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."


Sara K.S. Hanks said...

This is beautiful. I've been wondering how to acknowledge and express my love for Heavenly Mother through prayer, and a big part of that desire has come from a hope that my future kids can appreciate a closeness with Her. Your words give a wonderful picture of the relationship that a child can have with God - male and female - when that child is free of at least some of the fetters that our grown-up minds place on the concept of deity. Bravo.

Rixa said...

I did exactly that same thing during prayers when I was pregnant with my first! I just felt this need to talk to her sometimes, so I'd say (well, think in my mind, since I don't usually pray out loud when it's just myself) "Okay, now I need to talk to Heavenly Mother for a while."

Heatherlady said...

Have you ever read Revelations 12? Read it thinking about the pre-existence and looking for Heavenly Mother. I re-read that section at least once a week. Some day I will understand it completely, I hope. Also, read the first 9 chapters of Proverbs. Wisdom is called a "she" and pay close attention to the language and characteristics used to describe her.

Don't give up your search for scriptures about her-- they are there. Just like God she goes by many different names.

Katrina said...

What a beautiful story, Heather. I am sad that as a child it never even occurred to me to search for Heavenly Mother. I must have heard that standard "too sacred" line pretty young and believed it.

Heatherlady, I'm going to read those passages you suggested. thanks!

TopHat said...

Rixa- That's funny. At least I'm not alone!

Heatherlady- I have done a little study in the Wisdom aspect- I have read that Luke 7:33-35 refers to the goddess as Wisdom- and says that John the Baptist and Christ are her children. Interesting stuff for future essays and guest posts!