polygamy1I’m sure you’re puzzled by the title of my article but please bear with me as I explain. Today I was watching a marathon of the past season of Sister Wives. I know, I don’t know how I can watch it either, but in my defense I have taken breaks from watching their show. The complete disregard for how God designed marriage gets to me, still I find it funny at times. I guess I’m easily amused. 🙂

One the adventures the family had this season was visiting a Christian polygamous family in Missouri. You read that right, it was a Christian polygamous family. And to reassure you that I’m not pulling your leg I’ve provided some links below on the topic.

The Richard family is comprised of Nathaniel, his first wife Rebecca, second wife Christina, and nine children. They have no ties to the Mormon Church or even Fundamental Mormonism. Nathaniel and Rebecca were just a Christian couple who decided it was God’s will for them to become a polygamous family.

According to their story it all began when Nathaniel was sitting on the couch while Rebecca was making cookies wishing there was “another Rebecca” who could sit with him and snuggle when she worked in the kitchen. After a dream he had where he saw Christina (who attended the same church as the Richards) as his wife and looking through the “Old New Testament” he was able to convince her this was what God wanted for them.
After getting Rebecca on board with this nutty idea of taking on another wife he spoke to Christian and was able to get her on board as well. Apparently she had her own dream a few years ago about putting to bed children who weren’t her own.
As a side note, I’ve read over a few sites dedicated to the topic of Christian polygamy and learned that it’s sometimes called Christian Polygyny. Polygyny is a form of polygamy. Both are defined as follows:

Polygyny- (1) the state or practice of having more than one wife or female mate at a time
Polygamy –(1) Marriage in which a spouse of either sex may have more than one mate at the same time — compare polyandry, polygyny (2) the state of being polygamous

While it’s true that God tolerated the practice of a man having more than one wife for a time His perfect plan for marriage was always one man and one woman. This is made clear in the Garden of Eden when God created one wife for Adam, if He had desired him to have more than one wife wouldn’t he have created more than one?

One of my fears as a Mormon was that I would have to share my husband one day, either in this life or the next with one or more additional women. When the topic would come up most of my friends would say that if it was something God wanted them to do He would have to change their heart so they would accept it. One friend told me she hoped it was practiced in the next life because her husband wasn’t a member and had no plans of ever joining the church.

My friend, like the rest of us were taught that unless we marry in the temple and are sealed for time and all eternity to a worthy priesthood holder we won’t be permitted into the highest level of the Celestial Kingdom when we die. This is the level of heaven according to Mormonism where God dwells and is the level all Mormons are working toward.

My friend believed she needed to have a worthy Mormon priesthood holder by her side to escort her pass the gates of this level, and to the throne of God. And to do that she needed to be married to one in the next life if her own husband didn’t convert.

I haven’t spoken to her since I left the church but this one comment has stayed with me. How heartbreaking it must be to live like that very day of your life, believing that unless your admittance into God’s presence is not based on what Jesus did for you but on your husband’s worthiness to the doctrines of a false religion.

What a crazy world we live in where people who profess to be followers of Christ can be so deceived by Satan as to enter into relationships that go against His will. While others have such a distaste for the cross that they feel more must be required of them before they die so that they will live with God when they pass from this life into the next.

It makes me want to hold on to His word with both hands and dig into it daily, and to teach my children to do the same so we won’t be deceived.

In Christ,
Melissa Grimes (melissa@lifeafter.org)

References:

Facebook, Christian Polygamy

Christianpoly.org

Christianpolygamy.com

The Richards Passover Seder