hearts in our hands

This is the second essay in our series on Mother in Heaven

Click here to read the first essay.

By Laura C

Let’s talk moms. They’re everywhere – in the house, in the Senate, in the classroom, in the boardroom, in the kitchen, in the carpool, in the garden. We’ve all got at least one, for good or for ill. Lots and lots of us know our moms enough to be able to figure out when they want to see us or hear from us (“Get yourself in here. Right. Now.” “Oh, sweetheart, it’s so nice of you to call me on my birthday!”). Many moms talk about how they never stop being a mom, even when the kids are capable of feeding and clothing themselves and are living a continent away. These moms can relate to this description of motherhood:   “to forever have your heart go walking around outside your body.”

And yet, despite the ubiquitous presence of moms, we in the LDS world live in a Motherless house. Our Heavenly Mother is voiceless, nameless, unseeable and unreachable. She does not speak to Her children like our Heavenly Father does; She has no name, She’s not been known to visit earth-bound religious leaders much; and it’s taboo to pray to her in public places.

Oh, sure, we all know She exists, just look at the Proclamation on the Family: “ALL HUMAN BEINGS—male and female—are created in the image of God. Each is a beloved spirit son or daughter of heavenly parents, and, as such, each has a divine nature and destiny.” And “Truth is reason; truth eternal tells me I’ve a mother there.” But when the Young Women stand to recite their theme each Sunday, they speak of being “daughters of a Heavenly Father who loves us, and we love Him.” And those who’ve advocated praying to Her just a few decades ago have been recipients of ecclesiastical discipline.

So why is our Mother in Heaven hidden – veiled – from us?

There are lots of speculative reasons: She’s too sacred. Heavenly Father loves Her so much he doesn’t want her name dragged through the mud like we’ve done for Him. There are multiple Heavenly Mothers because our Father in Heaven lives the law of polygamy.
My personal take is that She’s cut a deal with Him: She takes care of the kids at home for all eternity, but while we’re all taking turns on Earth, She gets a break. Maybe she’s locked herself in the bathroom with a good book. Maybe she’s having a weekend spa getaway. Maybe she just needs a break and some adult conversation with her own mom.

After all, which mother hasn’t been there? – Cooped up with the kids for several hours, up to your eyeballs in dirty laundry, bickering, whining, sticky something, and requests to play Candyland “just one more time and I promise I’ll be good.” And which mother in this situation isn’t overjoyed to see Daddy coming up the driveway so she can pass the kids off to him and finally get a shower? And, if Dad loves and supports Mom, he recognizes she has needs other than being Mommy and he graciously steps in, gets the kids wound up and distracts them while she has some time on her own.

Being perfect parents and all, our own Heavenly Parents have probably perfected the tag-team routine just fine, dontcha’ think?
But as fun as that little thought game is, it’s much more likely and probable that the reason we don’t know much about our Heavenly Mother is that the folks who wrote the religious texts are not moms. After all, “a man shall leave his mother.” And we have.
And we are missing Her.

But I suspect that She’s really not off on a long weekend getaway. Sure, the bathroom door may be shut, but if we knock on it, She’ll answer. What mother can ignore the pleading cries of her babies – whether the babies are 4 months or 4 years or 44 years old?
All we need do is ask. She is here and has been here, watching and waiting for us to remember to pull back the curtain. She has been here since the beginning. In the words of Carol Lynn Pearson, “in my heart I know that the Creator that brought us here is in some wonderful way both Father and Mother – that perhaps, in the beginning, on that primordial day, Mother wove the morning and Father made the evening, joyfully, together.” (Mother Wove the Morning, Act I, Scene 1).

Heavenly Parents working together perfectly, collaborating and sharing, equal partners in light and dark, in patience and love, in creativity and engineering, in thought and feeling. After all, “man was not meant to be alone” and we are not meant to live without our Mother. “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.”

Mom’s standing on the other side of that door, and while your brothers and sisters might try to keep you from knocking, you don’t have to listen to them. Find out for yourself. Then you, too, can say, “Rejoice with me; for I have found the piece which I had lost.”

Laura Compton is currently working on a book about homosexuality, same-sex marriage and the Mormon church. If she weren't having so many fun and growing experiences as a wife, mother, paraeducator and occasional blogger, she'd be finished by now.

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