Beyond The Checklist

041: Why Learning of and Connecting to Heavenly Mother is Essential to Your Journey || McArthur Krishna


[00:00:00] Darla: Welcome to the Spiritually Minded Women podcast. If you’re a woman who is ready and willing to be a follower of Jesus, you’re in the right place. Join me as we dive in deep to learn how to embrace your journey on the covenant path with checkpoints instead of checklists. I’m your host Darla Trendler, and I’m cheering you on. Welcome to your journey.

I have a great guest for you today. It’s McArthur Krishna, who is the author of several books, including A Girl’s Guide to Heavenly Mother and A Boy’s Guide to Heavenly Mother. Yes, we are going to talk about Heavenly Mother. And I am really excited to share this interview with you. 

The first half of the interview is McArthur talking about her own life and following personal revelation that she received, even though it didn’t look like the personal revelation that others might be receiving and how she followed that and how it has blessed her life. 

And then in the second half of the interview, we dive in and we talk about Heavenly Mother and I wanted to come on at the very beginning and tell you if you’re someone who has thought in the past that talking about Heavenly Mother was taboo. It’s something that’s too sacred to talk about, there’s lots of documentation and in fact, McArthur shares in this interview that no prophet or apostle ever has said that we shouldn’t talk about Her. And so I’m really excited to share this interview because I’ve learned so much about her in the last few years. And I think that we need to talk more about Her. 

And so I’m really excited for you to hear what McArthur has to share. And now here is the interview. 

Welcome to the Spiritually Minded Women podcast. This is Darla and have a treat for you today. Such a great guest, someone that I’ve admired and have heard on other podcasts and read books. And just so grateful that she’s here today and can’t wait to introduce you to her. So I would love to introduce you to MacArthur Krishna. MacArthur, welcome to the podcast. 

[00:01:54] McArthur: Thank you. Delighted to be here. 

[00:01:56] Darla: So happy to have you. Will you start off and just introduce yourself. 

[00:02:00] McArthur: Yeah I think what most people would know me by as MacArthur Krishna is that I write children’s books for Deseret Book.

I was going on a road trip this summer and I actually had someone approach me and say, I recognize your name. And that was the first time that had happened. I was a little bit startled. Obviously, MacArthur Krishna is a little bit of a, that it comes out before. No, it surprised me beyond that, I’d say I was born in Provo, as my parents were going to BYU grew up in wild and wonderful West Virginia.

I was just talking to a friend about how much that influenced my identity, that it really became I was literally a poster child for Mormonism. So in my hometown, they do this huge parade where like 200,000 people come to my town. My town is like 10,000 people. 200,000 people come into my town and they do this big festival.

And the church decided to do a families are forever float. And we built a model of the Washington DC temple, and then kids from the congregation sat and did the wave. Right. All the way, like the route of the parade route. And so quite literally I was a poster child for our faith. And then, because we are a small town and we were one of the few Mormon families and because there are eight of us it really quickly became that we were known as the LDS, Mormon at that time, family in town. And so I would say from the very early days of my life, that my faith was both something that was really internal, but also something that was clearly an identity and a marker for how I was going to interact with the world. 

[00:03:31] Darla: So what I talk about on my podcast is journeying on the covenant path and finding your own unique journey and just embracing it and saying that doesn’t have to look like everybody else’s and I would definitely say that your journey would, yours is a very unique one.

So we’re going to jump forward. We talked about, you talked about your childhood and growing up in West Virginia. I know you went to BYU and you went through your life doing good things, and then you found your husband. So let’s do you want to back up anywhere from there we start start your story right there.

When you met your husband. 

[00:04:04] McArthur: So first I graduated from BYU. Okay. Had opportunities to get married to some marvelous LDS men. But every time I prayed about it, that was not my path. And I moved to DC, was living in DC and the most fabulous congregation I’ve ever experienced. And I was 37 years old when I finally met and married my husband and I spent a year of that prior to that praying and fasting every week.

That’s a lot of fasting for the record. Every week for 50 some weeks. And I was living with an amazing LDS roommate. And every time I just kept being like, this is insane. She would bring me back and say, Have you talked to God about this? Have you talked to God? And so this was the wrestle that I was, as I just said, the poster child of LDS faith.

And I met someone who was not of our faith and And while I was 37, let’s be very clear. I was not considering marrying him out of desperation. Like I had said no enough times that if I needed to say no, I was capable of that. But what kept happening is every time I kept saying. This is too crazy.

If I marry him, I’m going to move to the other side of the planet. I’m going to become a step-mom. I’m going to leave my business, my home, my family, my work, my house. I owned a house. Like I was very happy and rooted. Happy, in fact, like I went to a single adult and this one woman said, oh, we’re just the dregs cause we’re older. And I like stood up and my roommate like pushed me back down into my seat. And I’m like, I’m not in dreg. I’m out of here. Like sincerely in fact, right here is my mother may not appreciate this, but she’s a good woman, so she’ll forgive me. But she once said to me, honey, I just wish you’d find someone. And I said, I know mom, but honestly I am happy. She said, I know. I wish you were a little less happy cause then you might be motivated. 

[00:06:11] Darla: This wasn’t out of desperation. You’re living a fulfilled life.

[00:06:14] McArthur: I was sincerely happy. I co owned a business when with some dear friends. We were doing good work in the world. I loved being a young professional in Washington, DC.

There’s so much to enjoy there and I was traveling and yeah, I liked my life. And and so to meet, Vade and during that year I kept having this this is your path. And I kept being like no. And occasionally, even a few notable times, I’d be like, I’m outta here.

I can’t do this. In fact, one time, I even said, look, I know this is cheating. I was talking to God. Look, I know this has changed. I know that personal revelation is supposed to come to me, but I am so tired. And my brain feels like it’s imploding from cognitive dissonance, trying to make this decision.

I can’t keep doing this, so I’m just going to go to bed. And if you want me to continue this relationship with this person, you have to tell him. And at that point in time, he and I were not even communicating because we couldn’t. And I went to bed and at six o’clock in the morning, my phone rang and my now husband said on the phone I’ve just been thinking about you all day, and I know I’m not supposed to reach out and be in touch with you right now.

But I just, I’ve been waiting for you to like, be early enough that I could call you. Cause he was on the other side of the planet that I just thought that I should be in touch with you today.

And things like that happened multiple times. Another time he sent me this email that made me so grouchy, I was like, oh, watch this. You’re about to get righteous indignation, falling pouring on your head. And I flipped over my computer to break it off with him and tell him to buzz off in stringent terms.

And my fingers literally would not type. So I said, okay, let me say a prayer. Dear Lord, I really would like to tell this person off this is the perfect moment. I’ve been sick of this. I can’t do this. This is too hard. Like I’m outta here. So you just tell me what to say. And what floated into my mind was music, which was a little bit of a surprise because I’m not a musical person.

And I’m like, what is that? And it was the hymn, lead, kindly light. So then I started thinking about the lyrics because I’m a words person, and the words were one step enough. And I said, okay, Lord, what’s the next step? And instead of righteous, indignation what poured out of my fingers was a very quick, very brief invitation for him to meet up with me. And he told me that he was on his way home from work and he was on his motorcycle and he’s like holding his cell phone, like up in the air, trying to get the signal in this little Indian town because he knew that he was going to get it as soon as I received this email.

And so he literally was like fearing for his life and he said, I finally at a railroad crossing, like ping your email came in and I flipped it over. And there’s just like a one sentence invitation. And I kept being like, has it not downloaded? There must be more here, right?

Yeah. There’s no way. It’s just a sentence. So then when we met up, he said to me like, that really surprised me. That’s not what I thought was going to happen. I’m like, oh, it is not what was going to happen. If it was left to me, like I was going to feel like literally writing down, like fire and damnation on your head.

Like it was coming and. And I got told something different. So I said something different, but for me it was actually, this sounds funny, but it was I went in to talk to my stake president about all this, cause it was just blowing my mind and he said, off and on all the years, you’ve talked to me about different relationships and different paths.

But, and this is what’s marvelous I think about our gospel is that he said, You are doing the work. You are speaking in prayer. You are seeking revelations. I’m happy to talk to you about this, but you’re getting revelation from the place you need to get it from. And that is one of my husband’s favorite things about our faith is that no matter how we feel about things really differently, right?

Because politically we can be really differently. The state of the world right now has lots of schisms in it. And so he would joke that I had like my own brand of Mormonism, but then as he started to meet different people in my life who all thought differently about things, even within my own immediate family, he said, what’s the most amazing thing is every single time I asked them, if you’re trying to make a decision, if something hard is happening, if this blah, blah, blah, their immediate response is always, you turn to God.

And I thought my stake president was super wise to validate that, that he was there to be an assist, but he was not there to get in between me and revelation. That me turning to heaven was where the relationship needed to be. Which frankly still didn’t make it easy. 

[00:10:54] Darla: That’s what I was thinking. There had to be lots of obstacles still, even then we get an answer, we know something’s right. There’s still obstacles. 

[00:11:01] McArthur: Absolutely. And I was such a rookie cause I was like, oh, go. Okay. So in my defense, I was a rookie, but in my defense, previous times when I’d received answers to prayers, paths just rolled out.

So when I decided to go to BYU for graduate school, I actually was more interested in a different program. And again, prayed about it, what I should do. And it rolled out that I should go to BYU, which didn’t have the program I was interested in. So that was a little bit baffling. But things just fell into place and the path got smooth.

So I was like, oh, this is a path I should be on. I had never experienced before that I could be on God’s path and it could just get harder. Cause God, the path we like to think of is like roses and rainbows and everything’s smooth and lovely. And it’s more my tone of voice there than the actual words I use.

It’s just huh. But God’s path I, for me, I learned is also a path of growth. If, what we’re trying to do is move from being born, to returning, to living with our Heavenly Parents. Then there is a big gap in there between our souls and our Heavenly Parents soul, right? There’s a lot of soul development that’s demanded on that path.

And that means that if we’re on God’s path, growth will be demanded. Especially if you’re like me and you don’t volunteer, like volunteer for them, I’m not signing up for that. And so it shouldn’t have come as a surprise that path got more challenging and more growth demanding, but it did because I had never experienced that intensity before.

And frankly, I was very aware, you obviously well, okay. That’s silly. I was not very aware. I thought I was aware, but there was all sorts of things that crop up once you’d make a path that you have no idea about. And some of those are huge blessings, which we can spend time talking about. And some of them have been, have caught me off guard and some of them are still uncomfortable. 

So I just moved from India to the other side of the world. I now live in America again, and I have to walk into a congregation where no one knows me there. So when I was deciding to marry my husband, I was the gospel doctrine teacher. And I stood up one Sunday to be like, guess, what everybody? I’m getting married. And I was in a family ward and I started to justify this to people to say, I promise I’ve been praying and fasting for a year. I’ve talked to the stake president. And literally this woman stopped me and she said, MacArthur, we know you, of course you have done this faithfully and I’m going to cry because it was such a gift.

It was such a gift from this congregation. This idea of we know you, because now I go into a new congregation who does not know me, and it is clear that people can make assumptions. We all do it. We all make assumptions about one another’s life based on actually really very little data. And so I make an assumption about whether or not someone’s wearing a mask. I have assumptions about that person’s choices, even though I know nothing about their prayerful process. I know nothing about their internal workings. I know nothing. So I walk into church and I am the person sitting on the pew without my husband.

He doesn’t come. And so someone not knowing me can make all kinds of assumptions about who I am and what my testimony is and what I think of these things. Without knowing a thing about the process that took me to get there. And I thought for me, one of the key things that’s come from this experience is just the grace.

If I would like other people to give me grace, because they don’t know what kind of process I went through to get to this point. I also have to give other people grace. And so I recently wrote this article for the LDS Women Project called Loving the Other. And this need for us to follow our Savior’s example in loving the other.

And so I know one of the questions. Can we jump to the end? I’m going to jump to the end of the jump back. I know one of the questions you asked is like, how has Christ impacted your faith journey? And I will say when Beth and I were researching our books and we wrote the first one, the Girls Who Chose God from the Bible.

I realized in our research Beth and I realized that the woman at the well was the first written record we have of Christ announcing his divinity and his mission. And in choosing that person, it teaches us immense amounts of things. So one, He chose a woman, which in that context was not a honored person. Two he chose somebody who was a foreigner. It was not someone from his own tribe and his own people. Three, he chose someone who was poor. If she was out fetching water, that meant she didn’t have a servant to do it for her. So in choosing that very person he’s telling us who quote unquote, is worth hearing is worth being the announcer because he told her to go tell everybody else, right? Yeah. He commissioned her to go. So his mouthpiece was a poor foreign woman. That’s huge. 

[00:16:11] Darla: Yeah. That tells us a lot. 

[00:16:14] McArthur: A lot for women, for those who are marginalized. Let that sit in your brain for a moment. How does that impact all of my opinions and all of my thoughts and all of my attitudes and actions towards anyone in those categories? And then I was talking to a friend of mine about like Christ, teaching me about loving the other. And she pointed out something brilliant. And she said, think about how much we are the other compared to our Heavenly Parents?

Oh, like the gap between us and a human is much smaller than the gap between us and deity. So if they can love me and they can tolerate my behavior, that teaches me about how I should feel towards someone who’s choosing differently than I do. And it was just this moment of yeah.

[00:16:59] Darla: Yeah, just having grace for other people because you want it for yourself as well. 

[00:17:03] McArthur: That’s been something that’s reoriented my life and I’d also say this sounds super interesting. One of the unexpected blessings that came out of marrying my husband and moving to the other side of the world is that I quit my job. And my job was my life. I owned a business and I worked intense hours and it was my identity and it was my love. I would refer to it as my baby, right? This is my life. And all of a sudden I was uprooted and dropped on the literal other side of the world and had to come up with a new one of each of those.

 And on top of that, I didn’t have church. So where I lived in India, the closest church was a plane ride away. And so I went to church about once a month. 

[00:17:46] Darla: I can’t really be that you actually went. That’s a huge sacrifice to even go once a month. That’s amazing. 

[00:17:52] McArthur: Yeah. So my husband would schedule business trips in the capital so that he and I would fly there on the weekend. Cause I tried to take the train on one time. There’s a 24 hour delay on the train. So I completely missed church because right? Then one time we tried to drive and it was 16 hours of driving to get to church. 16 hours. Yeah, we started flying but we just started arranging it. And sometimes we had to pay for a hotel room. Sometimes I had friends in DC that I could crash bunk at their house. But it was an investment to go to church. But then I also got to go eat Mexican food.

So there was like, I got a double whammy blessing for getting to go. We didn’t have avocados in my little town and like avocados are key to my happiness. And that was good to have both kinds of rewards. But what ended up happening is that I had three weeks in a month where I was left to my own devices.

This was before home church. There was no Come Follow Me. I had to dig out my own path. And so in doing that, I literally ended up with a lot of free time that was otherwise consumed with callings and church meetings. And so I’d read general conference because we couldn’t get conference.

Our internet wasn’t strong enough to stream conference. So I would read conference and then I would research and read and out of all of that research and reading came our books. And so the Girls who Chose God series started because Bethany’s daughter asked us, where are the girls?

Where are the stories of the girls? But it also came because Beth and I realized that our Heavenly Parents, the Proclamation of the Family defines men and women as equals, but that’s not always what our world looks like. And clearly that’s clear in issues like the Taliban taking over, right? Like those are huge examples of women. not being treated as equals, but we even frankly have it within our own LDS. 

So for example at that time, Bethany was the primary president and the sharing time story, the sharing time manual had 52 lessons in it, one for every week. And five of those lessons had a girl in them as the protagonist. And I’m not just talking about prophets and apostles, but like a kid who’s paying their tithing, that little kid is a boy, right? So of their stories of faithfulness were about boys. So we want women and girls to know that they can be faithful and righteous and powerful instruments in God’s hands. We need to hand them a model, right? Yeah. We need models and we have them. We have them. That’s a great thing is we have them, but we just need to talk about them and teach them and encourage them.

And our girls need to know this as possible for them and our boys need to know that women are righteous, faithful, strong individuals too. It’s important for both of them. So my sister-in-law was going to buy the books for their daughters. And my brother said no, we’re buying it for our sons.

The Girls Who Choose God books should be read by my sons so that they also see women, that they have a correct understanding of women’s role in Zion. So this unexpected ability of moving to the other side of the planet and following God’s plan I think freed me up in a way to do a much bigger life calling then the path I was on and my business was doing good work. We were serving lots of health, like people who needed served, however, it was not maybe. 

And I learned a lot, so I got skills that now help me on this current path, but I don’t think I ever would have had the time or the space or the oomph to get on this new path and this new path with Beth and I being able to write books, I think has been a good use of my talents in Zion, and I think it’s been helpful. So, recently we released the Girl’s and Boy’s Guides to Heavenly Mother, two different books. You can find them at the Church History Museum or at BYU if you’re ever in Utah or on Deseret Book’s website or on Amazon. They’re all available.

But we went on a book tour and I spoke to this women. Where she came up to my husband, actually, she was 92 and she said, this changes everything. And I thought about that. What exactly does this doctrine change? So if the proclamation on the family says men and women are to be equals, and we know that Heavenly Father and Heavenly mother work as equals, and the reason we know this is because we have quotes from prophets and apostles, because we just pause for a second.

Sometimes when we start to talk about Heavenly Mother, people get nervous because we are raised in the generation that Heavenly Mother was taboo. And as it turns out the church historians have been able to trace that back to the 1960 a seminary teacher started propagating this and it may have been discussed before or seen before, but this is the person who started like sending it out.

No prophet or apostle has ever said we should not speak of Heavenly Mother. So the church website has a Mother in Heaven article and it lists things and quotes of things that we know about Heavenly Mother. They site a BYU Studies article called A Mother There written by Dr. Paulsen and Martin Pulido.

And they have 600 times Heavenly Mother is mentioned in church days from early days in the church to of 2010. Nowhere was it ever told we should not speak of Her. This is something we’ve just made up. 

[00:23:01] Darla: Yeah. So like this notion that we have it’s taboo. Like you don’t talk about Her, or you can only think about Her on your own. We don’t talk about Her publicly. We have to protect Her. 

That was never, 

[00:23:10] McArthur: I think if the church has put her on the worldwide web, that’s public. 

[00:23:13] Darla: So we can talk openly about Heavenly Mother. So we’re going to transition to that cause I really want to hear some of your thoughts about Heavenly Mother.

So what if there is somebody out there who’s, this is their first time thinking this doesn’t have to be taboo and I’m curious, and I want to know, where do they start to build a relationship with Her? 

[00:23:30] McArthur: So there’s two or three things in there. I have five different paths I want to go down. You just asked a really big question.

[00:23:35] Darla: I know it’s a big question. 

[00:23:36] McArthur: One is when Bethany and I talk, we have lots of fun things to talk about. Lots of things to speculate when we write especially books for children, we’re very careful. So the quotes in ourbooks are by prophets and apostles and church leaders. And so if you want to go and learn of Heavenly Mother, just initially, then I would recommend our books are great, easy way, or you can do what we did and do lots of research. And so if you go to the church’s page and you start reading the Mother in Heaven, then you can Google word search, Heavenly Mother, Heavenly Parents. And you start to read through you, go to the Mother There article, BYU Studies.

That is the most downloaded topic they’ve ever had. If you want to read that article, it talks about all the different flavors. There’s a website, Seeking Heavenly Mother, that has a resource section. And if you only want to do prophets and apostles and church leaders, you can totally read just that vein.

If you’re curious beyond that and you want to read scholarly or artistic interpretations, there’s lots of other things there. So I think you have to be in touch with what feels good to you. But I think your other question is a slightly different, so yeah. So let me pause your schedulers to know we’ve got two options here.

One of them is I want to say Heavenly Mother is essential. This is not just a nice, by the way, gospel principle. She’s the mother of our souls, and we know this from prophets and apostles. Elder Ballard has talked about how Heavenly Father and Heavenly M other together design the plan for our lives.

They’ve talked about Heavenly Mother being our destiny. Like you, if this is your destiny, if this is the nature of God, then you need to know Heavenly Mother. This is not just a some esoteric fringe topic. This is the mother of your soul, right? So for everyone. But the question you asked me, it was also slightly different because. You also talked about connecting to her, right? 

And so you can learn of Her and there’s lots of ways to do that, but there’s also what we call in academic service circles, primary research, right? So everything I’m giving to you is secondary research. It’s my experience, books that I’ve collected, articles that have been written, people who’ve been thinking about this, but primary research or having a relationship with someone is actually having a relationship with Herand that’s different. 

President Hinckley has cautioned us about praying to Her, but I want to point out that we don’t pray to Christ either, but we’re told to have a relationship with Him. So anything that is valid to reach Heavenly Father and Jesus is valid to reach Heavenly Mother. They’re on the same team. So if the way you reach Christ is by taking a walk in the woods, is by communing. I do it through art. I do bead and textile art pieces. And so I create a lot and I find that creating is one of the ways that I connect to deity. Because [Elder Uchtdorf]

 talked to us about how that we, you can create gardens and create laughter and create these things because we are made in the image of the Creators, all caps. 

[00:26:43] Darla: That talk changed my life, literally to think because I, oh yeah. I always thought of creation as, oh, I have to be able to sing. I don’t do any of those things. 

[00:26:52] McArthur: I can’t draw. 

[00:26:53] Darla: I, you know, me neither, I can’t even draw a stick figure. And I always thought of those things and he just opened my mind that I might go organize my pantry in a really great way. And that’s creation.

[00:27:03] McArthur: If you could organize my pantry in a great way, could you come visit me because that is not my divine strength. 

[00:27:09] Darla: Well, if I didn’t have kids that were always messing it up, but it just opened my mind and it came at a time when I really needed that. I think creation is such a great way to connect with the Divine because that’s what they are, they’re creators. 

[00:27:23] McArthur: And if we know that’s our destiny to become like Them, that means creation, I would say, isa key component of becoming like them. So my husband is a businessman. He creates businesses, which is where lots of us spend eight to 10 hours of a day.

Like a third of our life is spent. So if you can create a healthy, happy, progressing organization for someone like what a marvelous creation. On top of that, he has a terrible color sense. He fully hands all color decisions to me. Because he understands that’s not his creation superpower.

And so I think having this idea that the ways that we can become more God-like are extremely varied. And if creation is one of those strong ones, but even that the creation can be of a tidy pantry, can be my art projects can be of talking to your child. You can be in creation, literally, even how you parent your child, that you’re creating a home and a culture. 

My mom was a fabulous culture creator. Like I think of her as being like the CCC of our family, right, the chief culture officer of our family. Cause that was her creation, more so than any of us. And I think that kind of there’s power and practicing being divine.

We all know there’s a gap, but in practicing the divinity that we have within us, I think that gets us closer to the divine. And I think that as the mother of our souls, mothers are important to the way that you are. I don’t know. I have all girls. I think you said you have two daughters, is that right?

[00:28:53] Darla: I have two daughters and two sons. 

[00:28:54] McArthur: So wouldn’t you say that you are of equal importance to your sons as your husband? 

[00:29:01] Darla: Yeah. Like when you were talking earlier, I was thinking about one of my sons is on a mission right now and he and I are very close. And when we talk on P day and he wants my opinion about someone he’s teaching or something he’s going through.

And, we really connect on that and I thought, how come when we think about Heavenly Mother, we think, oh, we just need to teach us to girls. I love that you wrote the book for boys too. I know you’ve thought of this. But don’t I want my sons to know? They have a connection with me and they look to me for guidance and spiritual guidance and temporal guidance, whatever . Don’t, they need that connection too with a Heavenly Mother? 

[00:29:35] McArthur: Absolutely . So I say all the time, like this is something I think that women naturally gravitate towards. But simply because we gravitate towards it does not mean it’s not a doctrine for men. And so that the lessons that men can learn for Heavenly Mother, I think you’ve just modeled perfectly when you talk about you and your son, that, that is, it is key for sons to also know that they have a perfect Heavenly Mother because also not everyone has that option. And so President Kimball is one of the prophets who talk the most about Heavenly Mother, not just Heavenly Parents, but Heavenly Mother specifically. And I personally think it’s because his own mother died when he was young.

And so he felt the lack of an earthly mother presence and all of us are not perfect. But there’s some people who have raw deals with their parents, right? And so to know that you have a Heavenly Mother and Heavenly Father who love you perfectly is an absolute gift to people. So Elder Holland talks about what would the inhabitants of this world know to the Heavenly Parents are reaching across mountains and plains and rivers to connect with them.

So I lived in India for eight years and people in India, the vast majority of them are not Christian. And so when they feel the need to turn to God, they’re not turning to Christ. At least with that terminology, you can say the different religions go by different names and maybe it all is all same.

But like in, in their minds, that’s not the label on their deity. But in my head, it wasn’t because Jesus Christ wasn’t available to them or didn’t love them. It was because that was not their tradition. So we have the tradition of not speaking of Heavenly Mother, but does that mean she’s not available to us and that she doesn’t love us and she’s not concerned about us? 

Like you and I in our imperfect parenting care desperately about the health and wellbeing of our children. Heavenly Mother in her perfect parenting has got to care even more, right? It just makes sense. 

[00:31:35] Darla: Yeah. And I can totally see that in how, our own motherhood can help us to draw closer to Her because we can understand that relationship through our own motherhood. 

[00:31:45] McArthur: So Laura Erickson is one of the women who just pulled together an art show called the Reflection on Heavenly Mother by the Certain Women Group. And and she was recently in the Salt Lake Tribune saying how about when she became a mother that’s when Heavenly Mother became more important to her.

But again, I also want to point out it doesn’t matter if you’re married, single, mother, not, male, female like Heavenly Mother is your mother. And we know this from prophets and apostles who taught us. There’s also amazing stories about Heavenly Mother reaching people, Heavenly Mother helping people on their path.

And I think that I understand because I was raised with the same taboo once I realized that the church was speaking of Her and it was okay, it just almost in some ways opened a flood gate because why would you not want more love in the universe? Why would you not want like more care in the universe?

And so I would not want my children to not be loved by their father. And so having this understanding that like we’re loved by both Father and Mother and Brother, there’s nothing bad in that. There’s only good things to take away from that thought. 

[00:32:54] Darla: And I think for me it’s like it’s always been there and I can think of experiences that I’ve had in the past where I haven’t been aware of Heavenly Mother being there.

She was there trying to tell me something and I wasn’t really, I didn’t connect at that time, but when I realized that I was like, oh. So she’s always been there. It’s just a matter of discovering her. And I love what you’ve talked about with personal revelation.

Again, it’s we can come to Her and find her in a way, just like we can find Heavenly Father in a way that speaks to us, we can find Her in a way that speaks to us. And that is unique and for our own good and our own path. 

[00:33:30] McArthur: And so I’d like to lay down something along these lines because I think that you told me about a year ago, this wasn’t in your head, right?

[00:33:37] Darla: A couple of years ago. Yeah. Yeah. 

[00:33:39] McArthur: Whatever amount of time. 

[00:33:40] Darla: Yeah. 

[00:33:40] McArthur: And you can see since that amount of time, your life has been blessed. That your life is richer for this truth. And Sister Patricia Holland said, actually we have a sacred obligation to teach, especially our young sisters about Heavenly Mother.

And we know that when you have truth, it can bless people’s lives. If people have started to read about Heavenly Mother and read about what prophets and apostles have said about Her, the knowledge that we have of her is real and can bless people. And so I think there’s a natural evolution that when you understand that the church is fine speaking of Heavenly Mother, the prophets and apostles speak of Heavenly Mother, that this is our doctrine, really? That there’s, then this natural evolution to say let’s make sure that we speak in such a way that honors this truth and helps others. And so now when I bear my testimony and I say, I know my Heavenly Father loves me, to me, that’s a huge, obviously infinite part of it.

But the other part of it is that my Heavenly Mother loves me. And again, we have quotes from our prophets and apostles that say, I have the mother love us. Should not be surprised for any of us, but that’s actually doctrine. And when you stand as bear your testimony, or when you’re talking with people. so Martin Pulido is one of the authors of A Mother There article, and he talks about having a mother tongue and its natural way of speaking of Heavenly Mother because a mother because a mother tongue is for me English, right? That English is the way that I naturally communicate and naturally express myself. 

And so having a mother tongue about Heavenly Mother to me was this challenge to where appropriate and where doctrinally accurate, it makes sense to speak of Heavenly Mother. We know our Heavenly Father and our Heavenly Mother created the plan for our life.

And we say our Father’s plan for us. It’s actually more accurate to say our Heavenly Parents plan for us. Our Heavenly Parents love us. Our Heavenly Parents sent their Son to die for us. And still with all the research and reading and things we’ve done. Christmas came around last year and there’s this artist that had portrayed Heavenly Mother and Christ.

And like with kind of a Christmas theme and like Heavenly Mother, Mary and Christ. And I was like, oh, cause it had never occurred to me even with all like the reading I had in my head that that was real. Right? That our Mother sent her Son. So if you think about the emotions you have in sending your son off on this mission, right?

Like that is real, there’s a big mission, right? When you know your child’s going to go be the Savior and knowing what He would have to experience. So that makes to me, that immediately shows you the, like the gap between us and deity, because Herheart must be so much braver and stronger than mine to be able to manage that.

That, that she must have infinite capabilities if she’s going to survive that. And so I think from my standpoint, we as Latter-day Saint women have a unique opportunity to help bless others’ lives in talking of Heavenly Mother. The more we appropriately talk of her, the more it can bless people’s lives.

And in not talking of her, we’re withholding that opportunity. And that’s not what we’re famous for, right? We are famous for blessing people’s lives. 

[00:37:03] Darla: That’s right. Yeah. I know how I grew up, like wanting to be close to Heavenly Father and to Jesus, now I’m just pulling in one more person who’s perfect and who loves me. 

[00:37:15] McArthur: Yep, exactly. 

[00:37:16] Darla: It’s beautiful. It’s just, it’s very hopeful and just feels so right. It feels so, so good. 

[00:37:22] McArthur: I had a woman who came up, I had two different people at different stages of life talk to me about how much this doctrine bolstered their worth.

And and if you’ve been watching the Facebook whistleblower was just talking about Instagram and social media and how much it especially hurt girls. 

[00:37:38] Darla: Yeah. 

[00:37:39] McArthur: So when our children have all of these other exposures that and it doesn’t even have to be like rated R movies, it can be body images that are detrimental to pour into a young girl’s brain.

And so it doesn’t have to be something as insidious, as the things were already looking out for. It can just be the gap between what is present and our divine destiny. And the more that we talk about our, to our young women, especially about their divine destiny, so we have a prophetic quote that says that Heavenly Mother is women’s destiny. And that, that would eradicate our concerns, that, that we would understand our place in the universe. And so the more that you can talk to more that we can talk to our daughters about their worth and their destiny, then I think the more robust their souls will be to withstand all of the other difficulties that come.

[00:38:39] Darla: Yeah. Yeah. So good. So we’re out of time and I could talk to you all day. I think this is, this has been so good. I know for me, and I know that my listeners are going to love hearing this, but is there anything that you would say to wrap up? I usually end on the question. How have you seen him felt the Savior in your journey on the covenant path? Is there anything else that you would add? I know you’ve already shared about that or anything else that we’ve talked about today? 

[00:39:02] McArthur: The one thing I’d add is that truth matters. And if we believe in being truth bearers as being ensigns, as being light on the hill, then this truth matters. It needs to be part of our light. 

[00:39:23] Darla: Truth matters. That’s so profound and so true. If people want to go and find your books, the things that you’ve written find out more about you, where can they go to do that?

[00:39:33] McArthur: Yeah. So I’m on Instagram as @mcarthurkrishna_creates, but I bet I’m the only McArthur Krishna, if someone just put that in my name. It’s not that common of a name, or of course, books can be found if you’re in Utah, they can be found at Church History Museum and at BYU library. Online they can be found at Deseret Book and on Amazon.

I think Seagull and Coventry and a couple of others are all carrying them. So we have the Girls Who Choose God series about women from the Bible one, Book of Mormon one, church history one. Another book that talks about families, about earthly families and heavenly families. And then the two Girl’s Guide to Heavenly Mother and Boy’s Guide to Heavenly Mother.

And all of those are appropriate for both boys and girls, both.

[00:40:17] Darla: Oh, that’s great. Thank you so much for taking the time. I’ve loved talking to you hearing about how you’ve had the courage to just follow and have the trust to follow the personal revelation that you’ve received and the blessings that’s come from that.

And just to hear about your experience with researching about Heavenly Mother and sharing that with all of us and so grateful. So thank you so much, 

[00:40:36] McArthur: It went really fast. 

[00:40:39] Darla: Thank you so much. 

[00:40:41] McArthur: My pleasure. Thank you for having me.

 And now for this week’s journal questions. McArthur shared her thoughts about Christ and the woman at the well. She discussed how this story tells us who is of “worth” in Jesus’s eyes. The woman at the well was a poor, foreign woman and He asked her to be his mouthpiece. How does this insight impact the way you see and treat others? 

President Hinckley has cautioned that we don’t pray to Heavenly Mother, but McArthur pointed out that we don’t pray to Jesus either, but we know we can have a relationship with Him. The same is true for Heavenly Mother. We don’t pray to her, but we can still connect with her. Think about things you do to feel close to the Savior. How could those things also connect you to Heavenly Mother? Write down your thoughts about how you can build or grow your relationship with Her. 

How has your life been blessed by your knowledge of and connection to Heavenly Mother? Who in your life could benefit from your talking to them about Heavenly Mother? Write down the names of people you feel impressed to share the doctrine of Heavenly Mother with. Write how you will share to bless their lives and then act on it. 

[00:42:26] Darla: I hope you enjoyed the podcast. And if you did, please share it with a friend. I would love it if you would leave a review and rate it on Apple Podcasts. This actually helps more women find the podcast and embrace their own journey on the covenant path. To find more ways to be a part of the Spiritually Minded Women community, head over to For more inspiration follow along on Instagram @spirituallymindedwomen. Have an amazing day. I’m cheering you on in your journey.