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News on Plural Marriage


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Just now, katherine the great said:

Yes. It glorifies the man. Not the Lord.  

I think huge increases of children and wives was in part a solution to how a perfect being could continue to progress.  If they have maximized all interior and personal attributes, change can only be external and involve others. Thus increase of creations and/or possessions, including people one has dominion over.

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40 minutes ago, juliann said:

I have yet to see any of the usual polygamy advocates come up with one reason polygyny is "celestial." No matter how many times the usual and very tired justifications are exhumed, they are easily shown to be illogical and unsupportable.  (And what the heck is "righteously" practiced polygyny? )

This is why these threads always are left to the fundamentalists. It is an exercise in futility. 

 

In an eternity where exaltation is reserved to monogamous celestially sealed-couples, with no such thing as celestial single-parentage, the certain fact that there will be an odd number of persons who are worthy of exaltation means that at least one such person is going to get left out. Do you really think that Heavenly Father has so much control over His children that exactly 50.000000000% of those who qualify for exaltation will be male, and the other 50.000000000% will be female?

I can just see Heavenly Father turning to such as those who were in the excess and saying "Well, you qualify in every possible way, but since your partner didn't qualify, you're unfortunately damned in your eternal progression. It's not your fault, but that's the way of it. Sorry about that!"

In the June 1989 Ensign, President Hunter wrote:

“No blessing, including that of eternal marriage and an eternal family, will be denied to any worthy individual. While it may take somewhat longer—perhaps even beyond this mortal life—for some to achieve this blessing, it will not be denied” 

Was he lying?

In a monogamous celestial marriage regimen, if there is an excess of one worthy woman, she will be denied. Will God reluctantly promote an unworthy man to be her partner in order to fulfill His promises?  I think not.

If you want, you can go ahead and raise the complementary conundrum that there might be more worthy men than worthy women, but I, for one, don't believe that at all. I think that's why President Hunter made the promise he made in the first place (though he wasn't the first one to make this promise), because it's dead certain there will be fewer worthy men than women in the end. And do you really believe that those excess sisters will just have to go pound sand in the end? I don't believe that. And thus I find it impossible to believe that the eternities will only feature singular marriage.

God spare me having to have more than one wife in mortality. What He does with me afterwards is His affair. 

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7 minutes ago, katherine the great said:

Just seems silly to me. Control freakish. 

Yep.  The whole law of adoption sealings where two adult men have to decide who is father and who is son...why is there such a need to establish vertical lines of authority if we are all one heart and one mind?  One with God?

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3 minutes ago, Stargazer said:

the certain fact that there will be an odd number of persons

Why is is certain?  Could not God be creating individuals with knowledge of the future in such a way that there are equal numbers?  Assuming infinite numbers of both male and female and God being assumed to have enough foreknowledge, this is possible.

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can just see Heavenly Father turning to such as those who were in the excess and saying "Well, you qualify in every possible way, but since your partner didn't qualify, you're unfortunately damned in your eternal progression. It's not your fault, but that's the way of it. Sorry about that!"

Or he could say “option a didn’t come through, here is option b”.  Infinite numbers of males and females can be matched up as long as it is a process and not talking about some theoretical end result or frozen moment.

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31 minutes ago, katherine the great said:

Your comment is lovely but my point is I don’t think polygyny has anything to do with eternity. I have looked at it from every angle. I have ancestors who practiced it with varying degrees of success and failure.  And my conclusion is: It is and has always been a cultural practice that was infused with a spiritual dimension by Joseph Smith and other early church leaders. It’s just another form of a marriage that humans have practiced over time. There is nothing truly spiritual or superior about it. That’s my opinion. 

Well, I respect your opinion, even if I feel it's poorly founded. 🙂 

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2 minutes ago, Calm said:

Why is is certain?  Could not God be creating individuals with knowledge of the future in such a way that there are equal numbers?  Assuming infinite numbers of both male and female and God being assumed to have enough foreknowledge, this is possible.

That's assuming a lot. I do understand where you're coming from, and I agree that God had foreknowledge of how it would turn out for every individual -- because He created the universe while standing outside of time, and thus saw how it would all end up in detail, with no surprises! And if you feel that God arranged it so tightly that an exact 50/50 ratio would result, then what can I say against it? It's outside of our poor powers of reckoning in any case.

But, with respect, I do think you're grasping at straws. 🙂 

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31 minutes ago, Calm said:

Do you have a quote on this?

There are plenty of quotes for and against the idea of monogamous exaltation.

The one I was referring to is:

"Now, where a man in this church says, 'I don't want but one wife, I will live my religion with one,' he will perhaps be saved in the Celestial kingdom; but when he gets there he will not find himself in possession of any wife at all. He has had a talent that he has hid up. He will come forward and say, 'Here is that which thou gavest me, I have not wasted it, and here is the one talent,' and he will not enjoy it but it will be taken and given to those who have improved the talents they received, and he will find himself without any wife, and he will remain single forever and ever." JD 16:166

But then there are contrary quotes from Brigham too.  He wasn't consistent on monogamous exaltation.

https://www.fairmormon.org/answers/Mormonism_and_polygamy/Brigham_Young_said_that_the_only_men_who_become_gods_are_those_that_practice_polygamy

But to my response to BG I don't believe any ever specified the second degree of Celestial glory was for monogamy.

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6 minutes ago, Stargazer said:

And if you feel that God arranged it so tightly that an exact 50/50 ratio would result,

When deal with groups of infinite numbers, you might not need exact ratios.

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1 minute ago, JLHPROF said:

There are plenty of quotes for and against the idea of monogamous exaltation.

The one I was referring to is:

"Now, where a man in this church says, 'I don't want but one wife, I will live my religion with one,' he will perhaps be saved in the Celestial kingdom; but when he gets there he will not find himself in possession of any wife at all. He has had a talent that he has hid up. He will come forward and say, 'Here is that which thou gavest me, I have not wasted it, and here is the one talent,' and he will not enjoy it but it will be taken and given to those who have improved the talents they received, and he will find himself without any wife, and he will remain single forever and ever." JD 16:166

But then there are contrary quotes from Brigham too.  He wasn't consistent on monogamous exaltation.

https://www.fairmormon.org/answers/Mormonism_and_polygamy/Brigham_Young_said_that_the_only_men_who_become_gods_are_those_that_practice_polygamy

But to my response to BG I don't believe any ever specified the second degree of Celestial glory was for monogamy.

But given that temple sealings might have been less common at the time, couldn’t have BY been speaking of a married, but not sealed man?

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17 minutes ago, Stargazer said:

Do you really think that Heavenly Father has so much control over His children that exactly 50.000000000% of those who qualify for exaltation will be male, and the other 50.000000000% will be female?

Of course! He’s omnipotent!

21 minutes ago, Stargazer said:

can just see Heavenly Father turning to such as those who were in the excess and saying "Well, you qualify in every possible way, but since your partner didn't qualify, you're unfortunately damned in your eternal progression. It's not your fault, but that's the way of it. Sorry about that!"

Well perhaps she’ll I’ll be asked to deboard that plane and take the frequent flyer miles she’s offered in exchange for waiting for her husband to become a worthy or choosing another mate. 

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6 minutes ago, katherine the great said:

Of course! He’s omnipotent!

If he had that much control you could throw agency out the window.

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11 minutes ago, Calm said:

But given that temple sealings might have been less common at the time, couldn’t have BY been speaking of a married, but not sealed man?

Anything is possible but in the context of the quote I find that extremely improbable.  He specified he was speaking to members who refused to enter polygamy.  Assuming another target audience based on sealing status is not in evidence.

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15 minutes ago, Calm said:

Why is is certain?  Could not God be creating individuals with knowledge of the future in such a way that there are equal numbers?  Assuming infinite numbers of both male and female and God being assumed to have enough foreknowledge, this is possible.

Or he could say “option a didn’t come through, here is option b”.  Infinite numbers of males and females can be matched up as long as it is a process and not talking about some theoretical end result or frozen moment.

Well, I should have waited awhile because I responded to your initial post (first paragraph above) before you added your second paragraph.

Just commenting on infinity for the grins, I would say not even God is truly infinite. Infinity is too large even for God! Contemplating infinity and trying to understand it is reputed to have driven famous mathematician Georg Cantor insane. Which while quite a romantic story, is probably not true, but it illustrates.... something. 😄  

I'll concede you make a good case, Calm, the best I've seen so far.

But if God could control things so minutely, why didn't He control things so well that only those who would win through to the highest level of the Celestial Kingdom would be even allowed to compete in the contest? Why were those who he knew would fail the test, or would be cast into outer darkness, even be allowed to go down? And taking it further back, if God knew which of the 1/3 of his children would fight against Him in the pre-existence, why would he bring them up to the level where it would be possible for them to do so? Wasn't knowing in advance and then nevertheless bringing them that far a cruel deception to them? There only needed to be one tempter (one Satan), after all, why would He permit more such beings to be created, knowing their fate? Unanswerable, I know. In my view, there must be uncertainty somewhere. Or else God wouldn't need to go through this exercise we call mortality. If He knew in the Preexistence which ones of us would make it and which would not, then He needn't have bothered sending us to mortality. So, if it's His work and His glory to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man, He must not have known which way we would go, until the moment He sent us. We had to be tested, and the outcome had to be unknown until the test was complete. For God the test is of course complete, and the outcome certain, while for us we're still in Time and doing our best to engage with the situation. 

Well, I think we're arguing over how many angels can dance on the head of a pin, because we don't know enough.  But I wonder, if plural marriage were actually God's will and intent for Eternal life and exaltation, would you reject it?

As for me, whatever is the will of God, it is acceptable.

 

 

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2 hours ago, JLHPROF said:

Except his inquiries about plural marriage came long before Fanny Alger appeared on the scene.

True...

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31 minutes ago, Calm said:

When deal with groups of infinite numbers, you might not need exact ratios.

Interesting idea, but are you aware that not all infinities are equal?  Cantor proved that the set of integers and the set of squares of integers, both infinite, are the same size. But that the set of real numbers, while also infinite, is nevertheless larger than either the set of integers or their squares. So are males and females in the same set of infinity, or are females in a larger infinite set?  Stay tuned! 😄

I've read a lot about this subject of infinity and I have to tell you that it is full of surprises and amusement! 

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47 minutes ago, JLHPROF said:

There are plenty of quotes for and against the idea of monogamous exaltation.

The one I was referring to is:

"Now, where a man in this church says, 'I don't want but one wife, I will live my religion with one,' he will perhaps be saved in the Celestial kingdom; but when he gets there he will not find himself in possession of any wife at all. He has had a talent that he has hid up. He will come forward and say, 'Here is that which thou gavest me, I have not wasted it, and here is the one talent,' and he will not enjoy it but it will be taken and given to those who have improved the talents they received, and he will find himself without any wife, and he will remain single forever and ever." JD 16:166

But then there are contrary quotes from Brigham too.  He wasn't consistent on monogamous exaltation.

https://www.fairmormon.org/answers/Mormonism_and_polygamy/Brigham_Young_said_that_the_only_men_who_become_gods_are_those_that_practice_polygamy

But to my response to BG I don't believe any ever specified the second degree of Celestial glory was for monogamy.

What I lean towards is that rejection of plural marriage is what disqualifies for exaltation. There is obviously no need for it to be practiced in mortality, if the willingness to have done so, if it had been commanded, existed. 

I'm pretty well convinced that it will be required of every man who is exalted, because being a particular flavor of sexist, I believe that more women will be worthy of exaltation than men, in the end. And this is not because I'm a greedy little boy who wants as many wives as he can get. I want exactly one wife, the one whose name I know, and if we can be together forever then I will be complete. If I am required to take on more, so be it, but it's not my ambition. By the way, my dear one told me she would be OK with it, if it came to it. 

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4 hours ago, Stargazer said:

why didn't He control things so well that only those who would win through to the highest level of the Celestial Kingdom would be even allowed to compete in the contest?

Because the lower levels are glorious as well and well worth the effort that got them there.

The only thing that might be not as good as our previous level of existence is perdition and we don’t know the ultimate destination of them, so it might end up being better than not trying at all as well.

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But I wonder, if plural marriage were actually God's will and intent for Eternal life and exaltation, would you reject it?

I don’t have a problem with it for perfect beings.  In fact, I believe if it exists for a man and multiple wives due to it being wrong to require a man to give up his family as BY and others have said, it likely exists for a woman who has been married to multiple men as well.  What seems complicated and burdensome to mortals would be simple and easy to celestial beings IMO because they are one in heart and mind.  They don’t have to second guess how their spouse feels about them and they are capable of being fully invested and committed to multiple individuals because their abilities are eternal and infinite compared to ours.

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3 hours ago, Stargazer said:

I'm pretty well convinced that it will be required of every man who is exalted

To accept it or to live it?  Because if live it, you are saying at least twice as many women are headed for exaltation as men.  Which is sad to me you think so little of your own sex in general that even with God’s help, exaltation is not for the majority (since there are likely at least as many males born as female, if not more in all of human history, so over half wouldn’t be exalted even if every female was).

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3 hours ago, Calm said:

Because if live it, you are saying at least twice as many women are headed for exaltation as men.

It would also mean that it is impossible for billions of people to achieve exaltation because they only married one person, and died while not under a commandment to live polygamy. 

Unless of course the idea is to seal people who didn't ever have a relationship of any kind, which seems unlikely to me.

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11 hours ago, Calm said:

To accept it or to live it?

To accept it.

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 Because if live it, you are saying at least twice as many women are headed for exaltation as men.  Which is sad to me you think so little of your own sex in general that even with God’s help, exaltation is not for the majority (since there are likely at least as many males born as female, if not more in all of human history, so over half wouldn’t be exalted even if every female was).

It doesn't have to be twice as many women. All this proposition requires is that one more woman be worthy of exaltation than the total number of men counted so worthy. I don't think it will be quite that narrow a majority -- I'm thinking that the difference will be large enough to be significant. Whatever that means. Do I think little of my sex? No. To start with, I am not loyal to my sex. It's not "my team". My "kind" is not the subset of the species of Man delineated by reproductive organ. My "kind" is the entire species, all of us who are children of God. As to why I think there may be more males than females exalted, I don't know. Might it be that the role of male is more difficult to succeed at than the role of female? Might it be that the role of male is easier to screw up than that of female? God knows, but I don't. But might I know more men who have behaved despicably towards their partners (and children), even abusing them or abandoning them, than I've seen women do? How many more men are in prison than women? These might be the cause of my estimation. I might be wrong in my estimation; how would I know? But it's my best guess.

How will things end up, statistically speaking? What percent of God's children will find their way to each of the three kingdoms? The concept of the bell curve (and reading DC 76) suggests that the largest proportion will be in the Terrestrial Kingdom, with perhaps equal proportions being in both the Telestial and Celestial. And for those of God's children who will be counted worthy of the Celestial Kingdom, how many among them will be counted worthy of the top tier of the CK, and exaltation? We who know of the fullness of the Gospel all strive (or should be striving) towards the top tier, not for our own aggrandizement, but for the sake of our Father's plan and His glory. How many of us will succeed at it? I don't know, but I pray it will be a very great many of us.

Thank you for your comments and questions, by the way. It has helped me think deeper about this topic.

Edited by Stargazer
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11 hours ago, Calm said:

Because the lower levels are glorious as well and well worth the effort that got them there.

Amen!

11 hours ago, Calm said:

The only thing that might be not as good as our previous level of existence is perdition and we don’t know the ultimate destination of them, so it might end up being better than not trying at all as well.

Yes, absolutely.

11 hours ago, Calm said:

I don’t have a problem with it for perfect beings.

But none of us are perfect until we are made so. Not a one of us who has gone through this life was perfect to start with, and all of us who have reached the age of accountability have completely besmirched our souls with disobedience. As far as marriage is concerned, even the best of us are currently failing in varying degrees at singular marriage -- despite claims to the contrary, there is no perfect marriage on earth. So that we as imperfect beings have failed in varying degrees in plural marriage is not an argument against it in this mortal life. We are all handed various trials and tests and are expected to make do with what we're handed, to the best of our ability. 

I am glad not to be handed the "opportunity" of trying to be married to two or more women at once. I have a hard enough time doing justice to one wife.

11 hours ago, Calm said:

In fact, I believe if it exists for a man and multiple wives due to it being wrong to require a man to give up his family as BY and others have said, it likely exists for a woman who has been married to multiple men as well.  What seems complicated and burdensome to mortals would be simple and easy to celestial beings IMO because they are one in heart and mind.  They don’t have to second guess how their spouse feels about them and they are capable of being fully invested and committed to multiple individuals because their abilities are eternal and infinite compared to ours.

Good answers and good commentary all around.

I think that doing well at marriage despite the inherent difficulties of doing it in mortality is an important determinant of whether one is worthy of exaltation. For as badly as my father and mother did as marriage partners (I remember lots of arguments), they did seem to have a close connection towards the end of my father's life and were close to being of one heart and one mind. So I have hopes for them.

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7 hours ago, JustAnAustralian said:

It would also mean that it is impossible for billions of people to achieve exaltation because they only married one person, and died while not under a commandment to live polygamy. 

Unless of course the idea is to seal people who didn't ever have a relationship of any kind, which seems unlikely to me.

It's a misunderstanding that exaltation requires participating in plural marriage in mortal life.

God didn't put any of his children on earth with the certainty that they would fail. It's a test, not a trap. 

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20 hours ago, katherine the great said:

Yes. It glorifies the man. Not the Lord.  

This is polygamy in a nutshell.

Every time a man goes immediately to the idea that there will magically be millions of excess women in heaven for their benefit, glorifying the man is at the bottom of it. 

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