Discussion Forum

LDS women, will you be glad when your husband begins practicing polygamy in the Celestial Kingdom?

Do you support this doctrine, or do you try not to think about it? (I’m LDS – so I’m not bashing. This is a serious doctrinal question that I am having trouble reconciling in my own mind. My own wife just refuses to think about it too much. It is part of our religion, but the vast majority of LDS people have compartmentalized it out of their consciousness.) Your thoughts?
@ slcbtf: Please take another read through D&C 132. The “new and everlasting covenant” includes both eternal marriage and polygamy. They ARE inclusive in the covenant. I know that in recent years, we don’t talk at all about the polygamy aspect, but the doctrine has never been rescinded, even if the practice has been temporarily suspended. See also some of Brigham Young’s teachings in the Journal of Discourses (which he said were to be received as scripture). He clearly taught that in order to be exalted, one must be involved in polygamy. Surely he wouldn’t have taught false doctrine as the prophet, or else he would have been removed, as Official Declaration 1 teaches us.
Thank you for the responses. It is as I thought: most LDS are equally as uncomfortable with the doctrine as I am. How do we reconcile the fact that polygamy was, is, and will be part of our doctrine with the fact that we all collectively hate the idea?


  • I think that if they aren’t comfortable with it they won’t have to…

    D&C 132:61 And again, as pertaining to the law of the priesthood–if any man espouse a virgin, and desire to espouse another, and the first give her consent, and if he espouse the second, and they are virgins, and have vowed to no other man, then is he justified; he cannot commit adultery for they are given unto him; for he cannot commit adultery with that that belongeth unto him and to no one else.

    emphasis on “and the first give her consent”…so what if she doesn’t?

  • Not all will be practicing this. I don’t plan to be one who does. I’ve actually asked my husband that if I die, he not get sealed to any other women. And he respects that. Maybe that’s my own insecurities or lack of knowledge about the afterlife, but for now that’s how I feel.

    But…I’ve had this conversation with other LDS women and I seem to be in the minority with my feelings. Maybe they’re better women than me; maybe they have a deeper understanding. I just can’t do it.

  • as far as I understand this doctrine, I get to have a say in the matter. We both have to be in agreement. Also, not all men will practice polygamy in the Celestial kingdom. Just like it was when practiced here on earth, not all men were given permission. IN the Celestial Kingdom, not all men will be given permission to practice polygamy.

  • There’s no doctrine that states that every marriage will be a polygamous marriage. You’re making that assumption.

    I’ve thought about this quite a bit, and here is my take on it.

    First off, to most of us, we only consider the sexual aspect of polygamy. I know lots of mom’s with a couple of kids. Their lives are fairly lonely. Dad leaves at 7:30 am and get’s home at 6pm. Throughout the day they have lots of responsibilities, lots of juggling, and little free time. Imagine there were 3 women with a total of 7 kids. 2 could enjoy watching the kids together, while another read a book, went shopping, or other such things.

    What about the kids….they might go to one woman for help with math, another for help with English, etc.

    Additionally, men generally have a bigger sexual appetite and more of a desire for diversity in the bedroom.

    There was a woman who was studying polygamy recently for a book or documentary. I think she was on Oprah. She set out to show all of the female “victims” of polygamy, only to learn that world-wide in the relationships she studied (including living in many of their homes) it was the women who enjoyed and promoted polygamy the most.

    So, if we’re able to deal with the sexual issue and in the next life there will be no shortage of time, it’s easier to understand.

    In a nutshell, I see it a lot like consecration. It’s hard in many ways, however, if it’s done in the right way, it can be better for everyone involved.

    That said, I don’t think I’m enough of a man to practice either. 3 PMS’s per month. More people to provide for. More women to support emotionally. I think it would be a difficult thing, however, I can see how it could be a good thing.

    I think we’ve demonized it when few of us probably understand it.

    As for “having a problem with the doctrine”, that’s ok, however there are all kinds of things in the scriptures, in history, and in our own lives that we are asked to whether we understand the reasons behind it or not. When Adam built an altar, he didn’t understand why, but he did it anyway. Be humble and pray for understanding and knowledge.

  • Many women are sealed to a husband who has married before. They may also pass away and the husband will marry someone else. This is therefore not a maybe or theoretical question. For these women the blessings promised are as deserved as for any couple who were fortunate enough to be married only once. Leah and Rachel will both be married to Jacob for eternity. Plural marriage was restored for a period, in part, for us to understand that earthly jealousy is not a celestial attribute.

  • This is so messed up. First of all the is real mormonism. Like you stated, it is the “New and everlasting covenant” in the doctrines of the religion.

    As a former member, I have seen an ex sister in law in tears over the subject, when her husband was talking openly about it with a brother in law. And stated, “he would follow it if need be.”

    Doctrine and Covenants (D&C), which was first published in 1835. Section 109 dealt with marriage.

    Then it changed…

    1876, when LDS leaders simply removed it and inserted a new section 132, which requires that LDS members seek a number of wives. The new Section 132 was based upon the prophecy Smith claimed to have received on July 12, 1843 – – 33 years earlier. In his alleged new law, Smith declared you must follow the new and everlasting covenant which is polygamy.
    Why the change??
    As Brigham Young was the LDS President during 1876, presumably, it was done under his authority.

    Other leaders after questioned this.

    D and C 132 states, 21 Verily, verily, I say unto you, except ye abide my law ye cannot attain to this glory.

    *this law* think about it.

    This was the very thing Smith had earlier said that God in the BOM revealed was “abominable” to Him.

    Abominable like gay marriage?? huh?

    “For I am the Lord, I do not change . . . .” Malachi 3:6.
    A doctrine is either eternal, or it is not.

    LDS of today, (in temples everyday) seal people into spiritual polygamy. Dallin Oakes is a spiritual polygamist. So to say you are not practicing it is wrong. Just some are waiting to practice it. See?

    Yes, (mormonism believes) it will be there. In the celestial kingdom. Sealing are forever right? ALL the poligamous relaionships of the past that were sealed will be together forever.

    OF Smith’s first 12 wives, 9 were already married.
    The United States census records from 1850 to 1940, and all available Church records, uniformly show a preponderance of males in Utah, and in the Church.

    If a Mormon holds to the Bible, Book of Mormon, and Doctrine and Covenants, he is faced with an impossible dilemma, and a religion plagued with numerous contradictions.


  • The first time polygamy is mentioned int he bible is when Sarah, a female decided it would be a good idea, and for ovious reasons (911) it is not, and so men after that decided it would be great, and even joseph thought it God inspired to listen to a women.

  • I am going to answer this as briefly as possible. After being irritated by this dilemma since about age 12, and after studying historic trends in the 19th Century and 20th Century, combined with a study of as much as I could find in English about the original reasons polygamy was ever even instituted, I have come to the conclusion that polygamy is actually a temporary doctrine. It can be called “eternal” or “celestial” as many times as people want, but that only means that it was inspired for the time and not necessarily a practice that is going to last an eternity. It is my opinion, based on personal study and observation of people and patterns around me for the past 28 years, that there is actually one person for one person, or one man for one woman, and one woman for one man. That is to say, in the accounting of all people who have ever lived on the earth, that there is something called the law of compensation. That is to say, if someone has died young or in a war or simply lived their entire lives without being married, that those blessings will be extended to every individual who wants them. I realize that this is what we have also been told over and over again over the years in church as well. Sometimes people get married more than once due to the death of a first spouse. I know that people who go through more than one marriage might be thinking, “Thank goodness for eternal marriage, so I can be with both people I married.” What they really want, however, is to have an eternal relationship with the people they loved, that is to say, no one wants to think they have lost someone they loved. The question I would think widows and widowers may have to ask themselves, at some point in time, would be: “Would it be so bad to give up the first person (or the second person, or the third person, depending on however many people they married) you loved, if you knew they would still be able to associate with you in the eternities as if they were any other member of your family?” It is my opinion, based on the real reason polygamy arose in the aftermath of war where men were killed and hence “missing,” that after the Resurrection, all of these family ties will be worked out if they have not been already. Does that mean that no one at all will practice polygamy? I don’t know for sure, and this is why. I don’t know how many men and how many men have gone through mortality. I don’t know if the numbers are almost exactly equal, or if there are 10,000 more women than men, or whatever. Do I believe that plural marriages will be dissolved in the Millennium if the plural wife found someone they liked better in the spirit world? Possibly and probably. But since I am unable to account for every individual’s premortal and post-mortal life plans, I leave it up to God and those individuals. It is the same reason I don’t express too many opinions about polygamists in this day and age, because for all I know, the men who were killed in more recent wars in the later part of the 20th Century may have arranged in the pre-mortal life for their eternal companions to stay in a sheltered sort of life and “out of circulation,” so to speak, until the Resurrection. I do, however, find the abuses of several polygamist leaders who practiced polygamy AFTER the 1890 Manifesto extremely abhorrent, as the histories of people like Ervil LeBaron and Warren Jeffs are easily obtained, and I have expressed my opinion about people like that. In the case of Joseph Smith and 19th Century polygamy, there is a different War to be reckoned with, and that is the Civil War, which he accurately prophesied about more than 30 years before it happened. I find it significant that the Manifesto ending polygamy was issued a full Biblical generation, that is, 25 years, after the end of the Civil War. You can do the math yourself: 1865 to 1890. That is to say, a generation had passed in which everyone remotedly associated with the Civil War and its aftermath could have been accounted for by then (just looking at it from an earthly or mortal point of view). Again, I would say polygamy may be an “eternal” principle, but it is not necessarily “eternal” in the fact that it lasts forever (see the scriptures where God says “endless punishment” is not necessarily “endless,” for a comparison), but rather that it was instituted by God for the times to account for the care of women who would not have met their eternal companion in this life. This requires letting go of mortal prejudices and “logic” to a extent, but it also requires logic on a different level, combined with inspiration.

  • What does the poster mean that you don’t HAVE to choose polygamy? You sure do if you want to spend eternity as husband and wife with all your spirit and earthly children. But if you don’t want to, then no, you can reject polygamy – and you don’t get the “eternal family”.

    I always hated the thought of polygamy and it was something that I put out of my mind when I was LDS. It’s an abominable practice to the average person. LDS polygamy is full of holes just as OT polygamy. It’s not sanctioned by God – it’s a completely made-up “commandment” to hide the sexual exploits of Joseph Smith and others.

    We were told a myriad of things about our decision for/against celestial polygamy. We were told that we would WANT IT once we had died. And for the poster who said he didn’t know what we would want is not going by LDS teachings. We were told that our thoughts and feelings would follow us into the next life and we would not “magically” change our minds about anything in the next life, but we could continue to learn and we MAY change our decisions.

    Before I left for good, I taught the 14/15 yr. olds in Sunday School and I taught Young Women. It was a huge concern for some of them and many of them cried just thinking about it.

  • Not all Mormons practiced polygamy, even when it was a doctrine that was obeyed. Only a small minority, of a selected few brethren did so. It is a misconception to assume that ALL adult members of the faith practiced it.

    Polygamy had a purpose, and when that purpose was completed, it was discontinued. In the 1800’s many more women were joining the Church than males, and therefore they could not possibly have a Celestial marriage due to the fact that they outnumbered men. Additionally, not all plural marriages were consummated. They were to provide companionship and a means of sustenance.

    In the next world, where there be the need, ie disproportionate numbers. I do not know, but I do not think that EVERYONE will be required to live it. In fact, I somehow think it will not be necessary for all. At any rate, we will have Celestial “eyes” in that day, and would see things on a different level than we do now. Perhaps our perspective will therefore be fine tuned, and more “Celestial.” It is after all, a labor of love (no pun intended) much like taking in orphans and foster children not of your own is a labor of love. It provides them a home when they could not or do not have one of their own; at no fault of their own.

  • 1 Corinthians 13:11- “When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.”

    We are currently not entirely capable of thinking on a celestial level. Assuming that when I get there, I’ll be able to be a whole lot more charitable than I am now, what kind of “celestial” person would I be to deny my sister the blessings of exaltation?

    Yes, right now, I’m uncomfortable with “sharing” my husband, but that’s the utterly temporal me talking, too.

  • Society has changed your views of how women should be treated. You have seen how an equal society is a better one. Perhaps if you moved to a polygamist society your views would change. I wonder how well a religion that taught women would be the ones with multiple husbands would fly. And LDS women think they are viewed equally in their religion.. Suckers

  • We will not all have to practice it.
    There will only be a few that will practice it and then the wife will have to be ok with this. I have a huge problem with the whole thing so I have asked many bishops and stake presidents to explain it to me.

    I was told by all of them that is will only be a select few that will have to do this and both parties will agree with it.

  • oh look, beta fish now has problems with his old church…. how sad and typical is that. Again, your thoughts on Polygomy are completely confusing. Are you planning to marry more than one wife right now? have you found someone already?

    Why in the world are you upset about polygomy when it has nothing to do with you and your family? Thus, why are you even concerned about it? Were you in polygomy before? do you plan to start polygomy in the future? I can see why your so confused, because your thoughts are so confusing.

  • That’s kind of a weird way to ask that question…

    Will I be glad if he’s asked to practice it? (because I do believe it will be asked not forced) I don’t know. I’m sure that the petty jealousies of this world will no longer be an issue so the way I think of it is will I be glad that my eternal union with my husband will also benefit another sister who was not as fortunate enough to secure an eternal union in her lifetime and allow her the opportunity to gain the highest level in the celestial kingdom? Then yes. I would be glad to share that blessing with her. I’d like to believe that I would be so loving and unselfish to not only accept it but be glad for it. To place myself among the company of Abraham’s wife and others would be an honor.

    Do I know all the answers about how it will all work? No but I think people who are uncomfortable with the idea of polygamy need to stop viewing it through secular eyes.

  • Could you provide the official source for this doctrine? I’m LDS too, and I think you may have misinterpreted something somewhere. Polygamy will exist in the celestial kingdom. We know that Abraham is there and many other faithful prophets who practiced polygamy. I’m not sure that it will mean that everyone will have multiple wives. The knowledge that we have now stipulates that one must participate in celestial marriage. A celestial marriage and polygamy are not the same thing.

  • I have confronted this idea head-on as I had to deal with my biological father’s polygamous marriage prior to his death. I now am glad to be part of a religion which does not tolerate it on this earth. My husband, to whom I was sealed, has died so I have thought about it. I would like to think I will always be the first and only violin in his orchestra, but until I die I am content to think it will all be worked out in eternity.

  • There is no reason to believe that we will not still have free agency. Satan had free agency, so that proves it was in place in the pre-existence, we have it here,……and people have the opportunity to accept the gospel in the afterlife. So IF (as currently God has discontinued this practice) it is an option in the hereafter, it will be our choice to participate. Even on this earth it was a choice made by those who were polygamists and not all upstanding members practiced this.

    Also, the prophets have indicated that their will be a place in the kingdoms for those who are single – without condemnation or penalty….so I’m thinking obviously it is not any kind of requirement.

    edit: How do Mormon women reconcile a historical and doctrinal past so clearly linked to the importance of polygamous marriage as a requirement for salvation?

    Polygamy is the exception to the rule, only commanded in specific times for specific purposes. And although Celestial Marriage was clearly interpreted by nineteenth-century Mormons as equivalent to plural marriage, today most accept an interpretation of the Celestial Marriage doctrine to mean the priesthood sealing of one man and one woman in eternal marriage. In other words, Celestial Marriage can have two possible applications.

    I was just reading an interview about BY and blacks/slavery this morning that I think fits in here as well –
    “Q: Why would Brigham Young believe such things?

    A: Because he was a nineteenth-century American, and hardly any white people of that time, North or South, believed in equality for blacks. Slavery was still an unsettled issue throughout the nation, with some even in the South opposed to it, and many even in the North who were willing to tolerate it. Brigham Young’s ideas were really right in the mainstream of American thinking at that time. They were very close to the ideas of other prominent Americans from Thomas Jefferson to Abraham Lincoln, who himself did not even free all slaves with his Emancipation Proclamation.” -Armand L. Mauss

    I think somtimes we draw our own conclusions – based on our own time and experiences – as to the ‘reasons’ for things without asking through the proper authority for verification of our assumptions……in other words, just like always – unless God puts those words in your mouth at that time, they are not His words. We are all fallible and subject to misinterpretation.

  • I think polygamy is degrading to a woman and I could NEVER be a part of it, whether in this life or the next.
    I have WAY more respect for myself.

    Live Laugh Love

    oh look, I got thumbs down for not willing to be a part of something I consider disgusting and degrading.
    My “free agency…”

    For those of you who say that first wife needs to be “OK with that” – that’s just an excuse to explain something irrational.
    How about the other way around? A woman getting married to another “brother husband?” To see how THEY like it?
    I will never believe that polygamy was commanded by God, and that God would withhold his blessings in CK to someone who is not married. I think you’re not giving God enough credit here…
    he’s a loving God, right? Wouldn’t he create the world in a way so polygamy is not necessary? After all he is GOD, isn’t he?
    Polygamy… way to make a woman a second class citizen.
    WAKE UP.

  • My wife wouldn’t want that, I wouldn’t either.

    However we don’t know what we’ll want up there anyway. If we don’t have any more jealousy or self esteem issues or worries about aging, the mindset would be completely different. We also don’t know what “benefits” such a union holds – while some boldly say there is sex in heaven, we don’t know what means there are to procreation. Any view on that is mere speculation.

    The other thing is that we don’t have a promise of being polygamists. We all reserve the right to change our opinions but the way I see it now with my wife; another woman is the last thing on earth that I’d want (twice the anniversaries and gifts, twice the Nordies charge cards, twice the offense taken from a comment then feeding off each other on the drama as they walk together into a large woman’s bathroom – that would be hell for me!)

    One thing is obvious, God won’t put anyone in a situation that isn’t comfortable and to our benefit.

    It’s fair to say that if your views match my current views on polygamy; and if we retain those views into the heavens, that we won’t be in a situation that we wouldn’t want because we’ll still have our agency.

    EDIT: The New and Everlasting Covenant CAN include polygamy, yet since OD #1 it can’t include it in the flesh.

    I don’t think for a second that we’re about to be asked to be polygamists again – even so there were few members who practiced it.

    Animal sacrifices are also in the past and something that we don’t renounce in the gospel as evil; yet I would think that we all feel that animal sacrifices are repulsive as well.

    For many who practiced animal sacrifices it’s not repulsive or gross, it’s purposeful and symbolic. The same became true of those who were polygamists – once they embraced the practice they became accustomed to it.

    Without the need or motive for polygamy why should we need to understand it? IF it were commanded (and I don’t think for a second that it ever will be again) then I would seek to understand it; in the mean time since none of the living practitioners of it are in the order of the covenant the only think we would think about it is “odd”.

  • I think he’ll have a choice to do it or not, and I don’t think any of us will be “forced” into it. So, no, I have not compartmentalized it out of my thoughts, but, if and when we reach that state, maybe I’ll feel differently about it. We will all be in a more “knowledgeable” state in the hereafter, and things will be perfected then – even the marriage covenant that we’ve entered into here on earth. Support is a pretty strong word to use when we haven’t even perfected the law we’re living now. Put it on the back burner, my friend, it’s not something to lose sleep over.

  • Not doctrine, but my opinion is that the Adam and Eve relationship is the model for what we are striving for.

    God implements polygamy for His own reasons, at certain times. We can only guess what His reasons are as we learn about it in the scriptures. There’s a study topic for you. I would recommend using http://www.scriptures.byu.edu in conjunction with the sections in the D&C where it is mentioned.

    Just an interesting side note, Elder Scott’s wife asked him to not re-marrry, just before she died–for the reasons you mentioned above. He still hasn’t.

    I think for those who practice it in the Celestial Kingdom, it won’t be a big deal. I mean, they’ll be with God right? What else matters?

  • Its so sick that these people can think that that’s a perfect gods plan…..but then again we are talking about people that believe in a god that needed a blood sacrifice to forgive…brainwashed fools!

  • Well, the OT is full of polygamy. Abraham had multiple wives. Heck, Leviticus even commands that a son “not have relations with any of his fathers wives” which makes me laugh for multiple reasons. but polygamy certainly is biblical.

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