A Mother There: The Quotes Behind the Essay

I mentioned in my post last week that the BYU Studies article “A Mother There” by David L. Paulsen and Martin Pulido had more quotes than I could put into that post.  Here is the follow-up with as many of the quotes cited in that article as I could find (excluding the ones presented last week).  It’s not everything cited, but it’s the vast majority.

 

Heavenly Wife and Parent

 

First Presidency (1916):

Jesus Christ is not the Father of the spirits who have taken or yet shall take bodies upon this earth, for He is one of them. He is The Son, as they are sons or daughters of Elohim. So far as the stages of eternal progression and attainment have been made known through divine revelation, we are to understand that only resurrected and glorified beings can become parents of spirit offspring. Only such exalted souls have reached maturity in the appointed course of eternal life; and the spirits born to them in the eternal worlds will pass in due sequence through the several stages or estates by which the glorified parents have attained exaltation.[1]

 

Orson Pratt (1853):

As God the Father begat the fleshly body of Jesus, so He, before the world began, begat his spirit. As the body required an earthly Mother, so his spirit required a heavenly Mother. As God associated in the capacity of a husband with the earthly mother, so likewise He associated in the same capacity with the heavenly one. Earthly things being in the likeness of heavenly things; and that which is temporal being in the likeness of that which is eternal; or, in other words, the laws of generation upon the earth are after the order of the laws of generation in heaven. But if we have a heavenly Mother as well as a heavenly Father, is it not right that we should worship the Mother of our spirits as well as the Father. No; for the Father of our spirits is at the head of His household, and His wives and children are re- quired to yield the most perfect obedience to their great Head. It is lawful for the children to worship the King of Heaven, but not the “Queen of heaven.”  The children of Israel were severely reproved for making offerings to the “Queen of heaven.” Although she is highly exalted and honored as the beloved bride of the great King, yet the children, so far as we are informed, have never been commanded to pray to her or worship her. Jesus prayed to His Father, and taught His disciples to do likewise; but we are nowhere taught that Jesus prayed to His heavenly Mother: neither did he pray to the Holy Ghost as his Father. If He were begotten by the Holy Ghost, then He would have called him His Father; but, instead of doing so, the Holy Ghost himself was subject unto Jesus; and He had power to send him as His minister after he returned to his Father.[2]

 

Unknown (from a publication edited by John Taylor) (1857):

Lady—Whence contest thou: Thine origin? What art thou doing here? Whither art thou going, and what is thy destiny? Declare unto me if thou hast understanding? Knowest thou not that thou art a spark of Diety, struck from the tire of His eternal blaze, and brought forth in the midst of eternal burnings?

Knowest thou not that eternities ago, thy spirit, pure and holy, dwelt in thy Heavenly Father’s bosom, and in His presence, and with thy mother, one of the queens of heaven, surrounded by thy brother and sister spirits, in the spirit world, among the Gods? That as thy spirit beheld the scenes transpiring there, and thou growing in intelligence, thou sawest worlds upon worlds organized and peopled with thy kindred spirits, took upon them tabernacles, died, were resurrected, and received their exaltation on the redeemed worlds they once dwelt upon. … Thou longed, thou sighed and thou prayed to thy Father in heaven for the time to arrive when thou couldst come to this earth, which had fled and fell from where it was first organized, near the planet Kolob. Leave thy father and ‘mother’s bosoms and all thy kindred spirits, come to earth, take a tabernacle, and imitate the deeds of those you had been exalted before you.[3]

 

Orson F. Whitney (1885):

“The glory of God is intelligence,” says “Mormonism,” and it is His superior intelligence which makes Him the Supreme being that He is.  He acquired the transcendent height whereon He stands, by educating, developing, through study, labor and experience, the godlike powers inherent within Him; by battling with evil and overcoming it, and rising superior from every contest therewith.  Such is the course, also, for man to pursue, for his is the child of God, created in His image and endowed with His attributes; possessing all powers, in a latent or partly developed state which have, by expansion and development, exalted our eternal Parents from manhood and womanhood to Godhood, and are capable in like manner upon the same conditions, of raising their offspring to the same lofty level.[4]

 

Rulon S. Wells (1912):

I sometimes think of our growth intellectually, and of the great efforts that are being put forth to educate our children, that their minds may become stored with useful knowledge, and I rejoice as day after day I note the improvement among my children as they attend the public school and are taught their lessons that cause them to grow in those mental powers and in those things which relate to our intellectual development.  What a wonderful system is in vogue in order that these boys and girls may grow in knowledge and develop those powers which they have inherited from divine parentage.[5]

 

Boyd K. Packer (2009):

You are a son of God. You lived in a premortal existence as an individual spirit child of heavenly parents. At the time of your birth, you received a mortal body of flesh and blood and bone in which to experience earth life. You will be tested as you prepare yourself to return to our Heavenly Father.[6]

 

Orson F. Whitney (1927):

Man, created in the image of God, testifies or bears record of his Creator—not only by tongue and pen, but by his personality.  Men and woman, such as I see before me, are in the likeness of the Eternal Father and Mother, and by that likeness they bear record of their heavenly Parentage.[7]

 

Susa Young Gates (1891):

Let us take good old Abraham for the first subject.  Do you find anywhere in the Bible that his mother had any remarkable premonition of the great spirit she was about to bear? … You may argue that his mother must necessarily have been a remarkable woman, gifted, bright, of a powerful disposition, else she could not have been his mother.  All this I eagerly grant.  But I protest against arguing that his mother or her outward circumstances shaped and molded the grand character of Father Abraham.  No, indeed, our great heavenly Mother was the great molder of his spirit and his individuality.  His earthly mother had much to do with his little earthly manners, habits, ways or characteristics, if that will better express my meaning, and his training both during the nine months before his birth had much to do with his earthly career.  But as a mother, she was only the mother of his body.  Next, the molder of his earthly existence.[8]

 

Susa Young Gates (1906):

The home life has first place the shaping and fixing of our ideals of life, and we never get entirely away from our early training be it good or bad.  Being as we knew intelligent personalities dwelling in the presence and under the watchful care and careful training of our Heavenly Parents before we tabernacled in the flesh, there can be no doubt but that the seeds of many lofty and holy aspirations were implanted within our souls.[9]

 

First Presidency (1925):

Jesus … is our elder brother, and we, like him, are in the image of God. All men and women are in the similitude of the universal Father and Mother, and are literally sons and daughters of Deity.[10]

 

George Q. Cannon (1884):

The Mormons believed that all men were born in the spirit world, of the union of the sexes, having a literal father and a literal mother before coming to this world, that the spirits are just the same in appearance as the body, that God is a married being, has a wife at least, as Jeremiah said the angels were offering incense to the queen of heaven.  The Latter-day Saints believe that God is an exalted man, and that we are the offspring of him and his wife.[11]

 

Spencer W. Kimball (1972):

God made man in his own image and certainly made women in the image of his wife-partner.”[12]

 

John Henry Evans (1938):

The theological conception of a Mother in heaven as well as a Father lends dignity to motherhood and wifehood.[13]

 

B. H. Roberts (1910):

Our hopes and holiest aspirations are associated with the family—in which woman is necessarily a chief and honored factor in this world and in that which is to come. And not only is this our hope for the future, but we believe it is a condition prevailing in all past eternities. … I challenge the Christian world to equal—to say nothing of surpassing—this conception of the nobility of woman and of motherhood and of wifehood—placing her side by side with the Divine Father—consort and Mother of divine intelligences—the spirits of men. Some object to that conception, and undertake to detract from its beauty and glory by saying that it presents to the thought a pluralistic Deity, consisting of divine Father and divine Mother. That, however, is a consequence they attach to our faith, not a principle that we accept; because the Godhead, for us, as all those who are acquainted with our doctrines know, consists of the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost, the grand creating and presiding, divine Council that upholds and sustains and guides the destiny of our earth and its associated spheres.  These gentlemen who are so fearful of a pluralistic deity and universe being thought of, would do well to stand out a little upon the frontier of the highest Christian thought of our age, and they will discover that many of our first and greatest philosophers are beginning to teach the doctrine that so far as the infinite or the absolute exists, it exists in a plurality of divine intelligences; and that the oneness of God is but the free harmony of divine intelligences. And, then, for matter of that, so long as the Christian world teaches that in the Godhead are three personalities —the Father, the Son, and Holy Spirit—they will try in vain to get away from the conception of a pluralistic deity.[14]

 

Susa Young Gates (1911):

The home is patterned after the heavenly dwelling of our Divine parents.[15]

 

Joseph F. Smith (1902):

It is marriage, sanctified and God-sanctioned, upon which glorified home is founded— that blesses, happifies, exalts, and leads at length to companionship with our Heavenly parents, and to eternal, united life, and increase.[16]

 

A Divine Person

 

Orson F. Whitney (1895):

I wondered what I should say after [the previous speakers].  There were three ideas that came to my mind, and they were suggested by two passages of scripture, viz.

“And God said let us make man in our image, after our likeness, and let them have dominion.”

“So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him, male and female he them.”

The three thoughts suggested to me were these:—

Firstly, that if God created man in His own image, then it follows as a logical sequence that God is in the image of man.

Secondly, that Deity which created man and woman, male and female, in its own image, after its own likeness, must of necessity involve and comprehend the male and female principles.

Thirdly, that if we be the children of God; if it be true, as we have sung, and as I doubt not, that in the heavens parents are not single, but that we have a Mother as well as a Father there, then it follows that we, as the sons and daughters of God, bear within us the embryotic germs of Deity, and are capable by advancement, by progression, of becoming like our Father and our Mother in heaven; that it is possible, in other words for man to become God, and if this be true, it teaches that there was a time when that being whom we now worship—that our eternal Father and Mother were once man and woman in mortality.[17]

 

James E. Talmage (1909):

It is within [man’s] power to follow in the footsteps of his celestial parents and to reach the rank and station occupied by those who have trodden that path before.[18]

 

Eldred G. Smith (1974):

In the heavens, before the earth was formed, the plan of this earth life was explained to all of us. We were then but spirit offspring of our Father and Mother in heaven.

We all learned then that through this earth life experience we would have the opportunity of going through the same type of experiences they had done and so become as they are.[19]

 

Melvin J. Ballard (1926):

The Lord in a revelation to the modern prophet Joseph Smith stated that our spirit always existed, that in the eternal worlds through a Divine Father and Mother we were given a spiritual body through the eternal laws of procreation, and that we existed for ages as rational, thinking spiritual beings. …

Every indication points to the fact that we are the children of God the Father and God the Mother, and after completing our first existence we are put away on a special course of training in earth life.[20]

 

Sarah M. Kimball (1879):

You have your probation in the dispensation of the fulness of times, when God will gather His obedient children into one grand harmonious family, where each, understanding correct principles, will be self-governing, and peace will reign in all the borders.  The members of this family may enter the divine presence of the Father and Mother God with the scales of their mortal eyes unclasped and their perceptions revivified.[21]

 

James E. Talmage (1915):

We, the human family, literally the sons and daughters of Divine Parents, the spiritual progeny of God our Eternal Father, and of our God Mother, are away from home for a season, studying and working as pupils duly matriculated in the University of Morality, honorable graduation from which great institution means an exalted and enlarged sphere of activity and endeavor beyond.[22]

 

Wilford Woodruff (1875):

Why our children are taken from us it is not for me to say, for God never revealed it unto me. We are all burying them. I have buried one-third of the children that have been given unto me. I have had some thirty children born to me, and ten of them are buried, all of them young. The question may arise with me and with you—”Why has the Lord taken away my children?” But that is not for me to tell, because I do not know; it is in the hands of the Lord, and it has been so from the creation of the world all the way down. Children are taken away in their infancy, and they go to the spirit world. They come here and fulfill the object of their coming, that is, they tabernacle in the flesh. They come to receive a probation and an inheritance on the earth; they obtain a body or tabernacle, and that tabernacle will be preserved for them, and in the morning of the resurrection the spirits and bodies will be reunited, and as here we find children of various ages in a family, from the infant at the mother’s breast to manhood, so will it be in the family organization in the celestial world.  Our children will be restored to us as they are laid down if we, their parents, keep the faith and prove ourselves worthy to obtain eternal life; and if we do not so prove ourselves our children will still be preserved, and will inherit celestial glory. This is my view in regard to all infants who die, whether they are born to Jew or Gentile, righteous or wicked. They come from their eternal Father and their eternal Mother unto whom they were born in the eternal world, and they will be restored to their eternal parentage; and all parents who have received children here according to the order of God and the holy priesthood, no matter in what age they may have lived, will claim those children in the morning of the resurrection, and they will be given unto them and they will grace their family organizations in the celestial world.[23]

 

James E. Talmage (1915):

We believe that our spirits are the offspring of Deity, and we hold that when Christ said to His apostles, “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect,” He was not talking of a merely idealistic yet impossible achievement; but that it was possible for men to advance until they shall become like unto the Gods in their powers and in their attainments, through righteousness. …

The doctrine of the relationship between God and men, as made plain through the word of revelation, is today as it was of old though in the light of later scripture we are enabled to read the meaning more clearly.  It is provided that we, the sons and daughters of God, may advance until we become like unto our Eternal Father and our Eternal Mother, in that we may become perfect in our spheres as they are in theirs.[24]

 

James E. Talmage (1914):

To become perfect as God is perfect is to attain the state, power, dignity, and authority of godship.  Plainly there is a way provided by which the child of God may follow the footsteps of the Father, and in time—sometimes in the distant eternities—be as that Divine Father is.  Even as Christ, the Only Begotten Son of God in the flesh, endured the experiences of mortality, passed the portals of death and became a resurrected Being, so the Father before Him had trodden the same path of progression from manhood to Godhood, and today sits enthroned in the heavens by right of achievement.  He is the Eternal Father and with Him, crowned with glory and majesty, is the eternal Mother. They twain are the parents of the spirit-children for whose schooling in the lessons of mortality this earth was framed.  When God said, :Let us make man in our image, after our likeness,” “male and female created He them;” and male and female shall they be, to and beyond the resurrection, forever.

Eternal exaltation is the assured attainment of those who obey in its fulness the whole law of the Gospel of Christ; theirs it is to become like unto their Celestial Parents.[25]

 

John A. Widtsoe (1928):

In the temples of the Lord, by the living acting for the dead, our ancestors to the earliest generation may be sealed for eternity in family groups. Thus, the family chain will be welded from the beginning; and the fulness of joy derived from family life may be secured by all the righteous of the human family. This doctrine enhances immeasurably the possibilities of eternal existence. In that life to come we shall know and be known, and the community of resurrected and exalted beings will associate with one another and enjoy the rich gifts of the Lord.

This glorious vision of life hereafter, revealed by the Prophet of the Restoration, is given radiant warmth by the thought that among the exalted beings in the world to come we shall find a mother who possesses the attributes of Godhood.[26]

 

John A. Widtsoe (1937):

Since we have a Father, who is our God, we must also have a mother, who possesses the attributes of Godhood.[27]

 

Brigham Young (1856):

We were created upright, pure, and holy, in the image of our father and our mother, in the image of our God.[28]

 

George Q. Cannon (1895):

There is too much of this inclination to deify “our mother in heaven.” …

Our Father in heaven should be the object of our worship. He will not have any divided worship. …

In the revelation of God the Eternal Father to the Prophet Joseph Smith there was no revelation of the feminine element as part of the Godhead, and no idea was conveyed that any such element “was equal in power and glory with the masculine.”

Therefore, we are warranted in pronouncing all tendencies to glorify the feminine element and to exalt it as part of the Godhead as wrong and untrue, not only because of the revelation of the Lord in our day but because it has no warrant in scripture, and any attempt to put such a construction on the word of God is false and erroneous.[29]

 

Orson F. Whitney (1906):

In the opening chapter of Genesis it is written that God created man in His own image, in the image of God created He him, male and female crated He them.  What is this but a virtual recognition of the feminine principle as well as the masculine principle of Deity.  If men and women are the children of God, sons and daughters of heavenly parents, fashioned in their image, endowed with their attributes, and destined to become like them in perfection, why should it startle the world to be told that there is a Mother as well as a Father in heaven?  Why should not the children of God attain to the likeness of their heavenly parentage?[30]

 

LeGrand Richards (1981):

Some years ago the congregational and evangelical churches of these western states—California, Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Utah, and Nevada—were holding a conference of their leaders and ministers in Salt Lake. The leader of the group wrote a letter to President McKay and asked him if he would send one of the General Authorities of the Church to attend the morning session of their conference and tell them the story of Mormonism, to be their guest for lunch, and to remain for an hour and a half in the afternoon and let them ask questions. I got the assignment, and I don’t mind telling you that I was happy to get it. …

Toward the close of my remarks, the man in charge said, “Now, Mr. Richards, we’ve heard it said that you believe God has a wife. Would you explain that to us?” I think he thought he had me over a barrel or in a corner that I couldn’t get out of.

Rather facetiously I said, “Well, I don’t see how in the world God could have a son without a wife, do you?” They all began to twitter, and I didn’t have any trouble with that question.[31]

 

Erastus Snow (1878):

“What,” says one, “do you mean we should understand that Deity consists of man and woman?” Most certainly I do. If I believe anything that God has ever said about himself . . . I must believe that deity consists of man and woman. . . .

There can be no God except he is composed of the man and woman united, and there is not in all the eternities that exist, or ever will be a God in any other way.[32]

 

Erastus Snow (1885):

It is left for us to infer this from what we see and know of all living things in the earth including man. The male and female principle is united and both necessary to the accomplishment of the object of their being, and if this be not the case with our Father in heaven after whose image we are created, then it is an anomaly in nature. But to our minds the idea of a Father suggests that of a Mother. . . . Hence when it is said that God created our first parents in His likeness—‘in the image of God created He him; male and female created He them’—it is intimated in language sufficiently plain to my understanding that the male and female principle was present with the Gods as it is with man.[33]

 

Erastus Snow (1884):

To [the Saints] this great truth is most precious, precious to contemplate, and it is an inexpressible privilege to be able to draw nigh unto Him and say ‘Our Father’ in simplicity and faith, knowing that He is indeed our Father and that we are His children. And immediately this great truth is impressed upon our minds, we very naturally begin to associate with it the idea of mother. This is a natural result of our knowledge and experience of human affairs; that earthly tabernacles owe their origin to mother as well as to father; that the two principles are associated together, and that by the union of the two principles, male and female, God has ordained an increase, not alone to his children but to all other branches of the animal kingdom . . . the two principles going hand and hand together. Without the two principles being thus united there is no increase. Further, we are taught that things on earth are organized after the pattern of heavenly things. Need it, therefore, be a marvel and a wonder to the world that we should irresistibly be carried forward to this conclusion—that if we have a Father in heaven we have also a Mother there. …

That is, in the eternal power and Godhead the two principles must necessarily be connected to accomplish the objects and purposes of their being; that they cannot attain to exaltation and glory otherwise. This is also set forth by Moses in the history of the first part of Genesis, when the Father said unto the Gods that were with Him, ‘Let us make man in our image,’ and they went to and made man in the image of God. ‘In the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.’ This is the language we find in Genesis used by Moses to illustrate this great truth. ‘In the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.’ That being the case—that they were created both male and female and in the likeness of the Godhead—can we come to any other conclusion than that the Godhead is composed of the two same principles—male and female—and that the Apostle Paul comprehended this truth when he said that the woman was not without the man, nor the man without the woman, in the Lord.[34]

 

Erastus Snow (1878):

As I said, man was created, male and female, and two principles are blended in one; and the man is not without the woman nor the woman without the man in the Lord; and there is no Lord, there is no God in which the two principles are not blended, nor can be; and we may never hope to attain unto the eternal power and the Godhead upon any other principle. Not only so, but this Godhead composing two parts, male and female, is also composed of two elements, spiritual and temporal.[35]

 

Bruce R. McConkie:

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. …

Mortal persons who overcome all things and gain an ultimate exaltation will live eternally in the family unit and have spirit children, thus becoming Eternal Fathers and Eternal Mothers.[36]

 

James E. Talmage:

Neither of the sexes is complete in itself as a counterpart of Deity. We are expressly told that God is the Father of spirits, and to apprehend the literalness of this solemn truth we must know that a mother of spirits is an existent personality.[37]

 

Eldred G. Smith (1964):

The only one I know of who has been resurrected and had children—that I know of—is my Father in heaven and my Mother in heaven. You could not have a Father in heaven without a Mother in heaven. … Our Father in heaven must have gone through a life of mortality and become resurrected, and we have to have a Mother in heaven, because we could not have a Father without a Mother at any time, in any life. We were their children born after their resurrection.[38]

 

Orson Pratt (1853):

The Celestial male and female, after the resurrection, will be perfected in knowledge, and in holiness, and in pure affection and love: they will know as God knows; be pure as He is pure, and love as He loves: their knowledge, their purity, and their affections, before their celestial glorification, will increase alike, and keep pace with each other, until they are perfected, when they will enjoy in fullness every attribute and affection which God himself enjoys, and will be like Him in all these things.[39]

 

Co-creator with the Father

 

Brigham Young (1876):

Having fought the good fight we then shall be prepared to lay our bodies down to rest to await the morning of the resurrection when they will come forth and be reunited with the spirits, the faithful, as it is said, receiving crowns, glory, immortality and eternal lives, even a fullness with the Father, when Jesus shall present his work to the Father, saying, “Father, here is the work thou gavest me to do.” Then will they become gods, even the sons of God; then will they become eternal fathers, eternal mothers, eternal sons and eternal daughters; being eternal in their organization, they go from glory to glory, from power to power; they will never cease to increase and to multiply worlds without end. When they receive their crowns, their dominions, they then will be prepared to frame earth’s like unto ours and to people them in the same manner as we have been brought forth by our parents, by our Father and God.[40]

 

Edward Tullidge (1877):

But the sublime and most primitive conception of Mormonism is, that man in his essential being is divine, that he is the offspring of God—that God is indeed his Father.

And woman? for she is the theme now.

Woman is heiress of the Gods.  She is joint heir with her elder brother, Jesus the Christ; but she inherits from her God-Father and her God-Mother, Jesus is the “beloved” of that Father and Mother—their well-tried Son, chosen to work out the salvation and exaltation of the whole human family.

And shall it not be said then that the subject rises from the God-Father to the God-Mother?  Surely it is a rising in the sense of the culmination of the divine idea.  The God-Father is not robbed of his everlasting glory by this maternal completion of himself.  It is an expansion both of deity and humanity.

They twain are one God! …

The oracle of this last grand truth of woman’s divinity and of her eternal Mother as the partner with the Father in the creation of worlds, is non other than the Mormon Church.[41]

 

Charles W. Penrose (1902):

The English language is at a disadvantage not having a separate word to denote all human beings. The word “man” is therefore ambiguous. But when it is said “man” is mortal, it is well understood that “man” means both men, women and children, and in the same way when we are told in Genesis that “man” was created in the image of God, the word includes both male and female. But if the divine image, to be complete, had to reflect a female as well as a male element, it is self-evident that both must be contained in the Deity. And they are. For the divine Spirit that in the morning of the creation “moved upon the face of the waters,” bringing forth life and order, is in the original language of the sacred historian represented in the feminine gender, whatever modern theology may think of it.

But apart from this, when the Scriptures represent God as “our Father,” does that not of necessity imply a mother? There are some words, the meaning of which necessarily implies that which other words denote. Such are, child and parent, husband and wife, father and mother, etc. A man may exist alone, and so may a woman, but there can be no fatherhood without motherhood, no husband if there is no wife. Is an exception to be made in the case of Him who is called “the Father of spirits?[42]

 

Coframer of the Plan of Salvation

 

Gospel Principles:

Our heavenly parents provided us with a celestial home more glorious and beautiful than any place on earth. We were happy there. Yet they knew we could not progress beyond a certain point unless we left them for a time. They wanted us to develop the godlike qualities that they have. To do this, we needed to leave our celestial home to be tested and to gain experience.[43]

 

Chieko N. Okazaki (1997):

Our Heavenly Father wants to eliminate sin too, but he wants to do it the riskier, longer, more complicated way of teaching us correct principles, letting us learn from our own experiences, experiencing joy when we make good decisions and sorrow when we make bad decisions, accepting the atonement of the Savior with real gratitude because we need him so much, and learning to follow him out of love and faith.  Yes, not everyone will do it.  But at the end of this process, our Heavenly Parents will have sons and daughters who are their peers, their friends, and their colleagues.  We also will be gods.  We will be able to love perfectly, like them.  We will be able to choose right freely, like them.  We will prize and cherish and never infringe on the agency of others, like them.  In other words, we will be able to be trusted with the powers of a god because we have acquired the perfect love and self-control and attributes of a god.[44]

 

Theodore M. Burton (1987):

If we are to understand the importance of a temple marriage, we must believe with all our hearts that we are spirit children of God. It is imperative to realize that we are all of divine origin, that God is real, and that He lives. Our heavenly parents want us back with them. That is their goal, their work, and their glory. But we must exercise faith in that divine plan in order to live righteously and keep the covenants which make that return possible. Failures may come, disappointments may arise, some opportunities may be lost, but if we maintain faith in God’s love and try as best we can to recognize and repent of whatever mistakes we make, we will return to the presence of God. That is the promise God gives us.[45]

 

Jeffrey R. Holland (1997):

We (through Adam and Eve) made the conscious choice to live in and endure this mortal sphere of opposition in all things, for only through such an experience was godly progress possible.  Adam and Eve—and we—knowingly and lovingly absolved God of the responsibility for the “thorns and thistles” of a fallen world that was personally chosen by us, not capriciously imposed by him.  We wanted the chance to become like our heavenly parents, to face suffering and overcome it, to endure sorrow and still live rejoicingly, to confront good and evil and be strong enough to choose the good.  In this telestial, mortal world filled with competing voices, enticements, and experiences, we get a lifetime of opportunity to refine and strengthen these virtues.[46]

 

Lula L. Greene Richards (1900):

When the Morning Stars together

Sang out their joyous praise, …

We were there, with God, our Father,

And voted, “Thy will be done.”

And our Mother, Queen in Heaven,

Smiled on us every one.[47]

 

Mark E. Petersen (1966):

It is actually a fact, my young brothers and sisters, that you and I lived before we were born in this world.  It is actually a fact that when we were in that pre-existent life, we lived with God and were taught by Him.  Think of the type of instruction you received in your pre-existent life as you were taught by your Heavenly Parents.  Infinite People, Infinite Personages teaching you likewise to become infinite.  And then they sent you here to receive this further instruction.  It is a fact, brothers and sisters, that God watches over you and that you are here with a purpose in mind.[48]

 

Neil L. Anderson (2009):

You have been who you are for a very, very long time. We are sons and daughters of heavenly parents who love us and who have sent us on a course to become more like Them. We lived in the premortal existence prior to our coming to earth. We were taught of our Heavenly Father’s plan.[49]

 

Ruth May Fox (1906):

Follow this link for an article that converts Christ’s parable into a thinly veiled story of daughters leaving the presence of their Heavenly Mother to experience mortality.

 

Orson F. Whitney (1916):

Death is always sad and sorrowful; why is it so? … Anything that causes the severance of tender ties is necessarily a sorrow to us in our weak mortal state.  I wonder if there was not some sadness in our former life when we said good-bye to our eternal Father and Mother, whose children we were before this world was made.  I wonder if there was not some sadness in our hearts when we bade them good-bye, to be shut out where we could not see their faces any more; to be separated from our brothers and sisters innumerable and the happy scenes of our childhood.[50]

 

Harold B. Lee:

There came a day, then, when Mother and Father said, “Now, my son, my daughter, it is now your time to go. This is the greatest time in the history of the world. This is the fulness of times, and now because of your faithfulness you are permitted to go down in this fulness of time upon the earth.” I suppose as Father and Mother bade us good-bye, there may have been some sadness there because they knew Satan was here and one-third of all the hosts were here [with him]. We walked, as it were, through an open door. The door was closed behind us.[51]

 

John Longden (1957):

We wonder if our Heavenly Mother and Father must not be worried and concerned over some of our antics.

It must be quite an occasion in heaven when our Heavenly Mother bid us a loving farewell for the time being!  Perhaps, like earthly mothers, she thinks, “They are so young, and they might forget for a moment.”  Yet, our wonderful, all-wise Eternal Father has repeatedly given us rules and commandments by which we are privileged to live, for our souls are precious in his sight! …

We are wondering if, when we left the presence of our Heavenly Father and Mother to come to this earthly existence, we did not say something like the little child who went for the first time to school, “Yes, I’ll remember the rules and regulations.  I’ll watch all the signs on the road.  I’ll be good.”[52]

 

Involved Parent in Our Mortality

 

Harold B. Lee (1964):

Some years ago there was printed in the [Improvement] Era an interesting article under the title, “Seven Minutes in Eternity.”  This indicated some kind of forces that work beyond our sight. Sometimes we think the whole job is up to us, forgetful that there are loved ones beyond our sight who are thinking about us and our children. We forget that we have a Heavenly Father and a Heavenly Mother who are even more concerned, probably, than our earthly father and mother, and that influences from beyond are constantly working to try to help us when we do all we can.  I will read just a few paragraphs this man writes. …

One day in my office I took a package of cigarettes f[r]om my desk.   About to apply a light to one of them, I heard a voice say as gently as any worried mother might caution a careless son, “Oh, Bill, give up your cigarettes!” And even before it had occurred to me that no one was present in the flesh to address me thus audibly, I answered: “All right!” and tossed the package into the near-by waste-basket.  I went all that day without smoking.[53]

 

Chieko N. Okazaki (1997):

I think of the immense sorrow that attends any death.  I wonder at the strength and courage of our Heavenly Parents, sending us to experience mortality, and of all the deaths they have suffered through with us in our own suffering.  We know something of the Father’s powerful grief as he withdrew from his Son, Jesus Christ, as Christ fulfilled the Atonement and died on the cross.[54]

 

M. Russell Ballard (1993):

Our heavenly parents’ love and concern for us continues to this very moment.  In our wonderful pre-earth home, we had the opportunity to learn many eternal truths.[55]

 

First Presidency (1974):

One of the best presents that you can give to your parents is the gift of obedience. The happiness that your parents feel when you do right and when you obey their loving counsel is a gift from you beyond comparison.

Honoring your parents by living a good life and by showing them that you love and appreciate them are gifts that last forever. To your earthly mother and father and to your Heavenly Parents, you are their most valuable treasure. Their love and concern for you never ends.[56]

 

Chieko N. Okazaki (1997):

You are a beloved son or daughter of our Heavenly Parents.  Their hearts yearn over you in joy and love.  They want to give you all the treasures of eternity, and they hope steadfastly that you will be the kind of person who will want the riches of eternity—in other words, that you will follow the pathway marked out for you by the Savior and live a life that is guided by the principle of love.[57]

 

Spencer W. Kimball (1978):

The Primary song says, “I am a child of God.” Born with a noble birthright. God is your father. He loves you. He and your mother in heaven value you beyond any measure. They gave your eternal intelligence spirit form, just as your earthly mother and father have given you a mortal body. You are unique. One of a kind, made of the eternal intelligence which gives you claim upon eternal life.[58]

 

Paul H. Dunn (1980):

I’d like to bear you my solemn witness that each one of us has a cheering section, both seen and unseen. There are those pulling for us to succeed. We may sometimes doubt it, but it is true nevertheless. There are those we see: parents, children, brothers, sisters, relatives, teachers, friends. But there are also those who are unseen who care and are rooting for us: heavenly parents, loved ones who have gone before us, those who are yet to come. They want us to succeed.[59]

 

Chieko Okazaki (1993):

When our rising love and joyful gratitude meet the shower of mercy and love from the Savior and from our heavenly parents, in that contact is the pure radiance and the brilliant light of glory.[60]

 

John A. Widtsoe:

The temple is a place of blessing. Promises are made to us, conditioned only upon our faithfulness, that extend from time to eternity. They will help us to understand the nearness of our heavenly parents. The power of the priesthood is thus given us in new and large measures.[61]

 

Dallin H. Oaks (2010):

Our theology begins with the assurance that we lived as spirits before we came to this earth.  It affirms that this mortal life has a purpose. And it teaches that our highest aspiration is to become like our Heavenly Parents, which will empower us to perpetuate our family relationships throughout eternity.[62]

 

Mother in Heaven in the Hereafter

 

David C. Kimball (1846):

Like the long absent sailor, when he treads on his native shore, his heart bounds with ecstacy, he almost adores the ground he walks upon, his feelings are buoyant, he hastens to see the old cot, his mother, father, brothers, and sisters are profusely kissed again and again, and then from the admiralty he receives his appointment of commander for good deeds.  So with us, when the voyage of life is over we are safely anchored in port, then bursts upon our view the Father and Mother of heaven, who for thirty years or upwards we had not seen; the family from which we have been so long separated welcomes us back again, and from our Father or Master we receive the command to govern on, five, or ten kingdoms, as the reward of our fidelity.[63]

 

Nephi Anderson (1905):

This fatherhood must not be a vague, incomprehensible, unnatural, uncertainty. When we say the Father of the spirits of all men, the meaning of that term must appeal to us in the real, knowable way, or else the word be-comes meaningless. Then again inseparably connected with the word Father is the word Mother—speak it softly that the ears of some good people be not offended, for many have been so trained in their habits of thought that they can believe in and speak of a father without the need of a mother. The “Mormons” only, being a “peculiar” people, believe that associated with a father there must be a mother. It is so in this world, and is so in all other worlds, past, present, or future. The principle is eternal, self-existent. The “Mormons” sing in one of their songs,

“When I leave this frail existence,

When I lay this mortal by,

Father, mother, may I meet you,

In your royal courts on high.”

What! to meet, besides my Father in heaven, a Mother also? The thought thrills my whole being with an inexpressable joy. Am I then a child of the great God who rules on high? and some day may I hope to go back into His presence, go back home to those “royal courts on high,” and be greeted, not only by my Father, but by a Queen of heaven, my Mother, who will welcome me to her mother heart, wherein burns the perfection of celestial love? What a wealth of beauty and grandeur the thought adds to my conceptions of God and heaven.

Father, mother, child—these are the essentials of the highest glory, and what is home but a perfect combination of these three.[64]

 

Ezra Taft Benson (1982):

We are not at home here in mortality.  We are spirit children of Heavenly Parentage and the righteous long for that homecoming to their Eternal Parents.  This is why the revelations teach that holy men “confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth” (Hebrews 11:13; see D&C 42:13).[65]

 

Matilda E. Teasdale (1892):

You are here on a mission and in a few years you will “be released” to go home to Father and mother to “give an account of your labors, to tell your experiences” and what you have accomplished on the earth.  How proud our parents are of a son who has filled an honorable mission! with what joy they welcome him home! Do you not think that our heavenly parents have greater joy in welcoming home their children who have been faithful and true while on their earthly missions? I think so.[66]

 

Joseph L. Townsend:

Oh, what songs we’ll employ!

Oh, what welcome we’ll hear!

While our transports of love are complete,

As the heart swells with joy

In embraces most dear

When our heavenly parents we meet![67]

 

Neal A. Maxwell (1978):

When we return to our real home, it will be with the “mutual approbation” of those who reign in the “royal courts on high.” There we will find beauty such as mortal “eye hath not seen”; we will hear sounds of surpassing music which mortal “ear hath not heard.” Could such a regal homecoming be possible without the anticipatory arrangements of a Heavenly Mother?[68]

 

Orson Pratt (1871):

When a man goes to sleep at night he forgets the doings of the day. Sometimes a partial glimpse of them will disturb his slumbers; but sleep as a general thing, and especially sound sleep, throws out of the memory everything pertaining to the past; but when we awake in the morning, with that wakefulness returns a vivid recollection of our past history and doings. So it will be when we come up into the presence of our Father and God in the mansion whence we emigrated to this world. When we get there we will behold the face of our Father, the face of our mother, for we were begotten there the same as we are begotten by our fathers and mothers here, and hence our spirits are the children of God, legally and lawfully, in the same sense that we are the children of our parents here in this world.[69]

 

George Q. Cannon (1889):

We did exist before we came here. … There is no doubt in my mind that we were familiar with the principles of the Gospel; and though they had faded from our memories, yet when we heard them again the recollection was revived.  I believe that when we see our Father in heaven we shall know him; and the recollection that we were once with Him, and that He was our Father, will come back to us, and we will kiss each other.  We will know our Mother, also.  We will know those who have begotten us in the spirit world just as much as we will know each other after we pass from this state of existence into another sphere.[70]

 

James E. Talmage (1892):

None but the pure in heart can see God.  None but those who have overcome can enter His presence.  None but those who have learned to resist temptation, let it come to them in whatever guise it may, can ever be introduced, according to the great laws of justice, administered as they are in the mild spirit of mercy, into the presence of our heavenly Parents.  But, realizing this nature of His sons and daughters; knowing that they are surrounded by the many temptations and trials incident to a mortal life; our Father has provided certain ways and means by which we may be forgiven of those sins.[71]

 

Orson F. Whitney (1914):

We must be begotten and born again, in the similitude of those other begettings and births, or we cannot regain the presence of our eternal Father and Mother.[72]

 

Hyrum G. Smith (1924):

I praise the Lord for his kindness and his mercy in bestowing upon his children this plain truth, so that we are not in doubt. We do not wander in our minds, but we know, like little children, that we have a father, and a mother in heaven, and that we have our loved ones there. We know that if we are true to the teachings, counsels and instructions that are given unto us; that if we are honest and virtuous and faithful, and patient, and diligent, and practice all these other qualities that belong to Latter-day Saints, we shall receive the blessings of the Lord, we shall find that happy day in the hereafter when we shall be associated with our loved ones, and with the men and women whom God has honored, who have gone before us. Certain powers are in the Church today which, if we are faithful in receiving, will bind us together in families, in the links of brotherhood and fatherhood forever: we will claim a natural relationship, to our fathers and our mothers, and to our brothers and sisters, not for this life only, but for all eternity. These are the keys and the powers and the blessings that will come to us if we will only live worthy lives and be obedient to the teachings and counsels which come to us from our merciful Heavenly Father.[73]

 

Robert L. Simpson (1977):

The lofty goal of exaltation or living eternally again in the presence of our Heavenly Parents can only be achieved as a family unit, and only after that family has developed a Christlike pattern of living within a frame work of conformity to priesthood principles.[74]

 

Norma B. Smith (1980):

Think back in imagination to the day when you sat in a heavenly council and voted to come to earth and face the problems you are now having in order to learn and grow and to try—and try again—to choose what is good and shun what is evil and to prove yourself worthy to return to your heavenly parents who care so deeply about everything you do.[75]

 

James T. Duke (1992):

Central to LDS theology is the belief that men and women existed as spirit offspring of heavenly parents in a premortal life. Latter-day Saints view life on earth as a time to prepare to meet God (Alma 12:24) and strive toward becoming like him (Matt. 5:483 Ne. 12:48). Becoming like God is dependent to a large extent on entering into “celestial marriage” for “time and all eternity,” for eventually all exalted beings shall have entered into this highest patriarchal order of the priesthood. Latter-day Saints believe that the marital and family bond can continue in the post-earth life, and indeed is necessary for eternal life, or life in the Celestial Kingdom with God the Father; Mother in Heaven; Jesus Christ, and other glorified beings.[76]

 

James G. Duffin (1909):

The responsibility here at home is not only that the young men may become efficient missionaries, but that they may also be good workers in wards and stakes, in the various organizations established by our Heavenly Father, and, that they may be honored citizens of the great nation of which they form a part, so that when we, as parents, give an account to our Father and Mother in heaven of the manner in which we have conducted ourselves toward the precious souls entrusted to us, how we have dealt with them, that we might bring them all with us, and be able to say to our Heavenly Father, Here are these sacred trusts that you gave unto me while I was upon the earth, I present them to You now spotless, full of faith and integrity, fitted indeed to be members of Thy eternal kingdom. To do this requires thought, work, care, and faith, to bring these children up in the way they should go. You know, it was the wise man Solomon who said: “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.”[77]

 

Charles Walker (1896):

Apostle Grant and A. W. Ivins spoke in a very interesting manner on the duties of Parents to children, their obligation before God to teach them faith in God and the atonement of Jesus Christ and the first principles of the Gospel before they were 8 years old and then be without condemnation before our Heavenly Parents.[78]

 

Orson F. Whitney (1916):

None of our dear departed ones are dead. They have but gone before. This so-called death, when properly understood, is simply a going back home. There is a universal law requiring all things to return to whence they came and to where they belong. It is the law of restitution, spoken of by the holy prophets since’ the world began. This sublime lesson is taught not only in the Scriptures, but in the Book of Nature. The raindrops, the moment they strike the ground, begin to trickle back to the ocean, or evaporate to the clouds from which they fell. Up from the bosom of the mighty deep and over the broad land are carried the waters that are showered upon the earth to make it green and flowery and fruitful; and when those waters have fulfilled their mission they are gathered back to their ocean reservoir. Not a drop of dew is lost. Matter is eternal, spirit is eternal, intelligence or the light of truth is eternal; and our spirits that come from God, the moment they are born into this world begin traveling back to eternity — begin moving toward the great sea out of which they were taken! That is all there is to death, unless men commit the unpardonable sin. … No soul that believes in Jesus Christ and keeps his commandments need fear to die. It is nothing but a return home.

We part with parents and children, wives and husbands, brothers and sisters. We leave father and mother — but how long have they been father and mother to us? Perhaps for twenty-five, fifty, or sixty years. That is the full length of their parenthood. But what about the eternal Father and Mother? Have they no claim upon us? Why should we not return to them, and resume the relations of the previous life? This knowledge, that comes from the possession of the Spirit of God, takes from death its sting, and robs the grave of its victory.[79]

 

Spencer W. Kimball (1978):

When we sing that doctrinal hymn and anthem of affection, “O My Father,” we get a sense of the ultimate in maternal modesty, of the restrained, queenly elegance of our Heavenly Mother, and knowing how profoundly our mortal mothers have shaped us here, do we suppose her influence on us as individuals to be less if we live so as to return there?[80]

 

Glenn L. Pace (2010):

Sisters, I testify that when you stand in front of your heavenly parents in those royal courts on high and you look into Her eyes and behold Her countenance, any question you ever had about the role of women in the kingdom will evaporate into the rich celestial air, because at that moment you will see standing directly in front of you, your divine nature and destiny.[81]

 

Bonus Round

 

Mattie Horne Tingey (1893):

To woman has been given the power, the honor to open the door through which all must pass ere they can enter that advanced stage of action and go forward in the work of progression which has been designed and marked out by our Heavenly Parents.  I say parents, because while we hear a great deal about our Heavenly Father, and very little, if anything, about our Heavenly Mother, reason and revelation both teach us that we must also have a Mother there.  This is true, pure motherhood—to give temporal bodies to heavenly spirits, that the spiritual and temporal may be united and continue on in the work of perfection.[82]

 

Lorenzo Snow (1901):

As an illustration, here is an infant upon its mother’s breast. It is without power or knowledge to feed and clothe itself. It is so helpless that it has to be fed by its mother. But see its possibilities! This infant has a father and a mother, though it knows scarcely anything about them; and when it gets to be quite a little boy it does not know much about them.  Who is its father? Who is its mother? Why, its father is an emperor, its mother is an empress, and they sit upon a throne, governing an empire. This little infant will some day, in all probability, sit upon his father’s throne, and govern and control the empire, just as King Edward of England now sits upon the throne of his mother. We should have this in mind; for we are the sons of God, as much so and more, if possible, than we are the sons of our earthly fathers. You sisters, I suppose, have read that poem which my sister composed years ago, and which is sung quite frequently now in our meetings. It tells us that we not only have a Father in “that high and glorious place,” but that we have a mother too; and you will become as great as your Mother, if you are faithful.[83]

 

Footnotes:

[1] “The Father and the Son,” Improvement Era 19 (August 1916): 942.

[2] Orson Pratt, “Celestial Marriage,” The Seer 1 (October 1853): 158-159, https://archive.org/details/seereditedbyorso01unse/page/158/mode/2up .

[3] “The Origin and Destiny of Woman,” Latter-day Saints Southern Star 1 (January 7, 1899): 45 (this article was first published on August 29, 1857, in a periodical published in New York and edited by John Taylor; Church History Library, https://catalog.churchofjesuschrist.org/assets/b72aaae8-847d-4a8a-a17b-c19e8c75d11d/0/0 (accessed: April 4, 2022)

[4] Orson F. Whitney, “What is Education?”, Deseret News (1 July 1885), 374; https://newspapers.lib.utah.edu/details?id=2658680

[5] Rulon S. Wells, “Believe the Truth for Truth’s Sake,” Liahona: The Elders’ Journal 10 (November 19, 1912): 338, https://www.familysearch.org/library/books/viewer/551367/?offset=0#page=393&viewer=picture&o=search&n=0&q=

[6] Boyd K. Packer, “Counsel to Young Men,” Ensign 39 (May 2009): 50, https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/general-conference/2009/04/counsel-to-young-men?lang=eng

[7] Orson F. Whitney, “Latter-day Saint Ideals and Institutions,” Improvement Era 30 (August 1927): 851, https://archive.org/details/improvementera30010unse/page/850/mode/2up

[8] Susa Young Gates, “The Editor’s Department,” Young Woman’s Journal 2 (July 1891): 474-475, https://contentdm.lib.byu.edu/digital/collection/YWJ/id/9723.

[9] Susa Young Gates, “In the Realm of Girlhood: Lesson V,” Young Woman’s Journal 17 (January 1906): 41, https://contentdm.lib.byu.edu/digital/collection/YWJ/id/12682.

[10] The First Presidency, “‘Mormon’ View of Evolution,” Improvement Era 28 (September 1925): 1090, https://prophetsseersandrevelators.wordpress.com/2017/09/20/first-presidency-treatise-mormon-view-of-evolution/.

[11] George Q. Cannon, “Mr. Cannon’s Lecture,” Salt Lake Daily Herald, April 15, 1884, 8, https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn85058130/1884-04-15/ed-1/seq-8/

[12] Spencer W. Kimball, The Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball, Twelfth President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, ed. Edward L. Kimball (Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1982), 25.

[13] John Henry Evans, A Short History of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, ed. Gordon B. Hinckley (Salt Lake City: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1938), 163.

[14] B. H. Roberts, Defense of the Faith and the Saints, 2 vols. (Salt Lake City: Deseret News, 1912), 2:439.

[15] Susa Young Gates, History of the Young Ladies’ Mutual Improvement Association of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Salt Lake City: Deseret News, 1911), 234, https://contentdm.lib.byu.edu/digital/collection/NCMP1820-1846/id/26843.

[16] Joseph F. Smith, “Marriage God-Ordained and Sanctioned,” Improvement Era 5, no. 9 (1902): 717–18, https://archive.org/details/improvementera0509unse/page/718/mode/2up. This quote was republished in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph F. Smith (Salt Lake City: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1998), 181, https://abn.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/manual/teachings-joseph-f-smith/chapter-20?lang=eng.

[17] Orson F. Whitney, “Bishop O. F. Whitney,” Woman’s Exponent 24 (June 15, 1895): 9, https://contentdm.lib.byu.edu/digital/collection/WomansExp/id/32584/rec/540.

[18] James E. Talmage, “What Mormonism Stands For,” Deseret Evening News, January 16, 1909, 25.

[19] Eldred G. Smith, “Opposition in Order to Strength Us,” Ensign 4 (January 1974): 62, https://abn.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/ensign/1974/01/opposition-in-order-to-strengthen-us?lang=eng.

[20] Melvin J. Ballard, “The Pre-existence of Man,” Liahona: The Elders’ Journal 24 (June 29, 1926): 6, 8;  https://www.familysearch.org/library/books/viewer/553560/?offset=0#page=7&viewer=picture&o=&n=0&q=.

[21] Sarah M. Kimball, “Demonstration in Honor of Bishop Hunter,” Woman’s Exponent 8, no. 3 (1879): 22, https://contentdm.lib.byu.edu/digital/collection/WomansExp/id/7152

[22] James E. Talmage, “The Philosophical Basis of ‘Mormonism,’” Liahona: The Elders’ Journal 13 (November 9, 1915): 307, https://www.familysearch.org/library/books/viewer/540874/?offset=0#page=366&viewer=picture&o=&n=0&q= . See also James E. Talmage, “The Philosophical Basis of ‘Mormonism,’” Improvement Era 18 (September 1915): 950, https://archive.org/details/improvementera18011unse/page/950/mode/2up.

[23] Wilford Woodruff, in Journal of Discourses, 26 vols. (Liverpool: F. D. Richards, 1855–86), 18:32 (June 27, 1875), https://journalofdiscourses.com/18/5.

[24] James E. Talmage, “Relationship of Jesus Christ to the Eternal Father,” Liahona: The Elders’ Journal 13 (August 24, 1915): 133, https://www.familysearch.org/library/books/viewer/540874/?offset=0#page=154&viewer=picture&o=&n=0&q=

[25] James E. Talmage, “The Eternity of Sex,” Young Woman’s Journal 25 (October 1914): 603, https://contentdm.lib.byu.edu/digital/collection/YWJ/id/17256/rec/25.

[26] John A. Widtsoe, “Everlasting Motherhood,” Millennial Star 90 (May 10, 1928): 298, https://catalog.churchofjesuschrist.org/assets/7636b898-4510-40a9-bc46-1a2f96f7df5b/0/0.

[27] John A. Widtsoe, A Rational Theology: As Taught by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1937), 69.

[28] Brigham Young, Discourses of Brigham Young, ed. John A. Widtsoe (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1954), 51.  See also JD 3:365, https://journalofdiscourses.com/3/51.

[29] George Q. Cannon, Gospel Truth: Discourses and Writings of President George Q. Cannon, ed. Jerreld L. Newquist, 2 vols. (Salt Lake City: Zion’s Book Store, 1957), 1:135–36. Cannon’s remarks were first published as “Topics of the Times: The Worship of Female Deities,” Juvenile Instructor 30 (May 15, 1895): 314–1.

[30] Orson F. Whitney, “Our Mother in Heaven His Theme,” Deseret Evening News, July 16, 1906, 5, https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn83045555/1906-07-16/ed-1/seq-5/

[31] LeGrand Richards, “Missionary Experiences” (devotional address, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah, October 20, 1981), available at http://speeches.byu.edu/?act=viewitem&id=499.

[32] Erastus Snow, in Journal of Discourses, 19:269–70, March 3, 1878.

[33] Erastus Snow, in Journal of Discourses, 26:214, May 31, 1885.

[34] Erastus Snow, “Discourse by Apostle Erastus Snow,” Deseret News, October 22, 1884, 2.

[35] Erastus Snow, in Journal of Discourses, 19:272, March 3, 1878, https://journalofdiscourses.com/19/40.

[36] Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, 2d ed. (Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1966), 516-17.

[37] James E. Talmage, A Study of the Articles of Faith (Salt Lake City: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1982), 442–43.

[38] Eldred G. Smith, “Exaltation,” in Brigham Young University Speeches of the Year, 1963–64 (Provo, Utah: Brigham Young University, 1964), 6.

[39] Orson Pratt, “Celestial Marriage,” The Seer 1 (October 1853): 158.

[40] Brigham Young, in Journal of Discourses, 18:259, October 8, 1876, https://journalofdiscourses.com/18/32.

[41] Edward Tullidge, The Women of Mormondom (New York: Tullidge and Crandall, 1877), 193–94, https://archive.org/details/womenofmormondom00tullrich/page/192/mode/2up.

[42] [Charles W. Penrose], “Women in Heaven,” Millennial Star 64 (June 26, 1902): 410. This article was originally printed in the Deseret News; Penrose is presumed to have been the author because he was editor of the Deseret News at the time, https://catalog.churchofjesuschrist.org/assets/cfd1d2de-7d3f-4e89-88a9-7d93df075512/0/0.

[43] The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Gospel Principles (Salt Lake City: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1978), 10.

[44] Chieko N. Okazaki, Sanctuary (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1997), 59-60.

[45] Theodore M. Burton, “A Marriage to Last through Eternity,” Ensign 17 (June 1987): 14, https://abn.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/ensign/1987/06/a-marriage-to-last-through-eternity?lang=eng&adobe_mc_ref=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.churchofjesuschrist.org%2Fstudy%2Fensign%2F1987%2F06%2Fa-marriage-to-last-through-eternity%3Flang%3Deng&adobe_mc_sdid=SDID%3D5987A73101400C07-47A90996D26C9A68%7CMCORGID%3D66C5485451E56AAE0A490D45%2540AdobeOrg%7CTS%3D1649376338

[46] Jeffrey R. Holland, Christ and the New Covenant: The Messianic Message of the Book of Mormon (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1997), 203-204.

[47] L[ula] L. Greene Richards, “A Thread of Thought,” Woman’s Exponent 29 (August 15 and September 1, 1900): 27, https://catalog.churchofjesuschrist.org/assets/16fa2db0-5757-48dd-a11d-15c2b32006d5/0/2

[48] Mark E. Petersen, “Be Ye an Exponent of Christ,” in Brigham Young University Speeches of the Year, 1965–1966 (Provo, Utah: Brigham Young University, 1966), 4, available online at http://speeches.byu.edu/?act=viewitem&id=533.

[49] Neil L. Anderson, “Looking Back and Looking Forward,” New Era 39 (August 2009): 2–4, https://abn.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/new-era/2009/08/looking-back-and-looking-forward?lang=eng&adobe_mc_ref=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.churchofjesuschrist.org%2Fstudy%2Fnew-era%2F2009%2F08%2Flooking-back-and-looking-forward%3Flang%3Deng&adobe_mc_sdid=SDID%3D46241A52C29235F8-03E2A0E454EBF93A%7CMCORGID%3D66C5485451E56AAE0A490D45%2540AdobeOrg%7CTS%3D1649430355

[50] Orson F. Whitney, “Death,” Young Woman’s Journal 27 (April 1916): 200, https://contentdm.lib.byu.edu/digital/collection/YWJ/id/18788/rec/27.

[51] Harold B. Lee, The Teachings of Harold B. Lee: Eleventh President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, ed. Clyde J. Williams (Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1996), 20–21.

[52] John Longden, “The Worth of Souls,” Relief Society Magazine 44 (August 1957): 492, 494, https://archive.org/details/reliefsocietymag44reli/page/n521/mode/2up.

[53] Harold B. Lee, “The Influence and Responsibility of Women,” Relief Society Magazine 51 (February 1964): 85-86, https://archive.org/details/reliefsocietymag51reli/page/84/mode/2up?view=theater. Citing William Dudley Pelley, “Seven Minutes in Heaven,” Improvement Era 32 (July 1029): 717; italics in original.

[54] Okazaki, Sanctuary, 148.

[55] M. Russell Ballard, Our Search for Happiness (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1993), 70.

[56] The First Presidency, “Christmas Message to Children of the Church in All the World,” Friend 4 (December 1974): 2–3, https://abn.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/friend/1974/12/christmas-message-to-children-of-the-church-in-all-the-world?lang=eng&adobe_mc_ref=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.churchofjesuschrist.org%2Fstudy%2Ffriend%2F1974%2F12%2Fchristmas-message-to-children-of-the-church-in-all-the-world%3Flang%3Deng&adobe_mc_sdid=SDID%3D7695DEB456121854-6021518273292290%7CMCORGID%3D66C5485451E56AAE0A490D45%2540AdobeOrg%7CTS%3D1649474806

[57] Okazaki, Sanctuary, 97.

[58] Spencer W. Kimball, “Privileges and Responsibilities of Sisters,” Ensign 8 (November 1978): 101–5, https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/ensign/1978/11/privileges-and-responsibilities-of-sisters?lang=eng

[59] Paul H. Dunn, “The Cheering Section,” Ensign 10 (June 1980): 4, https://abn.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/ensign/1980/06/the-cheering-section?lang=eng

[60] Chieko N. Okazaki, “Grace and Glory: Strength from Our Savior,” in Women in the Covenant of Grace: Talks Selected from the 1993 Women’s Conference Sponsored by Brigham Young University and the Relief Society, ed. Dawn Hall Anderson and Susette Fletcher Green (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1994), 244.

[61] John A. Widtsoe, “Looking toward the Temple,” Ensign 2 (January 1972): 56, https://abn.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/ensign/1972/01/looking-toward-the-temple?lang=eng.

[62] Dallin H. Oaks, “Fundamental Premises of Our Faith,” Deseret News, 7 http://www.deseretnews.com/media/pdf/24370.pdf. This speech was given February 26, 2010, in Ames Courtroom, Harvard Law School.

[63] David C. Kimball, “Reflections on the Destiny of Man,” Millennial Star 7 (June 15, 1846): 183-184, https://contentdm.lib.byu.edu/digital/collection/MStar/id/1497.

[64] Nephi Anderson, “A Little Visit to Glory-Land,” Millennial Star 67 (September 7, 1905): 562, https://catalog.churchofjesuschrist.org/assets/06eca7a0-4dc7-491a-953f-9dc58fe2429f/0/0.

[65] Ezra Taft Benson, The Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson (Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1988), 25.  Cited from Asenath S. Conklin Funeral Service, Salt Lake City, Utah, 7 August 1982.

[66] M.[atilda] E. Teasdale, “To the Young Ladies of Zion,” Young Woman’s Journal 3 (July 1892): 472, https://contentdm.lib.byu.edu/digital/collection/YWJ/id/11741.

[67] “Oh, What Songs of the Heart” was first published in the Juvenile Instructor and then was included in the Deseret Sunday School Song Book in 1892. It is hymn number 286 in the current LDS hymnal, https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/music/library/hymns/oh-what-songs-of-the-heart?lang=eng

[68] Neal A. Maxwell, “The Women of God,” Ensign 8 (May 1978): 11, https://abn.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/ensign/1978/05/the-women-of-god?lang=eng.

[69] Orson Pratt, in Journal of Discourses, 14:241, August 20, 1871, https://jod.mrm.org/14/233.

[70] George Q. Cannon, “Discourse by President George Q. Cannon,” Millennial Star 51 (July 22, 1889): 450, https://catalog.churchofjesuschrist.org/assets/b9fa4ecb-c8ea-40fa-ba5a-aaac1d3c2a7f/0/1.

[71] James E. Talmage, “Obtaining Divine Forgiveness,” Millennial Star 54 (March 28, 1892): 194, https://catalog.churchofjesuschrist.org/assets/bd1e5ee7-ba84-4112-a454-b1cc7f87b0b7/0/1

[72] Orson F. Whitney, Gospel Themes: A Treatise on Salient Features of “Mormonism” (Salt Lake City, 1914), 65.

[73] Hyrum G. Smith, in Ninety-fifth Semi-annual Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Salt Lake City: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1924), 16

[74] Robert L. Simpson, “Q&A: Questions and Answers,” New Era 7 (July 1977): 11.

[75] Norma B. Smith, “Remember, Enjoy, Prepare,” New Era 10 (July 1980): 10–13, https://abn.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/new-era/1980/07/remember-enjoy-prepare?lang=eng

[76] James T. Duke, “Marriage: Eternal Marriage,” in Ludlow, Encyclopedia of Mormonism, 2:859, https://eom.byu.edu/index.php/Marriage

[77] Elder James G. Duffin, in The 79th Annual Conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Salt Lake City: Deseret News, 1909), 24.

[78] Charles Lowell Walker, Diary of Charles Lowell Walker, ed. A. Karl Larson and Katharine Miles Larson (Logan: Utah State University Press, 1980), 2:100. This journal entry is dated January 19, 1896; https://digitalcommons.usu.edu/usupress_pubs/181/

[79] Orson F. Whitney, “We Walk by Faith,” Improvement Era 19 (May 1916): 609, https://archive.org/details/improvementera1907unse/page/608/mode/2up

[80] Spencer W. Kimball, “The True Way of Life and Salvation,” Ensign 8 (May 1978): 6, https://abn.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/ensign/1978/05/the-true-way-of-life-and-salvation?lang=eng

[81] Glenn L. Pace, “The Divine Nature and Destiny of Women” (devotional address, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah, March 9, 2010), available online at http://speeches.byu.edu/?act=viewitem&id=1886.

[82] Mattie Horne Tingey, “The School of Experience,” in At the Pulpit: 185 Years of Discourses by Latter-day Saint Women, ed. Jennifer Reeder and Kate Holbrook (Salt Lake City: The Church Historian’s Press, 2017), https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/church-historians-press/at-the-pulpit/part-2/chapter-21?lang=eng

[83] Lorenzo Snow, “The Grand Destiny of Man,” Millennnial Star, 15 August 1901, 541-544; 22 Aug. 1901, 545-549, https://prophetsseersandrevelators.wordpress.com/2014/01/31/the-grand-destiny-of-man/

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