What if Heavenly Mother is the Holy Ghost?

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Joni
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What if Heavenly Mother is the Holy Ghost?

Post by Joni » 03 Jul 2016, 12:21

I did a double take when I saw this interview with Fiona Givens on Flunking Sainthood, because I honestly thought I was the only one! :shock:

I wouldn't say that I believe for sure that HM = the HG, and I certainly wouldn't teach it to anyone (I'm in no hurry to get excommunicated, thanks) but it definitely seems plausible to me. A couple of reasons why:

- it makes more sense to think of the Godhead as consisting of a nuclear family - mother, father, child - rather than father, son, and unrelated male person.

- while we insist the Holy Ghost is male, I don't see any reason why that has to be. We freely admit that we know next to nothing about the HG so why are we so sure about His/Her gender?

- the roles of the Holy Ghost (comfort; help make decisions; testify of truth) sound an awful lot like the things that I do for my children

- if Heavenly Father is worried about people disrespecting His wife, He does not show respect for Her by locking Her away in a closet and never speaking of Her again. I like the idea that She has been hiding in plain sight all this time, and we will recognize Her when we see Her again.

On the flip side, there are a couple of things I don't like about this theory:

- the Holy Ghost is barely mentioned in the temple. (Yes, this is in contrast to the way Heavenly Mother is not mentioned, but still.) The Holy Ghost does not appear to have participated in the creation of the earth or the decision to send Jesus to earth as the Savior. If She is Jesus' mom, you better believe She had an opinion on that!

- the Holy Ghost cannot act independently; it can only do Heavenly Father's bidding. So a person prays to Heavenly Father, in Jesus' name, and HF sends the HG to answer that person's prayer. While the idea of spending all of my eternity carrying out my husband's directions to bless our children's lives is a LOT more appealing than being forbidden to contact them at all, I would still rather be equal partners. It would appear that the relationship between Heavenly Father and the Holy Ghost, whoever that is, is a preside/hearken relationship rather than an equal partnership.

Thoughts?

amateurparent
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Re: What if Heavenly Mother is the Holy Ghost?

Post by amateurparent » 03 Jul 2016, 21:54

I remember the double-take when I heard the theory of the Holy Ghost being female.

When one looks at the past history of a female God in Judeo-Christian traditions, she was methodically erased from art and from scripture. There is more about Lilith than there is about a Heavenly Mother.

We talk of God the Father and of Christ both having bodies, and the Holy Ghost NOT having a body. The reality is that we don't see any of our Gods. We talk of their attributes as if we see them. We don't. I have wondered if the Holy Ghost had her physical identity removed simply because she was womanly in her physicality.
I have no advance degrees in parenting. No national credentials. I am an amateur parent. I read, study, and learn all I can to be the best parent possible. Every time I think I have reached expert status with one child for one stage in their life, something changes and I am back to amateur status again. Now when I really mess up, I just apologize to my child, and explain that I am indeed an amateur .. I'm still learning how to do this right.

Curt Sunshine
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Re: What if Heavenly Mother is the Holy Ghost?

Post by Curt Sunshine » 03 Jul 2016, 23:51

I love the idea, even though it would change core teachings about the Hily Ghost.

It would fit perfectly with our traditional understanding of the nature of godhood (an eternal union of male and female) expanded to include an oldest, birthright son.
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Even if people view many things differently, the core Gospel principles (LOVE; belief in the unseen but hoped; self-reflective change; symbolic cleansing; striving to recognize the will of the divine; never giving up) are universal.

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unsure
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Re: What if Heavenly Mother is the Holy Ghost?

Post by unsure » 04 Jul 2016, 00:21

I'd never heard that before but it really does make a lot of sense when you think about it.

I can see your negatives to the possibility but I think all I can say to that is there is so much I feel like we really have no clue about. I have to believe that a HM would be nothing but an equal partner.

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mom3
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Re: What if Heavenly Mother is the Holy Ghost?

Post by mom3 » 04 Jul 2016, 03:53

I had read this before or something similar from Fiona. I love her drive to introduce Heavenly Mother back into the story but this one doesn't work for me. If necessary I would make Heavenly Mother the 4th member of the godhead. I just can't wrap my head around a different version yet. Now the gender of the Holy Ghost is open for me. I could totally and would totally love the HG to be feminine divine. On the other hand if the HG is not it gives me hope that men could be something we allow them to be, more nurturing, sensitive, etc.

Heavenly Mother very much stands alone for me. She has her own realm in the sense of her work and how she carries it out. However she is not the Holy Ghost.
"I stayed because it was God and Jesus Christ that I wanted to follow and be like, not individual human beings." Chieko Okazaki Dialogue interview

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On Own Now
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Re: What if Heavenly Mother is the Holy Ghost?

Post by On Own Now » 04 Jul 2016, 06:54

In strict-constructionist LDS doctrine, it would be impossible, because we assume HM is a resurrected, glorified being, like HF, while the HG is a non-corporeal being. Having said that, I think our 'knowledge' of the spiritual realm is so scant that our view of it is entirely theoretical anyway. We project how we see our lives here into the life beyond and think of it as the same, except that the pavement is gold instead of cobblestone. Mansions exist there. We have gender, we have families, fathers still preside over the children (even though we've all existed from eternity to eternity). We wear robes, we play harps and trumpets, God sits on a throne. My point is that we have created an image of what it's like and who is who, but we don't really know. So, is it possible? Of course.

My own belief is that the HG and his/her/its counterpart, the Devil, as distinct individuals is an adaptation from earlier views where they were powers that struggled within us, at a very personal level. The idea that every good thought comes from the HG and every bad one from the Devil, in a way, robs us of personal connection. From yesterday's HPG meeting... teacher: "why do we sometimes get discouraged in trying to do right?" Person sitting next to me: "the Devil."

This prevalent Christian view robs us of the notion that we are prime actors, leveraging our own sense of right and wrong, in our self-determined lives.
"Let us therefore no longer pass judgment on one another, but resolve instead never to put a stumbling block or hindrance in the way of another." --Romans 14:13

Ann
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Re: What if Heavenly Mother is the Holy Ghost?

Post by Ann » 04 Jul 2016, 08:28

I'm really looking forward to Fiona's book.

But I'm not on board for Heavenly Mother being the Holy Ghost. I honestly think that's just another mental dodge for those who can't or won't - or haven't been encouraged or supported - to see women as nothing more or less than equal counterparts to men.

I love that she's essentially saying, We create this. It's time to talk about it.
Edit to add what FG says in the interview:
I want to make clear that I am not making this claim, just tracing a fascinating but neglected historical dimension to the Divine Feminine. We find this in the Church Fathers Jerome and Augustine and others. The Coltrin vision is suggestive. Joseph, in the Doctrine and Covenants, never appends a pronoun in his discussions of the Holy Ghost, the Holy Spirit, or the Comforter, and Elder Charles Penrose actually identified the Holy Ghost with Heavenly Mother.

Contemporary Mormons, of course, will say the Book of Mormon refers to the Holy Spirit as a he. But then one needs to look at the culture in which the Book of Mormon came forth. People in the nineteenth century were looking for biblical consistency. What encouraged Brigham Young and most converts to join the church was the fact that the Book of Mormon was consistent with the biblical text. Suddenly shifting the gender of the Holy Spirit was not going to convince anyone to join the LDS Church.
Last edited by Ann on 04 Jul 2016, 10:05, edited 1 time in total.
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Heber13
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Re: What if Heavenly Mother is the Holy Ghost?

Post by Heber13 » 04 Jul 2016, 09:16

I agree, Joni that it would make sense in the way an eternal family is presented.

I agree with OON. It is possible, but things would have to change. This is the current teachings:
The Holy Ghost is the third member of the Godhead. He is a personage of spirit, without a body of flesh and bones.
-LDS.org, Gospel Topics, Holy Ghost
Besides just the male female thing, which could be corrected with new revelation...to me the most troubling part of how it is taught is that it is the 3rd member, after the Son. My Heavenly Mother would never be 3rd. 2nd is too problematic for me, 3rd would be impossible for me to accept.

I believe Heavenly Father and Heavenly Mother are one. This is the supreme being I worship.
The Son is my savior and one in purpose with them.
The Holy Ghost is 3rd member to help testify of truth. (It's gender and physical make up are not so certain to me, and hasn't been of great importance either).
On Own Now wrote:In strict-constructionist LDS doctrine, it would be impossible, because we assume HM is a resurrected, glorified being, like HF, while the HG is a non-corporeal being. Having said that, I think our 'knowledge' of the spiritual realm is so scant that our view of it is entirely theoretical anyway.
I agree with the 2nd part...it is so scant.

Here is what the LDS.org topic says about the HG:
He is a personage of spirit, without a body of flesh and bones....His communication to our spirit carries far more certainty than any communication we can receive through our natural senses.
Why does it seem to make more sense to people that in order for Him to communicate spiritually to our spirits, or to masses of people, or not be in one place at a time, he can't have a body? It doesn't make sense to me that because Heavenly Father and Mother have resurrected bodies...they are limited in their power and influence. A spiritual body is only in one place at a time, right? Yes the holy spirit can have influence over many. Why not a resurrected body?

To suggest the HG has some special powers that Heavenly Father and Mother can't have doesn't make sense to me.

The role of the HG makes sense to me, but the specifics of trying to define what it looks like, rather than what it does, are puzzling.
Luke: "Why didn't you tell me? You told me Vader betrayed and murdered my father."
Obi-Wan: "Your father... was seduced by the dark side of the Force. He ceased to be Anakin Skywalker and became Darth Vader. When that happened, the good man who was your father was destroyed. So what I told you was true... from a certain point of view."
Luke: "A certain point of view?"
Obi-Wan: "Luke, you're going to find that many of the truths we cling to...depend greatly on our point of view."

Roy
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Re: What if Heavenly Mother is the Holy Ghost?

Post by Roy » 04 Jul 2016, 10:05

I do not believe that the holy ghost/holy spirit is a being at all. I believe that the bible is not very clear on the subject. I believe the holy spirit to be more of a force or feeling to do good - in the same vein as the "spirit of Christmas".

In the Lectures on Faith the holy spirit is described as the "shared mind" of the Father and the Son. He is the glue that holds them together.

I believe that the holy spirit is a metaphor. As such, I certainly do not mind the concept of it being a female metaphor. Unfortunately, should this gain any traction across the church it would become just another reason why most mainstream Christian churches do not consider us to be Christian. It is for this reason that I believe that we as a church are not in a hurry to make the Heavenly Mother talk more prevalent.

We walk a tightrope between being a mainstream Christian church on one hand and a heretical cult on the other.
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"I struggle now with establishing my faith that God may always be there, but may not always need to intervene" Heber13

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Heber13
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Re: What if Heavenly Mother is the Holy Ghost?

Post by Heber13 » 04 Jul 2016, 11:37

Roy wrote:We walk a tightrope between being a mainstream Christian church on one hand and a heretical cult on the other.
Yes...and also being peculiar and unique but not so mainstream that we are just another church like all the others.
Luke: "Why didn't you tell me? You told me Vader betrayed and murdered my father."
Obi-Wan: "Your father... was seduced by the dark side of the Force. He ceased to be Anakin Skywalker and became Darth Vader. When that happened, the good man who was your father was destroyed. So what I told you was true... from a certain point of view."
Luke: "A certain point of view?"
Obi-Wan: "Luke, you're going to find that many of the truths we cling to...depend greatly on our point of view."

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