Friday, June 4, 2010

Monogamy as the Rule

From the Cassler article on Polygamy from Square Two:

" In verse 27 Jacob expounds the law of marriage--the rule or unrestricted form of marriage, if you will: “Wherefore, my brethren, hear me, and hearken to the word of the Lord: For there shall not any man among you have save it be one wife; and concubines he shall have none” (Jacob 2:27). The general law (or rule or unrestricted form) of the eternal principle of marriage is monogamy. That monogamy is the law or rule of the principle of marriage is found several places throughout the scriptures. To take but one example, the Lord says in Doctrine and Covenants 49:16 “Wherefore, it is lawful that he [man] should have one wife, and they twain shall be one flesh, and all this that the earth might answer the end of its creation.” In the beginning, when the earth was empty and sorely needed replenishing, God gave Adam but one wife, Eve, that the pattern of his law of marriage might be set from the dawn of time in the very first human marriage on earth (see also Moses 5:3). [5] Joseph Smith said, “ I have constantly said no man shall have but one wife at a time, unless the Lord directs otherwise.” [6] Bruce R. McConkie concurs: “According to the Lord’s law of marriage, it is lawful that a man have only one wife at a time, unless by revelation the Lord commands plurality of wives in the new and everlasting covenant.” [7] Of course, taking a plurality of wives outside of the new and everlasting covenant, outside of being commanded to do so by the Lord, is always a grievous sin. [8] "

From this I now see that my understanding of marriage in the eternities have been in slight error. In my envisioning of our Heavenly Parents' relationship, I thought it was highly likely that our Father God has more than one female consort and that the general rule of marriage was that Gods and people who have attained higher levels of spiritual development practiced polygamy in most cases.

Yet now I see that this not have to be the case and that perhaps, in general, most of the time, maybe almost all the time, that marriage partners will be monogamous in this life and in the eternities. I know that this would be a comforting thought to my husband who, in his endearing way, only want to love me for the rest of eternity and is bothered at the thought of having his time and involvement limited with me by sharing himself with other women. I have never faulted him for that and hope that this concept that I'm learning about will give him the assurance that, unless there is some special exception, that will not be asked of us.

My picture of the eternities is changed now. The possibility that Father in Heaven has one marriage partner, Mother in Heaven seems more likely to me, though I know that too could be incorrect, given some special circumstance he encountered before becoming creator of this world.

Many questions remain...

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