A commandment to practice polygamy found in the New Testament


The following has been lifted from this page and was not written by me.  I thought it was interesting enough to put on this blog and allow people to comment on it.  I will insert the scriptures in block quotes for easy reading.

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 Polygamy Commanded of God in NT?

There absolutely is an example in the Bible, where God actually does command a situation of polygamy —in the New Testament, even.

1_Corinthians 7:10-11 & 27-28.

10 And unto the married I command, yet not I, but the Lord, Let not the wife depart from her husband:

11 But and if she depart, let her remain unmarried, or be reconciled to her husband: and let not the husband put away his wife.

—–

27 Art thou bound unto a wife? seek not to be loosed. Art thou loosed from a wife? seek not a wife.

28 But and if thou marry, thou hast not sinned; and if a virgin marry, she hath not sinned. Nevertheless such shall have trouble in the flesh: but I spare you.

In 1 Corinthians 7, the Apostle Paul differentiates when he is making his own “recommendation” (in verses 6, 12, and 25)

6 But I speak this by permission, and not of commandment.

—–

12 But to the rest speak I, not the Lord: If any brother hath a wife that believeth not, and she be pleased to dwell with him, let him not put her away.

—–

25 Now concerning virgins I have no commandment of the Lord: yet I give my judgment, as one that hath obtained mercy of the Lord to be faithful.

and when he is expressing the “commandment of the Lord” (verses 10-11).

10 And unto the married I command, yet not I, but the Lord, Let not the wife depart from her husband:

11 But and if she depart, let her remain unmarried, or be reconciled to her husband: and let not the husband put away his wife.

Indeed, in verses 10-11, Paul clarifies that the instruction in those two verses is the “commandment of the Lord”. (It should therefore also be noted that the other areas in which he clarifies as being only his “recommendation” can NOT be used to otherwise and incorrectly assert that God Himself is creating some sin or doctrine. After all, Paul’s ultimate “recommendation” therein is celibacy!)

With that realized, it is clear for readers of the Bible that Paul makes it emphatically clear that verses 10-11 are different. Namely, verses 10-11, in the exact way in which they are actually written, are the “commandment of God”.

“And unto the married I command, yet not I, but the Lord, Let not the wife depart from her husband: But and if she depart, let her remain unmarried, or be reconciled to her husband: and let not the husband put away his wife.”  1 Corinthians 7:10-11.

Paul further specifies that that above “commandment of the Lord” was only addressed to believers-married-to-believers. In the next verses (i.e, 12-16), he clarifies that he is subsequently addressing believers-married-to-unbelievers, and that that subsequent instruction is not the Lord’s words, but his own again.

12 But to the rest speak I, not the Lord: If any brother hath a wife that believeth not, and she be pleased to dwell with him, let him not put her away.

13 And the woman which hath an husband that believeth not, and if he be pleased to dwell with her, let her not leave him.

14 For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband: else were your children unclean; but now are they holy.

15 But if the unbelieving depart, let him depart. A brother or a sister is not under bondage in such cases: but God hath called us to peace.

16 For what knowest thou, O wife, whether thou shalt save thy husband? or how knowest thou, O man, whether thou shalt save thy wife?

Verses 10-11 show that, if a believer WIFE leaves her believer HUSBAND, the

  • believer WIFE is commanded of God to either:

remain unmarried, or
be reconciled back to her husband

  • believer HUSBAND is commanded of God to:

not put away any wife, and to
let any departed wife return back to him

The key point is that the HUSBAND is NOT given the same commandments of instruction. Only the WIFE is commanded to remain unmarried, but the HUSBAND is not given that commandment. He is commanded of God to let her be married to him, either way!

Accordingly, the HUSBAND is of course, still free to marry another wife. That fact is further proved by the later verses of 27-28.

“Art thou bound unto a wife?
seek not to be loosed.
Art thou loosed from a wife?
seek not a wife.
But and if thou marry, thou hast not sinned;
and if a virgin marry, she hath not sinned.”
1 Corinthians 7:27-28.

The Greek text of verse 27 is clearly only addressing married men –whether or not the wife has departed.

As such, the married man whose wife is still with him does not sin when he marries another wife (who is not another’s wife). And likewise, the married man, whose wife has departed from him, he also does not sin when he marries another wife (who is not another’s wife).

And herein comes the “commandment of the Lord”, of polygamy, as in the following situation.

A believer WIFE departs from her believer HUSBAND. She is commanded of God to remain unmarried, per verses 10-11. Her HUSBAND, however, then subsequently marries another wife (who is not another man’s wife). The HUSBAND and the new wife have not sinned, per verses 27-28. The departed WIFE then seeks to be reconciled back to her HUSBAND.

In that situation, verses 10-11 show the following instruction as the “commandment of the Lord”. The HUSBAND is commanded of God to let the departed wife be reconciled back to him. AND…. he is commanded of God to not put away a wife, including the new wife.

As such, verses 10-11 show that it is an outright “commandment of the Lord” of polygamy for the family in that situation.

1 Corinthians 7:10-11 is indeed a Commandment of God — in the New Testament — that, when a previously-departed believer wife returns, her believer husband and his new (believer) wife (from verse 27-28) MUST let the previous wife be reconciled to her husband.

There truly IS a “commandment of the Lord” for a situation of polygamy to be found in the Bible —and it’s in the New Testament Scriptures, as well!

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Here are the same verses as found in the Joseph Smith Translation, in case anyone wants to do a comparison:

Joseph Smith Translation

—–

6 And now what I speak is by permission, and not by commandment.

—–

10 And unto the married I command, yet not I, but the Lord, Let not the wife depart from her husband;

11 But if she depart, let her remain unmarried, or be reconciled to her husband; but let not the husband put away his wife.

—–

12 But to the rest speak I, not the Lord; If any brother hath a wife that believeth not, and she be pleased to dwell with him, let him not put her away.

13 And the woman which hath a husband that believeth not, and if he be pleased to dwell with her, let her not leave him.

14 For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband; else were your children unclean; but now are they holy.

15 But if the unbelieving depart, let him depart. A brother or a sister is not under bondage in such cases; but God hath called us to peace.

16 For what knowest thou, O wife, whether thou shalt save thy husband? or how knowest thou, O man, whether thou shalt save thy wife?

—–

25 Now concerning virgins I have no commandment of the Lord; yet I give my judgment, as one that hath obtained mercy of the Lord to be faithful.

—–

27 Art thou bound unto a wife? seek not to be loosed. Art thou loosed from a wife? seek not a wife.

28 But if thou marry, thou hast not sinned; and if a virgin marry, she hath not sinned. Nevertheless, such shall have trouble in the flesh. For I spare you not.

Okay, now for my own comments.  It seems to me that the crux of this argument lies in this statement of his:

The Greek text of verse 27 is clearly only addressing married men –whether or not the wife has departed.

I cannot speak about the Greek text (since I do not know Greek), but it seems to me that the context of the chapter, as translated into English, supports this view.  Namely, that the words “bondage,” “bound,”  and “loosed” do not refer to marriage and divorcement, but to marital togetherness and marital separation.  For example, (and I will use the JST for these scriptures), verse 5 says,

5 Depart ye not one from the other, except it be with consent for a time, that ye may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again, that Satan tempt you not for your incontinency.

This “departure” is not referring to marital divorce, but marital separation.  It cannot refer to divorce because two divorced people “coming together again” without getting married would be considered a sin, and Paul would never recommend that people engage in sin.

Next we get verses 10 and 11:

10 And unto the married I command, yet not I, but the Lord, Let not the wife depart from her husband;

11 But if she depart, let her remain unmarried, or be reconciled to her husband; but let not the husband put away his wife.

Again, “depart” must mean marital separation, not marital divorce.  Also, “put away” only means marital separation, not marital divorce, for I happen to have done an in-depth study on this very expression years ago, and discovered this very thing.  For example, Moses commanded that after a wife was put away by her husband (which is marital separation) that he give her a writ of divorcement (which is the marital divorce.)

To continue, verses 12-13 state:

12 But to the rest speak I, not the Lord; If any brother hath a wife that believeth not, and she be pleased to dwell with him, let him not put her away.

13 And the woman which hath a husband that believeth not, and if he be pleased to dwell with her, let her not leave him.

These verses can only be speaking of marital separation or marital union, in which the two are together.  They do not speak of divorce.

Next, there’s verse 15:

15 But if the unbelieving depart, let him depart. A brother or a sister is not under bondage in such cases; but God hath called us to peace.

“Departure” is used in this chapter to indicate marital separation, not marital divorce, and this verses equates “departure” with “not being under bondage,” or in other words, with being “loosed.”  Thus, departure=separation=loosed and reconciliation=togetherness=bound.  The chapter is consistent in its contextual meanings of these terms, so far.

Finally, verses 27 and 28 state:

27 Art thou bound unto a wife? seek not to be loosed. Art thou loosed from a wife? seek not a wife.

28 But if thou marry, thou hast not sinned; and if a virgin marry, she hath not sinned. Nevertheless, such shall have trouble in the flesh. For I spare you not.

Since the context of the chapter reveals that bound means together and loosed means separated (not divorced), we could write verse 27 like this:

27 Art thou together with a wife? seek not to be separated. Art thou separated from a wife? seek not a wife.

With this meaning in mind, then verse 28 does, in fact, allow a man whose wife has separated from him to marry another woman without sinning.  Also, it allows a woman to marry an already married man whose first wife has separated from him, without committing sin.  And, per verses 10-11, if the first wife return to him in reconciliation, the man is commanded to receive her and not put her away.  Or, in other words, this does indeed make a New Testament commandment of the Lord to engage in polygamy.

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28 Comments

  1. I agree that verse 5 is talking about a separation for a time to more fully devote oneself to spiritual matters [like a relationship fast], but in re: to verse 11,

    Again, “depart” must mean marital separation, not marital divorce.

    if it’s just separation, then why is the woman said to remain “unmarried” [agamos, literally “not+married”]? “Let her remain unmarried” sounds like divorce language to me.

  2. Looking more at verse 11, the word used for “depart” [chorizo] is the same used by Jesus in:

    wherefore
    they are no more two
    but one flesh
    what
    therefore
    god has joined together
    let not humans put asunder

    So, since these are the same Greek words [“depart” and “put asunder”], does this verse still fit in with your interpretation:

    “Departure” is used in this chapter to indicate marital separation, not marital divorce, and [these] verses equate “departure” with “not being under bondage,” or in other words, with being “loosed.”

    Thus, departure=separation=loosed and reconciliation=togetherness=bound.

    I mean, to what are you “bound” if it’s not to the marriage covenant? And to what are you being “loosed” from?

    Romans 7:1-3

    know ye not
    brothers and sisters

    for I speak to them that know the law

    how the law has dominion over a person
    as long as they live?
    for the woman
    who has a husband
    is bound by the law to her husband
    so long as he liveth
    but if the husband be dead
    she is loosed from the law of her husband.
    so then
    if while her husband lives
    she be married to another man
    she shall be called an adulteress
    but if her husband be dead
    she is free from that law
    so that she is no adulteress
    though she be married to another man

    Sounds like it’s talking about being “bound” and “loosed” from bonds of matrimony [or the marital covenant]. Is cohabitation ever referred to as a “law” anywhere else?

  3. Re: verse 11, I followed your Blue Letter Bible link (since I don’t know Greek) and saw that agamos translates out to “unmarried, unwedded, single”. It then shows that agamos occurs 4 times in the Bible, in verses 8,11,32 and 34 of this very chapter (1 Cor. 7.) In each of these instances, the BLB translates agamos into “unmarried.”

    1Co 7:8 I say therefore to the unmarried and widows, It is good for them if they abide even as I.

    1Co 7:11 But and if she depart, let her remain unmarried, or be reconciled to her husband: and let not the husband put away his wife.

    1Co 7:32 But I would have you without carefulness. He that is unmarried careth for the things that belong to the Lord, how he may please the Lord:

    1Co 7:34 There is difference also between a wife and a virgin. The unmarried woman careth for the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and in spirit: but she that is married careth for the things of the world, how she may please her husband.

    So, what does “unmarried” mean? From Merriam-Webster’s online dictionary:

    : not married:
    a : not now or previously married
    b : being divorced or widowed

    So, it could mean not now married or it could mean divorced. So, if it means “not now married,” as opposed to “being divorced,” what does “not now married” mean? Or, in other words, what does “marry” mean? Here is the definition of married, from the same dictionary:

    Short Definition

    : united in marriage

    : having a husband or wife

    : of or relating to marriage

    Full Definition
    1
    a : being in the state of matrimony : wedded
    b : of or relating to marriage : connubial
    2
    : united, joined

    So, those are the definitions.

    Now, my understanding of these passages is that unmarried means not joined or united to a sexual partner. In other words, it means you are not having sex with anyone these days. An unmarried woman, then, could be a virgin (never wedded, never had sex), a separated wife who doesn’t have sex with anyone else, or a single woman who is no longer a virgin but who currently has no sexual partner. It just means that he or she is not currently sexually active with any partner.

    In verse 11, a wife that departs from her husband is to remain “unmarried,” or not sexually joined to any man, while she is away from her husband, or she is be reconciled to him again, or return to him and be joined to him again sexually. To the ancients, “married” meant becoming “one flesh.” Which is why we find Paul in the previous chapter saying the following:

    15 Know ye not that your bodies are the members of Christ? shall I then take the members of Christ, and make them the members of an harlot? God forbid.

    16 What? know ye not that he which is joined to an harlot is one body? for two, saith he, shall be one flesh.

    17 But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit.

    Anciently there were three parts to every marriage: the promise, the wedding ceremony and then the marriage bed (consummation.) They call it the marriage bed because the two become united, or joined (which is the meaning of married), becoming one flesh. If you skipped steps 1 and 2, and went straight to 3, you were expected to comply with steps 1 and 2 afterward and consider the woman you just married to be your wife.

    Verse 11, then, is speaking of a wife who is not married to her husband because she has departed from him (separated from him.) She has not divorced him, at all, and this is why she can be reconciled to her husband. In other words, if she were divorced from the man, then he would no longer be her husband, and thus she would not be able to be reconciled to her husband, for she would have none. But Paul indicates that she is still his wife and he is still her husband, so there is no indication of divorce in the verse:

    But and if she depart, let her remain unmarried, or be reconciled to her husband: and let not the husband put away his wife.

    Reconciliation is allowable because the two, although separated, are still husband and wife. Thus, it is not a sin for a woman who separates from her husband to repent of her separation and return to her husband and resume having sex with him. And if she does this, the husband is to receive her again.

    Okay, I’ll address chorizo in the next comment.

  4. Re: chorizo, the Blue Letter Bible gives the following definitions:

    1. to separate, divide, part, put asunder, to separate one’s self from, to depart
    1A. to leave a husband or wife
    1Ai. of divorce
    1B. to depart, go away

    Its principal meaning and usage is separation, although according to 1Ai it also may signify the separation of divorce. But marital separation and divorce are two different things, at least according to the ancient system, which is why the Pharisees said,

    They say unto him, Why did Moses then command to give a writing of divorcement, and to put her away?

    The writing of divorcement was the actual divorce. Putting away was merely separation. Since there is no divorce under the law of Christ, the ancient unrighteous husbands who no longer wanted their wives would just put them away (separate from them) and the wives would be unable to join (have sex) with any other man legally, since they were still their husbands’ wives. Putting away (marital separation) is only legal (allowable under the law of God) for the wife’s fornication, meaning that from the time of the betrothal (the 1st step of the 3 marital steps) to the time of the consummation (step 3 of the marriage), if the woman becomes joined to another man during that time (fornication), her husband is legally allowed to not take her as his wife, and the promise he made to her in the betrothal, which was to take her as his wife, is no longer binding, so that they are no longer considered husband and wife (a real divorcement.) Other than this one occurrence, no man was justified in separating from his wife. However, the wicked ancients would separate for more than just this one allowable occurrence, causing much harm to be done to the women, so Moses gave the instruction to give a writing of divorcement when separation occurred, so that the woman was now free to find another husband.

    Jesus, then, was not talking of divorce, but of separation, when He said “put asunder,” for God views all “one flesh” actions as marriage. This is why when the Pharisees asked about Moses’ writ of divorcement and putting away a spouse, Jesus completely ignored the topic of divorce (the writ of divorcement) and only talked about separation (putting away)–

    He saith unto them, Moses because of the hardness of your hearts suffered you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it was not so.

    Paul is using the teachings of the law of Christ in this chapter, which only views divorce as applicable in that one instance of fornication, between the betrothal and consummation. Other than that, there is no divorce allowable, or even separation, allowable. But if separation does occur, then this chapter gives instructions on how to deal with it.

    Now, concerning the “bondage” and “loosed” language, Paul is showing that missionaries ought not to be distracted by having a sexual partner while on their missions. When one has a sexual partner, one is in bondage, or bound by the law of God, to perform the conjugal duties (have sex), whereas if one has no wife or husband, or is widowed, or is separated from one’s spouse, they have no conjugal duties to perform and can thus dedicate all their energies to the work of the ministry. This is why if your spouse leaves you (separates from you), you are not bound to perform the conjugal duties towards that person, until they return again of their own free will. We are not to prohibit a wife from leaving, because of our conjugal duty, because once they leave on their own, we are freed (loosed) from those duties. Thus, we can have a measure of peace, knowing that we do not commit sin if our spouse leaves.

    To fully understand this chapter, it has to be read in the Joseph Smith Translation, which shows that it is dealing with missionaries in the field:

    1 Now concerning the things whereof ye wrote unto me, saying, It is good for a man not to touch a woman.

    2 Nevertheless, I say, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband.

    3 Let the husband render unto the wife due benevolence; and likewise also the wife unto the husband.

    4 The wife hath not power of her own body, but the husband; and likewise also the husband hath not power of his own body, but the wife.

    5 Depart ye not one from the other, except it be with consent for a time, that ye may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again, that Satan tempt you not for your incontinency.

    6 And now what I speak is by permission, and not by commandment.

    7 For I would that all men were even as myself. But every man hath his proper gift of God, one after this manner, and another after that.

    8 I say therefore to the unmarried and widows, It is good for them if they abide even as I.

    9 But if they cannot abide, let them marry; for it is better to marry than that any should commit sin.

    10 And unto the married I command, yet not I, but the Lord, Let not the wife depart from her husband;

    11 But if she depart, let her remain unmarried, or be reconciled to her husband; but let not the husband put away his wife.

    12 But to the rest speak I, not the Lord; If any brother hath a wife that believeth not, and she be pleased to dwell with him, let him not put her away.

    13 And the woman which hath a husband that believeth not, and if he be pleased to dwell with her, let her not leave him.

    14 For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband; else were your children unclean; but now are they holy.

    15 But if the unbelieving depart, let him depart. A brother or a sister is not under bondage in such cases; but God hath called us to peace.

    16 For what knowest thou, O wife, whether thou shalt save thy husband? or how knowest thou, O man, whether thou shalt save thy wife?

    17 But as God hath distributed to every man, as the Lord hath called everyone, so let him walk. And so ordain I an all churches.

    18 Is any man called being circumcised? let him not become uncircumcised. Is any called in uncircumcision? let him not be circumcised.

    19 Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing, but the keeping of the commandments of God.

    20 Let every man abide in the same calling wherein he was called.

    21 Art thou called being a servant? care not for it; but if thou mayest be made free, use it rather.

    22 For he that is called in the Lord, being a servant, is the Lord’s freeman; likewise also he that is called, being free, is Christ’s servant.

    23 Ye are bought with a price; be not ye the servants of men.

    24 Brethren, let every man, wherein he is called, therein abide with God.

    25 Now concerning virgins I have no commandment of the Lord; yet I give my judgment, as one that hath obtained mercy of the Lord to be faithful.

    26 I suppose therefore that this is good for the present distress, for a man so to remain that he may do greater good.

    27 Art thou bound unto a wife? seek not to be loosed. Art thou loosed from a wife? seek not a wife.

    28 But if thou marry, thou hast not sinned; and if a virgin marry, she hath not sinned. Nevertheless, such shall have trouble in the flesh. For I spare you not.

    29 But I speak unto you who are called unto the ministry. For this I say, brethren, the time that remaineth is but short, that ye shall be sent forth unto the ministry. Even they who have wives, shall be as though they had none; for ye are called and chosen to do the Lord’s work.

    30 And it shall be with them who weep, as though they wept not; and them who rejoice, as though they rejoiced not, and them who buy, as though they possessed not;

    31 And them who use this world, as not using it; for the fashion of this world passeth away.

    32 But I would, brethren, that ye magnify your calling. I would have you without carefulness. For he who is unmarried, careth for the things that belong to the Lord, how he may please the Lord; therefore he prevaileth.

    33 But he who is married, careth for the things that are of the world, how he may please his wife; therefore there is a difference, for he is hindered.

    34 There is a difference also, between a wife and a virgin. The unmarried woman careth for the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and in spirit; but she that is married careth for the things of the world, how she may please her husband.

    35 And this I speak for your own profit; not that I may cast a snare upon you, but for that which is comely, and that ye may attend upon the Lord without distraction.

    36 But if any man think that he behaveth himself uncomely toward his virgin whom he hath expoused, if she pass the flower of age, and need so require, let him do what he hath promised, he sinneth not; let them marry.

    37 Nevertheless he that standeth steadfast in his heart, having no necessity, but hath power over his own will, and hath so decreed in his heart that he will keep his virgin, doeth well.

    38 So then he that giveth himself in marriage doeth well; but he that giveth himself not in marriage doeth better.

    39 The wife is bound by the law as long as her husband liveth; but if her husband be dead, she is at liberty to be married to whom she will; only in the Lord.

    40 But she is happier if she so abide, after my judgment; and I think also that I have the Spirit of God.

    So bound and loosed here refer to the conjugal obligations, which have a tendency to distract the ministry. Paul recommends that every missionary be like himself (unmarried, or not having conjugal obligations), but if a missionary feels they need to have sex, then the missionary ought to get himself married, so that no sin happens. If the missionary is married and his wife departs from him, the recommendation is that the missionary not marry another, if he can abide unmarried. But if he can’t remain unmarried, he can take another wife, without sin. Again, this is all about the conjugal obligations being a distraction to the missionary work these men and women were called to. If their partners leave them, they were to let them leave and continue the work of the Lord, without taking additional partners, if possible. However, in the case of a wife whose husband leaves, and she remains in the missionary field, she is not free to take another husband until her separated husband dies, then she is free to take another one. She “is bound by the law to her husband so long as he liveth,” which indicates that divorce is not the topic of Paul’s writing. In other words, Paul is talking only about separation, not divorce, for if he were talking about divorce, then a woman would not be bound to her husband “so long as he liveth,” but she would be bound to him so long as they do not get a divorce. However, all of this is spoken in the context of separation, not divorce, thus if a sister missionary’s husband departs (separates) from her, she is still bound to him, until he dies, and cannot marry another. But once he is dead, she can marry another man, if she wants to, although Paul recommends that she remain unmarried and devote her energies to the ministry.

    Does this make sense? (I’m not sure if I’ve unfolded this clearly enough.)

  5. So — the “bound”/”loosed” language relates to the spouse’s obligation to perform conjugal sexual acts with their mate, a la 1 Cor. 7:3:

    let the husband render
    unto the wife
    due benevolence
    and likewise also
    the wife
    unto the husband

    rather than referring to the legal marriage bond between them.

    Is that what you’re saying?

  6. Okay, so let me also reply to the Romans verses you quoted.

    1 Know ye not, brethren, (for I speak to them that know the law,) how that the law hath dominion over a man as long as he liveth?

    2 For the woman which hath an husband is bound by the law to her husband so long as he liveth; but if the husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of her husband.

    3 So then if, while her husband liveth, she be married to another man, she shall be called an adulteress: but if her husband be dead, she is free from that law; so that she is no adulteress, though she be married to another man.

    You asked:

    I mean, to what are you “bound” if it’s not to the marriage covenant? And to what are you being “loosed” from?

    Sounds like it’s talking about being “bound” and “loosed” from bonds of matrimony [or the marital covenant]. Is cohabitation ever referred to as a “law” anywhere else?

    The marital bonds is the sexual union between the two people. They are sexual bonds, or the obligation each one has to each other to perform the conjugal duties (have sex with each other, becoming “one flesh.”) I suppose this could be considered a covenant, but not a verbal or written covenant. More of a covenant “spoken” physically. This is the actual marriage, which is why if you promise to marry someone, and then have a wedding ceremony, but then never have sex, you can get an annulment pretty easily, since once the fact of sexual absence has been established, it is no longer considered a marriage. Sexual union, then, is what makes two people married, not the spoken covenant. But sexual union alone does not make a man a woman’s husband and a woman a man’s wife.

  7. Looks like we are posting comments past each other again. Yes, the due benevolence verse is the bound/loosed obligation I am referring to. The difference between that verse and the others that follow it is that that verse speaks of temporary marital separation with consent as perfectly acceptable gospel behavior, but the verses that come after it speak of cases in which there is no consent, meaning one of the spouses splits from the other spouse (which is a sin), and what is the one that splits supposed to do and what is the one that hasn’t split supposed to do.

  8. In Spanish, verse 3 says, “El marido cumpla con la esposa el deber conyugal, y asimismo la esposa con el marido.” So, the meaning is actually clearer in Spanish than in English.

    [EDIT: A literal translation of the above means, “The husband fulfills with the wife the conjugal duty, and likewise also the wife with the husband.”]

  9. I had the opportunity to explain this interpretation to a Mormon female friend of mine yesterday. Afterward she became offended and wanted nothing more to do with me. I’ve known her for about 24 years. So, I suggest everyone be very careful about talking about this to others. You might end up losing friends…

  10. I suppose this had something to do with the reaction I got from my friend:

  11. What was it that she objected to? It all seems like pretty basic stuff to me.

  12. I’m with you. This stuff doesn’t phase me one bit.

    Regarding your question: She asked me if I thought the interpretation was accurate and I said, “Yes.” And that’s when she said that she wanted nothing more to do with me. Needless to say, she is a die-hard monogamist and likely has always thought that polygamy was just Old Testament baggage from a less enlightened time. I suppose she didn’t appreciate me showing that the New Testament has the same baggage as the Old Testament.

    In fact, one of those New Testament “bags” comes from the same epistle of Paul, found in 1 Corinthians 5:1.

    It is reported commonly that there is fornication among you, and such fornication as is not so much as named among the Gentiles, that one should have his father’s wife.

    So a man sleeps with his father’s wife. Mind you, he doesn’t sleep with his mother, but with his father’s wife. This refers to a second (or other number) wife of his father. A look at the Old Testament shows that the expressions, “father’s wife,” or “wife of one’s father,” indicates a polygamist situation, but the monogamist Christian or the monogamist Mormon reads this verse and force-fits a monogamist interpretation onto the text, so that this verse must mean that the father’s former wife (the son’s mother) must have either passed away or is now divorced from the father, and so the once again single father must have taken another wife, making the whole thing still perfectly monogamic. If a monagamist allows a polygamic interpretation to enter the text, the whole monogamic perspective starts to crumble and cognitive dissonance occurs, which nobody likes to deal with, so these texts must be interpreted (by them) in monogamic ways.

    I’m actually surprised that no monogamists have read this post and attempted to refute it. Justin is the only one who tried to pick it apart, but he’s not one of the “Monogamy Only!” crowd. I fully expected, at the very least, OWIW to show why the interpretation is faulty. But I guess he’s busy on other projects. We used to have a few anti-polygamists frequent this site, but they must have moved on.

  13. I’m also curious how your views of polyandry fits in with this. You seemed to present strong arguments against polyandry in this post. Yet others posts support it. Just curious about your thoughts.

  14. Re: polyandry, I’ll use a verse from 1 Corithians 7:

    The wife is bound…to what?

    39 The wife is bound by the law as long as her husband liveth; but if her husband be dead, she is at liberty to be married to whom she will; only in the Lord.

    and also the three verses that Justin brought up, from chapter 7 of Romans:

    …to the law of her husband.

    1 Know ye not, brethren, (for I speak to them that know the law,) how that the law hath dominion over a man as long as he liveth?

    2 For the woman which hath an husband is bound by the law to her husband so long as he liveth; but if the husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of her husband.

    3 So then if, while her husband liveth, she be married to another man, she shall be called an adulteress: but if her husband be dead, she is free from that law; so that she is no adulteress, though she be married to another man.

    Her marriage to her husband binds her exclusively to him, meaning to his law. From the endowment:

    ELOHIM: Eve, because thou hast hearkened to the voice of Satan, and hast partaken of the forbidden fruit, and given unto Adam, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception. In sorrow shalt thou bring forth children; nevertheless, thou mayest be preserved in childbearing. Thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee in righteousness.

    Adam, because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife and hast partaken of the forbidden fruit, the earth shall be cursed for thy sake. Instead of producing fruits and flowers spontaneously, it shall bring forth thorns, thistles, briars, and noxious weeds to afflict and torment man; and by the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat thy bread all the days of thy life, for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.

    Inasmuch as Eve was the first to eat of the forbidden fruit, if she will covenant that from this time forth she will obey your law in the Lord and will hearken unto your counsel as you hearken unto mine, and if you will covenant that from this time forth you will obey the law of Elohim, we will give unto you the law of obedience and sacrifice, and we will provide a Savior for you, whereby you may come back into our presence and with us partake of eternal life and exaltation.

    EVE: Adam, I now covenant to obey your law as you obey our Father.

    Also from the endowment:

    PETER: A couple will now come to the altar.

    We are instructed to give unto you the law of chastity. This I will explain. To the sisters, it is that no one of you will have sexual intercourse except with your husband to whom you are legally and lawfully wedded. To the brethren it is that no one of you will have sexual intercourse except with your wife to whom you are legally and lawfully wedded.

    So, a wife is bound to the law of her husband, which requires sexual exclusivity. However, the law of her husband is her husband’s law, and as such, he, as the law-giver, has a right to allow his wife to not be sexually exclusive to him. But she must still obey the law of chastity, which requires that she engage in sexual intercourse with only her husband. Therefore, IF her husband gives her permission to marry another man, she may do so without sinning, as long as the second man is also her husband. Thus, there are two laws at play here: God’s law of chastity and the law of her husband.

    The husband, on the other hand, is only bound by God’s law of chastity, not by any law of his wife, for no man is bound to any woman exclusively by marriage, unless he takes a vow of exclusivity. If he does that, then he also must obtain permission from his wife before taking another spouse, otherwise he will break his vow and commit sin (adultery).

    This is according to the ancient ordinance of marriage, given by God, and not according to present man-made customs which seek to change the ordinance. Although Paul in Romans 7:1-3 referred to the law of Moses, this ordination predates Moses’ law and comes down from the time of Adam and Eve, making it a part of the gospel law.

  15. Four more thoughts along the same lines as the previous comment:

    1) “Thy desire shall be to thy husband” (Gen. 3:16) seems to me to be the law of chastity stated in terms of the female. In other words, it means, “Thy [sexual] desire shall be to thy husband.” Here is the law of chastity stated in terms of the male:

    Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh. (Gen. 2:24)

    2) “He [thy husband] shall rule over thee” (Gen. 3:16) is, according to my understanding, the law of the husband, under which every woman is put by the marriage ordinance. D&C 132 uses the same husband-law language:

    And if she hath not committed adultery, but is innocent and hath not broken her vow, and she knoweth it, and I reveal it unto you, my servant Joseph, then shall you have power, by the power of my Holy Priesthood, to take her and give her unto him that hath not committed adultery but hath been faithful; for he shall be made ruler over many. (D&C 132:44)

    3) There are some who “see Gen. 3:16 as descriptive rather than prescriptive.” Meaning that they believe that it “predicts the future fallen state of the world where men will dominate women and women struggle against them” and that there’s “no reason to emulate the description.” However, this view contradicts the LDS endowment, which teaches that it was given as a means of obtaining salvation:

    Inasmuch as Eve was the first to eat of the forbidden fruit, IF she will covenant that from this time forth she will obey your law in the Lord and will hearken unto your counsel as you hearken unto mine, AND IF you will covenant that from this time forth you will obey the law of Elohim, we will give unto you the law of obedience and sacrifice, and we will provide a Savior for you, whereby you may come back into our presence and with us partake of eternal life and exaltation.

    IF Eve covenants to always obey Adam and IF Adam covenants to always obey Elohim, THEN they will get the law of obedience and sacrifice and also they will get a Savior. The covenant to obey Adam (for Eve) and the covenant to obey Elohim (for Adam) are prescriptive and salvific, enabling them access to the law of obedience and sacrifice, as well as access to a Savior. And upon keeping the law of obedience and sacrifice, meaning that Eve obeys Adam and Adam obeys Elohim, the Savior’s work is efficacious, enabling them both to return to God and partake of eternal life and exaltation.

    All these things are salvific, allowing salvation to go forth unimpeded, and are not given as a description of any curse that comes as a result of the fall. In other words, these principles are part of the gospel of salvation, given to fallen man so that he may no longer be fallen. So, Gen. 3:16 is not descriptive, but is, rather, prescriptive and salvific.

    The problem doesn’t lie in Gen. 3:16, for the covenant of obedience the daughters of Eve are supposed to make to their husbands is God ordained, and the required obedience to them is likewise God ordained. No, the problem is two-fold: first (and this is not in order of importance), the covenant that the sons of Adam are supposed to make to Elohim is missing from the Bible, (though it is found in our temple endowment), and thus many husbands do not submit to the authority of Elohim and obey Him, and secondly, many wives struggle against their husbands and refuse to submit to their authority and obey them.

    4) A wife is always considered to have entered into a vow of exclusiveness upon being wed to her husband, regardless of whether the vow is stated or not:

    And if she hath not committed adultery, but is innocent and hath not broken her vow, and she knoweth it, and I reveal it unto you, my servant Joseph, then shall you have power, by the power of my Holy Priesthood, to take her and give her unto him that hath not committed adultery but hath been faithful; for he shall be made ruler over many. (D&C 132:44)

    A husband, on the other hand, is never considered to have entered into a vow unless he explicitly does so. All of this derives from the salvific instructions that Adam and Eve received after the Fall, to fulfill God’s purposes.

  16. Interestingly, I found a fuller exposition of pretty much exactly the same thing that you said in your above comment was written at a Feminist Mormon Housewives post:
    The Mormon Priestess: Uncut Version (if prompted for a password, then enter “MormonPriestess”).

    There, the author wrote pretty much the same idea as it relates to what LDS doctrine is in terms of wife-submission to husbands — only with the obvious assumption by the author that such a conclusion about what’s being described in the scriptures and in the temple are “wrong”.

  17. Thanks for bringing that to my attention. I will check it out, but it might take awhile (it’s pretty long.)

  18. Okay, I read it. I was amazed at how perceptive the author, Elisothel, was concerning the temple endowment. I also found myself at times reading a paragraph and wanting to expound on this or that, but I doubt it would be appreciated if I left a comment there.

  19. Justin, did you agree with her analysis of the endowment? It seemed to me that the comments on that post for the most part were in agreement with her, but I found a few of her conclusions to be too narrow-minded and based on suppositions (such as, for example, a polygyny-only perspective on plural marriage.) In other words, they weren’t, in my opinion, the only possible interpretation of either the endowment or the scriptures. It might be fruitful (and fun) to publish the post here and to add commentary and exposition from a tribal perspective, in any areas that need fleshing out or correction, and we could discuss it here, but I’m not up to the task. (I’d have to scour through the endowment and other temple texts from beginning to end to double check all her facts and that sounds like a lot of work to me.) If you feel like doing it, though, be my guest.

    (If it were on this blog, I wouldn’t mind picking it apart, but if I attempt to do that over there, I’ll probably just get banned and/or misunderstood, since some of my endowment understandings have already been written on blog posts around here, and without familiarity with those, misunderstandings likely will ensue.)

  20. I would have to read back through it all to see if there were any conclusions here-or-there that I disagreed with [cause I don’t remember all the details that well] before I felt confident saying I “agree with her analysis” — but for the most part, yeah, I thought it was a pretty insightful exposition on how the submission doctrine of stewardship within a marriage is set-out in the scriptures as well as how it’s shown to LDS in the temple.

    I think LDS leadership have tried to move things towards more egalitarianism [e.g., the 1990 temple wording changes], and the reason we get the weird double-speak from them [e.g., Husbands are to preside/lead, with their wives as equal-partners] — is that they’re trying to move with society on gender equality but are stuck with the language of a temple liturgy and scriptures that place men as rules [albeit “righteous, godly rulers”] over women.

  21. I’ll give you another example of some things that the author says which may not be entirely correct. She wrote,

    Women pledge spiritual allegiance to a husband who will someday be exalted as a god like Heavenly Father, whereupon the wife’s power, her priesthood, will come through the exalted husband. In this model, the woman is eternally dependent on her husband for a connection to God the Father.

    This is a supposition on the author’s part. Adam and Eve were one being prior to the fall. Afterward, they became split. In exaltation the fallen dual nature is made whole again, so they are not two beings, but one being again. Since there is no such thing as exaltation without a wife, it could be equally said that the husband’s exaltation comes through the wife. He must be one with her, and she one with him, in order for them to be exalted. Priesthood power in exaltation is the fulness, therefore, there can be no fulness of priesthood without a wife. Therefore, it can be equally said that an exalted man’s priesthood comes through his wife.

    The second sentence, regarding a connection to God, is flat out wrong. Exaltation is not about a connection to God, for all saved beings have a connection to God, with no intermediaries save Jesus Christ. But all saved beings, who are not exalted, are separate and single. In other words, the “one being” state of Adam and Eve, that existed prior to the Fall, has not been restored for these people, and they have become locked into their single and separate state, as angels. The exalted people are different in that they are restored to the “one being” state, so that no more are they single and separate, but “one flesh” and “one spirit.”

    The woman is eternally dependent upon her husband, not for a connection to God, but to a connection to her husband, which is the “one being” state. This is the state of exaltation, the two becoming one, and so it can be equally said that he is dependent upon his wife for a connection to her, retaining that “oneness.” This is why the scripture states, (paraphrasing), “Neither is the man without the woman nor the woman without the man, in the Lord.” This is the doctrine of exaltation, not of salvation in the kingdom of God.

    The author is using salvation doctrine (separate and single) to describe exaltation doctrine (united as one flesh and one spirit) and so continues to view exalted men and women as angelic beings deriving priesthood power and authority from a separate source. But exalted people derive priesthood power from themselves, the tree of life planted in their hearts having become mature and produced the fruit of exaltation. This is why the scriptures call them gods, and not god and goddess. Eve is restored to Adam, or his rib is restored to him, making the man whole again, allowing the whole man (he + she) to become exalted man, or a god. The feminine part is a part of godliness. If it is removed, there can be no godhood, nor can there be godhood with just the feminine part, thus there ain’t no such thing as a goddess, meaning a female attaining godhood without being united to a male, nor is there such thing as a male only god (without an accompanying female, for the Father is God and the Son is God and the Holy Ghost is God, which we say is one God.) The rib alone doesn’t cut it, nor the body without the rib. Thus the term god encompasses both, and refers to the woman united back to the man, or Adam with his rib restored and in a state of exaltation. Etc.

    So, trying to apply the philosophy of equality to the temple liturgy is pointless, because it doesn’t deal with equality, but with restoration, restoring Adam’s rib back, so that they are no more two but just one. The temple doctrinal unity is not attained by two equals coming together in compromise and a partnership (which keeps them separated as individuals, as the angels exist), but by taking the one and reabsorbing it into the other, from whence it came. Thus, Eve must go back into Adam, and this can only be done by a covenant of submission and obedience to the body, otherwise, there can be no union. In the divine perspective, the rib cannot “do its own thing” contrary to the rest of the body, but every organ of the body must submit to the head, otherwise an organ transplant may not be successful and rejection of the organ and the demise of the body may result. However, submission does not mean a loss of blessings, since by obedience to the Lord, the whole body (including the rib) receives the same reward, which is exaltation, or receiving all there is to receive, but they partake of it all as a group, meaning there is no favoritism in exaltation, one part receiving more than another part, but every part of the body of Christ receives a fulness of joy. Every part receives the same penny, according to the Lord’s parable, regardless of the part they played or how long they worked in the vineyard.

  22. Here is yet another supposition of the author:

    Modern Mormon women are not instructed on the meaning of the label “priestess unto your husband” or “queens” beyond their own personal interpretation….The only venue that DOES explain “priestess unto your husband” is the temple itself….The moment the patron makes the Covenant of Obedience, that person declares his/her God. The One that a person ultimately obeys is the One the person ultimately worships. Adam declares Elohim, but Eve declares Adam because Elohim told her that her salvation depended on her doing so. At no time in the temple does Eve explicitly covenant to Elohim. Adam is established as her master. I posit this is true for every covenant Eve makes….Her future exalted husband will replace her Father as her god….The dual-endowment insight suggests two different exaltations. If a woman’s deity is her husband, and she provides his eternal increase (children), and she is his priestess, this means she is not, herself, a deity. A priest and a deity have a specific relationship – one worships the other. The deity loves and upholds covenants to the priest, but the priest is not the deity’s peer….Ultimately therefore, I believe the temple establishes that it is the man who has the direct access to Godly power and apotheosis, and woman has as her promise access to her husbandgod’s power (priestesshood) but NOT, under this definition, access to apotheosis. She shall be exalted but not become a goddess. Thus we do not worship her, pray to her, or entreat her for favor. She is not a source of divine power to the human family, but a source of power to her divine husband. She is a “Mother in Heaven” but not a “Heavenly Mother.” The man alone will become a Heavenly Father, a deity, and a deity can have many, many priests (sons) and priestesses (wives).

    Okay, so her assessment is basically that the phrase “priest unto the most high God” indicates a god-worshipper relationship and thus the expression “priestess unto your husband” must be viewed in the same way. Therefore, a priest or priestess is the worshipper and the object of that worship is whatever follows after the word “unto” or “to.”

    It is, indeed, true, that God has his own priests, which are ordained by Him, and which worship Him as their God, but it is also true that there have been many kings on this earth which have also had their own priests, ordained by them. Certainly these priests cannot be said to worship their kings. Their priestly function is to perform ordinances in behalf of someone else, such as in the stead of the king.

    So, using the church priesthood as an example, a priest baptizes in the stead of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost. The priest represents someone else, performing a work in the stead of that person or persons. The priest, performing the ordinance, allows the person, partaking of the ordinance, to obtain the blessings of the ordinance, or to worship through the ordinance, but the priest himself surely cannot be said to be the worshiper in question, as he administers an ordinance to someone else. He is simply a legal administer, not the one being administered to.

    The idea of a king who is also a priest is found in antiquity. Heck, if you look up the word “priest” in the 1828 dictionary, it says,

    PRIEST, n. [L. proestes, a chief, one that presides; proe, before,and sto, to stand, or sisto.]

    1. A man who officiates in sacred offices. Among pagans, priests were persons whose appropriate business was to offer sacrifices and perform other sacred rites of religion. In primitive ages, the fathers of families, princes and kings were priests. Thus Cain and Abel, Noah, Abraham, Melchizedek,Job, Isaac and Jacob offered their own sacrifices. In the days of Moses, the office of priest was restricted to the tribe of Levi, and the priesthood consisted of three orders, the high priest, the priests, and the Levites, and the office was made hereditary in the family of Aaron.

    Every priest taken from among men is ordained for men in things pertaining to God, that he may offer both gifts and sacrifices for sins. Heb.5.

    2. In the modern church, a person who is set apart or consecrated to the ministry of the gospel; a man in orders or licensed to preach the gospel; a presbyter. In its most general sense, the word includes archbishops, bishops, patriarchs, and all subordinate orders of the clergy, duly approved and licensed according to the forms and rules of each respective denomination of christians; as all these orders “are ordained for men in things pertaining to God.” But in Great Britain, the word is understood to denote the subordinate orders of the clergy, above a deacon and below a bishop. In the United States, the word denotes any licensed minister of the gospel.

    The husband, then, is anointed to become a king and a priest, matching the ancient order. As a priest, he was to be God’s agent, acting in behalf of God (the King of kings), in administering the ordinances of God. As a king, he was to have his own priests, for they all did. And who would be his priests? His wife or wives. Thus the woman is also anointed, to be become a queen and priestess, not unto God, but unto her husband, not because she worships him as her God, but because she is to administer ordinances in his behalf, or in the stead of him, doing what he cannot do for himself. Thus we get the second anointing, in which a wife does exactly that.

    The Godhead reflects all of these anointed roles. We have a God-King (Father) with a Priest (Son) and a Priestess (Holy Ghost). The Holy Ghost (Priestess) acts in behalf of the Son (Priest) and the Son (Priest) acts in behalf of the Father (God). Yet they are one God. The endowment makes the husband-wife relationship conform to the heavenly pattern or template of the Godhead, by creating a king and a queen, a priest and a priestess, so that we can become one like God is one (Father, Son and Holy Ghost.)

    The idea that obedience equals worship is simply false. When my children obey me, are they worshiping me? When a police officer tells someone to stop, and he is obeyed, is that cop now someone’s deity? If I enter into a covenant of obedience, say when I enter into the military or some other covenant, is the one I have covenanted to obey my god? Of course not. Does a covenant of obedience admit a relationship of worship, or merely one of confidence and trust? How about all the work covenants or agreements we make? Are the bosses at our jobs our gods? What about all the former indentured servants, were those agreements establishing a god-worshiper relationship? Obviously none of these things equate to making a god out of the person we are covenanting to obey, so why should the temple liturgy covenant made by women be seen as worship?

    Nevertheless, such an obedience covenant does establish a servant-master relationship, and even can establish a owner-owned relationship. And that’s the whole point. The woman belongs to the man (as his rib, being a part of him) and the man belongs to Christ (as His body), and Christ belongs to God the Father, as His Only Begotten Son, thus whatever Christ inherits, the man and his rib, being the united body of Christ, must also inherit. Without the ownership claim of Christ upon us (He saying, “That is MINE, MY body, MY seed”), we are not his and therefore must belong to another, as King Benjamin taught:

    And now, because of the covenant which ye have made ye shall be called the children of Christ, his sons, and his daughters; for behold, this day he hath spiritually begotten you; for ye say that your hearts are changed through faith on his name; therefore, ye are born of him and have become his sons and his daughters.

    And under this head ye are made free, and there is no other head whereby ye can be made free. There is no other name given whereby salvation cometh; therefore, I would that ye should take upon you the name of Christ, all you that have entered into the covenant with God that ye should be obedient unto the end of your lives.

    And it shall come to pass that whosoever doeth this shall be found at the right hand of God, for he shall know the name by which he is called; for he shall be called by the name of Christ.

    And now it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall not take upon him the name of Christ must be called by some other name; therefore, he findeth himself on the left hand of God.

    And I would that ye should remember also, that this is the name that I said I should give unto you that never should be blotted out, except it be through transgression; therefore, take heed that ye do not transgress, that the name be not blotted out of your hearts.

    I say unto you, I would that ye should remember to retain the name written always in your hearts, that ye are not found on the left hand of God, but that ye hear and know the voice by which ye shall be called, and also, the name by which he shall call you.

    For how knoweth a man the master whom he has not served, and who is a stranger unto him, and is far from the thoughts and intents of his heart?

    And again, doth a man take an ass which belongeth to his neighbor, and keep him? I say unto you, Nay; he will not even suffer that he shall feed among his flocks, but will drive him away, and cast him out. I say unto you, that even so shall it be among you if ye know not the name by which ye are called.

    Therefore, I would that ye should be steadfast and immovable, always abounding in good works, that Christ, the Lord God Omnipotent, may seal you his, that you may be brought to heaven, that ye may have everlasting salvation and eternal life, through the wisdom, and power, and justice, and mercy of him who created all things, in heaven and in earth, who is God above all. Amen. (Mosiah 5:7-15)

    So, there are not two different exaltations and a husband does not replace God the Father as the wife’s god. There is only one exaltation, and it consists of the restoration of the rib to the body and the restoration of the body to God, through Christ adopting the body as His own. There is no such thing as a ribless body being restored to God, nor a body-less rib being restored to God. The whole thing follows the pattern of the Godhead, so we can become like God. Once we become like God, after this pattern, then the scripture speaks of us (both man and woman) as gods, and we, as gods, will be ministered to by the angels, who remain in their single and separate state. Husband and wife rule and reign over the angels and all things conjointly, even as the temple liturgy says, for that is what godhood is (he + she, in exaltation.)

    To end this very long comment, although she brings up many important observations, some of her interpretations and conclusions may be significantly off mark, which may create doubt and despair and lamentation among the women (and men) reading it, as evidenced by many of the comments that followed her post. Instead of causing others to understand and embrace the endowment, as part of the glad tidings of joy and good news of the gospel, that not only can we be saved, but that we can also be exalted and become just as God is, her post may instill a desire to have these restored ancient truths altered so as to conform with present norms among society.

  23. So, using the church priesthood as an example, a priest baptizes in the stead of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost. The priest represents someone else, performing a work in the stead of that person or persons.

    The key to this is, “In whose name does the priest or priestess act?” That practice [of doing actions “in the name of Jesus” or “the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost”, etc.] has the same basis as the feudal system or the royal courts under a monarchy: an agent acts under the name, or with the seal, or using the keys of his lord.

    So — I don’t know enough about the second anointing ritual that wives perform, but unless they close the ordinance “in the name of my husband” — then Jesus Christ is still their Lord and the Father is still their God because they are acting in their priestess office under His name, they’re just performing the ordinances for their husband.

  24. During the part on the law of sacrifice in the endowment, Elohim teaches:

    And after many days, an angel of the Lord appeared unto Adam, saying, “Why dost thou offer sacrifices unto the Lord?” And Adam said unto him, “I know not, save the Lord commanded me.” And then the angel spake saying, “This thing is a similitude of the sacrifice of the Only Begotten of the Father, which is full of grace and truth. Wherefore, thou shalt do all that thou doest in the name of the Son, and thou shalt repent and call upon God in the name of the Son forevermore.”

    Now, we can presume by this that all that is done in the temple is done in the name of the Son. (Even though this was spoken to Adam, the command encompasses Eve, for she is still a part of Adam.) But apart from the authority of the name of the Son, no other authority is invoked in the temple (that I know of.) In other words, although signs, tokens, etc., of Aaronic and Melchizedek priesthoods are mentioned, given and received, the authority of these priesthoods is not specifically invoked. It may be, then, that the temple endowment is a manifestation of another order or orders of priesthood, namely, the patriarchal order (of the Father), which apparently deals with exaltation (heights), and the matriarchal order (of the Holy Ghost), which apparently deals with submission covenants (depths).

    This means that everything done in the temple (in the name of the Son) is what the Son would do if He Himself were in that very same situation. That includes Eve covenanting to obey Adam. So the instructions given to Eve and all her daughters is what Jesus would do were He also to have been born a daughter of Eve. That is where this logic leads to, if we presume that all temple ordinances are done in the name of the Son.

  25. Sometime, LDSA, I wish you were less lazy, because your writings expand my mind and understanding. And, I keep finding myself trying to fit them into hereto unwritten sacrament talks.

    Though, I don’t think your blog is what Elder (Richard) Scott had in mind when he encouraged the members to read members’ blogs.

    Returning to the topic at hand: I think one of the things that some struggle with with the temple, is what about the exaltation of those who never marry in this life, or who divorce and want nothing to do with their former spouse (like those who were abused).

  26. Lol, pinkrose, in real life I get a lot of flack for being as lazy as I am. If I wrote more on this blog, my wife and kids would divorce and disown me! But I’m glad to hear that what I do write is appreciated (by you, at least), even if brother Richard does not approve.

    I think God is merciful to all His sons and daughters who either never marry in life or have bad experiences with it, and yet desire to obtain exaltation through the established marriage ordinance. The principle that comes to mind regarding such is this scripture:

    Thus came the voice of the Lord unto me, saying: All who have died without a knowledge of this gospel, who would have received it if they had been permitted to tarry, shall be heirs of the celestial kingdom of God; also all that shall die henceforth without a knowledge of it, who would have received it with all their hearts, shall be heirs of that kingdom; for I, the Lord, will judge all men according to their works, according to the desire of their hearts. (D&C 137:7-9)

  27. I have always interpreted King and Queen, Priest and Priestess as indicating that husband and wife will have dominion over both kingdom and religion.

  28. Btw, in this comment, I mentioned that I had lost a friend over the information of this post. Well, she has since begun talking to me again. (I guess she’s a glutton for punishment!) So, that’s a good thing. Unfortunately, today someone close to me asked me about a revelation I received many years ago, a part of which she only remembered vaguely, and stupid me, I told her the whole thing again in detail, after which she got very offended, and will probably never speak to me again. Hopefully the vacillating nature of women manifests itself at some point and we can be reconciled again, like the first woman. I am reminded of Joseph Smith and the very offensive revelation he received, which is recorded in D&C 132…


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