April 6, 2009


LDS doctrine states that we existed before this life and that we were taught the Gospel and accepted it (source), and so the missionaries aren't teaching people new doctrine, but just reminding them of things they already know are true. For example, when we are taught that we chose to come to Earth at this time and that we accepted Jesus Christ's plan, it will ring a bell somewhere deep inside of us. We will have a confirmation in our feelings that that is correct.

I have felt similarly about some Church doctrines. For example, I feel wonderful about charity, family being the most central unit in God's plan, forgiveness, selflessness, praying for your enemies, the importance of humility, etc. I do believe that such things are godly.

But this raises a question in my mind. If plurality of wives was also an eternal principle that we knew before this life on Earth, why do I not say to myself, "Oh yeah! Lots of wives! That makes so much sense!"? Why instead does it cause so much dissonance regarding my knowledge and feelings about God? Why does it just feel wrong, no matter what I do to try and feel okay about it? Isn't confusion a sign that such a thing is not godly (D&C 132:8; D&C 9:8-9)?

LDS doctrine states that we will know the truth because the spirit will tell us in our hearts and in our minds (D&C 8:2). So doesn't it mean that polygamy is not good and true and pure if it makes no sense in my mind and I cannot bring myself to feel good about it? Shouldn't the truth be almost instinctual? Should faith overpower conscience, or is conscience a beginning ground for faith?


Anonymous said...

In LDS docterine we must also be cealed to a spouce in order to obtain the highest degree of the Celestial Kingdom. Also we know that mercy cannot rob the demands of justice it makes sence that God would provide a way for all the rightouess to receive his glory. Knowing that there are more women than men that are rightouess in receiveing their covenants and more obedient, why should they be damened (spiritual stoping of progression) becuse there was not a rightous spouce that they could be wed to? In his mercy pologamy helpes to obtain that law in allowing a woman to be wed to man for name sakes and for their internal increase. Its not about lust or desire to have more woman then the other guy but a rightouess desire for all to enter into Gods presence. This just makes sence to me.

Anonymous said...

I agree fully with anonymous. Thanks for letting both "sides" share their feelings! If I may ask...I am curious how a marriage can stay on the same course when there is such a difference in how you feel about eternal things.

Eli said...

Response to Anonymous 1: You're calling polygamy merciful to women? So in other words, everybody in the Celestial Kingdom will be robbed of the ideal circumstance of monogamy. So everyone will be punished for the sins of the so-called less righteous men who didn't make it? I disagree with your logic and do not believe a loving and merciful God would do such a thing.

Eli said...

Response to Anonymous 2: I'm really trying to avoid speaking for my wife on this blog, so I will respond to your question only from my perspective. No marriage I know of is perfect. Marriages that survive trying times are built on mutual respect and love, and dedication to the children's and each other's happiness. Marriages that survive addictions, infidelity, financial hardships, deaths of children, and any other potential finisher are built on more that those. I'll be honest: no one knows what the future holds for us. I understood the risks of this decision before making it, but I know that I am right and I can not and will not deny my conscience another day. I believe our marriage is based on more than superstitions. If it is not, then maybe it should end.

Anonymous said...

Your world view of God is still based on Biblical tradition, if not completely on Mormon doctrine, which you are purporting to not believe either of. Your argument about status in the Celestial Kingdom holds little weight when you tear down anything saying heaven exists at all.

Eli said...

Response to Anonymous 3: Our very existence on this planet is enough evidence for me to believe in God. If there is a God, there is certainly more to existence that just this life.
I use your biblical tradition to use terms you will understand to explain my position. I'm using Mormon doctrines to explain why I don't believe Mormon doctrines are the best explanation.

Anonymous said...

Why do you spend your time on polygamy when there are other issues which are not so long out of practice?

Eli said...

Response to Anonymous 4: I'm not sure I understand the question. Are you suggesting I spend more time on more current issues? For more you can click on the link entitled "Outline of My Reasons for Leaving". I suppose I use polygamy for most of my examples, because that is what lies at the core of my conclusion that the LDS Church is not lead by God. Not just polygamy by itself, but the fact that there was zero justification for it. Let's say Anonymous 1 is right, for example, and polygamy is God's merciful act to allow less-lucky women into Heaven. Then I challenge anyone who reads this to give me a justification for Joseph Smith to have taken at least 11 women who were already married to other men. Most of their husbands were active in the Church and in high standing (see Zina Huntington's life for an example).

Richard Packham said...

Anonymous (who I presume is Mormon) said:
Your world view of God is still based on Biblical tradition, if not completely on Mormon doctrine

It would seem that Mormon doctrine about "celestial marriage" is not based on the Bible or even the teachings of Christ in the Book of Mormon.

Jesus responded, when asked by the Sadducees which of seven deceased husbands a widow would belong to in heaven, that the question was irrelevant, since there is no "marrying or giving in marriage" in heaven, but those in heaven are like the (unmarried) angels. (Matthew 22:30, Mark 12:25, Luke 20:35)

And in the Book of Mormon, Jesus said absolutely nothing to the Nephites about being married in heaven, either polygamously or monogamously.

If Jesus had been a Mormon, he would have asked the Sadducees, "To which husband had she been sealed in the New And Everlasting Covenant of Marriage?" What a great opportunity Jesus missed there, to tell the Jews about eternal marriage! But he said not a word.

Even some Mormon prophets oppose the very idea of polygamy. This is from the official Mormon website at www.lds.org:

"More recently, President Gordon B. Hinckley has reiterated that plural marriage is 'against the law of God.'", citing the Ensign, Nov. 1998, 72.

jenny said...

Anonymous- you said "God would provide a way for all the rightouess to receive his glory"

God does provide a way for the rightouess to recieve his glory. And that was when he suffered and then died on the cross to pay for our sins. That promise does not include ANY exceptions. It literally is what he says in the Bible... "a gift". A gift that is free, that is out of love. Our salvation depends on Him, not if we are married, perform specific ordinances, and how much we kept the commandments. If this were true, we would all fall very short in deserving heaven! I know God loves us and wants us to trust him. By trusting/loving him, we will naturally try to do good things and try to keep his commandments out of the goodness of our hearts, not to gain our eternal salvation. Our attempts to better ourselves that are pure in heart (not expecting blessings) are what He desires to see in us. What an amazing thing! :-)