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Margaret Toscano And The Heavenly Mother


LifeOnaPlate

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In her interview for the PBS documentary The Mormons, Margaret Toscano says the following:

The other issue that I got in trouble for was the Mormon Heavenly Mother. Now, once again, this is actually an orthodox Mormon teaching, because basically all of the Mormon prophets have asserted at one time or another that indeed, Mormons do believe in a literal Heavenly Mother. The doctrine seems to go back to Joseph Smith. In fact, there's a vision that Joseph Smith had of the Heavenly Mother that is very rare -- most people don't know about this vision at all. But in the Mormon hymn "O My Father" there is a reference to the Heavenly Mother. And also, as I mentioned, the Mormon prophets have said that this is in fact an orthodox doctrine. President [Gordon] Hinckley himself has mentioned this on a couple of occasions.

I certainly don't remember hearing about a specific vision. I have heard of the prophet relating the doctrine to diverse people, but is anyone aware of a vision as Toscano explains it? It appears, though she doesn't come right out and say it, that there is some sort of unknown revelation regarding a Heavenly Mother. Does anyone have any further info on this assertion?

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Where Margaret Toscano goes wrong is that it's more likely "Heavenly Mothers" as polygamy seems to have been rather important to God (IMHO). So, He could have hundreds, thousands, millions or more wives. Who knows maybe everyone on this earth has a different Heavenly Mother. So, it's right to play down the idea of a Heavenly Mother. Does it really matter who she is (or they are)?

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Where Margaret Toscano goes wrong is that it's more likely "Heavenly Mothers" as polygamy seems to have been rather important to God (IMHO). So, He could have hundreds, thousands, millions or more wives. Who knows maybe every on this earth has a different Heavenly Mother. So, its right to play down the idea of a Heavenly Mother. Does it really matter who she is (or they are)?

I'd like to keep the thread on topic, francom, thanks.

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Oops, sorry I thought the topic was Margaret Toscano And The Heavenly Mother

So what was the topic?

Read the OP and see, my friend! While some topics are fluid and allow for a lot of perspectives, I didn't intend for this thread to be a "everyone talk about the concept of a Heavenly Mother!" opportunity.

Structure: could be...

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In her interview for the PBS documentary The Mormons, Margaret Toscano says the following:

I certainly don't remember hearing about a specific vision. I have heard of the prophet relating the doctrine to diverse people, but is anyone aware of a vision as Toscano explains it? It appears, though she doesn't come right out and say it, that there is some sort of unknown revelation regarding a Heavenly Mother. Does anyone have any further info on this assertion?

I don't know anything about such a vision either. I find it somewhat suspect that she would reference this "little known" (to me unknown) vision and then instead of supporting it with a source reference to the actual alleged vision goes off into the hymn "O My Father"to seemingly support her claim.

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Well it, must be little known indeed! It is an account by Zebedee Coltrin, as related by Ziba [?] Peterson and recorded by Abraham H. Cannon. There's an earlier account that differs slightly, but this is probably the one Toscano had in mind. See Sisters in Spirit: Mormon Women in Historical and Cultural Perspective By Maureen Ursenbach Beecher, p.66.

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Well it, must be little known indeed! It is an account by Zebedee Coltrin, as related by Ziba [?] Peterson and recorded by Abraham H. Cannon. There's an earlier account that differs slightly, but this is probably the one Toscano had in mind. See Sisters in Spirit: Mormon Women in Historical and Cultural Perspective By Maureen Ursenbach Beecher, p.66.

We have a 4th party revelation?

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See here:

Is it possible that our concept of the Godhead has been too narrow? The Mother was revealed as a personage of the Godhead in an 19 April 1834 vision in which Joseph Smith and others beheld the Father, the Mother, and the Son. This vision was given while Joseph Smith was travelling from Kirtland to New Portage, Ohio, with Zebedee Coltrin and either Sidney Rigdon or Oliver Cowdery (or possibly both). Though not reported in the History of the Church (2:50), where mention was made of the New Portage trip, Zebedee Coltrin gave several accounts of this vision later in his life, one of which was recorded under the date 3 October 1883 in the Salt Lake School of the Prophets minutes:

Once after returning from a mission, he [Coltrin] met Bro. Joseph in Kirtland, who asked him if he did not wish to go with him to a conference at New Portage. The party consisted of Prests. Joseph Smith, Sidney Rigdon, Oliver Cowdry [sic] and myself [Coltrin]. Next morning at New Portage, he [Coltrin] noticed that Joseph seemed to have a far off look in his eyes, or was looking at a distance, and presently he, Joseph, stepped between Brothers Cowdry [sic], and Coltrin and taking them by the arm, said, “lets take a walk.” They went to a place where there was beautiful grass, and grapevines and swampbeech interlaced. President Joseph Smith than [sic] said, “Let us pray.” They all three prayed in turn—Joseph, Oliver, and Zebedee. Brother Joseph than [sic] said, “now brethen [sic] we will see some visions.” Joseph lay down on the ground on his back and stretched out his arms and the two brethren lay on them. The heavens gradually opened, and they saw a golden throne, on a circular foundation, something like a light house, and on the throne were two aged personages, having white hair, and clothed in white garments. They were the two most beautiful and perfect specimens of mankind he ever saw. Joseph said, They are our first parents, Adam and Eve. Adam was a large broadshouldered man, and Eve as a woman, was large in proportion.24

Another version of this vision was recorded by Abraham H. Cannon in his journal under the date 25 August 1890:

Pres. Petersen told of an incident which he often heard Zebedee Coltrin relate. One day the Prophet Joseph Smith asked him [Zebedee Coltrin] and Sidney Rigdon to accompany him into the woods to pray. When they had reached a secluded spot Joseph laid down on his back and stretched out his arms. He told the brethren to lie one on each arm and then shut their eyes. After they had prayed he told them to open their eyes. They did so and they saw a brilliant light surrounding a pedestal which seemed to rest on the earth. They closed their eyes and again prayed. They then saw, on opening them, the Father seated upon a throne; they prayed again and on looking saw the Mother also; after praying and looking the fourth time they saw the Savior added to the group. He had auburn brown, rather long, wavy hair and appeared quite young.25

This may be the first recorded vision of the Heavenly Mother in Mormonism. In the first account she is identified as Eve. In the second account she is identified as “the Mother” and is given status with the “Father” and the “Son.” This vision raises some theological questions about the nature and number of the Godhead which are beyond the scope of this essay, but the point here is that the Mother is mentioned in conjunction and on an equal footing with the Father and the Son.26

http://www.signaturebookslibrary.org/women/chapter1.htm

Then there is this one:

2. Salt Lake School of the Prophet, Minutes, 1883, pp. 69-70; CHO CR/390/1/Box 1, Oct 11, 1883. The following account took place on 7 May 1834 at New Portage, Ohio which is about 50 miles from Kirtland, Ohio. See where the Prophet went here in HC 2:64 & Life of Joseph Smith the Prophet, by G. Q. Cannon, p. 173. See also quotation #3.

Once after returning from a mission, he [Zebedee Coltrin] met Bro. Joseph in Kirtland, who asked him if he did not wish to go with him to a conference at New Portage. The party consisted of Prests. Joseph Smith, Sidney Rigdon, Oliver Cowdery and myself. Next morning at New Portage, he noticed that Joseph seemed to have a far off look in his eyes, or was looking at a distance, and presently he, Joseph, stepped between Brothers Cowdery, and Coltrin and taking them by the arm, said, "lets take a walk." They went to a place where there was some beautiful grass, and grapevines and swampbeech interlaced. President Joseph Smith then said, "Let us pray." They all three prayed in turn--Joseph, Oliver and Zebedee. Bro. Joseph then said, "now brethren we will see some visions." Joseph lay down on the ground on his back and stretched out his arms and the two brethren lay on them. The heavens gradually opened, and they saw a golden throne, on a circular foundation, something like a light house, and on the throne were two aged personages, having white hair, and clothed in white garments. They were the two most beautiful and perfect specimens of mankind he ever saw. Joseph said, They are our first parents, Adam and Eve. Adam was a large broad shouldered man, and Eve as a woman, was as large in proportion.

3. Journal of Abraham H. Cannon, Vol 13:89; August 25th, 1890; Richfield, Utah. The following account took place on 7 May 1834 at New Portage, Ohio which is about 50 miles from Kirtland, Ohio. See where the Prophet went here in HC 2:64 & Life of Joseph Smith the Prophet, G. Q. Cannon, p. 173. See also quotation #2.

Pres. Peterson told of an incident which he often heard Zebedee Coltrin relate. One day the Prophet Joseph asked him and Sidney Rigdon to accompany him into the woods to pray. When they had reached a secluded spot, Joseph laid down on his back and stretched out his arms. He told the brethren to lie one on each arm, and then shut their eyes. After they had prayed he told them to open their eyes. They did so and saw a brilliant light surrounding a pedestal which seemed to rest on the earth. They closed their eyes and again prayed. They then saw, on opening them, the Father seated upon a throne; they prayed again and on looking saw the Mother also; after praying and looking the fourth time they saw the Savior added to the group. He had _____________ brown, rather long, wavy hair and appeared quite young.

http://www.ldshistory.net/adam-god/ag.html

edited to add both complete quotes for both links

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See here: http://www.signaturebookslibrary.org/women/chapter1.htm

Then there is this one:http://www.ldshistory.net/adam-god/ag.html

edited to add both complete quotes for both links

Thanks, calmoriah. I've read these accounts but it has been quite some time ago. I had never thought of this vision as one of Heavenly Mother but rather of Mother Eve This was also the only vision I've read of that included a female personage in the vision. Are there others? I find it interesting that although there are many wonderful women who were close to the Savior on earth and we know that women hold a position of "priestesses and queens" in the heavens, no visions of women are reported. Are there any of which I am not aware?

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What difference does it make? Really?

Our job is to do this:

"And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent."

JOHN 17:3

Everything else is pure speculation.

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What difference does it make? Really?

Our job is to do this:

"And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent."

JOHN 17:3

Everything else is pure speculation.

Unless you consider how relevant that quote is from a LDS standpoint. The Gospel of John is of late composition and dates to aproximately the 90s of the first century. What that means is your quoting a gospel written during "The Great Apostacy". So from a LDS standpoint quoting anything from the Johannine works should be rather dubious. Excluding possibly the Signs Gospel inside of John.

Phaedrus

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Unless you consider how relevant that quote is from a LDS standpoint. The Gospel of John is of late composition and dates to aproximately the 90s of the first century. What that means is your quoting a gospel written during "The Great Apostacy". So from a LDS standpoint quoting anything from the Johannine works should be rather dubious. Excluding possibly the Signs Gospel inside of John.

Phaedrus

Where does the LDS Church proclaim a cut-off date for the great apostasy, where doctrines or writings are no longer held to be valid?

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Where does the LDS Church proclaim a cut-off date for the great apostasy, where doctrines or writings are no longer held to be valid?

James Talmage suggested a cut off of before that in the Great Apostasy. But I don't have my copy here so I will have to look it up later.

john

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James Talmage suggested a cut off of before that in the Great Apostasy. But I don't have my copy here so I will have to look it up later.

john

If I remember correctly, the time of the Council of Nicea is a definite cutoff for the apostacy.

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James Talmage suggested a cut off of before that in the Great Apostasy. But I don't have my copy here so I will have to look it up later.

john

With all due respect to Dr. Talmage. our understanding of the events in early Christianity have increased exponentially since he wrote.

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I think by the time of the Council of Nicea.

Not to be a spoiler, but didn't Paul say that the apostacy was already well underway when HE wrote... and he was, of course, one of the first NT writers? I would find writings after the 1st century to be suspect... with writings after the 2nd century worthy of thorough scrutiny.

But that's just me. :P

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Where does the LDS Church proclaim a cut-off date for the great apostasy, where doctrines or writings are no longer held to be valid?

I was going to ask that same question myself.

Another point: Latter-day Saint belief holds that John did not die, but rather, was permitted to tarry on the earth until the Lord's Second Coming (see Doctrine and Covenants 7).

Therefore, it makes no difference whether John wrote his testimony in 90 AD or earlier. He could have written it during the Middle Ages and it still would have been valid, as he was/is an apostle of the Lord.

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