Some of my earliest memories involve learning the Plan of Salvation from my mother.
She also taught me about my Heavenly Father and Heavenly Mother.
My feelings when she taught me these things were calm and happy, with a strong dose of (non condescending, non-sarcastic) DUH.
Of course that’s how things went down before we were born.
Of course I have a Heavenly Father and Heavenly Mother.
I never felt Heavenly Mother’s absence. I have never felt longing for Her, a Heavenly Mother shaped hole in my soul. So….when I read about my sisters who do, it gives me pause, and makes me reflect on why I don’t feel this all-consuming ache.
So. First, let me back up and explain how we roll here.
For most of our marriage, husband and I have both had a cell phone, but we use each other’s phones indiscriminately. Last summer when one cell phone broke, we decided to only use one for a while, since the only time we’d need two would be to call each other, and 90% of the time, when we need to do that, he’s in his office next to his office phone.
Husband linked up the phone texting to his computer, so that we both see all texts that come through, so that he could text from our phone’s number via his computer. He ignores texts from my friends, especially if it looks like they’re divulging personal information to me, and I ignore texts from his church calling (most of his calling business is confidential).
We have full access to one another’s social media, e-mail, etc. This isn’t a matter of control and oversight; it’s a matter of convenience–if one is away from internet and needs information, the other can dig it out for him or her.
A lot of people are upset, disturbed, or thrown off balance by this discovery. They think cell phones are personal. They think e-mail is personal. They get flustered if I answer Dave’s phone or if he answers mine. This is funny to me; what do they think marriage is?
To marry someone is to sign up to become one flesh. To work together, ultimately becoming perfectly united in heart, mind, desire, and work.
Once, early on, we were arguing about something, and husband paused, looked at me earnestly, and said, “but we’re on the same team.”
That broke it. I don’t even remember what we were fighting about, but I will always remember that moment. It was a golden moment of truth that cut through whatever pettiness we were navigating.
We’re on the same team.
We are striving to be one.
Few things annoy us more than when our children, associates, salespeople, ANYONE tries to triangulate between the two of us. We are one, or, at the very least, striving for unity. We are more interested in the other than the self, and more interested in our union than than the other. Our union is paramount.
On the rare occasion when someone makes a romantic overture towards one of us,* a well-meaning Military Doctor suggests anti STD measures “just in case,” or, anyone, in any offhand way, suggests or presumes dissolution, disunity or infidelity, it feels blasphemous, a slight against something profoundly sacred to us. This marriage of ours is more important than our careers, personal achievement, church service, our children’s success, or anything else on this earth. And you’d just casually assume it’s negotiable? Who do you think you are?
I’ve always felt this way about marriage, even as my parents and several beloved aunts and uncles divorced. I’ve always planned on a marriage like this, and by some unspeakable blessing, I’m married to a man who feels the same way.
When you call our number, you’re as likely to hear from me as from my husband. Unless you’re talking to me about lady problems, or to him about accepting or rejecting a calling, chances are the other person knows about the conversation and relationship. If I tell our children no, husband upholds that. If he tells them no, I uphold that. He makes good on my promises and obligations to others, and I make good on his. We are together on one mission here.
This is why I have never felt the absence of my Heavenly Mother. Wherever my father is, there She is, too. This is something I have thought and felt for as long as I can remember. If I am close to Him, I am close to Her by definition. If I feel lost, far from Him, unsure of our relationship, this naturally extends to Her, too. They are constant; I am fallible, mortal, wavering. Manipulation and triangulation is impossible in a perfect marriage, in a perfect union. If my prayers ascend to my Father, they are just as surely heard by my Mother. When love and blessings descend from my Father, they are just as surely from Her. And if the Divine Commandment is for our marriage to become eternal and perfect, then Theirs already is.
Two weeks ago, I was going through a session in the temple, and there She was. This was no vision or theophany, just a sudden sharp realization that She was there. In in all the beauty and glory of the temple, She was there, as baldly obvious as Heavenly Father. I wasn’t even looking for her, and suddenly I realized She’d been there. As I thought of every ordinance available in the temple, I saw where she figured into every one. It was jaw droppingly obvious, another DUH that fell on my lap a solid 25 years after my earthly mother’s early teachings.
No, you don’t get the specifics of this. Go yourself, and learn on your own time.
The saddest thing about it is, so many who feel loss and longing for Heavenly Mother deliberately avoid the temple in the belief that it is sexist, when in fact, it is there that my fears and insecurities in gender injustice have been healed and sealed up, where I have felt closest to both my Heavenly Parents, and with every passing visit, I get to see and know just a little more about who She, and more importantly, They, are.
If you wanted to get a hold of me, you might as well call my husband. We’re learning marriage, and pretty close to one another.
If you want to get a hold of your Mother, you might as well call your Father. They’re perfect at marriage and perfectly unified.
*This, fortunately, has almost exclusively come from the inebriated and/or mentally ill. Most people are get that you don’t do this.