The Tribal Church


Rebecca [from the-exponent blog] once asked me:

In your ideal world, I’d assume there is no church outside of the family unit.  Is this the primary appeal of anarchy within the LDS context for you?

It is evidence of the “Catholic-ization” of the LDS church that members refer to the leadership in Salt Lake as “the Church” – as opposed to the group of believers that meet together.  Like the Catholics – I often hear LDS refer to “What the Church has said” about such-and-such or what “Our leaders haven’t taken a position” on such-and-such.  LDS will speak of “the Church” as if it is some entity completely removed and separate from the members.  Where was there ever a body without parts?  The church is the people who make it up.

The church is a tribe; your tribe is the church:

As LDSA outlined in the Wives, follow your husbands! – Patriarchy, androcracy and the egalitarian tribe post:

Because of the gospel’s tribal nature, the organization of the priesthood mimics that of the egalitarian tribe.  Bishops, bishoprics, counselors, common judges, higher judges, lower judges, high councils, presidencies, apostles, seventies, quorums, etc., all have their counterpart in egalitarian tribal organization.

The principle described here is entirely correct.  What most LDS understand as the church structure is actually a tribal structure.  Currently, the Gentile Mormon church uses the structure of wards and stakes with presiding bishops and presidents over congregations and quorums – however this is a mere copy [an incomplete/improper copy] of the tribal structure in which the gospel is designed to be lived — a structure of clans and tribes with presiding husbands and tribal elders.

This is seen as LDS refer to their local congregation as the “ward family”, their fellow-members as “brother” and “sister” so-and-so, etc.  This is also why even official Church™ policy is to acknowledge [in word at least – though not in deed], that the family is the central unit in the gospel of Jesus Christ, with the Church being only an appendage.

Therefore, the priesthood holder in the home is the central priesthood leader – and the church priesthood holders are appendage leaders – in other words they are secondary as compared to a woman’s husband.

Much of what is wrong in the LDS church originates with wives not considering their husbands to be their priesthood/church leader – which itself originates with the Church™.

In the eyes of the Church™, the husband is not a priesthood leader with keys – only a quorum member without keys.  Leaders have keys, and members do not.  Because, in the eyes of the Church™, husbands do not have keys – they could not leaders.  Quorum members report directly to quorum leaders, and as a quorum member, the husband is an agent of his quorum president.

This view is then passed on to the wife, so that when a wife thinks of a priesthood leader, she will think of someone who holds keys, such as a bishop or stake president.  Thus, it becomes that in the eyes of a wife, her husband is subordinate to the priesthood leaders found in the Church™.

This is why we find wives by-passing their husbands and going behind his back to a bishop or stake president [see comment #87 and #102 here].  Any LDS wife who does view her husband as her priesthood leader typically does so insofar as the husband is following the direction of the Church™ leaders.  An easy way to discern this is to have the husband do something different than what the church leaders council him to do [like baptize children or administer the sacrament without a bishop’s approval].  Then the wife’s true loyalties will manifest and she will likely side with the Church™ authority.  Only when there is conflict between a Church™ leader with “keys” and a husband without them can it be seen who a wife really believes her church leader to be.

The Church™ is actually a religion:

What most LDS refer to as “the Church” is, therefore, not actually a church at all [it not being bound by covenant bonds between members].  It is a religion.  When seen from the tribal point-of-view [where church = tribe], the church is an entirely new people-group, nation, or tribe separate from any of the nations or tribes of the earth – the church of Jesus Christ being the tribes of Israel.  A tribe is merely a form a human organization that is based on two features:   kinship and shared belief.  Where these two things exist, there exits a tribe.  Where one or both of these things lack, there is no tribe.

Currently, in the LDS church, we have shared beliefs, but not kinship.  We may call others in our “ward family” by the names “brother” or “sister” so-and-so, and we may tend to all be of the same tribe [that of Ephraim] – but most members will view their blood family [kinship] as distinct from other LDS.

The purpose of the restoration of the gospel in the latter-days was to convert a diverse assortment of people [from every nation, tribe, and people-group] into a new kind of people.  The vision is a tribe, united under the bonds of a new and everlasting covenant, and restored to the ancient Hebrew notion of a holy nation/separate people-group.  No matter what the former culture was, any converts are adopted into a new family – formed on the basis tribal covenant bonds and shared beliefs.  Status in this group is not determined be virtue of what you believe or how many people you could tell what to do – but instead by the covenants a person has assumed and how many people you serve.

Without both kinship bonds and shared beliefs, we are not fully organized as the Lord’s tribes of Israel.  Groups that are bound by only shared belief are referred to as “religions”.  When Adam was praying, after having been removed from the Garden of Eden, there entered the god of this world in answer to his prayer:

So, you want religion, do you?

Religion is what Satan has been offering as a substitute for tribal relationships with our Heavenly Parents, Jesus Christ, and our fellowman since the beginning.  It is religion and the associated creeds that have prevented humans from coming to Jesus and the Father individually – instead forcing people to jump thru hoops, observances, rituals, classes, advancements, programs, etc.  Satan will always give a people religion, and it will be largely based in the left-brain-mind, professing God with the mouth [the left-brain-mind words] but having [right-brain-] hearts is far from Him.

A religion is just a branded belief.  Two people can be of different religions – and still be of the same nationality, work for the same companies, belong to the same social groups, etc.  There is nothing really distinct between the two, other than what they are doing for a few hours on Sunday.

The LDS church has taken direct action to remove any of the original elements of being a separate tribe/people-group, which are an impediment to popular acceptance.  Distinctions are minimized to remove any conflict between LDS and the state they reside in.  Any commitment to public relations will cause any movement, idea, or product to become less distinct – to boil down further and further, trying to find a least common-denominator and mass appeal/acceptance.  This is the story of Correlation™ and it has been handled in detail elsewhere.

Joseph Smith said that he:

cannot believe in any of the creeds of the different denominations [religions], because they all have some things in them I cannot subscribe to, though all of them have some truth.  I want to come up into the presence of God, and learn all things; but the creeds set up stakes, and say, ‘Hitherto shalt thou come, and no further’; which I cannot subscribe to.

Establishing an institution with orthodoxy and checklists – and then requiring uniformity of belief/thought in order to belong to the orthodox religion is the way of the Christians.  They are bound together not by tribal family bonds but instead by their confessions of faith and their creeds.

If we really want to come up “into the presence of God, and learn all things,” then we’d be wise to seek out and avoid the creeds of religions that “set up stakes” and demand that we “come no further.”

Within such an institution, one will find that if he/she:

wants to have the manifestations of the spirit in the place where I go to church, then I had better go to a church where we share all things in common… When you attend a church which spends $3 billion on building a shopping/commercial center right close to the temple and exactly $[zero] on implementing the law of consecration, I would hazard a guess that the odds are pretty close to 3 billion-to-zero that an abundance of the gifts of the spirit are [not] going to [be] in that church.

So now you may say well there isn’t any church or group that lives with all things in common.  How about forming your tribal organization and getting on with living that way?  That is what I am going to do.

I want to live the full gospel of Jesus Christ. I am going to start by having all things in common in my tribe so I can claim the blessings God has offered to those who obey the law given for that blessing.

Truly, one can not do this within the LDS church.  Such blessings are found only in communal worship that adheres to the word of God, the spirit of expediency, and the law of common consent.  Currently, this can only be achieved within tribal organizations.

Two ways to grow your tribe:

The discussion on plural marriage at Wheat and Tares taught me that most LDS will consider any discussion on organizing multihusband-multiwife tribes as “communes for unbridled secret sex at night.”

However, a tribe is merely a form a human organization based on two features:   kinship and shared belief.  This is the earliest form of human community – predating cities, states, churches, and even recorded history.  Tribal affiliations exist naturally among humans – when states don’t exist to break them up.  God does not look upon an individual as an isolated creation, all alone.  He sees people as they are connected to everyone else.  He sees all the tribal bonds and recognizes the tribal affiliations – even if we ourselves are not even aware of them or allow their functions to remain dormant.

God and the gospel are tribal in nature – always working to connect humans together into His tribe [which is composed of the tribes of Israel].  Our lineage is plainly manifest to Him and so when we begin to act tribally, He recognizes the tribal authority because it has been there all along, among the other conventional things we place upon it [e.g. political affiliations culture, religion].  All that is necessary for us to obtain tribal authority is to exercise it.  If we just need to assert it, God will recognize/validate it because it really is there and has been there all along.  We just haven’t been aware of it or acknowledged it.

The steward of a tribe is free to grow/enlarge his tribe or allow it to stay dormant.  While I intertwine multihusband-multiwife marriage systems together with my tribal understanding of the gospel, there are functions of tribalism that can be activated currently with a one-husband:one-wife tribe. Tribal plural marriage is simply the means whereby a tribe grows or is enlarged horizontally.  In like manner, having children is the means whereby a tribe grows or is enlarged vertically.

Growing horizontally:

Tribes are grown horizontally as new adult members are converted and desire to join.  As tribes must be bound by both kinship and shared belief, once conversion to the gospel takes place [shared belief], he/she must then be married into the tribe [kinship] as a part of the other entrance ordinances, e.g. baptism.

Growing horizontally is a function of tribal missionary work.  This has been discussed in the comments of dyc4557’s CHI #5 post.  Currently, LDS missionary work is comprised of sending never married, non-father elders into the mission field – following the pattern of the celibate, Catholic priesthood.  These celibate elders are sent by an “across the board” calling of all 19 year-old young men – instead of having any elder with the desire to travel, and calling of the Spirit to preach the gospel, approach their bishops to obtain license to do so by church vote.

In the comments on that post, LDSA touches on some principles for initiating the preaching of the gospel from a tribal point-of-view.  Briefly, they include:

  • A married man with children having an advantage over a never-married, non-father young man with regards to relating to families [husbands, wives, fathers, and mothers].
  • Distraction not being an issue when a person goes on a preaching mission only when he has a desire to go and feels called to do so by the Spirit.
  • Leaving the length of a traveling mission open, instead of a fixed two-years, so that the Spirit can have flexibility in keeping a man in the mission field for short or long time periods.
  • Utilizing all married men within a tribe [the priests, bishops, elders, seventy, apostles, high priests, and patriarchs], who are under the same commandment to travel and preach when their circumstances allow, to open up a larger pool from which to fill a mission field.
  • Multihusband-multiwife tribes having less of a burden with traveling missionary work because when husbands leave to preach, wives and children will be taken care of by the tribe or other husbands.
  • Not leaving converts [harvest] in the care of others who, hopefully, will take care of them – instead, either sending these people back to the tribe or, after the mission is complete, returning with them to the tribe, so that tribal integration can be complete.
  • Marrying converts while still in the mission field so that, while there, a tribal missionary will have new tribal members to support him, giving him food, drink, clothing, shelter, and a family love and environment – fulfilling the commandment to travel with purse or scrip.  Also – retaining and building on the connection that a missionary makes with the converts he or she has taught.

Growing a tribe horizontally is essentially founded on multihusband-multiwife plural marriages.  It is this aspect that would likely make converting non-LDS into a tribe easier than converting LDS.  Many LDS come with cultural indoctrination [as both Americans and Mormons] that state-sanctioned monogamy is superior to any other form of marriage.  Polygyny is either valid insofar as it is state-sanctioned and First Presidency™-approved or was valid in the mid/late 19th century but is now just a relic of a less-enlightened time gone by.  Polyandry is completely unheard of or considered and makes a mockery of God’s ordered system of paternity [which is why most LDS will always use “polygamy” when they really mean “polygyny” – polyandry not even being a consideration for them].

Monogamy is not sin.  If one spouse [or both] has emotional needs that necessitate him/her requiring a spouse to commit to not loving any other people, then [if the other spouse is willing to submit to that] they may take vows of exclusivity upon themselves. These vows are ordained of God, as long as both persons consent, and are in accordance with the new and everlasting covenant revealed in D&C 132.  As I stated previously, there are functions of tribalism that can be activated currently with a one-husband:one-wife tribe – however such a tribe will be limited horizontally.

Polygyny is not sin given that a woman gives her consent to the husband to take additional wives [releasing him from any vows of exclusivity he may have been under] – he is justified in taking on additional wives, for it is marriage with consent and thus a marriage ordained of God.

Polyandry is not sin.  In the new and everlasting covenant, there are two ways in which a woman get take an additional husband:

Outside of the new and everlasting covenant, a woman [in the same manner as stated in the polygyny section] may obtain a second marriage thru the consent of her current husband or husbands.  This [like polygyny] is ordained of God insofar as all parties involved give consent.

Not giving consent to marry is the sin. When a man wishes to take an additional wife and his current wife or wives do not give their consent [which are the keys of this power], then they become sinners because they are forbidding him from marrying, making them not ordained of God.  Likewise, were a woman to desire an additional husband and her current husband or husbands do not give consent, then the husbands become sinners by virtue of forbidding her to marry.

This is the law of Sarah [in the new and everlasting covenant of marriage] and it is applicable to both men and women. “Wrongness” consists in forbidding marriage, which makes the person doing the forbidding not ordained of God – whether the forbidder is the state, the Church™, parents, or a spouse.

Growing vertically:

Tribes can also grow vertically.  This is done as married couples come together via sexual intercourse and provide physical life to children.  The two methods [horizontal and vertical] are related.  Just as parents are capable of loving more than one child with all of their heart – spouses are capable of loving more than one spouse with all of their heart.  Just as parents are commanded to have as many children as possible, not forbidding any spirits from entering their family – spouses ought to seek as many additionally spouses as possible, never forbidding one another from loving other people.

The Lord has commanded parents to be fruitful and multiply:

So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.  And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it:

The secret combinations of central planners all establish two children per woman as their goal.  They have achieved this goal in the countries referred to as “developed”, and they are approaching success on a global scale.  The reason being that two children [replacement reproduction] breaks the commandment to multiply and “fill” the earth with humans – only replacing the two parents with two children.  The scriptural minimum for the number of children per family would therefore be three, with there being no associated maximum.

They have used various tools to achieve their satanic goal.  One need only search [population control eugenics] in a search engine to find plenty of resources on the subject.  To be brief, they would include:  barrier and hormonal methods of birth control, drugged hospital birthing experiences, circumcision, bottle-feeding, abortion, vasectomies and elective hysterectomies, focusing on “equal” employment for women, reducing sperm counts thru administered chemicals and diet, and sterilants in food/vaccines/water/etc.

A tribe based on the gospel of Jesus Christ will never restrict themselves to a set number of children – utilizing hormonal, barrier, or surgical forms of birth control thereafter.  They will not plan their number of children around their desired lifestyle, but will plan a lifestyle around the number of children they have.  They shall also teach their children to pray, and to walk uprightly before the Lord.  They will teach their children to read and write, having a language which is pure and undefiled.  They will teach their children diligently and freely to understand the doctrine of repentance, faith in Christ the Son of the living God, and of baptism, and the gift of the Holy Ghost by the laying on of the hands – before the age of eight [lest the sin be upon their heads and it be the cause of their affliction].  Then shall their children be baptized for the remission of sins when eight years old, and receive the laying on of the hands.  They will engage in continual tribal rituals to strengthen the common morphic field that exists among disciples of Jesus Christ.

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Previous Article by Justin:  Tribal Rituals

Tribal Rituals


The performance of rituals is an integral part of all religions.  A ritual is some repetitive act that takes place at a set time and location.  Rituals also involve the use of symbolic objects, clothing, words, and hand gestures.

Everyone Participates in Rituals:

For example, going to church on Sunday is a common religious ritual for Christians.  As a ritual, it entails the donning of a different set of clothing, as well as interacting with others in a specified manner [hand-shakes, hugs, calling them brother/sister so-and-so, etc.] while gathered to a set-apart location.  Once gathered for this experience, members ritualistically participate in reenacting the life, teachings, and death of Jesus Christ.

However, even for non-religious persons — Sunday may still be a day of ritualistic behavior.  Millions will don a different set of clothing that marks their favorite sports team, interact with others thru high-fives and various team cheers, all while gathered to a set-apart location [the stadium or the TV room].

Rituals reinforce the basic tenets of a group and facilitates bonding between the members.  When the Catholics, for example, participate in the mass — it is [for the members] a ritualistic participation in the body and blood of Jesus and, by extension, a communal affirmation of the acceptance of the administrators of the mass [the Catholic priesthood].

Rituals are often charged with high emotions.  The rush of brain chemicals and “good” feelings that people receive during rituals are what provide the positive reinforcement for continuing them.  This is the same mechanism that binds two humans together during sexual relations [which are themselves rituals].  All rituals that a person participates in makes him or her “feel good”, and thereby reinforces the belief that their group is “true” and reinforces the morals associated with that group.

The state also has rituals to bind the mind of the citizenry to the “national identity”.  For example,  within the United States — the pledge of allegiance to the American flag will often begin a government-school day or a public meeting.

Archetypal Rituals:

While many cultures do vary in the prevalence and forms of the more minor rituals — there are five main rituals [archetype rituals] that mark the progress of a member of the group thru the main stages of life.  Though they may vary slightly from group-to-group in terms of form and symbolism — any group, religion, tribe, etc. will have:

  • Birth Rituals
  • Puberty Rituals
  • Marriage Rituals
  • Funerals Rituals
  • Communal Meals

Within an LDS Context:

When a baby in born to LDS parents [some time within the first few months] the congregation will allow time for the father and other male family and friends to use the Melchizedek priesthood to place the child’s name on the records of the Church™ and to give a blessing by the influence of the Spirit.

When an LDS boy reaches age 12, he will be receive the Aaronic priesthood, in the office of deacon.  This marks his exodus from the female-dominated environment of primary classes and his entrance into the male-dominated environment of the Young Men™ program.

When an LDS couple decide to marry, they must participate in a large set of rituals.  First, there must be a temple recommend interview by both a bishop and a stake president.  Then, they will participate in a preparation class for the Temple™ that will be taught by a fellow member of their congregation.  There may also be more informal preparation of family/friends telling them what to expect, what kind of Garments™ to buy, etc.  Finally, there is the rituals associated with the Initiatory™, Endowment™, and Sealing™ ordinances.  In conjunction with this, LDS couples must also go thru the ritual of obtaining permission from the state to marry [as other non-LDS couples do].

Upon death, an LDS member’s family will typically organize a funeral service.  If this service is held in a Church™ building, then the bishop presides at the meeting and will conduct it.  If it is held in a home, at a funeral-home, or at the graveside, then the family presides.  Typically, families choose to have funeral rituals conducted by the bishop in a Church™ building.  As such, it is a Church™-governed ritual and the bishop is charged by the Oral Law to ensure that the funeral is simple and dignified, contains music and brief addresses and sermons centered on the gospel, and includes the comfort afforded by the atonement and resurrection of Jesus Christ.  An LDS funeral is an opportunity to teach the Gospel™ and testify of the Plan of Salvation™ — though they may also provide an opportunity to pay tribute to the deceased.  Such tributes will not dominate a funeral service.  Having large numbers of people share tributes or memories can make a funeral too long and may be inappropriate for a Church™ service.  Further, the Church™ will authorize the dedication of the member’s grave by a family member who holds the Melchizedek priesthood.

Communal Meals:

Finally, I want to discuss communal meals.  This archetypal ritual is particularly important because it occurs with more regularity than the “milestone” rituals.  A member of a group may participate in thousands or hundreds of thousands of these communal meals during the duration of his or her lifetime.

While the “milestone” rituals may provide the traveling guideposts on life’s journey [something to look forward to and something to always look back on], communal meals act as a constant boost and reinforcement for a person at more regular intervals.

Within an LDS Context:

The communal meal ritual is represented by the Sacrament™ during our Sunday meeting block.

Controlling the Communal Meal:

Because communal meals are more intimate [the sharing of food] and occur more frequently than other rituals — they carry with them great power to direct and connect the mind.  Thus, religions, states, and corporations seek control over them, to use them to concentrate power within their respective hierarchies.

A commenter on the Tribal Worship Services post noted that:

“Seems that you are looking for or seeking some form of “agape” feasting in which earlier Christians met for a common meal with each bringing some food; historical references do not clarify the earliest practice of such meals but there are lots of theories and ideas concerning it…

…By the way, the Council of Laodicea in 364 tried to outlaw the “agape” feastings for they were outside the “church control” – but they continued.”

Here is the excerpt from decision of the Catholic church in 364 AD:

CANON XXVII.

NEITHER they of the priesthood, nor clergymen, nor laymen, who are invited to a love [agape] feast, may take away their portions, for this is to cast reproach on the ecclesiastical order.

CANON XXVIII.

IT is not permitted to hold love [agape] feasts, as they are called, in the Lord’s Houses, or Churches, nor to eat and to spread couches in the house of God.

The Church™ likewise would not permit individual tribes within a congregation to utilize “the Lord’s House or Church” for their tribal worship services.  Church™ leaders hold full authority over the Church™ buildings [which power has been given them by the keys of the church] — and they use that power to provide a morsel of bread and a thimble of water to the congregations.  Further, they structure meetings according to the commandments of men [assigning talks, lessons, musical numbers, etc. in advance] so as to remove any chance of the Spirit manifesting herself spontaneously.  This is done to keep the members in a spiritually-starved state — so they must continue to come back and feed at the Church™.

The entrance of the television into family homes represents another attempt to usurp the power of communal meals to bind families together.  For a typical American child, the first meal of the day is eaten from a package and in front of a favorite television show.  This breakfast ritual ingrains the messages from the corporations in charge of the show’s content and the advertising commercials.

Next, this child will be dropped off at his/her government school.  Their next meal will come from the school’s cafeteria.  Corporations exercise their control over the food choices [most often thru vending machine choices, etc.] while the state has expressed recent interest in gaining more of that control.

Finally, the third meal the child will have again will likely come from a package and be eaten in front of the family’s favorite sit-com or sporting event — or maybe will be eaten in the child’s room alone.

Activating Tribal Meals:

In addition to tribal sacrament meetings [which is an important tribal ritual], tribes should also make a daily meal into a communal ritual.  Secular research has verified that the more often children eat a meal with the family:

  • The less likely they are to abuse drugs
  • The less likely they are to break the law of chastity
  • The less likely they are to commit suicide
  • The more emotionally fulfilled they are
  • The more healthier their eating habits are
  • The better they do in their chosen fields of study

A survey found that the 9-14 year-olds who eat dinner with their families at home are more likely to eat fruits and vegetables and less likely to consume soda and fried foods.  Further, the average American spends more than 40% of the family’s food budget on meals outside of the home.  Plus, the average meal outside the home costs $8 per person — while in-home meals average $4.50 per person.  Also, the average restaurant meal has as much as 60% more calories than a homemade meal.

Thus, even if your current tribe still consists of a monogamous, nuclear family — Tribal meals can still have a profound impact on strengthening your tribe from conspiring groups.  Remove your tribe from the influences of manufactured entertainment and manufactured food.  Imagine your family’s diner table is the alter upon which your tribe will offer daily thanks for the blessings God has granted you.  Offer this sacrifice daily, at an appointed time.  Approach it as a ritual, invoke the priesthood to ask God for all things, form a prayer circle, etc. — and it will activate the unifying power inherent in rituals to bring your tribe closer together.

Next Article by Justin: The Tribal Church

Previous Article by Justin:  Tribal Connections

Money-free Communities


Many are wary of priestcraft among us.  I am one of them.  I heard an author being interviewed on the radio a few weeks back.  He wrote a compilation of all of the statements Jesus made in the New Testament, organized under about 200 topics.  He spoke about how important it is for “Christians to have access to the words of Christ,” and how “no one can have eternal life without abiding in His words.”

I immediately thought of the post I linked to above when I began searching for the author’s material — only to find everything leading me to a place to buy his book.  One would think that if a person complied such an important index of the saving “words of Christ” — that they would want any believer to have free access to it [Just as Jesus offered free access to his words when he spoke them].

At the author’s Amazon page, I learned that the book he had written previous to the one I was interested in outlines the story of how he flunked out of every job he held in his first six years after college.  But then, upon studying Solomon ["the richest man alive"], he found a way to “achieve greater success and happiness than he had ever known — thus making him a millionaire many times over.”

The book discusses each of Solomon’s insights and strategies into attaining wealth with anecdotes about the author’s personal successes and failures — as well as those of  Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Edison, Oprah Winfrey, Bill Gates, and Steven Spielberg.

That was all I needed to know about this man.

Money is a key of discernment:

A true key for discerning a part of Lucifer’s Babylonian control system is the requirement of money.  Nothing in Babylon is given as it is sought after or desired — but only as a person has earned it or has the means to purchase it.  In contrast, the gifts and powers of God come only thru asking and thru agency.  They are freely given and can only be freely distributed.

But Peter said unto him, Thy money perish with thee, because thou hast thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money.

The idea of a community having a money-free system is often criticized as being “utopian” [as is also said of tribal marriage systems, anarcho-primitivism, and anarchy in general].  I have been told by many that:

Your theories are very romantic and idealistic.  And like all those other great idealistic theories are confounded by the fact that men and women are sinners, we rarely live up to our own ideals, and our incredible powers of rationalization most often outweigh true justice and equality.

Given our flawed natures, biblically-based political theories aren’t particularly realistic to put forth.  I can’t help but think that the realistic scenario of your theories would be a decentralized tyranny of very pompous, self-righteous men exercising self-righteous dominion over their families.  I’m not sure I would trade that for a centralized church leadership’s more mild tyranny.

Such criticism is likewise leveled at the concept of establishing money-free systems.  However, one will find that humans are prepared to work for nothing — given the condition that they can partake for nothing.  Or, as Jesus described it:

…freely ye have received, freely give.

For example, this website contains the work of several contributes — all readable for free.  Other examples include:  filesharing sites, open source programs, Wikipedia, community/volunteer events, church programs, apprenticeships, etc.

Why you won’t hear more about money-free systems:

If any community within a state were to adopt a money-free system, then tax revenues will start to decline.  Further, any monetary penalties designed to encourage or discourage certain behaviors [taxes, penalties, duties, fees, etc.] will become largely ineffective methods of control.  Such a community will decrease the power of the state and centralized banking interests as a result of increasing personal freedom and independence.

Tribalism is the key to opening up money-free systems:

Typically, even the mention of money will increase the competitiveness in people.  Therefore, were a community to develop on the basis of a money-free economy — it would be more likely to engender cooperative behavior.  In a money-free community, leaders must find other incentives to encourage members to do tasks they wouldn’t otherwise do for “free” — a task that would require leaders who are willing to serve [instead of rule] and are willing to govern with persuasion, patience, gentleness, kindness, meekness, genuine love, etc.

This makes the priesthood the best organizing force  — and tribal plural marriages the best organizing structure — for a money-free [or Zion-like] community.  Priesthood holders accept, by covenant, an obligation to selflessly serve and unconditionally love all who are the concerns of their stewardship.

Zion will be money-free:

A money-free community would need great intimacy and connection among the members.  LDS Anarchy commented [at a site I do not recommend commenting at]:

The church is lacking in intimacy and connection because we are all still strangers.   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.

Only thru the increasing the covenant bonds that connect humans together can  Zion begin to emerge as a mode of human organization.

When humans lived in the Edenic state of hunter-gatherer, multihusband-multiwife tribes — currency did not exist.  The idea of “having any money” was foreign to Adam — who only kept the tokens associated with his priesthood.

However, the 10,000 year explosion, the dawn of sedentary agriculture, and the associated appearance of states necessitated a commodity that was easy to store and handle in order to facilitate trade among the growing communities of largely un-connected members.

Any return to such a paradisaical lifestyle will only be associated with complimentary return to the manner of connectedness and cooperation humans shared before statism, monogamous family-units, and monetary-based systems of exchange.

Next Article by Justin:  Tribal Connections

Previous Article by Justin:  Seeking the Good of Others

The nature of authority: the Lord’s stewardship law


The word steward comes from stigweard, lit., a sty ward. Stigu means sty and weard means warden, guardian. A sty is a pen for swine and a ward is one who guards. A steward, then, is someone who guards or protects or is responsible for something that belongs to another or for someone that serves or pertains to another.

Originally, a steward in England, under feudal law, was “a household officer on a lord’s estate having charge of the cattle; later, a head manager in the administration of a manor or estate, presiding at the manorial courts, auditing accounts, conducting inquests and extents, and controlling the husbandry arrangements.” In general, a steward is “a man employed in a large family, or on a large estate, to manage the domestic concerns, supervise servants, collect rents or income, keep accounts, etc.”

Stewards are not owners

Stewards do not own the concerns which they manage nor are the servants which they supervise their own servants, but the servants of the steward’s lord. Thus, we find the Lord saying:

And if the properties are mine, then ye are stewards; otherwise ye are no stewards. (D&C 104: 56.)

Stewards and stewardships are for probation

Obviously, the Lord owns everything, so He tests His children by granting them a temporary stewardship and then seeing how they act in it.

And we will prove them herewith, to see if they will do all things whatsoever the Lord their God shall command them (Abraham 3: 25.)

Rendering an account of one’s stewardship

At some point, every steward must give an account of his or her stewardship, both here on Earth and later at the day of judgment.

And verily in this thing ye have done wisely, for it is required of the Lord, at the hand of every steward, to render an account of his stewardship, both in time and in eternity. (D&C 73: 3.)

And an account of this stewardship will I require of them in the day of judgment. (D&C 70: 4.)

Good and bad stewards and their rewards

Depending upon what kind of steward we are here on Earth, so shall be our eternal reward. Those who are faithful, just and wise stewards get the top reward.

And whoso is found a faithful, a just, and a wise steward shall enter into the joy of his Lord, and shall inherit eternal life. (D&C 51: 19.)

And he that is a faithful and wise steward shall inherit all things. Amen. (D&C 78: 22.)

While those who are wicked, unjust and unwise stewards don’t get so much.

And in his hot displeasure, and in his fierce anger, in his time, [the Lord] will cut off those wicked, unfaithful, and unjust stewards, and appoint them their portion among hypocrites, and unbelievers; even in outer darkness, where there is weeping, and wailing, and gnashing of teeth. (D&C 101: 90-91.)

Stewards possess authority

A stewardship (the office of a steward) comes with authority, or, in other words, a steward is given both authority and responsibility in order to manage the concerns of the stewardship. If you don’t have a stewardship, you don’t have authority. The authority of a steward is a set of keys, just as the original stigweard held the keys that opened the swine pens. These keys allow the steward to protect, guard, maintain and take care of the concerns in his or her care. Without such authority, a steward can do nothing.

In the case of a stewardship that supervises people, the authority of the steward is only valid as long as the people being cared for sustain him or her as their steward. In other words, there is a second set of keys held by the people who have claim on the steward as their steward and it is this second set of keys that allows the steward to operate in his or her office. Without the consent of these people, the steward cannot do anything in righteousness.

Parental stewardship

D&C 83 gives the order of parental stewardship as follows:

Verily, thus saith the Lord, in addition to the laws of the church concerning women and children, those who belong to the church, who have lost their husbands or fathers: Women have claim on their husbands for their maintenance, until their husbands are taken; and if they are not found transgressors they shall have fellowship in the church. And if they are not faithful they shall not have fellowship in the church; yet they may remain upon their inheritances according to the laws of the land. All children have claim upon their parents for their maintenance until they are of age. And after that, they have claim upon the church, or in other words upon the Lord’s storehouse, if their parents have not wherewith to give them inheritances. And the storehouse shall be kept by the consecrations of the church; and widows and orphans shall be provided for, as also the poor. Amen.

Whoever has claim upon another for his or her spiritual or temporal maintenance is the concerns of the stewardship and whoever is responsible for the maintenance is the steward. Therefore, according to this revelation, parents are the stewards of their children and husbands are the stewards of their wives.

This arrangement does not go both ways. Children are not the stewards of the parents because they are not responsible for providing spiritual or temporal maintenance for their parents. Nor is the wife the steward of the husband because she is not responsible for maintaining her husband in his spiritual or temporal needs. If stewardship could go both ways, husbands could have claim upon their wives and parents upon their children. Although there may be many husbands who might love to relinquish their family stewardship to their wives and allow her to support him and their children, under gospel law it doesn’t work like that.

Children are also given stewardships

When children are old enough to obtain some responsibility, they may receive a stewardship from their parents. Perhaps they must take care of their room, keeping it clean and tidy, or their clothes, making sure they are folded and put away, or some household chores, such as sweeping, mopping, vacuuming, doing dishes, or, perhaps they are given a temporary stewardship over their younger siblings, looking over them and watching out for them while their parents are engaged in some other aspect of their own stewardship.

Stewardships in the church

Every church calling is a stewardship with responsibility and authority, and may be of a temporal and/or spiritual nature. The steward uses that authority to manage the concerns of his or her stewardship, which may include supervising, teaching, and/or leading people. So, for example, a bishop is the steward of the ward and the entire ward is the concerns of his stewardship. An elder’s quorum president is the steward of the elders quorum, which are the concerns of his stewardship. A Relief Society president is a steward and the society members are the concerns of her stewardship. A visiting or home teacher is a steward and the families or sisters being visited are the concerns. Etc.

Stewards and concerns likewise judged

Just as every steward must render an account of his or her stewardship to the Judge of us all, so the concerns of a stewardship will have to render an account of how they acted toward the steward. The steward is the Lord’s representative, empowered to take care of the concerns of the stewardship. Any interference with a steward’s divinely appointed duties is treated by the Lord as if it was done to the Lord of the steward Himself.

As long as a steward is acting righteously, meaning that he or she is acting in the stewardship in the following way—

No power or influence can or ought to be maintained by virtue of [a stewardship], only by persuasion, by long-suffering, by gentleness and meekness, and by love unfeigned; by kindness, and pure knowledge, which shall greatly enlarge the soul without hypocrisy, and without guile—reproving betimes with sharpness, when moved upon by the Holy Ghost; and then showing forth afterwards an increase of love toward him whom thou hast reproved, lest he esteem thee to be his enemy; that he may know that thy faithfulness is stronger than the cords of death.  (D&C 121: 41-44, re-worded a little.)

—those who have claim on the steward are bound by the Lord to use their second set of keys to authorize the steward’s own set of keys (his or her authority). If the steward is not authorized by the people concerned with his or her stewardship, yet is acting in righteousness, these people stand condemned by the Lord.

The principle is this: respect all stewards and stewardships insofar as they act righteously.

It is wickedness

Thus, it is wickedness to do away with a steward and stewardship granted by the Lord because this is how He tests His children. For example, some in the world would do away with the stewardship of the parents by granting the State stewardship over the children. This is wickedness. Others would do away with the stewardship of the husband, claiming that this diminishes the role of the wife. This is also wickedness.

Another form of wickedness is the interference in the operations of a steward’s duties. For example, no one is to perform the duties of the steward, other than the steward himself. If you do this, you interfere with the test, for the Lord appoints stewards and then steps back to see what he (or she) will do. Even if you think you can do a much better job than the steward, you are to step back, like the Lord, and let the man or woman perform, or attempt to perform, the duty. Another way to interfere is to withhold your authorization from the steward, so that he cannot perform the duties of his office and calling because you (the concerns of his stewardship) do not authorize him.

Finally, those who are not a part of the concerns of a stewardship, when dealing with a steward, should respect his or her calling, and recognize both the authority and responsibility that the steward has in managing his or her concerns. It is disrespectful and offensive both to the steward and to the One who appointed the steward to not recognize the stewardship, authority and responsibility that was given to the individual by the Lord.

Stewardships and equality

Stewardships are, by design, not equal. The Lord places one steward to preserve, maintain and increase a small amount of property, while another steward is placed over ten times as much. A pair of parental stewards may care for three children while a different pair may watch over ten. It is the inequality of the stewardships that adds to the test, to see what the children of God will do, both the stewards and those they look after.

Nevertheless, the gospel provides means whereby the unequal stewardships may become equalized. This is done through covenants.

Therefore, verily I say unto you, that it is expedient for my servants Edward Partridge and Newel K. Whitney, A. Sidney Gilbert and Sidney Rigdon, and my servant Joseph Smith, and John Whitmer and Oliver Cowdery, and W. W. Phelps and Martin Harris to be bound together by a bond and covenant that cannot be broken by transgression, except judgment shall immediately follow, in your several stewardships—to manage the affairs of the poor, and all things pertaining to the bishopric both in the land of Zion and in the land of Kirtland; for I have consecrated the land of Kirtland in mine own due time for the benefit of the saints of the Most High, and for a stake to Zion.

For Zion must increase in beauty, and in holiness; her borders must be enlarged; her stakes must be strengthened; yea, verily I say unto you, Zion must arise and put on her beautiful garments.

Therefore, I give unto you this commandment, that ye bind yourselves by this covenant, and it shall be done according to the laws of the Lord.

Behold, here is wisdom also in me for your good.

And you are to be equal, or in other words, you are to have equal claims on the properties, for the benefit of managing the concerns of your stewardships, every man according to his wants and his needs, inasmuch as his wants are just—and all this for the benefit of the church of the living God, that every man may improve upon his talent, that every man may gain other talents, yea, even an hundred fold, to be cast into the Lord’s storehouse, to become the common property of the whole church—every man seeking the interest of his neighbor, and doing all things with an eye single to the glory of God. (D&C 82: 11-19.)

So here we have the Lord telling these nine stewards to bind themselves to each other by bond and covenant in their several stewardships, so that they become equal in both earthly and heavenly things.

For verily I say unto you, the time has come, and is now at hand; and behold, and lo, it must needs be that there be an organization of my people, in regulating and establishing the affairs of the storehouse for the poor of my people, both in this place and in the land of Zion—for a permanent and everlasting establishment and order unto my church, to advance the cause, which ye have espoused, to the salvation of man, and to the glory of your Father who is in heaven; that you may be equal in the bonds of heavenly things, yea, and earthly things also, for the obtaining of heavenly things.

For if ye are not equal in earthly things ye cannot be equal in obtaining heavenly things; for if you will that I give unto you a place in the celestial world, you must prepare yourselves by doing the things which I have commanded you and required of you. (D&C 78: 3-7.)

The equality spoken of in these verses is all-important, yet unobtainable except by voluntarily entering into covenants, including marriage covenants, with other stewards. The Lord then creates a perfect test by first giving out unequal stewardships and then explaining how to equalize everything, with attendant blessings should His children decide to use their agency to that end.

He who is appointed to administer spiritual things, the same is worthy of his hire, even as those who are appointed to a stewardship to administer in temporal things; yea, even more abundantly, which abundance is multiplied unto them through the manifestations of the Spirit. Nevertheless, in your temporal things you shall be equal, and this not grudgingly, otherwise the abundance of the manifestations of the Spirit shall be withheld. (D&C 70: 12-14.)

Stewardships are meant to be increased

Every steward is to maintain, preserve, care for, protect, guard and increase his or her stewardship. Thus, missionary work is based on the law of stewardships. And when we hear the phrase, “multiply and replenish the earth,” that is also the law of stewardships at work. And so, parents, if able, are expected to bring more children to Earth.

Keep this law in mind

It may be beneficial to keep the law of stewardships in mind when dealing with stewards, whether they are found in one’s family, in the church, or in the world at large. A proper understanding of this law may make it easier to accept the steward’s authority, and a corresponding proper action towards that steward may make it easier to live other parts of the gospel and to stay in the Lord’s favor.

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CHI #3 Whose marriage is this anyway?


Since the CHI deals with LDS church doctrine and in places draws from the scriptures there are many good things said in this handbook. The problem is that the way it is treated is as though it is the gospel. We are expected and many members and leaders do take it to be 100% authoritative as if it is the voice of the Lord to us.

So as I discuss these points if they run counter to the truth we know then they are wrong regardless of who signed the book.

3.5.1 under the subheading of special meeting for guests who do not have temple recommends the CHI explains a couple arrange with their bishop to have a special meeting for relatives and friends who do no have temple recommends. It can have a prayer and special music followed by a talk by a priesthood leader.
It says no ceremony is performed, and no vows are exchanged.

Then a short paragraph saying:

No other marriage ceremony should be performed following a temple marriage.

Well why does the CHI say that? In fact I think I violated this one without knowing it. You know your government sanctioned marriage may not be recognized in another country. What then? Since the church says you need a government issued license to be married then obviously if you don’t have one for the country you are living in you are not married there. You might think twice before having sex with who you think is your spouse while visiting a foreign country. I mean maybe you committed adultery without knowing it.  But on the other hand if you get a new marriage in the new country you are violating the church rules here stated.

How now brown cow? Please Mr. Church what do I do? How can I be subject to kings and rulers etc and still follow you? What do I do?

Hey stop whining the answer to that was given long ago and is right in the Doctrine and Covenants. Well at least part of it, the OF1. Don’t look at the rest of the Lord’s words as found in say section 98 or 101 or 42 where He says you should obey Him and His law above the laws of man. Just follow Wilford Woodruff’s example and his strong prophetic “advice” and put the law of God subservient to the law of the government.

Sure do it. It works every time. The church won’t bug you and this will muffle your conscience. Of course it may decrease your portion of the Holy Ghost but hey you will still have temple recommend which we all know is required to return to the presence of God. By this rational the soldiers who fought for Germany in world war 2 were all blessed even if they were working at a concentration camp turning on the gas, they were just obeying the law. Same as any God given right violating members serving in the military, FBI, CIA, IRS, or TSA. They are all following the law and just doing their jobs.

Now please as you read this don’t take an excerpt from the above two paragraphs and explain that it is wrong. Of course it is wrong. It is all sarcasm.

You may think this is all foolishness. I could not agree with you more. To think that a man and woman need to have permission from other people (with the exception of their spouse) to be married is total foolishness. Governments and churches are people. They both administer their ordinances. And when a church which has authority from Gd to perform ordinances which will be recognized by Him they had better be damn careful to not run afoul of His laws of agency in doing so.

The whole mess comes about when we start putting any law of man, governmental body or church body above the law of God. Only we ourselves personally can insure that we are not guilty of this. It should be obvious by the posts on the CHI that the present LDS church is not going to be of any help in this regard. The doctrine of the marriage covenant stated on this blog is correct. Marriage is a covenant between a man and a woman. Why is that correct? Because it is what God said it.

So what pray tell does the CHI think it is doing in forbidding people to have other marriage ceremonies?

Maybe someone is afraid that members might awake to the realization that they never needed government approval or church approval to have a God recognized marriage in the first place.

I don’t really care what they think. I can see what it does. It places the corporate church as the dispenser and controller of God’s blessings to its members. It inserts said church between God and His children thereby depriving them of rights and freedoms which God has given them.

Priesthood Offices in a Tribal Setting


Church ordinations

During the time of Christ, one of the qualifications for priesthood was that men had to be married.  (See 1 Tim. 3: 2, 12 and Titus 1: 6.)  During the time of Joseph Smith, adult men were ordained to both Aaronic and Melchizedek priesthoods.  Later, during brother Brigham’s time the Aaronic priesthood began to be conferred upon young men.

Currently, in the modern church, if men and boys are worthy and are sustained by the congregation, they are ordained to these offices in the following way: deacons are ordained when 12 years old, teachers when 14, priests when 16 and boys become eligible for the office of an elder when they turn 18 (prospective elders.)  The Aaronic priesthood is now, essentially, a youth program, to prepare boys to receive the Melchizedek priesthood.

Grown men entering the priesthood may be given the office of a priest, becoming a prospective elder and then later ordained an elder, or may merely be ordained an elder from the start.

The following are the duties of an elder, priest, teacher and deacon in the church.  (E=Elder; P=Priest; T=Teacher; and D=Deacon.)

Duties of the Priesthood (for the church)

.P..          Preach
EP..         Baptize
E…          Confirm baptized church members by the laying on of hands
E…          Administer the sacrament
.P..          Administer the sacrament (when no elder is present)
E…          Take the lead in all church meetings
.P..         Take the lead in church meetings (when no elder is present)
..T.         Take the lead in church meetings (in the absence of the elder or priest)
E…          Conduct church meetings as led by the Holy Ghost
.P..          Assist elder (if occasion requires)
E…          Ordain elders
EP..        Ordain priests
EP..        Ordain teachers
EP..        Ordain deacons
EPTD      Teach
EPTD      Expound
EPTD      Exhort
E.TD       Watch over the church
.P..         Visit the house of each church member (exhorting them to pray vocally and in secret and attend to all family duties)
..T.         Be with and strengthen church
..T.        See that there is no iniquity in the church
..T.        See that there is no hardness in the church with each other
..T.        See that there is no lying in the church
..T.        See that there is backbiting in the church
..T.        See that there is no evil speaking in the church
..T.        See that all the church members do their duty
..T.        See that the church meet together often
..TD      Warn
..TD      Invite all to come to Christ
..TD      Be a standing minister to the church
…D       Assist teachers in their duties (if occasion requires)

Now let’s look at these same duties and offices of the priesthood in a tribal setting.

Duties of the Priesthood (for the tribe)

.P..          Preach
EP..         Baptize
E…          Confirm baptized tribal members by the laying on of hands
E…          Administer the sacrament
.P..          Administer the sacrament (when no elder is present)
E…          Take the lead in all tribal gatherings
.P..         Take the lead in tribal gatherings (when no elder is present)
..T.         Take the lead in tribal gatherings (in the absence of the elder or priest)
E…          Conduct tribal gatherings as led by the Holy Ghost
.P..          Assist elder (if occasion requires)
E…          Ordain elders
EP..        Ordain priests
EP..        Ordain teachers
EP..        Ordain deacons
EPTD      Teach
EPTD      Expound
EPTD      Exhort
E.TD       Watch over the tribe
.P..         Visit the house of each tribal member (exhorting them to pray vocally and in secret and attend to all family duties)
..T.         Be with and strengthen tribe
..T.        See that there is no iniquity in the tribe
..T.        See that there is no hardness in the tribe with each other
..T.        See that there is no lying in the tribe
..T.        See that there is backbiting in the tribe
..T.        See that there is no evil speaking in the tribe
..T.        See that all the tribal members do their duty
..T.        See that the tribe gather together often
..TD      Warn
..TD      Invite all to come to Christ
..TD      Be a standing minister to the tribe
…D       Assist teachers in their duties (if occasion requires)

Tribal ordinations

Obviously, a tribe can do what it wants, meaning it can organize itself using the priesthood however it wants.  So, a tribe can opt to duplicate the modern church model and ordain boys to the Aaronic priesthood.  But it can also follow the New Testament/Early Mormonism models and ordain only married men to either priesthood.

Let me give an example of how a tribe can develop its own “priesthood qualifications” for ordination to its tribal priesthoods.

According to how connected one is to the tribe, by the number of covenants

Ordaining to the offices of the priesthood in a tribal setting can depend upon the man’s connectedness to the tribe.  Connectedness can be determined by the number of wives he has and the combined number of husbands his wives have.  Once the required number of wives/husbands is reached, he can be eligible for ordination if the tribe consents to it.  Here is one way to do it:

  • Deacon – Monogamy (1 wife and 1 husband)
  • Teacher – Multi-spouse System (husband has 2 wives and his wives have a combined total of 2 distinct husbands)
  • Priest – Multi-spouse System (husband has 4 wives and his wives have a combined total of 4 distinct husbands)
  • Elder – Multi-spouse System (husband has 8 wives and his wives have a combined total of 8 distinct husbands)

These numbers are, of course, arbitrary.  A tribe can decide how many covenantal connections a man and his wives must have for the man to be ordained to an office of the priesthood.  The principle, though, is that with more connections a man has to the tribe, he has that much more vested interest in it.  Also, as men take on more wives (and their wives covenant with more husbands), they enter into more marriage/family/clan/tribal responsibilities, therefore, their priesthood office should reflect a corresponding increase in duties and responsibility.

Another reason to link the priesthood to marriage is because the Lord has set the husband at the head of the wife, regardless of whether he has the Aaronic or Melchizedek priesthoods.  Because of this relationship, priesthood is useful to keep a husband in his proper place, for entrance into the priesthood is designed to be entrance into lifelong service.  All husbands, therefore, should be priesthood servants.

For the other priesthood offices, such as high priest, bishop, seventy, apostle, etc., inter-husband covenants—meaning that two or more husbands enter into a united order for the establishment of Zion by covenanting with each other—can be added as eligibility requirements to the qualifications of an elder.  For the office of high priest, it can follow the scriptural pattern of having it confirmed by the voice of God out of the heavens, etc.

Manner of tribal ordinations

There are three valid methods of priesthood ordination.  The first method comes from the Book of Mormon:

In the name of Jesus Christ I ordain you to be a priest, (or, if he be a teacher) I ordain you to be a teacher, to preach repentance and remission of sins through Jesus Christ, by the endurance of faith on his name to the end. Amen.  (Moroni 3: 3)

The second one is the method used during the time of Joseph Smith:

By authority of the Holy Priesthood and by the laying on of hands, I ordain you an elder in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and confer upon you all the rights, powers, keys and authority pertaining to this office and calling, in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

The final method is that used from 1919 onward, including today:

To perform a priesthood ordination, one or more authorized priesthood holders place their hands lightly on the person’s head. Then the priesthood holder who performs the ordination:

1. Calls the person by his full name.

2. States the authority by which the ordination is performed (Aaronic or Melchizedek Priesthood).

3. Confers the Aaronic or Melchizedek Priesthood unless it has already been conferred.

4. Ordains the person to an office in the Aaronic or Melchizedek Priesthood and bestows the rights, powers and authority of that office. (Priesthood keys are not bestowed in conferring the priesthood or ordaining to one of these offices.)

5. Gives a priesthood blessing as the Spirit directs.

6. Closes in the name of Jesus Christ.

Of the three methods, I would recommend that a tribe use only the first two because the third method creates the perception that priesthood keys are not passed on, even though they are.  This, of course, is a control mechanism to center power in priesthood “leaders” who “hold keys.”  Also, when using the second method, one would not ordain to an office in the church, but to an office in the tribe.

Priesthood re-ordinations

A man that comes into a tribe who has already been ordained an elder in the church may be ordained to an office of the tribal priesthood according to the tribe’s eligibility requirements.  So, let’s say the man is in a monogamous marriage when he enters the tribe and the tribe allows monogamous men to be only ordained tribal deacons.  In this case, the man would be ordained a tribal deacon, despite being an elder of the church.  The tribe then recognizes his priesthood office as that of a deacon, whereas the church recognizes his priesthood office as that of an elder.  The tribe can continue to utilize and recognize validly ordained church elders until such time when the tribe has ordained tribal elders according to its eligibility requirements.  Then it may use the tribal elders (and priests) exclusively to ordain all other tribal offices.

For example, in cases of taking the lead in tribal gatherings, if there are four men in the tribe who are ordained elders in the church but three are tribal deacons and one is a tribal teacher, the tribal teacher would take the lead in the tribal gatherings, for in a tribal setting, tribal priesthood takes precedence over church priesthood.  Nevertheless, if someone needs to be baptized (requiring the office of a priest or elder), any of these four men could do it using church priesthood authorized by the tribe.  At some point, one of these tribal men will hold the tribal office of elder, at which point church priesthood no longer need be relied upon. 

Tribal records

While a tribe is still in its infancy and consists of but few persons, ordinances can be performed without witnesses or record-keeping.  However, when there is finally a sufficient number of tribal members, the tribe may gather and formally establish itself according to the gospel laws.  The gathered tribe, using its tribal keys and the law of common consent, can then authorize the performing of all the tribal ordinances once more for each of the tribal members, but this time with two or three tribal witnesses (the law of witnesses) and with a tribal recorder appointed among their number to record all the names, dates, ordinances, convenants entered into (including marriage covenants) and ordinations performed, as well as recording the names and certifications of the witnesses, etc., all on a tribal record or book.  Doing this utilizes the priesthood sealing power so that the tribal record becomes “a law on earth and in heaven, [that can] not be annulled”.  This tribal record is all important so that when the time comes for the tribe to be assimilated into the larger tribes of Israel, these tribal ordinances will be accepted as valid and binding both on earth and in heaven.

Working in this way, using the priesthood sealing power to formally establish a tribe, sets the tribe up for permanency both here and in the afterlife.

A mere example

Please don’t take these words as being the only way to organize a tribal priesthood.  I merely write this to get people thinking tribally, to help them conceive of the options available to them and to provide an example of one way to organize a tribal priesthood in righteousness so that Lord will be pleased and pour down His blessings and the tribe’s actions will be justified.  But there are undoubtedly other, valid ways to go about this.

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Unlicensed marriages and what the Brethren can do about them


First Presidency letter

On October 18th, Zo-ma-rah blogged about a First Presidency letter that was read in his sacrament meeting. He wrote:

This Sunday was interesting. After opening the meeting we were greeted with a nice letter from the Brethren™. The letter instructed us to not participate in self help groups. Specifically they instructed [us] to avoid groups that:

1. Challenge Church™ teachings.

2. Advocate confrontation with spouse as a means for self improvement.

3. Imitate the sacred rites and rituals of the Church™.

4. Involve physical contact with others.

5. Meet late in the evening or early in the morning.

6. Involve confession.

7. Involve pairing of spouses with others.

These points might be a bit generalized, but I was taking notes [as] fast as my little hands could write, and that’s the gist of what was said.

To this I responded:

Some of the points on that list may be pointing to some of the stuff I’ve written (#’s 1, 3, and 7.) I wonder if my blog is under church surveillance (along with certain other bloggers)?

Later, a second person told me that this same First Presidency letter was read in their sacrament meeting and as they listened, all they could think about was that this letter was talking about me and the LDS Anarchy blog.

The lone wolf

A friend of mine, who believes in “the powers that be” (TPTB), once told me that what TPTB most fear is a lone wolf, someone who operates outside of the normal channels, who doesn’t give a damn what people think of him and so is not overly concerned of the consequences of his words and actions. Such a man, this lone wolf, is not restrained by normal customs and protocols, but can operate independently from institutional controls, inflicting great harm on existing systems. As he has no ties to organizations that can constrain his actions or influence his behavior, he is unpredictable. Predictability is extremely important to control methods.

Now, I’m not saying that I’m a lone wolf, but the Lone Wolf and Cub movies are some of my all-time favorite flicks. ;)

Anyway, if this blog has been assigned lone wolf status and the Brethren are taking measures to steer the membership away from the principles set forth here, I thought it would be beneficial to explain exactly what the Brethren can do to people who implement some of these ideas. Specifically, I wish to address point #7, “the pairing of spouses with others.”

Serious consequences

There are serious consequences to consider before attempting to establish a tribe using the multihusband-multiwife marriage system. If it is learned that you are even planning such an activity, you will be disciplined. The two ways of discipline in our religious institution are disfellowship and excommunication, however, because entire Mormon families are typically plugged into Mormonism, there will be further repercussions from one’s family and perhaps even friends as they spurn and/or pity you when they learn of your “apostacy.”

All of this must be weighed in the balance when considering exiting out of the confines of monogamy. There is also the law of man to consider, which does not allow polygamy. This means that to obey the laws of the state, one must practice polygamy without a state marriage license. If you attempt to marry more than one spouse using a marriage license for each one, that puts you under the jurisdiction of the bigamy laws.

Marriage without a state license is approved of God, so the state’s jurisdiction can be entirely by-passed, but the church still poses a problem if they find out what you are doing. The question then is whether the church can be kept out of one’s tribal business. To that end, I thought it would be beneficial to review some marriage scenarios to determine how easy or difficult it would be to practice the multiple spouse marriage system without the church finding out.

Marriage scenario #1: Two single people

First, let’s talk about a single man and a single woman who desire to marry. If they marry without a marriage license, by covenant between themselves only, and start living together, chances are that word is going to get out one way or another that two “unmarried” people in the church are living together (living in sin). Now, living together does not equate to having sex, but we all know how people think.

If the couple attends church and continues to partake of the sacrament, while living together, chances are that they will be asked to come in to the bishop’s office for a chat. The bishop will surely inquire about the circumstances of this highly irregular event.

Probably the first thing he will ask is if this couple is married. It is a possibility that the couple has gotten married in secret, in a civil ceremony. Perhaps they eloped to Las Vegas or something.

There are two ways that the couple can respond to questions about their marriage. They can say that they are married, which would be the truth as they entered into a covenant of marriage with each other, or they can say that they aren’t married, which would be the truth as they aren’t married in the eyes of the state because they never got a marriage license.

If they say that they aren’t married, there will be inquiries about whether they are still living the law of chastity, about the living arrangements they have made, with pressure to separate, repent, etc.

If they say that they are married, there will be inquiries about the details of their marriage. When and where they got married, wedding pics, the bridal dress, etc. If the couple divulges the details of the marriage, that it was by personal covenant-only, the bishop, the members, their family and also many other people will not consider it a bona fide marriage and the church will consider them living in sin and take action accordingly. If, however, the couple plans to keep the details secret and arranges circumstances so that it appears that they “left town,” eloped and returned married, the membership and leadership will more readily accept that, (though they will be chided for not getting a temple marriage.)

For example, a man and a woman can arrange their affairs so that they are both free on a certain date. They can leave their homes early and go off to some faraway place where others they know would not look for them and then they can enter into their marriage covenant. They can stay away for a sufficiently long time to allow for an apparent elopement to Vegas and back. When they return, the man and the woman can sport wedding rings, move in together and live their lives from that moment on as husband and wife.

When asked about their wedding, they can say they eloped. When asked when they were married, they can say the date that they entered into their marriage covenant. When asked where they were married or if they can show pictures or, for the really nosy ones, a marriage certificate, they can say, “We wish to keep the details of our elopement private, which is why we eloped in the first place.” For proof of their marriage, they can show their wedding rings. As long as they project to the public that they are married, the public will consider them married, including all church officers.

The drawback to this will be a denial of a temple wedding sealing. The Brethren will not allow them to be sealed without a valid state marriage license or certificate, so they will have to wait until the work for the dead is done for them for their time marriage to be turned into an eternity marriage.

Marriage scenario #2: A married couple and a single individual

In the case of a married couple that wishes to add another spouse to its marriage arrangement, by covenant-only without a state marriage license, which is the only non-illegal way it can be done anyway, the man or woman who is to be married to the second spouse, with permission of the first spouse, can have a private meeting with the second spouse, in which they enter into a marriage covenant. Living arrangements can either remain as is, with the new spouse living alone in their own dwelling, or the family can be combined under one roof.

If the two husbands or two wives have separate dwellings, nothing out of the ordinary would be noticed. If the two husbands or two wives live under the same roof, church members may notice and begin inquiring or report what they see to their bishop, who may end up calling these three members into his office.

During a bishop’s inquiry, a couple may simply say that they, the couple, invited so-and-so to come live with them. This would be the truth. If asked why the invitation, they could say, for a stay-at-home second wife, “So-and-so is helping around the house.” For a working second husband, “So-and-so is helping us out financially.” All of this would be the truth.

If there are suspicions that more than that is going on and that there is an affair happening, any one of them can instruct the bishop to ask them the temple question. The temple question concerning relationships is, “Are you living the law of chastity?” To which can be answered, yes. As long as the question remains on the law of chastity, and whether any of them is living it, answer the question honestly with yes. If the bishop tries to slip a, “Are you having sex with this man/woman?” answer, “I am not breaking the law of chastity.” Bring everything back to the law of chastity.

Without witnesses of wrongdoing, a bishop cannot pursue the matter further. As long as neither one of the three married individuals divulges information about the non-licensed marriage, the bishop cannot build a case against them. He either needs witnesses or a confession to act.

Like the situation with the two single individuals, the only penalty the Brethren can use towards these people is to stop them from getting the marriage sealed in the temple. They will have to wait until the work for the dead is done for them to be sealed eternally.

Marriage scenario #3: Two married couples

If two married couples wish to marry each other, making an interconnected marriage arrangement with two wives and two husbands, by covenant-only without a marriage license, this can be easily done by private meeting among all involved, whereby they covenant with each other to be married. They can then live their lives in their separate dwellings, but visit each other as they please as husbands and wives. In this case, it is doubtful that church members would notice what is going on unless they are around one of the newly married men and his new wife and saw them carrying on romantically. Were that to happen, word would surely get to the bishop, who would call the suspects into his office.

Again, the way to handle this would be to answer all questions in terms of breaking the law of chastity, and that’s it. Is the law of chastity being broken? Nope. That’s all the bishop needs to know.

As with the other scenarios, only the temple marriage sealing can be denied to the newly weds, that is until the work for the dead is done for them.

Children

The children of one or more of the spouses can cause trouble for the non-licensed married couple if the adults are presenting to the world that they are not married (using the state’s definition). For couples that do tell people they are married, such as two single individuals coming together, children pose no problem. But for marriages involving three or more people, in which no one but the spouses themselves know they are married, children might need to be kept in the dark, at least initially, so that they don’t go blabbing to church members or officials about the non-church sanctioned marriage.

Conclusion as to what the Brethren can do

If those entering marriage in this manner plan it right and understand how they are going to present it, or not present it, to the public, the church and their children, the Brethren can’t do a damn thing about it. They can’t stop the marriage from happening, they can’t discipline the newlyweds without evidence, witnesses and/or confessions, and they can’t keep the parties unsealed (because eventually all these marriages will be temple sealed.)

The Lord has, essentially, opened the way for any of His sons and daughters to establish themselves tribally, without repercussions from the state or from the church. The only ones who have power to stop it from happening are the wives.

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Wives, follow your husbands! – Patriarchy, androcracy and the egalitarian tribe


My text for this post are the following scriptural passages, written by the apostles Peter and Paul:

Peter: Wives, be in subjection to obedient and disobedient husbands

Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conduct of the wives; while they behold your chaste conduct coupled with fear.  Let your adorning be not that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and wearing of gold, or putting on of apparel; but let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.  For after this manner in old times the holy women, who trusted in God, adorned themselves, being in subjection unto their own husbands; even as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord; whose daughters ye are, as long as ye do will, and are not afraid with any amazement. (1 Peter 3: 1-6 Inspired Version)

Paul: Wives, submit yourselves to your husbands

Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as it is fit in the Lord. (Colossians 3: 18 Inspired Version)

Paul: Wives, your husband is your head, submit and subject yourselves to him

But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God. (1 Corinthians 11: 3 Inspired Version)

Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.  For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church; and he is the Savior of the body.  Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything. (Ephesians 5: 22-24 Inspired Version)

Androcracy

Androcracy is “rulership by the men.”  (From Webster’s 3rd Unabridged International Dictionary.)

Although there is little doubt that biblical patriarchy existed, what Peter and Paul taught under the gospel framework in the above scriptural passages was theological androcracy, not biblical patriarchy.  Patriarchy is androcracy with the added dimension of father-right.  Here are the definitions of patriarchy and patriarch, as well as matriarchy, from the same dictionary.

Patriarch

A patriarch is “the father and ruler of a family or tribe; one ruling his family or descendants by paternal right; –usually applied to heads of families in ancient history, esp. in Biblical and Jewish history to those who lived before Moses.”  The word comes from patri-, meaning father + arch, meaning a leader, chief.

Patriarchy

A state or stage of social development characterized by the supremacy of the father in the clan or family in both domestic and religious functions, the legal dependence of wife, or wives, and children, and the reckoning of descent and inheritance in the male line.  Patriarchy is distinguished from androcracy, or the physical and social supremacy of men in primitive society, patriarchy being held to involve, besides such supremacy, father right (adaptation of the Ger. Vaterrecht), or descent and inheritance in the male line.

Matriarchy

A state or stage of social evolution in which descent is reckoned only in the female line, all children belonging to the mother’s clan.  Such a system increases the mother’s social and political importance, making her the head of the family and the guardian of religious rites and traditions.  Hence, with many writers matriarchy means not only descent reckoned through the female line (called uterine descent, or cognation), but also rulership by woman.  Others, however, discriminate the rights and customs characteristic of uterine descent, as mother-right (adaptation of G. Mutterrecht), from the political or domestic supremacy of woman, known as gynecocracy, or gynocracy, “rulership by women,” or metrocracy, “rulership by mothers.”  Matriarchy in the narrow sense (that is, as “mother-right”) is found among many primitive peoples; whether it ever existed in the broader sense is disputed.

The priesthood is patterned after the egalitarian tribe

We modern LDS tend to view the the gospel in terms of only patriarchy and androcracy, but this view is only held because we are not numbered in functioning tribes.  The gospel, when lived tribally, encompasses patriarchy, matriarchy, androcracy, gynocracy, father-right and mother-right.  When taken out of the tribal context, some aspects of it manifest or dominate more, while others are suppressed, depending on the non-tribal culture we find ourselves in.  The gospel can be adapted to the cultures and societies of the world, but it is designed to be lived in egalitarian tribes.

Because of the gospel’s tribal nature, the organization of the priesthood mimics that of the egalitarian tribe.  Bishops, bishoprics, counselors, common judges, higher judges, lower judges, high councils, presidencies, apostles, seventies, quorums, etc., all have their counterpart in egalitarian tribal organization.

Tribal bishops

A man married to a woman acts in the office of a bishop.  The office of a bishop “is in administering all temporal things” (D&C 107: 68) and in being a common judge.  This is the duty of a husband, to provide the temporal (material) necessities of life for his wife and children, and to sit as a judge in his family.

His wife, as his helpmeet, may act as his counselor in matters of temporal administration or in judgment of family affairs, or may simply defer all judgment to him, allowing him to sit as a literal descendant of Aaron, without counselors.

The tribal bishop (with the single counselor) is superior to the church bishop because there is a covenantal bond between bishop and counselor.

Tribal bishoprics

When a man is married to two wives, the arrangement corresponds to a bishopric with two counselors.  The two wives are not equal to the man, just as a bishopric’s counselors are not equal to the bishop: he is the wives’ bishop (with responsibility to provide temporal salvation) and they are the husband’s counselors.  Because of the covenantal bonds between the man and his wives, this marriage bishopric is superior to a church bishopric.

Common judge

A husband in a tribe sits as a common judge of the wife with whom he lives and their children.

Higher judges the lower; lower judges the higher

The gospel principle set forth in the Book of Mormon of a system of higher and lower judges, the lower one judging the higher and the higher judging the lower, is based upon ancient tribunals (tribe-unals), or tribal judgment systems.

Higher and lower judges

When a man has more than one wife, his wives form a quorum or council of lower judges. Because common consent must reign supreme, the combined decision of his wives upon his head is the end of controversy concerning him. If a husband, a common judge, acts up the lower judges (the wives) can convene to decide the issue.

When a woman has more than one husband, her husbands form a quorum or council of higher judges. If she acts up, the matter can be taken before a council of her husbands, for judgment.

These are the true “courts of love,” for all these people are married to each other and are under covenant to love one another. They are superior to church higher, lower and common judges, as well as church higher and lower courts of love. The church courts are mere imitations of the tribal courts.

A jury of peers

In an egalitarian tribal system, the jury of peers consists of the husbands of your wife, or the wives of your husband. The modern jury of peers is inferior to the tribal peers, because there is no mechanism to link the peers together. In the tribal system, they all have a vested interest that justice and mercy be done, for they are all linked together through a web of marriage covenants.

Priesthood councils, presidencies and quorums

Every conceivable priesthood council, presidency and quorum is found within the tribal quorums and councils of husbands. Three husbands of one wife form a presidency. Twelve husbands of one wife who are free to travel, form a quorum of apostles (sent ones). Seven husbands of one wife who are free to travel, form a presidency of seventy. Seventy husbands who are free to travel form a quorum of seventy. 12, 24, 48, or 96 husbands form quorums of deacons, teachers, priests and elders.

The United Order

A woman who has multiple husbands essentially is married to multiple bishops, meaning she is married to men who are responsible for her temporal welfare. Her husbands form a bishopric quorum, or quorum of bishops, in which they share what they have with each other and with their wives and children, so that all have everything common. They are bound to the all the wives by covenant to care for them and thus are bound (or linked through her) to each other, also. In other words, this is the what the United Order is patterned after. The United Order binds men together by covenant to care for the poor and the needy and to dispose of their material possessions in their behalf.

Androcracy and patriarchy are found in egalitarian tribes

The egalitarian tribe is what Zion is based upon, nevertheless, an egalitarian tribe may or may not use the gospel as its tribal law. Just as a husband is free to “obey not the word” of God, so an entire egalitarian tribe is free to adopt or reject the gospel. But regardless of whether a husband obeys the word of God or rejects it, the gospel, being patterned after the egalitarian tribe, requires that wives submit or subject themselves to their husbands. This is a manifestation of androcracy. The husband is the common judge, the bishop. When there are multiple husbands, they constitute the high council, or higher judges.

When one husband lives with the wife and the other husbands live with other wives, the children of the one wife that lives with the one husband may be counted as posterity of the one husband, even though any of the husbands may have fathered the children and despite all husbands treating them as their own flesh and blood. But on the tribal records, all children may be written down as being fathered by the one husband living with the wife. This is a manifestation of patriarchy.

Gynocracy and matriarchy are also found in egalitarian tribes

When acting as a quorum or council, as a court, as a jury of peers, or when giving or withholding consent, the wives manifest gynocracy. All the children born to a woman are posterity of that woman and her lineage is recorded on tribal records. This is a manifestation of matriarchy or mother-right (uterine descent). If the woman lives with multiple husbands and not just one of her husbands, then uterine descent is the preferred method of recording lineage.

When a woman marries a man from another clan or tribe, she remains with her clan and her husband leaves his own clan to join with her clan, not vice versa. The gospel imitates this tribal function by instructing the man to leave his father and mother and become one flesh with his wife.

Gospel checks and balances

The gospel provides checks and balances to abuses that may result in relationships between men and women.  Although women are instructed to obey their husbands, even if the husbands are not themselves obeying the gospel, the law of common consent still applies.  Also, men are instructed to love their wives and to use only persuasion, long-suffering, gentleness, unfeigned love, kindness and pure knowledge to influence their wives.  If any husband attempts to maintain his power or influence over his wives by virtue of his title of husband, or if he attempts to exercise control or unrighteous dominion over his wives, his authority as a husband is null and void and his wife is justified in withdrawing her consent from him.  But as long as that husband follows the gospel-prescribed way of influencing people, even if the man himself is an unbeliever, or was a believer in the gospel but has since departed from it, or even if the man believes in the gospel but his views of the gospel have become markedly different than the wife’s, she is still bound by the gospel to obey him.

Proper protocol: go through covenant lines of authority

Sometimes a woman is tempted to by-pass her husband and his divinely appointed leadership and go to an ecclesiastical (church) authority for direction.  She may feel justified to talk to her bishop, or perhaps even to her stake president, about her husband, because she feels that his beliefs about, and actions concerning, the gospel are incorrect.  She may feel that he is breaking his gospel covenants in some way, shape or form (even though he himself may not see them as broken).  Or, perhaps he no longer believes in the gospel.  Because of this, she may see him as a sinner and as a man no longer worthy of following, submitting and subjecting herself to.

If she goes to see the bishop or stake president for guidance and direction, by-passing her husband and tattle-telling on him, she will be guilty of committing sin.  Men and women are free to believe what they will and act however they want.  They are free to accept the gospel, modify the gospel or reject it outright.  As long as a husband is following the proper manner of influencing a wife, in other words, as long as there is no unrighteous dominion, the wife is to obey the husband.  That is the gospel law.  He can start drinking and smoking and swearing, he can start growing a beard and stop wearing ties, he can do all sorts of things that his wife may think are incompatible with the gospel, but as long as he is not exercising unrighteous dominion, she is bound by the gospel law to submit to his authority.

The reason why there is no gospel justification in holding a bishop or stake president’s authority above a husband’s is because the Lord considers the authority of a husband as carrying more weight than the authority of a bishop or stake president.  The bishop or stake president is under no covenant relationship with the man’s wife.  They have no vested interest in her.  They have not become one with her.  The husband, though, has become one with her and has a vested interest in her, and she in him.  Even without the priesthood, the husband still acts in the tribal office of bishop and common judge.  The Lord looks upon him as if he were an un-ordained priest, as if he possessed priesthood.  And the Lord fully recognizes the tribal authority of that man.

When a wife goes to a priesthood holder who has no covenantal relationship to her, for leadership and guidance, she shows by her actions that she has no respect for her husband’s tribal office, nor for the gospel law or their marriage covenant.  She disrespects both her husband and the Lord.

Proper priesthood protocol is to go through the lines of authority.  The first line of authority that a wife has access to is her husband with whom she is living.  This line is created by her covenantal relationship to him.  Her next lines of authority are all her other husbands, who do not live with her, but who also have covenantal relationships with her.  The next line of authority would be the wives of her husband, what some call the “sister wives.”  These wives are linked to her through covenants they have with her husband.  An ecclesiastical leader, who has no covenantal ties to her, is the very last line of authority she should resort to, and only after all tribal lines have been exhausted.

Not submitting is iniquity

Again, if a woman in such a situation, whose husband is not engaging in unrighteous dominion, does not submit to her husband, she commits the sin of rebellion and treason by ratting out his beliefs and actions which she believes are incompatible with the gospel to an ecclesiastical authority who has no covenantal relationship to her.  It is disloyalty and betrayal on her part, akin to cheating, by revealing family matters essentially to strangers and is unbecoming of a saint.  It also will create even greater problems in her family as now the ecclesiastical leader will often go on a witch-hunt and interfere in their covenantal connection.

If there are beliefs or actions that the wife doesn’t like, she and the husband need to work it out among themselves, and not drag persons who are not in a covenantal relationship with either one of them into the matter.  If there is genuine iniquity, it needs to be confessed to the offending party (the wife or the husband) and then forgiveness and reconciliation between the two needs to occur.  Ecclesiastical authorities are only to be called in for cases of unrepentant sins in which the offending party refuses to confess to a sin witnessed by two or more persons.  But in most cases a spouse should never testify against another spouse.  That would be an act of betrayal.

Speaking in terms of plasma theology, this would be like two planets linked to each other through a plasma column (the marital covenant) and one of them moves toward, or attracts, a third planet that has no plasma column linking it to the first two planets.  The resulting plasma interactions will cause disruption of the plasma column found between the first two planets.

Paul’s words

In a gospel-centered marriage, the man and woman have covenanted with each other, making them equals.  They have also covenanted with Christ, which binds both of them individually to Him.  This makes a triangle, with the husband, wife and Christ each taking a corner.

Paul’s words, though, about God being the head of Christ, Christ being the head of man, and man being the head of woman, creates a straight line of authority (a plasma column) : creating a patriarchy or androcracy.  What needs to be kept in mind when reading Paul is that this is only one frame of the picture.  If the full, tribal picture is not seen, if only the one frame is observed, it is understandable that the gospel may be understood as containing only patriarchy.  With only the single frame to see, patriarchy or androcracy dominates the view.

Paul’s words, then, must be viewed in light of the complete, tribal picture, that also contains matriarchy and gynocracy.  This makes it plain that the gospel is egalitarian in nature.  We cannot clearly see it now because we are not currently living in egalitarian tribes.

The head is the chief, which is the servant

In the gospel, the chief ones are to be the servants, by entrance into the priesthood.  So, when Paul says that the man is the head of the woman, it is because he is meant to be the servant of the woman.

But Jesus called them to him, and saith unto them, Ye know that they which are accounted to rule over the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and their great ones exercise authority upon them.  But so shall it not be among you: but whosoever will be great among you, shall be your minister: and whosoever of you will be the chiefest, shall be servant of all.  For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many. (Mark 10: 42-45, emphasis mine.)

Here is the same scripture, re-worded a little different:

But Jesus called them, and said to them,

You [Twelve] know that they who are appointed to be -archs(a) over the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and their great ones exercise authority upon them.  But among you [Twelve] there shall be anarchy(b); whoever desires to become great among you [Twelve], shall be minister of you [Twelve].  And whoever of you [Twelve] desires to become the chiefest, shall be servant of all.  For even the Son of Man came, not to be ministered to, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.  (Mark 10: 42-45, emphasis mine.)

(a) “-arch” and “arch” defined: -arch Function: noun combining form. Etymology: Middle English -arche, from Anglo-French & Late Latin & Latin; Anglo-French -arche, from Late Latin -archa, from Latin -arches, -archus, from Greek -arches, -archos, from archein, to begin, rule. : ruler : leader  (Taken from Merriam-Webster’s Online Collegiate Dictionary.)  -arch [Gr. archos chief, commander, archein to rule. See ARCH, a.]  A suffix meaning a ruler, as in monarch (a sole ruler). arch, a. 1. Chief; eminent; greatest; principal.  (Taken from Webster’s 3rd Unabridged International Dictionary.)

(b) anarchy Etymology: Medieval Latin anarchia, from Greek, from anarchos having no ruler, from an- + archos ruler.  (Taken from Merriam-Webster’s Online Collegiate Dictionary.)

So, whoever wanted to be great, was not be be great (they were to be the least) and whoever wanted to be first (chief, principal), was to be last (servant of all).  The priesthood, then, is not an archy, but an anarchy.  The order is reversed: whoever wants to be first must be last.  There are to be no rulers, only servants.

Follow the Brethren

Although many LDS find this annoying saying (“follow the brethren”) to be counter-productive to a gospel-enlightened life, it actually does have some basis in truth.  In a tribal setting, in which a wife is married to multiple husbands, her husbands form a tribal quorum of “brethren.”  If these men hold the Holy Priesthood, they also form a priesthood quorum.  It is this quorum of husbands, or council of husbands, that the wife must follow.  When meeting together to decide issues pertaining to this woman and her children, they form a council of husbands.

In the church, the saying “follow the brethren” applies to quorums, or men who hold priesthood together as a quorum, and specifically to the highest two quorums in the church: the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.

In a tribe, the highest quorum that has anything to do with a wife, being bound to her by covenant, is the quorum of her husbands.  If she is in a monogamous relationship, then she is to follow her “brother” (singular husband) until such time as she gets another husband.  So, the only “brother” or “brethren” that the gospel requires to be followed (by women) is the council of husbands.  For the men, we are to “follow the sisters”, meaning that quorum or council of our wives that decides issues in tribal settings.

Conclusion

A tribal view of the gospel helps us to see it for what it really is.  There is no aspect of the gospel that we need be ashamed of.  It is completely egalitarian in nature and divine.

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Marriage without a marriage license is ordained of God


My text for this post is the following scripture:

And again, verily I say unto you, that whoso forbiddeth to marry is not ordained of God, for marriage is ordained of God unto man. (D&C 49: 15.)

Between a man and a woman

To start with, let’s make it clear that the words “marry” and “marriage” in this verse referred only to marriage between a man and a woman. This revelation was given in March/May 1831 and there was no concept of same-sex marriage back then, only marriage between the sexes.

Who forbids to marry?

And again, verily I say unto you, that whoso forbiddeth to marry is not ordained of God, for marriage is ordained of God unto man. (D&C 49: 15; italics added.)

Parents – Sometimes parents forbid to marry. If a young man or woman is underage, permission from the parents is needed in order for them to marry (with a valid state marriage license). In the high school I attended, there was a very pretty 16 year old girl in one of my classes who was legally married. She received permission from her parents and loved showing people her wedding ring. All the boys in the class (including myself) were kind of bummed that she was now off-limits. It was a strange situation because we all thought that parents normally would not give permission to one so young. She never had a teen pregnancy or anything. She just fell in love and wanted to get married and her folks said, “Okay.” But that doesn’t always happen.

The State – The State is the major perpetrator of forbidding to marry, with all the marriage laws and prohibitions on the books. For example, the State forbids a man from taking a second wife while his first wife is still alive. It also forbids a woman from doing the same thing. It introduces a monetary price on marriage, so that everyone must pay for the permission to get married. It places age restrictions on marriage, as well as health restrictions. Those who don’t meet the qualifications, can’t get married. In other words, they can’t get a marriage license. Additionally, it has cohabitation laws on many of the books so that anyone who tries to marry without a valid state marriage license and then live together can still be prosecuted and thrown into jail, effectively discouraging anyone who wishes to skirt around the State monopoly on marriage authorization.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints – The Church is another major perpetrator of forbidding to marry. Although it has no power to stop anyone from getting married, by preaching a valid state marriage license requirement to its congregation, it supports the State’s restrictions and monopoly on marriage. Also, by excommunicating those who marry more than one living spouse (with or without a valid state marriage license, but most often without a license), it sets up its own restrictions with attendant judgments placed upon those who marry.

These three institutions, then, are not ordained of God when they forbid to marry.

But I must add one more:

A spouse – Every man who forbids his wife from marrying another man and every woman who forbids her husband from marrying another woman is also not ordained of God when they do this.

Everything that is in the world is valid in the eyes of God…for a limited time

And verily I say unto you, that the conditions of this law are these: All covenants, contracts, bonds, obligations, oaths, vows, performances, connections, associations, or expectations, that are not made and entered into and sealed by the Holy Spirit of promise, of him who is anointed, both as well for time and for all eternity, and that too most holy, by revelation and commandment through the medium of mine anointed, whom I have appointed on the earth to hold this power (and I have appointed unto my servant Joseph to hold this power in the last days, and there is never but one on the earth at a time on whom this power and the keys of this priesthood are conferred), are of no efficacy, virtue, or force in and after the resurrection from the dead; for all contracts that are not made unto this end have an end when men are dead.

And everything that is in the world, whether it be ordained of men, by thrones, or principalities, or powers, or things of name, whatsoever they may be, that are not by me or by my word, saith the Lord, shall be thrown down, and shall not remain after men are dead, neither in nor after the resurrection, saith the Lord your God. (D&C 132: 7, 13.)

What this means is that God recognizes “all covenants, contracts, bonds, obligations, oaths, vows, performances, connections, associations, or expectations” that are made among men “both as well 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 perfectly valid and binding only until “men are dead,” at which point such “contracts…have an end.” This applies only to contracts, oaths, etc., that are not made by the Lord or by His word.

Marriage is a covenant

Marriage is accompanied by a covenant between a man and a woman (the marriage vows), therefore, it comes under the above conditions of the law of the new and everlasting covenant. There are three types of marriage covenants covered by the conditions of this law.

Marriage covenant #1: “not by me nor by my word,” for time only

Therefore, if a man marry him a wife in the world, and he marry her not by me nor by my word, and he covenant with her so long as he is in the world and she with him, their covenant and marriage are not of force when they are dead, and when they are out of the world; therefore, they are not bound by any law when they are out of the world. (D&C 132: 15.)

Here we have a man and a woman entering a marriage covenant, in which the man covenants to be the woman’s husband and the woman covenants to be the man’s wife. The covenant has a stated duration of “’till death do they part.” The marriage is not performed by the Lord nor by His word, therefore it is valid in the eyes of the Lord only until one of them dies.

Marriage covenant #2: “not by me or by my word,” for time and all eternity

And again, verily I say unto you, if a man marry a wife, and make a covenant with her for time and for all eternity, if that covenant is not by me or by my word, which is my law, and is not sealed by the Holy Spirit of promise, through him whom I have anointed and appointed unto this power, then it is not valid neither of force when they are out of the world, because they are not joined by me, saith the Lord, neither by my word; when they are out of the world it cannot be received there, because the angels and the gods are appointed there, by whom they cannot pass; they cannot, therefore, inherit my glory; for my house is a house of order, saith the Lord God. (D&C 132: 18.)

Here we have a man and a woman entering a marriage covenant, in which the man covenants to be the woman’s husband and the woman covenants to be the man’s wife. The covenant has a stated duration of “’for time and all eternity.” The covenant is not performed by the Lord nor by His word, therefore it is valid in the eyes of the Lord only until one of them dies.

Marriage covenant #3: “by my word, which is my law,” “in time, and through all eternity”

And again, verily I say unto you, if a man marry a wife by my word, which is my law, and by the new and everlasting covenant, and it is sealed unto them by the Holy Spirit of promise, by him who is anointed, unto whom I have appointed this power and the keys of this priesthood; and it shall be said unto them—Ye shall come forth in the first resurrection; and if it be after the first resurrection, in the next resurrection; and shall inherit thrones, kingdoms, principalities, and powers, dominions, all heights and depths—then shall it be written in the Lamb’s Book of Life, that he shall commit no murder whereby to shed innocent blood, and if ye abide in my covenant, and commit no murder whereby to shed innocent blood, it shall be done unto them in all things whatsoever my servant hath put upon them, in time, and through all eternity; and shall be of full force when they are out of the world; and they shall pass by the angels, and the gods, which are set there, to their exaltation and glory in all things, as hath been sealed upon their heads, which glory shall be a fulness and a continuation of the seeds forever and ever. (D&C 132: 19.)

Finally, we have a man and a woman entering the new and everlasting covenant of marriage, being married by the word of the Lord and having it sealed to them by the Holy Spirit of promise. He covenants to be her husband and she covenants to be his wife, for the duration of time and all eternity. This covenant is valid in the eyes of the Lord for as long as they abide in it.

All three marriage covenants are ordained of God

And again, verily I say unto you, that whoso forbiddeth to marry is not ordained of God, for marriage is ordained of God unto man. (D&C 49: 15; italics added.)

The first two marriage covenant scenarios, which operate under temporal power and authority, are ordained of God until death. The final marriage covenant scenario, which operates under eternal power and authority, is ordained of God through all eternity.

Marriage is ordained of God because it creates permanency

God is all about creating permanency: things that remain.

For whatsoever things remain are by me; and whatsoever things are not by me shall be shaken and destroyed. (D&C 132: 14.)

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 and have sex (become one flesh), and He wants them to remain together, continuing to have sex. The marriage covenant is a covenant or contract to remain together permanently, as husband and wife, either until death or throughout all eternity. It is the fleeting, temporary nature of fornication that makes it wrong.

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 (and gathered) so that they continue to nurture and grow the love generated between them. God is love, so the scriptures say, therefore, He is all-loving and never stops loving. To come together and make love and then leave (separate from one another) is akin to stop loving (stop becoming one). God wants us to continue to manifest our love for one another, through the marital covenants. In this way we learn to become like Him, all-loving and continually loving.

No mention of a State licensing requirement

In the scriptures, there is no mention of the need to have a valid state marriage license. All that is needed for a marriage to occur is that there be a marriage covenant between a man and a woman. That’s it. The marriage covenant can be written or verbal. It doesn’t matter. It can be ordained “by thrones, or principalities, or powers,” in other words, by the State, but it doesn’t have to be. It can simply be “ordained of men,” even the two people entering the covenant (the man and the woman), or even by “things of name, whatsoever they may be.”

This means that two people who enter into a marriage covenant with each other, without a State marriage license, without a religious or civil ceremony, the man agreeing to be the woman’s husband and the woman agreeing to be the man’s wife, who then begin living together and making love, presenting themselves publicly as husband and wife, are not living in sin. They are not fornicating. They have nothing to repent of for they have satisfied the conditions of the law of the new and everlasting covenant. Their marriage is ordained of God.

No mention of a wedding ceremony

The scriptures do not state that a wedding ceremony is necessary for a marriage to be valid. Typically, wedding ceremonies do occur, according to the customs of the culture the two people are from, but they are not necessary for a marriage to be valid in the eyes of God. Only the covenant is the necessary part.

No mention of witnesses

A third person can be present while the two make their marriage vows (the marriage covenant), but that is not required by the law of the new and everlasting covenant. They can enter their covenant in private, just the two of them and it’s still valid in the eyes of God.

Conflict between God and the Church

This brings up a conflict because a married couple that does not get State permission to be married is seen differently by God and the Church. In the eyes of God, they are married. In the eyes of the (modern) Church, they are not. (It was not always so.  There was a time when the Church recognized marriages as valid even without a marriage license.)  As the Church holds the keys of the priesthood, despite a couple being validly married in the eyes of God, they can be prohibited from receiving baptism, confirmation, priesthood and the temple sealing, all required ordinances for their salvation. The modern Church, then, in not recognizing a marriage as valid in the same way God does, becomes a stumbling block to their eternal progression.

Consent in marriage

Both before and after a man and a woman come together in holy matrimony (and since all marriage is ordained of God, including non-temple marriage, all matrimony is holy), the law of common consent applies. So, for example, if the couple enters marriage with vows of fidelity, meaning that they promise to abstain from loving (making love to) other people, they must keep their vows. It is the law of the Lord that all our vows and covenants and oaths be kept, for it is a sin to break a vow. Thus, a man must receive consent from his wife to marry a second wife and a woman must receive consent from her husband to marry another husband.

If they enter the marriage with no vows of abstinence and they decide they want more spouses and they receive consent from their current spouses, they may freely marry without sinning. If, on the other hand, they enter the marriage with vows of abstinence and they decide afterward that they want more spouses in their family, they can, with consent, release one another from their vows of abstinence and then consent to additional spouses. This also is not sin, for vows can be freely made and released, as long as the person to whom the vow was made is doing the releasing.

Sin in marriage

The sin of adultery occurs when a married woman is with a man who is not her spouse. Scripturally, all women who enter marriage apparently do so under a vow of abstinence (fidelity), whether they are married by the word of the Lord or not. Therefore, if she is with another man that is not her spouse, she commits adultery.

On the man’s part, it is only if he has taken a vow of abstinence (fidelity) and is with another woman who is not his wife that he commits adultery. If, on the other hand, he has not taken a vow of fidelity, (in other words, his wife gives him permission to sleep around), and is with an unmarried woman who is not his wife, he has committed the sin of fornication (sexual sin) but not adultery unless the other woman who is not his spouse is married to another man, in which case he has committed adultery (See D&C 132: 41-44 and The many definitions of adultery for more on these laws.)

(The above two paragraphs may seem confusing, but it all boils down to this: if you sleep with someone who is your spouse, there is no sin. On the other hand, if you sleep with someone who is not your spouse, you commit sin. So, to avoid sin, either don’t sleep with a person who is not your spouse or marry him or her before engaging in sexual intercourse.)

If a husband separates from his wife or a wife separates from her husband, so as to purposefully and permanently live apart from one another, this also is sin. There is only one scriptural justification for marital separation and that is if the one being left behind has committed unrepentant fornication (sexual sin). The purpose of the temporary separation is to help the sinner to repent of his or her sin. Once repentance occurs, the couple should come together again and be reconciled, forgiving one another.

Polygyny is not sin

And again, as pertaining to the law of the priesthood—if any man espouse a virgin, and desire to espouse another, and the first give her consent, and if he espouse the second, and they are virgins, and have vowed to no other man, then is he justified; he cannot commit adultery for they are given unto him; for he cannot commit adultery with that that belongeth unto him and to no one else.

And if he have ten virgins given unto him by this law, he cannot commit adultery, for they belong to him, and they are given unto him; therefore is he justified. (D&C 132: 61-62; italics added.)

If a woman gives consent to her husband to take additional wives, releasing him from any vows of fidelity he may have had, and giving him permission to marry this or that woman, he is justified in taking on the additional wives, for it is marriage with consent and marriage is ordained of God.

When taking on a second wife, the man needs the consent of the first wife. When taking on a third wife, the man needs the consent of the first two wives, and so on and so forth. As long as all give consent, there is no sin.

Polygyny, whether practiced in the new and everlasting covenant (the law of the priesthood), or practiced in a for-time, man-made covenant, is ordained of God as long as consent is given by the wife or wives of the man.

Polyandry is not sin

In the new and everlasting covenant, there are two ways in which a woman get can an additional husband. One way is that she is simply sealed to a second (or third, etc.) husband.

And as ye have asked concerning adultery, verily, verily, I say unto you, if a man receiveth a wife in the new and everlasting covenant, and if she be with another man, and I have not appointed unto her by the holy anointing, she hath committed adultery and shall be destroyed. (D&C 132: 41; italics added.)

The second way is that her husband breaks his marriage vows and commits adultery, whereby she is taken and given (married) to another man. She remains married to the first husband, for the word ‘taken” doesn’t explicitly mean that she has received a divorce.

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; italics added.)

Outside of the new and everlasting covenant, a woman may obtain a second marriage through consent of her current husband or husbands, in the same way as discussed above for polygyny. Like polygyny, polyandry is ordained of God, as long as consent is given by all parties involved.

Objections to polyandry unfounded

LDS men may object to polyandry based upon the following scripture:

And again, as pertaining to the law of the priesthood—if any man espouse a virgin, and desire to espouse another, and the first give her consent, and if he espouse the second, and they are virgins, and have vowed to no other man, then is he justified; he cannot commit adultery for they are given unto him; for he cannot commit adultery with that that belongeth unto him and to no one else.

And if he have ten virgins given unto him by this law, he cannot commit adultery, for they belong to him, and they are given unto him; therefore is he justified. (D&C 132: 61-62; italics added.)

These verses only state that a man cannot commit adultery with a wife that belongs to him and to no one else. They do not state that a man commits adultery with a wife that belongs to both him and someone else. The gospel is all about joint-ownership, or becoming joint-heirs with Christ of all things that the Father has. There is no gospel law against a wife belonging to two or more husbands, or to a husband belonging to two or more wives. The scriptures do not prohibit such an arrangement. To make this assumption is to wrest them.

Not giving consent to marry is sin

When a man wishes to take an additional wife and his current wife or wives do not give their consent (the keys of this power), they sin because they are forbidding him from marrying, making them not ordained of God. Likewise, when a woman wishes to take an additional husband and her current husband or husbands do not give consent, the husbands become sinners in forbidding her from marrying.

The law of Sarah is applicable to both men and women:

And again, verily, verily, I say unto you, if any man have a wife, who holds the keys of this power, and he teaches unto her the law of my priesthood, as pertaining to these things, then shall she believe and administer unto him, or she shall be destroyed, saith the Lord your God; for I will destroy her; for I will magnify my name upon all those who receive and abide in my law.

Therefore, it shall be lawful in me, if she receive not this law, for him to receive all things whatsoever I, the Lord his God, will give unto him, because she did not believe and administer unto him according to my word; and she then becomes the transgressor; and he is exempt from the law of Sarah, who administered unto Abraham according to the law when I commanded Abraham to take Hagar to wife. (D&C 132: 64-65; italics added.)

The transgression consists in forbidding to marry, which makes the person doing the forbidding “not ordained of God.”

A secondary and third transgression

When consent is not given, because marriage is labeled sin, a second transgression occurs: calling that which is holy, or ordained of God, evil. Satan wants no one to be married. He would rather that everyone sleep around without entering into marriage covenants with each other. When monogamy is labeled holy matrimony but polygyny or polyandry is labeled sin, this works into his hands, for then he can tempt mankind to break their marriage vows and commit sin. Giving consent to marry more than one spouse keeps the law of chastity intact, stopping Satan in his tracks.

The third transgression comes from judging others as sinners, who have done no sin. All marriage between a man and woman, whether singly or in multiple spouse form, is ordained of God, but if the multiple spouse form is looked upon as sin, or if a marriage without a marriage license is looked upon as sin, then the people who engage in these righteous practices will be looked upon as sinners.

Plural marriage engenders charity

In particular, modern LDS need to stop painting plural marriage (the multiple-husband multiple-wife marriage system) as undesirable or evil. Under such a system, children have multiple fathers and multiple mothers (though only one biological mother). Any husband will look upon all children born to his wives as his children, regardless of whether they are his biological seed or not. This engenders charity, because all husbands/fathers will care for all the children, not just their own. In other words, all children will become alike to them:

And I am filled with charity, which is everlasting love; wherefore, all children are alike unto me; wherefore, I love little children with a perfect love; and they are all alike and partakers of salvation. (Moro. 8: 17.)

Plural marriage retains agency

Agency remains fully intact with plural marriage consent, allowing people to open up their hearts and love those around them in the most intimate manner possible, all the while remaining justified before the Lord. This more fully knits people’s hearts together in unity. Without such consent, love must be limited, even if the desire to love more fully exists, which also limits agency and causes distance between people.

Plural marriage creates Zion

And ye shall hereafter receive church covenants, such as shall be sufficient to establish you, both here and in the New Jerusalem. (D&C 42: 67.)

There are certain covenants given to the Gentile Mormons that are sufficient to establish them in Zion. One is the law of consecration, in which they freely share of their substance. Another is the United Order, in which they bind themselves by covenant to establish Zion. Yet another is the new and everlasting covenant of marriage (plural marriage) in which they freely give of their love and hearts in plural marriages, essentially sharing their spouses with other spouses.

Of the three covenants, though, plural marriage is probably the most powerful, for if one is able to give consent to freely share one’s spouse with other spouses, effectively eliminating all jealousy and envy, sharing everything else would be a snap.

Plural marriage corresponds to nature

As the research revealed in the book Sex at Dawn reveals, by nature mankind’s sexuality is a multiplemale-multiplefemale mating system. God has ordained marriage to exactly correspond to our natural sexual desires and nature, so that we may live out our lives free from guilt and shame, in joy, happiness and pleasure.

Plural marriage causes rapid formation of super-strong tribes

Because marriage bonds go in every direction, everyone becomes related to everyone else, in the most intimate way. The concept of distant relations becomes blurred, as all become intimate members of one’s immediate family through marriage. The group, being linked in this way, becomes and acts as a tribe, but also as an intimate family, everyone seeking the interest of his neighbor, for his neighbor is a close family relation.

Instead of tribes growing slowly as tribal members have children who grow up and marry and have children of themselves, plural marriage has the ability to rapidly infuse a tribe with large groups of people, while retaining the intimate relationship aspects of the immediate family. Child-birth is maximized, so that every woman who wants children can have as many as she desires, thus allowing the tribe to grow as quickly as possible.

Conclusion

And again, verily I say unto you, that whoso forbiddeth to marry is not ordained of God, for marriage is ordained of God unto man. (D&C 49: 15.)

When taken at face value, the above scripture is plainly shown to be true. Marriage is a divine institution which has been given to us to maximize our happiness here on Earth, in accordance with the principles of nature, and in preparation for glory to be added in heaven. To remain on God’s side on this issue, men, women, parents, churches, the State and spouses need to follow and encourage others to follow this two-step rule:

1) Don’t forbid anyone from marrying (not even your own spouse) and 2) look upon all marriage between a man and a woman as ordained of God.

Inspiration behind this post

I had read the arguments that Christian polygamists make about not needing a valid state marriage license, but had never actually taken the time to do any research and come to any conclusion about it. It was Justin’s Tribal Relationships post that introduced me to the Sex at Dawn research, which, upon reviewing it, got me thinking about what exactly marriage is and what it is all about. This post is a result of my decision to take a look at the scriptures with the Sex at Dawn research in mind. If you still don’t know where I’m coming from, I encourage you to read the following posts, as this article is influenced by, and builds upon, them: Tribal worship services, Establishing the tribes of Israel: the real reason for plural marriage, The tribal nature of the gospel, The Return of Polygamy, The many definitions of adultery, Deep Waters: How many wives? How many husbands?, and An alternate view of the keys.

Complete List of Articles authored by LDS Anarchist

Tribal Relationships


This post is a combination of having read this and this post as well as this book:

Our Current Model:
It is often assumed that monogamy comes naturally to us.  Mainstream science – as well as religious and cultural institutions – have maintained that men and women evolved in family-units in which a man’s possessions and protection were exchanged for a woman’s fertility and fidelity.

Marriage between man and woman is essential to [God's] eternal plan.  Children are entitled to birth within the bonds of matrimony, and to be reared by a father and a mother who honor marital vows with complete fidelity. … By divine design, fathers are to preside over their families…and are responsible to provide the necessities of life and protection for their families.  Mothers are primarily responsible for the nurture of their children.

We are taught that the ideal for human relationships is that you will have relations with only one person and he or she will only have relations with you — total chastity of men and women before marriage and total fidelity in marriage.  Thus, promiscuity and its associated temptations are of the devil – and one, true monogamous love is ordained of God.  However, it doesn’t take a genius to see that humans have had a historically tough time fitting this mold — which in turn, in the minds of Creedal Christians, only strengths the claim that God ordained it that way – the natural man being an enemy to God, etc.

The basic narrative for the history of ancient humans is that women sought a stable man to stick around to help raise the kids and bring home food – yet wanted to sleep with the sexy rebel because of his genes.  While men sought to impregnate as many women as possible while keeping their women monogamous so they wouldn’t have to spend resources to raise someone else’s kids.  And thus, we are taught that we are the products of these horribly conflicted ancestors.  However, this narrative presupposes that every ancient culture centered around assigning men and women to each other thru marriage, granting exclusive rights of property to individuals, associating sex with paternity, and men providing only for their offspring.  However, when hunter/gatherer communities are studied, it is found that they share all duties communally, as a tribe/family.  Ideas of, “I’m not raising that other man’s kid,” developed later as a function of the agrarian concept of converting labor into personal property.  Marriage may have existed as a social arrangement among many hunter/gatherer communities, but it was one in which sexuality was less well-defined.

Our Tribal Past:
Human society developed in egalitarian tribes that shared food, childcare, and often – sexual partners.  In these small, intimate family groups, the most mature individuals would have had several ongoing sexual relationships at any given time.  Here the extended family, which was often the entire community, is where children were raised.  We are the descendants of these multimale-multifemale tribal groups and, even though we’ve constructed a radically different society from our hunter/gatherer ancestors, the behavioral and psychological traits from the past still manifest themselves today.  This is why we see:

  • Sexual passion that tends to fade even as love deepens
  • Many middle-aged men risking everything for transient affairs with younger women
  • Homosexuality persisting in the face of standard evolutionary logic and scriptural condemnation

Monogamous animals, by definition, don’t have to compete for reproduction and, as a result, are characterized by a low-level of sexual activity.  However, humans sit atop a very short list of animals that engage in sex for pleasure.  No animal spends more of its allotted time on Earth focused on sexual matters than we do.  In fact, the animal world is filled with species that confine their sexual behavior to just a few periods of the year, only during times when conception is highly probable.  Also considering that males have a very large genitalia to body size ratio and that females can experience multiple orgasms indicate that we are designed to engage in concurrent sexual relationshps within a group/tribal setting.

If, as the current narrative says, men are inclined to be promiscuous and women are not, then our behavior should match that of gorillas – which fight over the exclusive rights to have sex with all the women in the group.  However, biologically, it seems that humans are designed to use a woman’s body as the battleground.  In other words, unlike gorillas, who have developed to physically compete for mates, human sperm is made to race against sperm from other men — and the human vagina is the formidable racetrack able to sort out the hardiest genes.

Monogamy’s Results:
The leaders of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints used to recognize the dangers that a monogamous, family-unit system represents:

Monogamy…is no part of the economy of heaven among men.  Such a system was commenced by the founders of the Roman empire. … Rome became the mistress of the world, and introduced this order of monogamy wherever her sway was acknowledged.  Thus this monogamic order of marriage, so esteemed by modern Christians as a holy sacrament and divine institution, is nothing but a system established by a set of robbers. … Why do we believe in and practice polygamy?  Because the Lord introduced it to his servants in a revelation given to Joseph Smith, and the Lord’s servants have always practised it.  ‘And is that religion popular in heaven?’  It is the only popular religion there…

Monogamy has been used as a means of controlling women in societies since the dawn of agriculture 10,000 years ago and sedentary societies have greatly influenced the structure of human mating.  Sadly, one of the legacies of agriculture and industrialization has been STDs, lower testosterone and sperm counts, and sexual repression.  In fact, it was the high-grain, vegetarian diet pushers like Kellogg and Graham – whose diet-plan itself lowers libido – who were also advocates for strict sexual repression and genital mutilation.

The paradox of monogamous marriage is that we do enjoy intense pair-bondings with other people – bonds that intensify with time.  But, at the same time, spark of new relationships is deeply satisfying as well, and new partners has been the tried and true method to boost lowering testosterone levels in middle-aged men for thousands of years.

They Will Have All Things in Common:
The difficult fact to face is we have hunter/gatherer sexual desires in a world where children are not raised in a tribe, where sexually-expressive women are looked down upon, STDs are a real risk, and monogamy is considered culturally and spiritually superior.  Our current model is bad.  We cannot continue on with:  A man eating food laced with chemicals and hormones, taking medicines that lower testosterone and deform sperm while being hooked to watching internet porn and professional sports all day, and a woman with a frustratingly repressed libido struggling to juggle a career and children – trying to form an isolated family-unit.  It has driven our society to a point where more than half of all marriages end in divorce.  When Jesus says that:

For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage,

He is indicating that our current model of assigning men and women to relationships of ownership and exclusivity will have an end with this world.  In the celestial state, all things are held in common and all of the Gods are unified.  If Father kept His wives locked away in a harem, then He would be exercising unrighteous dominion – restricting both His wives and His other children from demonstrating their love one for another.

Next article by Justin:  Connecting with Pixels

See also:  Marriage without a marriage license is ordained of God

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