by Heather McCloud-Huff
Some years ago when I was called to teach the 5 & 6 year olds in Primary, I determined that I would make Heavenly Mother part of our lessons each week. I felt—and continue to feel–very strongly that we just need to normalize speaking about Her, and making Her part of our everyday language, especially in our church meetings.
Any time that I talked about God, I would just say, “Our Heavenly Father and Heavenly Mother.” I initially explained that like our mother and father here on earth, we also have a mother and father in heaven. The really amazing and heartening thing to me is how positively these sweet little girls and boys reacted. They didn’t seem to be surprised by mention of Heavenly Mother. Eventually some of them were even including Her in their drawings. I think they really responded to the truth being taught, and responded to their Heavenly Mother.
For the children’s birthdays, I would get them a copy of one of the McArthur Krishna & Bethany Brady Spalding books: Girls Who Choose God (illustrated by Kathleen Peterson) or Our Heavenly Family, Our Earthly Families (illustrated by Caitlin Connolly). I felt it was important that they have something tangible that would reinforce what we were learning in class.
I fully expected to be contacted by parents, or Primary leadership, about my inclusion of Heavenly Mother—but that never happened! I was certainly prepared to point people to the Gospel Topics essay on Heavenly Mother, or the BYU Studies article “A Mother There.”
I feel that I was led by the spirit to include Heavenly Mother in my Primary lessons, and I’m really glad that I had the faith to just go forward and testify of Her. She will open the way!