*This article is being offered free as a courtesy to lds.org as it was footnoted in an expanded Gospel Topic on their site.
Since the 1840s, leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons) have taught that in addition to a Father in Heaven, we have a Mother in Heaven. This cherished doctrine has been an important, although relatively obscure, part of the Latter-day Saint understanding of the premortal origins and divine nature of humankind. The authors, a professor and a student of philosophy at Brigham Young University, present historical statements by Mormon leaders about Mother in Heaven. Contrary to criticism in some quarters, Church leaders have not relegated this deity to a confined role. Statements from the late 1840s onward show that leaders and influential Latter-day Saints have explored her roles as a fully divine being, a creator of worlds with the Father, a coframer of the plan of salvation, and a concerned and involved parent of her children on earth.