In Defense of Heavenly Mother: Her Critical Importance for Mormon Culture and Theology

Dialogue 55.1 (Spring 2022): 37
Marginalizing God the Mother does not solve the problems raised by Mormonism’s doctrine of divine and human embodiment. It merely diminishes femaleness as a reflection of divinity. We do not need fewer images to understand God; we need more. Critics of Heavenly Mother have not fully grasped the negative consequences of moving toward a God beyond gender

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A Queer Heavenly Family: Expanding Godhood Beyond a Heterosexual, Cisgender Couple

Dialogue 55.1 (Spring 2022): 69–98
Although the concept of Heavenly Mother is empowering for many women, the focus on God as a cisgender, heterosexual couple also limits who can see their own divinity reflected in the stories told about God. First, with Heavenly Mother as the only female divinity, divine expression of womanhood is restricted to motherhood. This excludes many women, including women struggling with infertility, women who do not wish to become mothers, and transgender women who experience motherhood differently than fertile, cisgender women.

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I Am a Child of Gods

Dialogue 55.1 (Spring 2022): 99–118
Mormon feminists should consider how to better include intersex, nonbinary, and trans women in their ambitions. Queerness is more than homosexuality.

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“O My Mother”: Mormon Fundamentalist Mothers in Heaven and Women’s Authority

Dialogue 55.1 (Spring 2022): 119–135
As the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints moved away from the plural marriage revelation, a marital system that created the cosmological backdrop for the doctrine of Heavenly Mothers, the status of the divine feminine became increasingly distant from the lived experience of LDS women. Ecclesiastical changes altered women’s place within the cosmos.

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Personal Voices

A Woman Here

Podcast version of this piece. I try to strengthen my relationship with my Heavenly Mother, but I’m not always sure how. Some days I sing, “Heavenly Mother, are you really there? And do you hear…

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Dear Heavenly Mother

Dialogue 55.1 (Spring 2022): 167
I am encouraged by small changes, but change takes time. For now, I will speak your name. I will make you part of our eternal narrative. I will share your love and stop myself from looking past you. I will teach my children to see your light and be lifted by your strength, that they will speak your name as easily as they do Father’s—for both of you are part of their eternal makings.

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The Seeking Heavenly Mother Project: Understanding and Claiming Our Power to Connect with Her

, and

Dialogue 55.1 (Spring 2022): 169–178
Our goal is for the Seeking Heavenly Mother Project to have this empowering effect on all who participate. We see a strong need to ensure that our community is inclusive and intersectional, creating spaces wherein LGBTQ+ individuals and other members of marginalized groups can be affirmed in the knowledge that they too are created in the image of God.

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Ascension, after John Donne

Podcast version of this piece. Embrace the first and forever night,Heartening as this Moon journeys from crestingTo full-figured, and in this ecstasy begins to fallEarthward, pulling me down to orchards heavyAnd underground, into mysteries of…

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creation story

Podcast version of this piece. He makes the light and the primeval oceans and the rapturous Word, but I have the dirt the ground the chthonic underbelly and sustenance of all. I have the jewel-toned…

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Podcast version of this piece. Let us amass our wandering kicks, wondering in awe at thesecostumes her womb hath made. O Motherof the sacred hearts, sing your peasant lullabies before our every sleep. Ring like…

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God the Mother Speaks of Hearts

Podcast version of this piece. won’t you agree with me the heart’s a glorious organ moon jelly  a ghost heart throbbing in oceanlily bulb  an earth heart humming undergroundbear  a furred heart curled up in cave’s dark I’m…

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Book of Life, for Timothy Liu

Podcast version of this piece. If there is a literal bookon a plinth of filigreed gold, and an angelstanding as sentinel at heaven’s needle-eye entrance, who’s not to sayour names appear etchedon its pages, un-erasable.…

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Podcast version of this piece. Here’s the truth: My faith remainstepid. Lukewarm as summer rain. Spew-worthy. A compass in fragments, I saved pieces: base plate, arrow, needle.Reassembly is beyond me. Millennia ago, I stood on…

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God the Mother Speaks of Salt

Podcast version of this piece. I baptized you before you were born. After, rubbed you clean.I’ll cleanse all your wounds in season. You’ve forgottenhow to savor my holy. If you seek,you’ll find these veins run…

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Podcast version of this piece. They had agreedthat if she were seenthe boy wouldn’t be believedin seeing them.Nevertheless, she was there,her iridescent spherea coronaover their column of sun,reflecting,refractingthe morning.The flowers turned to her,the green of…

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