What Heavenly Mother Teaches Us About the Plan of Salvation

By knowing what church leaders say about Heavenly Mother, we can know our place in the Plan of Salvation.

Latter-day Saint Insights has published several articles detailing who Heavenly Mother is, how we venerate her, and how knowing about her can help us. Each article provides keen insights about Heavenly Mother, and I would like to elaborate on those insights by exploring the role that Heavenly Mother plays in the Plan of Salvation.

"For Latter-day Saints, the concept of eternal family . . . governs their way of life. It is the plan of eternal life, stretching from life before through life beyond mortality." --Elaine Anderson Cannon

Image by Aaron Burden

In her article “Mother in Heaven” in the Encyclopedia of Mormonism, Elaine Cannon implies a connection between Heavenly Mother and the Plan of Salvation when she writes that “the eternal family…is the eternal plan of life.” Our Heavenly Mother is an integral part of both the eternal family and, therefore, the eternal plan of life. This means that understanding the relationships in our eternal family may help us fulfill the Plan of Salvation. 

As God’s children, we have “not only spiritual sibling relationships” with each other “but heirship with God, and a destiny of joint-heirship with Christ,” according to Cannon. Though the Father and the Son are centrally featured in this description of the Plan of Salvation, Cannon’s insight about the doctrine of Heavenly Mother shows us that women are also vitally important in the Plan of Salvation. 

Cannon says that Heavenly Mother stands with the Father “in glory, perfection, compassion, wisdom, and holiness,” and from this partnership, we can see that the eternal family, in which Heavenly Mother is a key figure, “is the eternal plan of life, stretching from life before through life beyond mortality.” 

In the context of the eternal family, Christ shows us what life beyond mortality really looks like: it is a reunion of Father and Son. Our Mother in Heaven shows us that eternal life is also the reunion of Mother and child. That joyful reunion of families is what we strive for—we hope to one day be reunited with our Heavenly Parents just as we hope to be reunited with our mortal families after we die.

The Plan of Salvation is the eternal family, an eternal family modeled by our Heavenly Parents and exemplified by their reunion with their Son. Though we do not pray to her and we do not expressly worship her, our Heavenly Mother shows us that women and men can find joy by creating or being part of a family that they can be with for eternity through the Plan of Salvation. 

Read Elaine Cannon’s original article “Mother in Heaven” for more insight into eternal families.

Source: Encyclopedia of Mormonism

—Aaron Green, Latter-day Saints Insights


To discover more about who Heavenly Mother is, read the Latter-day Saint Insights article “The Reality of Heavenly Mother” by Erin Nightingale.

For more thoughts about what we can learn from the existence of a Heavenly Mother, read the Latter-day Saint Insights article “Divine Daughters of Our Heavenly Parents” by Taryn Harvey.

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