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A Refutation of the Mormon Doctrine of the “Eternal Mother”

 

 

 

Introduction

 

 

 

The Mormon concept of a “heavenly mother” is refereed to in a hymn by church leader Eliza R. Snow, and remains an officially approved doctrine. One verse of the hymn entitled “Oh, My Father!” reads as follows:

“In the heavens are parents single?
No, the thought makes reason stare.
Truth is reason: truth eternal
tells me I’ve a mother there.”
Further on we find the words “Father, Mother, may I meet you / In your royal courts on high?”

The Mormon church, as we shall see, has taught the existence of an “eternal mother” from the earliest days. This doctrine is tied in with their beliefs that we all existed as “spirit children” in the spirit world with a heavenly “father” and “mother” beofre being sent to earth to take on a body. Apparently the “eternal mother” is not to be “worshipped”, being rather an “eternal mother” that a “goddess”but if she conceives spirit children (as we shall see later on, this is what Mormon doctrine teaches) then she is surely as much a “goddess” as the Mormon “father” is a “god”?

The “eternal mother” is not talked much about in the Mormon church these days. In fact, recently there was a scandal at Brigham Young University, when the governing body fired English Professor Gail Houston, for reportedly encouraging praying to the Mother in Heaven. The American Association of University Professors criticized the BYU for violations of academic freedoms. It would appear the Mormon church does not want to attract attention this teaching of their religion.

What did the early Mormon leaders teach?
 

 

Here is a sample of the teachings of early Mormon leaders:

Apostle Orson Pratt (1811-1881):

“As soon as each God has begotten many millions of male and female spirits, and his Heavenly inheritance becomes too small, to comfortably accommodate his great family, he, in connection with his sons, organizes a new world, after a similar order to the one which we now inhabit, where he sends both the male and female spirits to inhabit tabernacles of flesh and bones” (The Seer, p. 37).

Again, Pratt writes:

“The inhabitants of each world are required to reverence, adore, and worship their own personal father who dwells in the Heaven which they formerly inhabited,” (The Seer, p. 37).

Second LDS President, Brigham Young (1801-1877) :

“God has made His children like Himself to stand erect, and has endowed them with intelligence and power and dominion over all His works, and given them the same attributes which He himself possesses. He created man, as we create our children; for there is no other process of creation in heaven, on the earth, in the earth, or under the earth, or in all the eternities, that is, that were, or that ever will be.” (Journal of Discourses 11:122-123).

Brigham Young again:

“Brother Kimball quoted a saying of Joseph the Prophet, that he would not worship a God who had not a Father; and I do not know that he would if he had not a mother; the one would be as absurd as the other” (Journal of Discourses, vol. 9, p.286).

Tenth LDS President Joseph Fielding Smith (1876-1972):

“Some will gain celestial bodies with all the powers of exaltation and eternal increase” (Doctrines of Salvation 2:287).

Joseph Fielding Smith again:

“The fact that there is no reference to a mother in heaven either in the Bible, Book of Mormon or Doctrine and Covenants, is not sufficient proof that no such thing as a mother did exist there…. does not common sense tell us that we must have had a mother there also?” (Answers to Gospel Questions, vol. 3, p.142).

Apostle Bruce R. McConkie (1966):

Implicit in the Christian verity that all men are the spirit children of an Eternal Father is the usually unspoken truth that they are also the offspring of an Eternal Mother. An exalted and glorified Man of Holiness (Moses 6:57) could not be a Father unless a Woman of like glory, perfection, and holiness was associated with him as a Mother. The begetting of children makes a man a father and a woman a mother whether we are dealing with man in his mortal or immortal state.

This doctrine that there is a Mother in Heaven was affirmed in plainness by the First Presidency of the Church (Joseph F. Smith, John R. Winder, and Anthon H. Lund … they said that “man, as a spirit, was begotten and born of heavenly parents …” (Mormon Doctrine, 1966, p.516).

So it is clear the early Mormon leaders taught in the preexistence of the soul in a “spirit world” where we were generated by a father and a mother and had to “wait” for a body to be available on earth. This doctrine of pre-existence is a basic element of Mormon belief, and hence the need for a mother ‘goddess’ to take part in the spirit ‘procreation’.

(Note: In forthcoming papers I will refute the idea of the pre-existence of the soul, upon which other falsehoods of Mormonism are based (such as the current topic, the idea of an “eternal mother” who conceives spirit-children in heaven, their denial of creation ex nihilo, and subsequent confusion over the nature of God, as well as their misunderstanding of the doctrine of Original Sin) but this current paper will confine itself to addressing the false doctrine of the ‘heavenly goddess’.)

So, is there actually any evidence whatsoever that there is a ‘mother goddess’ or even a ‘heavenly mother’ who bears spirit children?
 

 

Of course there isn’t. Not in the Bible, not even in the Mormons’ own Book of Mormon. And there are many Biblical references to prove there is only one God.

What does Barry Bickmore, the author of ‘Restoring the Ancient Church’ (FAIR, Inc, Ben Lomond, CA, 1999) say? Not very much, actually. He tries to build a case for ancient goddess worship by the Hebrews on page 339 of his book, by referring to Jeremiah 44, a passage which is actually about the TRUE God condemning the worship of the pagan goddess Ishtar!

What the Bible says (and doesn’t say) about the “eternal mother”
 

 

 

The references to the ‘queen of heaven’ in Jeremiah are not at all about a ‘mother goddess’ in heaven bearing ‘spirit children’ for earth. Even a cursory reading of chapters 7 and 44 of the Book of Jeremiah shows this idea to be totally wrong.

Here is a quote from Jeremiah 7:

“The children gather wood, and the fathers kindle the fire, and the women knead their dough, to make cakes to the queen of heaven, and to pour out drink offerings unto other gods, that they may provoke me to anger.” (Jeremiah 7:18)

It is quite clear that these sacrifices to the pagan idol Ishtar (whose cult was introduced by the child-sacrificing king Manasseh) angered the TRUE GOD of ISRAEL. They certainly do not refer to some consort �mother goddess� who produces spirit children for earth. This passage refers to the worship of a PAGAN GODDESS! Similar references are found in Jeremiah 44: 25-27:

“Thus saith the Lord of Hosts, the God of Israel, saying: Ye and your wives have both spoken with your mouths, and fulfilled with your hand, saying, We will surely perform our vows that we have vowed, to burn incense to the queen of heaven, and to pour out drink offerings unto her: ye will surely accomplish your vows, and surely perform your vows. Therefore hear ye the word of the LORD, all Judah that dwell in the land of Egypt; Behold, I will watch over them for evil, and not for good: and all the men of Judah that are in the land of Egypt shall be consumed by the sword and by the famine, until there be an end of them.”

Again, this is a reference to the pagan goddess Ishtar, NOT to the consort wife of God in heaven. It is therefore quite clear that the idea of a ‘mother goddess’ who produces ‘spirit children’ is totally foreign to the Holy Scriptures.

Bickmore even suggests on page 339 of his book that ‘this could be another doctrine not likely to have been revealed in former dispensations.’ But isn’t this just another way of saying that there is absolutley no evidence of this teaching in early Christianity?

Where does this doctrine fit into Mormon theology?
 

 

 

But what is the point of having a doctrine of a ‘Mother goddess’ at all? The answer is: it is related to the idea of pre-existence. This belief of the Mormons state that we all existed in a spirit world, as spirit children of our heavenly ‘Father’ and ‘mother’ before we were conceived on earth. We waited (supposedly) in this spirit world until a body was ready for us on earth. The Mormon doctrines of eternal marriage and polygamy are also connected with this idea. (See my file on the Mormon errors of celestial marriage and polygamy). As noted earlier, Joseph Fielding Smith said

“Some will gain celestial bodies with all the powers of exaltation and eternal increase” (Doctrines of Salvation 2:287).

And so the generation of ‘spirit children’ will supposedly continue for eternity. (Yes, ths is what the Mormons teach. The missionaries may not tell you so quickly, though.)

Earlier in the same book, ‘Restoring the Ancient Church’, on page 331, Bickmore says ‘that the doctrine of eternal marriage is not explicitly taught in the New Testament’ (See my file on the Mormon error of celestial marriage) and on page 334 he concedes ‘no proof has been presented here that eternal marriage was the original Christian practice’.

Regarding the doctrine of polygamy, Bickmore on page 338 of his book admits ‘the evidence is far from conclusive’.

Yet these doctrines are taught by the Mormon church, and there is no evidence from Scripture or the early Church to support them.

Yet another difficulty in Mormonism
 

 

 

Consider the following quotes from Mormon Apostle Orson Pratt:

“We have now clearly shown that God the Father had a plurality of wives, one or more being in eternity, by whom He begat our spirits as well as the spirit of Jesus His First Born, and another being upon the earth by whom He begat the tabernacle of Jesus, as His Only Begotten in this world.”( Orson Pratt, The Seer page 172)

also

“We have also proved that both God the Father and our Lord inherit their wives in eternity as well in time: and God the Father has already begotten many thousand millions of sons and daughters and sent them into this world to take tabernacles;…” (Orson Pratt, The Seer page 172)

Now, if Orson Pratt teaches that God the Father has a plurality of wives, then there must be a plurality of “heavenly mothers” in Mormonism. But here is an interesting problem for Mormonism (with thanks to my friend for this insight): if Joseph Smith is going to become a “God” and gets his own planet to populate, he certainly won’t be having Emma Smith as his wife (and future heavenly mother) as she apostasized with her children to the RLDS church. So Mormonism tells us that families will be together in eternity, however their very own “prophet” Joseph Smith won’t have that happen with him because Emma Smith and her children left, thus blowing their chance of being in the celestial kingdom with Joseph Smith.

Conclusion
 

 

 

It has been seen that the Mormon doctrine of the ‘heavenly mother’, whil not emphasised nowadays, has been a central teaching of Mormonism from the early days. The doctrien has no support from Scripture, from the history of the early Church or from the history of Israel, nor even from the Mormons’ own Book of Mormon. Yet it is a belief which continues to be believed to this day. And necessarily so, for it is a central component of the Mormon doctrine of ‘eternal progression to godhood’, and can hardly be denied without creating ever bigger problems for the Mormon religion.
Lasty we have seen that according to the early Mormon Apostle Orson Pratt, God the Father had multiple wives!! So who is the “heavenly mother” supposed to be, if there are several of them? This is yet another enormous problem for Mormonism. Hardly wonder, then, that their missionaries dare not speak about the “heavenly mother”.

http://www.angelfire.com/ms/seanie/mormon/eternalmother.html

Sean’s Faith Website   Mormonism Index page =======================================

The concept of a MOTHER GOD is purely pagan as this video of the Babylonian account of creation shows. All pagan accounts of creation, like in Egypt or Samaria, speak of the creator as A FEMALE GOD.

 

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2 Comments

  1. You have based the foundation of your article upon The Seer which was published in Washington, DC, by Orson Pratt. He used the publication to provide a printed pulpit for his own ideas and pet speculations. It was never considered official LDS doctrine, nor was it ever published by or endorsed by the Church. The Seer, by formal action of the First Presidency and Twelve Apostles of the Church was repudiated, and Elder Orson Pratt himself sanctioned the repudiation. There was a long article published in the Deseret News on the 23rd of August, 1865, over the signatures of the First Presidency and Twelve setting forth that this work–the Seer–together with some other writings of Elder Pratt, were inaccurate. These are oft quoted by people who wish to demean our doctrine and promote intolerance of our church.

    The FairLDS author whom you oft quote is giving his own personal opinions. His book is not published by nor endorsed by the LDS church. You have also taken some of his ideas out of context from the book itself.

    The idea of a mother in heaven is logical based upon a Father in Heaven. That is the sum of what Mormons believe about it. This is not official doctrine because God has not felt it important to reveal anything about it to the world. I imagine personally that if we have a mother in heaven, he is trying to prevent her name being continually slandered and blasphemed like His is.

    Contrary to popular belief by those not of our faith, we do not dwell upon the mother in heaven, the gods and goddesses and celestial life. this is not preached from our pulpits, nor the focus of our worship. You can speculate about the next life all you like, however Latter-day Saints focus upon our Savior Jesus Christ, and developing a personal relationship with him. We invest our time learning to follow His commandments, raising our children to be kind and good citizens, and doing service to the community and the world. It is our Savior Jesus Christ who has taught this world that we “Love one another”, follow Him, do not judge, and treat all with kindness, respect and tolerance.

  2. ==============================================
    MormonSoprano SAID:”You have based the foundation of your article upon The Seer which was published in Washington, DC, by Orson Pratt. He used the publication to provide a printed pulpit for his own ideas and pet speculations. It was never considered official LDS doctrine, nor was it ever published by or endorsed by the Church. ”

    AND “The FairLDS author whom you oft quote is giving his own personal opinions.”

    DAMON SAYS: See my post here Mormonism and “That’s Just His Opinion”

    https://how2becomeachristian.wordpress.com/2008/10/16/mormonism-and-thats-just-his-opinion/

    MormonSoprano SAID: “It is our Savior Jesus Christ who has taught this world that we “Love one another”, follow Him, do not judge, and treat all with kindness, respect and tolerance.”

    DAMON SAYS: You know, It really bugs me when people refer to Jesus as savior and do not think his blood was solely sufficient for the atonement of Mans sins. To call Jesus savior and then say of grace and works ‘we are saved by grace, after all we can do, after all we can do” as the Mormons do,,, can be called nothing but deceptive double speak.

    Jesus talked about more than Love. Do you know he talked about hell and false teaching more than anything else?

    Dr. Harry Ironside: The Value of Exposing Doctrinal Error

    https://how2becomeachristian.wordpress.com/2008/10/19/dr-harry-ironside-the-value-of-exposing-doctrinal-error/

    So Joel Osteen says Mormons are Christians, But what do Mormons say about Christianity?

    https://how2becomeachristian.wordpress.com/2008/08/17/so-joel-osteen-says-mormons-are-christians-but-what-do-mormons-say-about-christianity-2/

    How Does the Mormon Church Really View other Churches?

    https://how2becomeachristian.wordpress.com/2008/10/20/how-does-the-mormon-church-really-view-other-churches/

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