LDS Eternal Marriage & its Relation to Sexuality
As commonly occurs when I pray or ponder about a question for a time, the other morning I woke up with a very clear picture of the following concepts. I hope I can pass the principles on as well as they were given to me. It had to do with the simpleness of the concept of the LDS doctrine of eternal marriage”. I was shown how teachings from several different sources all fit together in one simple and common-sense picture of what eternal marriage is all about, and how the current LDS view of it approximates the truth, but with misunderstanding.
As with all revelation, the principles given to Joseph Smith and recorded in the LDS Doctrine in Covenants regarding the “New and Everlasting Covenant of Marriage” or “Eternal Marriage” as it has been dubbed, have to do with profound teachings on the nature of exaltation (or being raised to higher levels of heaven and consciousness ) which have been revealed to many mystics over the years, but were a bit distorted or colored by the early Saint’s culture, backgrounds and sexual proclivities.
As a summary this is basically it.
-as Oashpe teaches, admittance into the 3rd heaven or “Etherean realms” or what LDS doctrine calls the Celestial Kingdom, you must learn to work together as a perfectly harmonious group. Most Mormon’s believe from D&C 131:2 that a person must be married to one or more women in order to obtain the highest level in the Celestial Kingdom. This is a misunderstanding of the principle, because the “new and everlasting covenant of marriage” is not marriage as we know it on earth. It is not simply two “worthy people” being married in the temple in a certain ordinance by some certain authority. This is all symbolism pointing disciples to the truth which is more profound, and concerns groups being bound in “marriage relationships” of perfect harmony.
-When the necessary harmony is achieved, Oahspe details the manner in which the group is “translated to Jehovah” as “brides and bridegrooms of Jehovah” in a process symbolized by the “marriage supper of the Lord”.
-These groups are formed in this Telestial World, and harmonized in the terrestrial glory (2nd heaven or 2nd resurrection or 4rth density). As the ‘Law of One’ specifies, individuals in that environment can see each others thoughts and intentions and through increasing levels of psychic and spiritual connection they reach the necessary level of harmony (as specified in D&C 10?:?).
-This process if further explained in the gnostic pearl where it is symbolically called ‘the bridal chamber’.
-The eternal consequences of Non traditional sexual arrangements such as polygamy and homosexuality are best understood in the framework of the group exaltation system. Those who are carnally minded and only comprehend the biological and pleasure seeking aspects of sex are not ready for this type of arrangement. A good, long lasting marriage on earth is one of the quickest ways to come to understand the nature of terrestrial sexual arrangements. Sex in these systems need not even have a physical dimension as the harmonization brought about by the melding of mind and soul is the key component.
-In the lowly telestial world the primary purpose of sex is procreation or reproduction, but as an individual raises their consciousness and spirituality closer to terrestrial levels sex becomes more an act of psychic connection, energy exchange and spiritual harmonization. Terrestrial Sex after death and even after resurrection is different in many ways. J.S. Ward explains how it is different. the law of one also explains how in the spirit world energy transfers occur without the necessity of ‘sex’ as we know it.
-The ‘Law of One’ details that the 4th Density (Terrestrial Resurrection or Millennial Era of Mormonism) is a time where spirits worthy to “come forth in the First Resurrection” will be incarnated on earth through sexual reproduction the same way they are now. However, this 4th density earth is not the earth we know now (“There will be a new heaven and a new earth which is like unto the old, save the old has passed away”). Thus contrary to some LDS beliefs, those of the terrestrial resurrection will have sex and have babies. (This is not the case for 3 kingdoms of the Spirit World, since procreation does not exist there and sex is quite different—see degrees of Glory article for a lengthy description detailing the prevalent misunderstandings of how D&C 76 describes the Spirit World vs resurrected states) Those in the “resurrected terrestrial earth realm” will be able to communicate telepathically and have many abilities we do not now have. The purpose of that incarnation (where translation often ends the incarnation instead of death) is to harmonize groups into harvestable units. And as Christ teaches in Matthew 22, marriage as we know it will be very different.
-So this is important, because if you understand that the ‘harmonious union’ of a group that has to occur to be exalted to the celestial kingdom is a kind of marriage relationship between a large group where all members share a group consciousness, see each other’s thoughts, and learn to act so harmoniously that they could be described as ‘one’ and also understand how their minds and spirit meld in a union which is symbolized as most like ‘sex’ in this life then you can see how gender attraction will become somewhat meaningless. As explained above, sex here is primarily to make babies and raise families and that is why it is important to maintain marriage & family relationships which work best for that here. Its also something that is not going to change in the terrestrial resurrected world. BUT, same gender attraction and even same gender sex (in the psychological sense) will be a non-issue in the next life because true celestial marriage requires ALL in the group to be ‘married’ and to be united in a unified group of love, harmony and psychological union.
So is homosexuality in this life OK? well, turning this into a black and white issue is harmful and misleading. Wisdom, understanding and harmony will never come from approaching it from a polarized view. There is a large continuum of human sexual attraction and proclivities. Contrary to some naive popular belief there is no magic ‘gene’ which makes you either straight or gay; but your inherited genes play a large role in determining where you fit on the various continuums. The environments you are raised in, and programming incurred in your first sexual experiences also play a role. All humans are born with differing hormone balances which largely determine sexual traits and attractions. Some are born hormonally polarized and some are hormonally neutral. Some are even born with both male and female sexual organs (see androgyny/ intersex). When guiding culture and spiritual progression, politician and spiritual leaders must try to set guidelines which promote the greatest good to the greatest number of people, so it should not be hard to see why traditional sexual arrangements which bare offspring should be encouraged and non-traditional arrangements perhaps slightly discouraged (depending on the population & social conditions). Spiritually there are also other very subtle and complicated advantages and disadvantages to sexual orientation, so each earthly religion is prompted different levels spiritual inspiration to make rules to achieve certain purposes according to their unique goals and perspectives. Some religious orders promote celibacy, androgyny or monastic life for this reason. But sexuality is a very personal matter, and personal inspiration is definitely the most important factor in achieving personal balance and happiness. One should follow this common sense direction from God concerning following personal inspiration and revelation over second-hand or indirect inspiration as a general rule for happiness.
34/9.1. Man I created with capacity to distinguish My direct from My indirect inspirations, says Jehovah.
34/9.2. And My angels gave him rules, by which he could make manifest the difference between the two.
34/9.3. Man has said: Behold, any man may say: Thus says Jehovah! || One kills his neighbor, saying: I was thus inspired by Jehovah. Another practices all goodness, and his words are wisdom and comprehension, and he says: I was inspired by Jehovah!
34/9.4. I say to you, O man: In this I also gave you liberty; therefore, judge for yourself as to which came from Me, and which from his surroundings.
34/9.5. You shall be your own judge in all things.
34/9.6. Behold, I sent My God to judge you; but you shall also judge the judgments of your God; and afterward, you shall judge yourself in the same way.
34/9.7. I created you a perpetual judge, not only to judge yourself and all the world besides, but you shall judge Me, your Creator.
34/9.8. I have given you many sacred books, and I said to you:
34/9.9. Unless you judge them, you shall be caught in a snare; I charge you, you shall accept nothing from men, angels, or Gods.
34/9.10. But you shall rely on your own inspiration from your Creator.
34/9.11. Such is My word which I speak to your own soul.
34/9.12. What comes to you from a man is indirect inspiration; what comes from an angel is indirect; and what comes from the Gods is indirect.
34/9.13. No direct inspiration by Me can come to you from a book, or a sermon, or from anything in all My creations, but only from Me, your Creator.
34/9.14. Though one man receives direct inspiration from Me, and he writes it in a book, yet, when it comes to you, it is indirect inspiration, and is not binding upon you, except only so far as My direct inspiration upon you moves you to receive it.
34/9.15. Yet, I did not create all men with the same clearness to perceive Me, and to frame My wisdom in words.
34/9.16. Only a few will turn away from the inspiration of the world, and come to Me.
34/9.17. Many profess Me in words, but they do not fulfill My inspiration in practice.
34/9.18. My words come easily to the pure in heart; and My wisdom shows itself in the frame of their speech.
ADD ILLUSTRATIONS OF DIFFERING CONTINUUMS. (everyone is on different parts of a large continuum, the issue of sexuality & sexual desire is not black or white/ gay or straight)
sexual attracted to sexually attr to
opposite gender little or no sexual attraction same gender
-hormones during development and puberty determine physical sexual attributes
male attributes neutral/both female attributes
Teachings on Eternal Marriage from a variety of witnesses
We should all be acquainted with the New Testament quote that many use to try and prove that eternal marriage is unscriptural…
From the New Testament (Gospel of the Holy Twelve Version)..
7. Then came to Him certain of the Sadducces, who deny that there is a resurrection, and they asked him saying, Master, Moses wrote unto us, if any man’s brother die having a wife and leaving no children, that his brother should take his wife and raise up seed to his brother.
8. Now there were six brethren, and the first took a wife and he died childless: And the second took her to wife and he died childless: And the third, even unto the sixth, and they died also leaving no children Last of all the woman died also.
9. Now in the resurrection, whose of them is she, for the six had her to wife.
10 And Jesus answered them saying, whether a woman with six husbands, or a man with six wives, the case is the same. For the children of this world marry and are given in marriage.
11. But they, which being worthy, attain to the resurrection from the dead, neither marry, nor are given in marriage, neither can they die any more, for they are equal to the angels and are the children of God, being the children of the resurrection.
The Life beyond the grave experiences of British Medium J.S.M. Ward witness to a similar situation in heaven of singleness for non-progressed spirits and increasing oneness and “eternal marriage” for more progressed and exalted souls.
“Yes, there are plenty of women here [in the Spirit World], but the sexes do not mix much in these realms. At first they are separated almost completely. It is desirable, as far as possible, to eliminate the old ideas of sex, ideas right and necessary on earth, but no longer needed here, otherwise spiritual progress would be rendered almost impossible by the old carnal feelings. Thus it is, of course, true that here there is ‘no marrying and giving in marriage’; but, on the other hand, as the last grains of earthly passion are eliminated, the male and female spirits begin to draw together again, for each is the complement of the other spiritually, just as they are on earth physically. The further we progress, the nearer together the two sexes draw, so that we understand ultimately there comes about a mystic union in spirit between one man and woman. This is the real spiritual union of which marriage on earth is a true symbol or sacrament. This consummation, this blending of two spirit entities, so that each becomes part of the other and yet retains its own individuality, cannot be fully understood even by us, much less by you. The earth marriage at its highest and best does give you some faint idea of what we really mean.
“This spiritual marriage, if so I can call it, takes place at a stage far above us—it may be in the fifth plane, or even higher. At least this is certain—it does not take place on our plane. Nevertheless, as we progress, we mingle more and more, first, with members of our own sex, and then with members of the other sex. It does not necessarily follow that we always marry spiritually the same woman as we did on earth, but we do marry someone who is our complement.”
from “Gone West” http://www.angelfire.com/ne/newviews/gonewest1d.html
Another witness is given in the gnostic writings of the Pearl…
7…We gained form when we were born to our Divine Parents, They Who Have Life In Themselves and increase that Life through producing spirit children. They give form to the Light so that the great wealth that is hidden in it can be revealed. Because they are Love, they produce the fruits of Love, which are their spirit children.
8. “These spirits have form, but it is still not of the same nature as the form of their Parents. Without their Parents’ intervention, they could never become like them. So the Parents descend. They fall. They become anthropos, mortal in their nature, so that they can produce physical bodies for their children to inherit. This is their second act of Divine Love. Through these two acts of Love, we have come from formlessness to form, so that we can assist in the sacrificial act of Divine Love, converting darkness into Light and increasing the power of Truth. Whoever is able to understand the nature of the Infinite will understand what I am saying. (Saga of Sophia & Christ 5:7-8)
“5. The Divine Ones have infinitely more progeny than mortals. Mortals produce a finite number of children and die, but the immortal Eloheim produce progeny forever because they never die; they are Eternally Begetting and Always Begotten. Parents produce children, but children cannot produce children. Children acquire siblings, but Parents acquire children. This is according to the Law of Relative Relationships. (Principles of the New Covenant 7:5)”
“I stood in their presence, trembling at their majesty, but one of them spoke to me. “Approach us, Enoch,” he instructed, “and hear our holy word.” Then I was lifted up, and approached their seat of power, but I hardly dared look at them. One of them spoke to me again. “Look at us, Enoch,” she said, “for we are the Eloheim, male and female, even as we have begotten mankind in our own likeness. But this is the great secret, Enoch. We are not different from each other, but different manifestations of the same reality. The Eloheim are Eloheim; they may appear to you to be male or female, but if they were either, they would be halves, not whole, and wholeness is the attribute of Deity. The Eloheim are not male or female, but Eloheim. The sanctified are not male or female, but sanctified. All of mankind are incomplete, as long as they view themselves as male or female, for half of their reality is veiled from them. You must see beyond the illusion of separateness to the essential oneness of Being, in order to perceive Truth. Until then, you cannot relate, in a proper manner, with the rest of creation. Look at us, Enoch, and perceive Truth.” Then they opened up to me a great mystery, and I saw the meaning of what I had heard. (book of Enoch 6:7)
gospel of the holy twelve …..the descending and ascending into matter, etc…
Oahspe teaches of the group nature of exaltation to the 3rd heavens (5th density or celestial glory)
05/13.8. Hear me, then, O my beloved: From this day forward you are denied individual ministration with individuals, but you are now a unit with many, and your labor, love and wisdom must be in concerted action with these.
05/13.9. From now on you must no longer say: What can I do for this man or that man, or this woman or that woman, or this child or that child? || For this is individual labor; and on the earth such ministration belongs to the ashars; and in atmospherea, it belongs to the asaphs. But you shall minister to organic communities who are composed of individuals…
05/14.2. Now is the beginning of the second resurrection. Even as the corporean puts off the corporeal body, and is born a spirit, becoming the first resurrection, so are you, in putting away individual self and becoming an organic community, the beginning of the second resurrection.
18/6.23. I commanded My etherean hosts, saying: Go to the lower heaven and teach them there is no such thing as individual resurrection. And they came proclaiming My word, showing all people that any number of individuals were as nothing unless united, which is the salvation I provided to all My worlds.
18/6.24. For I created progress to be in compact [an organic group]; nor did I give to any person individual salvation or resurrection. So that men could learn the advantage of compact, I caused mortals to have corporeal languages, and to live in cities. So that you in atmospherea could learn the All Perfection of being one with one another, I gave you the second resurrection; teaching you, through My Gods and Lords, to abnegate self aspiration, for self aspiration is at the expense of others; but commanding you to learn to assimilate with one another.
18/6.25. And I gave rites and ceremonies, among which was the oath of service to Me and My kingdoms, and to none other, in which many bound themselves, which was, and is, the beginning of liberty. Touching this matter, I created types (of rites and ceremonies) on earth and in the lower heavens, so that even the unlearned might understand Me and My works.
18/6.26. For to him who begets children I gave bondage, to them and to him conjointly. But this is a bondage that does not circumvent liberty in time to come, for they can ascend to heaven, and progress conjointly, better than alone
04/7.16. At the termination of the dominion of My God and his Lords, they shall in these, My bound heavens, gather together all those angels who have been prepared in wisdom and strength for resurrection to My etherean kingdoms. And these angels shall be called Brides and Bridegrooms to Jehovah, for they are Mine and in My service.
04/7.17. And in the time of dan I will send down ships from etherea to God, his Lords and the Brides and Bridegrooms; by My etherean Gods and Goddesses, these ships shall descend to these heavens to receive God, his Lords and the Brides and Bridegrooms, and carry them up to the exalted regions I have prepared for them.
04/7.18. All those who ascend shall be called a Harvest to Me, through My God and Lords. And the time of My Harvests shall be according to each dan, which is two hundred years, four hundred years, six hundred years, and five hundred years; and these shall be called My lesser cycles, because they are the times of the tables of prophecy which I give to My servants.
04/7.19. But at no other times, nor in any other way, shall My Harvests ascend to My emancipated worlds in etherea.
In my opinion, D&C 132 is given after the saints rejected the true “new and everlasting covenant” or “higher law” much as the children of Egypt did in the wilderness. As a result, they were given up to be ruled by the lower law or a “schoolmaster” of lower gods (oahspe details how this seems to happen in most dispensations). Much like the “God” of the old testament, we see in D&C 132 God threatening obedience or destruction over and over. In fact D&C 132 contains nearly half of the entire Doctrine & Covenants references to “destruction”.
41 And as ye have asked concerning adultery, verily, verily, I say unto you, if a man receiveth a wife in the new and everlasting covenant, and if she be with another man, and I have not appointed unto her by the holy anointing, she hath committed adultery and shall be destroyed.
52 And let mine handmaid, Emma Smith, receive all those that have been given unto my servant Joseph, and who are virtuous and pure before me; and those who are not pure, and have said they were pure, shall be destroyed, saith the Lord God.
54 And I command mine handmaid, Emma Smith, to abide and cleave unto my servant Joseph, and to none else. But if she will not abide this commandment she shall be destroyed, saith the Lord; for I am the Lord thy God, and will destroy her if she abide not in my law.
63 But if one or either of the ten virgins, after she is espoused, shall be with another man, she has committed adultery, and shall be destroyed;
This next verse, which I think is the best example of the nature of the God or spirit influencing D&C 132, somewhat unintelligibly says that if one of the Brethren explain to their wives that they or God wants them to take additional virgins as polygamous wives and the first wife says no, God will destroy her.
64 And again, verily, verily, I say unto you, if any man have a wife, who holds the keys of this power, and he teaches unto her the law of my priesthood, as pertaining to these things, then shall she believe and administer unto him, or she shall be destroyed, saith the Lord your God; for I will destroy her; for I will magnify my name upon all those who receive and abide in my law
This smiting God not only threatens the women, but according to Hyrum and several other testimonials, threatened Joseph and many other early church brethren that they needed to take additional virgins or God would “slay” them.
Joseph was commanded to take more wives and he waited until an angel with a drawn sword stood before him and declared that if he longer delayed fulfilling that command he would slay him.” (Hyrum Smith, Elder Benjamin F. Johnson’s Letter to George S. Gibbs, 1903— There are many corroborating testimonies of this smiting angel coming to both Joseph Smith and others to force polygamy)
It kind of reminds me of the Back to the Future scene where Darth Vader comes to Marty Mcfly and tells him if he doesn’t take Lorain to the dance, he’d melt his brain. Given these aspects of the revelation, it is fairly easy to see that we are dealing with the lower priesthood here, and the doctrine of celestial marriage explained here is one of the lower heavens, administered by very strict “schoolmaster” Gods. Even so, the revelation is true within its own sphere, and points to the profound principle (explained best in Oahspe) that only groups progress to “godhood” (usually 6 generation family groups).
116 Therefore, when they are out of the world they neither marry nor are given in marriage; but are appointed angels in heaven, which angels are ministering servants, to minister for those who are worthy of a far more, and an exceeding, and an eternal weight of glory.
17 For these angels did not abide my law; therefore, they cannot be enlarged, but remain separately and singly, without exaltation, in their saved condition, to all eternity; and from henceforth are not gods, but are angels of God forever and ever.
18 And again, verily I say unto you, if a man marry a wife, and make a covenant with her for time and for all eternity, if that covenant is not by me or by my word, which is my law, and is not sealed by the Holy Spirit of promise, through him whom I have anointed and appointed unto this power, then it is not valid neither of force when they are out of the world, because they are not joined by me, saith the Lord, neither by my word; when they are out of the world it cannot be received there, because the angels and the gods are appointed there, by whom they cannot pass; they cannot, therefore, inherit my glory; for my house is a house of order, saith the Lord God.
137/7.21. The Father has given this sign: That in marriage, man and woman become the first testimony before mortals, that self can be abnegated without ‘the loss of self’ experiencing a loss in fact. And this is the smallest possible number that can unite on earth or in heaven. Let the single man or the single woman stand, therefore, as a type of the lowest of the heavens (first resurrection or telestial glory); and let marriage stand as an type of the second resurrection (terrestrial glory); for those of the first es grade are as individuals, but those of the second es grade are as the beginning of association, and the committing of one’s self to the combination of many.
37/7.22. Es said: Jehovah has given to men a sign of the third resurrection (celestial glory) by which they shall be known, which is: that self shall not be manifest except in the union of many. For, as the first resurrection may have marriage between two persons who in time become as one (second resurrection), so too, families of the second resurrection who unite themselves together as community (third es grade), become in time as one (third resurrection), and so, similarly, those of the third resurrection become Brides and Bridegrooms of Jehovah, being fitted for ascension into etherea at the [times of] dan harvest (after having redeemed their heirs, if any, to the sixth generation). So that those practicing the third es grade manifest in families of tens, or twenties, or hundreds, or thousands, who, in time, are also as one. Nor do they have any other king, chief ruler, God, Lord, or Christ (that is, they have grown beyond any bondage to [sectarianism or the schoolmaster idol-gods of the telestial kingdom]).
37/7.23. For these reasons then, if a man says: I have no faith in these things, because they are impractical, you may know he belongs to (has bound himself to) the beast [or idol-god of the telestial or terrestrial glories], and so does not belong to the third.