Monday, January 31, 2011

January in Review

January is over! Here's the month in review.

Heavenly Mother and Father liveare justwere in the Beginningare the parents of Christsanctify the Sabbathmake all possible, and commandjudgeedify, listen to, care for, are reverenced by, and are served by us.

My book review for January was Mother Wove the Morning. I also wrote about the word "goddess" and also my first experiences with Heavenly Mother and why She's important to me.

Heavenly Mother in the Bloggernacle:
Sara K. S. Hanks wrote about her book group reading, Dance of the Dissident Daughter, which is conveniently, the book I'm reviewing in February!
Jenni wrote Contemplating the Mother Goddess at Mother Wheel.

Did you see any other articles this month? I have the feeling I missed a couple I should have caught. Also, if you're in RSS reader, come check out the new header! Thanks for reading!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Parents, I will Reverent Be

In honor of our stake conference today and the attempts of many parents and children to be patient through a two hour meeting of talks, today's song is Mildred Pettit's Father, I will Reverent Be.

Parents, I will rev’rent be
And in thy house walk quietly;
Fold my arms and bow my head
And close my eyes when prayers are said;
Listen to the words I hear,
For in thy house I feel thee near.
May my thoughts more perfect be,
That I may speak more rev’rently.
Parents, I will rev’rent be
And in thy house walk quietly.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Why Heavenly Mother is Important to Me

When I came to put pen to paper, or hands to keyboard, for this topic, I had a hard time starting because so much came to me all at once. I'll try to break it up for you.

As a Child
A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about the first time I learned about Heavenly Mother and what I did with that knowledge as a child. As a child, it was simply instinctive to want to know Her. She was important to me because how could your mother not be important to you? I loved both my earthly parents, so it made sense to want to know and love both my heavenly parents.

As a Mother
My thoughts about Heavenly Mother changed perspective when I became a mother. I am now on the "other side" and knew more about what it means to love a person who is so completely dependent on you, and yet so unique with independent thoughts. To imagine a mother who was faceless and essentially non-existent to her children is abhorrent to me. And to imagine a father who tells his children not to talk to their mother is just... well, abusive. I cannot accept the idea that she needs protection from her children- is she all powerful or not? I have started thinking of her more lately partly because I think we needlessly separate ourselves from Her. And distancing myself from the feminine divine feels like I'm rejecting half of God.

As a Woman
This is the most wounded part of me when it comes to knowing Heavenly Mother. The insistence from others that it's not important now to have a relationship with Her pains me. If it's not important to have a relationship with the one exalted woman I know of, who is perfect and Eternal, why bother working on relationships with the mortal, flawed, imperfect women around us? If She's not important- the person I hope to someday be like- am I not important?

That is the pain of not having a Heavenly Mother to me. If She has no purpose, then I have no purpose- no reason to exist.

When I think of Her, I am also thinking of all the women around me. I am thinking of them and who they can become. When I insist that our Heavenly Mother needs to be spoken of, I am insisting that we need to speak of each other as well. We need both heavenly parents. We need to know and understand who they are to know and understand each other. We need each other.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Alma 42:30

We haven't done a Book of Mormon scripture lately, so here we go. Although Alma is talking to his some, in the spirit of likening the scriptures, I've changed "son" to child.

30 O my child, I desire that ye should deny the justice of God and Goddess no more. Do not endeavor to excuse yourself in the least point because of your sins, by denying the justice of Goddess and God; but do you let the justice of God and Goddess, and their mercy, and their long-suffering have full sway in your heart; and let it bring you down to the dust in humility.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Luke 2:36-38

A month later, we finally come to the Christmas story and to one of the few prophetesses of the Bible.

36 And there was one Anna, a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Aser: she was of a great age, and had lived with an husband seven years from her virginity;

37 And she was a widow of about fourscore and four years, which departed not from the temple, but served God and Godess with fastings and prayers night and day.

38 And she coming in that instant gave thanks likewise unto the Lord, and spake of him to all them that looked for redemption in Jerusalem.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Sing We Now at Parting

Sing We Now at Parting was our closing hymn last week. It caught my eye because the first verse references Heavenly Father, but the last half of the second and third reference Christ. The shift is fairly seamless and I left the third verse intact.

Sing we now at parting
One more strain of praise.
To our Heav’nly Parents
Sweetest songs we’ll raise.
For their loving kindness,
For their tender care,
Let our songs of gladness
Fill this Sabbath air.

Praise them for his mercy;
Praise them for his love.
For unnumbered blessings
Praise the Lord above.
Let our happy voices
Still the notes prolong.
One alone is worthy
Of our sweetest song.

Jesus, our Redeemer,
Now our praises hear.
While we bow before thee,
Lend a list’ning ear.
Save us, Lord, from error.
Watch us day by day.
Help us now to serve thee
In a pleasing way.

Friday, January 21, 2011


When I first started this blog, my brain ran into a little discomfort in referring to Heavenly Mother as Goddess. I told myself, "If I have no qualms in calling Heavenly Father God, why this mental quirk about calling Heavenly Mother Goddess?"

I think the answer stems from our cultural tradition of patriarchal Christian religion. In Christianity, "God" is not only a title, it is a name. While we know "El" is the Hebrew name for "God," in English we just stick with "God." For a nerdy example- it's like how "Doctor Who" goes by Doctor and it is both a title and name. He's just "Doctor."

"Goddess" on the other hand, has been much more limited. In Protestant-idea-entrenched America, the word "Goddess" is only used in referencing non-Christian pantheons. "Goddess" was a word for what other people worshiped. Indeed, she is the Other, and not like my God- and not like me. Except that when it comes down it it, I'm not like my God either, I'm more like the Other- and indeed I am the Other and that is where Christianity starts separating itself from women. What is unique to Mormonism is that we do believe in a Heavenly Mother- so we have the potential to no longer treat women as the Other and include them as equals- equally potential to reach the status of God and Goddess. Unfortunately, as Mormons, we haven't made that step to really include Heavenly Mother into our reverence. And that's why I started this blog: to include the Mother in our thoughts- and to include women into what it means to be godly (goddessly?).

I had been thinking about this idea and then while I was reading Dance of the Dissident Daughter, I found that Sue Monk Kidd said it well,
An uneasy reaction to the word Goddess is common among women. Thousands of years of repression, hostility, and conditioning against a Divine Mother have made a deep impression on us. We've been conditioned to shrink back from the Sacred Feminine, to fear it, to think of it as sinful, even to revile it. And it would take a while for me to deprogram that reaction, to unpack the word and realize that in the end, Goddess is just a word. It simply means the divin in female form.
So as I continue this blog and continue to put "Goddess" in my scripture study, I also hope to "unpack" the word and let go of the connotations of "Other" and accept the person it represents, not only as someone as awe-inspiring as God, but as my own potential. And my daughter's. And my son's. And yours.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Psalms 43

Another visit to the Old Testament. I still haven't figured a short way of saying "God and Goddess" but you'll notice at the end of verse 4, I used commas instead of "and." It makes it flow a little better. On Friday, I'll have a few thoughts about using the word "Goddess" and some of my feelings about it.

1 Judge me, O God and Goddess, and plead my cause against an ungodly nation: O deliver me from the deceitful and unjust man.

2 For thou art the Goddess and God of my strength: why dost thou cast me off? why go I mourning because of the oppression of the enemy?

3 O send out thy light and thy truth: let them lead me; let them bring me unto thy holy hill, and to thy tabernacles.

4 Then will I go unto the altar of God and Goddess, unto Goddess and God my exceeding joy: yea, upon the harp will I praise thee, O God, Goddess, my God, Goddess.

5 Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me? hope in God and Goddess: for I shall yet praise them, who is the health of my countenance, and my Goddess and God.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Luke 1:30-37

Due to a new calling with the Sunbeam class, I don't get to go to Gospel Doctrine anymore, but I intend try to keep up with the New Testament study this year. Yesterday, our ward studied lesson 2. Christmas was almost a month ago, but we won't get to Christ's birth until next week. Today, the annunciation!

30 And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God and Goddess.

31 And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS.

32 He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God and Lady Goddess shall give unto him the throne of his father David:

33 And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.

34 Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?

35 And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of Goddess and God.

36 And, behold, thy cousin Elisabeth, she hath also conceived a son in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her, who was called barren.

37 For with Goddess and God nothing shall be impossible.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

"Give," Said the Little Stream

I don't know why, but as a child, I always considered Fanny J. Crosby's "Give," Said the Little Stream to be my favorite Primary song. When I went to modify this song, I changed "For God and others live" to "For our Heav'nly Parent's live" putting "our" on the little sixteenth note that "it" falls on in the previous verse.

I've always wondered who the "others" in that phrase were. In the verse, since "God" is someone you worship, I always wondered if the "others" were people (perhaps Heavenly Mother?) on the same level. And then, in my not-so-serious moments, I have wondered if it refers to the dust bunnies under the bed.

“Give,” said the little stream,
“Give, oh! give, give, oh! give.”
“Give,” said the little stream,
As it hurried down the hill;
“I’m small, I know, but wherever I go
The fields grow greener still.”

“Give,” said the little rain,
“Give, oh! give, give, oh! give.”
“Give,” said the little rain,
As it fell upon the flow’rs;
“I’ll raise their drooping heads again,”
As it fell upon the flow’rs.

Give, then, as Jesus gives,
Give, oh! give, give, oh! give.
Give, then, as Jesus gives;
There is something all can give.
Do as the streams and blossoms do:
For our Heav'nly Parents live.

Singing, singing all the day,
“Give away, oh! give away.”
Singing, singing all the day,
“Give, oh! give away.”

Friday, January 14, 2011

Faith like a Child

When I think back to the first time I remember being presented the idea of a Heavenly Mother, I remember that it was in Primary, and I was seven. I remember being seven because it was the year I was baptized. I don't remember my Primary teacher's name, but I do remember her giving me a mug with a quote about faith on it when I turned 8. I don't have the mug anymore, but it had a Precious Moments-like character on it and said, "I believe in God even when I see him not."

The Sunday my Primary teacher mentioned Heavenly Mother, she not only mentioned Her, but promised that the next week, she would share with us where it is that Heavenly Mother is mentioned. That caught my attention. I didn't know anywhere that Heavenly Mother was mentioned! I wanted to know! I could not wait for the next Sunday.

The next Sunday at the beginning of class, I remember excitedly asking, "Where does it talk about Heavenly Mother? You said you'd tell us!" This is where my story gets disappointing: I don't actually remember what my Primary teacher said. She probably mentioned either O My Father or referenced the creation story in Abraham and said something on the lines of, "It says that the Gods created the earth- and Heavenly Mother was one of them."

What I do remember about the response was that I felt let down. I really felt that my teacher was going to show us this wonderful scripture that specifically mentions Heavenly Mother, but she didn't. I kept holding on to that thought, though, and during my scripture reading the next few years, I kept my eyes peeled for this mysterious scripture.

And I never found it. Eventually I stopped looking in my scriptures. But I kept looking for Heavenly Mother in my prayers.

I don't exactly remember a lesson saying that prayer is like communicating with God on a phone, but I got the idea from somewhere because I remember being in my room with green shag carpeting and my collection of horse figurines, praying to Heavenly Father and then pausing.

"Heavenly Father, can you get Heavenly Mother? I want to talk to her."

And I paused, like you would on the phone, while the other person goes to hand off the phone. After I waited what I thought was enough time for Heavenly Father to get Heavenly Mother, I continued in my prayer and told Heavenly Mother a few things. Then I asked her to go get Heavenly Father so I could end, "In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen."

I also remember thinking at some point, maybe I'm not "supposed" to talk to her directly, so I modified those prayers.

"Heavenly Father, please tell Heavenly Mother that I love her and miss her."

But just like my search for the Heavenly Mother scripture, those prayers slowly stopped.

And as I think about that, I feel so sad for the child-me, who wanted so much to know her mother, but because of our lack of knowledge about her and the anti-Heavenly Mother sentiments in our culture, she gave up. I wish I could pick that child up and tell her to not give up and to believe in the Goddess, "even when we see her not."

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Genesis 2:1-3

Our Relief Society lesson this past week was on the Sabbath. Enjoy!

1 Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them.

2 And on the seventh day God and Goddess ended their work which they had made; and they rested on the seventh day from all their work which they had made.

3 And Goddess and God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it they had rested from all their work which Goddess and God created and made.

Monday, January 10, 2011

John 20:31

I went to church yesterday to find out that we were studying lesson 1. I'm not sure what they studied last week since I was home sick. Lesson 0? Even the Primary children didn't meet their teachers until yesterday, so perhaps church was cancelled? The Twilight Zone happened?

Anyway, lesson 1 again! A quick easy one today.

31 But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God and Goddess; and that believing ye might have life through his name.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

God's Daily Care

This week, we've finally been able to have a couple of sunny days, so when I went looking for a hymn for this Sunday, I searched for "sun" and found God's Daily Care by Marie C. Turk. I've don't think I've ever sung it before, but it's very nice. It would make a great closing song- I always look for short hymns just in case a lesson or speaker goes over. This one was easy: Father to Parents and made "ear" plural.

God's Daily Care

As I watch the rising sun
When the day has just begun
I am thinking of the love
That comes daily from above.

Parents, turn thy ears to me;
Let me offer thanks to thee
For they wise and tender care
Of they children ev'rywhere.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Book Review: Mother Wove the Morning

Carol Lynn Pearson is one of the most lauded LDS poets ever. Her books of poetry have flown off the shelves at Deseret Book. She is also known for the books she has written about homosexuality and her gay husband. She also wrote the lyrics for I'll Walk With You, one of the songs currently found in the Children's Songbook.

She is a gracious and generous soul, and when I went to her home this past summer, I left with a few copies of Mother Wove the Morning in tow to read. I have since given away and lent out all the copies but one, it was that wonderful. But it took me a while to finally come around to reading it. I knew it was wonderful. I was afraid of the possibility that reading it would be life-changing for me. So I put it off until I couldn't any longer.

I judge books based on how many times I end up reading parts aloud to my husband. I read so much of this book aloud, I was afraid Carol Lynn would come to my home, burst down the door, and sue me for giving an unauthorized performance of the play!

In Mother Wove the Morning, Pearson depicts 16 women from history (and pre-history) and their relationship with the Feminine Divine. You can see the list here. I found Lydia and the Rape of the Levite's Concubine particularly hard to get through- in fact, the first time I just skimmed it because I didn't want to cry. I did go back and give it a proper reading, though. And I did cry. The parallelism between Hilda the Nazi Woman and Rebecca the Jewish Woman is poignant and beautiful. There isn't a part of this book that I don't recommend. It makes you wonder, what if we all saw God as the combination of a man and a woman, a real partnership? How would that change the world? I think it would mean less violence and we would see more of the divine in every person we meet.

You can read the book's introduction at Carol Lynn's site, here. You can also buy copies of the book there as well as a DVD of the performance. One of my greatest regrets was missing the chance to see her perform the play last summer (when I went to her home last June, I missed the performance she had done earlier in the day). But if I get the chance in the future, I will be there. If you have some time, check out her interview at the Mormon Stories project. In the fifth segment, she talks a little about the play and book and performs a few lines. And find a copy of this book or DVD. It's awesome.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Doctrine and Covenants 50:23-24

I really like "Ring Out Wild Bells" but it didn't give me a very nice text to work with, so in an attempt to still ring in the New Year, this is one of the referenced scriptures for that hymn. Besides including Heavenly Mother, I did the gender-inclusive edit of changing "he" to "who."

23 And that which doth not edify is not of God and Goddess, and is darkness.

24 That which is of God and Goddess is light; and who that receiveth light, and continueth in God and Goddess, receiveth more light; and that light groweth brighter and brighter until the perfect day.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011


When I first started this blog, I didn't want to moderate comments because when I looked at other bloggernacle blogs, moderating after the fact was good enough. But I also started this blog with the intent that it be a peaceful blog and by the comments, it hasn't really been. It's been my fault for letting too many personal attacks through, and I'm afraid that my readers don't feel safe to comment if they want. I've appreciated the feedback I've gotten through email, Facebook, LDS forums, and bloggernacle blogs. My intended audience of people who are trying to include Heavenly Mother in their thoughts has been very receptive and I thank you all.

Having said that, I know that since some of the discussion hasn't been peaceful, I'm going to start full-on moderating comments. And if the tone doesn't fit this blog, I'm not posting it. I really don't want this to be an argumentative blog- you and I can find places for that sort of conversation elsewhere, but I don't want it to be here. If this blog isn't a good fit for you, I understand. The bloggernacle is wide and deep and I have confidence everyone will find a place that fits them. I have a contact page for questions, comments and concerns if you feel that you need a different voice. Feel free to use that.

Comment policy is still going by Internet and bloggernacle comment rules along with my own personal whim. I didn't actually expect to get a lot of comments on this blog. With the type of blog it is, I really only expected a few "Hmms" as people looked in their RSS reader and then went on with their day. The response has been really surprising.

And sorry about flooding you RSS feeds with another post. I'll go back to MWFSunday posting now.


Monday, January 3, 2011

John 1:1-5

I recently read a small bit specifically connecting these scriptures with the Divine Feminine. I'll give it some study and research and maybe in the future an essay will come of it. Logos is such a multi-faceted word in Greek and it requires some good thought. It's days like this that I know I should have paid more attention when my history professor at BYU tried to teach us Greek.

1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and Goddess, and the Word was God and Goddess.

2 The same was in the beginning with God and Goddess.

3 All things were made by them; and without them was not any thing made that was made.

4 In them was life; and the life was the light of men and women.

5 And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness ccomprehended it not.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

I Have Work Enough to Do

Sadly, none of the few New Year's hymns we have in the LDS hymnbook refer to God. But in keeping in relation to the season of lists and lists of resolutions, today we have Josephine Pollard's I Have Work Enough to Do. Only one reference to God and again, only one syllable, so it was changed to "Their" even though it's not really explicit who they "They" are.

I have work enough to do,
Ere the sun goes down,
For myself and kindred too,
Ere the sun goes down:
Ev’ry idle whisper stilling
With a purpose firm and willing,
All my daily tasks fulfilling,
Ere the sun goes down.

I must speak the loving word,
Ere the sun goes down.
I must let my voice be heard,
Ere the sun goes down:
Ev’ry cry of pity heeding,
For the injured interceding,
To the light the lost ones leading,
Ere the sun goes down.

As I journey on my way,
Ere the sun goes down,
Their commands I must obey,
Ere the sun goes down.
There are sins that need confessing;
There are wrongs that need redressing
If I would obtain the blessing,
Ere the sun goes down.