Have We Been Praying to Her All Along?

Submitted from an anonymous reader: 

If “the song of the righteous is a prayer” (D&C 25:12), does singing “O My Father” constitute praying to Heavenly Mother? It does, after all, contain the line “Father, Mother, may I meet you / In your royal courts on high? / Then, at length, when I’ve completed / All you sent me forth to do /  With your mutual approbation / Let me come and dwell with you.” 

10 Replies to “Have We Been Praying to Her All Along?”

  1. Cue the twilight zone music, smallaxe. Whoever your anonymous correspondent is must have ESP and a direct line to my brain. I’ve been thinking the same thing for the last few days, and was congratulating myself on my originality. Oh well.

    Given the way you phrase the question, the only possible answer is *yes*.

  2. Of course, one has to concede that D&C 25:12 is speaking in literal terms when it speaks of “song” and “prayer” in order for the answer to be “yes.” The verse might be elevated prose or even some form of poetry, because singing being equated to prayer is not common speech, even within ecclesiastical settings. The fact that this verse receives the hightened commentary and attention from members indicates to this reader that perhaps the equation of “song” and “prayer” ought to be read with symbolic lenses.

    So when I listen to Black Sabbath or Pink Floyd songs, am I praying to marijuana?

  3. The fact that this verse receives the hightened commentary and attention from members indicates to this reader that perhaps the equation of “song” and “prayer” ought to be read with symbolic lenses.

    Or rather, that if it were common (ecclesiastical) speech to equate the two terms, most folks would gloss over the verse or give it little interpretational exercise. That’s not to say that all verses that receive a lot of attention are symbolic, but rather that since the speech in this verse is uncommon, a symbolic reading might be what is going on there. Of course, there might be other literary mechansisms at play, or perhaps it should be read literally like the question implies. Who knows.

  4. Ha! I came up with this idea like 2 months ago.

    I find it interesting that, in the last verse of the hymn, Eliza Snow addresses both of her Heavenly Parents, together, as if speaking to them in prayer.

    I realize that hymns aren’t canonical doctrine, but I think this hymn is probably the best justification for praying to both the Father and the Mother that we have in official LDS literature.

  5. It’s too bad that we don’t sing “Oh What Songs of the Heart” (#286) more often. In the Japanese of my mission field the phrase heavenly parents in the 4th verse was rendered as heavenly father and mother.

  6. While I personally love the idea of praying to heavenly mother, I have to disagree with the conclusion. The comparison reminds me of Kaimi’s post from a couple of months ago:
    In it he strained to give women a ecclesiastical role in the sacrament by their singing parts of hymns without the men.

    Again, I fully embrace the idea of women blessing the sacrament, holding leadership positions, and honoring our heavenly mother out loud. I just think that these approaches are an attempt to sneak women in through the back door. I would much prefer that Mormons that hold such views take a more direct approach.

  7. I will expound this scripture for you.

    The Lord said, “The song of the righteous is a prayer unto me.” “Song of the righteous” is another way of saying “righteous song.” So, the answer to your question is no, all righteous songs go to Jesus. Not to Heavenly Father, not to Heavenly Mother, but to Jesus. Now, in case you still don’t understand what I’m saying, a “righteous song” is a hip song. You know, like when a hip song is played and a cool cat hears it and blurts out, “Righteous!” This is the meaning of the scripture.

  8. Thanks MattG – I had “Sweat Leaf” and “Comfortably Numb” in mind. I’m glad someone caught it.

    LDS Anarchist – LOL! That’s the kind of exegesis we need more of.

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