Ending the Objectification of Exalted Women: Joseph Smith’s Antidote to Literal Offspring Theology

MANY LDS WOMEN WERE DISHEARTENED by the rhetoric heard during the recent Women’s Session of General Conference because they were warned against their personal interest in knowing Heavenly Mother. This post will address that, but it is also different from my usual writing because I will be analyzing and challenging the current theology of eternal procreation. Many will disagree with me, some may be offended, but I’ve decided to finally bring forward a fuller rendition of my thoughts on the hereafter, specifically concerning the exalted female body. To be blunt, LDS women like me deserve a better theology than the one we’ve been allotted. Joseph Smith offers us that.

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On Being Heavenly Mother’s Daughter in an Era of Retrenchment

IN MY FOUR DECADES as a Latter-day Saint, I’ve not known a man who craved a relationship with Heavenly Mother, even if I’ve know men who’ve acquired the interest. The desire to understand the divine feminine abides largely in the hearts of women. As the leaders of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints organize their messages for this weekend’s General Conference, many LDS women are bracing against what seems the inevitable, official, widespread retrenchment of our Mother God. But to my sisters in the gospel I say, they may push her into the empty corners of their own faith, but they can’t push her into ours. They may think She won’t hear their prayers, or that saying Her name in prayer will disturb Heavenly Father, but that has no bearing on our lived experiences of connecting with Her. They may belittle our connection by calling it our imagination but we know better. We have claimed and will continue to claim Her as our own, our Mother. We don’t need–and have never needed–their permission to be fully Her daughter. 

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Heavenly Mother Reportedly on the Outs with Priesthood Authorities

A FEW WEEKS BACK, I offered the closing prayer in my ward’s sacrament meeting and expressed gratitude for Heavenly Mother. It felt like a risk. I’ve never, in my 43 years in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, been present when She was mentioned in a public prayer. Afterwards, two women grabbed me and shared their gratitude for my prayer, giving me the sense it was because of Her mention. I could be wrong. What I’m not wrong about is the hunger so many LDS women have for a connection to the Divine Feminine. I recently learned, through the multiple witness of other LDS women, that Heavenly Mother is, once again, on the outs with the General Authorities. If I offered the same prayer this Sunday, it might earn me a sit-down with my local priesthood keyholder.

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