So, I am being “inspired” to write this partially (a big part, I must confess) by an article/podcast discussion about the issue at MormonMatters.org. Not plagiarizing, but just tossing out some thoughts to consider. I encourage you to get familiar with the article and podcast.
The podcast shoots down some stuff that many of us LDS folks have heard in recent decades. An example: “We don’t talk about Heavenly Mother (HM), because of her sacredness: because HF doesn’t want her name to be thrown around as a curse in the way his name is.” Many people my age and a bit younger have heard that from their Seminary teachers. The same Seminary teachers might have taught stuff like “one day soon, you’re going to face the communist soldier, who’ll make you decide if you’re going to want to be Red or dead.”
Well, I wanted to talk about my ideas of HM. My own mother was incapable of showing love, and she used her SAHM power to keep me from developing a relationship with my father, when I was a kid. So I had a difficult time starting to develop a loving relationship with HF. We’re told to pray to the Father in the name of Jesus Christ, and while I did feel a relief and joy, peace, upon receiving a confirmation that my sins were forgiven, I felt that my emotional deficits from childhood prevented me from trusting my Heavenly Parents fully, as I hadn’t experienced the trusting, loving relationship with my earthly ones.
But life has a way of schooling us. We wanted to be good parents to our children, but without proper examples in our own lives, it took a lot of humility and seeking theoretical knowledge about it. The experiences with our children has helped us to better understand (and forgive also) our own parents, and at the same time learn what loving parents are like. So our Heavenly Ones feel closer to us now, as do, in fact our earthly ones (although 3/4 of them are dead now). Nowadays, in my own prayers, I do imagine I’m talking to both of my parents, because I believe that God is only God, if he has the feminine partner along with him. So for me the word God, or the name “Elohim” denotes a “council”, if you will, of at least one male and one female. “No man without a woman, nor woman without the man, in the Lord,” says Paul.
I don’t want to go too deep into speculation, but let me say that ideally an eternal marriage evolves to a point where you totally work together, and once you’ve inherited some things that God has promised, you’ll be able to do things together, that neither of us can do alone. I don’t go as far as to thinking of the logistics of it–I think I’ve anthropomorphized far enough as it is… 😉 But we do have the Hymn, whose fourth stanza says that if we have a Father, there must be a Mother, too (paraphrasing).
Scripturally, you have “God created man in his own image; in the image of God created he them: male and female created he them.” The image of God can be either male or female according to this, which has lead someone to consider God a genderless being. I can see where that comes from, but makes less sense to me.
From LDS scripture you naturally have D&C 132. Note that when it says about entering into the order, it doesn’t specifically mean polygamy, which is also a topic in the Section. It’s the eternal marriage, the sealing with God’s authority.
As a doctrine as obscure as this makes obvious, there is a lot of f0lklore around it. Read the BYU Studies article about it, and listen to the podcast. It’s all refreshing and very true to the teachings of the prophets.
My guess is, that we haven’t spoken much of HM lately, because for mainstream Christians find it anathema; it’s blasphemous for them. It goes against monotheism, Trinity and whatnot. And we’d like for them to accept that our most important beliefs (God’s creation–albeit most LDS scholars tend to accept Evolution–Christ’s Atoning sacrifice and Resurrection, etc.) aren’t that weird, really, and they really are the most important part of what we believe in.
So, while I don’t actually pray to HM, I do see Godhood as including a female part. In her, I am in the process of finding the loving mother i never had as a child. (My mom took care of me, yes, but how… negligent she was not)
Hoping I provoked just enough to make the reader think and see what’s in this.