“Reason tells me I’ve a Mother there.” But reason isn’t enough. I also listen to the heart and the bowels, and they aren’t talking.
I feel the need for a heavenly father. My heart and my bowels tell me He’s there.
My father was the decision maker, the judge, the provider, and the authority for my family. His writ didn’t run beyond us, though, so I felt and feel the need for a father of the world at large. There needs to be somebody in charge out here.
Theorists of natural religion belief that this felt need is what brings people to a basic belief in deity, however else that belief may be elaborated by their corporate experience, revelation, and sins. God is the universal father.
My mother and my wife supply the domesticity in life, the hominess, the grace notes. There is a family circle that they create. But because they supply it, I have no need for it elsewhere. By definition, the outside doesn’t need to be the inside. There needs to be universal rule. There does not need to be universal domesticity. I do not experience the need for a heavenly Mother.
There is a role for the Father in my life. He has created the world I live in. The truths I learn are His. The commandments I follow are His commands. He is my punisher and my rewarder.
Christ also has a role. He is my savior. He led an earthly life that I can know and imitate. He is my companion and rescuer.
The Holy Ghost converses with me.
Between them, all the needs I have for divine compassion, comfort, healing, feeling, and sympathy are supplied.
All this is personal to me. Others may have a MiH-shaped hole in their heart. I don’t.
My absence of a felt absence is not proof that there is no Mother in Heaven. You may believe a doctrine in this church for reasons other than it fitting a human need or filling a necessary role. A revelation may state it or it may be a logical extrapolation from some belief that does matter to you. Unless these are of the strongest, though, you will not believe very firmly until you ahve that sense that the doctrine fits into life like a piece in a puzzle. That’s where I’m at. I have suspended judgment on the doctrine of MiH.
My personal feelings aren’t interesting in themselves, so all that is by way of introduction. The meat of this post is speculation on what role a Mother in Heaven could play in life. It is not speculation for speculation’s sake. Trying to understand the possibilities here is a roundabout route to understanding the meaning of the sexes. Thinking through possibilities is also preparation that makes personal revelation on the subject easier and more likely. Speculation—call it pondering—often plays John the Baptist to the Holy Ghost.
I first ponder the possibility that MiH may not play much role in this life. If womanliness is what makes a house into a home and a group into a family circle, then her relative absence here is what makes our return to heaven a homecoming. Her role is to make heaven a place we can go back to. She is not wanted here anymore than mothers should tag along with their children to summer camp.
Second, I mentioned earlier that I relate to God through His creation. I see the things He has provided and I am grateful to him. When I am grateful for people, though, I am usually grateful to the people. I think that I’m sure glad for my friends, and in my heart I’m grateful to my friends for their existence. But suppose that a MiH has a special role in creating human souls (the means and methods don’t matter for our purposes; there is a lot of ill-thought speculation out there). If so, then I can relate to her in gratitude for people and their works the same way I relate to God in appreciation of earth and wind and stars.
Third. Gratitude to the creator of the person wouldn’t prevent me from continuing to feel love and gratitude to the person themselves. Gratitude, like responsibility, can add up to more than 100%. In some very tentative speculations about where the eternal feminine is in the cosmos, some have seen creation itself as being in the feminine mode. It is even said, at the very limits of possibility, that mother earth may be more than metaphorical. If so, then feeling gratitude to the Father for the works of His hands would not prevent me from feeling love and gratitude directly to that maternal being that is the sum of those works.
Fourth, nobody can quite enter in to anyone else’s domesticity. Every happy marriage is a separate civilization. For all God’s love, I feel something opaque about Him. I feel there is a part of him I cannot know. Likely this is just an artifact of my current limitations. But it may reflect that God is paired. That opaqueness I experience, directly or indirectly, could be an experience of His wife.
Fifth, remember that Wisdom is personified in the Bible as a woman. Wisdom is more intuitive than knowledge is; is it a coincidence that women are generally more intuitive than men? I personally put a very high value on wisdom, on intuitive knowledge, and things that have been learned from experience but that can’t be expressed or formalized, on knowledge that is so inherent and organic that maybe not only can’t you express it, maybe you aren’t even fully aware that you have it. I believe in the Tao. If so, maybe I already believe in and venerate the MiH.
Finally, there is the theological problem about whether we are created by God or are eternal. If we are created, its hard to see how we can truly be separate from His will. Created things are made with intent and purpose. But if we are eternal, there has yet to be a satisfactory account for our connection with Deity; we end up being one of those artificial families that are all the rage these days among people who want to deconstruct actual families. Motherhood is a model of creation that avoids both difficulties. The mother makes the child in a real sense, but she does not determine the child. She doesn’t plan the child’s specs. Thinkers will object that there is no way a divine being could be involved in making something without knowing exactly how and for what purposes it was being made. Thinkers are probably right, its just the barest glimmering of the beginning of an idea. But if the idea stands, and MiH plays a part in creation analogous in some sense to the role mothers play here, then acknowledging her role lets me be confident that I am both free and a real son of the Highest.