Editor’s Note:  It may well be that the most basic and pivotal truth revealed (or re-revealed) in these Latter Days is the nature of God as our literal (not metaphorical) Heavenly Father and Heavenly Mother.  It is a beautiful truth to consider and to ponder, and it is the foundation for many of the other unique and distinctive teachings of the restoration. This is article 3 of 12 in this series and you can read the first (introductory) article here.  Read the second (Three reasons for pondering the Parental God) here.  For further discussion on each article, listen to the Eyres on the Road podcast, available on any podcast app.

Let me start this article with an apology and a correction.  In article two, I said that one thing that is changed by a deep belief in a Parental God is “How we pray and who we pray to.”

I apologize if that implied that we should pray to anyone other than Heavenly Father or pray in any other way than the model Christ gave us in the New Testament as the Lord’s Prayer.

Our Father which art in Heaven…” It is clear from Christ’s example and from the unequivocal instructions of living Prophets that we are to pray to Heavenly Father.

“Hallowed be Thy Name…” The name, Father, is one of the names of God.  Thinking of “God” or “Father” as a surname for our Heavenly Parents gives linguistic legitimacy to the logic that they both hear and respond to our prayers.

“Thy Kingdom Come…”  The Kingdom of Heaven will be made up of members of Their Spiritual Family, of which each of us is a part, and within which each of us has the incalculable privilege of communing with Them.

It goes without saying that each of us must discover God for ourselves, and that discovery, that knowing, is the purpose of life. Fortunately for us, life is eternal and thus we can accept the eternal goal “This is life eternal that they might know thee, the only true God…”

The discovery, the process of believing and hoping and having faith and knowing is hard to describe in words, partly because it is unique and different for each of us and partly because words, particularly in prose, are inadequate.

Poetry, on the other hand, can sometimes suggest to the mind malleable thoughts that can work differently in each of us and prompt the kind of pondering that may lead to personal inspiration and illuminating epiphanies about our Parental God and about our opportunity to feel Their reality, Their presence, Their Oneness, and Their love.

So, in that spirit, may I share a poem intended to spur those thoughts, and may I hope that it works as a precursor and prompter for the more particular and philosophic prose that will come in subsequent articles in this series.

Because the format and length-of-line is part of the poem, please try to read it on a computer with a full page view—reading it on a phone will change the lineage.

And may I begin not with my poem, but with some lines from others who owned these feelings long before they were mine.

“Our theology begins with heavenly parents.
Our highest aspiration is to be like them.”
President Dallin H. Oaks

…and witheld the recollection
Of my former friends and birth
Yet 0ft-times a secret something
Whispered “You’re a stranger here”
And I felt that I had wandered
From a more exalted sphere…
In the Heavens are Parents single
No, the thought makes reason stare
Truth is reason truth eternal
Tells me I’ve a Mother there…
Then at length when I’ve completed
All you sent me forth do do
With your mutual approbation
May I come and dwell with you
Eliza Snow (portions only)
From her poem originally titled
“Invocation to the divine Heavenly Father and Mother”

“An Equal-Partner Female God
is not a cosmetic nicety, but a cosmic necessity.”
Caron Lynn Pearson

The poem that follows
Combines what we know and what we think we know
(It takes poetic license.)


what if that word—
so common that all have and most are—
was the key
to both here and there

what if its first and last letters—big P and little s
(we capitalize deity and pluralize parts)
reveals both us and Them

what if the singular God is the dual Them
and feels more like nurturing Family than gilded king

not metaphorical but material
not symbolic but spiritual
not lyrical but literal

one God and two Beings

catholic doctrine says
God is neither man nor woman: he is God.
we say
“God is both man and woman: They are God.”

when we become that word
we learn—quickly—about responsibility
about sacrifice about love
we see a new kind of beauty
and are stunned
at how badly we want to give everything
to one too tiny to give anything back
except love

love imperfectly
but unconditionally unequivocally
learn imperfectly
by failure and struggle
by commitment and teamwork
buffeted but
drawn and pulled toward
a higher realm

love perfectly
They taught us
we watched Them
back there
They knew we needed
a love school
a family forge
two things that couldn’t be taught
only learned
two things that feed and create each other

“Parents” and “parents”
They sent us here and gave us Their title
so we could learn those things
feel those things
the only way they can be learned and felt
so we could begin
just begin
to love like Them
to create like Them
to be like Them


but rather than telling
let’s ask
let’s think
let’s ponder

what if God is who They are
what if Parents is who They are
what if we did live with Them
in the whole back side of eternity
and are here to learn to live like Them
in the forward side

what if Their love is so unconditional
and so completely joyful
that They created a mortality
where we could experience Their joy
along with every other option this spinning orbiting lab-sphere has to offer
Their holding-love so big that it could let us go

what if to us They are awesome not because
of our difference but our similarity
unspeakably beyond us in degree but like us in kind
including (and except for) our One divine Brother
who is the means
that saves us from ourselves


here we go around the sun seventy or ninety times
each turn with 365 spins in something new called time

some of us who strive for oneness relationships here
me thee and we
try to imagine Their perfect unity union there
She He and They
all three using the surname God or Heavenly Father

We may bemoan that we don’t know Her name
But then we remember and surmise that
She like He
Has many names
And suppose that
She like He
Prefers the parental name
Heavenly Mother

and we try to remember that
of the He She and They
only one is the creating God


why does this feel cautiously right
easy to believe hard to believe
why do we seek our Parents
look for Them in mother earth and father sky
a sweeping soaring longing for home

two ways to believe
our spirit trying to use its gifted body and brain (two brains)
to contemplate the Giver
created matter trying to comprehend Creator Spirit

the linguistic logical linear left

and the instinctive intuitive insightful right

but we sense that
irrespective of which portal
They are always both there
hearing feeling answering responding together

left hemisphere                                             

right hemisphere

some say He comes in through the left
She through the right
others say no
always both
always They

we might communicate with Him with words

and with Her in feelings

but both would always go to (and come back from) Them

what if the most radiant and beautiful Her
was as common as a nursing mother
and as stunning as a glowing galaxy
or a single spruce tree
what if it is Her we feel when we walk by a stream in spring
or watch a moon rise

what if He
even as our minds conjure power justice
trusts us to come around to His love
why do we call Him Father rather than King
because He asks us to
because He is
because He means They

what if They are so committed to our agency
yet so confident in what Their spiritual genetics
will ultimately lead us to
that They see past our travail and trouble
and even overlook our confusion
about Them


for some lucky enough to love another more than self
the we begins to matter more than the me or thee
and starts
just barely starts
to faintly resemble
Their He She and They
and we begin to real-eyes
that the true power and joy
lives fully only in the we and the They

all that They make is both beautiful and abundant
reflecting Themselves reproducing Themselves
They did not make us with their hands or their minds
but begat and grew us from Themselves and from the earth
creation was not mechanical or technological
it was spiritually organic
and reproduced all the variableness and diversity of God


so what does it mean
why does it matter
what does it make us

if you plant an unknown seed
and it sprouts
there is much you do not know—what it will grow into
what fruit it will produce
and just one thing you do know—that it was and is
a good and viable seed

we’ve given this idea-seed a name
The Parental God
and you may not yet know if or into what it will grow
but you do know now or soon
that it feels good
that it is real

                                                                that you should plant it

Thanks for joining on this third article, and feel free to share your inputs and thoughts and questions directly with me by going to https://valuesparenting.com/contact-eyres/.  You can also hear further discussion on this article on our Podcast “Eyres on the Road” which is available on your favorite podcast app or at https://byuradio.org/eyresontheroad.

And please come back next week for article 4 which is a deeper look at what we know and what we don’t know about our Heavenly Mother.  

Richard Eyre is the New York #1 Bestselling Author of more than 50 books, a dozen of which are on parenting and marriage.  He believes that the ultimate parenting and marriage example is God.