Deep Waters: Having their Hearts Knit Together in Unity and in Love


DISCLAIMER:  This post has been tagged Deep Waters because is discusses human sexuality.  

I personally do not believe avoiding the topic of sex or that teaching sex-negative messages is advisable.  I think the hope is that doing so can keep people from having sex — but all that it appears to have done is keep people from having good sex:  From asking questions about it, from communicating with their partners about it — and from being fulfilled by it.  

I also think avoiding it or teaching a negative/shame-based view of it blurs the line between sex and rape by making all human sexuality this one, undifferentiated mass of “bad”.  If we’re taught to repress ourselves sexually, it doesn’t just go away.  The “uncontrollable” horny boy and the “good girl” syndrome are all caused by our current approach of teaching young men and women about sex.  It leads to either rampant breaking of the law of chastity — or depression and unhappy sexuality within marriage [which is why an LDS couple wrote And They Were Not Ashamed], both of which are exactly what Satan wants us doing.

In any event — there’s the disclaimer, so now I’ll start.

The unity of marriage:

Adam and Eve were married before they were ever aware of their nakedness or their sexuality [see, Intimacy as the Opposite of Sin].  The marriage union was in response to loneliness – not lust.

The sexual union is the chief means of physically expressing an existing connection of Love between two people.  Sex for both procreation and pleasure is not unique to being human — it is common to all other animals.  Our unique experience in sexuality is the bonding or social adhesion between two people.

When acting as animals, we may experience the two dynamics common to all life [procreation and pleasure], we conceive children and it can feel good – but only when acting as humans may be partake of the third [or ideally all three at once].

Reproduction and sexual union are distinct events:

The genitals have three distinct purposes:

  • Urination
  • Reproduction
  • Unification

Thus, they may be considered as conduits of three things:

  • Nitrogenous waste
  • Reproductive gametes
  • Social adhesion

These three are all physiologically distinct from each other.  Sexual union and reproduction are considered just as separate from each other as reproduction is from urination.

  • The testes and the ovaries/uterus [reproductive organs] are not the ones involved in the sexual union
  • Just as the urethra is not the organ involved in producing new life

The pleasure of sex arises entirely within one’s own body.  This is why the pleasure of it can be generated in solitude.  Thus, this aspect is better considered as the sequel to a sexual union, or the end-result of one.

Disconnected the pleasure from the union:

Often, a person who is going out for a “hook-up” is said to be “lookin’ for a woman” or “out to get a man”.  Nothing could be further from the truth.

A woman is exactly what a man like that does not want.  What he wants is the pleasure for which a woman happens to be a desirable apparatus for obtaining.  If a bona-fide union with the other person is not the end you are seeking – then he/she is just the means to the end you’re really seeking, your own pleasure [just as if you were producing the pleasure in solitude].

This is not Love.  Actual union did not take place.  The other person will be regarded about the same as a drug addict would regard the used syringe after he is done injecting.

and Amnon said unto Tamar

bring the food into the chamber
that I may eat from thine hand

and Tamar took the cakes which she had made
and brought them into the chamber
to Amnon her brother
and when she had brought them unto him to eat
he took hold of her
and said unto her

come lie with me my sister

and she answered

nay
my brother do not force me
for no such thing ought to be done in israel
do not commit this folly
and what of me?
whither shall I cause my shame to go?
and as for thee
thou shalt be as one of the fools in israel
now therefore
I pray thee
speak unto the king
for he will not withhold me from thee

howbeit he would not hearken unto her voice
but being stronger than she
forced her
and had sex with her

then Amnon hated her exceedingly
so that the hatred wherewith he hated her 
was greater than the love wherewith he had loved her
and Amnon said unto her

arise
be gone

[2 Samuel 13:10-15]

Union is a “sacred-act” — or “sacrament”:

The “sacrament” of sex arises from the fact that, in Love, we are not merely our Self anymore.  We become representatives or proxy of the universal Male and Female.  In the temple, we are considered as if we were Adam and Eve.  In the pagan mysteries, the man acts in the role of the Father Sky-god and the woman the Mother Earth-goddess.  All that is masculine and feminine in the whole universe – all that exerts and all that yields – all form and matter, all spirit and element – is momentarily focused and present in that singular event [see, Masculinity, Femininity, and Gender].

The word “naked” originates as the past tense of the verb for peeling or stripping – meaning it referred to something that had undergone a “naking”.

In this sense, each of us are more our Self when we are dressed.  The naked person is not one who has abstained from wearing clothing – but is one who [for a specific reason] has undergone the specific process of removing clothes.  Nudity emphasizes the common human image we all bear [or would that be bare, pun intended].

Like the story of Inanna descending to the realm of the dead, passing the seven gates, removing an article of clothing at each [or Mary, being freed from seven spirits] – we strip off all that it means to be our Self, and put on nakedness as a ceremonial robe to re-enter the garden as the universal He and She [Adam and Eve] to re-enact the drama of creation.

Sacred symbolism in LDS temple liturgy:

In BiV’s post at Wheat & Tares, The Sacred Embrace as Five Points of Fellowship, she describes how [before this aspect of the ceremony was removed] the initiates were not allowed to enter the presence of the Lord until they had conversed with Him embraced in the Five Points of Fellowship.  The closeness symbolized in that act was to represent our oneness with God — a complete embrace of our Self into Him — and was presented as the way through which we all passed from death into celestial Life.

The Five Points of Fellowship were described as:

  • inside of right foot by the side of right foot
  • knee to knee
  • breast to breast
  • hand to back
  • mouth to ear

In Wicca, there is a ritual of the “Fivefold Kiss”, which is another form of the Five Points of Fellowship.  The ritual involves kissing five parts of the body — each kiss accompanied by a blessing.

  • Blessed be thy feet, that have brought thee in these ways
  • Blessed be thy knees, that shall kneel at the sacred altar
  • Blessed be thy womb / phallus, without which we would not be
  • Blessed be thy breasts, formed in beauty / breast, formed in strength
  • Blessed be thy lips, that shall utter the Sacred Names.

Greeting or saluting [aspazomai, "to draw into one's self"] with a “holy kiss” was an early Christian practice referenced in the epistles of Paul [Rom. 16:16; 1 Cor. 16:20, 2 Cor. 13:12, 1 Thes. 5:26].

And not only did the Five Points of Fellowship get cut from the LDS temple ceremony — but so did the complete ritual blessing of the naked body done part-by-part:

  • The head, ears, eyes, nose, lips, neck, shoulders, back, breast, solar plexus, arms and hands, genitals, and legs and feet.

The ritual established by Joseph Smith was performed in a bathtub — washing with water and spiced whiskey [strong drink for the purpose of ritual washing, D&C 89:7] and anointing with olive oil:

Oliver Cowdery gave even more detail about one of these temple preparation meetings, noting how the Latter-day Saints followed Old Testament patterns in washing and anointing priests for temple service.

Oliver wrote that he met with Joseph and others at the Prophet’s house:

“And after pure water was prepared, called upon the Lord and proceeded to wash each other’s bodies, and bathe the same with whiskey, perfumed with cinnamon. This we did that we might be clean before the Lord for the Sabbath, confessing our sins and covenanting to be faithful to God. While performing this washing with solemnity, our minds were filled with many reflections upon the propriety of the same, and how the priests anciently used to wash always before ministering before the Lord.”

Admittedly, these acts were obviously cut from our temple rituals because participants felt uncomfortable with the intimacy they suggest.  This was especially the case for women — who were not allowed to have priestesses ministering at the veil ritual for them, but had to be received by a male priest to whom they were not married.

Much like the intimacy suggested in the ritual washing and anointing of Jesus’ feet by Mary [without which He was not prepared for His death and burial] …

then Mary took a pound of ointment of spikenard
very costly
and anointed the feet of Jesus
and wiped his feet with her hair
and the house was filled with the odour of the ointment

[John 12:3]

and did wipe them with the hairs of her head
and kissed his feet
[...] Jesus said

seest thou this woman?

[Luke 7:38, 44]

she hath done what she could
she is come aforehand to anoint my body to the burying
amen I say unto you
wheresoever this gospel shall be preached
throughout the whole world
this also that she has done
shall be spoken of for a memorial of her

[Mark 14:8-9]

… many felt some “indignation within themselves” when presented with such ritual acts that were quite sexual in nature.

The reason these sacred acts were removed:

These rituals are inherently intimate in nature because they express the unity between men-and-women, humanity-and-God — that the gospel is designed to achieve.  Zion requires great intimacy and connection among the body of believers who comprise it.  The church currently lacks this intimacy and connection — so these rituals felt strange for most of the people who participated in them.

However, the leadership addressed the genuine feelings of discomfort in the wrong way.  Instead of getting at the reason why we all still feel like strangers at church and are not comfortable with the level of intimacy required to be comfortable in the temple rituals — they just axed the intimate parts out of the ceremony.

The only way to achieve Zion, or even a Zion-like atmosphere at church, is for the men and women to all be connected to each other through covenants.  As it stands, we are connected to Christ through covenants, but not to each other.  As long as we remain unfettered by covenant relationships with each other, we will never achieve Zion and our conversations [and actions] will never approach the level of intimacy and sharing required of that ideal.

Knitting the estranged back together:

The experience of ecstasy [ekstasis, "to stand outside yourself"], the complete unification of two people expressed through the sexual union — is what exists beyond the concepts of separateness, beyond the concepts of God-and-humans, Self-and-neighbor, man-and-woman, or any of the other this-and-that’s we might split existence into.

This is the transcendent “mystical experience” present in nearly every religion or spiritual path.  One might immediately think of the New-Agey, Eastern religions [Zen, Yoga, Hinduism, etc.], but even the big three Abrahamic faiths have their own ecstatic, mystical sects [Kabbalah, Sufism, Gnosticism].

The fervor for which some Christian writers have described being given over to the ecstatic worship of God border on the sexual:

Only in God is everything pure, beautiful, and holy; fortunately we can dwell in Him even in our exile!  But my Master’s happiness is mine, and I surrender myself to Him so He can do whatever He wants in me.

[Blessed Elizabeth of the Trinity]

I saw an angel beside me toward the left side, in bodily form. I saw in his hands a long dart of gold, and at the end of the iron there seemed to me to be a little fire. This I thought he thrust through my heart several times, and that it reached my very entrails. As he withdrew it, I thought it brought them with it, and left me all burning with a great love of God. So great was the pain, that it made me give those moans; and so utter the sweetness that this sharpest of pains gave me, that there was no wanting it to stop, nor is there any contenting of the soul with less than God.

[Saint Teresa of Avila]

A common monoplot in all human myth is this sacred act of the interplay between the aspects of God considered as a man and as a woman.  Their interplay manifested in:  Birth, Puberty, Marriage, Sexual Union, Death — cycling back to New Birth [or Resurrection].  It has been considered in various ways across human culture:

  • YHVH and His covenant people Israel
  • Christ, the bridegroom and His Beloved, the church
  • Jesus and Mary Magdalene
  • Sky-God and Earth-Goddess
  • Inanna and Dumuzi
  • Isis and Osiris
  • Yin and Yang
  • Shiva and Shakti
  • Krishna and Radha
  • Pan and Selene

But right now – The Father and Mother are estranged. The exalted Man sits up in the sky upon the throne. While the Woman is locked away in the tower.  As such, they can never be friends.

The Mother is nature and all of the physical elements – but that’s become everything we are supposed to deny in order to be “holy”.  Most religions go about separating the very things that is the purpose of religion to bring together – body and spirit, man and woman, sexuality and holiness, humanity and divinity.

I think people are scared of natural because it doesn’t seem as “self-sacrificing” — like the Catholic priest who feels his life of sexual restriction is “more holy” than a family-life.  Or a Buddhist who would run away to “find himself” on a mountain top, leaving anything “worldly” behind.  Or the monogamist who would insist that a polygamist ought to “deny their natural man” and get with one-on-one monogamy instead of a natural state of polygamous families.

But “natural” and “supernatural” need not be considered as separate things.  Let us bring back together the things that shouldn’t ever have been separated in the first-place – or perhaps it would be to realize that they were never separate in the first-place.  Just that a hardened mind, conceived in sin, perceives this-and-that, good-and-evil, heaven-and-earth, mental-and-physical, spirit-and-flesh, gods-and-humans, etc. as these separate and exclusive things – and our minds just need to be soften, or broken.

Next Article by Justin: The Concept of Race, in the Gospel

Previous Article by Justin:  Intimacy as the Opposite of Sin

[When Things Get Broken ...]

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45 Comments

  1. There’s a lot to comment on, but I’ll just comment about one part…I liked the part dividing the three purposes of genitals. It seems obvious to most people that urination is a different purpose than reproduction…yet these same people generally won’t separate reproduction from unification.

    That being said, have you read any natural law arguments for marriage? From reading some of what you wrote in this article about unification (as opposed to pleasure), it reminded me of a recent paper I read that was a natural law justification/defense/accounting of marriage. To summarize the part that I thought was interesting, the paper said something like: marriage only describes those relationships in which unification is possible. Unification is only possible through a certain subset of penile/vaginal sex acts (obviously, you can have a “one night stand” or “casual sex” arrangement where both people are basically *using* each other to achieve pleasure, whether they care about the mutuality or do not…as you have also described). I think the reason why the author focused on unification (although s/he called it something different) was because normally, natural law arguments for marriage fall under criticism because they seem to imply that infertile couples (or fertile couples that nevertheless choose not to have children) are illegitimate. (And given the Catholic church’s position on contraception, I guess the latter group there does have some issues.) This paper wanted to avoid that.

    The notable point about this argument was that using this basis, the author argued against the possibility of unification through any other sex acts. In other words, there can be no such thing as gay marriage, because gay sex acts are never unified — at best they are just the mutual use of the other person for pleasure.

    What do you think?

  2. Andrew:

    That being said, have you read any natural law arguments for marriage?

    I’ve haven’t heard of the natural law argument you brought up — though it’s interesting to me — because it is approximately my own feelings on the homosexual marriage issue.

    In other words, there can be no such thing as gay marriage, because gay sex acts are never unified — at best they are just the mutual use of the other person for pleasure.

    I think [despite what evangelical America suggests] the scriptures are largely silent on homosexual relationships.

    The scriptures that do condemn “men lying with men as with a woman”, etc. refer more to the practice of either:
    (1) pagan temple sex-rituals or
    (2) the use of anal sex to show “domination” or “subjugation” over a conquered group.
    So it’s possible that those scriptures are condemning those behaviors — not “homosexuality” as such. Homosexuality as a sexual orientation, and gay relationships based on marriage covenants of fidelity between the same gender did not really exist until relatively recently.

    So that said — [Warning, my personal opinion is coming, it may be offensive and potentially incorrect -- also my feelings on the matter are fluid/not set in stone] — I do not think that humans are born with an innate “attraction” to members of the same gender.

    Though I do think that homosexuals are genuine about feeling fulfilled [the "unity" aspect] by a member of the same gender — it’s just I think that something a bit “off” inside their head that they feel that way. And so I think that’s the part of it that makes the relationships improper — and it’s not really so much about where they put their genitals, etc. — but more so about the fact that we ought to feel fulfillment with the complimentary gender [but again, I'm not "God hates gay people"-set in stone about that opinion or anything].

    marriage only describes those relationships in which unification is possible

    I think that’s a succinct definition. Scripturally-speaking, I can’t interpret the word “marriage” as meaning anything other what than it meant at the time the revelations were given — therefore marriage means that union between a man and a woman, not between same sexes — because the idea of same-gender orientation as a “lifestyle” and creating cohabitating, faithful relationships between the same sex didn’t exist at the time the revelations were given.

    God is all about creating permanency — or things that remain. The only difference between fornication [unlawful sexual relations] and marriage [lawful sexual relations] is the idea of a permanent union.

    God wants men and women to come together, becoming one flesh — and He wants them to remain together and continue to become one flesh. The marriage covenant’s purpose is to state that spouses will remain together permanently.

    When two people come together and make love, the love demonstrated and generated is intended by God to continue on forever. It is supposed to remain. The marriage bonds keep people connected so that they continue to nurture and grow the love generated between them. And the fruit of such a union is procreation — or growth through children.

    I think the reason why the author focused on unification (although s/he called it something different) was because normally, natural law arguments for marriage fall under criticism because they seem to imply that infertile couples (or fertile couples that nevertheless choose not to have children) are illegitimate.

    And I do think that criticism is valid. It seems to me that homosexual pairings are improper for being intrinsically unable to produce seed after their own kind. There are cases of injured men and women, which I think are a different category altogether — because that is extrisinic to the nature of the relationship [i.e., a husband having an IED injure his genitals ought not be considered equivalent to a male-male sexual couple].

    However, with all that, I can only conclude that God approves of and commands men and women to come together via marriage covenants. It’s just an ambiguous area because the word of God is silent of the subject of cohabitating homosexual unions — so there is nothing in the scriptures that would make them not valid [or immoral] in the eyes of God [because if it was expressly immoral as such -- it would be expressly declared immoral].

  3. The only thing that keeps me from being able to buy into homosexual relationships is the temple’s law of chastity, which is that no woman will have intercourse except with a husband to whom she is legally and lawfully wedded and that no man will have intercourse except with a wife to whom he is legally and lawfully wedded.

    In this case, for me, the law of chastity does not prohibit a man or woman from entering into a homosexual marriage, but it does stop them from justifiably having relations with each other. And since it is sex that validates [or consummates] a marriage — homosexual marriages are invalid in the eyes of the Lord, at least as far as I understand the scriptural laws we currently have. The Lord may reveal more later.

    I wouldn’t deny homosexual couples the right to permanently cohabitate as a sexual couple. I think having a happy gay couple is better than a crappy straight one. To me, the whole thing wrong with the US’s “gay marriage” debate is that we’ve assumed the State has the right to go around “defining” and “licensing” marriage in the first place.

    A “license” is legal permission to do that which would otherwise be illegal — but God recognizes all covenants, contracts, oaths, vows, performances, connections, associations, or expectations that are made among humans both for time and for all eternity, regardless of who or what entity or entities ordained them [whether it be ordained of men, by thrones, or principalities, or powers, or things of name, whatsoever they may be] as being perfectly valid and binding until the parties are dead, at which point such contracts, etc. have an end.

    It’s just that for any contracts, oaths, etc. to continue/endure after the parties are dead [which means it's "of God", capable of enduring] — they must be made/entered into by the Lord or by His word and be patterned according to the scriptural laws He’s revealed.

    So — ideally, I’d like to see any two people who agree to live permanently as a marriage couple with each other, formalize that however they see fit and be able to publicly declare that such a covenant has taken place. They could apply for a notarized declaration from the State that such a covenant took place, or not. Others would be free to accept that marriage ceremony or not [for instance, I could see some landlords, employers, etc. not willing to recognize gay marriage or LDS temple marriage or polygynous/polyandrous marriage, etc.].

    But [all that being said] I agree with the idea in the paper you presented.

  4. I liked the part dividing the three purposes of genitals

    And if the subject of homosexuality doesn’t make this post/comments controversial enough — I’ll say that I thought up the three purposes as I considering the justifiable [or not] reasons for contraception and abortion.

  5. Marriage: any close union, a close union, an intimate union; from several english language dictionaries.

    Union:[<Middle French <Late Latin<Latin<unis,one] ONE!

    Is marriage an exact synonym for sealing in time vs eternity in "the time and all eternity" model in mormon theology?

    Mormon historical records reveal sealing of women to men and men to men; If this is so could women also be sealed to women? D&C 132:7

    Sealing by the holy spirit of promise, we are told, is required for the "all eternity" part of this model to be of force.

    D&C 76:92-95 infers the "eternity" part of the model, with and as God, because all "are made equal in power and in might and in dominion" in the celestial, dwelling in His presence as the church of the Firstborn. vs 95.

  6. jon:

    I’m not sure which dictionaries you used to find:

    Marriage: any close union

    but — the first meaning given by the OED is:

    The condition of being a husband or wife,
    to enter into a wedlock,
    taken/received as husband and wife,
    the procedure by which two people become husband and wife, and
    with a modifying word [e.g., group, communal]: a system understood to exist in some cultures, religious groups, etc., by which each of the men in a small community is regarded as married to each of the women

    So I don’t know that I can consider “marriage” as any close union — except maybe in some metaphoric sense: “Oh, he’s married to his job, etc.”

    Also,

    Mormon historical records reveal sealing of women to men and men to men;

    There is admittedly the covenant relationship between Jonathan and David:

    and it came to pass
    [...]
    that the soul of Jonathan was knit with the soul of David
    and Jonathan loved him as his own soul
    [...]
    then Jonathan and David made a covenant
    because he loved him as his own soul
    and Jonathan stripped himself of the robe that was upon him
    and gave it to David
    and his garments
    even to his sword
    and to his bow
    and to his girdle

    [Samuel 18:1-4]

    But there’s no evidence that such relationships were sexual. And given the heterosexual “exploits” of David — I don’t think there is a case that he was what we would today call a “homosexual” [as an orientation and permanent state-of-mind or "lifestyle"].

    I think the issue is whether a marriage relationship between two men [or two women] constitutes “union” — as per the natural law argument proposed by the author that Andrew cited above.

    Considering that I wrote:

    The “sacrament” of sex arises from the fact that, in Love, we are not merely our Self anymore. We become representatives or proxy of the universal Male and Female. In the temple, we are considered as if we were Adam and Eve. In the pagan mysteries, the man acts in the role of the Father Sky-god and the woman the Mother Earth-goddess. All that is masculine and feminine in the whole universe – all that exerts and all that yields – all form and matter, all spirit and element – is momentarily focused and present in that singular event…

    in the OP — I’m inclined to agree that it is not “real” union, but just emotionally fulfilling/phycially pleasurable for the same-gener parties involved.

  7. P.S., if I can find that article, I’ll throw in a link…but it escapes me for now.

  8. Justin, Andrew,

    Marriage,

    Webster’s New World Dictionary; students ed. 1981, definition #3,
    Any close union: The American Heritage Dictionary; Third ed. definition 3# A close union.
    Yes, David and Jonathan provide a good example of a covenanted union.
    Saul confronted his son Jonathan and said “Do not I know that thou hast chosen the son of Jesse to thine own confusion, and to the confusion of thy mother’s nakedness”?(I Samuel 20:30). The word confusion has been used at least once in the Old Testament to mean sexual sin (Leviticus 18:23). Saul makes reference to “sin” while the Lord was not concerned about it and continued to support and bless the two young men.
    The last time Jonathan and David met secretly to avoid the wrath of Jonathan’s father, King Saul, David falls to the ground and they “kiss” each other, “and wept one with another until David exceeded.” (I Samuel 20:41). Exceed here may mean to pass out with emotion.

    When David hears of the death of Jonathan he grieved by saying “I am distressed for thee my brother Jonathan :very pleasant hast thou been to me: thy love to me was wonderful, passing the love of women”. (2 Samuel 1:26) David had three wives at the time.

    The relationship of Ruth and Naomi, Ruth appears to me to be making and promise or oath to Naomi recorded in “Ruth 1:16″ and it seems to be reciprocal. I don’t believe this was a sexual relationship however it certainly could be included in the new and everlasting covenant (D&C 132:7).

  9. I think we have enough scriptural evidence that homosexuality is not ordained of God. We can pick apart the scripture all day to make them fit what we believe, but it won’t change the truth. Also I believe that’s called wresting the scriptures and if I remember correctly that’s bad. Some people prefer adulterous relationships because they are exciting. Some people like multiple one night stands. I mean there can be a lot of sexual preferences that I would say are weaknesses to be conquered. I have gay friends and I know the struggle they have gone through but I don’t think it’s any different than the struggle a man would go through if he found himself attracted to little boys.

    Anyway that’s not really why I’m commenting here. I wanted to tell you that this post is freakin awesome! I loved it so much and it really pointed out a lot of things that I have wondered about. One thing I would really love your feedback on…sometimes during sex with my husband I will almost feel like I’m getting a glimpse of Celestial relations. Does that make sense? Almost like I can feel in a small way what the God’s experience. Also afterward I am so overcome with emotion that I cry. Sometimes a lot, and it really feels like a spiritual experience. My husband gets nervous sometimes with all my weird emotion and it’s hard to explain. I sure wish we could both experience what I do. Thanks again for a great article!

  10. sometimes during sex with my husband I will almost feel like I’m getting a glimpse of Celestial relations. Does that make sense?

    Yes — that’s about exactly what I mean when I wrote:

    The “sacrament” of sex arises from the fact that, in Love, we are not merely our Self anymore. We become representatives or proxy of the universal Male and Female [e.g., Adam and Eve, the Father Sky-god and the woman the Mother Earth-goddess, or all that is masculine and feminine in the whole universe].

    But they cut the intimate washing, the close contact, and nudity, etc. from our temple rituals because participants felt uncomfortable with the intimacy they suggest — because it’s the kind that’s only comfortably expressed among spouses and intimate friends.

    These rituals are inherently intimate in nature because they express the unity between men-and-women and humanity-and-God — the same unity expressed in the sexual union — the same one that the gospel is designed to achieve.

    I think crying is an appropriate response to a transcendent experience and to the ecstatic vision that sexual union can achieve.

  11. The sexual act as the conduit of social adhesion is what got the State to pass [and uphold as constitutional] all the anti-polygamy legislation in the late 19th-century.

    It wasn’t so much about men or women sleeping with multiple partners because sleeping with multiple non-marriage sexual partners [even if done concurrently] can provide the pleasure and procreation dynamics of sex — but lacks the unification aspect found in full-on marriage covenants.

    Anti-bigamy laws had nothing to do with sexual practice — but had everything to do with using Joseph Smith’s polygamy as a reason to stop what had the potential of becoming a legitimate threat to the political and economic authority of the State [i.e., the restoration of the tribes of Israel].

    Mormonism does not teach about heaven — rather its ordinances [in the legal sense, how we "order" ourselves] are the pattern for living that makes our social relations become heavenly:

    thy kingdom come
    thy will be done
    in earth
    as it is in heaven

  12. To liv435,

    If one considers carefully Matt. 19:1-12 especially 10-12 one will see in the first class mentioned of the three classes of eunuchs, vs 12, that Jesus is saying some were (are) so born from their mother’s womb. Key here: a eunuch is not just one who has been castrated.

    Is this a mistake of God in creation?

    The restoration of the gospel brings interesting things to light!

    Joseph Smith, the prophet, was sealing men to men among the other configurations of his sealing practices. This sealing of men to men was known as the law of adoption by Joseph’s successors, Brigham Young, John Taylor and Wilford Woodruff.

    Without getting into a lengthy reply here I suggest a good investigation of this occurance in mormon theological history.

    But why would this kind of anomaly happen when male bodies are obviously meant to go with female bodies?
    Could it be that our individual basic spiritual make up actually holds the opposite as well as the same?, example, me, Jon, is open consciously in this life to same and in the next life the opposite.

  13. Jon butler,
    I really have no desire at all to debate this issue. Only because I have confirmation through the spirit that homosexuality is contrary to the purpose and will of God. Because of this I don’t need to study up on it to support my view. I will answer a couple things though. The law of adoption is done in a father-son manner, not husband-husband. Joseph Smith was a very good friend to men and had intimate, close relationships. They held hands and were very free with their feelings, but this was more common in the times they lived in and was not sexual in nature. There were real brotherly bonds there. Would you suggest that he had an incestuous/gay relationship with Hyrum? Because he was as close to him as any other man. I just can’t fathom how you can turn the law of adoption into gay marriage. And what about women? They weren’t sealed to each other so I guess they can’t be gay? It is a priesthood issue.

    Also eunuch does not mean homosexual. Seriously, only someone who is really desperate to back up their belief(or weakness) would interpret it that way. Eunuchs are men who are either born without the ability to have sex or are made that way later. This can include being deformed or downs syndrome or many other ailments. I would also include men who simply choose celibacy. The chapter is about marriage anyway and when it’s ok not to marry or ok to divorce right? So you think Jesus is saying if you’re born gay then you’re exempt from marriage and just go out and have illicit intercourse?? Also, the first part of the chapter talks about how He made MAN and WOMAN to cleave unto one another.

    Now about your question of do I think God messed up with the babies born eunuchs? Of course not. There are a lot of babies born with health problems and handicaps. We live in a corrupt, fallen world where everything is tending toward chaos and disorder. Gods design in the beginning was perfect and there were no birth defects. Now I do believe everything is in His hands and according to His design though so obviously boys born “eunuchs” chose that and Gods hand was in it.

    Like I said before, it’s hard to conquer weaknesses, especially when you don’t want to. It’s much easier to look for justification. I have plenty of weaknesses myself but I know I can’t go as far as I want if I don’t acknowledge them and lay them before the Lord. Instead of searching for evidence to back up your sexual preference why don’t you just go to God with your questions and ask Him for understanding? You’d gain a lot more untainted knowledge that way.

  14. I think I found the article I was thinking of: Girgis et al. “What is Marriage?” http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1722155

  15. Andrew — thanks for digging that up.

  16. [...] other day, Justin had a post at LDS Anarchy about sexuality and sexual union. There were some interesting ideas in it, and the post reminded me of an article I recently read [...]

  17. Justin-
    I just read through your article again. A twice read article must be good! I’m also recommending it to friends. Anyway I thought of something I’d like to share that I think is interesting….my husband and I both were of the thinking that sex was strictly for procreation. Well a few years ago I became unable to carry pregnancies and I am still quite young. Needless to say we had to reconsider our stand. Through prayer, reflection and study it didn’t take long to realize the importance of “unification” whether procreating or not. It took a while to get over feeling guilty. I mean that had been our real belief for so long! Eventually we were able to achieve the same level of intimacy as before and we have a great love life.

  18. liv435: that’s great to hear [both about you enjoying the post and passing it on and about you and your husband].

    Also — if there is still room in your family for children, there are plenty of children who need adopted into good homes.

  19. Justin
    Thanks for the suggestion. We would love to adopt. Unfortunately adopting kids is expensive and we can’t foster because we live in a *gasp polygamous community among *double gasp polygamists. What I would really love is for my hubby to get another wife so we can have babies in the house again and my kids want more younger brothers and sisters so much! That would be the best alternative in my opinion.

  20. When my wife and I looked into adoption [we're still both of reproductive age, but wanted more children] — we were disappointed by how expensive it is to do and how many government hoops they make you jump through.

    Though — worse was to find out that LDS Family Services requires a verification of infertility as a part of their application process.

    Also — ditto what you wrote about:

    What I would really love is for my hubby to get another wife so we can have babies in the house again and my kids want more younger brothers and sisters so much! That would be the best alternative in my opinion.

  21. liv435,
    Thank you for your comments. In reading your last response to Justin I found you and I have something interesting in common.

    I was involved in a polygamist group in the ’70s. The apostolic United Brethren, known as the Allred group then, I was in the process of removing myself from the “group” When “brother” Rulon was killed, in May 1977. It was there in the Allred group I first heard the phrase “law of adoption” and that it was a sealing of men to men, and as you say son to father relationship. That stuck with me for years until I met someone who explained it more thoroughly. I had accepted it as had been originally presented to me, but thought of my friends who were gay as well as myself, and asked myself, wouldn’t it be wonderful if this could be more than just a stiff generational situation?

    The father to son sealing model worked in the patriarchal priesthood of the Allred group. It worked the LDS church, though this sealing is hardly known today in church from my experience, it is certainly not talked about hardly at all.

    IT is espoused that the patriarchal priesthood along with the sealing power is the highest priesthood on earth, I agree with part of this. If we use Joseph Smith as the basic source of this teaching through his written revelations published and unpublished and his spoken words recorded by faithful note takers, and writings he wrote or supervised to be written, one could find that the patriarchal priesthood is not the highest priesthood on earth. I found this to be true for myself in the years following my association with the polygamists, in the mid1980’s.

    From “The Words of Joseph Smith” compiled and edited by Andrew F. Ehat and Lyndon W Cook Published in 1980, on page 244 and 245 Joseph elucidates(on August 27,1843, Joseph Smith Diary, by Willard Richards) parts of the priesthood 1st on bottom pg 244 he is speaking of the “anointing and sealing – called elected and made sure without father&c a priesthood which holds the priesthood by right from the Eternal Gods-and not be descent from father and mother”
    “2d Priesthood, patriarchal authority finish the temple and god will fill it with power
    “3d Priesthood. Levitical”

    So patriarchal is second not first.

    there is more to study here but I have quoted that which I feel is relevant.

    Now this idea that the law of adoption being envisioned as a son to father(patriarchal) sealing: Brigham Young was purplexed about it the brethren around him were to the point apparently that provoked a vision from Joseph Smith. In Council Bluffs,Iowa Feb. 17, 1847 Brigham sick and asleep drempt that he went to see Joseph, after much affection shown between them( Joseph having been killed June 27, 1844 and Brigham and some of families with him in Council Bluffs) Brigham stated and then asked Joseph “I said ‘Brother Joseph, the brethern you know well, better than I do:you raised them up, and brought the priesthood to us. The brethern have a great anxiety to understand the law of adoption or sealing principles; and if you have a word of council for me I should be glad to receive it.”(Manuscript History of Brigham Young, Feb 23, 1847 Church Historians Office) To shorten this somewhat Joseph’s answer was to be sensative to the still small voice it will teach you what to do and where to go; to keep the spirit of God, Tell the brethern to keep their hearts open to conviction, so that when the Holy Ghost comes to them their hearts will be open to receive it, Joseph mentions this principles in several other ways, I believe for emphasis.

    You will notice Joseph did not give the mechanics of this sealing principle here.

    Another point which is very important to share is that in the celestial glory all “are made equal in power and in might and in dominion” D&C 76: 94-95, there is no hierarchy or patriarchal sealing of sons to fathers. Sealing has to do expressly with church of the Firstborn, the celestial kingdom.

    I am tired it is late here if you would like to discuss this further I am open to it. There is more detail to share.

  22. Two years ago I was reading on this blog and then became a contributor to it. In one of my comments during 2010 I stated that if the LDS church ever allowed gay sealings in the temples under pressure from the government that I would leave the church. I have since studied and prayed a great deal. I have decided for myself that the LDS church is so far apostate that continuing to attend it is detrimental to my relationship with God and hence hinders my salvation.
    Now I am not ready to say that God believes in sealing men and men as husband and wife. I phrased it that way to point out the problems I see with that. But I am now of the belief that God does not condemn homosexual relations and certainly does not condemn those who engage in same sex relations.
    God does condemn sex without true love and commitment. I think that is what is meant by the phrase in the 76th section describing the telestial kingdom which along with murders says “and whoso loves and makes a lie,” That can happen in heterosexual marriages as easily as homosexual.
    I believe saying sex is for both unification and procreation actually distorts the reality. I will explain.
    The one great truth infused in all existence is that we are all one. When I say “we” I mean God, all the race of gods which includes all humans, all the animals and plants and all elements and spirit entities we are all one.
    That is why the fundamental law of all existence is Love. None of us can disregard the being and validity and agency of ourselves nor any other entity without doing damage to ourselves. Such disregard is the only real sin.
    So the real purpose as I see it of sexual union is unification. Procreation is a by product which often comes from such connecting.
    The proper desire for connection is love. Love will be true and stay true. So seeking is seeking connection. All healthy hearts seek that connection. We are all in a state of less than perfection in this sphere. We have all been subjected to a loss of the fulness of truth. And we have all been subjected to lies and pain.
    After reading Sex at Dawn especially chapter 20 I realized what God had been teaching me by example was also a physical reality beyond the control of some to change at this time.
    When Adam sought a companion that matched his needs a woman was brought. She had needs also and Adam was the perfect match for her also. Because they function properly they produce seed. But just because some couples do not produce seed does not in any way lessen the validity of their connection. I have no desire and am repulsed by the thought of engaging in sexual relations with a male.
    But according to good sound research there are other men who are not attracted to women but are attracted to men. And for the male of apparently all species once programmed by life experiences it is nearly impossible to be reprogrammed.
    Sexual intimacy is essential to happiness and sound emotional health. Celibacy is a sin against oneself and is turning down one of the greatest gifts of God.
    I do not believe same sex sexual relations will be part of an Eternal life. But I don’t believe those who engage in same sex relations in this life will be rejected from Eternal life because of it.
    Sin is just something which does not sustain itself. It is self limiting. If as I believe same sex attraction is changed for those who now have it, it will never be by feeling worthless or inferior or condemned of God. It will be accomplished naturally and by love and growth. It most likely will not occur in this sphere. Judging others as inferior or unworthy of our love and respect is a self defeating behavior.

  23. Ok…dcy4557:
    I can respect your position. I dont agree entirely, but I can respect it. For myself I feel like the scriptures are clear about Gods position on homosexuality. Like I said I have gay friends and I have seen them go through hell. One friend is married with kids and regularly cheats because she swings both ways and doesn’t feel fulfilled in a strictly hetero relationship. Her hubby is none the wiser and I hate that! I haven’t told him because I feel it’s something she should. Another very close friend left her husband because she couldn’t get past her attraction to other women but after praying and receiving an answer to return to him she did. Another guy from a poly family has just turned bitter and angry(and atheist)because of the bad treatment he received after coming out and my heart is torn for him. I really love my gay friends so I’m sure God doesn’t “hate gays.”

    Jon:
    I have a lot of family in and from the Allred group. Great people, although they aren’t much better than the church with their “follow the man” teachings. I love that you mentioned that dream of Brigham Young’s. I don’t have it before me right now, but have read it several times and my favorite quote from it is, “nothing is as important as getting and keeping the spirit of God” my interpretation of the whole dream is that getting overly concerned about ordinances etc..(the letter of the law) was distracting from the importance of receiving the Holy Ghost, or a remission of sins. Joseph was saying, just tell them to receive the Holy Ghost which is a revelator and it will teach them all they need to know and do. Now I have a question for you “have you received a remission of sins by fire and the Holy Ghost? Have you been “changed from your carnal and fallen state to a state of righteousness?” Do you have a “new heart?” If you have received all this an God did not change your sexual preference then I will reconsider my position.

  24. Justin,

    I was reading with interest your response to Andrew’s question and find that I was not in disagreement with it. I also appreciate the tone with which you responded. I was a commenter on the W&T post about feeling the loss spiritual impact of the initiatory rite with de-emphasis of holy touch. If the change was made in response to episodes of abusive behavior in the temples, I would assume that those behaviors were more likely to come from the male patrons than female patrons. So I was also contemplating what type of undesirable male behaviors there occurring that warranted correction.

    It would seem that the initiatory rite is the ritual that most formally embodies philos, brother love, or the type of affection described above when Brigham envisioned Joseph. It provides a demonstration that, as in the garden, man can be naked and not ‘ashamed’. It allows initmate communion with the Father and Son because the last of our earthly vestiges are stripped away. Receiving holy touch as each part of our mortal tabernacle is annointed is powerful because it involves more of our physical senses than just vision and hearing. Thus the impact of our covenants if felt more deeply.

    So I assumed that removal of the more intimate portions of the rite had to do with fear that participants would experience eros. I also felt that such fears were exxagerated. If men have experience homoerotic attraction in our culture, they have likely learned to channel it in order to survive in a culture where homophobia has existed. Even if it was something to be experienced in the temple, it is a safe place to learn spiritually what to do with that response. I have a difficult time imagining that the initiatory room would be a location where two men would be introduced into a relationship that would result in sin, but I assumed that was the fear that such a change may have been intended to prevent.

    I was, however, just reading the posting of the notes taken from the presentation of the gay student panel at BYU. One of the male panel members felt that all-male nudity in the MTC bathrooms was detrimental to his spiritual well-being. I admired these students, and wondered if securing the well-being of a gay temple patron in the name of reduced stripping of outer vestiges and holy touch is worth the reduction of spiritual manifestation to others who are not prone to experiencing eros.

    In my mind, I would think that we would want to cultivate in our gay brethren the ability to respect male morphologic characteristics without equating the mere visual acknowledgement of male morphology as a homoerotic risk to be avoided at all costs. Granted, tthe missionaries in the MTC could stand to be more modest and serious in their dormitories. On the other hand, if one person with same gender attraction let the initiatory rite become a stumbling block in abstaining from homosexual acts, would the action that has taken place be justified? No, would be my, perhaps, selfish answer.

  25. On the other hand, if one person with same gender attraction let the initiatory rite become a stumbling block in abstaining from homosexual acts, would the action that has taken place be justified?

    I think that could be a justifiable reason for cutting those parts out [if it was becoming that big of a deal, on a large-scale basis].

    The problem is — we have no idea why the leadership axed parts out. There is no discussion on the matter. Change doesn’t come with open dialogue, with common consent, with transparent intent/cause — it just happens. And we’re left to speculate.

    I’d be willing to swallow a lot of different changes to doctrines and rituals [and chalk it all up to the law of expediency] — if there were revelations presented at General Conference that the membership could vote to accept and sustain as binding. Instead, we just get new editions of handbooks outlining acceptable policy and official instructions published — and told not to question the wisdom and calling of the brethren.

  26. I understand where you are coming from, and I appreciate you following my train of thought and giving me your opinion on how that translates to a conclusion. It seems to me, however, that the forms of the ritual of endowing with power that have occurred over earth’s history have largely been channelled from heavenly being to holder of sealing keys to iniitate, without common consent being applied. Thus, we have to interpret the fact that there was a revision as being evidence that it was becoming that big of a deal with, in this instance, faith in the holder of the sealing keys.

  27. Good replies from dcy4557 and liv435,

    There is much in common I agree with.

    liv 435,
    My experience with mormonism is full of meaning and significance, having been born in the church with an LDS ancestry of 8 generations, I was not really “converted” until my mission(at age19-21 yrs) when I read the “Book of Mormon” all the way through for the first time.

    Six or eight months before my mission I was very concerned about my sexuality, anticipating this mission with male companions. I confided in my mother the situation, of course she was horrified, it being the mid 1960’s, she stood by me and we sought out a therapist
    All I wanted was certification from a professional I was OK to go on a mission. Several months of weekly and bi weekly visits I got “clearance” so to speak, though I knew I really wasn’t able to open up and even say the word “homosexual”, of course the therapist knew this much, mom having intervened with preliminary data.

    I felt if I kept God’s commandment to teach and share his restored gospel surely he would bless me and “cure” me.

    I was bitterly disappointed at the end of the mission, I could hardly finish it but I did. Nothing had changed in the way I felt internally regarding my sexuality

    The “Book of Mormon” was a powerful instrument in bringing about a conviction in my heart of the path of light and truth. So also many passages in the “Bible” “D&C” and other restoration scriptures in the “Pearl of Great Price”.

    In the years following the mission I was searching how I could reconcile my “conviction” and my sexuality. In the early 70’s I was directed into contact with the Allred group, and put a great amount of energy in to proving or disproving its claims, that the Lord had provided a way to “keep the fulness of the gospel alive” now outside of the instituted church. I felt that here may well be the answer I was looking for, I found it did not completely. I had been married to fine young lady I converted from the LDS church and we moved to the “groups” community in Pinesdale Mt.

    Performing my sirely duties was very difficult but was able to father two daughters. The marriage fell apart after four years and after having moved back to Utah.

    I think this may be more info than you asked for but I am just trying to give a little context.

    Since all this and many other endeavors, and finally met(in 1986) the person referred to in a former reply who taught me what he had learned and experienced, by the way a former bishop and temple sealer.

    Joseph Smith is, was a very unique person for me, have a great amount of esteem for him, talk about Deep Water, I was never able to shake him off. He was able to very ably to shed light on many many statements and situations recorded in the Bible, and resonate with the more arcane sayings of Jesus.

    Joseph is reported to have said(recorded in the “Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith” pg.256, 1970 printing: “That which is wrong under one circumstance, may be and often is right under another… even those things which might be considered to be abominable to all who understand the order of heaven only in part…” and on page 257 “…Our heavenly father is more liberal in his view and boundless in his mercies and blessing, than we are ready believe or receive…”

    A side note I think is important about the restoration is that it(the restoration of “all things”was and is mainly a preparation for the return of Messiah, The Christ.

    I hope this answers your questions.

  28. Rigel:

    It seems to me, however, that the forms of the ritual of endowing with power that have occurred over earth’s history have largely been channelled from heavenly being to holder of sealing keys to iniitate, without common consent being applied. Thus, we have to interpret the fact that there was a revision as being evidence that it was becoming that big of a deal with, in this instance, faith in the holder of the sealing keys.

    To see where I disagree with the sort of top-down picture you describe — you can read these two posts written by LDS Anarchist:

    The priesthood
    and
    An alternate view of the keys

    There is nothing in the church of Christ that [normatively-speaking] happens without common consent being applied:

    and all things
    shall be done by common consent
    in the church

    [D&C 26:2]

    I wouldn’t cry “apostasy!” when authorized key holders revise things — but I expect it to come by the spirit of prophecy and revelation, which would: (1) claim to be a revelation, a vision, a prophecy, etc. [not a "policy change" or "inspired direction"] and (2) would be presented to the church for a sustaining vote, for all things in the church shall be done by common consent.

  29. Warning this is not something you will hear in gospel doctrine class.
    Regarding liv 435 response and info Thank you.
    And regarding gay and hetero mixes I am sure that can be hard.
    But there is a principle which is too often disregarded as a source of solution here. In my view true love has zero jealousy. God said “whoso forbideth to marry is not ordained of God.” The principle being That a church who says someone should not be married they are wrong. If a spouse says someone should not be married they are wrong. I want to be sure we understand the radical nature of the true meaning of God’s words there. God wants us to be one. How often we hear a statement by God and apply it to say 9% of our universe when God stated it concerning 100% of our universe?
    We have all been raised in a world steeped in a perversion or even and inversion of truth for more than 5000 thousand years. When you see the Catholic church, the LDS church, the Nazi’s and the communist all agree on something real loud alarms should be going off in your head and heart!
    If a woman wants to marry, to join with and be unified with a man and to enter in to the state of being considerate and loving and respectful and intimate for the rest of their lives, then her husband should consent to that. Hah scary huh? Hard to deal with?
    My wife was in same sex relationships for years before we met. In fact her previous lover threatened to reveal everything to me. My wife was scared and cried and was afraid our marriage would be over just a couple weeks into it. I had heard not a word of this before marrying her.
    But God had prepared me. And so when she told me I was okay with it. I have since met the woman and am good friends with her. My wife and I pray for all her same sex previous lovers. And they all know they are welcome in our home, that we care about them. In fact one of them will be visiting with my wife late this fall. And my mother in law did not want my wife to visit her. I told her be all means go see her.
    And truly in my heart of hearts if I thought there was a possibility that they would be intimate it would not bother me. I know true healing and growth needs an atmosphere of complete acceptance with who you are right now. I give that freely to my wife.
    Now my wife being a woman it was quite easy for her to transition from same sex to hetero. She had been in a hetero relation earlier also. But the Lord had began moving in her life and teaching her gently to seek for a man and have a child with him. God was patient with her. It took her over year to start actively making the move. But she did and God put us together.
    For my part there was never any hurt feeling or fear. I know healthy people seek fulfilling intimate relations. If the same sex fulfills that need then that is where they should go. Again it is right out of the research that woman remain plastic, changeable through out their lives regarding sexual orientation. Whereas men once set find it very hard or impossible to change. So I do not think God expects many of such people to change in this life. And I think all of us will find a greater degree of intimacy with the same sex than we ever imagined in the celestial kingdom.
    If my wife was having problems and still desired a relation with her same sex friends I would be okay with that. If she wanted to have another husband I would be okay with that.
    Sex is about connection and love. If you think you own someone’s sexual life you don’t. And some day somewhere that belief will cause us problems.
    Those who realize they do not own their spouse will be free of the false pain of spousal “infidelity”.

  30. AMEN dyc!

    When we know or at least begin to get an idea of not only who but what we are then the issue of “infidelity” is also seen in a more accurate, more true light.

    Justin expressed it beautifully in the OP…but unless you have really felt it and to the degree which you have allowed yourself to feel God the Father and God the Mother work through you…you will see and desire expansion of the true and pure love you have experienced.

  31. A general questions: Is marriage dependent continuously on sexual relations, or could it at times be sublimated from the loins or groin area to the heart? If so could marriage really be a union of hearts, the heart center where the home of love is symbolically positioned, and therefore is non gender specific?

  32. jon there is a good answer to that question but it won’t be comprehended unless certain principles are set properly in our minds and hearts.
    Satan doesn’t have a body of element and hates all of us for having one. He has successfully placed in the minds of all peoples and cultures the inverted idea that the body is a corruption. Notice it is not even all tabernacles of element but specifically the human body and at the core of this fault finding is the ability of human sexual intimacy. He doesn’t have us humans spending too much emotiona finding fault with animal’s bodies. But when it comes to human sexuality we have equaled that with carnal, sensual and devilish.
    How amazing that Satan has got the world thinking and talking as if “things the groin” are associated with the devil when the reality is that is the exact power which Satan totally lacks!!
    The name of that little imp who can spin straw into gold and wants to steal your child is Rumplestilskin. That name means “limp male part” Satan cannot become one in body as well as heart. He cannot have a deep emotional experience which could bond him to another member of the family of gods for eternity. He cannot “know” a member of the opposite sex in a way that nothing else can compare. He cannot reproduce and thereby create an entire new universe we call the human body.
    And yet he has us using terms and concepts like “sublimated” as if departing from the groin area is preferable, more holy and pure.
    Let’s all be nuns and monks, yeah lets get really “holy” just like Satan!
    It is a lie and a baseless perversion of truth.
    The chakras are a wonderful truth. But in the truth of nature,which is of God the heart and the crown do not depart and leave behind the “lower” chakras. A tree does not grow only upward to its crown. How could the tree survive without the roots? And the roots continually grow down and spread deriving life sustaining and life renewing power from the dirt which is not “dirty” in any degree.
    And neither are sexual organs nor sexual emotions “dirty” or “low”. Like a tree we are to grow in the “higher” or spiritual and emotional realms through the use of the “lower” parts.
    Reality is all things physical were made by things spiritual. The organized element does not exist without a spirit entity organizing it. And plainly the “crowning” creation was our bodies of element. The earth was formed under the direction of someone who already had a element body. And because “He” (the family of gods) had and have bodies they lent their creative power and knowledge to us younger spirit members to assist in creating the heavens and the earth and plants animals all for the purpose of having a place to obtain and use element bodies forever.
    Love is the source of creation and re-creation. A spiritual bond of eternal love and oneness is what we are working and growing to have. That is perfection. And our most powerful and completely indispensable tools are our capacity to experience the passion and compassion and joy of union and reproduction.
    Satan would have us think otherwise. And Satan’s teachings have infected and perverted big time our “spiritual” teachings Mormonism included.
    So can a marriage “really be a union of hearts,” and spiritually based? Yes it can and by all means (even by the means of sexual relations) it should be!
    Can marriage be free from sexual relations?
    Why would anyone want to cut off the “lower” chakras, say cut a human body in half right at the navel?
    Can you think of anyone who would want to do that?
    Maybe someone who hates the human body with a passion that far exceeds insanity. And since Satan has no physical body to do that he has us thinking about it in a mental and spiritual sense.
    When we stop thinking of sexual relations as if it is a selfish, even a devilish act and start seeing that it is the most heavenly act possible we can understand that there is not a true “marriage” without it.

    But the truth is:
    IT IS ONLY TROUGH SEXUAL RELATIONS THAT WE CAN BE PERFECTED! SATAN KNOWS THIS AND HE HAS BEEN DOING ALL IN HIS POWER TO PREVENT US FROM USING SEXUAL RELATIONS FOR THIS PURPOSE!

    Don’t cut the tree off from its roots. The roots are good. Without them we have no life. Satan wants us to see sexual intimacy as bad. God wants us to see it as an essential and fantastic part of eternal love and creation.

  33. YES
    Thankyou this helps me to realize some important things….I mean I totally know what Jon Butler is talking about and have been shown that the Holy Spirit of Promise is all about the Green Light of the Heart Chakra. But that is because this is the midway point of the higher and lowerarchy….and not a division…neither should be considered above or more important than the other…It is but a joining of the two
    If we come at marriage with only the lower chakras activated and never get up to that green light then there can be many major problems… and if we come at it with a “lofty branches” mentality ..thinkin that the heavens are somehow more important than the earth and the roots then we have missed the point altogether and even WORSE more backwards problems will occur keeping us from ever obtaining a sealing in the heart chakra… because we will see “going down” as something to be avoided instead of part of our growth.

  34. dyc4557,
    Some great points! I have just been doing a lot of study and thinking about some of the so called spiritual plural wives of Joseph Smith, It seems that they considered their relationship with their husband Joseph as a holy union, a marriage yet some of these women were in their 50’s, 13, 15, 20, and 18 years older than Joseph when sealed to him; Elizabeth Davis, Sarah Kingsley, Rhoda Richards, and Fanny Young, All past child bearing age, and apart from that, I question if these sealings had a sexual aspect to them.

  35. jon asked:

    A general questions: Is marriage dependent continuously on sexual relations, or could it at times be sublimated from the loins or groin area to the heart? If so could marriage really be a union of hearts, the heart center where the home of love is symbolically positioned, and therefore is non gender specific?

    Can marriage be more than a union of the groins? And become a union of the hearts? Absolutely.

    Dyc mentioned the chakras — the one associated with the genitals [Swadhisthana], is placed at the sacral region of the spine. “Sacral” [as a point of interest] is from the same root as “sacred“, as is “sangre“. The idea is that what is at our root, our sacrum, our lowest — contains an element of the sacred, can be a sacrament, etc.. Blood is what makes us mortal [sangre], sexuality is what makes us human [sacral] — and there is a divine spark in each of these [sacred].

    The tantric tradition teaches the ascension from the root/base and the groin aspects of just physically having sex — to the union of the hearts [Anahata], including reaching a transcendent point where the gender roles and identities are said to turn inside-out or fuse — removing the distinction between the two.

    The key to harmony in this system [whether it's the feminine/masculine aspects in me as an individual, between my wife and myself as a marriage couple, or between humanity and God] — the key is for the masculine and feminine aspects to be in balance. It would be improper to ask the moon [feminine] to shine like the sun – or the sun [masculine] to reflect like the moon. Each has its proper role, power, purpose, and way of doing things.

    The two cannot be mixed together into one-mass or pitted one against the other to find one winner. The masculine and feminine are to come together and become one – joining together, but retaining the masculine and feminine aspects undiluted, untainted, and unmixed.

  36. But sometimes things get broken — and I’ve been enjoying Joana’s series of posts recently that feel-through how to mend relationships and knit people together into community.

    Her newest one [When things get broken ...] was posted today.

  37. I have copied and pasted some notes that were published from the BYU student panel that posed questions to gay students. One of them is married to a womand these quotes pertain to him:

    Branden Bastian- Signs of being gay: Being weirdly prompted to kiss his male friend when he was 8 or 9, wanted to protect his friend, keep him safe. He is married and has a daughter, but is really stressing his story is EXTREMELY Atypical.

    Branden Bastian- Came out to his Bishop when he was a Senior and was okay with it. When he came to BYU he had only come out to two people. Didn’t really have any problems and was focused on going on his mission

    Branden Bastian is married to a woman

    Branden Bastian- Long story short, I decided to marry her. Here is why. I left it up to her. We had connected on every other level except physical. We had a great foundation before we got married and that has been pivital in making our marriage work.

    Branden- The physical attraction did come eventually for me. I am not cured. While i live my life in accordance with the gospel, I am still attracted to men. How the attraction works: I can tell when a girl is cute, but my wife and I both think Ryan Reynolds is really hot

    Brandon: What are my wife’s thoughts on me being gay?

    She is supportive of me in everything that I do. We enjoy a unique relationship and she is compeltely okay with it. I don’t feel like I”m faking it. The medication she has been on completley kills her libido. Now she’s not attracted to me and I’m the one more attracted to her now
    ————————————————————————————–

    So I was reflecting on Brandon’s choice and was fascinated that he found that the physical attraction did come for him. I suspect it may not have the ‘fireworks’ that it would in a same-sex relationship, but it seems they married with a willingness to accept the possibility that there would be no sexual attraction. I would not rrecommend his path to gay men, but I have respect for the decision he made and I hope that he is able to maintain his dedication to sustaining the relationship over the years. How ironic that he chose to marry a woman and was blessed to develp attraction to now be in the odd situation where his wife has lost her attraction.

    I believe he will find joy in his posterity and experience much personal growth from his relationship choice. He has made a sacrifice of great significance, and it is a reminder to me of the need to have a wilingness to sacrifice all things. I wonder if his relationship was not developing in a world where the sexuality of Ryan Reybolds, for instance, was not glorified, if it would be safer from reminders to him of what he has given up.

  38. The woman’s mind, by nature, vacillates — whereas the male’s mind, by nature, is fixed. This makes it both harder and easier for a man to change his mind than it would be for a woman. For a man, who is already fixated in something — he’d have to go through an unnatural and difficult task of completely altering his mental fixation and fixate himself on the new thing. So — it might be harder to get his mind changed, but once it’s changed there’s no going back for him.

    A woman’s mind, however, may oscillate between two ways easily. So changing her fixation is easier — but so is changing back to the old ways. [This is a part of the complementary difference between the sexes].

    Now, in their agency, this may be true for each individual to varying greater or lesser degrees — meaning regardless of nature, penitent men may still choose to sin and penitent women may still choose to remain fixed on the atonement and not sin — but I’ve found this discussion on homosexuality interesting because it seems to back this up. It appears that once a man’s mind is set by certain conditions early in life to be towards same-gender attraction — he does not just flip-a-switch and become a new person. Change for him sounds like it would be a long, hard road.

  39. Interesting — I just noticed the post published right before Joana’s on Elephant Journal was about the chakras and sexuality [Love and sex from the perspective of the chakras]:

    As most yoga practitioners are aware, we are more than just our physical bodies. We also have energy bodies with seven chakra points which roughly correspond to regions of our physical bodies. When we interact with another person, particularly when we have sex, we are commingling our energies with that person.

    When it comes to ‘getting together’, our culture tends to favor a bottom up approach. I know not all people in our culture follow this line, but certainly our popular culture promotes the ‘sex as ice-breaker’ attitude to relationships.

    If sex is what brings two people together first, they are coming together at the level of their lower chakras—the muladhara (the root) chakra which rules our primal energies (such as sex) and the svadhisthana, which rules our creative (and procreative) energies.

    Maybe at this point, the couple finds their energies to be incompatible and things end there. If they feel they are well-matched sexually, they may decide to try a relationship. At this point, they will move up to the manipura (the solar plexus), our seat of ego and personal power. This is where people often get stuck in power struggles. If we are using the bottom up approach, we have to get through the manipura chakra to reach the anahata chakra (the heart).

    But, if two people practice sexual restraint when they first meet, they use a top down approach. They may feel a spiritual connection through the sahasrara chakra, like they were brought together on purpose. Next they move through the ajna (third eye/mind) chakra, establishing a mental/intellectual connection. Then, if they establish an open flow of communication through vishuddha (the throat) chakra, they can move on to the anahata (or heart).

    In the bottom up approach, the gateway to the heart is the manipura (the ego).

    In the top down approach, the gateway to the heart is the vishuddha (communication).

    We can still reach the heart with the bottom up approach, but unfortunately, sometimes (though not necessarily) it is because one person has accepted the other’s ‘dominance’ in the power dynamic.

    Once reaching the heart, the feeling of love enters the picture. But at this point, a bottom-up couple still needs to establish open communication, and a mental and spiritual connection. At any of these points, the couple may still find themselves incompatible.

    How many couples do you know who love each other, but still find it difficult to communicate? Or find that they do not share the same perspective or beliefs? That is not to say that such relationships cannot work out, but they will always fall back to the power struggles of the manipura, unless the love of the anahata is strong enough to smooth out those other issues.

    In the top down approach, the couple has already established a spiritual and mental connection and open communication before they begin to feel love.

    Once love is established, they move on to the manipura. Not that they will not experience any ego clashes at this point, but with love in place, these struggles are more easily smoothed out. If they cannot get past the manipura, then they may never reach the lower chakras of sexual union. But if they do make it, it was probably worth the wait.

    [...]

    My sincerest hope for my children is that they have a spiritual, mental, and heart connection first before making the body connection.

    Also — Elephant Journal has a three-page view limit on all their posts before they hit you with a “pay-wall”. If you’d like to read more posts beyond that 3-a-day limit — then all you have to do is delete their cookies from your browser, and you can view as many as you want.

  40. Good conclusion Justin!

  41. A guess a full-exposition might be best served in a post all its own — but the chakra system describes the human body as organized in the same structural terms that the planet Earth is organized:

    The Earth’s physical body is a hollow, spherical shell that has north and south polar openings. At the exact center of the hollow is another spherical object, which is also a hollow shell that has its own polar openings, but much smaller in diameter than the larger shell that surrounds it. The smaller shell discharges plasma in glow mode, like an inner sun.

    In appearance, the Earth is constructed as “a tree yielding fruit, whose seed is in itself”. When the Earth is stacked with other planets, a plasma column connects the planets through their poles, creating a visual display that looks like a tree. The “seed” of this “tree” is the small hollow shell found at the exact center of the larger hollow sphere.
    [...]
    The spirit world proceeds outward beyond the confines of the physical world, just like every other spirit body.
    [Teachings on hell and the spirit world]

    In other words,

    A physical body is a hollow shell that has a head and a root opening. At the exact center is another shell with its own polar openings, called the heart.

    In appearance, a body is constructed as “a tree yielding fruit, whose seed is in itself”. When a body is connected with other bodies, a plasma column connects the bodies through their poles, creating a visual display that looks like a tree. The “seed” of this “tree” is the small hollow shell [or heart] found at the exact center of the outer body.

    The spirit body proceeds outward beyond the confines of the physical body.

    Etc.

  42. I found this image, which almost exactly depicts what I was describing above:

    In other words,

    A physical body is a hollow shell that has a head and a root opening. At the exact center is another shell with its own polar openings, called the heart.

    In appearance, a body is constructed as “a tree yielding fruit, whose seed is in itself”. When a body is connected with other bodies, a plasma column connects the bodies through their poles, creating a visual display that looks like a tree. The “seed” of this “tree” is the small hollow shell [or heart] found at the exact center of the outer body.

    The spirit body proceeds outward beyond the confines of the physical body.

    Etc.

  43. In one of our “in the spirit” moments it occurred to us that this was the case too…that some relationships started from the top down and some from the bottom up. The spirit had already communicated to us that this was the meaning of the Holy Spirit of promise. When heaven (higher chakras) and earth (lower chakras) or branches and root meet in the middle the heart chakra literally gives us the GREEN LIGHT and this is when a marriage receives God’s blessing.

    But we did notice just how essential both parts are. Just as the act of sex is considered tainted and shameful if both parties do not consent, the procedure should not be one of conquest within one’s self or when morphic fields between two meld together. Meaning that it can not be a conquest from the northern regions overpowering the southern territory. This is what the allegory in Jacob 5 in the Book of Mormon describes as the problem of the lofty branches. When the more airy realms of the quote unquote “higher” chakras establish themselves as a higher-archy without considering their reflecting counterparts in the lower-archy below to be their “better half” or more accurately their equals or that which fulfills them….well then there are serious problems as the root is drained of its power without being fed sufficiently. Neither the top nor the bottom should be starved.

    I see the anahata as the Christ Chakra that marries heaven and earth and joins the two together they both must do their part to meet half way…so that it is not an entirely mental and verbal process coming from the top down with its cool colors and cool approach. But neither is it entirely based on the red orange and yellow flames of the kiln below. Both are ideally coming together simultaneously in a TRUE TEMPLE SEALING.

  44. Another random thought that seems to be an answer to questions about certain paranormal phenomena which Justin’s comments, links and images brought to mind is this:

    When we light a fire we see the flame which is produced with friction by more earthly elements such as wood and stone. We soon see smoke appear and we assume that it proceeds from the bright fire as it wafts into the air. But what if it is proceeding from the ethereal realms of the unseen spirit world and connecting with our lower level actions of striking the stones or matches or whatever.

    Could this explain why spirits or ghosts seem to be very often viewed by us as vague and transparent almost like an image projected on a smoke screen or some type of gas? But those more powerful spirits combine or bridge the two realms for a more impact-full appearance as beings of light…like shimmering flame.

  45. I hope this doesn’t rub anyone wrong. Hermaphroditism in ganja plants is in my mind similar to homosexuality in humans. Some genetic lines have a higher propensity for this trait, but almost no plants will exhibit it under optimal conditions. It shows itself under extreme stress and when the males and females are separated for too long into sexual maturity.

    This is pretty much the only time the trait becomes desirable, because it will lead to more seeds in times when the genetic lines are threatened. (lack of pollination for seeds, short grow season)

    Also, changes in light cycles will bring this trait out quickly.

    Our children are not only more stressed than ever before with the demands of schools, they are maturing faster while being told not to date until they are 16 long after most want to start and long after their bodies are ready. Also, our pineal glands cannot synthesize dmt (for dreams and spiritual experiences), melatonin serotonin or much else while our retinas receive white or blue spectrum lighting.

    I firmly believe returning to a more natural habitat would show a reduction in occurrence

    But, i see the trait as useful In our population as it can be in the ganja gene pool. There are an excess of children and a lack of families. Let then adopt and teach children love


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