Photo by Summer Street Photography

Photo by Summer Street Photography

By Danielle Mooney

I remember the first time I stood and recited the Young Women Theme. I had heard it a few days before at the welcome activity my ward YW leadership had hosted for the few of us girls who had just turned twelve. When the older girls recited the theme from memory, with one rhythmic voice, I felt daunted by their self-assurance and ease with those words–too many words, it seemed, to learn in time to sound as confident as they did. And certainly that Sunday, when I stood with my class, I was grateful to see a poster with the words at the front of the room. I loved the sound our collective voices made lilting along together. And I loved the words. They made me feel special and inspired.

Except, some years later, after I had recited the theme Sunday after Sunday, I paused while speaking the words I knew so well. “Why just Father?” I wondered. Sometime around the age of ten, I had questioned my mother about the lines in the hymnal that referenced a Heavenly Mother. Since that conversation, I had held the knowledge that I had a Mother God close to my heart. I largely accepted Her absence from our discourse, lessons, and prayers as a matter of habit. But, for some reason, on that unexceptional Sunday, I missed Her as I stood in a little church room with my teenaged YW sisters and our leaders.

To this day, I still don’t have an answer for my younger self’s question: Why just Father? The Family: A Proclamation to the World speaks of our Heavenly Parents, as do numerous talks by our church leaders. Yet, She still remains almost entirely absent from our homes and our Sunday services. Even in those small church classrooms, where around the world young women are meeting to learn about their divine nature, eternal worth, and the pattern of exaltation, the ultimate example of female power and perfection is missing. God our Mother’s absence is no longer something I can ignore out of habit; I feel the void we have created acutely and often. Can we start to fill that space, for our sisters young and old (and for our brothers too)?

We are daughters of Heavenly Parents, who love us and we love Them.



With that goal in mind, the Mormon Feminist Action Board (MoFAB) is announcing the start of a project to re-imagine the Young Women Theme. To find out more about the project and to participate, visit the We Are Daughters project website. You can also find We Are Daughters on Facebook. Please *like* our page and share it with your friends and family.

Danielle Mooney is an active Latter-day Saint living in Boston with her husband. She is a student at Wellesley College and will graduate this spring with a degree in French cultural studies. She is one of the co-founders of the Mormon Feminist Action Board--a group that seeks to build community and advocates for equality in the LDS church. You can find the group on Facebook. In her free time, Danielle reads too many books and watches too much tv. She desperately wants a puppy.

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