Heavenly Mother

Is there a Heavenly Mother?[BIO]

Yes. The concept of "heavenly parents" is a fundamental concept to Latter-day Saint theology.[1] There is a Heavenly Mother as well as a Heavenly Father.[BIO][2]

Does the Church teach doctrine about Heavenly Mother?

No, not very much.[3] There is no specific canonized revelation that refers to Heavenly Mother, but prophets and apostles have acknowledged her existence since the early days of the Church.[4] More recently, the Family Proclamation states each person is the son or daughter of "heavenly parents."[5] The Church website also has an essay on "Mother in Heaven"[6] and General Authorities have mentioned her in conference talks.[7]

Where did the "Heavenly Mother" idea in LDS theology come from?

It's unclear. In February 1844, the first recorded reference of the Heavenly Mother concept was possibly in a Times and Seasons article written by W. W. Phelps[BIO] that referenced a "queen of heaven" in a poem.[8] Then in January of 1845 Phelps referred directly to Heavenly Mother in Times and Seasons when he wrote "Thy father is God, thy mother is the Queen of heaven."[9]

Did Joseph Smith ever teach about Heavenly Mother?

Possibly. There are no firsthand historical records that indicate that Joseph Smith taught the concept. However, Eliza R. Snow,[BIO] one of Joseph Smith's[BIO] polygamous wives, used the concept of Heavenly Mother in her poem "My Father in Heaven" published in the Times and Seasons in 1845,[10] so it's possible that Joseph may have taught it.

The most specific evidence that Joseph Smith taught about Heavenly Mother is a thirdhand report written over 60 years after Joseph's death. It stated that Joseph taught Zina D. Young[BIO] about Heavenly Mother in 1839.[11]

A watercolor painting by John Hafen for an illustrated 1909 booklet of Eliza R. Snow's lyrics to the hymn O My Father.

Do we know anything about the character of Heavenly Mother?

No, not much. When Church leaders and authors describe Heavenly Mother, they use words like divine,[12] immortal,[13] perfect,[14] glorified,[15] and wise.[16]

Has anyone seen or heard from Heavenly Mother?

Possibly, but probably not.

Abraham H. Cannon[BIO] recorded in his journal a thirdhand account of a story when Joseph Smith saw Heavenly Mother. According to Cannon, Zebedee Coltrin,[BIO] Sidney Rigdon,[BIO] and Joseph Smith saw a vision of the Father, the Mother, and a young Jesus.[BIO][17] However, there are two other accounts of this vision recorded elsewhere that say it was a vision of Adam[BIO] and Eve[BIO] instead of Heavenly Father and Heavenly Mother.[18]

Are there scriptural supports for Heavenly Mother?

No, not directly. In 1885, Erastus Snow[BIO] acknowledged the lack of scriptural support for Heavenly Mother.[19]

The Hebrew Bible (in Genesis 1:26-27) states, "God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them." According to one interpretation, "God" here can be read as plural and not singular, and perhaps a "plural God" could imply a male and a female deity.[20] Some scholars have speculated that a "plural God" and/or ancient Near Eastern symbolism could imply a male and female deity.[21]

Why don't Latter-Day Saints talk about Heavenly Mother more?

Probably because there is very little established information about her.[22]

Some, like author Hoyt W. Brewster,[BIO] have supposed that Heavenly Mother is too sacred to discuss.[23] Others may think Heavenly Mother doctrine is strange or would distract from other gospel principles.[24]

Where did the "too sacred to talk about" idea come from?

Not from any authoritative source. BYU scholars looked at hundreds of Church publications and found no General Authority that had called for a "sacred hush" about Her.[25] Church leaders seem comfortable bringing up Heavenly Mother.[26]

Does Heavenly Mother have a role to play in the Plan of Salvation?

According to Church leaders, Heavenly Mother shares goals and responsibilities with Heavenly Father[27] (though exact details are fuzzy). She, like Heavenly Father, raises, nurtures, and shapes souls.[28] Several times, Church leaders have suggested She has a central role in shaping the character and personality of Her children.[29]

In General Conference, Elder Jeffrey R. Holland said, "To a Mother in Heaven, I say, 'Thank you for your crucial role in fulfilling the purposes of eternity.'" [30]

Is She a god?

Yes, probably. Latter-day Saint leaders have taught that she stands "side by side" with God the Father.[31] Historically, Latter-day Saints have been conflicted on whether they recognize her in the Godhead.[32]

Is it okay to pray to Heavenly Mother?

No. Christ and the scriptures teach that prayer is directed to Heavenly Father.[33] Church leaders have instructed members not to direct prayers to Heavenly Mother.[34] President Gordon B. Hinckley explained that “the fact that we do not pray to our Mother in Heaven in no way belittles or denigrates her.”[35]

Is Heavenly Mother a polygamous wife of Heavenly Father?

Possibly. Orson Pratt[BIO] seemed to think so.[36] John Taylor[BIO] also taught it.[37] But the majority of references to a Mother in Heaven tend to refer to a singular person, not a plurality.[38]

Do other Judeo-Christian religions believe in a Heavenly Mother?

Not really. Catholicism has a type of holy maternity in Mary,[BIO] mother of Jesus.[39] A mystic school of thought in Judaism recognizes Shekhinah, the female aspect of God.[40] Early Christian Gnostics saw Sophia[BIO] as a feminine divine.[41] But in general, divine femininity, and especially a Heavenly Mother, is not a mainstream Christian belief.

Some People Say . . .

"Heavenly Mother is sacred, so we probably shouldn't be talking about Her. And don't pray to Her, either."

— overheard in Sunday School

The Facts

  • Heavenly Mother is an acknowledged doctrine of the Church.

  • The idea of Heavenly Mother can be traced back to the 1840s.

  • There is no contemporary evidence that Joseph Smith taught this doctrine.

  • There are no specific scriptural references to Heavenly Mother.

  • The Church has instructed members not to pray to Heavenly Mother.

  • Some early Church leaders taught that Heavenly Mother was a polygamous wife of God.

Our Take

For some, the idea of a Heavenly Mother can be both comforting and frustrating. Knowing of Her existence and purpose can help us understand more about eternal progress. But the lack of information on Heavenly Mother can also feel like it diminishes Her role or value.

It’s not really clear why there is so little information about Her. Maybe the patriarchal nature of the Church just hasn't provided enough of a space for Her. Or maybe God has decided it's best to not reveal too much about Her.

Whatever the reason, the Church still clearly accepts and supports the doctrine of Heavenly Mother, including Her divine characteristics and how she shares goals and responsibilities with Heavenly Father.

And as part of a Church with continuing revelations, we may receive more revelation about Heavenly Mother. Though sparse on detail, the doctrine of Heavenly Mother is a cherished truth of the restored gospel and pretty unique to our faith. Latter-day Saints can aspire to be like their heavenly parents, who we know love Their children.

What's Your Take?

280 characters remaining
These takes are curated for a general audience and may contain minor edits when posted.
  • handcycle100
    Of course heavenly mother is a God. As a father here on this Earth I cringe when somebody disrespects my wife I'm sure heavenly Father would be many times more heartbroken than I would be with my wife if somebody showed disrespect to his wife.
  • Cory
    She's probably just like, "I'm dealing with all these spirit children, mortality is your thing." So if someone tries praying to her she says, "No, go talk to dad."
  • John
    When I learned Spanish I was taught to use the feminine form of words when referring solely to girls or women but if it was a group of both men and women to use the masculine form. I sometimes wondered if praying to Heavenly Father was meant as praying to both.
  • K. Carpenter
    Elder W. Bradford, Quorum of Seventy: Wilmette Stake Conference, 2/18/97 asked “What is God’s grand title. It is Father, and when you hear Father, you hear Mother. “. This was the conclusion of his talk about the Patriarchal priesthood. Absolutely , we have Heavenly Parents.
  • Chris
    The only reason we do not know more about our heavenly mother is that our heavenly parents have decided not to reveal more and for no other reason. We should not speculate what the reason is because we have no evidence to justify that speculation.
  • Melissa
    I agree there is a Heavenly Mother, I however don't believe that our prayers to Heavenly Father aren't also heard by our Heavenly Mother. I'm sure they both listen and work together for our ultimate happiness. Thank you for putting this site together.
  • Krystal B
    There are references to Her in the scriptures. The Queen of Heaven. Asherah, Asheroth, Wisdom, Eloah. She was not vilified prior to reforms. Elohim is plural deities, male and female in Hebrew, Aramaic, Greek. Rev. 12, Prov, Isa, Jer, 2 Kings, 2 Chronicles. Apocryphal books.
  • Tim W
    According to Ancient Archaeological evidence in Israel their existed the male God Yahweh and his wife female Goddess Asherah. We can consider them to be the heavenly parents of humanity.
  • User From Ohio
    The role of each family member, is how it is in Heaven with God’s family. It makes perfect sense and is not a complicated concept and we are living it and get more clarity from our Savior, being a Son and then growing into a Father. Daughters can become like Heavenly Mother too.
  • Jana
    I believe in her. As someone said the thought of not having her would "make reason stare."
  • Taylor W
    I love that we're actually talking more about Heavenly Mother. Maybe we just weren't ready for more information about her until recently. I hope we talk about her more as the restoration continues forward.
  • Sarah W.
    I sometimes wish I could pray to Heavenly Mother and want a less sexist Church, but this makes me see that the Church is progressing. Reading all the primary sources give me hope that Church leaders do recognize Her.
Footnotes
  • BIOHeavenly Mother

    Heavenly Mother is the wife of Heavenly Father and mother of all spirits.

  • BIOHeavenly Father

    Heavenly Father is God, Elohim, and the Father of all spirits.

  • BIOW. W. Phelps

    William W. Phelps (1792-1872) was born in New Jersey. Phelps joined the Latter-day Saints in 1831 and was a Latter-day Saint news editor, author, and Church leader. He edited the Evening and Morning Star and wrote several Latter-day Saint hymns (like "The Spirit of God"). In 1838, he was excommunicated for apostasy but had rejoined the Church by 1839. William traveled with the Saints to Utah, where he served in the Utah Territorial Legislature. William Phelps participated in numerous professional organizations and served as a lawyer in the Utah Territorial Courts.

  • BIOEliza R. Snow

    Eliza Roxcy Snow (1804-1887) was born in Becket, Massachusetts, to Oliver and Rosetta Snow. Her younger brother, Lorenzo, became the fifth President of the Church. Eliza joined the Church in 1835. She became a plural wife of both Joseph Smith and Brigham Young. Eliza served as the second General Relief Society President from 1866 to 1887. During her life, she left behind around 500 poems, including "O My Father" which references Heavenly Mother.

  • BIOJoseph Smith, Jr.

    Joseph Smith (1805-1844) was the founder of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Born in Sharon, Vermont, he began to experience visions at a young age of deity and angels, including one who revealed to him the location of gold plates with an account of ancient Americans. He translated this record and published it as The Book of Mormon. He also received a series of revelations throughout his life which serve as the foundation for the Church's doctrine today. He led the Latter-day Saints across the country from New York to Illinois. In 1844, he was martyred while awaiting trial in Carthage, Illinois.

  • BIOZina D. Young

    Zina Diantha Huntington Jacobs Smith Young (1821-1901) was a Latter-day Saint leader. Born in upstate New York, Zina joined the Latter-day Saint faith after meeting Hyrum Smith (Joseph Smith's brother) and David Whitmer. Zina became an early plural wife of Joseph Smith in 1841, while still temporally married to another member, Henry Jacobs. After Joseph Smith's death, she married Brigham Young. Zina Young was an active leader in the Utah women's suffrage movement and as a leader of the women's Relief Society from 1888 until her death.

  • BIOAbraham H. Cannon

    Abraham H. Cannon (1859-1896) was born in Salt Lake City, Utah. He served as manager for the Church publication, Juvenile Instructor, and became an apostle in 1889. He kept a robust journal, offering intimate insights into the administration of the Quorum of the Twelve in the late nineteenth century. He died of an ear infection.

  • BIOZebedee Coltrin

    Zebedee Coltrin (1804-1887) was a leader in the early Church and a close associate of Joseph Smith. In 1835, he became a president of the First Quorum of the Seventy, and in 1873, he became a stake patriarch. He served in this position until his death.

  • BIOSidney Rigdon

    Sidney Rigdon (1793-1876) was a Campbellite minister in Pennsylvania but joined the Church in 1830. He was a gifted orator and served as a member of Joseph Smith's First Presidency. He ran as Joseph Smith's vice presidential candidate in 1844. After Joseph Smith's death, he claimed to be Joseph Smith's successor in opposition to the Quorum of the Twelve. He was excommunicated and went on to establish "The Church of Jesus Christ" in Friendship, New York, where he lived until his death.

  • BIOJesus Christ

    Jesus Christ, the only begotten son of God.

  • BIOAdam

    Adam is the mortal father of humankind, also known as The Ancient of Days or Michael. Adam partook of the forbidden fruit in the Garden of Eden and was cast out of the Garden and became mortal. He lived with his wife Eve, and they had many children, including Cain, Abel, and Seth. Adam died at age 930.

  • BIOEve

    Eve was the first woman and was the wife of Adam, the first man. She partook of the forbidden fruit and was cast out of the Garden of Eden. She had many children, including Cain, Abel, and Seth.

  • BIOErastus Snow

    Erastus Snow (1818–1888) joined the Church in 1833 in Vermont. He served missions in Pennsylvania and Massachusetts and was ordained a member of the Seventy in 1836. He had 4 wives, 23 sons, and 13 daughters. He served as a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles from 1849 until his death.

  • BIOHoyt W. Brewster

    Hoyt W. Brewster received his B.A. from the University of Utah, his M.A. from BYU, and his Ph.D. from the University of Southern California. From 1996–1999, he was president of the Netherlands Amsterdam Mission. He has served as a seminary and institute teacher and has authored many religious books.

  • BIOOrson Pratt

    Orson Pratt (1811–1881) was born in Hartford, NY, and was an apostle for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He was called on many missions. He was excommunicated from the Church in August 1842, after allegations of Joseph Smith's impropriety. Pratt was rebaptized in January 1843 and served as a leading pamphleteer for the Church and defender of the faith.

  • BIOJohn Taylor

    John Taylor (1808-1887) was born in Westmorland, England. He was the third president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He moved to Canada in 1832 and joined the Church four years later. Taylor was soon appointed to the apostleship and became a prominent advocate for Latter-day Saint doctrine during his mission to the United Kingdom. Taylor accompanied Joseph Smith to Carthage Jail in 1844, where Joseph and Hyrum Smith were martyred and he received a bullet wound to the thigh. He served in the apostleship and First Presidency until his appointment to the Presidency in 1880. Taylor oversaw the Church administration as the Church faced sustained prosecution from federal authorities for the practice of polygamy. He died while in hiding from federal authorities in Kaysville at the age of 79.

  • BIOMary (Mother of Jesus)

    Mary was from Galilee but was of unknown lineage. She was married to Joseph and was the mother of Jesus. The Bible indicates that she had additional children, sons and daughters, in addition to Jesus. She was present at the first miracle which was the wedding of Cana as well as at the crucifixion of Jesus. The scriptures do not record when or how she died.

  • BIOSophia

    Sophia (σοφία) is the Greek personification of "wisdom" and appears throughout the Bible. In some Gnostic traditions, she represents the female half of the conception of Christ and was considered the mother of the universe. In some forms of Gnosticism, as the female spirit embodying divine wisdom, her power was used to create the material world. She was integrated with figures like the Virgin Mary and Heavenly Mother as time went on.

  • The belief that humans are spirit children of a Heavenly Mother and Heavenly Father has remained a constant idea throughout the history of Latter-day Saint theology.

  • In 1880, Latter-day Saint poet Emily Spencer expressed her understanding of Heavenly Father and Heavenly Mother this way:

    Far in the past in ages untold, In mansions celestial as spirits we lived, Our Father, so faithful, a God was enrolled, Our Mother, in Heaven sat there by His side, In that place of sweet joy, and heavenly peace, Spirits were born, 'till they filled the whole place.
  • The Family Proclamation notes:

    All human beings—male and female—are created in the image of God. Each is a beloved spirit son or daughter of heavenly parents, and as such, each has a divine nature and destiny.
  • The essay concludes:

    As with many other truths of the gospel, our present knowledge about a Mother in Heaven is limited. Nevertheless, we have been given sufficient knowledge to appreciate the sacredness of this doctrine and to comprehend the divine pattern established for us as children of heavenly parents. . . . Men and women cannot be exalted without each other. Just as we have a Father in Heaven, we have a Mother in Heaven. As Elder Dallin H. Oaks of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles has said, “Our theology begins with heavenly parents. Our highest aspiration is to be like them."
  • Phelps wrote:

    'Tis like a little leaven The woman hid for good, When she, as queen of heaven, In gold of Ophir stood. 'Tis like the court of Zion, Where garments all are white; Who'll reign like Judah's Lion, In everlasting light.
  • This was in the context of a letter written to William Smith from W. W. Phelps that was published and entitled "The Answer".

    O Mormonism! Thy father is God, thy mother is the Queen of heaven, and so thy whole history, from eternity to eternity, is the laws, ordinances, and truth of the "Gods"
  • Eliza R. Snow's poem outlines the plan of salvation, ending with the speaker's realization of Heavenly Mother's existence (emphasis added in bold):

    . . . I had learn'd to call thee father, Thru thy spirit from on high, But until the key of knowledge Was restor'd, I knew not why. 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. When I leave this frail existence— When I lay this mortal by, Father, mother, may I meet you In your royal courts on high? Then, at length, when I’ve completed All you sent me forth to do, With your mutual approbation Let me come and dwell with you.
  • In 1911, Susa Young Gates recorded a conversation between Zina D. Young and Joseph Smith, where Smith taught that priesthood is established because there is both a father and mother in heaven.

  • In 2016, Dieter F. Uchtdorf taught:

    We are the literal spirit children of divine, immortal, and omnipotent Heavenly Parents!
  • In 1915, James E. Talmage held that humans could become perfect as their heavenly parents are perfect:

    It is provided that we, the sons and daughters of God, may advance until we become like unto our Eternal Father and our Eternal Mother, in that we may become perfect in our spheres as they are in theirs.
  • In 1921, Melvin J. Ballard described Heavenly Mother:

    No matter to what heights God has attained or may attain, he does not stand alone; for side by side with him, in all her glory, a glory like unto his, stands a companion, the mother of his children. For as we have a Father in heaven, so also we have a Mother there, a glorified, exalted, ennobled Mother.
  • In the Encyclopedia of Mormonism, Elaine Anderson Cannon wrote:

    A Heavenly Mother shares parenthood with the Heavenly Father. This concept leads Latter-day Saints to believe that she is like him in glory, perfection, compassion, wisdom, and holiness.
  • In August 1890, Abraham Cannon recorded in his journal the account where Heavenly Mother was seen next to Heavenly Father.

  • According to the minutes taken in the Salt Lake City School of the Prophets, Coltrin described seeing two heavenly personages, female and male, dressed in white garments. Coltrin identified them as Eve and Adam.

    In 1885, Oliver B. Huntington recalled Coltrin's account and notes that:

    Joseph told them that the man and woman was father Adam and Eve.
  • In 1885, Erastus Snow said:

    Now, it is not said in so many words in the Scriptures, that we have a Mother in heaven as well as a Father. It is left for us to infer this from what we see and know of all living things in the earth including man. . . . It is intimated in language sufficiently plain to my understanding that the male and female principle was present with the Gods as it is with man.
  • In April 1844, Thomas Bullock, one of Joseph Smith's scribes, recorded Joseph explaining that Genesis 1:1 refers to a plural deity because of the Hebrew text. Wilford Woodruff also accepted Joseph Smith's interpretation of Elohim.

  • Michael Coogan, a Harvard scholar, said it's possible but unclear whether elohim means a singular god or a male and female deity.

    In an academic paper, Daniel C. Peterson examined Near Eastern symbolism and theorized that Asherah, consort of El and queen of heaven in ancient Semitic religion, should be understood as Mother goddess. This has been accepted by some Latter-day Saints to mean that Asherah could be a type or equivalent of Heavenly Mother.

  • Gordon B. Hinckley observed that "none of us can add to or diminish the glory of her of whom we have no revealed knowledge."

  • In 1994, author Hoyt J. Brewster said:

    The holy name of Deity is blasphemed when used in concert with gutter language and misused in everyday expressions. . . . It is any wonder that our Father in Heaven has been so protective of the identity of our Mother in Heaven?

    Kathryn Shirts, a scholar who has spoken on Heavenly Mother, has responded to this idea:

    This answer describe[s] a lady not quite up to taking care of herself in a tough world, an image drawn purely from certain human conventions and not from divine reality.
  • In 1895, George Q. Cannon chided those who fixated on Heavenly Mother:

    Our Father in heaven should be the object of our worship. He will not have any divided worship. We are commanded to worship Him, and Him Only.
  • In 2011, David Paulsen and Martin Pulido published research on authoritative statements made by Church leaders about Heavenly Mother, and they observed:

    We have found no public record of a General Authority advising us to be silent about our Heavenly Mother; indeed, as we have amply demonstrated, many General Authorities have openly taught about her.
  • Church leaders have mentioned Heavenly Mother several times over the past five years.

  • In 1978, President Spencer W. Kimball declared:

    When we sing that doctrinal hymn and anthem of affection, “O My Father,” we get a sense of the ultimate in maternal modesty, of the restrained, queenly elegance of our Heavenly Mother, and knowing how profoundly our mortal mothers have shaped us here, do we suppose her influence on us as individuals to be less if we live so as to return there?
  • In 1985, BYU President Jeffrey R. Holland wrote:

    [Parents] can love so much and try so hard, what does that say of a more Godly love that differs from our own as the stars differ from the sun? On a particularly difficult day, . . . what would this world’s inhabitants pay to know that heavenly parents are reaching across those same streams and mountains and deserts, anxious to hold them close?

    Harold B. Lee, Spencer W. Kimball, and Paul H. Dunn have also spoken on this.

  • In this 2015 speech, Jeffrey R. Holland directed his speech to mothers, saying:

    To all of our mothers everywhere, past, present, or future, I say, "Thank you. Thank you for giving birth, for shaping souls, for forming character, and for demonstrating the pure love of Christ." To Mother Eve, to Sarah, Rebekah, and Rachel, to Mary of Nazareth, and to a Mother in Heaven, I say, "Thank you for your crucial role in fulfilling the purposes of eternity."
  • Melvin J. Ballard has said that Heavenly Mother stands "side by side" with Heavenly Father.

    Susa Young Gates declared that "the divine Mother" stands "side by side with the divine Father, the equal sharing of equal rights, privileges and responsibilities, in heaven and on earth."

    Charles W. Penrose observed:

    If the divine image, to be completed, had to reflect a female as well as a male element, it is self-evident that both must be contained in the Deity.

    John Taylor and Spencer W. Kimball refer to Heavenly Mother as a "queen."

  • Elder Erastus Snow observed:

    There is no Lord, there is no God in which the two principles are not blended, nor can be; and we may never hope to attain unto the eternal power and the Godhead upon any other principle. Not only so, but this Godhead composing two parts, male and female, is also composed of two elements, spiritual and temporal.

    However, President George Q. Cannon warned about Heavenly Mother worship as akin to idol worship.

  • When Jesus teaches people how to pray in Matthew 6, He says, "After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name." (Matt. 6:9).

    Scriptures also teach, "If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him." (James 1:5).

  • In 1895, referring to William C. Harrison's poem: "Our Mother in Heaven," George Q. Cannon observed:

    About a year ago, a companion hymn to this invocation of Sister Snow's entitled, "Our Mother in Heaven," was published in the JUVENILE INSTRUCTOR. In this hymn [O My Father], there is too much of this inclination to deify "our mother in heaven". . . . This language approaches to worship. Our mother is called a "goddess bride." But this is not all; she is appealed to with the Father to forgive her son. The worship of the true God has been revealed to us. We know also that our Father in heaven should be the object of our worship. He will not have any divided worship. We are commanded to worship Him and Him Only.

    Cannon invoked the First Commandment: "Thou shalt have no other Gods before me."

  • Hinckley observed:

    "Search as I have, I find nowhere in the standard works an account where Jesus prayed other than to His Father in Heaven or where He instructed the people to pray other than to His Father in Heaven. "I have looked in vain for any instance where any President of the Church, from Joseph Smith to Ezra Taft Benson, has offered a prayer to 'our Mother in Heaven.' "I suppose those . . . who use this expression and who try to further its use are well-meaning, but they are misguided. The fact that we do not pray to our Mother in Heaven in no way belittles or denigrates her."
  • Orson Pratt argued that:

    God the Father had a plurality of wives, one or more being in eternity, by whom He begat our spirits as well as the spirit of Jesus His First Born.
  • John Taylor observed:

    Knowest thou not that eternities ago thy spirit, pure and holy, dwelt in thy Heavenly Father's bosom, and in His presence, and with thy mother, one of the queens of heaven, surrounded by thy brother and sister spirits in the spirit world, among the Gods?
  • The 1992 Cathechism of the Catholic Church described Mary as "the Immaculate Virgin, preserved free from all stain of original sin":

    When the course of her earthly life was finished, was taken up body and soul into heavenly glory, and exalted by the Lord as Queen over all things, so that she might be the more fully conformed to her Son, the Lord of lords and conqueror of sin and death.
  • Scholars Raphael Patal and William Dever describe Shekhinah:

    Shekhina is the frequently used Talmudic term describing the visible and audible manifestation of God's presence on earth. In its ultimate development as it appears in the late Midrash literature, the Shekhina concept stood for an independent, feminine divine entity prompted by her compassionate nature to argue with God in defense of man. She is thus, if not by character, then by function and position, a direct heir to such ancient Hebrew goddess of Canaanite origin as Asherah and Anath.
  • Biblical scholar Martin Scott describes Sophia:

    In her initial appearance in Proverbs . . . as a symbolic figure in female guise, who took on some of the roles traditionally associated with Yahweh, while remaining quite clearly within his control. He believes it likely that the Sophia "symbol was drawn to a degree from the religious environment in which Israel lived—that is, there was probably at least some element of borrowing from ancient Near Eastern speculation."