The Greatest Story Never Told

In the world of Mormon feminism, there is no issue of greater concern and frustration than the glaring absence of female Deity. Men, it is often said, have a distinct advantage in that LDS doctrine gives them  a clear picture of their eternal identity, destiny and purpose due to the fact that God, without question, is a member of their own sex.  This doctrine provides them a firm foundation upon which to build their character, their testimonies, and their conceptions about what eternal life will entail. Women on the other hand have been left to tread the waters of uncertainty, not knowing the true purpose of their existence, what they will become, or what eternal life looks like for them.     

This imbalanced, incomplete knowledge of Deity poses a grave threat to the future of the LDS church, particularly in a time when personal opinions and grievances are publicized instantly. As more LDS women begin to wonder publicly why the restored church possesses no specific knowledge about Heavenly Mother aside from the assurance that She exists, the more distressing the silence from church authorities becomes.  Members begin to offer their own disturbing reasons for the lack of revelation, that the silence is perhaps due to the shame of Her position as a subordinate, as a dependent, or as part of a harem – any of which are instinctively repulsive to the citizens of a nation where independence was resolutely declared and human equality was defended to the death as a “self-evident truth.”

Worse than this is the fear that Heavenly Mother’s silence and invisibility is the eternal model and template for women, a model implied by the current structure of male-only priesthood leadership in the church. This particular concern has the potential to lead feminist Latter-Day Saints to a horrifying conclusion: that for women, the Atonement of Jesus Christ is irrelevant. If the punishment for sin is captivity and death, it logically follows that the Atonement of Jesus Christ does nothing for women if their ultimate destiny – be it heaven or hell – is captivity and death. And what is captivity but eternal subjection? What is death but eternal silence and passivity? If these are woman’s heritage, Eve’s prophetic words ring hollow: there is no joy in woman’s redemption, if redemption is nothing but everlasting subjection.

Though obscure scriptures hint at the existence of the feminine Divine (Proverbs 1-9, etc.), the simple fact remains that the identity, character and eternal role of Heavenly Mother, the female counterpart to Heavenly Father, has never been revealed – not in scripture, not in any official declaration from the church, not in the temple ceremony, and not by the prophet of the Restoration. This begs the obvious question: Why? So far, the customary explanations have all been negative – in addition to the foregoing reasons, others include that knowledge of the Mother is not critical to our salvation; that it is being withheld to protect Her from our blasphemy; or that She without priesthood is marginal, impotent, or unworthy of the worship, praise and attention reserved for male Deity.

Since all of these conjectures are soundly debunked by scripture (if you know where to look), the most obvious reason why Heavenly Mother has not been revealed is demonstrated by the children’s game of “hot and cold”: that the Mormon folklore regarding this issue so far has been very, very, cold. To find the warmth of light and truth, one must travel in the opposite direction of the course initially thought correct. As the reasons offered so far span a range from the distasteful to the demeaning, the truth must be something that has never before been collectively considered: that the knowledge of Heavenly Mother is the greatest, most marvelous and astounding doctrine that can possibly be revealed to the mind of man; a knowledge so complex and powerful it could be revealed only at the apex of civilization.

If this were the case, everything we have ever learned throughout the ages and everything ever spoken or written by holy prophets is for the express purpose of preparing us to receive this sacred knowledge. It then becomes our mission to understand the true reason why God has chosen to reveal so many things to the inhabitants of this earth – but not the knowledge of Heavenly  Mother. Yet how can this mystery be understood if any knowledge of it has been withheld? The answer is that we do know one thing about this knowledge: that it has never been revealed. Here the key to this great mystery is given, that to begin the search for the elusive knowledge of God the Mother, one simply needs to locate the things in the scriptures which are described as having “never been revealed.”       

As it turns out, the scriptures have much to say on things that have never been revealed, or more specifically, “things which never have been revealed from the foundation of the world.” Seven  scriptures in particular when woven together shed perfect light on when the knowledge of Heavenly Mother will be revealed, to whom it will be revealed, and why it hasn’t been revealed previously. Thus within holy scripture is found The Greatest Story Never Told.

First, let’s focus on “when.”

Modern-day scriptures D&C 27:13, 112:30 and 128:18 (listed at the bottom) reveal that we are living in a time period called “the last times,” within which resides a special dispensation of the gospel called “the dispensation of the fulness of times.” This is the final dispensation for this world and the only time in history when things which “never have been revealed from the foundation of the world” are slated to come forth. Though the latter scripture states that the “dispensation of the fulness of times” began to usher in with the revelation of the gospel to Joseph Smith, it can be supposed that this dispensation has not yet blossomed in full due to the fact that all things in heaven and on earth are not yet “gathered into one” (the literal Twelve Tribes of Israel, for instance). Therefore, the things that have never been revealed, including the knowledge of God the Mother, would only come forth in this particular dispensation, presumably in the near future when it begins to fully bloom. That pretty much takes care of the “when.”

Next, let’s focus on “whom.”

Due to the “top-down” governing structure of the LDS church, it is a common belief that all knowledge concerning the nature of God and the gospel of Jesus Christ must come through authoritative channels (meaning the all-male priesthood leadership of the church) which is then passed along to the general membership. This assumption fosters a tendency in church members who desire knowledge about mysterious gospel topics to either passively wait for leaders to reveal new information in conferences and other venues or to actively petition them for revelation through letters or other media.

The scriptures, however, paint a different picture of how the knowledge that has never been revealed should come forth in this final dispensation. In D&C 128:18 it is written that the things which “never have been revealed from the foundation of the world” will be revealed specifically unto “babes and sucklings,” a title defined by Jesus Christ Himself in Matthew 21:15-16 (Joseph Smith Translation included in italics):

“And when the chief priests and scribes saw the wonderful things that he (Jesus) did, and the children of the kingdom crying in the temple, and saying, Hosanna to the Son of David; they were sore displeased,

 And said unto him, Hearest thou what these say? And Jesus saith unto them, Yea; have ye never read, Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings thou hast perfected praise?”

The first verse presents a clear distinction between the priesthood authorities of the church (the chief priests and scribes) and the lay people of the church (or “children of the kingdom”), with Christ referring to the latter as the “babes and sucklings.” It can then be concluded that “babes and sucklings” is a reference to the members of the church who specifically are not ordained to any priesthood office in the church, but are eligible nonetheless to enter the temple of God. Likening this scripture to our day, who are the temple-attending members of the LDS church that do not hold any priesthood office? There is only one answer: women.

What an astonishing prospect to consider that in the last days, the usual pattern of revelation from God (through the Spirit) to priesthood leaders, and from priesthood leaders to members will be turned on its head as new knowledge of God in this unique dispensation will be revealed through the Spirit to the women of the church, who would then reveal this knowledge back to priesthood leaders. But should it be so astonishing when we consider the many times throughout scripture where the Lord counts His work as complete only when the first becomes last and the last becomes first? “But remember that all my judgments are not given unto men; and as the words have gone forth out of my mouth even so shall they be fulfilled, that the first shall be last, and that the last shall be first in all things whatsoever I have created by the word of my power, which is the power of my Spirit.” (D&C 29:30)

If this were so, it would certainly explain why no specific knowledge of Heavenly Mother has ever been revealed by God’s ordained prophets – it was never meant to come through them in the first place. Incidentally, it would also attest that they are indeed true prophets, having never claimed such knowledge or published any official expositions on the subject despite the rising demand for revealed doctrine from women in the church. Most importantly, it would serve to explain why so many LDS women are being drawn toward feminist concerns as new knowledge of God the Mother can only be received by those who are asking the right questions, as LDS church origins so accurately demonstrate.

Last of all, “why?”

Like so many other scriptural interpretations, such positions regarding “when” and “whom” might be promptly dismissed if not concluded with a doctrinal explanation of “why.” Why was the knowledge of God the Mother deliberately withheld from before the foundation of the world if knowing God is life eternal? Could the reason be worth the many generations of brutality, denigration and oppression inflicted upon women as a result of their perceived dissociation with the Divine? What would justify the centuries of misconception and strife caused by prolonged ignorance on this matter?

There is only one fitting explanation – one that could only be known by the Spirit of revelation, even that same Spirit which expounds every scripture and mystery of God. It begins with an understanding that God works according to certain patterns, and ends with a careful study of the last three scriptures: D&C 121:26-28, Matthew 11:27, and JST Luke 12:9-12.

The first reads,

“God shall give unto you knowledge by his Holy Spirit, yea, by the unspeakable gift of the Holy Ghost, that has not been revealed since the world was until now; Which our forefathers have awaited with anxious expectation to be revealed in the last times, which their minds were pointed to by the angels, as held in reserve for the fulness of their glory; A time to come in the which nothing shall be withheld, whether there be one God or many gods, they shall be manifest.”

This restoration-era scripture clearly identifies the Holy Spirit, even the third member of the Godhead, as one of those things that “never has been revealed from the foundation of the world,” unlike the Father and the Son. It explains that the complete knowledge of the Holy Ghost was reserved for a future time in which all the things of God would be revealed; whether there be one God or many gods, all would be made “manifest” in the “fulness of their glory.”

This pattern of Godly manifestation, or the order in which God is revealed for the purpose of human comprehension, is found in the next scripture, Matthew 11:27, and is a pattern that can be applied to the Holy Ghost. It reads (JST included in italics):

“All things are delivered unto me of my Father: and no man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and they to whom the Son will reveal himself; they shall see the Father also.”

While the modern reader might initially find this scripture difficult to interpret, with the aid of the references listed under footnote ‘d’ (Luke 10:22 and John 14:6-14) it is clear that this scriptural account establishes that the Son reveals the Father, as the chapter heading affirms.

If it is true that the Son reveals the Father, or in other words that one can only come to know or comprehend God the Father by first knowing God the Son, then why would this pattern not apply to the Holy Ghost? Could it be that one can only come to know God the Mother by first knowing God the Holy Ghost, in which the unveiling of the Holy Ghost would unlock the complete comprehension of the Mother, that they are “One,” even as Jesus is “One” with the Father?

In order to address this question it is necessary to explore the reason why the knowledge of the Holy Ghost was deliberately reserved for the final dispensation of this world, which by extension would explain the dearth of knowledge concerning our Heavenly Mother. This reason is provided in the last of the seven scriptures, JST Luke 12:9-12:

“’But he who denieth me before men, shall be denied before the angels of God.’

Now his disciples knew that he (Jesus) said this, because they had spoken evil against him before the people; for they were afraid to confess him before men.

And they reasoned among themselves, saying, He knoweth our hearts, and he speaketh to our condemnation, and we shall not be forgiven. But he answered them, and said unto them,

Whosoever shall speak a word against the Son of Man, and repenteth, it shall be forgiven him; but unto him who blasphemeth against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him.”

The last verse of this scripture thoroughly explains why God, of necessity, withheld the knowledge of the Holy Ghost until the fullness of the last dispensation: when the Holy Ghost is finally and dramatically unveiled to our full comprehension, any denying, blaspheming or “speaking against” this particular God shall not be forgiven in this life or the next. Rendered in the simplest terms, the complete manifestation of the Holy Ghost opens an individual to the solemn and terrifying possibility of becoming a son – or daughter – of perdition.

Though the concept of an unpardonable sin is as difficult to grasp today as it was in Jesus’ day, Christ’s oft-repeated warning about blasphemy against the Holy Ghost meriting the second death only makes sense when the pattern of Godly manifestation is applied to Heavenly Mother, and when Heavenly Mother is the all-powerful co-Creator God in the aforementioned book of Proverbs personified as “Wisdom.” If the Holy Ghost reveals God the Mother, who is Wisdom Herself, then the manifestation of the Holy Ghost amounts to a full unveiling of the perfect knowledge of God, where all God’s long-kept secrets and mysterious ways are fully disclosed to all humankind in clarity and in certainty. Once Wisdom is finally revealed by and through the Holy Ghost, there will be no more mystery and no more doubt about who and what the only true God really is. The knowledge and existence of God will be as demonstrable and as provable as any scientific fact, which explains why it will be an unpardonable sin to deny it.

Using this perspective, it is plain to see that the knowledge of God the Mother was kept hidden throughout the ages not for Her own protection, but for ours. Wisdom, or Sophia (Greek translation), was ordained from the beginning to be revealed only in a time when Her children have been prepared to receive Her perfect knowledge with the full understanding that it comes at the ultimate price of spiritual death – even the Second Death - for those who deny it after receiving it in full. As formidable a cost it may seem, this is not the first time human beings have been faced with the prospect of death in exchange for God’s knowledge. In the Garden of Eden, the choice was just that – Adam and Eve were given an opportunity to become like God by partaking of the knowledge of good and evil, but the price of that knowledge was physical death (as well as a type of spiritual death).

Nearing the end of our probationary mortal estate in this final dispensation, it appears that the scriptures (or iron rod) have been subtly pointing our minds toward the fruit of the next tree essential to our progression – the fruit of the tree of the perfect knowledge of God, otherwise known as the Tree of Life, just as Lehi and Nephi’s vision portrayed. This tree stands as a representation of God’s Wisdom, which is God’s Love – even the reproving, enduring, pure love of Christ known as Charity Herself. This “First Vision” we encounter in the Book of Mormon reveals it is the purpose of all scripture to seek and find Wisdom, to partake of Her fruit, and to live eternally in the perfect knowledge and love of God which should fill us with unspeakable joy if we do not heed the scorn of those who embrace the inferior wisdom of the world.

As is shown in the vision, it is only by and through the Spirit of the Lord that we can come to know the true interpretation of the Tree of Life (of which Mary is a type) and Her fruit, just as we can only know the Father by and through the Son. Like the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, once it is eaten there is no going back. And here is where the story begins.

 

 

Scripture References:

1-  D&C 27:13: “Unto whom I have committed the keys of my kingdom, and a dispensation of the gospel for the last times; and for the fulness of times, in the which I will gather together in one all things, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth;”

2-  D&C 112:30: “For unto you, the Twelve, and those, the First Presidency, who are appointed with you to be your counselors and your leaders, is the power of this priesthood given, for the last days and for the last time, in the which is the dispensation of the fulness of times.

3-  D&C 128:18: “I might have rendered a plainer translation to this, but it is sufficiently plain to suit my purpose as it stands. It is sufficient to know, in this case, that the earth will be smitten with a curse unless there is a welding link of some kind or other between the fathers and the children, upon some subject or other—and behold what is that subject? It is the baptism for the dead. For we without them cannot be made perfect; neither can they without us be made perfect. Neither can they nor we be made perfect without those who have died in the gospel also; for it is necessary in the ushering in of the dispensation of the fulness of times, which dispensation is now beginning to usher in, that a whole and complete and perfect union, and welding together of dispensations, and keys, and powers, and glories should take place, and be revealed from the days of Adam even to the present time. And not only this, but those things which never have been revealed from the foundation of the world, but have been kept hid from the wise and prudent, shall be revealed unto babes and sucklings in this, the dispensation of the fulness of times.”

4-  Matthew 21:15-16 (Joseph Smith Translation included in italics):  “And when the chief priests and scribes saw the wonderful things that he did, and the children of the kingdom crying in the temple, and saying, Hosanna to the Son of David; they were sore displeased,

 And said unto him, Hearest thou what these say? And Jesus saith unto them, Yea; have ye never read, Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings thou hast perfected praise?”

5-  D&C 121:26-28: “God shall give unto you knowledge by his Holy Spirit, yea, by the unspeakable gift of the Holy Ghost, that has not been revealed since the world was until now; 

Which our forefathers have awaited with anxious expectation to be revealed in the last times, which their minds were pointed to by the angels, as held in reserve for the fulness of their glory;

A time to come in the which nothing shall be withheld, whether there be one God or many gods, they shall be manifest.”

6-  Matthew 11:27 (Joseph Smith Translation included in italics):  “All things are delivered unto me of my Father: and no man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and they to whom the Son will reveal himself; they shall see the Father also.”

7-  JST Luke 12:9-12“But he who denieth me before men, shall be denied before the angels of God.

 Now his disciples knew that he said this, because they had spoken evil against him before the people; for they were afraid to confess him before men.

And they reasoned among themselves, saying, He knoweth our hearts, and he speaketh to our condemnation, and we shall not be forgiven. But he answered them, and said unto them,

Whosoever shall speak a word against the Son of Man, and repenteth, it shall be forgiven him; but unto him who blasphemeth against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him.”

This entry was posted in Finding Heavenly Mother. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to The Greatest Story Never Told

  1. SCB says:

    I’ve been struggling with this and I feel so sad I never looked at it this way. I guess I was disgruntled with this. Annoyed with the fact the men of the church wasn’t asking this question. My only want is for them to say that they can’t reveal this and the women need to. For the silence to go away.

    I hope you put more posts like this. I need help with learning how to reinterpret my scriptures and let go of unhelpful interpretations.

  2. LeeAnn says:

    I really enjoyed this point of view and the scriptural references you used to enhance your points. I do wonder if many things have been revealed at certain points in time, but have been lost or hidden from our present understanding. I read some thing about Nephi’s Asherah that discussed a female deity’s recurring presence in Jewish temples. Here is the reference for the Nephi Article: Nephi and His Asherah – Daniel C. Peterson – Journal of Book of Mormon Studies – Volume 9 – Issue 2

  3. GKH says:

    Thank you, thank you! I have thought many of these same things, minus the paper, ink (or whatever the internet equivalent of ink might be) and words. Your words have given, strength, power and confidence to things that have been revealed to me in the past. I am weeping with strong feelings of knowing what I know, independent of the official revelations of the church, things I gave up in order to conform. Cryptic, but I feel protective of what I have been given, not sure quite why. Also, as you note, extremely cautious of the consequences of knowing, even in part. She is there! and most importantly, she is HERE. We are not the motherless children we sometimes feel to be. She would never leave us alone, scared, ignorant and unprotected. She lives and loves us – not to an end, but now and throughout all eternity. She extends Herself beyond anything we have ever sensed, toward us, her beloved children.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>