Bethany Brady Spalding and McArthur Krishna: LDS Church should celebrate their Heavenly Mother

(Rick Egan | The Salt Lake Tribune) "Utah", by Cindy Lewis Clark, in the Reflections on Mother in Heaven exhibit, which showcases the work of 130 female LDS artists, at Anthony's Fine Art and Antiques, on Tuesday, Oct. 5, 2021.

As two people who have studied, written books and spoken extensively on Heavenly Mother over the past decade, we had (of course) heard rumors that there would be a talk in General Conference. While many people were concerned, we saw a potential opportunity.

Apostle Dale G. Renlund spoke in the Women’s Session of General Conference. In his talk, he directed members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to the Gospel Topics Essay on Mother in Heaven — and that’s good news.

As we have spoken with thousands of women at firesides all over the country and even in different parts of the world, we often discover that many members of the church aren’t aware that Heavenly Mother is a “cherished” LDS doctrine. And most are still under the false assumption that we aren’t allowed to speak about our Mother in Heaven.

We have encountered many members abroad that don’t even know Heavenly Mother exists, though hopefully the relatively new Young Women’s theme has helped clarify this.

To address these misunderstandings, we always point people to the Gospel Topics Essay, which was researched by scholars and church leaders and authorized by the First Presidency. It is our doctrine. Renlund made this perfectly clear.

While some may have mixed feelings about Renlund’s talk, we see an amazing opportunity. If millions of members of the church read, reflect on and apply the doctrine found in the Gospel Topics Essay on Heavenly Mother, it would be revolutionary.

The essay affirms these (and other) truths: our understanding of Heavenly Mother is rooted in scripture; She stands side by side with Heavenly Father; She helped design the Plan of Salvation and works together with Heavenly Father for the salvation of the human family; and Heavenly Mother is concerned about Her children. Those are big, beautiful, bold truths that can transform the way women see themselves now and in the eternities.

For those who say that the doctrine of Heavenly Mother is nice but not essential, the Gospel Topics Essay clears that up — Heavenly Father and Heavenly Mother are the parents of our spirits. So, necessary for existence clearly means essential.

Go read the Gospel Topics Essay. Let’s celebrate Mother in Heaven reaching every member of the LDS Church. Embrace the opportunities.

McArthur Krishna

Bethany Brady Spalding

McArthur Krishna and Bethany Brady Spalding are the co-authors of many books, including the Deseret Book best-selling series, “Girls Who Choose God” and “A Girl’s and Boy’s Guide to Heavenly Mother.”