Abrahamic Concubinage as an Inter-Tribal Function


Note: This is a GEMTAM chapter modified for publication on the LDS Anarchy blog. It contains more information than what is found in that chapter.

The Encyclopædia Brittannica, Eleventh Edition, says the following in its entry on concubinage:

CONCUBINAGE (Lat. concubina, a concubine; from con-, with, and cubare, to lie), the state of a man and woman cohabiting as married persons without the full sanctions of legal marriage. In early historical times, when marriage laws had scarcely advanced beyond the purely customary stage, the concubine was definitely recognized as a sort of inferior wife, differing from those of the first rank mainly by the absence of permanent guarantees. The history of Abraham’s family shows us clearly that the concubine might be dismissed at any time, and her children were liable to be cast off equally summarily with gifts, in order to leave the inheritance free for the wife’s sons (Genesis xxi 9 ff., xxv. 5 ff.).

The Roman law recognized two classes of legal marriage: (1) with the definite public ceremonies of confarreatio or coemptio, and (2) without any public form whatever and resting merely on the affectio maritalis, i.e. the fixed intention of taking a particular woman as a permanent spouse.1 Next to these strictly lawful marriages came concubinage as a recognized legal status, so long as the two parties were not married and had no other concubines. It differed from the formless marriage in the absence (1) of affectio maritalis, and therefore (2) of full conjugal rights. For instance, the concubine was not raised, like the wife, to her husband’s rank, nor were her children legitimate, though they enjoyed legal rights forbidden to mere bastards, e.g. the father was bound to maintain them and to leave them (in the absence of legitimate children) one-sixth of his property; moreover, they might be fully legitimated by the subsequent marriage of their parents.

In the East, the emperor Leo the Philosopher (d. 911) insisted on formal marriage as the only legal status; but in the Western Empire concubinage was still recognized even by the Christian emperors. The early Christians had naturally preferred the formless marriage of the Roman law as being free from all taint of pagan idolatry; and the ecclesiastical authorities recognized concubinage also. The first council of Toledo (398) bids the faithful restrict himself “to a single wife or concubine, as it shall please him”;2 and there is a similar canon of the Roman synod held by Pope Eugenius II. in 826. Even as late as the Roman councils of 1052 and 1063, the suspension from communion of laymen who had a wife and a concubine at the same time implies that mere concubinage was tolerated. It was also recognized by many early civil codes. In Germany “left-handed” or “morganatic” marriages were allowed by the Salic law between nobles and women of lower rank. In different states of Spain the laws of the later middle ages recognized concubinage under the name of barragania, the contract being lifelong, the woman obtaining by it a right to maintenance during life, and sometimes also to part of the succession, and the sons ranking as nobles if their father was a noble. In Iceland, the concubine was recognized in addition to the lawful wife, though it was forbidden that they should dwell in the same house. The Norwegian law of the later middle ages provided definitely that in default of legitimate sons, the kingdom should descend to illegitimates. In the Danish code of Valdemar II., which was in force from 1280 to 1683, it was provided that a concubine kept openly for three years shall thereby become a legal wife; this was the custom of hand vesten, the “handfasting” of the English and Scottish borders, which appears in Scott’s Monastery. In Scotland, the laws of William the Lion (d. 1214) speak of concubinage as a recognized institution; and, in the same century, the great Enlish legist Bracton treats the “concubina legitima” as entitled to certain rights.3 There seems to have been at times a pardonable confusion between some quasi-legitimate unions and those marriages by mere word of mouth, without ecclesiastical or other ceremonies, which the church, after some natural hesitation, pronounced to be valid.4 Another and more serious confusion between concubinage and marriage was caused by the gradual enforcement of clerical celibacy (see CELIBACY). During the bitter conflict between laws which forbade sacerdotal marriages and long custom which had permitted them, it was natural that the legislators and the ascetic party generally should studiously speak of the priests’ wives as concubines, and do all in their power to reduce them to this position. This very naturally resulted in a too frequent substitution of clerical concubinage for marriage; and the resultant evils form one of the commonest themes of complaint in church councils of the later middle ages.5 Concubinage in general was struck at by the concordat between the Pope Leo X. and Francis I. of France in 1516; and the council of Trent, while insisting on far more stringent conditions for lawful marriage than those which had prevailed in the middle ages, imposed at last heavy ecclesiastical penalties on concubinage and appealed to the secular arm for help against contumacious offenders (Sessio xxiv. Cap. 8).

AUTHORITES.–Besides those quoted in the notes, the reader may consult with advantage Du Cange’s Glossarium, s.v. Concubina, the article “Concubinat” in Wetzer and Welte’s Kirchenlexikon (2nd ed., Freiburg i/B., 1884), and Dr H. C. Lea’s History of Sacerdotal Celibacy (3rd ed., London, 1907).

(G. G. Co.)

1 The difference between English and Scottish law, which once made “Gretna Green marriages” so frequent, is due to the fact that Scotland adopted the Roman law (which on this particular point was followed by the whole medieval church).

2 Gratian, in the 12th century, tried to explain this away by assuming that concubinage here referred to meant a formless marriage; but in 398 a church council can scarcely so have misused the technical terms of the then current civil law (Gratian, Decretum, pars i. dist. xxiv. c. 4).

3 Bracton, De Legibus, lib. iii. tract. ii. c. 28, § 1, and lib. iv. tract. vi. c. 8, § 4.

4 F. Pollock and F. W. Maitland, Hist. of English Law, 2nd ed. vol. ii. p. 370. In the case of Richard de Anesty, decided by papal rescript in 1143, “a marriage solemnly celebrated in church, a marriage of which a child had been born, was set aside as null in favour of an earlier marriage constituted by a mere exchange of consenting words” (ibid. p. 367; cf. the similar decretal of Alexander III. on p. 371). The great medieval canon lawyer Lyndwood illustrates the difficulty of distinguishing, even as late as the middle of the 15th century, between concubinage and a clandestine, though legal, marriage. He falls back on the definition of an earlier canonist that if the woman eats out of the same dish with the man, and if he takes her to church, she may be presumed to be his wife; if, however, he sends her to draw water and dresses her in vile clothing, she is probably a concubine (Provinciale, ed. Oxon. 1679, p. 10, s.v. concubinarios).

5 It may be gathered from the Dominican C. L. Richard’s Analysis Conciliorum (vol. ii., 1778) that there were more than 110 such complaints in councils and synods between the years 1009 and 1528. Dr Rashdall (Universities of Europe in the Middle Ages, vol. ii. p. 691, note) points out that a master of the university of Prague, in 1499, complained openly to the authorities against a bachelor for assaulting his concubine.

The above write-up adequately shows the differences between a wife and a concubine.  On the one hand there was the wife, who had permanent guarantees.  The marriage contract or covenant she entered into bound her exclusively and permanently to her husband, the only way out being through death or divorce.  The wife received an inheritance and held rights to the husband’s rank or titles, as did the children she bore him.  So, for example, if he was a king,  she became a queen and the children she bore him became princes and princesses who also held rights to an inheritance.

On the other hand, the concubine’s marriage covenant had no permanent guarantees.  She was bound to her husband exclusively and temporarily and held no rights to an inheritance nor to any of his titles, nor did any the children she bore him.  Her marriage contract, being of a temporary nature, could have a stipulated duration of time after which it would end or a stipulated manner by which it could end, such as at the discretion of her husband or herself, and when it ended she was sent away with her children.

The husband leaves his tribe

It is impossible to comprehend Abrahamic concubinage without an understanding of the context of the ancient world, which was tribalism, meaning that the ancients lived in tribes.  Moses wrote:

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

If there was a man who lived in one tribe and a woman who lived in a different one and the man desired to marry her, he was, per this standard, to leave his tribe and take up residence in his wife’s.  The woman was always to stay with her tribe, under the protection of her tribesmen, her father and her brothers when marrying a man from a different tribe.

No interfaith marriages

Husbands and wives were also to be of the same religious background.  Paul wrote, “Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers” (2 Corinthians 6:14.)  Interfaith marriages, then, were prohibited by the Lord because such permanent unions would tend to turn the believing spouse’s heart away from Him.  This was especially detrimental in the case of a believing husband and a non-believing wife, for the husband would leave his believing tribe and would be immersed in the unbelieving tribe of his wife.  The marrying of believing husbands to only believing wives would make gospel tribes somewhat insular, or set apart, from the tribes of the world, for they would end up taking wives and husbands only from other gospel tribes.

Concubines did things in reverse

Concubinage worked differently than normal, permanent marriage unions.  A concubine did not remain with her tribe, but left it to live with the tribe of her husband.  After her concubinage contract had ended, she was to leave her husband’s tribe with her children and return to her own.  Also, a concubine could be an unbeliever from one of the tribes of the earth, meaning one of the non-gospel Gentile tribes in the surrounding area.  Because her union was only temporary and she came to live among the believer’s tribe, it was less likely that she would have influence enough over the husband to turn his heart from the Lord.

The union of Abraham and Hagar is the prime example of this.  Hagar was an Egyptian slave possibly acquired as Pharaoh’s gift to Sarah when Abraham and Sarah were sojourning in Egypt.  She was not, therefore, of their religion and tribe.  So Abraham took Hagar to wife as his concubine, not as his wife.  Some time after she had given birth to a male child (Ishmael), her concubinage contract was ended and she was sent away with her son.  Ishmael eventually ended up marrying an Egyptian woman.

Benefits of concubinage

A concubine would bring many benefits to the tribe of her husband.  Being from a different tribe, she would bring with her different customs and ways of doing things, which would enrich his tribe and give them knowledge concerning her own.  She also would learn the customs of her husband’s tribe.  Specifically, she would learn their language, their arts and academics, their tribal organization and politics, their talents and industry, their religion and all their other customs.  And she would be totally immersed in a gospel culture, dwelling among a gospel tribe, so it would be more likely that she would convert to their religion, than that she would convert them to her religion.  If she or any of her children did end up converting to the Lord while residing within the gospel tribe, after her contract ended she would be sent back to her tribe as the perfect tribal missionary, as one who was already fully aware of all the ways of her non-gospel tribe, having grown up in it.

Concubines would also bring great benefits to their original tribes.  Upon her return, a concubine could teach her people all of what she learned while living among her husband’s tribe, including the language and religion of her husband.  In this way, she becomes an ambassador of peace between the two tribes, having lived in both for an extended period and knowing the customs and ways and languages of both.  This would do much for inter-tribal relations, allowing two foreign tribes to more easily interact with each other without any misunderstandings.  What is true for her would also be true for her children, who were raised in their father’s tribe and would now be living in their mother’s.  Each would be immensely benefited by the experience and become natural tribal ambassadors, having allegiances in both tribes.

Concubines could marry afterward

After returning to her tribe, a concubine would be free to contract marriage as a wife to a fellow tribesman or to someone of another people, while remaining among her own kind.  As a tribeswoman by birth, she would be entitled to an inheritance in her tribe.  If she was sent away with gifts from her husband, these would also benefit her people.

Genetic diversity and tribal missionary work

Another benefit, and a main one at that, would be the introduction of genetic diversity among the various tribes practicing concubinage.  A woman from a foreign tribe that became a concubine in a gospel tribe, would end up mixing her tribe’s genetic code (though her) with the genetic code of her husband’s tribe.  If she became a concubine of more than one husband of the new tribe, she would introduce even more genetic diversity into her children.  Then, when the concubinage contract(s) ended, she would take her children, the product of her and the new tribe, back to her old tribe, where these children could then pass on this genetic diversity through marriage into their mother’s tribe.

Without concubinage, gospel tribes become too insular, marrying only among themselves and not generating much genetic diversity.  Also, tribal missionary work becomes more difficult, for it is much easier to send tribal missionaries to a foreign tribe that has had concubines who have already lived in the missionaries’ tribe, who can put in a good word for the missionaries and open other doors, allowing the gospel to go forth unimpeded.

Tribal missionaries that spent much time in foreign tribes, preaching the gospel, could enter into concubinage contracts with women of that tribe for the duration that the missionaries were there.  This would allow the missionaries to marry non-believers without the danger of being unequally yoked in a permanent union.  If the concubine ended up converting to the Lord, the missionary could end the concubinage contract and either leave her there as a new ambassador of the gospel or arrange to bring her to his own tribe as a permanent wife. Whatever they decided to do, the children that came from these unions would create greater genetic diversity for whichever tribe they ended up in.

Concubines must go back

A concubine whose marriage contract does not end and who is not sent back to her father’s tribe defeats the whole purpose of concubinage.  The benefits that come from concubinage—benefits for both her, her children, her husband’s tribe and her father’s tribe—come only when the concubine and her children return to live with the tribe she originated from.  Not receiving an inheritance in her husband’s tribe is necessary, in order that she return from whence she comes.  Otherwise, concubinage is merely a method for the exploitation of women—having the benefits of a wife, without any associated responsibilities.

Abrahamic concubinage as revealed to Joseph Smith

A concubine is a noble, honorable calling and title, that accomplishes a great deal of good for two whole tribes.  Only when viewed in this manner, under tribal filters, does concubinage make any sense.

When Joseph Smith inquired of the Lord concerning how it was that the ancients were justified in having many wives and concubines, he was given the revelation found in D&C 132.  This revelation, for the most part, only speaks of wives.  The reason is because it was the purpose of the Lord that Joseph and the saints establish themselves into two bona-fide, fully functioning tribes of Israel using the principle of plural marriage.  The revelation ends with an enigmatic carrot on a stick:

And now, as pertaining to this law, verily, verily, I say unto you, I will reveal more unto you, hereafter; therefore, let this suffice for the present. (D&C 132:66)

The only thing that the Lord says about concubines in this revelation is that the ancients were justified in receiving them and that it was accounted to them as righteousness and not sin.  But there is no indication that Joseph was supposed to start contracting concubines, only that more would be revealed later.

Tribal formation first, concubinage second

It makes sense that the Lord wouldn’t get into all the details of the doctrine and practice of concubines at this point because concubinage serves an inter-tribal function and the saints had not, yet, even formed themselves into one gospel tribe.  The intention of the Lord was to have the saints form themselves first into two gospel tribes, a tribe of Ephraim and a tribe of Manasseh and then, and only then, were they to start entering into concubine arrangements with the tribes of the earth.  This would serve to counteract the insular nature of the two gospel tribes, who would marry among themselves, in believer-only marriages.

A commandment to practice concubinage

Although the Lord did not go into detail concerning concubines, there is enough in the revelation and in the Bible for modern, gospel-based tribes organized according to the Gospel-based, Multihusband-Multiwife, Tribal Anarchy Model to enter into concubinage contracts if they see fit.  In fact, the Lord gives a commandment that these things be done in the revelation itself:

Verily, thus saith the Lord unto you my servant Joseph, that inasmuch as you have inquired of my hand to know and understand whereby I, the Lord, justified my servants…as touching the principle and doctrine of their having many wives and concubines—behold, and lo, I am the Lord thy God, and will answer thee as touching this matter [of having many wives and concubines]. Therefore, prepare thy heart to receive and obey the instructions which I am about to give unto you; for all those who have this law [concerning having many wives and concubines] revealed unto them must obey the same. (D&C 132:1-3)

So, once a gospel tribe is established using plural marriage, the Lord expects it to begin entering into concubinage contracts with the tribes of the earth, in order that the purposes, promises and prophecies of the Lord may be fulfilled about the people of the Lord becoming the salt and leaven of the earth.  The Savior said:

The kingdom of heaven is like unto leaven, which a woman took, and hid in three measures of meal, till the whole was leavened. (Matthew 13:33)

Through converted concubines, returned back from whence they come, entire tribes will be converted.  Concubinage, then, is a true principle of the gospel and one which any gospel-based tribe may justifiably embrace.

Concubinage and wife contracts are equally impermanent

All covenants, contracts…that are not…sealed…as well for time and for all eternity…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. (D&C 132:7)

This scripture shows that a marriage contract between a husband and a wife and a marriage contract between a husband and a concubine are similarly temporary.  The only difference is that one is intended to last a little bit longer than the other.  The wife’s contract has an end at death, while the concubine’s contract has an end sometime during mortality, but neither in reality are permanent contracts.

It is the sealing power that will vicariously seal all such impermanent marriage contracts, including concubinage contracts, making them all permanent unions in the afterlife.  Because of this, it is not correct to speak of a concubine as “a sort of inferior wife.”  She is every bit as much a wife as any other and will be sealed to her husband permanently after her death just as every other wife will be, and she will inherit the same reward as a wife will in the eternities.

Concubinage has a heavenly origin

Lastly, concubinage appears to be patterned after a heavenly object (a comet, a planetoid, a planet or a brown dwarf) that enters an insular solar system for a time, causing new planetary birth (the electrical expulsion model of planetary birth) and then after passing through leaves the solar system with an entourage of captured, newly birthed, planetary objects.

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Zion will not be Established by Unrelated Persons


My text for this post is Acts 2:37-47

37 Now when the people heard Peter preach the word of God, they were pricked in their hearts and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, “Men and brethren, what shall we do?

38 Then Peter said unto them, “Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.  39 For this promise is to you, and to your children, and to all the Gentiles, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.”  40 And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, “Save yourselves from this perverse generation!

41 Then those who gladly received the word were baptized:  adding 3,000 believers that day.

42 And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ teaching, in fellowship with each other, in breaking of bread, and in prayers.  43 And fear came upon every one of them:  and also many wonders and signs were done through the apostles.  44 And all that believed gathered together and had all things common; 45 And sold their possessions and goods, and imparted them to all, according to anyone had need.   46 And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple and breaking bread at every house, they did share their meals with gladness and simplicity of heart,  47 all while praising God and having favor with all the people.

And the Lord was adding those being saved to their assembly daily.

After preaching a scriptural exposition along with an eyewitness declaration of the risen Christ, Peter instructs converted hearers [those with the softened, or "pricked", hearts]:

  • Repent
  • Be baptized in the name of Jesus
  • Receive the gift of the Holy Ghost

Those who, with gladness received the word of God as delivered by an eyewitness were baptized.

Now what?

Once the heart had been softened, repentance had come, baptism had been performed, and the gift of the Holy Ghost had been received — these believers formed a community.  This group was characterized by:

This group of believers didn’t see things in terms of an institution and meetings — but as one family under God.  In the LDS context, we’d refer to this type of community as “Zion“.  Among these believers, open wonders and signs were commonplace and worship services and prayer were joyful experiences that were operated according to the best gifts of the Spirit.

This abundance of spiritual manifestations was seen because this group of believers was equal in the bonds of all things — earthly first, and then heavenly:

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.

and

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;

They did not see property as something exclusive to themselves alone, but as something for all to have equal claim on to meet their needs.  In such a community:

all children are alike unto [the members]; wherefore, [they] love little children with a perfect love; and they are all alike [unto them].

When property rights are a concern, paternity is frantically ascertained and protected because when people own property as individuals in a money-based system — they want to project those rights for their future seed through inheritance.  This is the reason why polyandry is almost always a no-go for most people [LDS or not].  Disgust for even the idea of polyandry is the one place where Mormon monogamists and Mormon polygynists will find complete agreement.  Once women are allowed polyandrous marriage covenants — only maternity can be truly known, whereas paternity will always unknown.  And the heart of patriarchal societies is insecurity over paternity.

Zion:

The heart of a Zion society, by contrast, is charity.  Zion takes the “equal in the bonds of earthly things” principle to apply not only to money-free communities — but even further to include the bonds of matrimony, applying it to multihusband-multiwife communities.

Zion requires great intimacy and connection among the members.  The church lacks this 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.

Kinship ties:

The type of community described in Acts 2 [which is Zion] is not established by groups of unrelated people.  Without kinship ties, community will only be maintained by sheer effort of will.  When things get difficult, people will defend family first.  Most non-related groups of LDS that go off to form their own Zion community run into failure because, no matter how pure the intentions up front, when things get stressful or tough we align with family, which causes division.

The same thing is seen among other Christians who want to “get away” from the institutional church experience by starting a home church.  These attempts to “do church” more scripturally just end up being slightly less controlled replications of the same dynamic that they were trying to get away from.

This is all because a sense of familial love must exist prior to gathering — it does not come as a result of gathering.  Without charity pervading, such communities will only have joy in their works for a season.

The “church” are the called-out ones.  It is the assembly of justified believers in Christ — and it comes as a manifestation of the communal feelings generated by virtue of their relationship as one family under God.  Think about your own family.  You meet together — but you don’t have meetings.  You meet because of the feelings that being “family” produces — the feelings of family are not produced by your meetings.

In the church today, we invert the whole thing:

  • Instead of our congregations being a natural outflow of the connectivity we share — we try to have “church” be the precondition to creating it.
  • Instead of leaders who habitually serve the members, submitting to the will of the people — we have leaders who are used to being habitually obeyed by members.
  • Instead of the ministry bringing a miracle and then requesting a meal — we have leaders who demand support first, the blessings to follow.

If the church actually wanted Zion, then I think most would be surprised over the number of non-LDS who would be ready to sign on for it — if it meant living for a higher purpose.  But they don’t.  Marching orders are to get as much education as you can, so you can make as much income as you can, so you can pay more tithes and offerings.  It’s to live as normal of a life as you can — with just a bit of Mormon flare to it [e.g., serve a two-year mission, civilly marry in a temple, pay 10% of your paycheck to the church, abstain from the parts of the word of wisdom most important to Heber Grant, do hometeaching, etc.]

The current focus is on keeping many small, separate nuclear families [many small, separate Zions].  The tribal model takes this and connects the dots.  It says, establish Zion by connecting the already existing separate nuclear families into a bone fide tribe of Israel.  Connectivity is the key.

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The conditions of this law


Clint, in a comment on the Marriage without a marriage license is ordained of God post, quoted D&C 132: 7 and raised the issue that, among other things:

So the problem to me is that we have a doctrine that is very clear in stating that in order to get to God we MUST do certain things, and then makes it almost impossible after the growth of the church for them to be done in a literal way and even at its doctrinal inception as far as I know this principle was not followed.

I attempted to write an exposition on that verse and the issues Clint raised in a comment.  However, it grew to be too long for just a comment and so I have decided to publish my response as a post.  This way, Clint’s comments can be read by a broader audience than those who follow the comments regularly — and also others can weigh in on the subject.

D&C 132:7

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.

The conditions of this law:

All covenants, contracts, bonds, obligations, oaths, vows, performances, connections, associations, or expectations [...] 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.

The default state of all things is to have an end when humans die.  All binding arrangements [including even expectations] are assumed to be in a state where they will come to an end upon mortal death.

To tie this back to LDSA’s original post, he wrote:

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.

Because God does not want all things to end when humans die, it is possible that the above-delineated binding arrangements may be:

[...] 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 [...]

So, to avoid the default state of a binding arrangement ending upon mortal death, it must meet certain conditions:

  • Made by the Holy Spirit of promise
  • Entered into by the Holy Spirit of promise
  • Sealed by the Holy Spirit of promise
  • By one who is anointed
  • For the stated duration of both time and all eternity
  • In a most holy manner — by revelation and commandment through the medium of the one who is anointed [for this anointed one holds the keys to this power].

In addition to those six conditions, there is the paraenthetical phrase,

(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)

which adds a seventh condition:

  • Joseph Smith was the “one who is anointed” mentioned above at the time the revelation was given.  Further, only one person on the earth at a time will act in this position of the “one who is anointed“.

Parenthetical Phrases:

Scribal additions often come by way of parenthetical phrases.  These attempt to clarify or expand on what was written in the original text.  Though there is not necessarily anything nefarious about, for example, adding that:

And Joshua burnt Ai, and made it an heap for ever, even a desolation unto this day.

to clarify that Ai was still in a state of desolation at the time the scribe was writing that text.

Or in adding:

For an angel went down at a certain season into the pool, and troubled the water: whosoever then first after the troubling of the water stepped in was made whole of whatsoever disease he had.

to explain what, “In these lay a great multitude of impotent folk, of blind, halt, withered, waiting for the moving of the water,” meant to the people there at the time — who would have known what it meant.

However, as I have read all 66 verses D&C 132, that parenthetical phrase strikes me as internally inconsistent with the rest of the section.  For example, the Law of Sarah says:

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.

In this portion of the revelations that make up section 132, the Lord says that it is the wives who hold the keys of this power — the keys that the parenthetical phrase says that only Joseph held at the time the revelation was given.  However, verse 64-65 tells me that if it was anybody — it was Emma who held them at that time.

Further, because of my understanding that God honors the consent of free-agents and that He would not favor either androcracy or gynocracy over the other — I can say that the law of Sarah is applicable to both men and women.

The revelation was spoken to Joseph in regards to his wife — therefore it is addressed in “she then becomes the transgressor” language.  However, what makes any person a transgressor according to the law of Sarah, is forbidding to administer the keys of the power of consent to a marriage covenant [this is according to D&C 49:15 as well].

Keys of Consent [or Power]:

Just as priesthood keys are given as a test to priesthood holders [in judging how they use them] — so to are church keys [keys of consent] intended to prove all church members. The test demonstrates if the person will consent only to righteousness — while always condemning or voting down wickedness.

In a tribal setting, a woman sins when she do not obey her righteous husband[s], meaning she refuses to submit her consent [power] to him — with “righteous” meaning there is an associated qualifier that her husband[s] do not exercise unrighteous dominion — this is because she is not giving honor where honor is due and is removing power from the priesthood.

A man sins when he does not love his wife[ves], meaning he refuses to be motivated by charity towards her — there is no associated qualifier as was the case with women.

Woman with righteous husband:

A woman is married to a man who does not exercise unrighteous dominion with her. This man, acting out of charity, desires and feels called to bring another wife into the marriage.  The woman has two choices:

  • She can grant her consent, making her ordained of God, because her husband is acting righteously and she is not swayed by feelings of inadequacy or jealousy.
  • She can withhold her consent, making her not ordained of God, because she is withholding power [for that is what her consent is] for charity to be manifest.

Woman with unrighteous husband:

A woman is married to a man who treats her with force and control and/or refuses to act out of charity towards her.  This man, acting out of a selfish desire, wants to have a new wife at the expense of the first.  The woman has two choices:

  • She can grant her consent, in which case she would be ordained of God, because she is not forbidding to marry.  However, no one is under any obligation to submit in iniquity — therefore,
  • She can withhold her consent, in which case she would still be ordained of God, because she is using her God-given power of consent [the keys of the church/tribe] to stop unrighteous dominion — she is not consenting to evil.

What the righteous husband can do:

In the first example [with the righteous husband] — if the woman gives her consent, then he is free to take the second wife into their tribe and thus it grows horizontally.  If the woman withholds her consent, then he is ordained of God only in using persuasion, long-suffering, etc. in dealing with the issue.

Should he go out and marry the second wife anyway — then he would not be ordained of God because he is ignoring the keys of consent that God has placed in charge of him. The servants [priesthood holders, husbands] must hearken to the voice of their masters [church members, wives] in all things.

For all we know — the woman may have a reason for why she requires exclusivity [like Starfoxy in comments #24, 30, 42, and 46 found here], and the righteous husband may be moved with compassion for her and instead choose to submit himself to monogamous vows rather than press the issue of polygamy. This is according to his free-will and choice in dealing with his wife.

What the unrighteous husband can do:

If the woman submits her consent to his selfish desire for a new wife, then the unrighteous husband’s true nature will manifest.  His love will not multiply, but will instead transfer from the woman to the new wife — this causes him to break his marriage covenant with her because he vowed to love her without qualifier and makes him not ordained of God.

However, his true nature may manifest in the other direction.  In seeing what his selfish desires for a “new” wife [instead of a second wife] has done to his first love — he may be moved towards repentance and the woman has done him a favor.

Since she was likewise free to withhold consent [given that the husband is acting with unrighteous dominion], the husband’s true nature could again manifest.  Will he respond to her refusal with anger and control — taking a new wife anyway without her say-so?  Or will he reflect inwardly on why she withheld consent, speak with her about it, and repent of his unrighteous behavior — possibly opening up the woman’s heart to another wife?  This will be according to his free-will and choice.

Men and women are judged by the Lord according to how they use their individual sets of keys and how they treat each other:

Is a person seeking after a second spouse because he or she is “tired” of the first spouse — or because he or she desires to take further covenant obligations, express charity, and expand the tribe?

Is a person withholding consent because he or she is uncomfortable with the idea of another spouse, is selfish/stingy, etc. — or is the person withholding consent because unrighteous dominion is being used?

D&C 132:7, 64 — Combined and Clarified:

So, to re-word the original verses with what I expounded on above taken into consideration — it reads:

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 (1) made and (2) entered into and (3) sealed by the Holy Spirit of promise, (4) of him who is anointed [the one holding authorized priesthood keys], (5) both as well for time and for all eternity, and (6) 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,

(7) (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 again, verily, verily, I say unto you, if any man have a wife, who holds the keys of this power [which are the keys of consent that authorize the priesthood], and he teaches unto her the law of my priesthood [meaning he uses persuasion, long-suffering, gentleness, etc.], as pertaining to these things,

then shall she believe and administer unto him [give her consent], 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.

So, the conditions of the law are that all binding arrangements must be administered by one who is holding authorized priesthood keys.  And by what power are priesthood keys authorized [rather for the church or the tribe]?  They are authorized by the vote of consent.

Conclusion:

D&C 132 divides Mormons into three groups:

  • those that believe all 66 verses are a revelation from God,
  • those that believe none of them are a revelation from God — or that all of them are a revelation from the devil,
  • those that pick-and-choose to believe only some of them.

By virtue of my own experience and revelations, I operate under the assumption that D&C 132 is true.  It is only once unity over whether the revelation is entirely true, entirely false, or partially true and false [with agreement over what parts are true and what parts are false] — between people can discussions on the section be fruitful.

Only if we approach it as the word of God and desire to discuss what the principles and doctrines proposed therein actually consist of, and would actually look like when implemented in the real world — will discussions have a real benefit.

Most of the issue that was raised against D&C 132 is based on the inclusion of the parenthetical phrase:

(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)

I would conclude that if this portion was given at the same time of the revelation and written down by Joseph, it would, first off, not even be in parenthesis — but in addition to that, it would read:

and I have appointed unto you, my servant Joseph, to hold this power [...]

much like is written in verse 45:

For I have conferred upon you the keys and power of the priesthood [...]

Thus, I see that parenthetical phrase as a later addition by the Utah saints in an attempt to put the doctrine of plural marriages under their control [the One True Successors to Joseph].

But besides that, for me — it is the inclusion of polyandry that must be explained away prior to labeling the revelation misogynistic, endorsing only Brigham’s polygyny, etc.

If we are going to discuss things assuming that D&C 132 is a true revelation, then we must read it in light of what we know about God,

[that He does not regard anyone as more or less by virtue of their genitalia, that He honors the agency of His children, that He does not concentrate power in the hands of the few, etc.]

instead of in light of what we know about the Church™ and the way Brigham, et al have interpreted, implemented, or tampered with the revelation.

Only when viewed as a true revelation [all 66 verses], can its spiritual meaning and application be discussed.  If it is the word of God, then there is real benefit assigned to it.

Next Article by Justin: Punishment

Previous Article by Justin:  The Tree of This and That

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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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.

Complete List of Articles authored by LDS Anarchist

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