SL09124 Sex and the Heavenly Mother: Human Implications of Divine Embodiment

Without apology, Mormons proclaim their belief that both God the Father and Jesus Christ are embodied beings with separate identities. While a belief in a Heavenly Mother is also an official doctrine of the LDS Church, her nature and divine status are less clear. In addition, the introduction of a Heavenly Mother raises the troubling question of divine sexuality. How literally should we view divine embodiment? Is a female God necessary to elevate the status of women? Why has the transcendent God usually been pictured as male? Since women have traditionally been linked with the body and the earth, is it necessary to redeem the idea of embodiment itself in order to redeem women’s position? Does eternal embodiment limit eternal progression or enhance it? Is personhood possible without a gendered body?

Margaret M. Toscano