Friday, January 27, 2012

I stole this post from my secret blog

Hi guys! So... I have a secret: I have a secret blog that I haven't told anyone about. It's a bit of a school project, and it's probably not that interesting. If you are interested in following it, let me know and I'll let you read it. I'm going to keep it private.

The following words are from that blog:

On Wednesday, my teacher presented my class with the following "doctrine": In the Celestial Kingdom, there will be more righteous women than men. Because of this, plural marriage will be necessary, as you need to be sealed to be exalted.

I left the class feeling very upset.

I recognize that he might have a reason for saying the things he did, including principles given in Jacob 2 and D&C 132, and the fact that a man can be sealed to more than one woman (usually as long as only one is currently alive; it sounds like sometimes divorces don't end in sealing annulments). But I highly suspect that his comments were out of context, and, honestly, out of line.

I need to stick in a disclaimer right now and admit that I don't know what it's going to be like on the other side. But I do believe that things will work out right. I think that people struggle with the idea because, first of all, it isn't really discussed, and second, when it is discussed, it's very vague. And sometimes people with weird ideas are the ones who speak up loudest.

My issues with his presentation of this "doctrine" are

1. Historically, plural marriages were instituted by God to "raise up seed" (Jacob 2:30). I highly doubt that this will be a problem in the Celestial Kingdom, considering all the people who have lived on the earth, and who have yet to live on the earth. D&C 132 addresses plural marriage; however, Joseph Smith received this revelation at a time when the Church was commanded to practice plural marriage. It seems to me that, again, the people needed to expand the Church. I believe that verses 58-66 are specifically for the members of that time, and not for the members of today or even the future.

2. The idea that there will definitely be more women than men in the Celestial Kingdom seems kinda silly to me. I take it that my teacher is drawing this idea from his own experiences seeing more women at Church or in the temple, or perhaps in hearing talks about how LDS Women are Incredible! Whether or not this is the case, there are other things to consider. For example, think of all the children who have died before the age of eight, or all the righteous people who died before having the opportunity to be sealed. I believe that God is just and fair, and that He will give those people an opportunity, too; the idea that the Celestial Kingdom will be over-populated by women is ridiculous to me.

3. I do recognize that a man can be sealed to more than one woman in this life. I have struggled with the idea of typically not having men annul their sealings upon remarriage, because the idea of polygamy disgusts me, frankly. I can't imagine being happy sharing my husband with anyone, whether in this life or the next. But I believe that the multiple sealings are more for the sake of giving those women access to the fullness of the gospel and the Priesthood; I think the Priesthood is going to play a huge part in the Resurrection, and probably other stuff, too. It would be unfair to cut them off from that blessing. HOWEVER, again, I think that everyone will be able to have their very own family unit, meaning one man and one woman, so the idea that a man will be living with a bunch of women forever simply doesn't cut it for me.

4. God understands the desires of our hearts, and takes them into account (Alma 41:3-6). I firmly believe that He would never take away our agency and force us into arrangements that we don't feel good about. The Celestial Kingdom is a place of happiness and peace and progression. The only happiness and peace and progression I can imagine will be with MY husband and our (future) children.

In a way, I'm glad that my teacher made those comments in class because it forced me to really research it for myself, and as a result, I understand it a little more and feel at peace. There aren't many things I know for sure, but I do know that Heavenly Father loves me, and He values me as much as everyone else. That, to me, speaks volumes.

*Edit: I realize now that I failed to mention something. I'm not trying to disprove the possibility of eternal plural marriage. I'm trying to explore other ideas about what might be going on with this topic. I do think that if eternal plural marriage does exist in the Celestial Kingdom, it will be an option, not a requirement. My teacher upset me because he presented it as true, certain doctrine, and I didn't appreciate that; it was a little one-sided for something that isn't (what I consider) solid doctrine. If you have your two cents to throw in, please do so!


Celeste said...

I sort of wonder if the answer isn't an in-between of the two. A) in general, your professor is right. I have heard enough bishop/stake presidentish people talking about it that either there's some truth in it or it's a really widespread myth. B) God also takes your preference VERY MUCH into account. And if you don't ever want to, you probably don't ever have to. The idea has never actually bothered me much (granted, I'm not married, so that might change), but I grew up in a large family.

If plural marriage is an eternal principle that CAN continue happening there, I imagine there will be enough people who don't really mind, like me, that it definitely won't be a REQUIREMENT. My two cents...that might get me in trouble...

Dria said...

Thanks for your thoughts, Celeste. You bring up a good point that I forgot to mention: if plural marriage will be present in the Celestial Kingdom, it will because of preference and upon agreement. As much as that seems strange to me, I recognize that some people might not be as passionate one way or the other.

alisha said...

wow . . . i guess i've never really been presented with this plural marriage in the celestial kingdom theory!! to be honest, i very much agree with what you said about not wanting to share your husband with anyone. i guess i've always been under the impression that plural marriage was something that took place during joseph smith's time only, and that it would never be re-instituted . . . i've never really comprehended how the whole remarriage and getting sealed to more than one woman process works either. . .

i guess it sort of makes my head spin and my stomach hurt when i try to wrap my mind around this kind of thing, so i usually just conclude that the lord must surely have it all figured out, even if my little brain can't understand it. despite the fact that we speculate and want to have it all figured out right now, the lord is ultimately in charge, and maybe things will make more sense when we return to his presence... hopefully? and i, for one, whether it's selfish or not, would like to live my life believing that my husband will always be MY husband, and nobody else's!

(you've got me curious about your secret blog, andria . . . :)