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Why is polygamy such a hot-button topic?


liz3564

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I think the principle that is being taught here (Thanks Dad and Bat) is at the heart of the Gospel...

"Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven"

That is why JS told Heber Kimball and Helen Mar that they had... "Passed the test". After he asked for her to be sealed to him.

Take Abraham... he knew how evil passing ones child through the fires was. We hear that over and over in the in the OT. Yet when he went to do it he had perfect faith that "God would provide the sacrifice". And he did not faulter. All the way up to the point the knife was drawn and ready to strike.

IMO, That is the principle behind Polygamy. That is the work that Justifies. (James 2) Going above and beyoned simple obedience to a tablet of stone and following the living breathing voice of God and obeying him, even when a command might go against the grain.

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I think the principle that is being taught here (Thanks Dad) is at the heart of the Gospel...

"Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven"

That is why JS told Heber Kimball and Helen Mar that they had... "Passed the test". After he asked for her to be sealed to him.

Take Abraham... he knew how evil passing ones child through the fires was. We hear that over and over in the in the OT. Yet when he went to do it he had perfect faith that "God would provide the sacrifice". And he did not faulter. All the way up to the point the knife was drawn and ready to strike.

IMO, That is the principle behind Polygamy.

And every other iteration of the "higher law."

Many of God's laws have been taken from us and sealed up to be reavealed at a later date when we appreciate what we have and are willing to live those higher laws because we have accepted that principle: "Thy will, and not mine, be done."

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liz, I'm glad we share our satisfaction with our choice. Now, to your other points:

"So...does that mean that at that point in time we were also aware of plural marriage?"

I believe we were, because I believe that most probably Heavenly Father has plural wives. We would have "grown up" with it as spirit children. In my opinion.

"why does it seem to so inherently "go against the grain" of so many of us?"

Social conditioning. Human weakness. Plural marriage doesn't go against the grain with people who have grown up in that kind of society. And one of the human weaknesses is selfishness and possessiveness.

"As Allana stated earlier, it seems like most women have almost a biological tendancy toward monogamy? I wonder why that would be?"

I think this is a corruption of a true principle. To me, it seems perfectly reasonable that men have a tendency toward being able to love more than one woman. Because it would be eternally preferable to do so. But women have a tendency toward being able to love only one man. Because it would be eternally preferable to do so. The corruption of the true principle is that if one can only love one, then the other must be able to love only one as well.

And further, I think we have such a problem accepting plural marriage because we have had to over do the mongamous marriage mind set. I am not in any way condoning the behavior of men who break their marital vows. When they marry, mongamously, they covenant and promise absolute fidelity. And when they have an extra-marital relationship, however short, that is a grievous sin. But on the other hand, I think we ask a lot of men, who I believe are naturally polygamous, to overcome that natural tendency. I know of a couple of instances where men have broken their vows where they really loved the "other" woman. It wasn't just a sex thing. They were wrong. They should have controlled their emotions and kept their vows. And it was perfeclty appropriate that they were excommunicated.

On the other hand, I think we women who have faithful husbands ought to be extremely appreciative of the work it is for men to remain faithful, more than it is for women.

"Was it designed that way to be the ultimate trial for many of us to overcome?"

We all have trials to overcome. Some of them of our own making. If we allow our thought processes to anticipate that we will act in ways that are against God's will, what do we gain? Back when I believed that we would all be called to walk back to Jackson County Missouri, I made little packs of matches with wax on them, and had walking shoes in my "food" storage." What would it have benefitted me to constantly think "I won't want to do that. I won't want to leave my home and walk, WALK for pete's sake, 2, 000 miles. I'd hate it. I would cry every mile! How could the Lord ask me to do that!" And been miserable. And for what?

We should instead, be preparing ourselves to do whatever the Lord asks. And reaffirming for ourselves, that even if the Lord asks something hard of us, we will have the courage and strength to do what He will ask us.

Be of good cheer, liz. You will be able to do what He aks.

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I think the principle that is being taught here (Thanks Dad and Bat) is at the heart of the Gospel...

"Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven"

That is why JS told Heber Kimball and Helen Mar that they had... "Passed the test". After he asked for her to be sealed to him.

Take Abraham... he knew how evil passing ones child through the fires was. We hear that over and over in the in the OT. Yet when he went to do it he had perfect faith that "God would provide the sacrifice". And he did not faulter. All the way up to the point the knife was drawn and ready to strike.

IMO, That is the principle behind Polygamy.

Following that line of reasoning then, polygamy would be pulled back in the CK and God would "provide the sacrifice" instead of us.

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A man who is attracted to polygamy because it provides additional sex partners would be somewhere around "rutting pig" in the evolutionary ladder.

You just keep saying the sweetest things...keep this up and liz and I might just change our minds completely... :unsure:

You keep finding the strangest statements of mine to call "sweet". :P

Just change your mind if Heavenly Father thinks it's a good idea. I can share my experience, but I'd hate for you to take my word for it if I'm wrong!

Remember above all, it's not on the Temple recommend, and you aren't required to live it. You probably aren't required to even accept it unless for some reason God has seen fit to ask you too.

I'd hate to see this or any other single issue deter someone from persuing faith in Christ and all that entails.

Now I'd really better get back to work. Quit asking these great questions! <_<

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Ah but don't forget your primary verse...

1 Ne. 3: 7

7 And it came to pass that I, Nephi, said unto my father: I will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded, for I know that the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them.

Perhaps the way God will prepare is by softening your heart. Or he may remove all the green thumbs by turning them black. :P

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Following that line of reasoning then, polygamy would be pulled back in the CK and God would "provide the sacrifice" instead of us.

I think you may have missed the point.

Isn't it selfish to say "I want my husband to love me and me alone?"

I keep getting the idea that the problem people have with this "principle" is not love at all, but sex. We have no problem with the idea that a man may love each of his children equally and have no problem with people having lots of children. There is also little problem with having several sibling. No one seems to have an issue with people having networks of close friends, all of whom love one another.

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"As Allana stated earlier, it seems like most women have almost a biological tendancy toward monogamy? I wonder why that would be?"

And further, I think we have such a problem accepting plural marriage because we have had to over do the mongamous marriage mind set. I am not in any way condoning the behavior of men who break their marital vows. When they marry, mongamously, they covenant and promise absolute fidelity. And when they have an extra-marital relationship, however short, that is a grievous sin. But on the other hand, I think we ask a lot of men, who I believe are naturally polygamous, to overcome that natural tendency. I know of a couple of instances where men have broken their vows where they really loved the "other" woman. It wasn't just a sex thing. They were wrong. They should have controlled their emotions and kept their vows. And it was perfeclty appropriate that they were excommunicated.

On the other hand, I think we women who have faithful husbands ought to be extremely appreciative of the work it is for men to remain faithful, more than it is for women.

"Was it designed that way to be the ultimate trial for many of us to overcome?"

We all have trials to overcome. Some of them of our own making. If we allow our thought processes to anticipate that we will act in ways that are against God's will, what do we gain? Back when I believed that we would all be called to walk back to Jackson County Missouri, I made little packs of matches with wax on them, and had walking shoes in my "food" storage." What would it have benefitted me to constantly think "I won't want to do that. I won't want to leave my home and walk, WALK for pete's sake, 2, 000 miles. I'd hate it. I would cry every mile! How could the Lord ask me to do that!" And been miserable. And for what?

We should instead, be preparing ourselves to do whatever the Lord asks. And reaffirming for ourselves, that even if the Lord asks something hard of us, we will have the courage and strength to do what He will ask us.

Be of good cheer, liz. You will be able to do what He aks.

I believe we were, because I believe that most probably Heavenly Father has plural wives. We would have "grown up" with it as spirit children.  In my opinion.

I would have to see precise, clearly defined DOCTRINE to go along with this. I would also be interested to know if polyandry was part of his marriage.

I think this is a corruption of a true principle.  To me, it seems perfectly reasonable that men have a tendency toward being able to love more than one woman.  Because it would be eternally preferable to do so.  But women have a tendency toward being able to love only one man.  Because it would be eternally preferable to do so.  The corruption of the true principle is that if one can only love one, then the other must be able to love only one as well.

I see no ETERNAL advantage to either side.

As for a man "loving" other women, hmmm. I had a man point out to me once that a woman's infidelity was much more dangerous to a marriage than a man's. The reason being, a man could easily have sex with other women and it would mean nothing to him. A woman on the other hand was more likely to fall in love with her other and leave the marriage.

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A man who is attracted to polygamy because it provides additional sex partners would be somewhere around "rutting pig" in the evolutionary ladder.

A man who understands that God has asked Him to be a steward over many households, and as loyal and supportive of two or more of His daughters as he is of one, with all the sensitivity and work that entails, is going to first be a superior model of a monogamist. He will not find the idea entertaining, but more likely he will struggle with it as much as a woman would.

That's really true. And, also, it has implications to the notion that we, as humans, are drawn to be monogamous in our marital relations.

If there is a heirarchy of intimate relations (using intimate in the broadest sense as well as the specific) that goes something like this:

Pimping / pure sensuality with multiple partners --> Pairing off in an intimate boyfriend/girlfriend relationship --> Cohabitation --> monogamous earthly marriage --> monogamous celestial marriage --> plural marriage

then the feeling of being drawn to be in a monogamous marriage might be a step towards feeling comfortable with plural marriage, not a step away from it. If it still feels like there's a chasm between yourself and accepting this principle, at least being drawn to monogamy might be the act of stepping up to the edge of that chasm, not a step away from it. Just a thought.

Also, were there any examples of plural marriage practiced in the church that was for time only, or did all of the plural marriages involve some kind of temple sealing? I'm aware that Brigham Young and some others married widowed women for time only in order to take care of their earthly needs, but my question is: was there any plural marriage arrangement where NONE of the wives were sealed to the husband for eternity?

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a man could easily have sex with other women and it would mean nothing to him.

Not arguing the main point, but...

I think "Man" is too honorable a title for this particular hypothetical individual.

Again a true understanding of polygamy would only come after a very clear understanding of Chastity and the New And Everlasting Covenenat of Marriage. Not in lieu of fidelity.

It goes without saying the natural man is an enemy to God- that infidelity is a sin.

However, is the spiritual man drawn to Monogamy or is he drawn to loyalty to those He is covenanted with by God? That is an important distinction. Right now every man in the Church should be drawn to monogamy (barring he is a widower) because it's the curent practice of the covenant people. But that does not mean that if required by God, he should reject the assignment of additional stewardships. (And it was a calling- a man was not supposed to just take on another wife on his own).

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Following that line of reasoning then, polygamy would be pulled back in the CK and God would "provide the sacrifice" instead of us.

I think you may have missed the point.

Isn't it selfish to say "I want my husband to love me and me alone?"

I keep getting the idea that the problem people have with this "principle" is not love at all, but sex. We have no problem with the idea that a man may love each of his children equally and have no problem with people having lots of children. There is also little problem with having several sibling. No one seems to have an issue with people having networks of close friends, all of whom love one another.

No, it's not just about the sex.

This loving-multiple-wives compared to loving-multiple-children has been addressed earlier in the thread.

The love between spouse is very different than the love between children or friends. The desired end results are also different for the spousal relationship than for the parent child relationship.

Spouses are meant to grow closer together, to work toward becoming one. This goes back to the discussion on "uniqueness" earlier.

However, if we raise our children correctly, we don't become one with them. We send them off into the world to find their one....to build their lives...

Of course, we still have relationships with our grown children, but we are not their primary focus and they are not ours.

I stated earlier that I believe the gospel revolves around romantic love (this is not just sex, but the totality of the married relationshp). We are the product of the romantic love of a Heavenly Father and a Heavenly Mother.

Love of children or friends or mankind in general does not produce this.

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a man could easily have sex with other women and it would mean nothing to him.

Not arguing the main point, but...

I think "Man" is too honorable a title for this particular hypothetical individual.

Again a true understanding of polygamy would only come after a very clear understanding of Chastity and the New And Everlasting Covenenat of Marriage. Not in lieu of fidelity.

It goes without saying the natural man is an enemy to God- that infidelity is a sin.

However, is the spiritual man drawn to Monogamy or is he drawn to loyalty to those He is covenanted with by God? That is an important distinction. Right now every man in the Church should be drawn to monogamy (barring he is a widower) because it's the curent practice of the covenant people. But that does not mean that if required by God, he should reject the assignment of additional stewardships. (And it was a calling- a man was not supposed to just take on another wife on his own).

Agreed. I was specifically addressing Charity's points about men being polygamous by nature. Neither of us necessarily said we were talking about righteous men.

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In my field, we study "love" and the different ways it manifests itself. Romantic love is just one aspect. And I disagree, alannasaunt. The gospel does not revolve around romantic love. Far from it. We aim for much higher.

Romantic love, by the way, lasts about six weeks, unless you do something to encourage it to hang around. I saw another post-er use the term "limerence." Very intense. Very meangingful. Very transitory. We should be more grown up than that.

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I'll take your word for it that it is not about the "just the sex." You are right that we who are married are to work on becoming "one." And that other loves don't produce that. At least not as we practice them. Certainly, you are correct that the parent-child relationship isn't a relationship of one-ness. At least, not as we practice it. Do we really understand God's love? Do wo really have the faintest inkling of what it means to be an eternal family?

Perhaps we don't really understand love at all. God said His people are called "Zion." Zion means to be one, or of one heart. We, the members of God's Kingdom on Earth, have a long way to go to becoming Zion. A great many of us cannot even accomplish it in a 1:1 marriage. How could we dream of doing it in a polygamous one? Let alone as a Church.

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Also, were there any examples of plural marriage practiced in the church that was for time only, or did all of the plural marriages involve some kind of temple sealing? I'm aware that Brigham Young and some others married widowed women for time only in order to take care of their earthly needs, but my question is: was there any plural marriage arrangement where NONE of the wives were sealed to the husband for eternity?

NONE of the wives? Not that I know of.

However there are instances where a husband and plural wife were sealed for time only where the wife had been previously sealed for eternity to another man, now deceased. As you know, according to LDS theology, it is understood that children in such a marriage would be sealed to that wife and to her first husband to whom she was sealed for eternity.

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In my field, we study "love" and the different ways it manifests itself. Romantic love is just one aspect. And I disagree, alannasaunt. The gospel does not revolve around romantic love. Far from it. We aim for much higher.

Romantic love, by the way, lasts about six weeks, unless you do something to encourage it to hang around. I saw another post-er use the term "limerence." Very intense. Very meangingful. Very transitory. We should be more grown up than that.

Please reread my posts. Dadof7 and I had a rather extensive discussion of "romantic love" earlier.

I call it "romantic love" because I don't have a better term for it. I am NOT talking about that first flush when two people first meet.

The "romantic love" I am talking about is the totality of a very long term (think eternal here) relationship between a man and a woman. This love is very different and much deeper than that shared with children, friends, etc.

The "romantic love" I am talking about is in no way transitory or childish.

In my own field, IT, we often have problems with our users over vocabulary. We use the same words to describe different things. Perhaps that is what is happening here.

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God said His people are called "Zion." Zion means to be one, or of one heart. We, the members of God's Kingdom on Earth, have a long way to go to becoming Zion. A great many of us cannot even accomplish it in a 1:1 marriage. How could we dream of doing it in a polygamous one? Let alone as a Church.

...and that my friend is why I would be greatly surprised if the practice were reinstated during mortality (even if the law allows it), but why I think the Principle bears considering by all of us at some point in our lives.

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...and that my friend is why I would be greatly surprised if the practice were reinstated during mortality (even if the law allows it), but why I think the Principle bears considering by all of us at some point in our lives.

Absolutely it does. I don't think it so hard to grasp, to practice on the other hand...

I wouldn't be surprised to find it reinstated during mortality. I also look forward to the United Order and the reavealing of further scripture.

I believe these things will come, perhaps not in my lifetime, but that they will sometime. I hope that it will come before the Millenial Reign. If it doesn't it will surely be in effect then.

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The question of "deeper love" or marital love concerning the principle is: Is true marital love only something that can be shared 1:1 or is it something that a responsible steward can provide for two spouses? Does it require exclusivity or is it capable of providing fullfilment without diminishing "duty of marriage*" and all that implies.

*Exodus 21:10 If he take him another wife; her food, her raiment, and her duty of marriage, shall he not diminish.

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I'll take your word for it that it is not about the "just the sex." You are right that we who are married are to work on becoming "one." And that other loves don't produce that. At least not as we practice them. Certainly, you are correct that the parent-child relationship isn't a relationship of one-ness. At least, not as we practice it. Do we really understand God's love? Do wo really have the faintest inkling of what it means to be an eternal family?

Perhaps we don't really understand love at all. God said His people are called "Zion." Zion means to be one, or of one heart. We, the members of God's Kingdom on Earth, have a long way to go to becoming Zion. A great many of us cannot even accomplish it in a 1:1 marriage. How could we dream of doing it in a polygamous one? Let alone as a Church.

I think you are correct that we don't understand God's love.

I really can't wrap my head around the oneness of a marriage being the same as a oneness in heart of a community. We talked about this earlier, as well.

In my admittedly limited view, if they were one and the same, this would mean that everyone would be sealed to everyone else in a marriage type relationship and there would be no artificial (don't mean this negatively, simply saying marriage between a limited number of partners) limiting of relationships between individuals.

As a result PM would be practiced among all members of the opposite gender.

For the record, I think this is a far fetched idea. I am NOT promoting it. I'm just taking the notion that these two examples of oneness being the same to it's logical conclusion.

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I really can't wrap my head around the oneness of a marriage being the same as a oneness in heart of a community. P

Are you suggesting that it is impossible for someone to be "one" with their spouse and not be "one" with another spouse? What does it mean to be "one"?

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Because 47 was enough for any man?

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