Often questions about Mother in Heaven lead the someone saying "The question is, do we all have the same Mother in Heaven."
Obviously this harkens back to Mormonism foray into polygamy. Yet I was thinking how rarely is the opposite question asked; namely "Do we all have the same Father in Heaven?" (By rarely, I mean approaching 0. In my life I can only recall it coming up once.)
Why should we ask it? To me, because it is one potential outcome of Joseph's teaching.
First, that we can become gods and goddess, which is taught both in the scriptures and in Joseph's final major sermons.
Second, his profound teaching that the sociality we enjoy here will be enjoyed in heaven, coupled with eternal glory.
Third, that the Celestial Kingdom will be upon this Earth, glorified.
Finally, that there are kingdoms higher than the Celestial (hinted at in both section 130 and in his teaching that Christ's father would ascend higher when Christ completed his work (as well as the idea hinted at that Christ's father was also a Saviour).
Where might this point?
What if God the Father was not alone (with or without a Goddess the Mother)?
What if, instead, God was made up of "gods (and goddesses) many", or a "Council of the Gods" who appointed one God to be there representative for this world (as Joseph appears to me to have taught)?
Perhaps our God is the exalted community of a previous earth? That like us, they lived and died, were resurrected and exalted through the power of Christ's atonement, and then had us as spiritual children. We may have different actual fathers and mothers (a future post will examine what spirit creation/birth might entail) of our spirits. But as they are united - one - are one family - so we are and can be said to have One Father (and Mother).
This seems more what I would hope for - a true eternal family for my future. So why not for our Heavenly Parents?
It also has implications for Christ and the idea of Saviour(s). Joseph seems to me to teach that Christ only did what his father did. So, some ask, was his father a Saviour on his world? Are there Saviour Gods and non-saviour gods in the eternities? Some argue yes, or that there is an Eternal God (Father, and maybe Christ) who really are fundamentally different from us. Still others talk of multiple mortal probations, where we must perform our own atoning sacrifice on another world. Finally, so wonder how other worlds could have a Saviour - wasn't the atonement infinite and eternal?
But are we not all taking upon ourselves the name of Christ? Are not we called to be saviours on Mount Zion? Do we not participate in the atonement of Christ every time we bear each others burden? Each time we forgive offenses? When we are in the Celestial kingdom, will we not all be perfect and without sin? If each of us becomes Christ - a saved being - will not our future jointly created earth's Saviour be able to say, as Joseph has Christ say, "I do that which I saw my Father do", regardless of which one of us is his spiritual parent?
To put another way, Jesus of Nazareth was the Christ, but not exclusively. Rather, he was the prime exemplar of the Christ to our world, in part of an eternal drama bringing about the eternal progression of lives.
Returning to the beginning, I do believe that the fundamental eternal unit with be the sealed couple. But I see no reason to imagine each of us will necessarily break away, two by two, to our own heavens to begin our own spiritual brood.
This earth will be our heaven. We will live together. Why not then live together and have children together? Why not create a future together, rather than apart? And if we do it, why wouldn't our fathers and mothers have done it? Wouldn't this be a likely identity for "the Gods", referred to in the Book of Abraham?