Oregon State University

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I've a Mother There: How Mormon Women Shaped Conceptions of the Mother in Heaven

A Hundere Lecture with Susanna Morrill

Tuesday, February 11, 2014 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM

In the Mormon community, the Mother in Heaven is not often spoken of in public. However, she is an essential element within the Mormon plan of salvation and is often described as welcoming departed spirits back to the heavenly realm. In this lecture, Morrill will explore how early Mormon women writers helped to shape this present-day understanding of the Mother in Heaven. Expanding on Eliza R. Snow's hymn, "O My Father," Mormon women writers of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries created a literary portrait of the Mother in Heaven as a loving and kind goddess who stood at the gates of mortality, sent spirit children off to mortality, and then welcomed them back to their heavenly home when they passed away. This aspect of the Mother in Heaven mirrored the lived religious practices of Mormon women as they managed times of birth and death within their families and communities. Thus, we can see how, by means of their popular literary work and lived religious rituals, Mormon women have helped to shape the theology of this self-consciously patriarchal religious group.

Memorial Union (campus map)
Journey Room
Robert Peckyno
robert.peckyno at oregonstate.edu
School of History, Philosophy, and Religion