See the work of Francesca Stavrakopoulou for more:

    She also supervised Daniel O. McClellan’s dissertation before he became an ancient language translation supervisor for the church and he covers Asherah regularly in his content.

  8. I’ve heard all these lame excuses as well. They are all absurd. There is one reason and one reason only that the feminine divine is kept behind bars in the LDS church and that’s PATRIARCHY. As soon as the brethren (and the women who benefit from patriarchy) admit that there’s a divine Goddess, then that means she has power, and if she has power then all her daughters on earth have power, and if that’s the case then the men having all the power in the church is wrong, and if that’s wrong, then BINGO! Men would have to concede their power and privilege. Game over.

  9. I once had a BYU religion professor tell us that a gosh-awful large number of the sections of the D&C were revelation given in RESPONSE to Joseph’s questions. The reason we don’t know anything about Her is because they aren’t asking. I suspect they aren’t asking because as Marion points out, they won’t like the answer.

  10. A good father is not threatened by our relationship with our mother. A good father is DELIGHTED by our relationship with our mother and seeks to nurture it. If the Mormon God can’t do that, then I can’t worship the Mormon God.

  11. Perhaps humans have always created figures to worship that are in that human’s own image. Perhaps parentage of spirits isn’t binary. Connecting with Spirit is our own to do, to relax into, to enjoy being, and knowing that we aren’t alone. The church leaders are extremely lame when it comes to equality issues, social justice, and respecting others. To be certain, they are decent at being corporate executives, but beyond lame in spiritual guidance. They hide history, they hide money, they ignore the accomplishments of any but themselves, even as they claim great accomplishments. We have to find spiritual leadership elsewhere besides in such a boldly sexist patriarchal church. We can fellowship, serve, and honor those who have contributed much, but if we don’t stop waiting for patriarchal leaders to actually lead, then we’ll be waiting for hundreds of years.

  12. I’ve been a member my whole life, I’m almost 70, and I’ve never heard any of these arguments about a Heavenly Mother. It is pretty easy to refute ideas that either you make up yourself or you hear from friends that are your carbon copy.

  13. I think the biggest reason the Brethren don’t want members acknowledging a Mother in Heaven is out of the fear of being labeled “Polytheists.” Christianity has always struggled to maintain the doctrine of monotheism, that “we only pray to the ONE, true God” (hence why the idea of the “Trinity” was developed). It’s hard enough getting evangelicals to accept Mormons as Christian, but saying, actually, there are two Gods/Parents up there we worship—it would be a bridge too far, doctrinally speaking.

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