**Update** to Forced Polygamy

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foodoctor33
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**Update** to Forced Polygamy

Post by foodoctor33 » 10 Aug 2014, 11:36

Here is an update to my previous thread "Forced Polygamy":

My SP asked me to write a letter to the First Presidency (FP) explaining my desire to have my free agency honored by reversing their initial decision to only grant me a sealing clearance instead of a cancellation. I wrote that letter stating this was hurting my testimony and why i felt polygamy wasnt of God and that Pres Hinckley stated that polygamy is not doctrinal. My SP also wrote letter and sent both of them to the FP. Within a week, my SP received a call from a lady who identified herself as an "analyst". She stated that what I forgot to acknowledge is the fact that the FP also represents my ex. Initially, years ago when I asked the church to be sealed to my current wife, the church asked my ex to write a letter about what she thought about this. I assume to make sure I want an abuser, etc. Apparently, I found out this week from the analyst that my ex was worried that if our sealing was cancelled, she would lose her children in the hereafter. So the analyst stated that is part of the reason why my cancellation was denied.

THE REALITY:
My ex cheated on me, married the guy, took our two daughters and hasn't attended church in 10 years. Knowing she could use this church policy, her initial letter resulted in a 3 year wait for me to be sealed to my current wife. My ex wife refused to let me have our daughter's for any longer than 2 weeks. I had to take her to court and won the entire summer every summer with them. It's funny how she doesn't care about her 2 daughters having a dad in their life (she is on her 4th dad) but pretends to care about who they are sealed to.? Anyway, my SP after hearing this information agreed that if he knew she and her current husband have nothing to do with the church he was confused as to why my cancellation wasn't honored.

I also asked him why it mattered to the FP about a sealing to a parent that isn't active. #1: sealing to a parent isn't a saving ordinance. It's a LINKING ordinance entitling those linked to the blessings promised to Abraham. Only a sealing to a spouse is a SAVING ordinance and the only way to enter the highest degree of the CK. So I'm surprised the FP is denying my cancellation on the basis of a linking ordinance that doesn't matter as soon as my daughters are sealed to their future spouses. #2: why is the FP siding with my ex who cheated and broke up the marriage. Didn't that effectively cancel our sealing right then? #3: We all keep saying "the Lord will sort it out in the end" or " the Lord won't make you stay sealed to someone you don't want to be." If this is the case, why not error on the side of free agency and honored my desire to not be sealed to this woman NOW when we truly don't know what will happen in the hereafter?

I ended my conversation with my SP with the feeling I had that I feel l like I'm dealing with a church bureaucracy as unjust as family court system. My ex gets 3000 a month in child support, played the church system to delay my current sealing by 3 years and now gets to determine my spiritual polygamy future. My SP agreed with my frustration, said he'd make another call. But was unsure is anything could get done.

I now understand why Kate Kelly was so vocal in her personal concern. these dishes and stake presidents are unable to solve personal concerns that threatens members of the church spiritual sanity. The church policies will never change when a letter I write to the First Presidency never gets there but ends up on a desk of an analyst. the brethren are insulated from the members and real spiritual concerns go unanswered and changes don't happen.

In the whole process where is revelation? This all feels way to corporate. Your thoughts on this are welcome and needed.
Last edited by foodoctor33 on 10 Aug 2014, 17:34, edited 1 time in total.

Curt Sunshine
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**Update** to Forced Polygamy

Post by Curt Sunshine » 10 Aug 2014, 15:42

First, I feel for you and would love to see a cancellation granted, even as I understand why it very rarely happens. What follows is going to be analytical, again, but I hope you know I really do feel for you and wish this could be resolved differently.

Overall, my thoughts are the exact same thoughts as in the other thread. Really, almost anything I would say I've already said.
(She) now gets to determine my spiritual polygamy future.


That is the only thing I will address again, since it isn't consistent with our actual theology. There is nothing in our theology or teachings that says spouses will be forced to live together eternally, monogamously or polygamously, if one of the spouses doesn't want that. It just isn't there.

You don't believe that; your Stake President doesn't believe it; the First Presidency doesn't believe it; I don't know a single Mormon member, no matter how conservative, who believes it (although there probably are a few); I've NEVER heard it taught in any way by anyone over any pulpit in nearly 50 years in the Church.

I understand the emotional aspect of your situation (at least intellectually, not having experienced it personally), but nobody believes she has the power to force you into eternal polygamy. Since nobody believes it, I only can encourage you to let go of that claim. Deal with the issue for itself and what it actually represents (a policy that doesn't grant what you want badly) not what it doesn't represent (forced polygamy). The first is difficult enough without morphing it into a totally irreconcilable issue. It's not healthy to continue to frame it in a way that simply doesn't match what anyone actually believes, since doing so makes it unsolvable in practical terms.

I hope you understand what I'm about to say, but making it something it isn't shifts the responsibility to get a handle on it emotionally from you to "The Church" - and the only way to find a degree of peace is to embrace your own power to get a handle on it emotionally and not outsource that power to anyone else, especially the organization that believes you still will have full agency in the next life to make the choice you want it to make now.

The Church isn't going to change this, apparently. Okay. It's up to you to accept that and move on - first and foremost, by letting go of the idea that your ex-wife has ANY control or power over you in the next life. I am positive that much of your anger and frustration results from the unrighteous power you just described in her actions here in mortality and your feelings of helplessness in the face of that unrighteous exercise of mortal, legal power - and the desire to eliminate her power symbolically in the next life. That is a real, powerful frustration - and feeling like she will not have that type of power over you eternally is important.

So, embrace the concept that she won't and that your previous sealing has no power over you in her case, since she has chosen to break it. Look at D&C 121 and what it says about unrighteous dominion causing a loss of authority and power and embrace that she has severed the symbolic seal from your marriage. It isn't a literal seal in the first place (and that is made clear in the ceremonial wording itself), so there can be no lasting, eternal sealing once the symbol is discarded - no matter what official action the Church takes in this life. Embrace that and let go of the concern about forced polygamy.

That will leave you with enough to occupy your mind, still - but it is the first step toward peace. I know it isn't easy, but it's really, really, really important.
I see through my glass, darkly - as I play my saxophone in harmony with the other instruments in God's orchestra. (h/t Elder Joseph Wirthlin)

Even if people view many things differently, the core Gospel principles (LOVE; belief in the unseen but hoped; self-reflective change; symbolic cleansing; striving to recognize the will of the divine; never giving up) are universal.

"For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong." H. L. Mencken

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SilentDawning
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Re: **Update** to Forced Polygamy

Post by SilentDawning » 11 Aug 2014, 07:30

Yes, in the face of such bureaucracy, there is much frustration, whether government, church, large corporations etcetera.

It sounds like there isn't much you can do right now. The church appears to be grasping at whatever they can to justify their position.

I would consider reflecting on the moments you have now, rather than thinking about the future. For the sake of your inner peace. As it stands, I believe you're in a happy relationship, so the forced polygamy is only an issue far into the future -- and there is evidence or at least apparent widespread belief that the non-cancellation will not affect you in the eternities. Second, no one will raise this issue or provoke it regularly at church -- unless you make an issue of it by writing letters etcetera.

I would focus on what you have now, for the sake of your inner peace. This is not to say that I don't empathize -- I too have been disadvantaged by egocentric, unfair policies from our church (my non-member family shut from the marraige of me, both civilly due to the one year penalty if you get married civilly first) which i feel to this day. However, think about what you have going for the positive in yoru life right now, and enjoy those moments -- particularly since it sounds like there isn't much you can do about the church's unreasonable stance on this.

Best of luck, I feel for you.
"It doesn't have to be about the Church (church) all the time!" -- SD

"The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. No price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself."

A man asked Jesus "do all roads lead to you?" Jesus responds,”most roads don’t lead anywhere, but I will travel any road to find you.” Adapted from The Shack, William Young

foodoctor33
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Re: **Update** to Forced Polygamy

Post by foodoctor33 » 11 Aug 2014, 07:49

When I say she gets to determine my spiritual future....I MEAN NOW. The church defers to her CURRENT concerns about what happens to the children as far as sealing. The church is refusing to grant me a cancellation NOW basing that on an afterlife policy that isn't understood well. I do not believe polygamy is of God. PERIOD. SO, my letter stated the concern I have about not granting me a cancellation based on a policy that the Church tries to distance themselves from as often as they can publicly.

I understand what you are saying about the idea of me being forced to practice polygamy in the HEREAFTER. I agree. I am not talking about the HEREAFTER. I am talking about the HERE AND NOW. Her concern about child sealings (when she doesn't go to church, fought against me in court to have more time with the kids, fought against one of our kids getting baptized) is a tool she uses to get at me on a spiritual level. It isn't based on a true concern for her children and their sealing. After all, sealing to a parent isn't a saving ordinance, it is a linking ordinance to Abrahamic blessings; sealing to a spouse is the only thing that matters as far as the highest degree of CK. So, for the church to have the policy to not grant cancellations, in effect, they are telling me that I have to be ok with the IDEA, the CONCEPT, the 'DOCTRINE' of plural marriage in the HERE AND NOW.

This is my faith issue. I am being FORCED TO STAY SEALED IN THIS LIFE, ON PAPER NOW, IN THE TEMPLE, ON FAMILYSEARCH.ORG to a woman that has been nothing but a pain in my heart and soul and pocketbook for many years. When does MY personal FREE WILL enter into the equation? Why does her desire to stay sealed to the kids get deference with the Brethren when she committed adultery? Why does the church excommunicate Kate Kelly for speaking out for her personal concern but allow my ex-wife to stay on the records when she has committed adultery, took our children and left, and calls the shots with the church when it comes to this sealing knowing she doesn't care about their spiritual future (as she fights me for time with them hurting their physical and emotional future)?

I really do appreciate your replies but it seems we are talking about two separate things. Your response deals with the HEREAFTER and the policy around the 'doctrine' as it pertains to the hereafter. I AM pleading with the BRETHREN to consider how those HEREAFTER policies affect the spiritual progression of people in the HERE AND NOW. Choose my free agency now and avoid spiritual stumbling blocks from the members.

foodoctor33
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Re: **Update** to Forced Polygamy

Post by foodoctor33 » 11 Aug 2014, 09:39

BTW: Thanks Silent Dawn for you kind insights.. I just wish I could feel peace at a church that doesn't honor my free agency. I wish I was told when I married my ex in the temple that regardless of her actions, I would have to stay sealed to her. In the interest of full disclosure. I made a sealing decision without full knowledge of the commitment with no fault of my own.

I just had a thought.

To get around the bureaucracy:

If I have my name removed from the records of the church, that will cancel my baptism, my endowment and sealings to both spouses correct?

If I do that and then get rebaptized, do I have to get my endowment again , or is that automatically re-instated after baptism?

Why go this route???? I was thinking it may be an end around the "analyst" people at the COB policy red tape. It will only work if, after my rebaptism and if my sealings aren't automatically restored. Then I can get resealed to my current wife. Thinking out of the box.

ANy thoughts on how reinstatement works after having name removed from the records of the church?

Curt Sunshine
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Re: **Update** to Forced Polygamy

Post by Curt Sunshine » 11 Aug 2014, 10:41

I cannot recommend removing your name from the records of the Church over this issue. I simply can't. Personally, I think it is an over-reaction to something that you can make have absolutely no impact on your current life in a FAR less extreme way.

Again, I know that this is a HIGHLY emotional issue for you, but I simply can't recommend removal of your name from the records over it - unless that is what you want to do anyway, have been considering it for a while and are looking for a reason / justification to do so. There is no way at all for us here to know, fully and confidently, since all we have are words on a screen. If you want to leave the Church and need a reason you feel comfortable telling others, this might be it. If you don't want to leave the Church and are grasping at this as a solution to what you've described, I simply don't see it that way. I still think, if that's the case, you are making something that is meant to be symbolic and focused on potential into something that is literal and focused on the absolute most extreme interpretation possible.

If you want to "StayLDS", I think you need to work on letting go of literal views and focus on developing a symbolic paradigm for these things. If you can see the sealing as symbolic and, in the case of your ex-wife, ineffectual and "dead", you can move toward peace.
I see through my glass, darkly - as I play my saxophone in harmony with the other instruments in God's orchestra. (h/t Elder Joseph Wirthlin)

Even if people view many things differently, the core Gospel principles (LOVE; belief in the unseen but hoped; self-reflective change; symbolic cleansing; striving to recognize the will of the divine; never giving up) are universal.

"For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong." H. L. Mencken

foodoctor33
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Joined: 12 Jan 2014, 02:32

Re: **Update** to Forced Polygamy

Post by foodoctor33 » 11 Aug 2014, 12:02

Yeah. I don't want to remove my name because I'm looking for an excuse. I just want the Church to put free agency above policy. PERIOD. It's become a corporation. When the Stake president gets a call from an "analyst" it tells me how removed my concerns are from getting to policy makers (the Brethren). It becomes just a piece of paper and a rubber stamp denial from underlings in the COB.

I just feel the Church should stand for personal decisions on e makes in their life at how they approach their faith. I thought my sealing was between my ex, myself and the Lord. Granted. Authority of a sealer is necessary, but beyond that, no one else should have a say in that triangular relationship to force a sealing to remain in force. ESPECIALLY WHEN INFIDELITY IS CONCERNED.

I know I have beaten a dead horse. When do we as members stand up and say, "HEAR US. INDIVIDUALIZE OUR CONCERNS." ???? The Brethren have become too far removed from the people. Lay clergy locally have no authority to do anything and letters from me and them end up at an analysts desk who push it back with no real recourse or appeal delineation.

Can I ask for audience from an Seventy Area Authority?

Corporate policy should be different than Church policy. This is a faith, a gospel. Not a Corporation that can trample the agency of it's members without us being heard. I have no desire to remove myself from the Church in principle but if I do, it would be to play the bureaucratic game to get what I know is fair, right, just and personal.

I appreciate your desire to have me stay. You come from a great place and your help gives me hope in the lay members of the church. You are proof to me that I see the Corporation is veering from the Gospel. I want so bad to cling to the gospel but in this instance I am forced to try to rip the corporation from the gospel.

Hugh Nibley said it best
"The worst sinners, according to Jesus, are not the harlots and publicans, but the religious leaders with their insistence on proper dress and grooming, their careful observance of all the rules, their precious concern for status symbols, their strict legality, their pious patriotism... the haircut becomes the test of virtue in a world where Satan deceives and rules by appearances."

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DarkJedi
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Re: **Update** to Forced Polygamy

Post by DarkJedi » 11 Aug 2014, 14:04

Like Ray, I don't recommend name removal, and I don't think it will get you want you want. Restoration of blessings, as I understand it, is not necessarily automatic but it is part of the coming back to "full fellowship" process.

I really have tried to understand your feelings, and admittedly I have a fairly low EQ and I have a hard time with such things. I do understand, though, that this is a big issue for you and I understand that issues like this are real. I also agree with Ray that you would do well to see the whole thing as more symbolic - honestly, I don't see the ceremony in the temple as really doing anything. From a more symbolic point of view, my wife and I expressed our commitment to each other for eternity (at the time) and pledged ourselves to work toward a marriage that would last forever. I do not believe any "sealing power" has any real effect on that here or in the future. I know that's not really the full issue ("It is not that simple") but I think it helps. You clearly have some other issues with the way the church operates, and that is also not unusual - there are those here who can give you input on that as well.

Lastly, YES, you can request to speak to the Area Authority Seventy or another Seventy. Because there is an AAS assigned to your stake you will be more likely to get a timely visit with him. Keep in mind though that you already meet with your SP who agrees with you and talks regularly with that AAS, and you have written personally to the FP (although that was intercepted). Still, I would not discourage you at all from setting up a meeting with your AAS.
In the absence of knowledge or faith there is always hope.

Once there was a gentile...who came before Hillel. He said "Convert me on the condition that you teach me the whole Torah while I stand on one foot." Hillel converted him, saying: That which is despicable to you, do not do to your fellow, this is the whole Torah, and the rest is commentary, go and learn it."

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