About the Contest

This contest celebrates the wondrous doctrine of the Restoration that we have a Heavenly Mother that oversees our spiritual development, in addition to a Heavenly Father. The first Relief Society President, Eliza R. Snow, famously penned in the LDS Hymn "O, My Father" the truth that we have "a mother there." But while in heaven, it is important to remember that our Heavenly Father and Heavenly Mother are yet present to us now. They bestow upon us their love, gifts, inspiration, and grace, to help us along our earthly journey. As Sister Chieko Okazaki noted, our Father and Mother shower us with love and mercy. And as Elder Jeffrey R. Holland noted, our "heavenly parents are reaching across... streams and mountains and deserts, anxious to hold [us] close."

The A Mother Here art and poetry contest particularly aims to express the nearness of our Heavenly Mother, Her presence instead of Her absence, the fact that She is not only there (in heaven), but She is also here (on earth), involved in our lives. We welcome visual arts and poetry submissions that communicate this theme, as well as other submissions that focus on Heavenly Mother. Learn the rules of the contest.


Susan Elizabeth Howe (Poetry Judge) is a poet and playwright who teaches at Brigham Young University. Her poems have recently appeared in Poetry, Southwest Review, Prairie Schooner, and many other journals. She is a contributing editor of Tar River Poetry and served for eleven years as the poetry editor of Dialogue. She has published two collections of poetry: Stone Spirits (1997), and Salt (2013). Three of her plays dealing with Mormon experience have been produced at BYU: Burdens of Earth, Voices of the Sisters, and A Dream for Katy: A Celebration of Early Mormon Women . With Marie Cornwall she also edited the book Women of Wisdom and Knowledge (1990), a compilation of speeches from the BYU Women's Conference. In 2004, the second addition of an anthology Professor Howe co-edited with Sheree Maxwell Bench, Discoveries: Two Centuries of Poems by Mormon Women, was published.
Herman Du Toit (Visual Arts Judge) is the former Head of Museum Research at Brigham Young University's Museum of Art in Provo, Utah. He has enjoyed an extensive career as an art educator, curator, administrator, critic, and author, both locally and abroad. He is a former head of the Durban Art School and founding director of the Cecil Renaud Art Gallery at the former Durban Technical Institute in South Africa. He holds post graduate degrees in Art History and Sociology of Education from the former University of Natal. At Brigham Young University he was awarded a J.Paul Getty Fellowship for his Ph.D. study investigating interpretive practices at some of America's leading art museums. He now is an independent curatorial consultant and runs his own etching press in Provo, UT.

Contest Organizers

Martin Pulido (Chair) is a Mormon scholar, who has researched Mormon belief in a Heavenly Mother extensively. He co-authored the BYU Studies article, "A Mother There: A Survey of Historical Teachings about Mother in Heaven," with David Paulsen. He has also presented at academic conferences on the historical development and doctrinal impetuses of the belief in the early Mormon church, as well as the social applications of the doctrine. Pulido earned a BA in philosophy and English from BYU, and currently works in the account management department for NCR in Texas.
Caroline Kline (Vice Chair) is completing her coursework for her Ph.D. in religion with a focus on women’s studies in religion at Claremont Graduate University. Her areas of interest revolve around the intersections of Mormon and feminist theology and the study of contemporary Mormon feminist communities. She is the co-founder of the Mormon feminist blog, The Exponent.