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Why is polygamy such a hot-button topic?


liz3564

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My understanding is that the patriarchal order was something that was decided long before Adam and Eve came to the earth.

If so, then what quality is it that requires the man to be the 'president' of the family so to speak?

I personally see all forms of leadership when it comes to relationships pretty much being eventually discarded as we become perfected and one in heart and mind and soul if male and female truly become one and parent and child are actually all siblings, children of our Father.

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f we want to talk about equalizing this out with polyandry, allowing me three males in the afterlife, then I am all ears.
So it's not about having a particular someone to work all 'this' out with, but simply an issue of time and attention being paid to you, something that could be fulfilled by three men devoted to three women as well as one man could do for one woman.
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I am curious is there is any one here who believes in the 'one and only true soul mate'. If so, I can see eternity as being something to be concerned about--what if one of you doesn't endure to the end? The other would seem to be left having to choose second best or be second best for someone else. Not a pleasant thought.

OTOH, there are those of us who don't believe in a perfect heaven filled with perfect people in every sense of the word, that there are any 'second besters' or at least no need to worry about it.

IOW, if you don't believe in the One and Only, then your wish to live eternally with your current partner is not based on some ultimate need that s/he is the only one capable of fulfilling for you, but rather simply because s/he was there first so to speak. And it is even possible that your current spouse isn't capable of fulfilling all those ultimate needs. If so, do you settle for 'second best' based on your mortal history or does something else occur (perhaps there really are no second bests no matter what the requirement is, each person having the fullest potential within them and it only being a matter of choice in developing it--but this might be contrary to scriptural doctrine).

Hypothetically speaking, on the assumption that perfect in terms of emotionally, mentally, spirtually, socially and physically developed men and women would be truly happy with anyone of a wide range of people (didn't Pres. Kimball state something like this), it would only be the 'emotional baggage' from our mortal life that would require us to stay within the same relationship we have here.

What if, when the veil is removed, we find out we had an equally or even more rewarding relationship with another individual in our premortal life and experienced that love and commitment as much as the love and commitment we felt with our current partner. What if we could tell we had the possibility of having equal or for some currently unknown reason, even a better 'becoming one' relationship, that there was someone or rather someones whose eternal nature would actually make a better coupling eternally speaking with us in the sense that it would allow both of the partners to reach a higher level of personal and relationship development?

Is there any logical reason to suppose this couldn't happen (many emotional ones, try to think of this in the abstract, speculative sense rather than actually trying to place yourself in this situation)?

If so, it would seem to me to open many possibilities of bondings beyond what we have chosen to experience in this life.

Because there are so many unanswered questions (these, the numbers one, what marriage and other relationshps will actually be like, what we will actually be like, etc) floating around, I think it best to put speculations that deepen into concerns aside and focus instead on developing a love and bonding with God. Once we get to the point where we truly trust that God not only has our best interests at heart and therefore has set up the best of all possible worlds, but also that he has promised us eternal joy and happiness if we so desire them and thus we will not be placed into any situation that could possibly limit that in any way, rather than worrying about 'what happens when' we can focus on what is most important, drawing heaven down to us in the here and now and begin to experience some of that joy even now.

Hi Calmoriah,

Your thoughts here perfectly illustrated was I referring to when I said "changing expectation of marriage." Thanks.

I do not believe in soul mates. Your scenario sounds much like a love-commune from the 60's. How would you square eternal propegation with "coupling" in your scenario?

I think that trust in God is the issue, and why women find polygamy challenging. How can we trust a format wherein we are getting the "short end of the shaft"? How are our best interests served in polygamy?

If overcoming ones needs is the key to nirvana, what's love got to do with it? And why would an idealized notion such as marriage be necessary?

Frog

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Calmoriah, I found your posts to be quite profound, and very thought provoking.

Thankyou.

Abulafia

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And lastly, if I were forced to pratice polygamy today, either on the earth or in heaven, I would run mach speed over any other wife in the vicinity. Just because I can. I'm not nice and I want my man. I want sex every day, I want unlimited amounts of intimacy like cuddling and shared time. I don't think that giving up my man would make me more spiritual, and ultimately- that is what is being suggested. Why would someone have to give up something so very fundamental...and for what cause? Spiritual baby production?

Poppycock. Women are not hens. Women are thinking, feeling beings. It doesn't take three of us to equal a man in any other scenario, and it doesn't take three wives to accomodate a man in a polygamous scenario.

If we want to talk about equalizing this out with polyandry, allowing me three males in the afterlife, then I am all ears. Until then, polygamy is unfair, unjudicious, unfulfilling, unappetizing and just plain wrong.

Big green opinionated hugs,

Froggie

Yeah...what she said... :P

liz,

Can froggie join our group?

Please...

<_<:unsure::ph34r:

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f we want to talk about equalizing this out with polyandry, allowing me three males in the afterlife, then I am all ears.
So it's not about having a particular someone to work all 'this' out with, but simply an issue of time and attention being paid to you, something that could be fulfilled by three men devoted to three women as well as one man could do for one woman.

I personally believe monogamy is the ideal.

Having said that, if polygyny is in practice, then polyandry provides a measure of justice.

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I agree that speculating is sort of useless. I mean who really knows what is going to happen after we die? Even NDE's are reflective of culture and belief so I don't think anyone's guess is better than anothers.

However, I think the problems arise because the brethren have speculated. Rather than suggesting we don't really know what is next, and we have to trust God and develop and expand our ability to love and care for God and one another, (and insert Cal's ideas here), the leaders of the church have come up with many rather specific statements that may or may not be doctrine depending on who you ask. But regardless, many members believe these ideas.

As a believing member, I came to the "conclusion" that IF we were all Gods and Goddesses (as God) then we would have perfect love for everyone. There would be no one who would be loved any more than any other because we would love everyone as fully as was possibly. But of course this negates the idea of needing to have a spouse at all or the whole family sealing idea (as in partners going off and having their own worlds without number and families being together forever idea).

But still, it actually makes more sense to me. But then again I'm speculating!

:P

~dancer~

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Your scenario sounds much like a love-commune from the 60's. How would you square eternal propegation with "coupling" in your scenario?
I think you have mistaken my comments. I am not talking about an eternity of exchanging partners as the need arises, but rather the 'gene pool' from who we chose our eternal partner whenever that happens for an individual--the one we stick with eternally in order to develop that ultimate bond--could be larger than just our current choice without a drop in quality of that relationship and maybe even an improvement (do I think my husband could do better than me... in some ways sure, in other ways not; it would depend on what areas are most important for his personal development and whether my lacks will disappear when eternity is taken into account--I don't want to be the one that holds him back from pure glory even if means having to give him up).

All this means to me is that I'm not worried about making sure my current partner is all he can be for my sake, I figure as long as I'm living the Celestial principles I will be blessed with a truly divine relationship in the eternity to come, no need to worry and fret. In the here and now, that means I'm looking out for my husband and encouraging him solely because I want him to be as joyful and fulfilled as he seems to me to deserve to be and based on his needs rather than mine. I don't care if at this time we are unequally yoked in certain ways or if he chooses to focus on something that I don't think is all that important. If it's important to him, then I can fully support it even on the very off chance that it might take him away from me somehow. I am supporting him to become what he wants to become, not what I want him to become. Not only do I think this is a truer form of love, but it is a heck of a lot easier.

Someone who judges their eternal standing with God based on their relationship with their spouse rather than their relationship with God is heading for trouble, imo. And this can be seen by some of the responses when a spouse leaves the church or one spouse is trying to manipulate the other into their perfect soul mate. Not a pretty sight no matter how well intentioned.

I'd rather let my husband develop into what he truly is, it's much more interesting than the totally predictable though totally wonderful ideal spouse I had images of.

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But of course this negates the idea of needing to have a spouse at all or the whole family sealing idea (as in partners going off and having their own worlds without number and families being together forever idea).
How so? Unless you believe that eternity is just about experiencing love and humanity becomes one formless mass, being able to feel love fully for everyone doesn't preclude working with particular individuals to bring about a particular goal.
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How so? Unless you believe that eternity is just about experiencing love and humanity becomes one formless mass, being able to feel love fully for everyone doesn't preclude working with particular individuals to bring about a particular goal.

Hi Cal...

Well, this is not what I believe today but as a believeing member I speculated that if we are all perfect and had perfect love for everyone then the idea of loving one person more than another made no sense. IOW, we would love everyone as much as we love our children and spouse (well more probably but still).

It wouldn't really matter who we were sealed to or how we loved anyone because we would fully love everyone and all be perfected.

Why would we even want to be separated from anyone if we loved everyone perfectly and completely? Why would we want to only have one person with whom we partnered? And who would care who was with whom? Everyone would be equal and all would love each other as God and as ourselves.

But the idea of sealing someone to a spouse so they would be together forever doesn't quite fit my speculation! :P Seems to me most members believe being sealed to their spouse means they will be together with that spouse forever and have some sort of exclusive partnership as husband and wife (or husband and wives) for eternity, creating worlds and universes and procreating spirit children forever.

Of course (in my former perspective) folks could team up to reach a goal or work on a project but the idea of our current partnerships remaining as an exclusive husband and wife (or wives) unity doesn't quite fit.

Another thought I used to have, concerned the idea of how, given the billions and billions of spirits that have come to earth, we would find the exact perfect spouse. I mean at a young age, without really knowing ourselves we pick a person who we think would be great but is it really realistic to think we happen to pick THE perfect person for ETERNITY? I don't know, but I used to wonder about this.

Who knows? I think we all come to a belief that works for us and makes us feel comfortable about the next life or what happens after death even if that is nothing.

My observation is that most people search until they find a belief (usually within their faith tradition) that "works" for them.

I think it is a good thing!

~dancer~

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but the idea of our current partnerships remaining as an exclusive husband and wife (or wives) unity doesn't quite fit.
Why does an exclusive partnership with one person imply separation to you?

God and Christ have in many ways an exclusive partnership, yet we are all promised to be one with them. Still none of us will ever have that particular partnership with God.

It seems to me you put limitations on relationships based on mortal restrictions, not on immortal.

As long as we are individuals...and LDS doctrine teaches this...each relationship will be unique, but uniqueness doesn't imply separateness in an immortal context.

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Another thought I used to have, concerned the idea of how, given the billions and billions of spirits that have come to earth, we would find the exact perfect spouse. I mean at a young age, without really knowing ourselves we pick a person who we think would be great but is it really realistic to think we happen to pick THE perfect person for ETERNITY? I don't know, but I used to wonder about this.

My personal belief about the whole "soul-mate" thing is that relationships are not so much a matter of destiny as they are a matter of creating something meaningful. In that way, it's not like you have one soul-mate that would be perfect for you, it's more like there's a wide range of people with whom you can successfully create that kind of a meaningful relationship. Because of this, I don't think it's a troubling thing that we choose our eternal mates so early and with so little experience. Also because of this, I don't have a really big problem with plural marriage.

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A CONVERSATION BETWEEN ME AND MR. MORNINGSTAR

Last night when we went to bed, I decided to ask my husband about his feelings on this issue and we had one of our usual light hearted discussions.

ME: If we were called to practice polygamy, could you do it?

MR. MORNINGSTAR: *groan*

ME: Well, could you? There's been a discussion about it on the LDS board I go to and it's interesting to read different points of view.

MM: I don't know. I can hardly handle the three kids we have right now. (Mr. MorningStar has been very stressed because we live in a two bedroom apartment and my foot has been broken for about 8 weeks. He has way more to do than usual.)

ME: OK, forget about the kids. Could you handle more wives?

MM: You mean the other nags?

ME: WHAT???

MM: Well, you're not a nag.

ME: But other nags implies that I am a nag! (I strive to not be a nag.)

MM: No, you're not a nag.

ME: Seriously, could you stand to be married to more women?

MM: I don't know.

ME: Could you stand having sex with them?

MM: *evil grin* Maybe ...

ME: *glare*

MM: I'm just kidding! What about you? Could you stand having sex with other husbands?

ME: (without hesitation) UH HUH!!! *evil grin*

MM: HEY!!! *big frowny face*

ME: Hahahahahahaha!!! You know I'm kidding! I can't even stand the thought of it. One lady said that it wasn't the sex that bothered her, but her husband forming an emotional bond with other women. For me, it's the sex that would bother me the most. I can't even stand it when people ask for a sip of my pop. I always tell them, "You can have it now." I wouldn't care so much if you had an emotional bond. You guys could be great friends and go do stuff that I won't do with you, like hiking. (I hate hiking. I always feel like my head is going to explode due to the heat and the migraine I always get without fail.)

MM: So I could go off with them for long amounts of time? What if I started to like them more? What if one of them became my favorite wife?

ME: They can't!

MM: So I can't have a favorite wife?

ME: No! You have to like me best!

MM: So you can be my favorite wife?

ME: Yep, that's right!

MM: OK!

ME: I actually like the idea of having more women around the house. We would have fun chatting, sharing the housework, and I find handling the kids so much easier when I have friends around.

MM: Yeah, that would be nice for you.

ME: But I can't stand the thought of you even kissing the other wives. What if one of them gets a cold sore? Then I won't want to kiss you anymore because I'll be afraid I'll get it. You can kiss them on the cheek, but that's it! I told everyone how me and your 90-year-old wives will get along great, you know, the ones I'm picking out.

MM: *makes disgusted face* But we'll have to take care of them all the time!

ME: Some anti asked me if a 14 or 16-year-old would be OK and I said that would not be OK because they monopolize the bathroom, but then again, it would be fine because you're not attracted to girls that age and they would make excellent babysitters.

MM: But eventually they would turn 18 ... *evil grin*

ME: And you still wouldn't like them!

MM: But then they'd turn 30 ...

ME: I said you were only attracted to women who are fat, flabby, and have stretch marks from bearing your children ..

MM: Now that you put it like that ... uh ... that doesn't sound so good ... *laughs*

Then we kissed because some silly report on the news said that kissing for 30 minutes might help allergies (and because we love each other, of course!). It was worth a try! But we were sleepy, especially Mr. MorningStar because his allergy medication was starting to kick in.

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These are the things that make me fundamentally concerned about polygamy.

The numbers setup suggests that men and women are unequal, with the man being superior. The feminist in me acknowledges I would NEVER be happy in that situation.

I wasn't aware that the arrangement of plural marriage inherently puts men or women in a position of gender superiority. What's to say that plural marriage puts the man in an inferior position, seeing as he needs multiple wives to take care of him all the time, whereas the women can do well enough for themselves that they only need one man to support a whole group of them? This is more a matter of personal perspective than an inherent problem with polygamy - and as for myself, I never really saw things that way.

The setup also suggests that this is the best scenario for propegation - of any sort. I am much more than a uterus. Again, the feminist in me acknowledges I would NEVER be happy in that situation.

Plural marriage is about a lot more than just earthly biology. After all, I don' t think there was a single case of plural marriage practiced in the church where one or more of the wives wasn't sealed to the husband. History shows that plural marriage, to the early saints, was overwhelmingly seen as a spiritual thing, not a biological or even purely economic thing.

Some have suggested that overcoming the need to be fulfilled in a marital relationship is somehow selfish or unspiritual. I do not agree. I think those are basic emotional needs. If you want to suggest that having an emotional need is unspiritual, I think we should examine the concept of God as has been introduced in scripture.

Of course we have emotional needs. What's to say that plural marriage can't also offer emotional and marital fulfillment? The criticism has not been about people wanting marital fulfillment - it's been about the demand for fulfillment on a set of inflexible - and selfish - terms.

It is absolutely natural for selfishness or insecurities to ooze into polygamous arrangements, heck it is natural enough in a traditional 1-man 1-woman relationship.

True. How then does your criticism apply uniquely to plural marriage?

You will have to change the definition and expectation of marriage - essentially downgrading it to a business-production type of a facility before I anticipate anyone possessing the emotional security to thrive in it.

I suggest reading some of the previous posts on this thread, especially those by Del March. Some of us aren't emotionally secure enough to feel able to practice this principle, others do. Most of this thread has been about helping people feel more emotionally secure about practicing it, so using this as an argument for throwing out polygamy all together doesn't contribute in a very constructive manner.

Again, is selfish and jealous unspiritual? Well, the bible DOES say God is a jealous God so unless you want to make the claim that God is not spiritual, I would argue those traits are not ungodly.

http://www.usaquality.com/bible/strongs/re...brew&stnm=07067

God's jealousy is not man's jealousy. God's selfishness is not man's pride. Pride, the universal sin, is at the heart of any marital disunity. God, who is utterly sinless, cannot possess this character trait. Also, Heavenly father, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost are the perfect example of total unity. Considering this, I think it hardly feasible to use God as an example of why disunity in plural marriage is unavoidable.

And lastly, if I were forced to pratice polygamy today, either on the earth or in heaven, I would run mach speed over any other wife in the vicinity. Just because I can.
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Thanks for getting that back on topic. As a reminder this thread has lasted a long time precisely because people were willing to repect each others assumptions, and avoid general statements of distaste. For the newbies to this particular thread- take time to review it, it's really one of the more worthwhile threads on the topic I've been involved in.

Regarding the fairness of it all...

Assuming love is a verb (something you work at and not just fall into) and that marriage is a means of providing for one another with our unique talents (which I do) than the idea that 1:1 marriages being the only moral arrangement (although I do think it's the default mode for many good reasons) is not necessarily the case.

If you look at the proper role of the Priesthood and Fatherhood/Husbandhood, it is a role of service. Fathers are to their families as Christ is to the Church. In other words we serve our families up to and even to the point of giving our lives for them.

If there is a truly honorable man (be nice sisters :P ) and there are those who would be happier eternally being a part of his family, vs. having no husband or a lesser model of husband, and if the rest of that man's first family loved her and were willing to share, even to the point of not being that mans exclusive family and all that entails, then would it be justice to deny that option to her?

As Charity pointed out, this is not about baser insticts, as Froggie pointed out I cannot believe it is about baby production alone, as others have said just having a man benefit would be inequitable, and as the side discussion shows, we cannot know the ratio of men/women or even righteous men/righteous women in the afterlife...

So what this really does boil down to is having the choice to choose those who we will spend eternity working with, loving and being with...

If God is aware of a circumstance where a family would be better off living this exceptional arrangement than who better to have live it than those Prophets and patriarchs who have proven a great understanding of monogamous love and respect? In in such cases, God knowing better the conclusion of the matter than we do, does it not make sense that He would warn us that not being obediant would lead to destruction or damnation in the sense that we would deny something now that would cause us long term regret or harm?

Just food for thought, but anyone can respond (unfortunately I'm not going to be around too long to reply today... but thanks again for the generally respectful tone of this thread).

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There are eternal laws. There is not some fluid, "good only because God says so" kind of system. God, Himself, obeys these eternal laws. Alma 42:25 talks about God ceasing to be God if He does not obey the eternal law.

That's not useful unless you are judging God's commands via your knowledge of those eternal rules. Otherwise, from a practical epistemic persepective, whatever God declares is good. Therefore, you are susceptible to the same problems with saying God's commands are the nature of goodness.

So, when you state:

4. Good and evil exists independently of our ability to understand it.
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And further, very few of the posts in this lengthy thread are actually dealing with the strict question why polygamy is such a hot-button topic.

Moderator: Is that why you pulled out Godwin's Law? How many warnings have you had this week? You are on the queue. This thread is too long. Start a new one, folks.

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