E.M. Hatchard’s Are You My Mother? Breaking the “Sacred” Silence is a simple book – only a few pages, but it has the ability to leave an indelible impression. The book begins with the author’s personal account addressing her choice to highlight an often controversial topic in the Mormon community – Heavenly Mother. Hatchard points out how attitudes have shifted towards viewing the subject of Heavenly Mother as taboo and the creation of a “sacred” silence in Mormon culture regarding the topic for reasons that are not entirely clear. Hatchard notes that her intention is to remind readers of the reality of Heavenly Mother in LDS doctrine. The book represents the author’s interpretation and journey in seeking knowledge of that reality.
Hatchard conveys her feelings about Heavenly Mother through simple verses and quotes and beautiful artwork. The results are moving and thought-provoking. Personally, I felt an interesting mix of excitement and familiarity as I studied each piece of artwork. The quotes that precede each illustration also add considerable depth – each one referencing scriptures, hymns, and talks. There is no shock value involved – it flows and feels natural. It is presented in a manner that a young child can appreciate and an adult can value.
I highly recommend taking the time to look at E.M. Hatchard’s picture book. Growing up, I’ve often felt conditioned to approach the topic of Heavenly Mother with hesitation and trepidation despite my love for the doctrine of Heavenly Parents. I found this book particularly powerful because it acknowledges the existing relationship we have with Heavenly Mother – a concept that can seem both strangely foreign and familiar. I also feel that this book has the potential to empower individuals, especially girls and women. It’s worth the time to look at Are You My Mother? Breaking the Sacred Silence and to ponder about this deeply moving yet understated portion of LDS doctrine.