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LDS typically follow the example of prayer directed by Jesus when he said, "after this manner pray ye..." That is, to the Father, through and in the name of Jesus. Our scriptures do, in places contain prayers that do not follow this form. Alma 36, for example.

People can pray to a Heavenly Mother, though that obviously does not fit the pattern of our scriptures and custom and culture in taking Jesus's direction, "after this manner, pray ye."

Speculation about the identity of our Heavenly Mother, and the relation to Mary is speculation. More useful, I think, is the recognition that typology plays in Hebrew and Christian scripture. Joseph, for instance, is said to be a type of Christ. Isaac, and Jonah are also types of Christ. A type relationship involves a selective identification with, finding points of oneness. Understanding how one Biblical figure can become a type, and therefore, identified with another figure is helpful. Knowing that helps me see why when Mary takes roles associated with pre-Christian Wisdom that Wisdom identifications and symbols subsequently cluster around her. Speculations about metaphysical identity beyond known and understandable typology are speculations.

Kevin Christensen

Bethel Park, PA

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