Ask an Expert: Mormon concept of God?

Q: I am writing a paper on the concept and image of God in Mormonism (with a focus on the LDS Church). My question therefore is, if you can name any specific ‘must read’ articles that deal with this topic? Are there any scholars, Mormon or from other denominations, that have particularly dealt with this topic, it’s historical development and effect on the religious lives of Mormons?

A: We had two very helpful answers from the members of the MSSA.

First, David Knowlton provided the following reference:

Hale,Van. (1989) Defining the Contemporary Mormon Concept of God, in Gary James Bergera, ed. Line Upon Line: Essays on Mormon Doctrine, SLC, UT: Signature Press.

In that chapter, Van Hale details the Mormon conception of God.  Also of note, the subsequent chapter, The Earliest Mormon Concept of God, by Dan Vogel, is also insightful.

Mary Lou McNamara also suggested that the person asking the question may be interested in Mormon conceptions of female deity, or Heavenly Mother.  A good essay on this is the following:

Wilcox, Linda P. 1992. “The Mormon Concept of a Mother in Heaven.” Pp. 64–77 in Sisters in spirit: Mormon women in historical and cultural perspective, edited by Maureen Ursenbach Beecher and Lavina Fielding Anderson. Urbana: University of Illinois Press.

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