I started a small Facebook group a few years ago with an assemblage of like-minded friends. We discuss issues relevant to the Church and society. It is a safe place for some to express doubts, concerns and less-than-mainstream thoughts without feeling judged or encouraged to walk away from the Gospel. We buoy each other up with stories of exciting and positive things we see happening in our wards. When faith is weak and questioning, we support one another with love and positive, faith-promoting resources. When belief is strong, we overflow and share.
One member of the forum expressed this week a discussion he had held with his daughters regarding Heavenly Mother. With perfect innocence and faith, his 12-year old said, “Daddy, somebody should write a letter to President Monson and ask him to change the first line of the Young Women’s theme so it says, ‘We are daughters of our Heavenly Parents, who love us, and we love Them . . .’”
The forum lit up with smiley faces and those huge thumbs-up-likes that Facebook is so fond of letting you give. Another told about her primary-aged daughter wanting her mom to make sure that all the girls at Church knew they could one day become goddesses.
Wow. Just wow. Talk about Aspiring Mormon Women. Only at the beginning to fathom their power and potential, and yet bursting to make sure that other girls understand it too.
Many of the pieces here, my own certainly included, are aimed at helping us comprehend and excel at our work in the world. Our goals, dreams, hopes and wishes for our futures in this life. Networking. Mentoring. Seeking employment. Balancing work and family life. Money. These things are a needful part of entering and being present in the work force of 2014. It is good for us to talk to, encourage and support one another in these grand endeavors.
This week, these sweet young sisters, only heard about from a distance, reminded me powerfully what my work must also be about. If my aspirations are only for my potential in this life, then I am missing the most important piece. If I fail to understand my divine nature, then I will probably fail in the work that is outside the realm of the spiritual as well. While I seek diligently to be a very good employee—responsible, loyal, dependable, diligent, clever, capable, etc. etc. I must also pursue those attributes that make me like the Divine Mother. The Being whom I hope to become like one day. After all, doesn’t the temple teach me that this current form, in all of its messy imperfection, is merely a type and a shadow what is to come? That we are only at the embryonic stage of a long and glorious journey? It is through Christ’s atonement that we partake of the divine nature and become joint heirs with God.
We make much here of mentoring, and I love the idea of apprenticeship: that we learn the most when we work toward what we want to be, guided and scaffolded along the way by master teachers, true friends and wise elders.
To aspire is to seek, aim, hope, desire, wish, and to have goals and ambitions. As a woman who deeply values these attributes, I have felt this week a renewed sense of responsibility toward those young women who come within my circle of influence. It is imperative that I see them as sister-apprentices seeking to become more like the Divine Feminine. Is there any lovelier or worthier aspiration on which to spend our time, talents and energy?
The theme was introduced to the Young Women at roughly the same time I came into the program, in 1987. As a teenager, I remember that parts of the theme made more sense to me than others. I always found Divine Nature to be fairly vague. I knew it meant that I was a daughter of God, but it was it was years before I really scratched the surface of all that entailed. I am encouraged that my friends’ daughters, at such tender ages, have already glommed onto this powerful, saving knowledge. The idea of knowing thyself is at the heart of a deliberately lived life. When our sisterhood is at its best and most loving through service, mothering, working supporting, teaching, guiding . . . we begin to emulate our Mother.
How have you found ways to mentor your own daughters and young women in their earthly and divine roles? What have you done to gift them with a powerful sense of purpose and potential?