Fran was getting to the point where she wanted to have a go at the patriarchy.
Fran: The problem I have with organised religion is that men have several wives, and of course God is a man, and the prophets and priests are all men…
6—About being a gay Mormon Fundamentalist
4—How can a gay man support and believe in polygamy? The conversation continues, exploring the patriarchy and its effect on gays and on women.
Me: If God was a woman, some people would ask why couldn’t God be a man? Like some people are now wanting to make Jesus—born male—trans ¹ . God’s got to be something. I feel close to women. I was even more so when I was younger and most of my friends were girls. The fact that Mormonism teaches that we have a Heavenly Father and a Heavenly Mother, and taught that Jesus and Mary Magdalene were married, elevates the status of women more than any other religion, in my opinion. Mormons believe that man and woman need to be together to become kings/priests and queens/priestesses in the world to come.
Yes, the Father is in charge but Mother counsels Him. He’s not a dictator. Man is meant to be in charge like Christ is in charge of the Church. If he exercises unrighteous dominion, he’s not worthy of that woman. She can leave.
Fran: Can a woman marry more than one man?
Me: I don’t mind if a woman wants more than one husband. Would you have more than one husband? I mean, I’ve never met a woman who would want more than one! Married women always tell me one is more than enough. I don’t think many polygamists care what people want to do. But in Mormon doctrine this is not the way it works.
Plural marriage forces people to sacrifice, to learn patience, stewardship and other god-like attributes that will enable them to reach their god-like potential.
Fran: Would you like more than one gay husband?
Me: I’m single, so I really can’t imagine having more than one husband. Besides, plural marriage is a religious thing. It’s not about having multiple partners. It’s not about being polyamorous. Plural marriage is about obeying a commandment of God which stipulates a man must have more than one wife to obtain the highest degree of ‘heaven’ and become like God.
You asked about a woman being married to more than one man. Actually, historically some women were married to one man (often a non-Mormon) for life (with the ’til death do us part’) and married/sealed in the temple to a (high-ranked) Mormon for eternity, so they could become queens/priestesses in the world to come.
So, you can see that multiple gay husbands just wouldn’t fit in with Mormon doctrine.
Fran: You believe in polygamy?
Me: I do. I really do. What I know, what I observed or read has always made me think and feel that it is from God. I’ve been a Fundamentalist for almost ten years and I consider plural marriage a most noble calling. Because it’s hard. Relationships are hard, so with more wives, it can only be more difficult.
Plural marriage forces people to sacrifice so much, to learn patience, stewardship and other god-like attributes that will enable those involved to reach their god-like potential in the next world. This is why this is a commandment—not just in the Old Testament but in modern revelations too. But it is not for everyone. It is for those who feel called to live that principle.
Fran: As a gay man, do you have good relationships with polygamists?
Me: I have met polygamists who thought we were “strange bedfellows”. The LGBT want to have the right to marry regardless of gender. Fundamentalists want the right to marry regardless of number. So there’s some affinity there. The difference is that many Fundamentalists don’t care for polygamy to be legal. They just don’t want to go to prison for it and would rather the state stay out of the marriage business.
Fran: Aren’t Fundamentalists anti-gay?
Me: I have met some who were. I think I’ve been blessed with meeting many Fundamentalists who were very open and accepted me as one of them. Of course, they do not condone homosexual activity, but they never withdrew their fellowship and friendship because of our differences. I wish I could say the same about my LGBT friends! Many stopped being my friend because I didn’t want to agree that religion is evil and that polygamists should be jailed. But yes, there are many Fundamentalists who can’t accept gay people too.
I have met polygamists who thought we were “strange bedfellows”. There’s some affinity there.
Fran: Don’t you think the Bible is anti-women and anti-gay because men wrote it?
Me: I think you’re right that men wrote the Bible. And the presence of women is not as important as a result. Yet it is the word of God. Mormons do believe in the Bible, as far as it is translated correctly. We believe it contains the errors of men. It’s normal: if a friend sends a WhatsApp or calls me, I may not understand all he meant. Emojis help understand intent. Sometimes our own situation gets in the way of listening to what is being said. Why would it be different when God spoke to prophets? They transcribed what they saw, heard or felt inspired to write, but it is not God who wrote it.
But you can see the power and wisdom and prominent role of women in its pages. Big time! As for homosexuality, additional Mormon Scriptures and revelations do not condemn it! It’s just not going to open the doors to the highest level of ‘heaven’.
The Bible needs to be read in its cultural, historical, social context. It’s not easy, commentaries can help, knowing the ancient language too. If anything, we need to remember it wasn’t written as one book, in English, and to us. And yet, the Word of God is in the Bible. And for that reason the Bible is timeless and speaks to all humankind. Truth is truth.
To Be Continued