O My Father
"O My Father" (originally "My Father in Heaven", also "Invocation, or The Eternal Father and Mother") is a Latter-day Saint hymn written by Eliza R. Snow, who felt inspired to write the lyrics after Joseph Smith had taught her the principle of heavenly parents. The hymn is significant in terms of Mormon theology in that it is one of the few direct references to a "Heavenly Mother" in materials published by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
After discussing pre-mortal existence and a sense of belonging to "a more exalted sphere" in heaven, stanza three reasons that if there is an eternal Father there must also be an eternal Mother:
- I had learned to call thee Father, Through thy Spirit from on high,
- But until the key of knowledge Was restored, I knew not why.
- In the heavens are parents single? No, the thought makes reason stare!
- Truth is reason, truth eternal Tells me I've a mother there.
Snow wrote "O My Father" as a poem under the title "My Father in Heaven" in October 1845 in Nauvoo, Illinois. The Times and Seasons first published the words on 15 November 1845, more than a year after Joseph Smith, Jr. was killed. The poetry was later set to the music of another Christian hymn, "My Redeemer" by James McGranahan, and included in Latter-day Saint hymnals, including the current one. When a collection of Snow's poems were published in 1856, this work was placed first in the double-volume set and entitled "Invocation, or The Eternal Father and Mother".
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