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Why is polygamy such a hot-button topic?


liz3564

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I'm impressed, guys! We've actually been able to sustain a thread about polygamy that has been an intelligent discussion of ideas and managed to stay adult about it and not bash each other. :P

I knew it could be done!

Great comments on both sides of the issue. Like allanasaunt, it is way too late and my mind is way too fuzzy to attempt any intelligible commentary at this point, but I will check in on the thread tomorrow and be adding more comments.

Thanks, everyone! This is a great thread!

Glad you are happy with it Liz. I appreciate you bringing up the topic in a way that it could be discussed respectfully. I was just wondering how you were feeling about it. Thanks for letting us know.

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I'm not sure of the dynamics here. Would it not be in the intrest of the tripla to not have secrets amongst themselves?  I guess it would all depend on how they defined their relationship.

I can see how a Bishop or Stake president might have to "keep secrets" of members in the ward from their spouse. But remember the Tripla is "one".  I think this is why many of the early Brethern practiced it like they did with familes spead a part where they would not have to deal with such dynamics.

As you said, I guess it would depend on how the spouses defined their relationship together. By the way, I don't think they are ALL supposed to be one TOGETHER. Husband and wife individually are commanded to be one, but that doesn't mean that the sister-wives or brother-husbands have to be one too, does it?

Back to the secrets: it would all depend on what kind of relationship the sister-wives have. If they are great friends, then I guess they would discuss those secrets among themselves anyway, so they wouldn't be secrets anymore. But if one feels a need to keep something secret from her sister-wives, then obviously she doesn't want to share it, so the husband cannot share it either.

Ideally, all the spouses would be friendly enough that there would be no need for secrets. But since all are humans, with faults and weaknesses and insecurities and whatnot, there might still be a need for secrets.

Not to mention, as I already pointed out, that sharing secrets is a great way to feel closer together. A secret nickname, for example, can be an extremely fun and dear secret to keep. Secrets aren't always bad.

Del

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Dad,

Well I think thats where our 21st century tabboos' kick in.

I think there was a thread closed because it asked the question of mutli partner frolics so I won't delv into that... only to make reference of Hagar sitting on Sarahs lap when the deed was done in some legends.

I do agree that a couple in these instances would be much prefered.

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I'm not sure of the dynamics here. Would it not be in the intrest of the tripla to not have secrets amongst themselves?  I guess it would all depend on how they defined their relationship.

I can see how a Bishop or Stake president might have to "keep secrets" of members in the ward from their spouse. But remember the Tripla is "one".  I think this is why many of the early Brethern practiced it like they did with familes spead a part where they would not have to deal with such dynamics.

Zak,

I'm not sure what you mean by a "tripla." I've always understood plural marriage to involve nothing more than a man entering into a plurality of marriages, rather than a whole bunch of people all more or less "married" to each other. When Ann Eliza Webb Dee Young divorced Brigham Young to find out how much money was to be made on the anti-Mormon lecture circuit--and before she became the second Mrs. Denning--she divorced only Brigham, not all the sister-wives.

She betrayed them later.

Regards,

Pahoran

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Those who are exalted will by definition be happy with whatever commandments God gives them, whether those commandments involve plural marriage or not. So, either God will not give you a commandment you are not willing to obey, or you will change your attitude and accept whatever commandment that God gives to you.

It seems a lot of people are too willing to judge God. If it is not plural marriage, it is some other issue that they do not like. But in the end the choice is yours. Either you are willing to meekly submit to whatever God commands or you are not. If you are not, you will not receive exaltation or any kind of eternal marriage at all.

At least they are willing to judge your views about God.

It is a very simple solution to any problem with the alleged greatness of an afterlife scenario and God's commands to unquestionably assert "You'll be happy in this situation," no matter how blatantly it contradicts our understanding of human happiness and what produces it. We can make this as extreme as we want it and the same principle holds. If your view of the afterlife says God plans on brutally rending you with hot pokers while you watch everyone you've ever you held dear tortured before your very eyes, you can say, "We might not understand how, but this will the happiest possible state you can find yourself in. You are in no position to question God on this matter, as you are like a child in your understanding."

But you are in a position to question "God" when it comes to deciding if the assertion should be adopted in the first place. It does no good to nakedly hold a priori that any afterlife scenario or set of commands will produce maximal happiness. You have to have good reason to believe that in the first place. Every single time that afterlife scenario gives you reason to think it wouldn't be in accord with your understanding of happiness, that is good reason against holding such a position. The only way you can maintain the assertion is if your other reasons for believing maximal happiness will result overwhelm the problem. But that itself admits the problem provides reasons to doubt that belief. You can't make this assertion unquestionable simply by declaring it true and attaching it to a declaration of a hypothetically maximally knowledgeable, powerful, good being. You have to have overwhelming reason to think your God is a being with those traits and reliably communicated this to you. And if you want anyone to take you seriously, you have to provide them with reason to think this as well.

It's easy to just declare your beliefs true and ignore anything that contradicts them by saying all problems will be resolved in the future and then it will make sense. That has the unfortunate side-effect of making them arbitrarily assumed. But, I think you too are willing to judge God. After all, you have judged God as a trustworthy individual who through his commandments will reliably guarantee you maximal happiness. That's a pretty sweeping judgment. What you have a problem with is people judging your views on God and what you believe that God has revealed negatively. That's not quite the same thing.

I just see tension between different claims found in your religion quickly brushed aside by saying a variation of "Don't question God!" meaning "Don't question my religion!"

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Alannasaunt, I see that in discussing this issue with you it would be much better for me to be a realist than an idealist. Where I'm coming from, it makes more sense to think in terms of ideals, since my personal reality of marital intimacy is something that I have yet to create. Of course, this can set up a barrier that keeps me from understanding where you're coming from. Please forgive me if I've caused pain.

About my comments about social conditioning, these are not meant to be a way of leaving a last word on the issue and leaving it all happy ever after. Rather, it is a way of opening a door to understanding just what it is about plural marriage that tends to get members of the church upset and confused. Rather than being a simplistic issue, I see it as a very complex issue. How would my world view and my conceptualization of the plan of salvation be different if I had grown up in the 1850's in Utah? How would my world view be different if I had grown up in the Millenium? What does that say about my world view now? What do I need to change, and what is better kept the same? These are not questions that have quick and easy answers, they are questions to ponder over the course of a few weeks or months. This also lends more dimensions to the plural marriage issue than "either you believe in it or you don't really have a testimony."

If my idealistic picture seems a bit too rosy and fake, remember that these current thoughts that I have on the subject are still developing (heck, being the relationship-starved geek that I am, my thoughts on ANY kind of relationship are bound to change!) However, they are not only idealistic dreams, they also reflect a degree of the reality.

I used to have problems with plural marriage until I read the account of one of my polygamist great great uncles, George Balls Reeder, and saw how he put it into practice. He didn't marry plurally until he was absolutely certain that he had 100% support and consent from his wife. His second wife was a girl that both of them knew very well, and that both of them were agreeable to enter into their family. He didn't ask this second wife's hand until he had gotten full support from both of her parents. Both wives were blessed with many children. And, from what I've read, there were not any major problems - both wives supported each other and there were not any major problems in the ten or so years that they were all involved in the plural marriage.

Now, I don't think that Uncle Reeder's marriage was without its difficulties. But I DID see that he - he AND his wives, Mary Ann and Caroline - made it work. And not only that they made it work, but that they were able to practice it honorably and at least somewhat idealistically. That shows me that even if the reality of polygamy was tainted, everyone was working towards the ideal - and not without successes. When I think about all of the failed monogomous marriages in the world all around me, and all of the intimate extramarital relationships I've seen, the fact that there really is an ideal that people are striving for, and not without success, is something that gives me hope and peace.

In short, the whole thing with the Reeders served to show me that plural marriage CAN work out! And if that's the case, plural marriage is something that I can accept - not only on a faith level, but on a humanistic level as well.

onelowerlight,

No, you haven't caused any pain. Yes, you are correct when you say that my view is more of a realist.

I had a very brief marriage that ended over 20 years ago. My ex (who has since been ex'd) was emotionally abusive. He left because he no longer wanted to be a husband and father. As a result, any idealistic notions I ever had about marriage are long gone.

I am happy that your ancestors were able to work it out. As I said in an earlier post, I do not judge the early church members who entered the practice. I believe most people just do the best they can.

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You say that if I were practicing polygamy, my mindset would be totally different.  We have quite a few examples of polygamists who did not have a totally different mindset.  Sarah and Hagar had problems.

The fact that Sarah was sterile and then not sterile anymore (when this sterility was the very reason Hagar had been with Abraham to start with, at Sarah's initiative!), the fact that Ishmael was the oldest son but Isaac was the son of the covenant, and the fact that Ishmael should have been considered by Sarah as her own son but was rejected when Isaac was born, all contributed in major ways to their problems.

Leah and Rachel had problems.

Heavily linked to the fact that Jacob loved Rachel romantically but not Leah, and yet got horribly tricked into marrying Leah anyway. The wife substitution must have left emotional scars in all three of them for years. And then Leah had sons, but Jacob still prefered Rachel! Leah was hurt, Rachel was jealous. Not a good situation.

There are many stories from the modern church describing the difficulties the PM folks faced. Hundreds of those marriages (I read the # 1600 somewhere) ended in divorce.  Even those that did not end in divorce were not always happy.  It was often an "endure tothe end" kind of thing.

Which is not different from what was happening with monogamous marriages.

We don't have details of the wives of David and Solomon's hundreds of women, but how happy could they have been? How many of them had a wedding night, then never  spent another moment with their husband? Consequently, how many of them never had children? Even if they did rotate among each woman, it would be months/years before their turn came around again. So, even though the scriptures say David and Solomon were not sinful in those marriages, how good could those marriages have been for the women? 

David and Solomon were kings. I wouldn't be surprised if the vast majority of those wives had been married exclusively for political purposes. Moreover, David and Solomon are definitely an exception where plural marriage is concerned. As said before, most plural marriages are limited to 3 or 4 wives maximum.

I have read stories of current PMs in other countries...it ain't all sweetness and light.

Do you know of any country where monogamous marriage is all sweetness and light?

As pointed out by Dadof7, monogamy has been the default all through the ages. Why do you think that is?

Certainly NOT because it insures the happiness of the spouses, especially not the wife! Happiness in marriage has been more the exception than the rule, throughout the ages, even in monogamous marriage!

You are making the basic mistakes someone mentioned at the beginning of the thread:

1- Using what are general marriage problems to criticise plural marriage, when those problems apply just as much to monogamous marriage anyway.

2- Using extreme examples of polygamy to criticise "every-day" polygamy.

If we want to discuss the PRINCIPLE of plural marriage, then we need to stick to how it is SUPPOSED to be practiced, and what difficulties can legitimately arise out of this unique situation. Otherwise, we will only end up trashing monogamous marriage along with plural marriage, given that they BOTH have horrendous track records!

I really do believe that there is an inborn longing in most people to find their other half....not their other third, fourth, fifth, etc.

How can we know that it is inborn?

Del

Del March,

You addressed each line individually. My post to onelowerlight, however, was meant to be taken as a whole in response to his specific comment about social conditioning. He said my problems wth PM are the result of social conditioning. I was showing examples where even people who had been socially conditioned to accept PM as the norm had problems.

Taken out of context, my comments clearly lead to the comparison of PM with MM. The point of my post was not to say the PM was all problems and MM was all joy.

The point of the number of wives, I believe was also taken out of context. Yes, David and Solomon was an extreme example. However, the point goes back to the discussion of social conditioning. Their wives, whether political marriages or not, could not have had fulfilling marital experiences in spite of their conditioning or their reasons for being married to these two men. As I said in an earlier post, the number of plural wives would be irrelevant to me given how I see the nature of fidelity.

The statement about PM in other countries not being "sweetness and light" was not to be taken as a comparison to monogamy. It again, was addressing the social conditioning issue.

The "basic mistakes" you mentioned would be basic mistakes if I hadn't used them in the context I did. Again, my comments from the particular thread you quoted were meant to be taken as a whole to address a specific point from onelowerlight.

How can we know that the longing for our other half is inborn? The same way I know that the instinct to protect my child is inborn. It just is.

Katherine The Great made a point in the thread that got closed down, that there were some non-territorial women who could enter PM and have little or no problem. Clearly, you seem to be one of them. That's ok. Earlier, I said that you and I had very different views of what marriage is. You would not care if your husband was with other women (I'm not just talking of sex here). On the other hand, my take is very different. Even though my husband had basically abandoned us, I didn't run out to get a divorce. He started seeing other women and it drove me nuts. When I no longer cared that he was with these others women, I knew it was time to get a lawyer. That indifference was to me the sign I needed to know it was finally over.

Again, we just come from two very different places on this. However, I do want to repeat that I am glad we can discuss such a sensitive topic without rancor.

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I really appreciate all of the different insights that have been presented on this topic. As I have stated before, the concept of plural marriage is a doctrinal principle I have struggled with all my life, and I really appreciate being able to discuss everyone's take on this openly, honestly, and without getting into personal attacks.

I would like to share a very personal experience with you, which has changed some of my views about how this might actually work. I still have a lot of trepidation, though.

Thanks ahead of time for indulging me:

My friend Barbi and I grew up in the Church. We were more like sisters than friends, and had a strong bond from the time we met in the 2nd grade through college. I remember one of our many talks where we were discussing marriage, etc. Somehow we started talking about polygamy. She told me that there was no way she could imagine practicing such a thing or sharing her husband with someone else. I agreed with her. Our conversation moved on to other things, but for some reason, that particular exchange always stuck out in my mind.

Barbi was married several years after I got married(temple marriage for both of us). She married a very good friend of both of ours from High School. She had a little girl, who was about six months younger than my little girl.

Unexpectedly, tragedy struck. Barbi was killed in a car accident. Her baby was unharmed. Ty(her husband), was left a widower at 27. It was truly tragic. Barbi had always dreamed of a big family. She was wonderful with children, a talented seamstress...she even made her own wedding dress.

Ty remarried about a year after Barbi's death. He and his new wife moved from California to Utah to start a new life. His new wife basically raised this baby girl as her own.

This little girl is now 14. She recently had a New Beginnings program where each girl was required to bring momentos of their family. Ty's wife found the wedding dress that Barbi had made and put it on a mannequine (sp) for part of the display. She also found wedding and engagement pictures of Barbi and Ty and made sure that they were nicely framed. This little girl cried openly at actually being able to see the Mom she had never known. She tried on the wedding dress her mother had made.

I thought it was a very selfless gesture for Ty's wife to not only care for this child as her own, but make sure that she also knew who her mother was.

I know that Ty is sealed to both of them. I also know that Barbi had problems with plural marriage...and yet...I can't help but think that she is grateful that someone very loving was able to enter Ty's life and care for him and for her precious baby after her life was cut short.

Somehow, in the next life, I know that the three of them will work things out.

And yet....even with this strong example, I can't help but still have doubts and fears. I can't help wondering if I could ever stop dying inside just a little bit knowing that my husband was with someone else. And I can't help thinking that the women in the early Church did suffer that experience somewhat. They knew when their husbands were with another sister wife. They could see the children being born. From many of your own experiences related here from journals, it's obvious that these women were able to block out that hurt for the greater good. I just honestly don't know that I could be strong enough to do that. I think that a part of me would always hurt.

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liz, thank you for that beautiful story. When people are selfless and loving, everyone is blessed.

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liz,

Yes, that is a beautiful story and I'm sorry for the loss of your friend.

I have two adopted cousins, so I know that a woman can love children she has not given birth to. Even so, one of my cousins had a very tough time in her mid-teens now knowing who her birth parents were. My aunt had to deal with her daughter's feelings as well.

Unfortunately, this story does involve one of the issues from the beginning of the thread...consent. One of the problems I have is that a woman in your friend Barbi's situation can pulled into a PM without her consent. I think what adds to my sense of injustice, is that had the victim been Ty, Barbi would not have been able to be sealed to someone else...even though she could have gone on and had her large family with someone else.

As a first wife, I would have to destroy any attachment I felt for my husband in order to emotionally survive a PM. I could simply choose not to become a 2nd, 3rd,etc wife...and I have made that decision.

But I do agree, Ty's second wife did perform a selfless and beautiful act for her step-daughter.

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I think what adds to my sense of injustice, is that had the victim been Ty, Barbi would not have been able to be sealed to someone else...even though she could have gone on and had her large family with someone else.

Actually, I heard a story from my institute director in which a young woman remarried in the temple after her first husband's death, and she had been married to her first husband in the temple as well. So it's not a one-sided thing.

edited: Of course, this does raise other issues. I think, in the end, there will be a lot that has to be figured out before the resurrection - which is why the first resurrection spans the millenium.

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Hi Liz... :P

I think your story is more about kind, compassionate, and caring adults than polygamy.

There are people all over the world who care for children not their own without the thought that they will have to share a spouse. (Think of the woman who raised Cleopatra's children knowing they were children of her husband's affaire <_< ).

The other point that is significant is, what about a man who marries a widow, and can't be sealed to his wife because of her previous sealing? In this case any of his children born to his wife will be sealed to his wife's first husband. He arrives in the CK without spouse or his very own children.

The whole thing is uncomfortable to me for men as well as women. :unsure:

~dancer~

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Del March,

You addressed each line individually. My post to onelowerlight, however, was meant to be taken as a whole in response to his specific comment about social conditioning.

Oh, sorry about that :lol: It's just that this is my usual method of answering. Again, sorry for missing the big picture.

He said my problems wth PM are the result of social conditioning. I was showing examples where even people who had been socially conditioned to accept PM as the norm had problems.

Hum, yes, they had problems, but not with the PRINCIPLE of plural marriage. What they had problems with was with making their marriages work, which is no different than what happens in a monogamous marriage.

In fact, some of those women you mentioned used polygamy to their ADVANTAGE. Sarah used it to obtain a son through Hagar, and Leah and Rachel both used it to obtain additional children through their servants.

In both Abraham and Jacob's case, it's not just the man who chose polygamy, it's also the women. It's Sarah who gave Hagar to Abraham, it's Rachel who accepted to be second wife, it's Rachel and Leah who gave concubines to Jacob. Those women accepted polygamy as a principle, even if they had problems making their marriages work.

The point of the number of wives, I believe was also taken out of context. Yes, David and Solomon was an extreme example. However, the point goes back to the discussion of social conditioning. Their wives, whether political marriages or not, could not have had fulfilling marital experiences in spite of their conditioning or their reasons for being married to these two men.

I agree, but it wouldn't have been for them the problem that it would be for you. The expectation that a wife should find fulfillment in her marital life is a pretty recent one in Judeo-Christian culture. Traditionally, it wasn't the case at all. Women were supposed to find fulfillment in having and raising children, in taking care of their home and husband, in being productive, in their feminine social group, and in their religious worship.

David and Solomon's wives, in particular, would definitely NOT have expected to find emotional fulfillment in their marital relationship. They were probably most of them princesses and daughters of high dignitaries. They had been taught from infancy that marriage for women like them is more of a political act than anything else. They would have been taught to find fulfillment in their children if they ever had any, in arts and crafts and religion, and in social and political interactions, for example.

Even for lowlier women, the idea of marriage equating with love was not in any way a given. Marriages have traditionally been arranged by the families in many cultures, with a minimal or even non-existant input from the future spouses (especially the wife). Isaac and Rebekah, for example, had not even heard of each other before getting married :ph34r:

What women expected from their husband and marriage then has very little to do with what we, modern Western women, expect today. Their social conditioning was very different from ours. What mattered to them (the husband being a good provider and a good inseminator, for example) isn't necessarily what matters to us anymore. Inversely, what matters to us (physically and emotionally fulfilling marital relationships) did not necessarily matter to them.

Mind you, I'm not saying their social conditioning was right while ours is wrong! Obviously, God intends for spouses to be close emotionally. However, I sometimes feel that we, as a culture, have gone from one extreme (emotionally fulfilling marital relationships are next to irrelevant) to the other (marriage is all about emotionally fulfilling marital relationships). IMO, the reality of what marriage should be is found somewhere in-between. In particular, the way emotional intimacy with someone other than one's spouse is used to justify adultery, and the lack of emotional intimacy between two spouses is used to justify divorce, in our society, makes me very wary of the concept that marriage should be all or mainly about emotional intimacy between the spouses :P

How can we know that the longing for our other half is inborn? The same way I know that the instinct to protect my child is inborn. It just is.

Biology can explain why women instinctively want to protect their children :angry: But it also says that neither men nor women are instinctively monogamous :unsure: This is confirmed by the fact that women, as a rule, are universally drawn to protecting their children, while the concept of the other half, though very popular in our modern Western culture, is in no way a universal one.

Katherine The Great made a point in the thread that got closed down, that there were some non-territorial women who could enter PM and have little or no problem. Clearly, you seem to be one of them.

I didn't read the other thread, but the very use of the term "territorial" disturbs me. A human being is not a territory, not in any way, shape or form! To me, such a term harks back to the concept of men owning their women, and it disturbs me <_<

That's ok.  Earlier, I said that you and I had very different views of what marriage is. You would not care if your husband was with other women (I'm not just talking of sex here).

Wow! That's not what I said :blink: I said I wouldn't mind him being with some specific other women, under specific circumstances. IOW: in a plural marriage as it is supposed to be lived.

Should he choose to be with a woman outside of those lines, I would be greatly bothered. Not because I would feel that someone intruded on my territory, but because he would have broken his specific promise not to do that. This would be a clear breaking of trust, which would be bound to have grave consequences since trust is what our marriage is based on. But as long as he would strictly restrict himself to righteous plural marriage, there would be no such breaking of trust, which is why I would be OK with it.

Again, we just come from two very different places on this.

I understand that. I am in no way trying to say that you are wrong or whatever. If I come accross negatively, I really apologise :P !

However, I do want to repeat that I am glad we can discuss such a sensitive topic without rancor.

There is no reason for rancor as long as neither starts insulting the other :wub: That's how threads on this topic usually go up in flames: when someone starts insulting someone else who thinks or feels differently. All kinds of insults are hurled at those like me who say they could accept polygamy, like "you must not really love your husband" or "only a woman with no backbone whatsoever can accept plural marriage" or "you support the abuse of young girls by LDS fundie sects". You obviously are NOT thinking anywhere in those terms, which is why I and others are more than happy to discuss with you :huh:

Del

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I think what adds to my sense of injustice, is that had the victim been Ty, Barbi would not have been able to be sealed to someone else...even though she could have gone on and had her large family with someone else.

Actually, I heard a story from my institute director in which a young woman remarried in the temple after her first husband's death, and she had been married to her first husband in the temple as well. So it's not a one-sided thing.

edited: Of course, this does raise other issues. I think, in the end, there will be a lot that has to be figured out before the resurrection - which is why the first resurrection spans the millenium.

I agree. Which is why I say polyandry can't be ruled out as a possibility in the CK.

When I submit my ancestors for temple work, I always submit all marriages whether male or female.

Although polyandry would lend a sense of justice, I still would prefer to be a monogamist.

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Hi OLL...

Actually, I heard a story from my institute director in which a young woman remarried in the temple after her first husband's death, and she had been married to her first husband in the temple as well. So it's not a one-sided thing.

I have heard rumors of this happening but IIRC it goes against policy written in the church handbook.

I had a friend whose husband, shortly after their marriage in the temple, discovered he had a very serious form of cancer and had only a short time to live. They were counseled by their church leaders to get a sealing cancellation because being a young woman, any future children she had would be sealed to her deceased husband and thus would be a challenge for a future husband.

They did not want to do this but felt they needed to follow the counsel of their leaders and did get a temple sealing cancellation.

It was a pretty heartwrenching time for both of them.

~dancer~

Edit - typo

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Actually, I don't think polyandry is a possibility in the Celestial Kingdom - primarily because of the "who's your Daddy?" question that this family arrangement brings up. If I end up being wrong, my spirituality is flexible enough to accept it, but I'm not going to believe or ponder the possibility without having that principle taught clearly by a prophet or in the scriptures somewhere.

That's why I say the millenium is such a crucial time - where discrepancies and anomolies such as polyandrous sealings get worked out.

And, by the way, I think that in the millenium, it will not be anything like it is today, where our only connection with the people for whom we perform the ordinances is a little slip of blue, pink, or yellow paper (plus whatever research we've done). I think that the deceased people will have a much greater role in the ordinances - that they will choose their family arrangements for themselves and communicate to us exactly which ordinances they have chosen.

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Should he choose to be with a woman outside of those lines, I would be greatly bothered. Not because I would feel that someone intruded on my territory, but because he would have broken his specific promise not to do that. This would be a clear breaking of trust, which would be bound to have grave consequences since trust is what our marriage is based on. But as long as he would strictly restrict himself to righteous plural marriage, there would be no such breaking of trust, which is why I would be OK with it.

:P Don't worry. We're good.

I think I'm getting a clearer picture of where we diverge.

For me it doesn't matter whether he has a marriage certificate with the other woman or not. The practical effect for me is the same. The marriage relationship is no longer a unique state to us. Consequently, fidelity becomes a moot point. Once the exclusivity is gone, it makes no difference to me who or how many he's with. Our marriage is irrepairably changed/damaged.

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Actually, I don't think polyandry is a possibility in the Celestial Kingdom - primarily because of the "who's your Daddy?" question that this family arrangement brings up. If I end up being wrong, my spirituality is flexible enough to accept it, but I'm not going to believe or ponder the possibility without having that principle taught clearly by a prophet or in the scriptures somewhere.

That's why I say the millenium is such a crucial time - where discrepancies and anomolies such as polyandrous sealings get worked out.

And, by the way, I think that in the millenium, it will not be anything like it is today, where our only connection with the people for whom we perform the ordinances is a little slip of blue, pink, or yellow paper (plus whatever research we've done). I think that the deceased people will have a much greater role in the ordinances - that they will choose their family arrangements for themselves and communicate to us exactly which ordinances they have chosen.

The "Who's your Daddy?" issue is only a problem here. People in the CK will be Gods. Therefore, they will be all knowing.

Also, I had one of my church leaders tell me once that child birth will not be like it is here. It will be a pleasurable experience instead of painful and will be almost instantaneous, unlike the long gestation periods we have now.

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I have heard rumors of this happening but IIRC it goes against policy written in the church handbook.

It sounds to me that the church has this policy, not because it is doctrinally impossible for a sealed widow to remarry in the temple, but because it may lead to undesired complications and difficulties.

In a similar way, the standard church policy is to have young women wait to take out their endowments until either just before going on a mission, or just before temple marriage. However, exceptions are not unheard of - my Mom took out her endowments when she was 19, and didn't marry until after her mission.

What I'm saying is that what is allowed the men is not unfairly declared impossible for the women.

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The "Who's your Daddy?" issue is only a problem here. People in the CK will be Gods. Therefore, they will be all knowing.

Interesting. So, I suppose that my bias on this issue is not so much a doctrinal issue as it is an issue of how I've been socially conditioned to think of polyandry as wierd, gross, and wrong. I think that the social conditioning goes both ways - for me, it means that I have a hard time accepting women having multiple partners, for you, it means that you see exclusivity as an essential part of marriage.

I suppose that the whole dilemma so many people have with plural marriage, then, comes 30% from that person's social conditioning, 60% from practical considerations and how it was implemented, and maybe 10%, if that, from doctrinal issues.

Which makes me sad that so many people make it into a doctrinal issue and leave the church over it.

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For me it doesn't matter whether he has a marriage certificate with the other woman or not. The practical effect for me is the same. The marriage relationship is no longer a unique state to us. Consequently, fidelity becomes a moot point. Once the exclusivity is gone, it makes no difference to me who or how many he's with. Our marriage is irrepairably changed/damaged.

This is the angle I'm coming from as well, allannasant.

I think that the women who can get beyond this are truly remarkable women. I just don't see myself being able to do it.

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The "Who's your Daddy?" issue is only a problem here. People in the CK will be Gods. Therefore, they will be all knowing.

Interesting. So, I suppose that my bias on this issue is not so much a doctrinal issue as it is an issue of how I've been socially conditioned to think of polyandry as wierd, gross, and wrong. I think that the social conditioning goes both ways - for me, it means that I have a hard time accepting women having multiple partners, for you, it means that you see exclusivity as an essential part of marriage.

I suppose that the whole dilemma so many people have with plural marriage, then, comes 30% from that person's social conditioning, 60% from practical considerations and how it was implemented, and maybe 10%, if that, from doctrinal issues.

Which makes me sad that so many people make it into a doctrinal issue and leave the church over it.

<_<

Don't get me wrong. I think men having multiple partner is "weird, gross and wrong", too. I haven't said this before, but I would find being intimate with a man who has multiple partners repulsive. There just isn't enough soap... :P

I hope that statement doesn't go too far. If it does let me know and I'll delete it. This has been a good thread and I don't want to be the one to ruin it.

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Don't get me wrong. I think men having multiple partner is "weird, gross and wrong", too. I haven't said this before, but I would find being intimate with a man who has multiple partners repulsive. There just isn't enough soap... :P

I hope that statement doesn't go too far. If it does let me know and I'll delete it. This has been a good thread and I don't want to be the one to ruin it.

LOL <_< I like your sense of humor!

I doubt that comment would get us shut down.

You still expressed yourself with decorum. :unsure:

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And yet....even with this strong example, I can't help but still have doubts and fears.  I can't help wondering if I could ever stop dying inside just a little bit knowing that my husband was with someone else.  And I can't help thinking that the women in the early Church did suffer that experience somewhat.  They knew when their husbands were with another sister wife.  They could see the children being born.  From many of your own experiences related here from journals, it's obvious that these women were able to block out that hurt for the greater good.  I just honestly don't know that I could be strong enough to do that.  I think that a part of me would always hurt.

That was a truly beautiful story, Liz! Thanks for sharing it.

Funnily enough, I can relate to your feelings, and I've figured why I might be so much more willing to enter into plural marriage. It's because I have ALREADY had to deal with the problem of sharing my husband! It wasn't with another woman, it was with God, but it was extremely painful anyway. Let me explain, if you don't mind.

I already mentioned the time when my husband was called to the Bishopric and I felt like crying. But even before that, back when we were dating, I had an even more painful experience. Two of them in fact, but one of them is still too painful to relate, mainly because I failed to show faith in God.

My husband and I used to live more than 1000km apart, back when we met. Our dating was practically entirely online. In particular, we interacted exclusively online (plus a few short phone calls) from 3 days after we met, up to about 9 months later. By that time, we were officially going out together, even if only virtually. So we make plans to get a real date. The logical place is our common temple, which is where we met. So the plan is that he flies in to my place, we spend the week-end together at my parents', and then we go to the temple for 2 weeks, before coming back to my parents' for a couple of days and finally he flies back home.

Our first week-end together was heavenly. I was so happy :unsure: ! Then we go to the temple, and crash! He disappears, swallowed by the temple. That's because he is a temple worker, so he's always going around working in the temple. It's almost impossible to get him to attend an endowment session with me, let alone some together time in the celestial room! Even outside of the temple, our interactions are severely limited. I get up very early to spend a few precious minutes with him while he has his breakfast before going to the prayer meeting. He barely shows up at lunch to shovel down his meal. And when he finally leaves the temple in the evening, he is so tired that he just eats his dinner and goes to bed.

I'm devastated. I feel utterly abandoned and alone. I have to maneuver constantly just to get to see (see, not talk to) him, like making sure I attend the sessions he has been planned to conduct. I'm miserable, and mad at everyone. Mad at my love, for not trying to spend more time with me. And mad at God, for having called him as a temple worker.

Then God gets a very sobering thought through to me. Something like "You wanted a worthy Priesthood holder. Didn't you realise that he would be mine before being yours?"

So I was left with a choice: either I stayed with this man who was everything I wanted and more, or I radically changed my mind and went for a non-LDS or an inactive LDS. The choice was obvious. All that was left was dealing with this consequence of marrying a righteous Priesthood leader, which led to another choice: constantly battling my hurt feelings, or humbly accepting to be second to God forever. I chose the second option, accepting even before getting engaged to never be number one in my man's mind.

I have never had to regret my choice. Quite the contrary in fact. I have discovered that by letting God have His rightful first place in my husband's heart, I am only reinforcing my own position in my husband's heart, because God turns his heart to me and tells him to take care of me. I have also confirmed that there is much more security in a man who puts God at the top of his list, than in a man who puts any human, even me, up there.

So I am second, and I am happy. I guess that's why I don't fear sharing my husband's heart with another woman, who would be my equal: because we would both be under God anyway. As long as my husband's first priority is God, no woman will ever take first place, and God will incite my husband to take care of me. What more could I ask for :ph34r: ?

Del

ps: when you mentioned seeing the other wives' children, I had this mental image of two sister-wives comparing their children to find out the similarities and differences. "Oh, look, they both have their daddy's nose! But mine has got my mouth, and yours has got your eyebrows", or "Ow, you're so lucky! Yours got Hubby's beautiful eyes!" <_<:P

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