Talk:Heavenly Mother (Mormonism)

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Mormonism[edit]

Per your comments, there are no real authoritative sources for this doctrine, except for acknowledgement, the closest is two of the official proclamations ("origin of man" and "the family"). The Church is scarce on sources and has stated that discussion of a Heavenly Mother is speculative.

Personally, I have absolutely no idea why this page was created, this forum is not the Encyclopedia of Mormonism and every statement, doctrine or obscure teaching does not need to be fully explained. Use Wisdom (incidentally, "Wisdom" is another early Hebrew name for a female deity) in the creation of these pages. If it comes up as a question, address it. There are enough blank Mormon stubs that need to be filled out to keep us busy for a few months, without the creation of new pages. Remember the point of Wikipedia - NPOV, relevant, accurate, etc. Perhaps I am wrong in this, and can be persuaded, but pages like this and Second Anointing are speculative and not founded in strong current teachings, and are therefore a bit sketchy to write about (aside from a historical or cultural perspective), the official, authoritative information is simply not there (see my comments about the correlation program in the Temples of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints talk pages and archives). I'm probably wrong in my cautions, as I do believe that open information leads to better understanding. Anyway, I do like your edits, contribution and fresh perspective. Keep up the good work. Visorstuff 14:25, 10 Dec 2003 (UTC)

Thanks. There are many Mormon doctrines are either obsolete or not publicized, yet have great historical or cultural significance. I think the purpose of "X (Mormonism)" articles (as opposed to articles describing a particular church), should be to reflect de facto Mormonism---which is not necessarily the same as the official pronouncements of a church. An encyclopedia article on a doctrine should describe doctrines, not just official creeds, as a lifelong Utah Mormon, I can state first-hand that the doctrine of Heavenly Mother is a well-accepted and important (though not advertised) doctrine in the LDS Church. Indeed, it is gaining increasing importance among Mormon feminists. (A feminist professor at Brigham Young University was fired several years ago because she encouraged students to pray to the Heavenly Mother.) Moreover, this doctrine has contributed (rightly or wrongly) to the new phenomenon of dialog between Mormonism and New Age ideas. The doctrine is persistently brought up in anti-Mormon discourse, and I think that both Mormon critics and Mormon apologists have a lot to say on the subject.COGDEN 16:40, 10 Dec 2003 (UTC)
I too am a born-and-raised Utah Mormon (not sure of your point on that) until completion of my undergraduate degree at BYU (not counting summer working in other states, archeaological field schools and my mission). I hope to move back some day, to be near my family. However, the church does take an official stance on doctrines - see Common Latter-day Saint perceptions and Outer Darkness's talk page and discussions for details (also info about correlation and official doctrines at Talk:Christianity and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints). This is the whole purpose of the Correlation program. There are many things in the church that are believed by the members at large, that are simple not true - Saturday's Warrior and My Turn of Earth are full of them! Though they may or may not be true, or were taught by earlier church leaders, does not make them official church doctrines. Though the doctrine of heavenly mother is taught by members of the church and is officially acknowledged by the Church, additional information is speculative, some early brethren taught that there were more than one, Some taught that there is only one for this earth. Some taught that there is only one. Who knows. There are fights among LDS scholars about subjects like this, the three degrees of glory, the three divisions in the pre-mortal life, what it exactly means to be a god, etc (familiar with Joseph Fielding Smith's comments about speculation on the nature of Intelligence and Spirit? and his and president Kimball's comments about doctrinal speculation? his quote is often used in comments about the Adam-God Theory).
I think we should (and I have tried) to differentiate between common Mormon belief and official Church doctrine. Even President Hinckley was slammed by anti-Mormons for saying that we don't teach or even necessarily believe we'll be gods of our own planets to Mike Wallace, he was saying we simply don't understand what it means to be a god, and that is the official church stance. Any additional information, although it may be correct is speculation and not official doctrine. Perhaps we need an article on Commonly believed Mormon Doctrines versus Doctrines of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the thing is doctrines do not become obsolete. They may change, but doctrine is truth and adherence to official belief. Application of the doctrine changes as well and history is easily taken out of context. We will never understand plural marriage, because we didn't live it. Any time it is brought up in Church, it is the duty of the presiding authorities to stop any discussion on it - per OD #1. We simply do not teach the doctrine or practice it anymore. Please understand we are not attacking you or these edits, they are good and probably needed. We realize this is an open source forum and that all of our intents are good to share information that is needed to clarify point of thought. We appreciate your work and look forward to more. Just be careful no to misrepresent official doctrine for "a general authority once said X, so it must be true." I just wish people would read the Ensign more so they can understand many of the clarifications. Visorstuff 17:16, 10 Dec 2003 (UTC)

My initial feeling when I saw this article pop up: *Sigh*. Given all of the other Church and Mormon articles that need more material (like patriarchal blessing) and improvement (like History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints), I question the wisdom of starting an article like this at this point. Oh well. B 16:23, Dec 10, 2003 (UTC)

That's a fair statement; however, one of the advantages of open source projects like Wikipedia is that people are free to develop areas that interest them most. Eventually, there will be a detailed and interesting Heavenly Mother article, and I'm hoping it's sooner than later.COGDEN 16:40, 10 Dec 2003 (UTC)
What?! Don't you know that this part of Wikipedia is BoNoMoJopedia?! You are supposed to develop articles that interest me! J.K. LOL B 04:11, Dec 11, 2003 (UTC)

More inclusive article[edit]

Since Mormonism is not the only religion that believes in a heavenly mother, should this article be reformatted to be more inclusive and not so LDS-centric? --Kmsiever 22:03, 22 June 2006 (UTC)

I agree; however, as I know very little about other religions beliefs in this matter - I can't help - perhaps there is another article on God (female) that we could put at the top of the article. --Trödel 15:32, 17 July 2006 (UTC)
I think there is the concept of heavenly mother in Hinduism, that is the universal God finding expression in the form of a goddess as well as a god. I am no expert however. I am sure that many New Age type people have the same kind of concept. Steve Dufour 16:37, 12 August 2006 (UTC)

I think the term Heavenly mother is lds but the artical should be linked to other goddesses. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 152.15.100.191 (talk) 16:43, 6 October 2010 (UTC)

Actually World Mission Society Church of God worships Heavenly Mother as well doctrine is different but still Christian and Heavenly Mother wife of God the Father and what not--174.45.204.124 (talk) 08:44, 20 February 2011 (UTC)

Reference/Note Proposal[edit]

I propose that instead of inline cites (Origin, p 339-340), we use footnotes and reference the bibliography - as opposed to including the cites in the bibliography. Doing this would look like this:

...

In addition, members of the Anointed Quorum, a highly select spiritual organization in the early Church that was privy to Smith's teachings, also acknowledged the existence of a Heavenly Mother.[1] Also, the Times and Seasons published a letter to the editor from a person named "Joseph's Specked Bird" in which the author stated that in the pre-Earth life, the spirit "was a child with his father and mother in heaven".[2]

...

References

  1. ^ See Wilcox, pp. 65-67 (1987); Orson Pratt, p. 292 (1876); Wilford Woodruff, pp. 31-32 (1875).
  2. ^ See Joseph's Specked Bird, p. 892 (1845).

Bibliography

  • Joseph's Specked Bird, Letter to the Editor, Times and Seasons 6: 892 (May 1, 1845).
  • Pratt, Orson, Journal of Discourses 18:292 (Nov. 12, 1876).
  • Wilcox, Linda P., "The Mormon Concept of a Mother in Heaven", Sisters in Spirit: Mormon Women in Historical and Cultural Perspective, edited by Maureen Ursenbach Beecher and Lavina Fielding Anderson (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1987), 64-77.
  • Woodruff, Wilford, Journal of Discourses 18:31-32 (June 27, 1875).

I also think we should use Harvard Reference cite style. Any objections? --Trödel 15:32, 17 July 2006 (UTC)

I think it's a good idea. I have no preference for a style though. --Kmsiever 16:43, 17 July 2006 (UTC)
If you want to change the citations I've added to a uniform style (or offer better citations), I have no objection. 67.60.44.201 23:47, 23 July 2006 (UTC)
Oops... I wasn't signed in when I made those citation edits, or when I added the above comment (as 67.60.44.201). This is my user ID. Eric.d.dixon 23:49, 23 July 2006 (UTC)
Thanks - the above was implemented earlier this week - I'll add the Lee book to the bibliography. Generally I think (and this is only my view not a policy) that websites should rarely be included in a bibliography. --Trödel 02:20, 24 July 2006 (UTC)

Capitalization of "her"[edit]

While I understand that the h should be capitalized in Church writings, is it really proper in this case? We're not supposed to be writing from a POV. Dead Horse 20:06, 15 October 2006 (UTC)

Latter Day Saint vs Latter-day Saint[edit]

Why are there two sections on Latter Day Saint belefs? I understand the Wiki naming convention, but do we really need to cover the non-Utah denominations on this one? It seems to only really be Latter-day Saints who are being addressed.

Merge the article[edit]

Also, maybe we can find a more generic article. Goddess? Mother Earth? Something where more inclusion of other belief systems can be covered? "Heavenly Mother" is a very LDS term. Bytebear 21:41, 14 November 2006 (UTC)

I think trying to merge it into Mother Goddess, as has been suggested, might offend some people. Steve Dufour 05:46, 13 January 2007 (UTC)

This would be a bad move, the Latter-day Saint belief does not view Heavely Mother as a Mother Goddess in the traditional sense of the word. In the extent to which the term God can be aplied to her it is when used as in the plural man and woman one unit sense of the word.

This does not lend itself to being considered in the Mother Goddess topic. You are perfectly free to add a mention to this in the Mother Goddess wed site, but I do not think such a move would be wise, however I think this concept is different enough, since it is an outgrowth of the title of Father held by the Traditional Christian God that it desrves treatment in its own article.- John Pack Lambert —Preceding unsigned comment added by Johnpacklambert (talkcontribs) 19:07, 26 April 2007

The Latter-day Saints, however, are not the only ones who believe in a Heavenly Mother, and they do not have a monopoly on the doctrine. --Kmsiever 19:24, 26 April 2007 (UTC)
Here's what I would suggest. Merge this article with Mother Goddess, and then create a new article entitled Heavenly Mother (Latter Day Saints) to discuss LDS-specific beliefs. If the Branch Davidians would be offenced by Mother Goddess, then we can combine LDS and Branch Davidian beliefs in a new article entitled Heavenly Mother (Christianity). COGDEN 19:28, 26 April 2007 (UTC)

Statement Removed from Article[edit]

Happy to see you removed this statement from your article:

"or it may be that her role, unlike those of Jesus Christ and God the Father, does not impact eternal salvation"

Some reasons:

John16:7 Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send [him/(her/that one)] unto you. John16:8 And when [he/(she)] is come, [he/(she)] ***will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment*** John16:9 ==>Of sin, because they believe not on me<==

Mark3:29 But he that shall blaspheme against the Holy Ghost hath never forgiveness, but is in danger of eternal damnation:

Prv8:35 For whoso findeth me findeth life, and shall obtain favour of the LORD. Prv8:36 But he that sinneth against me wrongeth his own soul: ***all they that hate me love death***. Prv9:1 Wisdom hath builded her house, she hath hewn out her seven pillars:

[[User: | ]] 13:17, 15 March 2007 (UTC)

Section Sequence[edit]

I organized the sections in alpha order, as the present order appears to be simply the order of creation. Any objections? Any other sequencing schemes? WBardwin 01:27, 29 March 2007 (UTC)

Request for Citations[edit]

Regarding the section:

“Due to the prevailing belief among some Latter-day Saints that plural marriage is a true principle that is practiced in heaven, some members of the LDS Church consider that there are more than one Mothers in Heaven.”

The phrase, “prevailing belief among some Latter-day Saints,” appears contradictory, the word “prevailing” is synonymous with “popular, general and widespread.” Therefore, the belief could be held by some Latter-day Saints, or it could be prevalent among Latter-day Saints in general, but it does not make sense to say that it is prevailing among some Latter-day Saints.

In addition, the idea that some LDS people believe that ‘plural marriage is a true principle that is practiced in heaven,’ is a rather extraordinary claim which, in my opinion, needs to be backed up with its own citation.

Also, while the claim that some members of LDS Church believe that God the Father has multiple wives is technically true, it can be misleading. While some members of the LDS Church believe in this idea, it is also true that some members of the LDS Church believe in Bigfoot and the Loch Ness monster, this does not mean that they derived their belief from LDS doctrine or that they constitute a significant portion of the LDS population (or at least not a significant enough portion to warrant inclusion in a Wikipedia article).

If the author does mean to imply that a significant number of LDS adherents hold this belief, then it is my opinion that this extraordinary claim requires a better citation than a reference to two comments in a blog entry. To be clear, however, I am not calling for the removal of this statement so much as I am calling for a better citation which can match the serious nature of this claim.

I am calling for the statement's removal. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 199.46.245.231 (talk) 23:40, 21 January 2008 (UTC)

Orson Pratt[edit]

The quote in question attributed to Orson Pratt states that it is lawful only to worship the "King of Heaven", not the Queen, that does not sound like he is advocating worshipping Heavenly Mother. The Jade Knight 22:15, 19 June 2007 (UTC)

Heavenly parents[edit]

Cogden, in the section on "Acknowledgment of the theology," you mention in the proclamation on the family the "Church officially stated that each person is a "spirit son or daughter of heavenly parents"," and use this as a proof point of the doctrine. I know some both inside and out of the church believe this means Father-Christ are parents of all mankind, or that we existed in the same/similar family unit as we do now, but believe that the vagueness on this in the proclamation was purposeful to not quite acknowledge a heavenly mother. Do you think a quick treatment of this would muddy the waters, or help clarify that there are other interpretations of the statement in this section? -Visorstuff 23:49, 19 June 2007 (UTC)

NPOV[edit]

Does it bear mentioning, under "Origin of the Heavenly Mother theology", that the doctrine as presented by Joseph Smith originally was (or is) supposedly "controversial" and "differed dramatically from modern Christian consensus"? Define "Christian consensus"? What relevance would "controversial" be? And different churches and groups in Christianity have and do disagree on every topic. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 166.70.188.26 (talk) 00:06, 11 April 2008 (UTC)

Eliza R. Snow being a prophetess[edit]

I recently deleted a sentence that had been marked for support since February, it was then returned today by no less than two editors. Though I find the return a knee-jerk reaction, I would appreciate if you could share your reasoning. Can you please explain the importance of noting that Eliza R. Snow was recognized as prophetess; however, the actual quote is, "Eliza R. Snow was known as 'Zion’s Poetess, 'prophetess,' 'priestess,' and 'presidentess.'" She was never looked upon as a prophet and this reference misleads readers to a different conclusion, which is not acceptable. She was known first and foremost as Zion's poetess; the other terms were superlatives, but even in the reference no support was given to the context of use of the other terms. Are you advocating that she was actually seen as a prophet by the LDS people and held in similar regard as the Prophet of the Church?

My main issue is the topic of the article is Heavenly Mother. Out of the blue, dropped at the beginning of a paragraph is this sentence about Eliza being a prophetess, it then reverts to relevant information on the topic. It is off topic; is the concept of heavenly mother somehow enhanced by Eliza R. Snow being known as a prophetess, etc? Or is the intent to somehow further lend importance to the poem she wrote; that it was considered a revelation by Latter-day Saints? That is pure synthesis and is not supported by the reference.

I think the statement should be deleted because it just does not lend value to the topic, it does not "make" the hymn cited any more important to LDS. More importantly, it attempts to lead the reader to a position that is not supported by LDS theology; there is only one prophet that leads the church at a time and only one that can declare doctrine for the Church. Eliza was never that individual. Further, the cite takes superlatives used to describe an individual and attempts to lead readers to actually think LDS felt she was a prophetess of the Church. --Storm Rider (talk) 06:33, 14 June 2008 (UTC)

I agree with StormRider - I only reverted your edit because I found the corrected link that was dead, which is why I thought you removed the statement. But you are right - it doesn't have a ton of relevance, though the information should probably be moved to the main Eliza R. Snow article. --Descartes1979 (talk) 17:05, 14 June 2008 (UTC)
I think it should be moved, but I don't have a lot of knowledge about the Eliza when it comes to the other terms. I know that she was respected for being a great poet for the LDS, as I think about it, it seems like I remember reading something about her being viewed as visionary, but that has been years ago. Some work will need to be done to frame that appelations in their proper context. --Storm Rider (talk) 22:49, 14 June 2008 (UTC)
The Snow "title" of "prophetess", as well as "presidentess" and "poetess", has long been taught in LDS gatherings (and still is [1] ). I’m sure there is a source for the title out there somewhere – I think I was taught years ago that JSmith (or Brigham Young) once called her a prophetess in a semi-public gathering, however the 20th/21st Century LDS official perspective on "prophecy" is very different from the 19th. Snow, and other women leaders in the Relief Society and general church, administered to one another and their children by laying on of hands, spoke in tongues, spoke publically and offered teachings as prophecy and took other spiritual actions. All of these actions were based on the biblical concept of gifts of the spirit, not on holding the "Priesthood", leading the church or conducting priesthood rites. WBardwin (talk) 03:53, 7 July 2008 (UTC)

Dubious[edit]

The claim in the lead that it is a doctrine adhered to by Mormon fundamentalists is unsourced and seems highly unlikely outside of a few tiny minority exceptions. Additionally, we should not be categorizing articles based on isolated claims, but rather the unifying themes of the topic. Vassyana (talk) 13:43, 4 July 2008 (UTC)

Although I am finding it hard to source (these fundamentalist groups don't have a large presence online), I would find it very surprising if they did not teach this doctrine. Along with polygamy, Adam-God, Blood Atonement, and other obscure and controversial doctrines, this is just the sort of thing that fundamentalists would want to keep - the whole point of fundamentalism is to not toss out the controversial doctrines that the mainstream LDS church has. That said, I am no expert on Mormon fundamentalism, so I can't be sure - and again, with the lack of available references online, there is a dearth of information. Is there anyone who is a member of one of these churches that can give some perspective? --Descartes1979 (talk) 15:24, 4 July 2008 (UTC)
Though I'm not a member of one of these groups, I have studied many of them in depth. I can confirm that all the fundamentalist groups I have studied, which include the FLDS Church and AUB, do believe in and teach Mother in Heaven, or, to be more precise, Mothers in Heaven, since God the Father is polygamist. I agree that to find a source for this will be tricky, I suspect, but I'll look and see if I can find anything in off-line sources I have. I'm not sure if calling this claim "dubious" is very accurate; it's probably more accurate to say it's dubious that these groups don't believe or teach it. Good Ol’factory (talk) 19:21, 5 July 2008 (UTC)

Removed section for discussion[edit]

The section below appear to me to be an assertion of editorial opinion and so actually may be an original research concept, although the source to BYoung is probably accurate, has anyone read the Wilcox book? I would discount the blog review. I know of no other LDS oriented publication which introduces and discusses a LDS doctrinal problem with a Queen Wife. Opinions. WBardwin (talk) 06:05, 11 January 2010 (UTC)

Problematic aspect of Heavenly Mother theology: One problematic aspect of the doctrine of Heavenly Mother, about which there has been much speculation, is the question of whether there are many Mothers in Heaven, all plurally married to the Father in Heaven (as taught by Brigham Young).[1] Then would arise the question of which one of these Heavenly Mothers is the Heavenly Father’s Queen Wife?
I am sorry, but I have not read the book. Nor have I ever heard anyone pose this issue as "a problem", it certainly may be an issue for an individual, but it has hardly achieved the level of a group discussion among LDS. The concept of plural wives in heaven has been around since Joseph Smith; in such a teaching there was never a teach as "the" queen, but rather all are kings and queens. Exaltation is an more about being one with Jesus Christ and God the Father than about one's marital relationship, the above does sound like an individual's opinion. The question for me is the author an expert? --StormRider 12:40, 11 January 2010 (UTC)

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Capitalization[edit]

The word "heavenly" had been capitalized in some places, but not others, so I capitalized all instances for consistency. Good Ol'factory reverted this as unwarranted, so I went ahead and changed the remaining capitalizations (other than direct quotes) to lowercase. (Thanks for retaining my other changes, though!) As soon as I did this, however, Bahooka reverted my second change, because in some cases "Heavenly Mother" is apparently used as a proper noun. Frankly, if I hadn't been chasing the hobgoblin of consistency, this is a distinction I would have made to begin with: "...praying to the heavenly Mother" & "worshiping a heavenly Mother" look all right to me, but I agree "...prayer to Heavenly Mother" should be capitalized. Given the apparent disagreement between editors, though, I would prefer to have a consensus before changing the article to this standard.

Just for reference, of the ten cited sources that I can confirm use the phrase "Heavenly Mother," most of them either capitalize "Heavenly" when used in a proper noun, or capitalize all uses, as follows:

  • "Pre-Mortal Existence", Mormonism, BBC, 2009-10-02: capitalized after "a" or "the"
  • "The Role of Women in the Church". Restoration Church of Jesus Christ: capitalized after "our"
  • "Lesson 9: Chastity and Modesty", The Latter-day Saint Woman: Basic Manual for Women, Part A (2000): not capitalized (but does capitalize "Heavenly Father")
  • Spencer W. Kimball, "The True Way of Life and Salvation", Ensign, May 1978, p. 4: capitalized after "our"
  • Wilcox, Linda P. (1987), "The Mormon Concept of a Mother in Heaven", Sisters in Spirit: Mormon Women in Historical and Cultural Perspective, Urbana: University of Illinois Press, pp. 64–77: capitalized after "a," "the," and as proper noun
  • Pratt, Orson (October 1853), "Celestial Marriage", The Seer, 1 (10), p. 159: not capitalized (after "a" and "His")
  • Paulsen, David L.; Pulido, Martin (2011), "'A Mother There': A Survey of Historical Teachings About Mother in Heaven", BYU Studies, 50 (1): 70–97: capitalized after "a," "the," and as proper noun
  • "Academic Freedom and Tenure: Brigham Young University" (PDF). American Association of University Professors. September–October 1997: capitalized as proper noun (in quote from Prof. Houston)
  • Tad Walch. "LDS Church releases new essays about women and the priesthood and Heavenly Mother". Deseret News: capitalized as proper noun
  • Margaret Merrill Toscano, "Is There a Place For Heavenly Mother In Mormon Theology"; Sunstone; July 2004: capitalized after "a," "the," and as proper noun

I grant that this may or may not reflect the majority of all available sources, but it is what the article is currently based on. Thoughts? Lusanaherandraton (talk) 22:38, 24 December 2016 (UTC)

The capitalization of "heavenly" may depend on the context. The LDS Church treats the term Heavenly Mother as a proper noun (see here), but that may depend on sentence structure and discussion of a concept rather than a specific Mother in Heaven. While I reverted the initial change, if the consensus is to use a lower case "h", that's fine with me. Bahooka (talk) 15:22, 25 December 2016 (UTC)
In its non-canonical texts, the LDS Church itself tends to capitalize all sorts of words that wouldn't normally be capitalized (including words that are not capitalized in its canonical texts), so I'm not sure the church's usage is a good standard to follow in and of itself. However, it looks like most other sources listed above do so as well. Personally, I thought "heavenly" was just an adjective describing location or nature rather than part of any proper name, as with "heavenly Father" in KJV, and that the proper name would be "Mother", if anything, but if we purely follow the sources, I think capitalization would win out in most cases. Good Ol’factory (talk) 00:34, 28 December 2016 (UTC)
If "Heavenly" is part of the title, I would interpret this sentence from MOS:CAPS#Religion as calling for caps: "Proper names and titles referencing deities are capitalized." Jonathunder (talk) 00:52, 28 December 2016 (UTC)