Jesus taught us to “always pray unto the Father in my name.” We follow this counsel when we pray to Heavenly Father in the name of Jesus Christ. However, we also believe in a Heavenly Mother. Our belief in Her has been attested to by modern prophets and on the Church’s web site. Gordon B. Hinckley taught “The fact that we do not pray to our Mother in Heaven in no way belittles or denigrates her.”
So the question becomes, if we aren’t supposed to pray to Her, what is the appropriate way to honor and remember Her? It seems like this would be an important concept to figure out. If hymns are a prayer of the righteous, would a hymn about Heavenly Mother be too much like a prayer?
That logic doesn’t hold, because she is already mentioned in hymns.
In the heav’ns are parents single?O My Father #292
No, the thought makes reason stare!
Truth is reason; truth eternal
Tells me I’ve a mother there.
When I leave this frail existence,
When I lay this mortal by,
Father, Mother, may I meet you
In your royal courts on high?
In embraces most dearOh, What Songs of the Heart #286
When our heavenly parents we meet!
A hymn from the 1927 hymnal, Come to Me, also mentioned Heavenly Mother.
Come to me; here’s the myst’ry that man hath not seen;Come to Me #155 in 1927 hymnal
Here’s our Father in heaven, and Mother, the Queen,
Here are worlds that have been, and the worlds yet to be,
Here’s eternity,—endless; amen: Come to me.
We also have plenty of hymns praising people we don’t pray to. Praise to the Man asks us to hail Joseph Smith. We Thank Thee, O God, for a Prophet thanks God for the prophet. Sons of Michael, He Approaches asks us to hail Adam and adore Eve. We even sing to Dear Mother Earth in All Creatures of Our God and King. Consider how much praise we give to the pioneers in this hymn:
Honor, praise, and venerationThey, the Builders of the Nation #36
To the founders we revere!
List our song of adoration,
Blessed, honored Pioneer!
If we can revere the pioneers, and give them honor, praise, and veneration, can we give the same honor to Heavenly Mother without praying to Her?
Even if we don’t praise Her, is there anything wrong with mentioning Her more? We already have a hymn talking about our Heavenly Parents. Could we change some more references to Heavenly Father to Heavenly Parents?
What is the best way to represent Heavenly Mother in our hymns? Can we praise Her? Can we mention Her more? Should we bring back Come to Me? What do you think?