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Podcast: Heavenly Mother—What We Know and How to Find Belonging in Our Eternal Family

Last summer Russell Stevenson sat down with Rachel Steenblik and Caitlin Connolly, two women who have studied the concept of a divine feminine—or Heavenly Mother.

Rachel was the primary researcher on a BYU Studies article that identified known references to a Heavenly Mother in the Mormon historical record. Caitlin was commissioned to paint Heavenly Mother by Deseret Book.

Though it is assumed that we have a Heavenly Mother, she is rarely mentioned in LDS Church discourse, with a preference to referring to Heavenly Father or Heavenly Parents.

Steenblick notes that most members are aware of the reference to a Heavenly Mother by Eliza R. Snow in "O My Father." However, her song was not the first reference. W. W. Phelps wrote two pieces—one a few months before the Prophet Joseph Smith's death and one a few months after. And in the nineteenth-century Church, a Heavenly Mother was not unfrequently referenced.

Three prophets of the twentieth century, Spencer W. Kimball, Joseph Fielding Smith, and Harold B. Lee, stated that women were created in Heavenly Mother's image.

Contemporary Old Testament scholars see the divine feminine, or a Heavenly Mother, in scripture, though it is difficult for the lay person to identify those references.

Both women feel discussions of a divine feminine are important because they help to answer the question for women: “Where do I belong in the eternities?

The Church's gospel topic essay "Mother in Heaven," the BYU Studies article, and a new book published by Deseret Book can help encourage dialogue on this important topic.


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Get Our Heavenly Family, Our Earthly Families to own for your own home!

Celebrating distinctive LDS doctrines, this landmark children's book illuminates the essential role of families both in heaven and on earth. No matter where we live, what we look like, or what we believe, all of us are children of Heavenly Parents who love us perfectly. Our Heavenly Parents gave us the gift of earthly families to help us grow and become like Them. Families are the best school for learning how to love, forgive, cooperate, pray, create, work, play, and figure out how to be with each other forever. Depicting the deep joys as well as the messy realities of family life, this book will inspire you and those you love to practice building an eternal family every day.

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