Per LDSA noticing that, “at other Mormon blogs, and I see a tiny blog post with very little to no new information and two hundred comments will follow,” I’ve decided to publish this post at under 1,000 words.
BTW — I failed by about 200 words — maybe it will still get comments though.
What is Marriage:
A man and a woman vowing to come together as husband and wife, cohabitate, make love, and remain together permanently.
In a gospel-centered marriage, this man and woman will also have covenanted with Christ — binding them both to Him as individuals, as well as to each other.
Once formed, a marriage family should grOW — both horizontally [adding additional spouses] and vertically [having children].
In neither dynamic should a family limit itself — because that is an attempt to place bounds on the human ability to love, which since “God is love” — we are meant to develop and foster that ability [not box it up].
As such — I share the official LDS and predominate Christian creed that “marriage is the union of one man and one woman” — it’s just that I’ve never seen satisfactory reason to forbid people to only one such marriage union during their life [mono+gamy].
All consensual marriage vows between a man and a woman are valid in the eyes of God — at least for a time.
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 […] have an end when men are dead.
All human vows, covenants, obligations, oaths, ordinances, etc. come to an end when the parties have died — but while living — the Lord expects us to honor our word and faithfully keep our agreements.
God has provided the sealing power to priesthood holders on the earth — so that we may obtain permanency in our freely-entered into covenants — because God restores good for good, and evil for evil at the resurrection:
ye can do good and […] have that which is good restored unto you; or ye can do evil, and have that which is evil restored unto you.
The sealing power allows for marriage to be restored for marriage. It allows for men and women to be rewarded for their righteous desires in marrying — by bringing that connection back for an endless duration.
It’s a stumbling block to say certain marriages are acceptable while others are more or less acceptable — and others are completely unacceptable. In the eyes of God, all marriage is honorable:
Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled
and it is a deception of the devil to label this-or-that form of marriage as dishonorable or unjustified:
Whoso forbiddeth to marry is not ordained of God, for marriage is ordained of God unto man.
Charity in Plural Marriages:
A gospel-based, egalitarian, multihusband-multiwife tribe does not force anyone to be married to two or more people. It only allows for the full expression of charity to exist.
Charity is a gift from God — so entering a GEMTAM tribe cannot be evidence that a person has charity, or that a person will get charity. What the tribal marriage model does is facilitate the excercise of charity — since it allows a person to share all things and be bound with others in all things:
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;
Having a family orgainzed as a GEMTAM will only allow a person to learn whether they have charity — or not.
If you profess to have charity but refuse to share talents, resources, time, spouses, etc. — then the GEMTAM has discerned your lack of charity. On the other hand, if your family is organized as a GEMTAM because you feel charitable — now instead of just having the desire to share all that you have with everyone else, you are free to act on and express it.
So — does tribal plural marriage create or cause charity? No. It allows for the full and free expression of charity to go forth — something that monogamy hinders.
When we have men and women marrying as many spouses as their hearts desire — we don’t end up with male dominance and abuse. We end up with an egalitarian tribe — which was exactly D&C 132’s goal — to knit the Gentile church of Christ together as a tribal family.
Establishing a Tribe:
A friend wrote the following to me:
Attachment to more than one person is not only natural, it’s healthy.
Our society has really reduced it’s joy because of the one-on-one romantic love relationships that have forced us into these big homes in pairs. Feeds anxieties, too. If you lose that one person, you lose everything.
[A single spouse] can’t fulfill all [of a person’s] needs for connection — and it’s not a fair thing to expect. We have to change it.
As my wife and I were watching Sister Wives on TLC last week, I remarked to her that the problem I see with what they do is that it appears that they are living in polygamy for the sake of plural marriage. It’s a part of their theology — to need to be polygynous.
I’m not interested in polygamy for the sake of having plural marriages — I’m interested in building tribes. Without the tribal/family aspect, plural marriages hold no interest for me whatsoever.
I don’t want to live in a monoculture, monotonous nuclear family. Humans are symphonic beings — we have nuances of expression and a capacity to love every one of our fellow brothers and sisters.
And that’s what I want to cultivate with a gospel-based, egalitarian, multihusband-multiwife tribe — not rows-and-rows of a monoculture wasteland, but a diverse garden where people can uncover their own unique Self — without pressure on a person to be the one, true source of everything for their spouse [or parents for their kids]. Giving every member of the tribe access to as many models of behavior, personality, and spiritual gifts as possible — instead of isolating people with the minimum number of humans possible.
Culture has become our extended family — because we’ve discarded the tribe. In the GEMTAM, every mother and father have a covenant interest in caring for every son and daughter in the tribe.
But the rejection of one-on-one romantic love relationships can’t devolve into swinging or “open-relationships” either. I’ve always believed in permanent unions — i.e. marriages.
If I’m going to marry a second wife, then I want her to be with me always [just like my first wife]. Same for her — if my wife wants to marry a second husband, then I want us all together so that the relationship can mature and grow.
It is the establishment of righteous, gospel-based tribes that I desire [both for myself and everyone else]. What I’ve found [as we’ve worked on the GEMTAM book] is that the scriptural ideal for a gospel-based tribe of righteouness is egalitarian, multihusband-multiwife tribal anarchy.
It is this form of a tribe that satisfies every aspect of the gospel of Jesus Christ — and it can be easily and quickly established now, even if the members are currently living within a fully-functioning State government.
“It is our purpose to explain the principles behind the ideal gospel tribe, as found described in the scriptures, and to demonstrate and encourage each reader to form righteous tribal societies now, before the coming collapse of nations, so that when the governments are destroyed, there will be no need to join the wicked tribes that will be forming in every quarter.
The tribes of righteousness, already pre-planned and pre-established, will become bulwarks, within which the saints of God can safely live the gospel and from which can be launched missionary efforts to preach the gospel to the tribes of the earth.”
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