Some believe that members are not allowed to talk about our Heavenly Mother (1). This belief was carefully examined in “‘A Mother There’: A Survey of Historical Teachings about Mother in Heaven” by David L. Paulsen and Martin Pulido. At the conclusion of their essay, Paulsen and Pulido write, “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” (2).
For example after Zina Huntington Young Smith’s mother died, Joseph Smith taught Zina that she had a Mother in Heaven, as well as a Father in Heaven (3). 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.” (4). In 2015, Elder Jeffery R. Holland thanked Heavenly Mother for Her “crucial role in fulfilling the purposes of eternity” (5). At the October 2016 general conference, President Dieter F. Uchtdorf proclaimed, “We are the literal spirit children of divine, immortal, and omnipotent Heavenly Parents!” (6). And at the April 2019 general conference, President Russel M. Nelson invited all to “take the covenant path back home to our Heavenly Parents” (7).
We follow the example of prophets, apostles, and other church leaders in rejoicing that we have both a Heavenly Mother and a Heavenly Father.
- The earliest known explanation that Heavenly Mother is too sacred to mention was by Melvin R. Brooks, a seminary teacher, and has not been repeated since by prophets or apostles. This is an excellent example of folklore in the Church. It started with one man orally passing on his personal theology, which was then passed on, and passed on again until it became a common belief. (David Paulsen and Martin Pulido, “’A Mother There’: A Survey of Historical Teachings about Mother in Heaven,” BYU Studies Quarterly 50, no. 1 (2011), 85.)
- David Paulsen and Martin Pulido, “’A Mother There’: A Survey of Historical Teachings about Mother in Heaven,” BYU Studies Quarterly 50, no. 1 (2011), 85.
- 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).
- Hinkley, Gordon B., “Daughters of God,” October 1991 General Conference.
- Holland, Jeffery R., “Behold Thy Mother,” October 2015 General Conference.
- Uchtdorf, Dieter F., “O How Great the Plan of Our God!” October 2016 General Conference.
- Nelson, Russel M., “Come, Follow Me,” April 2019 General Conference.