Myth: Church leaders don’t talk about Heavenly Mother because She is too sacred to talk about.
Fact: Many Church leaders, from Joseph Smith to Russel M. Nelson, have taught of Heavenly Mother.
After the death of Zina Huntington Young’s mother, Joseph Smith taught Zina that she had a Mother in Heaven, as well as a Father in Heaven.1 Other prophets, including Brigham Young, Lorenzo Snow, Spencer W. Kimball, and Howard W. Hunter, have also taught of Heavenly Mother.
In more recent years, prophets and apostles have testified of Heavenly Mother or our Heavenly Parents. For example, President Gordon B. Hinkley taught, “Logic and reason would certainly suggest that if we have a Father in Heaven, we have a Mother in Heaven. That doctrine rests well with me.”2 In 2015, Elder Jeffery R. Holland thanked Heavenly Mother for Her “crucial role in fulfilling the purposes of eternity.”3 At the October 2016 general conference, President Dieter F. Uchtdorf proclaimed, “We are the literal spirit children of divine, immortal, and omnipotent Heavenly Parents!”4 And at the April 2019 general conference, President Russel M. Nelson invited all to “take the covenant path back home to our Heavenly Parents.”5
If many prophets and apostles have publicly taught of Heavenly Mother, where did the idea that She is too sacred to talk about come from? Scholars David L. Paulsen and Martin Pulido examined over 600 public statements about Heavenly Mother by Church authorities from 1844 to 2011 and 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.”6 They also found that the first record of this myth being taught was by a well-meaning seminary teacher named Melvin R. Brooks.7 However, as previously stated, this is one man’s personal opinion and it has not been repeated by general authorities. Thus, we should feel no need to curb joyful discussions of our Heavenly Mother.
1 Joseph Smith, secondhand account (Susa Young Gates, “History of the Young Ladies’ Mutual Improvement Association of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints” from November 1869 to June 1910 (Salt Lake City: General Board of the Y.L.M.I.A., 1911), p. 16, footnote).
7 (Melvin R. Brooks, LDS Reference Encyclopedia, Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1960, 309-310.