Since tomorrow is Mother’s Day, I was curious if the Mormon church would mention their belief in a heavenly mother. It seems it would be a natural fit. But I couldn’t find any special reference to her.
I looked for it because, in the last couple of years, Mormons have been talking about her more. Occasionally we meet Mormons who bring the topic up. In 2015, the Mormon church put a brief essay about her on lds.org. Here is the first paragraph:
"The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints teaches that all human beings, male and female, are beloved spirit children of heavenly parents, a Heavenly Father and a Heavenly Mother. This understanding is rooted in scriptural and prophetic teachings about the nature of God, our relationship to Deity, and the godly potential of men and women. The doctrine of a Heavenly Mother is a cherished and distinctive belief among Latter-day Saints."
Usually, I advise not talking about heavenly mother because it’s not a stress point for Mormons. Because of Mother’s Day, however, it could serve as an entry point into a conversation. You could say something like this. “I read a little bit about the LDS belief of a heavenly mother. I thought of it because of Mother’s Day. What do you know or believe about her?”
The purpose of doing this is two-fold. Once they explain their beliefs about her, you could point out that this is something Christians don’t believe. At times, it is important to do this because so many Mormons say Mormons and Christians believe the same thing. Here is one of many examples where they don’t.
And it’s an example which is easy to see. There is no problem with different definitions obscuring the differences between our beliefs. A heavenly mother – no heavenly mother. Can’t get much clearer than that.
The other thing you could emphasize is the vast difference between the biblical view of God and the LDS view - and the implications this has for salvation. Heavenly mother illustrates how Mormonism views their gods as differing from humans only in degree. What I mean is that, as Joseph Smith said, they see God as nothing more than an exalted man. He has just progressed further. But he and we have the same nature. This means the gap between god and mankind is not very big. Another way this narrow gap shows itself is how Mormons regularly talk about their divine potential.
The Bible, in striking contrast, pictures God differing from us in his very nature. He isn’t just greater than us in degree, he is completely different from us. So much so, we can’t begin to comprehend him. And we have never been and never will be like him in our natures. Even in heaven, God and people will be completely different.
Because the gap between God and mankind is so huge and because sin made the divide even greater, we need God himself to bridge it. That is what Jesus, the Son of God, did. He is the only mediator between God and man (1 Timothy 2:5). He did it all. And he had to do it all.
Instead of heavenly mothers, we want to focus their attention on Jesus, the Son of God, and especially on the fact that he has bridged the gap between God and us for us.
As always, may we speak the biblical truth in love to Mormons.