GEMTAM (Chapter 3) Multihusband-Multiwife


The following hyperlinked pdf. file is the third chapter of the GEMTAM book, put into the Elegance Book Design Template with a page size of 8.5 x 11.  Obviously, this will not be the actual page size of the book.  I chose these FastPencil Preview settings specifically for this post.  Feel free to download it, read it and share it with anyone you want by printing it out or emailing it.  There are 41 pages, the file size is 1.1 Mb and it contains the following sections:

(Chapter 3) Multihusband-Multiwife Update 1

Plural Marriage in Heaven

Plural Marriage in the Scriptures

Adult, Consensual Polyandry Is Never Condemned in the Scriptures

Plural Marriage in the Church: Current Sealing Policy

The Purpose of Plural Marriage: Establishing the Tribes of Israel

New Science: Human Sexuality Is Based Upon a Multimale-Multifemale Mating System

Plural Marriage Is Not Adultery

Consensual, Extra-Marital Courting Does Not Commit Adultery in the Heart

Dealing with Adultery and Fornication Among Tribal Members and Prospects

Plural Marriage Does Not Violate the Temple’s Law of Chastity

Abrahamic Concubinage as an Inter-Tribal Function

Multihusband-Multiwife Marriage and the Law of Sarah

Multihusband-Multiwife Marriage and the Sealing Power

Pornography, Cheating, and Serial Monogamy Compared to a Multispouse Tribe

Plural Marriage Is Making a Comeback

Unlicensed Marriages Are Ordained of God

Unlicensed Marriages and What the Brethren Can Do About Them

The co-authors, project manager and editors of the GEMTAM project will undoubtedly further modify, add to, delete from and/or rearrange these sections.  Until the book is ready for publication, anything is possible.  But in its current state, it can be considered a more or less edited and near final draft.  If and when this chapter does change, I will point the hyperlink to the updated, pdf. file and post a notice here so people can get the latest incarnation of it.  (Latest Updated File is GEMTAM Ch. 3 Multispouse Update 1.)

Note: If you have interest in collaborating on the GEMTAM project, please see this post.

2nd note: If you wish to discuss the GEMTAM, whether you are for or against it, there is now a GEMTAM discussion chat room and a GEMTAM Discussion club, both of which are on Wireclub.com.

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54 Comments

  1. Looking forward to perusing it. Have you been following the recent legal challenge to the Utah bigamy statute?

    Another issue I’ve been wondering about, which from the table of contents above doesn’t seem to have been addressed: is there enough real-world practice of polyandry and polygyny to begin discussing the stability of this type of relationship long-term? I appreciate that there probably hasn’t, and that the issue of plural marriage allowing the exercise of, rather than fostering, charity has been recently addressed here. I just think that without a psychological look at the jealousy issues, etc., that are bound to arise, it would be difficult to live GEMTAM in practice.

  2. I have not been following that. Who is doing the challenge?

    In my own work on this project, I’ve tried to keep everything focussed on a gospel-based application of polygamy, so I have only briefly mentioned any real-world examples of polygamy practiced by people of other faiths. For example, I didn’t mention the Nair polyandry, nor the polyamorous triads, group marriages, etc. I did mention the Cochranites as that had direct bearing upon discussing Joseph Smith. The current plan (which is liable to change at a moment’s notice) is to use the Appendix as a dumping ground for other interesting aspects of this model. The main chapters are to give the principles of the model in a concise manner and to show that it is scripturally grounded. Each tribe will work out the details of their tribe, and make modifications to the model, as they see fit. This is meant to be anarchy, after all.

    I know of tribal seeds (based on this model) in at least five locations (and three countries), but as yet none of them have expanded horizontally, though they are working towards it. Obviously, polygynous expansion doesn’t bat an eye like polyandrous expansion would. So, I expect we’ll get real-world examples of multihusband-multiwife marriage sooner than we think.

  3. The Browns (TLC’s Sister Wives) have filed in federal court recently to decriminalize cohabitation: http://lat.ms/owATMA

  4. Oh, yeah, I heard about that.

  5. I’ve corrected the italicized text and the bold italics of the pdf. file, so that all the former spacing problems are now fixed. (I had to go into the html of the online book and manually correct all of the errors in it. It was time-consuming, but worth it. The text now looks right.) So, I’ve made an updated pdf. file which has all the fixes in it. If you have the previous copy, please delete it and download the new update (Update 1.)

    If you still find any typos or other errors in this chapter, please bring them to the attention of one of the collaborators so we can correct them. Thanks.

    One last thing, if you wish to comment or give feedback on this GEMTAM chapter, feel free to use the comments section of this post.

  6. This is my response to the chapter. I had the first version on my Kindle, so I will probably repeat some of what you already knew as far as typos go.

    p. 2. “consumation”–>“consummation”
    p. 3. “If Solomon had 300 wives, the Father has more.” This argument seems to fall a little flat, kind of like, “If Billy has acne, then Jesus has more acne.” That’s facetious, but I think that the argument in this section (Plural Marriage in Heaven) needs some work to stand up still. For one thing, perhaps Solomon had 300 wives, and will have 300 wives in the resurrection, and receive them if he and they achieve the celestial kingdom. But a comparison on a numerical basis doesn’t necessarily fulfill the scripture. Inheriting a perfect marriage relationship as a joint-heir with Christ could mean inheriting a perfect monogamous relationship, equivalent in quality to two perfect polygamous relationships, etc.

    p. 5. If it is the current prophet’s words that matter, and you think the current prophet is fallen, or not fulfilling his calling, or without authority (or that there is no current prophet), then the logic here becomes circular and you become your own prophet. (And that’s okay, but I think you should spell out exactly what your position is here.)

    p. 19. In the absence of divine revelation on what the `holy anointing’ is, exactly, I think it’s better to not assert that it /is/ a specific thing, especially when oil is not involved.

    p. 27. `Only when viewed in the manner, under tribal filters, does concubinage make any sense.’ This is only true if you accept the definition given above. It’s obvious that certain leaders of the church have considered a concubine to be a different thing today than perhaps it was anciently. Cf. D. Michaal Quinn on George Q. Cannon: “In a Temple meeting of the First Presidency and the Apostles in 1894 George Q. Cannon said, `I believe in concubinage,’ by mutual vow as a way for men and women to bypass the Manifesto’s prohibition of new plural ceremonies. George Q. Cannon wanted to marry a new plural wife after his wives were no longer able to bear children, and in aTemple meeting of the Apostles and Presidency in August 1900, he openly opposed Lorenzo Snow’s ban on new plural marriages. He threatened President Snow directly in front of all the others, that he, President Cannon, might choose just simply to cohabit with a woman, without a ceremony of marriage if that was necessary to father any more children. He died a months later, apparently without having entered into such a polygamous relationship by solemn covenant with a woman of child-bearing age.”

  7. pp. 28–29. There is a continual approach of using consent as a legitimating device (if all adults consent then whatever marriage arrangement is legitimate), but even D&C 132 doesn’t use consent (the law of Sarah) as a legitimating agency, and here it is deliberately undermined: `he does not need her permission’, which makes me feel like you’re trying to have it both ways.

    p. 31. `A wife feels that her husband is taking on a second wife …. Only if the new marriage commits adultery or fraud … can wickedness be claimed.’ This savors strongly of unrighteous dominion to me, not only for the husband taking the second wife in wickedness but in maintaining that this kind of power structure is valid.

    p. 31. As far as a vow of exclusivity goes, doesn’t conventional sealing under the presumed expectation of monogamy and according to the law of the land which prohibits bigamy constitute such a vow implicitly?

    p. 32. As far as two non-overlapping sets of keys goes, it seems like a false dichotomy. Both sets of keys have application in and out of this world. And on the next page, `the sealing power only affects the afterlife, not the here and now’ implies that a sealed marriage is not quantitatively different from an unsealed marriage, which I’m not certain is true either. (I should point out, I suppose, that I believe that a woman holds the priesthood by virtue of the temple, so I also don’t really buy the stewardship/concern sex division.)

    p. 33. “inappearances”–>“in appearances”; “martial”–>“marital”

    p. 35. I believe those nine states make it a felony, not a crime. It’s a crime pretty much everywhere in the U.S.

    p. 36. “Unlicensed marriages are ordained of God” is easily the strongest section in the whole chapter, and on the firmest ground as far as I stand.

    p. 39. This section seems very confrontational and antagonistic, which doesn’t seem like the best way to start out a tribe. Maybe use it as an appendix?

    p. 40. I believe that sealings for polygamist fundamentalists are currently banned even vicariously by the church, for what it’s worth. That presumably will change in the Millennium.

    p. 41. “don’t go blabbing”–>seems way too informal for the rest of the piece.

  8. General reactions:
    There is a marked tendency throughout to regard an absence of negative evidence as positive evidence. If the Book of Mormon says that polygyny was revoked, then remarks no further on the subject, it doesn’t automatically mean that it was reinstated.

    Although there has been a lot of discussion of the multihusband–multiwife tribe, I do not believe that this arrangement will appeal to most people brought up in the world and church today. It’s too transgressive, and the mores are too deeply ingrained in us, for many of us who want to live a consecrated family life to ever seriously build /that/ kind of tribe. (Although I do believe that as tribes form, future generations could potentially be far more comfortable than we are today.) I personally feel that sibling-based tribes are more palatable, and could effectively provide many of the same resources and stewardship claims without introducing the element of jealousy that is certain to arise with shared spouses (perhaps a GESTAM, sibling-based).

  9. All of that said, it does a lot to distill the M portion of the argument down. I’m still not ready to run it past my wife, if you know what I mean, and I think the model needs the refinement that time will bring, but you’ve done an excellent job putting together the sort of radical social model that could successfully counteract the world’s toxic influences and decaying culture, preparing us a little more for the practical Zion.

  10. Ascentury — this feed-back is great to have. Thanks for putting in the time to read through the chapter and give your thoughts. I’ll reply to a couple of your points that I think could bring on a good conversation on the subject:

    p. 3. “If Solomon had 300 wives, the Father has more.” This argument seems to fall a little flat,

    To my knowledge, marriage is used in this statement according to the principle of, “equal in the bonds of all things” — which would include marital bonds.

    The only way to say that it wouldn’t hold up is if only one-marriage families exist in heaven [no matter how many marriages that person had on earth] — therefore, all being married to one person makes the bonds equal. But then we’d have to say that the current polygynous and polyandrous sealings taking place aren’t done knowing full-well they won’t “stick” — which seems like a problematic conclusion to me.

    p. 5. If it is the current prophet’s words that matter, and you think the current prophet is fallen, or not fulfilling his calling, or without authority (or that there is no current prophet),

    Where does the, “and you think the current prophet is fallen…” come from? Is that from something in the chapter — or something from the nature of this blog in general — etc.?

    pp. 28–29. There is a continual approach of using consent as a legitimating device

    Have you read the alternate view of the keys post and its explanation of how the keys of the church [or tribe] are what authorize or make valid the keys of the priesthood? I believe that post is in either the “G” or the “E” section [which will come before the continual use of consent as a legitimizing device in the “M” section] — does that affect the point you were raising at all?

    p. 39. This section seems very confrontational and antagonistic, which doesn’t seem like the best way to start out a tribe.

    I can agree with your assessment on the tone of this section — but a common concern [that we’ve seen] for a potential tribal-convert is their relationship to the LDS church. So — I like the idea of a post that answers the concern about what can be done, without a person who still wants to be plugged-into their LDS ward feeling like they have to lie.

    If the Book of Mormon says that polygyny was revoked, then remarks no further on the subject, it doesn’t automatically mean that it was reinstated.

    I think LDSA’s point on the reinstatement of polygamy had to do with the language in 4 Nephi [on p. 6] — which I’d admit is still debatable, just not on the grounds of “lack of evidence being evidence”.

    I do not believe that this arrangement will appeal to most people brought up in the world and church today.

    I think that this matter is still a toss-up in my mind. As I’ve spent more time on this idea — I’ve come across more people who feel detached from a sense of connectivity and community with their fellow-human-being. But I can see how ingrained aversion to plural marriages could lead people who “like the idea” to just form their own tribe — rather than intermarry to form a single tribe.

    I have also thought that this model will have more success outside of other LDS than it would among other members — but at the same time, as we’ve talked with more fellow church-members, I’ve been surprised by how many women my wife has told me have expressed interest in polygamy in general [without even getting into tribalism/community, which has its own appeal].

    And on the Facebook discussion group — two of the best worded statements on polygamy and building a Zion-like community I’ve read were posted by two women.

    I think the real issue [among LDS] won’t be polygamy or tribes — but will be (1) the taboo against members doing things on their own without Salt Lake organization and sanction, and (2) male-resistance to polyandry.

  11. Yeah, the typos were corrected in the updated file. And thanks for the feedback. We will take it all into consideration as the book gets finished.

  12. Oh yeah — and

    I should point out, I suppose, that I believe that a woman holds the priesthood by virtue of the temple, so I also don’t really buy the stewardship/concern sex division.

    I believe similar to you with respect to receiving the rights of the priesthood — but I don’t know how that would affect stewardship relationships.

    The EQ president is the steward of all the male elders — the bishop is the steward of all members [male and female] — the husband is the steward of his wife[ves] and their children [male and female].

  13. Where does the, “and you think the current prophet is fallen…” come from? Is that from something in the chapter — or something from the nature of this blog in general — etc.?

    Well, I know that there are a lot of opinions on the relative status of the LDS church out there. But basically, if one is going to take the tack of doing something pretty major unauthorized or opposed by Salt Lake, then you have to frame why the president of the church, who is supposed to be acting as the Lord’s mouthpiece, either hasn’t led out on an issue like this or actively opposes this type of approach (esp. polygamy). That leaves a few options, none of which (in my mind) line up with Thomas Monson being the primary and sole conduit of God’s word to man today, as the correlated church would have it. But let’s face it: you raised the point that members won’t like to face the taboo of acting against Salt Lake’s sanction—but this will probably bring active persecution if it becomes known, and may spawn a witch hunt if it becomes even a little widespread. So what is the extent of his stewardship and the relationship he has to his stewardship, basically, especially if he’s not likely to support the building-up of Zion-like tribes?

    Re “equal in the bonds of heavenly things”: I still don’t buy that numerical equality is what is being implied here. That statement is in the context of the law of consecration and equality in earthly things as well, but equality in earthly things didn’t consist of each member of the firm having the same numerical quantity of things, but in having his or her needs met by the stewardship. So a large family would receive more than a small family, etc. In heaven we will have preserved our identity, so it doesn’t stand that we will all need all things that are possible to have. If I only need my wife, and she only needs me, then why not have a truly monogamous relationship in the celestial kingdom? Part of this gets into some thoughts I’ve been having lately about how the sealing relationship is very different from the marriage relationship, and the current equation of the two really does violence to the notion of sealing and the web of relationships that Joseph Smith spent the last few years of his life desperately trying to build.

  14. I still don’t buy that numerical equality is what is being implied here

    My opinion on the subject [namely that, in heaven, all male Gods receive as their wives all female Gods — and all female Gods receive as their husbands all male Gods] comes from the “equal in the bonds of all things” scripture — which I take to include bonds of matrimony, as well as the definition of Godhood as being “to receive all that there is to receive”.

    So,

    he that receiveth my Father receiveth my Father’s kingdom; therefore all that my Father hath shall be given unto him

    The Father possesses all things — and yet promises to give all things to all people. How would this be so? Because Gods have “all things common” — or share according to the principle of charity and joint-stewardship [or what you could term “reciporical stewardships”].

    all mine are thine, and thine are mine; and I am glorified in them.

    But I see your point about, “If I only need my wife, and she only needs me, then why not have a truly monogamous relationship in the celestial kingdom?” — and think it’s a fair point that can be discussed in terms of how the value of exclusivity in relationships bring a “special-ness” — that could potentially be lost when all thine are mine and all mine are thine.

    Also — I’m interested in what you wrote about:

    Part of this gets into some thoughts I’ve been having lately about how the sealing relationship is very different from the marriage relationship, and the current equation of the two really does violence to the notion of sealing and the web of relationships that Joseph Smith spent the last few years of his life desperately trying to build.

  15. There is also the scripture in D&C 49:20, “It is not given that one man should possess that which is above another, wherefore the world lieth in sin.” You and your wife may be content with a monogamous relationship in heaven while another is content to live in polygamy, but such inequality is not the order of heaven. The Lord equalizes not by taking away the polygamist’s wives, but by giving the monogamist more wives, as well as every other possible thing: “I will bless him and multiply him and give unto him an hundredfold in this world, of fathers and mothers, brothers and sisters, houses and lands, wives and children, and crowns of eternal lives in the eternal worlds” (D&C 132:55.) And this is the test. The Lord gives, but will we receive? If we refuse His gifts, we offend Him, and how can one enter into exaltation by offending God? Therefore, no exalted person in the heavens will be a monogamist, for the Lord multiplies all things upon those who obey His will.

    All who fall short of exaltation shall “enjoy that which they are willing to receive, because they were not willing to enjoy that which they might have received. For what doth it profit a man if a gift is bestowed upon him, and he receive not the gift? Behold, he rejoices not in that which is given unto him, neither rejoices in him who is the giver of the gift” (D&C 88:32-33.) This is the principle by which anyone enters into exaltation, even receiving all things which the Lord bestows or gives. “Abraham received all things, whatsoever he received, by revelation and commandment, by my word, saith the Lord, and hath entered into his exaltation and sitteth upon his throne” (D&C 132:28.)

    It is the principle of reciprocity. We receive all that God is willing and desirous to give to us, and He receives us as His sons and daughters. He is the giver and we are the receiver, and then the roles become reversed and we become givers (gods) like Him (the great Giver of all things) and He receives us into fellowship. We hearken (hear-ken) to His words (which He gives) by repenting of all our sins (receiving His word into our hearts) and He hears and answers (hearkens to) our prayers. And so on and so forth.

  16. Another scripture that comes to mind is the Savior’s prayer: “Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”

    In heaven, the will of God is done in all things, therefore, if it is NOT given that one man should possess that which is above another, this means that it is NOT the will of God that such a condition exists, which means that such a condition does NOT exist there. Therefore, monogamy and polygamy cannot co-exist in heaven. Either only monogamy exists, or only polygamy exists, not both models. But we can scratch out monogamy altogether, for we know polygamy DOES exist there.

  17. “It is not given that one man should possess that which is above another.”

    Do you think this condition is met only in the celestial kingdom? Because otherwise the inequitable distribution between the telestial and celestial kingdoms does not meet this condition on the grounds of physical quantity. That’s why I’m inclined to read it still along the lines of “every man and woman will receive what he or she needs and is willing to receive.” Incidentally, I believe in progress between the kingdoms of glory (up and down), so I think that every person *will* receive all that they are willing to receive. I just don’t agree that unwillingness to receive half the population of heaven as spouses will limit a person, should that be the case. But I suspect we’ll not convince each other at this time.

    Concerning my comment:

    Part of this gets into some thoughts I’ve been having lately about how the sealing relationship is very different from the marriage relationship, and the current equation of the two really does violence to the notion of sealing and the web of relationships that Joseph Smith spent the last few years of his life desperately trying to build.

    The Latter-day Saints do not yet have a theology of sealing and marriage of substance. Part of this is a reluctance on the part of the institutional church to deal with polygamous marriage, and part of it is the lacunae and ambiguity in the historical record. I’m not satisfied with this state of affairs, and so I have been laying some groundwork for writing some material about sealing and sacred marriage, but it’s got a long way to go. Basically, I believe that marriage is a civil, earthly relationship, as opposed to sealing, which is a celestial relationship which can take on a number of forms (spouse–spouse or parent–child, for instance; but the Jane Manning James sealing as a servant shows that there is flexibility in the usage of priesthood ordinances, which is a whole other discussion that I’d like to get into some day). Thus the danger of codifying it in documents such as the family proclamation of 1995.

    Joseph Smith focused on building dynastic sealings, not in the later vicarious sense, but in the sense of tying to himself as many people as he could by the sealing relationship—building a tribe, as it were. We call these relationships marriage, but that’s a social convention, because few of them conformed to what we would socially call a real marriage anyway, due to both polyandry and secrecy. The real smoking gun would be a sealing of a woman, in Joseph Smith’s day, to more than one man while both are alive, but I’m not aware of that. So the sealing ordinance is to bond us all together in love and build the web of heaven.

    This sounds an awful lot like LDSA’s multispouse tribalism now that I write it all down like this. I guess that I’m now vacillating around my rejection of LDSA’s position on marriage to all, since I’m still working it out in my own mind. I wouldn’t call it /marriage/ of all to all, but /sealing/ of all to all, and I don’t know if it really will involve sexuality and other specific aspects of the spouse–spouse relationship. (On the other hand, like most pseudo-intellectuals, I am far more hetero- in my -dox than in my -prax, which means that I am reluctant to consider the ramifications of some of my beliefs.)

  18. On further reflection, the primary differences in what I’ve been thinking of are that sealing and marriage are not synonymous for me, and that chains of priesthood sealings are built, instead of a ubiquitous network as for GEMTAM.

  19. Do you think this condition is met only in the celestial kingdom?

    My understanding is that this condition is met in all the kingdoms of glory. So, a man who is quickened by a portion of the celestial, or terrestrial, or telestial glories, “shall then receive of the same, even a fulness” (D&C 88:29-31.) Gods receive all that gods can receive, being quickened by the celestial glory, and angels receive all that angels can receive for the particular glory by which the angel is quickened, whether it is celestial, terrestrial or telestial. So, although there are differences between a god and an angel, there will be no differences between one god and another god, nor between one celestial angel and another celestial angel, (nor between two terrestrial angels nor between two telestial angels.) Each of these people eventually receive the full reward for the glory that they were willing to receive, though initially, when they are quickened by the glory, the portions they receive are of differing amounts. So, for example, in the telestial glory, “as one star differs from another star in glory, even so differs one from another in glory” (D&C 76:98.) But eventually all these people shall receive of a fulness, for “the glory of the telestial is one” (D&C 76:98.) So also is the glory of the celestial and terrestrial “one.” What is said of the telestial glory, can likewise be said of the terrestrial and celestial glories.

    In other words, “the glory of the terrestrial is one, even as the glory of the moon is one” (D&C 76:97); for as one moon differs from another moon in glory, even so differs one from another in glory in the terrestrial world. And “the glory of the celestial is one, even as the glory of the sun is one” (D&C 76:96); for as one sun differs from another sun in glory, even so differs one from another in glory in the celestial world. It is the same pattern in all three kingdoms, and the saying, “and he makes them equal in power, and in might, and in dominion” (D&C 76:95) is applicable for all these degrees. All these angels of the various glories will be made equal, as well as the celestial gods. So, the differences are not to remain indefinitely, but all will partake of all there is to partake of for their particular reward. Charity applies on every level of the kingdom of God.

  20. I want to say to thank you to Ascentury for your constructive comments. Though I don’t agree with you on everything (nor do I with LDSA, for that matter), yet there was no animosity or contention at all in your posts. That is, unfortunately, sometimes rare to find in disagreements, so thank you so much.
    I did want address one of your statements:

    “The real smoking gun would be a sealing of a woman, in Joseph Smith’s day, to more than one man while both are alive, but I’m not aware of that.”

    Mary Elizabeth Rollins Lightner Smith Young, was married to Mr Lightner, who never was baptized. Concurrently, she was sealed to Joseph Smith. After his death, Brigham Young married her. Her first husband, Mr Lightner, outlived both Joseph and Brigham. She was not concurrently sealed to more than one while they were alive, but she was married to two live husbands. More can be learned about this in the book: “In Sacred Loneliness: The Plural Wives of Joseph Smith”.

  21. Ascentury:

    So the sealing ordinance is to bond us all together in love and build the web of heaven.

    That’s a superb definition of it.

    Also, on the subject of thinking “the current prophet is fallen” you mentioned earlier — I received an e-mail question from a reader here:

    If a [person] did not sustain the first presidency is that grounds for [church discipline] to get them to “regain” their testimony? I’m just wondering because in the baptismal interview, investigators have to answer in the affirmative when asked if Thomas S Monson is a prophet, if they wish to be baptized. . . Which I think is nonsense because of how little an investigator can use to judge whether or not he is a prophet.

    My answer to this reader applies to what I was saying in response to you — I wrote:

    The language used to frame your question defaults to their position. By that I mean, you asked if a member could be disciplined for not “sustaining” their leaders. The people in power always control the lexicon — and with that power, LDS leaders have changed the meaning of “sustain” [which we all should do] to mean “vote in favor of” [which we might not necessarily need to do].

    We should always sustain our leaders — which are the voice of the church as manifested by the vote of common consent. That’s our leaders who we submit to — b/c even God submits Himself to the voice of the people.

    So, in reality, one may choose to not vote in favor for one reason or another [doesn’t matter], but still sustain the leader after the vote is cast and it falls in his favor.

    And you’re actually asking about voting — which is a matter entirely
    separate from whether we sustain the voted outcome or not.

    So, a prospective member needing to say they sustain Pres. Monson has nothing to do with how prophetic they think he is — it has to do with whether they submit to the keys of the church that have voted in favor of him. They are not being asked to vote for or against his being a prophet — only asked if they sustain his calling and election as such.

    Whether or not I think he is a prophet factors in only in how I
    vote come Gen. Conf. — it has nothing to do with whether I sustain
    him as such come worthiness interviews — because I sustain the
    voice of the people that manifested in his favor.

    To me — the issue that would need to be addressed concerning the church persecutions that would come when it is made known that an active couple in a ward as begun marrying plural spouses and co-habitating with them — is why members doing things on their own without Salt-Lake sanction is interpreted as “not sustaining our leaders” or as an out-right challenge to the calling and election of Pres. Monson.

  22. What I find interesting is how so many LDS can so easily disassociate the sealing power from plural marriage. I mean the sealing power was revealed in the context of polygamy, not monogamy. Surely Joseph Smith sent up many prayers to God, talking to Him and seeking council from Him about his feelings for Emma and his desire to marry her. Why didn’t God reveal the sealing power to Joseph when he talked with Him about the monogamous relationship he desired and planned on having with Emma? Why did the Lord choose to reveal the sealing power in the context of polygamy and not in the context of monogamy? Knowing the specific context in which the sealing power was revealed, how is it that LDS have no problem seeing it through a monogamy-only filter? Why do we continue to take this revelation out of the context in which it was given? It is obvious (to me) that the sealing power was revealed in the context of polygamy because it is intended for polygamous, not monogamous, relations. Monogamy has no part in the sealing power, for all will eventually be sealed to all.

    Those who reject polygamy in favor of monogamy should also reject the temple ordinances and sealing power, in other words, the entirety of the revelation known as D&C 132. It should be all or nothing, not picking and choosing which doctrines to believe and accept by taking portions of it out of the context in which they were given.

    That reminds me, when was the last time anyone ever quoted any portions of D&C 132 that dealt with plural marriage in general conference? The leadership entirely ignores those sections, don’t they? I wonder what would happen if someone got up in church during fast and testimony meeting and started reading from those sections and bearing testimony of them? Would they be asked to step down?

  23. I decided to answer my own question and look up on lds.org when the last time anyone in general conference quoted any of the plural marriage verses of D&C 132. In my search, I came across a talk given by Gordon B. Hinckley during the October 1998 General Conference, where he answered some questions that people were typically asking. One question had to do with polygamy:

    Question 4: What is the Church’s position on polygamy?

    We are faced these days with many newspaper articles on this subject. This has arisen out of a case of alleged child abuse on the part of some of those practicing plural marriage.

    I wish to state categorically that this Church has nothing whatever to do with those practicing polygamy. They are not members of this Church. Most of them have never been members. They are in violation of the civil law. They know they are in violation of the law. They are subject to its penalties. The Church, of course, has no jurisdiction whatever in this matter.

    If any of our members are found to be practicing plural marriage, they are excommunicated, the most serious penalty the Church can impose. Not only are those so involved in direct violation of the civil law, they are in violation of the law of this Church. An article of our faith is binding upon us. It states, “We believe in being subject to kings, presidents, rulers, and magistrates, in obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law” (A of F 1:12). One cannot obey the law and disobey the law at the same time.

    There is no such thing as a “Mormon Fundamentalist.” It is a contradiction to use the two words together.

    More than a century ago God clearly revealed unto His prophet Wilford Woodruff that the practice of plural marriage should be discontinued, which means that it is now against the law of God. Even in countries where civil or religious law allows polygamy, the Church teaches that marriage must be monogamous and does not accept into its membership those practicing plural marriage.

    I remember sitting through that session and listening to that talk. I forget my reaction to it. But now, 13 years later, I have to wonder if his answer was entirely accurate.

    For example, he says that those practicing polygamy are in violation of the civil law. Well, I suppose that would be true of those that get two state marriage licenses (which is illegal), but what of those who do not get state marriage licenses? These people are not violating the civil law. There is no law against voluntarily entering into a marriage contract with multiple spouses by personal covenant without obtaining a marriage license. The law does not recognize such as marriage, but it also, to my knowledge, does not forbid such an arrangement. And if they are not violating the civil law, then they are not in violation of Article of Faith 12, therefore they are not in violation of any church law. (Notice Hinckley is talking of church law, which is contained in the canonized scriptures, not church policy, which is contained in the CHI.)

  24. And if the prohibition is based upon the fact that it is a civil crime, what of those in countries where it is not against the law to practice polygamy? Why are those citizens also forbidden from practicing polygamy? Hinckley implies that because of what Wilford Woodruff issued, that the principle is now that polygamy is wrong, not just because it’s illegal. But in the Official Declaration 1, Woodruff’s publicly declared advice is for the LDS to “refrain from contracting any marriage forbidden by the law of the land”. I never see it stated that polygamy was discontinued on the basis that it had suddenly become immoral.

  25. I also note that Hinckley states, “The Church, of course, has no jurisdiction whatever in this matter. If any of our members are found to be practicing plural marriage, they are excommunicated, the most serious penalty the Church can impose.” An apparent contradiction in two successive statements?

  26. His point is very telling — he frames his answer first in terms of the civil illegality of people obtaining more than one state-issued marriage license.

    The Church, of course, has no jurisdiction whatever in this matter,” he says — to wipe his hands of the matter.

    Yet — as if realizing the loophole he might have just opened up for members in nations that do not outlaw plural marriages, as well as any who might try to skip state-authorization for a plural union [thus rendering the additional spouse fully legal] — he makes sure to add:

    Not only are those so involved in direct violation of the civil law, they are in violation of the law of this Church.

    Oh really, and what what basis would that be?

    More than a century ago God clearly revealed unto His prophet Wilford Woodruff that the practice of plural marriage should be discontinued, which means that it is now against the law of God.

    Oh, the “revelation” in which it states:
    To Whom It May Concern:
    Inasmuch as laws have been enacted by Congress forbidding plural marriages, which laws have been pronounced constitutional by the court of last resort, I hereby declare my intention to submit to those laws, and to use my influence with the members of the Church over which I preside to have them do likewise.
    What circular reasoning we have here. Wilford says that since its against the laws of the state, then it would be best if the saints stop doing it. Then Gordon says that since Wilford said we shouldn’t, then it doesn’t matter if it’s against the laws of the state or not.

  27. Another question. “To whom” does it concern? It seems like a real generalization that was meant to be able to be avoided when convenient. Yet also be enforced if the government was looking.

  28. Can we say the same thing about illegal aliens that Hinckley said about polygamists? Namely, “[Illegal aliens] are not members of this Church… [Illegal aliens] are in violation of the civil law. [Illegal aliens] know they are in violation of the law. [Illegal aliens] are subject to its penalties. The Church, of course, has no jurisdiction whatever in this matter.” And: “If any of our members are found to be [illegal aliens], they are excommunicated, the most serious penalty the Church can impose. Not only are those so involved in direct violation of the civil law, they are in violation of the law of this Church. An article of our faith is binding upon us. It states, ‘We believe in being subject to kings, presidents, rulers, and magistrates, in obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law’ (A of F 1:12). One cannot obey the law and disobey the law at the same time.” And: “The Church…does not accept into its membership those [who are illegal aliens].”

    Same principle, right? Therefore, the church does not baptize illegal aliens. There’s no double standard here, right?

  29. Let’s excommunicate every civil-law breaker too then — since it’s an article of faith.

    We can’t pick and choose which civil laws we really agree with and want to enforce by excommunication [e.g. polygamy] — and ignore the ones we view to less important [e.g. immigration].

  30. “[Speed limit violators] are not members of this Church… [Speed limit violators] are in violation of the civil law. [Speed limit violators] know they are in violation of the law. [Speed limit violators] are subject to its penalties. The Church, of course, has no jurisdiction whatever in this matter.” And: “If any of our members are found to be [Speed limit violators], they are excommunicated, the most serious penalty the Church can impose. Not only are those so involved in direct violation of the civil law, they are in violation of the law of this Church. An article of our faith is binding upon us. It states, ‘We believe in being subject to kings, presidents, rulers, and magistrates, in obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law’ (A of F 1:12). One cannot obey the law and disobey the law at the same time.” And: “The Church…does not accept into its membership those [who violate the speed limit].”

  31. I think this makes us think about is the point of the gospel to cut off those who offend the law in any respect? Or is the point of the gospel to turn to Christ so He can save us?

  32. Zo-ma-rah — I actually considered writing exactly what you did this morning — but didn’t when my wife pointed out something about that analogy [i.e. using speed-limit laws]:

    — and that is that something like entering an illegal marriage or residing in a country illegally are acts that put a person into a continuous state of “illegality” — rather than being acts that are one-time violations.

    Meaning — when I stop speeding down the road, my status as legally justified returns to me. It’s not permanetly altered.

    An illegal alien is legally unjustified from the get-go and cannot “revert back” to a justified state without leaving the country.

    If my marriage is illegal, then I can’t “stop speeding” [as it were] — I’m always illegal until I divorce.

    So I think the point that the LDS church extends full membership to illegal immagrants [but not polygamists] — is the best way to illustrate that all of this is really about getting away from polygamous families [and has nothing to do with legality].

    The church leaders have been significantly invested in appearing “pro-family” — so I don’t think Salt Lake will ever budge on that. Of course, the historical context of the family is polygamy. It is not the idealized Western nuclear family of middle-income, college educated, five kids and a dog kinda home.

    The church adopted itself into that institution [which is called “Pro-Family”], and respun our “eternal families” doctrine for the purposes of wider recruitment. So currently, the LDS church is only “pro-family” towards the pro-LDS church families.

  33. Okay, so last night I was thinking about the improvement in multi-spouse families as compared to monogamous families. You guys have thought about this a lot more, so fill me in with what you’ve figured out. Hang with me on this one.

    To me, multi-husbands sounds better for children than multi-wives. A man could father 5 children at a time (just a random number). For me personally, I have three kids and I don’t feel like I’m being the kind of dad that I want to be. I’m trying to get better, but if I had 5 kids at or near the same time, I wouldn’t be doing a very good job in raising them. There are a few important points with that: In a different lifestyle I could spend more time with them and do a better job. If that is the case, then just don’t have that many kids while still having multiple wives. This is also just me and there are others who are better parents than I am.

    To me, if there were multiple husbands and a single wife. Then the ratio of fathers to children would be better. The mother isn’t going to be having more children than she can handle, well at least it will be more capable b/c in most cases it will be one child at a time and around a year between each birth.

    So let’s say comparing the two sides,
    ->in family A there is one wife and five husbands
    ->in family B there is one husband and five wives.
    Each father of family A over the course of a decade could have two kids. Family B over a decade could have a few kids or a lot (10, 15, 20). The ratio of child to father is physically limited much better in family A.

    In rereading this, the thought came to me, shouldn’t our spirits limit what we do rather than letting our bodies do so?

    To me, the ratio of father to child is important.
    Two issues with my proposal…
    1) The family can and should time the children to what they are capable of being good parents of.
    2) Everyone should consider each child their own.

    Does it make sense what I’m trying to figure out?

  34. Does it make sense what I’m trying to figure out?

    Yes it does. I made a diagram that showed the differences between having 4 monogamous couples, 1 man polygynous with 4 women, 4 men polyandrous with 1 woman, and then 4 couples married as multihusband-multiwife.

    The diagrams were posted on the Facebook discussion page, but got deleted when I deleted my account there — but they were apparently controversial in nature b/c they brought up a lot of comments from the discussion group.

    The point I was trying to make with them is that monogamy-alone had its advantages [strong pair-bonding] — but it only made four connections between men and women, the four couples sat isolated from each other.

    Polygyny-alone had its advantages [greater potential for the family to multiply] — but it puts four women under the stewardship of a lone man who must provide for their care and maitenance alone.

    Polyandry-alone had its advantages [greater reproductive-success for the woman and better care for the wife and her children] — but it ties the four men up with only one woman, not allowing them to enlarge their stewardship.

    It was only when spouses were allowed to marry as multihusband-multiwife — did actual connections between people increase [The former three all have only four marriages, just arranged differently — MH-MW had 42] — and the family obtained the benefits of one type of marriage-family without having the inherient disadvantages of the same.

  35. To me, multi-husbands sounds better for children than multi-wives.

    It’s really polyandry that throws the wrench in most of the criticism of polygamy. The standard narrative is that a man just wants to have more women he can sleep with — but polyandry doesn’t fit that narrative.

    Dislike of polyandry is the one thing monogamists and polygynists can agree on — they both hate it equally.

    Also — with regard to polygyny — I have also heard [in addition to the more sex thing mentioned above] that men just want more wives to pick-up after them and cook them meals, etc.

    Neither of those criticisms accurately reflects what marriage is:

    First off — isn’t it the standard American joke that marrying is the sure-fire way to get less sex, not more? If it was all really about sex — then I think men would just seek after women to have sex with [which monogamist men often do]. If anything, wanting to marry plural wives demonstrates that the whole thing isn’t [necessarily] about having more sex — otherwise, I wouldn’t marry.

    Secondly — the husband is the one responsible for the care and maitenance of his wife[ves] and her [their] children [not the other way around]. Having plural wives means that I have more people I’m responsible for — not that there are more women to take care of me. I’m more interested in getting some plural husbands in my family — b/c it would be plural husbands that would “lighten my load”, not taking plural wives.

  36. Thanks Justin, I appreciate the help.

    A major roadblock is that nearly everyone is focused on some set ideas they have on the problems with marriage in any of its forms instead of trying to solve those problems by thinking outside the box.

  37. Well, Pew research data suggest only 2% of LDS find polygamy to be morally acceptable — while 86% find it morally unacceptable.

  38. And more women find it morally wrong than do men [presumably because of the polygyny-only history] — 89% vs. 83%.

    And more men find divorce to be morally wrong than do women — 30% vs. 20%.

  39. That survey was really skewed. They basically targeted an audience that didn’t represent the real breadth of ideas and beliefs within Mormonism or even the LDS church itself.

    http://daymonsmith.wordpress.com/2012/01/12/correlation-by-survey-pew-and-the-cob/

  40. Would you consider it fair to tag the results with a more specific designation such as “Mainstream LDS” or “Your Typical LDS” — instead of using the broad “Mormon”?

    A skewed sample is still an accurate picture, just only of the skewed portion. Meaning the problem with “skewed-ness” [to me] is when it is labeled as representing something that it doesn’t.

    I do agree with Daymon:

    Can’t wait to see if 80% of Mormons still attend weekly, tithing, and continue to believe the Church president is a prophet…No one who actually attends church could possibly believe these numbers.

  41. To me, it sounds more like, “Active LDS members saying what they’d like to do or think should be said.” Ya, the survey results are not true at all when used to represent the LDS general population, let alone, LDS Mormons or anyone who considers themselves Mormon.

    The labeling is the biggest issue. Every survey takes a population, but which population it represents is as important as the survey questions.

  42. OK — I’m on board with saying the Pew data are only an accurate picture of what self-identified LDS think they ought to say. That makes sense for the polygamy = morally wrong kinda responses — but what about something like only 49% who labeled “not drinking tea and coffee” as essential for being a “good Mormon”.

    Don’t mainstream LDS know that they ought to think tea and coffee are taboo?

  43. Lol — only 56% said they found their mission to be very valuable at gaining converts — while 80% said it was very valuable in preparing them for their career.

  44. Have you guys read about the Mosuo people?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mosuo#Walking_marriages

  45. The Problem Of Polygamy

    What is polygamy?
    Polygamy is marriage to two or more wives. The first recorded polygamist was Lamech who took unto himself two wives (Genesis 4:19).

    Is polygamy the same as adultery?
    Adultery is the sinful intercourse of a person with someone who is not his one lawful and Scriptural marriage partner. It was forbidden in the Jewish law (Exedus 20:14) and was punishable by death (Leviticus 20:10). Polygamy is merely adultery on a permanent basis. Polygamy is always adultery, but adultery is not always polygamy.

    Is adultery the same as fornication?
    The origin of these two words was different, fornication being the sin of unlawful intercourse by an unmarried person, and adultery the sin committed by a married person. But in New Testament usage the words several times are used to mean the same thing (see Revelation 2:20-22). Therefore, adultery and fornication are essentially the same sin according to the Bible meaning. It might be said that they are different forms of the same sin.

    Does the New Testament forbid polygamy?
    The New Testament says that marriage to another partner while the first partner is still living is adultery (Romans 7:1-3). No fornicator or adulterer shall inherit the kingdom of God (1 Corinthians 6:9,10). Since a polygamist is an adulterer, he cannot inherit the kingdom of God.

    Is polygamy sinful for a man and for a woman?
    1 Corinthians 7:2 says, “Let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband.” Polygamy is sinful for male or female. Women married to the same husband do not each have their own husbands.

    Is it possible to escape from polygamy after practicing it for a long time?
    1 Corinthians 6:9,10 lists many types of sinners, including fornicators and adulterers. As noticed above, a polygamist is actually an adulterer (Romans 7:1-3). Then 1 Corinthians 6:11 says, concerning the members of the church at Corinth, “And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.” These adulterers and fornicators had repented and been cleansed from their past life by obeying the Gospel. If all types of sinners could be cleansed in Corinth, all types, including polygamists, can be cleansed if they repent and obey as did the people of Corinth.

    Is it Necessary for one to repent of the sin of polygamy?
    Repentance is a change of mind which results in a change of life (Matthew 21:28,29). Before a person is baptized for the remission of sins, he must believe in Jesus Christ (Mark 16:16), confess his faith in Christ (Acts 8:37), and repent of his sins (Acts 2:38). Without real faith, without a sincere confession of his faith, and without real repentance, baptism does not bring remission of sins. To be baptized without repentance cannot bring forgiveness (Acts 2:38).

    How does one repent of polygamy?
    The sin of polygamy must be repented of in the same way as any other sin. The polygamist changes his mind, heart, and life. He turns away from all his sins and turns to Christ, the Savior from all sin. He reverses his entire life and determines to change every sinful practice. But his repentance is not real unless he brings forth the fruits of repentance (Luke 3:8). This means putting away all wives except the true one. Just as a thief must give up stealing, so must a polygamist give up polygamy, or else his repentance is not sincere, and his baptism is worthless.

    Which wife is the true wife?
    A man’s first wife is his rightful wife unless she was already the rightful wife of another man when he married her. The first wife a man marries is his only Scriptural wife. All others are merely women living with him in adultery (Romans 7:1-3). In order to genuinely repent, he must therefore put away all other women except his first rightful wife.

    Who will provide for the wives and children who are put away?
    Sin always bring serious problems. Prevention is always better than cure. The above question states one of the serious difficulties resulting from the sin of polygamy; True repentance is never easy because it requires undoing the sinful conditions of one’s sinful life. The prodigal son got up out of the country of riotous living and returned humbly and broken-heartedly to his father’s house (Luke 15:17-20). In like manner a polygamist must penitently forsake the conditions of his sin and return to God’s love. When he does this, God will surely assist him in putting away his adulterous wives in a fair and honorable way. Furthermore, he will either care for his children himself or will render a father’s rightful support of them in their mother’s care.

    What about the money spent for many wives?
    Jesus said, “For what is a man profited if he gain the whole world and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?” (Matthew 16:26). He also said to seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all physical necessities would be added unto us (Matthew 6:33).

    Should a polygamist be baptized before he puts away his sinful wives?
    A polygamist or any other sinner should not be baptized before he repents. But any sinner who repents may certainly be baptized (Acts 2:38). A polygamist must be thoroughly taught the meaning of repentance. He must understand that true repentance precedes true baptism for the remission of sins. He must understand that real repentance includes fruits worthy of repentance (Luke 3:8). He must know that the remission of his sins depends upon true repentance. He must know that real repentance requires him to stop living as a husband with all wives but the true one. He must be preparing and beginning to put away the other wives honorably. He must be convinced of the great temptation which each former wife will be as long as she remains in his compound. He must understand that baptism is a burial of an old man which has died to the practice of sin (Romans 6:1-18). He must be taught that when he is raised from his watery grave of baptism that he must walk in newness of life (Romans 6:4). When these matters are truly understood, accepted, and put into practice, a person thus taught will no longer be a polygamist. He will be a penitent believer in Jesus Christ who has turned away from polygamy and all other sins. He will then, and only then, be a proper subject for baptism. But on the other hand, if a polygamist does not understand the meaning of true repentance and true baptism, his baptism will not bring remission of sins. Or if a polygamist refuses to truly repent of his many wives, he might be dipped in the water, but without repentance there can be no remission of sins (Acts 2:38). A murderer might persuade a preacher to immerse him in the water, but if he had not repented of his murdering, his dipping would not truly be baptism. A thief might deceive a preacher into baptizing him, but unless he had repented of his stealing, his baptism would be worthless. Any polygamist who repents may be baptized, but without repentance, the baptism of a polygamist would be unscriptural and vain.

    Should a polygamist be a leader in the church?
    1 Timothy 3:2 requires that each of the bishops (or elders) in each congregation must be “the husband of one wife.” Elders are examples to all the flock or congregation (1 Peter 5:3). A corrupt member (especially a leader) may corrupt the whole church (1 Corinthians 6:1,6). A polygamist must not be asked to lead prayer, as “holy hands” must be lifted up in prayer (1 Timothy 2:8). They must not be asked to serve as treasurer or to do any other work, as this may make them think that they have approval. A polygamist can no more serve as a leader in the church than can a murderer or a thief.

    What can be done when a polygamist in the church refuses to repent?
    A member in Corinth had taken his father’s wife, thus becoming guilty of fornication (1 Corinthians 5:1). This man was to be disfellowshipped by the church in hopes of bringing him to repentance (1 Corinthians 5:4,5). A polygamist in the church today is actually guilty of the same sin of fornication or adultery as the man in Corinth. He should be withdrawn from in the same manner.

    Why did Old Testament men have several wives?
    God made one wife, Eve, for Adam (Genesis 2:22). God’s plan since creation has been that one male and one female, “the twain” (or two), become “one flesh” (Matthew 19:4-6). From the beginning, God never intended for men to put away their wives or to marry additional wives. Men began these practices because they rejected God’s plan out of the hardness of their hearts (Matthew 19:8). During the Old Testament God allowed many practices of the Jews which He never planned nor approved. One such thing was a king, but He allowed a king in order to let them see for themselves the foolishness of departing from His way (1 Samuel 8). In like manner, additional wives were allowed to the Israelites because of the hardness of their hearts, but not because such was God’s plan or God’s will. Since Christians are under a far better covenant containing better commandments through Christ (Hebrews 8:6-8), God’s original plan of one wife for one husband is enforced.

    If polygamy was good for Abraham, why is it not good for us today?
    Polygamy was never good for Abraham or any other Old Testament polygamist. Hagar caused jealousy, strife, and trouble until she was expelled from Abraham’s house (Genesis 16:4; 21:9-11). Likewise, the wives of Solomon caused great difficulties and turned his heart away from the Lord (1 Kings 11:3,4). Polygamy in the Old Testament strongly shows us the wisdom of God’s plan for one wife and the foolishness of man’s way of additional wives. Since God made man, He knows the best plan for man’s marriage and home.

    This article is from the book:

    ANSWERS IN THE BIBLE TO PROBLEMS IN THE CHURCH
    by – Jim Massey

    1 Timothy 3

    1This is a true saying, if a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work.

    2A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach;

    3Not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous;

    4One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity;

    5(For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?)

    6Not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil.

    7Moreover he must have a good report of them which are without; lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.

    8Likewise must the deacons be grave, not doubletongued, not given to much wine, not greedy of filthy lucre;

    9Holding the mystery of the faith in a pure conscience.

    10And let these also first be proved; then let them use the office of a deacon, being found blameless.

    11Even so must their wives be grave, not slanderers, sober, faithful in all things.

    12Let the deacons be the husbands of one wife, ruling their children and their own houses well.

  46. Well — I must admit that this was fun…

    What is polygamy?
    Polygamy is marriage to two or more wives.

    Incorrect

    Poly + gamy = plural marriages
    Poly + gyny = plural wives
    Poly + andry = plural husbands

    But I’ll assume the author you are quoting this from was just painting with a generic, broad-brush. It’s common in the current use of our language to mean only “plural wives” when we say polygamy — but for the sake of exactness, I’d prefer we be clear on what the terms mean — just so I know what exactly you’re denouncing.

    Is polygamy the same as adultery?
    Adultery is the sinful intercourse of a person with someone who is not his one lawful and Scriptural marriage partner. It was forbidden in the Jewish law (Exedus 20:14) and was punishable by death (Leviticus 20:10).

    The “Jewish law” defined and punished “adultery” in patriarchal terms only — it was a woman who broke her wedlock.

    However, the original meaning of the Hebrew “naaph” [prior to the formulations and interpretations that became known as “Jewish law”], which is the word YHVH spoke in Exodus 20:14, is “authority vows” — meaning we keep our word — it doesn’t really have anything to do with some Divine Monogamy that you are describing here.

    Does the New Testament forbid polygamy?

    The GEMTAM chapter addresses how this relates to the same “authority vows” concept of “naaph” mentioned above — and has to do with the concept of going against the consent of a spouse — etc.

    So just read that.

    Many of the next questions are all based on the assumption that:

    As noticed above, a polygamist is actually an adulterer

    is a true statement — which it’s not. So, going through them in detail is pointless — since the point they were based on it not sound.

    But I’ll address 1 Timothy — since you seem to like it so much:

    1 Timothy 3:2 requires that each of the bishops (or elders) in each congregation must be “the husband of one wife.”

    The fun thing about English translations is they discern the people who do research and the lazy readers.

    For example — 1 Timothy does not say “the husband of one wife” because that’s an English phrase and the manuscripts are written in Greek. This means that the person who translated the Greek into English felt that “one” was the best English word to express what was meant by the Greek word “mia“. And, as far as I know, no Christian groups believes in a divine translation theory for the Bible [like Mormons do for the Book of Mormon].

    The divine spirit was in the pen of the original author — and unless you are willing to claim that the divine spirit was also in the mind of the translators — then the translation process is a work of men [rather well-intentioned or malicious or a mix of both is open for debate].

    Now — back to the Greek — “Mia” is an adjective, which means it is not the numeral “one”, which [in Greek] is “heis“. So you’d have to explain why the author wrote “mia” if he really meant “heis“.

    Though I guess “mia” could potentially designate one [and only one] — it is more likely that it was used like our word “first”, which means the one that is first, but certainly not the only one — because it couldn’t be “first” if there wasn’t others that were not-first. Right?

    It could also be interpreted as implying the indefinite article — “a”. Which would mean that the qualification for the bishop is that he be a married man — which would mean, to at least one wife — he has a wife.

    For example, if I have three pens in my pocket and somebody asks me: “Do you have a pen?” I may answer “yes” even though I do have more than just a pen [I have three].

    You’ll find that many of the more recent English translations [that do not come from a pro-polygamy crowd] do not render mia in the numeric sense of monogamy [since that’s not what the word means]. Instead, it’s translated:

    He must be faithful to his wife.
    He must have been married only once.
    He must not have been divorced.

    etc.

    Also — if you’re going to be consistent — you must interpret the KJV rendering of mia as the numeric “one-and-only-one” in light of the same book 1 Timothy not using mia when it comes to the widows having only “one husband”:

    Let not a widow be taken into the number under threescore years old, having been the wife of one man,

    Here, the author did not write “mia” as with the bishop — he wrote heis, which I mentioned above is the numeric/counting word for “one”. This would seem to suggest polygyny — that the bishop can have “at least one” wife, but the widows need to have had “only one” husband.

    Finally — as it relates to expounding some “divine, Scriptural standard” of really-real mono+gamy — then I wonder if Hagonel [or any other commenter] would care to come down on the side of actually having real monogamy. By that I mean, does your interpretation of scripture justify marriages after a divorce? Even after a justified divorce due to fornication on the part of the other spouse? Is marriage after a spouse dies justified? If it’s going to be “One Marriage” — it better only be one — Or else it’s just monogamy in name, but really polygamy in practice.

  47. To Justin, here is my answer.

    Matthew 19:1-12

    Divorce
    1 When Jesus had finished saying these things, he left Galilee and went into the region of Judea to the other side of the Jordan. 2 Large crowds followed him, and he healed them there.
    3 Some Pharisees came to him to test him. They asked, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any and every reason?”

    4 “Haven’t you read,” he replied, “that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’[a] 5 and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’[b]? 6 So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.”

    7 “Why then,” they asked, “did Moses command that a man give his wife a certificate of divorce and send her away?”

    8 Jesus replied, “Moses permitted you to divorce your wives because your hearts were hard. But it was not this way from the beginning. 9 I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another woman commits adultery.”

    10 The disciples said to him, “If this is the situation between a husband and wife, it is better not to marry.”

    11 Jesus replied, “Not everyone can accept this word, but only those to whom it has been given. 12 For there are eunuchs who were born that way, and there are eunuchs who have been made eunuchs by others—and there are those who choose to live like eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. The one who can accept this should accept it.”

    Matthew 22:23-33
    Marriage at the Resurrection
    23 That same day the Sadducees, who say there is no resurrection, came to him with a question. 24 “Teacher,” they said, “Moses told us that if a man dies without having children, his brother must marry the widow and raise up offspring for him. 25 Now there were seven brothers among us. The first one married and died, and since he had no children, he left his wife to his brother. 26 The same thing happened to the second and third brother, right on down to the seventh. 27 Finally, the woman died. 28 Now then, at the resurrection, whose wife will she be of the seven, since all of them were married to her?”
    29 Jesus replied, “You are in error because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God. 30 At the resurrection people will neither marry nor be given in marriage; they will be like the angels in heaven. 31 But about the resurrection of the dead—have you not read what God said to you, 32 ‘I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’[b]? He is not the God of the dead but of the living.”

    33 When the crowds heard this, they were astonished at his teaching.

  48. Hagonel — here’s my answer:

    GEMTAM Chapter 3: Multihusband-multiwife. In fact — if you’d like, just read that chapter and you can then reply to the expositions of the scriptures that it contains here at this post.

    That’s kinda the reason the authors have put the GEMTAM together — to just point to the book rather than replying in detail to each-and-every objection.

    There are explanations about divorce and about marriage in the resurrection in Multihusband-multiwife chapter.

  49. Celestial Polyandry:

    Singaporean helps to find new unusual planet

    A California-based Singaporean is one of two amateur astronomers credited with finding an extraordinary new planet that has four suns.

    Former President’s Scholar Jek Kian Jin, 53, along with an American, helped professionals from United States space agency Nasa and Yale University discover PH1, the first-known planet to be orbitally linked to four suns. The other amateur is Mr Robert Gagliano, an oncologist based in Arizona.

    Published on October 22, 2012 in the Breaking News section of The Straits Times, a Singapore publication. Click the link above for the full story.

    Update: Here is another linked article, this time from project Planet Hunters, which made the discovery.

    PH1 : A planet in a four-star system

  50. http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2013/02/when-taking-multiple-husbands-makes-sense/272726/

    Seems that there is more anthropological evidence for polyandry out there than has been typically noted, even beyond what is in Sex at Dawn.

  51. The heading of section 132 has been changed slightly. Also OD 1 and OD 2 have now been given headings.

    The rewording of section 132’s heading is more accurate, doctrinally. The heading of OD 2 is excellent. The first sentence of OD 1’s new heading is false doctrine. Two out of three ain’t too bad, right?

  52. Are you saying the changes have been made relatively recently?

    How recently?

    If so, how were they brought to your attention?

    On an unrelated note, one of the references given in OD1 is 2 Samuel 12:7 which reads:

    “And Nathan said to David, Thou art the man. Thus saith the Lord God of Israel, I anointed thee king over Israel..”

    According to one source, that is the exact same phrase Joseph used upon meeting Newel K Whitney for the first time…

    “In February 1831 the Prophet Joseph Smith entered Newel K. Whitney’s store in Kirtland, Ohio, and exclaimed to the startled proprietor, “Thou art the man!” Newel protested that he did not know this stranger, then heard life-changing words: “I am Joseph the Prophet. You prayed me here; now what do you want of me?”

    Newel later was called and ordained as the “Bishop” of Kirtland.

    One has to wonder whether Joseph’s use of the exact same phrase was a coincidence or a calculated and prophetic use of the phrase.

    Could it be associated with or even implying that the New Testament calling and modern day calling of a “Bishop” to be the standing “judge” of a congregation is typological if not synonymous with the ancient calling of a righteous “king”?

    i.e., The righteous kings such as Nephi, Benjamin, Mosiah were essentially acting as the equivalent of bishops.

    One other thing pertaining to Bishop Whitney and the “thou are the man” connection between him and King David…

    (And I am not throwing this out for the purpose of getting into a pissing match on the doctrine of polygamy or spiritual wifery, rather to simply point out something that appears to substantiate a link between ancient and modern polygamy relating to King David-)

    Here is the revelation for Newell Whitney to give her daughter to Joseph

    “Verily, Thus Saith the Lord, unto My Servant Newell. K. Whitney
    A Revelation to Newell K. Whitney, 27 July 1842, and Joseph Smith Elizabeth Ann Whitney, and Sarah Ann Whitney”

    “Verily, thus saith the Lord unto my servant N[ewel]. K. Whitney, the thing that my servant Joseph Smith has made known unto you and your Family [his plural marriage to Sarah Ann Whitney] and which you have agreed upon is right in mine eyes and shall be rewarded upon your heads with honor and immortality and eternal life to all your house both old & young because of the lineage of my Preast Hood saith the Lord it shall be upon you and upon your children after you from generation to generation, by virtue of the Holy promise which I now make unto you saith the Lord.”

    “These are the words which you shall pronounce upon my servant Joseph and your Daughter Sarah Ann. Whitney. They shall take each other by the hand and you shall say ‘You both mutually agree,” calling them by name, ‘”to be each other’s companion so long as you both shall live preserving yourselves for each other and from all others and also throughout all eternity reserving only those rights which have been given to my servant Joseph by revelation and commandment and by legal Authority in times passed.’

    If you both agree to covenant and do this then I give you Sarah Ann Whitney, my daughter, to Joseph Smith to be his wife, to observe all the rights between you both that belong to that condition.

    I do it in my own name and in the name of my wife, your mother, and in the name of my Holy Progenitors, by the right of birth which is of Preast Hood, vested in my by revelation and commandment and promise of the living. God obtained by the Holy Melchisedeck Jethro and other of the Holy Fathers, commanding in the name of the Lord all those Powers to concentrate in you and through to your posterity forever.

    All these things I do in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ that through this order he may be glorified and that through the power of anointing David may reign King over Israel, which shall hereafter be revealed. Let immortality and eternal life henceforth be sealed upon your heads forever and ever. Amen.”

    LOCATION: Nauvoo, IL

    SOURCE: Original manuscript of Kirtland Revelation Book, Church Historical Department, Ms f 490 # 2, also The Historical Record 6:222 (1887 edition.), also In Sacred Lonliness, p. 348-349

    I find it interesting that in 1831 Joseph meets Newel and used the phrase that Nathan the prophet used with King David… Then, eleven years later when taking Newels daughter as a plural wife, with the permission and administration of Bishop Newel, the power of anointing David is somehow mysteriously linked to Newel’s family through the sacrament of plural marriage…

    “…that through this order he may be glorified and that through the power of anointing[,] David may reign King over Israel, which shall hereafter be revealed…”

  53. Church Releases New Edition of English Scriptures in Digital Formats

    It will be released in print in August. I still haven’t gone through all the changes but the D&C changes look great, so far.


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