Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Direction to Not Pray to Heavenly Mother

Last week I blogged about, what up until that point, was the only direction I had learned by church leaders regarding whether LDS church members should worship a Mother in Heaven as equally as they do Father in Heaven. Evidently, a more firm prohibition does exist.

I've continued my study and found this from "The Mormon Concept of a Mother in Heaven" a chapter in "Women and Authority."

In a meeting for church regional representatives n 5 April 1991, Gordon B. Hinckley, first counselor in the First Presidency, responded to reports that "here and there, prayers have been offered to our Mother in Heaven." He had searched and found "nowhere in the Standard Works an account where Jesus prayed other than to His Father in Heaven...I have looked in vain for any instance..[of] 'a prayer to our Mother in Heaven." He said he "consider[s] it inappropriate for anyone in the Church to pray to our Mother in Heaven" and instructed regional representatives to "counsel priesthood holders to be on alert for the use of this expression and to make correction where necessary. Such correction can be handled in a discreet and inoffensive way. But it should be firm and without equivocation." (Gordon B. Hinckley, "Cornerstones of Responsibility" address Regional Representative Seminar, Salt Lake City, 5 Apr. 1991, 3-4.)

Elder Orson Pratt in The Seer I from 1853 also taught we are not to worship Heavenly Mother. Although we worship the father, "For the Father of our spirits is the Head of His Household and His wives and children are required to yield the most perfect obedience to their great Head. It is lawful for the children to worship the Kind of heaven, but not the 'Queen of heaven.'...Jesus prayed to His father, and taught His disciples to do likewise; but we are nowhere taught that Jesus prayed to His Heavenly Mother."

I have to point out that both of these quotes are relying upon inference from the scriptures and do not appeal or reference an answer to prayer regarding the topic. Providing counsel and direction without prayer to know the will of God does not seem correct to me and I do not understand why a simple question as "Father in Heaven, is it correct for members of thy church to pray to thee and thy queen?" could not be asked.

It also must be mentioned that both President Hinckley and Elder Pratt are referring to scriptures that are openly acknowledged as not complete, having "many plain and precious truths taken" from them and also being in many cases translated incorrectly due to "the interpolations of men." It seems a weak argument to say that because it is missing from our scriptures that no evidence exists.

Another hypothesis is that when Christ was praying to his Father, that he knew in his heart and mind that his Mother in Heaven also heard his prayers and without openly acknowledging with his words that he was praying to both his parents, that he indeed was.

All of that is conjecture and my attempt to point out the possibilities and should not be taken as statements of belief or perceived as truth. I'm glad that I continued my study to know what has been taught regarding worship of God the Father's equal and partner without first going forward in including her in my prayers.

1 comment:

Jenni said...

Here is another theory (not that I believe it per se, but just something else that I've thought of...I'm not sure what I believe on this issue actually):
Perhaps Christ had Mother in mind. Perhaps He mentioned Her and it was somewhere lost in translation. And perhaps He mentioned Her and it was intentionally removed by patriarchal scribes somewhere along the line. In other words, maybe some of the mistakes in the bible aren't so much mistakes as intentional changes made by ancient or medieval scribes who wanted to keep the scriptures in alignment with what they wanted to push (ie, strict patriarchy).