Polygamy: A Very Specific Question

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Polygamy: A Very Specific Question

Post by Curt Sunshine » 04 Oct 2013, 14:36

I want to get input from others about one very specific situation related to the concept of polygamy, particularly from people like Ann and Dax who are so opposed to it in any form, at any time, and see it as inherently evil. I don't mean to try to lead anywhere with the following questions; I sincerely want to know people's responses in order to try to understand how different people view this specific situation.

1) A woman has been married to two men in her life and has loved each husband deeply. She was sealed to the first husband but couldn't be sealed in this life to the second one. She was the only wife of each husband. She knows she can be sealed to both husbands after her death and has asked that she be sealed to her second husband, as well. She doesn't want to have to choose between them and hopes she can be sealed to and live with both of them after she dies. She asks you what you think about her desire and decision - not what you would advise her to do, but what you think about it.

2) A man in that same situation asks you the same question, with the exception that he was sealed to both wives in this life.

I would like general thoughts about the situation, but I also would like to know how you would answer someone in the situation, in a private conversation with only that person, if they asked for input.

(I'm not interested in thoughts about the policy difference, since I think the policy should be the same for men and women, and I don't really care which one would be applied. I only want to know what you would say to the people in this situation.)
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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On Own Now
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Re: Polygamy: A Very Specific Question

Post by On Own Now » 04 Oct 2013, 15:00

General Thoughts:

Polygamy has two facets: 1) Here and Now and 2) in the Next Life.

Your questions are intriguing, because I believe this exact quandary was part of what led to polygamy in the here and now. However, I think it was an error on the part of JS and BY, each in their own way, to project the next life onto this one. I believe polygamy in this life is the worst thing to have happened in and to the Church. I make room to try to understand how they got to where they did, and I don't assume that either JS or BY had evil intent. However, I believe that the effect of polygamy in this life was and is evil. There were some cases where it worked as an interestingly successful alternative to normal marriage, but in the large, it was terrible, IMO, and the relatively small successes were not worth the pain and persecution that resulted from the program. As for the next life, I say, let God take care of that. Who knows, really? We might live our next existence as space aliens visiting other worlds in massive starships or we might haunt old inns in Maine. I, for one, hope to possess people in Congress. We should live our lives for the here and now, and let tomorrow take care of itself. LIving for the here and now, to me, means that we should take polygamy out of our collective equation. Trying to answer unanswerable questions about the next life is a pointless exercise.

Specific answers to your questions:

I'd tell both the man and the woman that I don't believe we can tell how these kinds of issues will be worked out in the next life, and if they want to ask the Church to allow them to be sealed to more than one spouse for the next life, there can be no harm in that. God will sort it out.
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MayB
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Re: Polygamy: A Very Specific Question

Post by MayB » 04 Oct 2013, 15:34

My responses:
1) If you strongly desire to be sealed to your second husband after death, then I think that is fine. I don't think it will hurt anything. I don't know what the next life will bring, but I do believe that God will allow us all to be with those whom we loved, honored, and served while we were here on Earth.

I admit that I don't necessarily believe that we'll be exalted in the LDS sense with the separate kingdoms and creating worlds with our spouses, so my thoughts and beliefs might not hold much water with her, but that's what I would tell her.

2) I would tell him the same thing. If being sealed to your second wife will give you both peace and happiness and a strong commitment to each other, that's great.

I think that being sealed to another spouse after one has passed away is different for me than being sealed to another wife after a divorce, while the first wife is still living and is still sealed to the husband. In my opinion, that causes a lot of hurt. Of course, my beliefs about the afterlife no longer fit the LDS norms as I mentioned above. No matter how you look at it, allowing polygamous sealings causes people pain. Not allowing polygamous sealings would also cause people pain and insecurity because we live in a society where many people will be married more than once, whether through divorce or one spouse passing away.

The LDS sealing doctrine and practice is one thing that really caused me a lot of cog/dis throughout my life, starting when my parents divorced. It was amplified when my brother came out as gay. Now my dad and his third wife are wanting to be sealed in the temple, which is causing issues for my mom. It's not that my mom doesn't want them to be sealed, but all the letter writing and back and forth with the PH authorities about many of my dad's unfulfilled obligations are causing her stress. My dad is accusing her of sabotaging his happiness. It's all very emotional and messy.

Anyway...sorry for the sidetrack there. I think the polygamy doctrine does more harm than good. IMO.
MayB

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cwald
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Re: Polygamy: A Very Specific Question

Post by cwald » 04 Oct 2013, 17:00

I'm not sure the scenario fits the current conversion from the other threads.

Question...is it really consenting adults and free agency, when you threaten individuals with social and cultural isolation and ostricization, and "going to hell" if you reject a doctrine and teaching of God's one true church...the only pathway to exaltation?

Im not sure. I dont think so.

I think many have a problem with apologetic responses that if you disagree or don't like the policy, simply resign and don't be part of the church. "If you don't like, leave..."

It doesn't work that way.

Until recently, questioning and cafeteria Mormonism was grounds for excommunication. And that means, to the average lds member, going to hell and isolation and shame from immediate family and friends.

I think that is the issue I have with this.

Personally, polygamy is not an issue for me. Or Joseph Smith. I don't care what happen 170 years ago.

What I do care about is what the church is doing today. And as someone who has witnessed ecclesiastical abuse at its worst, and completely, utter family relationship devastation, it will take a long time to recover from the bitterness and cynicism and feelings of betrayal...

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Re: Polygamy: A Very Specific Question

Post by Dax » 04 Oct 2013, 17:29

Ray as I have stated on many occasions I have no problem with polygamy, polyandry, poly whatever as long as it does not have a RELIGIOUS component to it. That is the issue that I have with LDS, Muslim, FLDS, and the many other factions of religious based polygamy. You take a group of fallible men with complete power and religious authority, who hold the keys/priesthood/prophet and they determine without ANY input from women themselves that polygamy is necessary for woman's personal salvation. Then you throw in a scripture such as DC 132 telling women that if they do not allow their husbands to marry virgins the sin is on the wife. Thus threatening the salvation and ability of women to get into heaven and be with their families and KIDS if they do not comply.

Im sorry but women have no voice or ability to approve or disapprove policies or revelations in most religions. The men decide and the women are threatened with loss of heaven if they do not comply with their male leaders as seen in DC 132. How convenient for men on this earth to have revelations to have multiple wives and place the sin on the women if they do not agree. That is why we have to this day LDS women shedding tears praying to God to remove and forgive their pride and disobedience that they may be able to accept polygamy in the next life. That is why the men in the nursery were dead serious when they said that they will "earn hot wives" in the next life as a reward. Can the church not see that many women worry or are in anguish still about polygamy and the subtle message it sends to women and to LDS men? That LDS women have been trained and taught that their feelings and issues with religious polygamy are a sin and that they need to repent or wait for God to take the worry and pain from them in the next life. Teaching our daughters that DC 132 is "revelation" and that if they feel uncomfortable with BY having 40 wives that their feelings are unrighteous and that they do not have enough faith only leads our daughters and women to doubt their own feelings and self worth.

As far as your questions I would have zero problem with both situations being sealed to each other and being polygamous if it involves those individuals ONLY and is not required of all. There is HUGE difference between allowing God to determine such unions after death vs telling the women of the church that they must practice polygamy in order to gain salvation or heaven. A simple answer that God will work out such situations is great. Continually reinforcing the stance that JS polygamous revelation is necessary for women and allowing DC 132 to continue to be taught simply causes damage to the women of the church in continual subtle ways that I think men simply don't understand.

Oh and to be clear if their was a matriarchal religion that the female prophet suddenly revealed that in order for men to get into heaven they must be accept their wife marrying as many young men as she wanted or the sin was on him,I would be just as strongly against that!!!

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Re: Polygamy: A Very Specific Question

Post by Curt Sunshine » 04 Oct 2013, 17:30

I'm not sure the scenario fits the current conversation from the other threads.


It doesn't. I wanted to find out how everyone felt about that situation, so I wrote this post.

I understand your comment, cwald, and don't disagree with it - but it is not relevant at all to the post I wrote and the input I am seeking in writing it. I described a specific situation and even made sure I called it that in the title. I really do want to know how people view the situation I described, since it's a large reason why I can't condemn the concept of polygamy entirely (particularly in some form or another in the next life), even though my own view doesn't support polygamy as we know it in mortality continuing in the next life.

Everyone, thanks for your input so far. I understand the coercive nature of the way polygamy has been framed by many people in the past, and I abhor it as much as anyone else here. I believe the angel with the drawn sword claim might be the single best example of not all visions coming from God and that even prophets can make terrible mistakes. This post isn't about that - and I intentionally didn't include it, since I figured all of us agree completely about that aspect.
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

Ann
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Re: Polygamy: A Very Specific Question

Post by Ann » 04 Oct 2013, 17:49

Ray Degraw wrote:
1) A woman has been married to two men in her life and has loved each husband deeply. She was sealed to the first husband but couldn't be sealed in this life to the second one. She was the only wife of each husband. She knows she can be sealed to both husbands after her death and has asked that she be sealed to her second husband, as well. She doesn't want to have to choose between them and hopes she can be sealed to and live with both of them after she dies. She asks you what you think about her desire and decision - not what you would advise her to do, but what you think about it.

2) A man in that same situation asks you the same question, with the exception that he was sealed to both wives in this life.
The desires of these people are perfectly understandable. I would desire the same. If my husband remarried happily after I died, he would, too. Gazillions of people have had more than one spouse, mother, father, etc. These and other stranger situations - babies switched at birth, husbands who reappear after 20 years on a desert island and find their wives remarried with children, etc., etc., must in my mind be put in the "It Will Work Out" category.
"Preachers err by trying to talk people into belief; better they reveal the radiance of their own discovery." - Joseph Campbell

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Re: Polygamy: A Very Specific Question

Post by QuestionAbound » 04 Oct 2013, 19:05

I wonder if this will help...

Years ago, before my husband and I were sealed (we were married civilly first), we were called as stake missionaries. One of the elders we worked with was striking. At least, for me...he stood out. He wasn't overly handsome, and he wasn't "popular". As we would often give the elders rides to and from, I was able to get to know him very well. We were about the same age (I married young). There were times when both he and I would have "bonding" moments...but not inappropriate. I can't give details on those moments, but I am sure he felt what I felt...it wasn't necessarily love...it was more "eternal". I can't explain it, but I felt strongly that he COULD have been mine, or WOULD be mine...or just "something." Anyway, fast forward to today...I am absolutely in love with my husband and if we CAN be eternal companions, I am happy with that. But I would lie if I didn't also hope that I could continue "bonding" with that young elder from so many years ago.

Do I know for sure that we can be eternally united as couples? No, I really don't. But, it's a nice thought and I believe that it is true. I also believe that if this elder and I met again in the hereafter and wanted to create worlds together...why couldn't we? Why couldn't all four of us (his wife and my husband) rule and reign together....or separately? How many families do we know here on earth where, say, a man has two families that he is actively involved with (maybe b/c of divorce). Or how many moms have multiple baby-daddies. While those scenarios aren't ideal, they happen. I would like to think that Heavenly Father would allow couples to intermingle to create worlds.

That said, if there is no sex in heaven (it would be hell, actually), then there really should be no limit on who we "bond" with. We are all supposed to be sealed together anyway.

AND...who is to say that the choice we make here is THE right choice for eternity? I mean...geez...eternity is a long time to live with the wrong choice. :)

So...to answer your questions...why not tell both of these people to go for it? I would certainly hate to have to choose one love of my life over another. How depressing for the one "not chosen". What kind of heaven would that be for him?

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Re: Polygamy: A Very Specific Question

Post by cwald » 04 Oct 2013, 20:42

Ray Degraw wrote:
I'm not sure the scenario fits the current conversation from the other threads.


It doesn't. I wanted to find out how everyone felt about that situation, so I wrote this post.

I understand your comment, cwald, and don't disagree with it - but it is not relevant at all to the post I wrote and the input I am seeking in writing it. I described a specific situation and even made sure I called it that in the title. I really do want to know how people view the situation I described, since it's a large reason why I can't condemn the concept of polygamy entirely (particularly in some form or another in the next life), even though my own view doesn't support polygamy as we know it in mortality continuing in the next life.

Everyone, thanks for your input so far. I understand the coercive nature of the way polygamy has been framed by many people in the past, and I abhor it as much as anyone else here. I believe the angel with the drawn sword claim might be the single best example of not all visions coming from God and that even prophets can make terrible mistakes. This post isn't about that - and I intentionally didn't include it, since I figured all of us agree completely about that aspect.
Okay.

I thought this was the thread you wanted us to post on so we didn't derail the Christopherson thread.

I think the idea of polygamy AND polyandry, in a spiritual scenario, rather than a religious scenario, works and makes sense.




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Curt Sunshine
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Re: Polygamy: A Very Specific Question

Post by Curt Sunshine » 04 Oct 2013, 20:59

I thought this was the thread you wanted us to post on so we didn't derail the Christopherson thread.


Sorry for the confusion. I didn't want that thread to turn into a polygamy discussion, but I wanted to ask this particular question.
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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