Thursday, April 25, 2013

Wedding Anniversary, Sister Wives, and Marriage

Twenty-eight years ago today, my husband and I knelt across the altar in the Los Angeles Temple and were married and sealed together for time and all eternity. In those years, we have added ten beautiful and talented children, a wonderful daughter-in-law, and a sweet baby granddaughter. I feel so blessed to have this big, happy family and to be married to my best friend who still makes me laugh, holds my hand, and brings me chocolate and roses for no reason. I love him more today than I did twenty-eight years ago and I look forward to an exciting future of loving him even more and growing old together as we watch our family expand with in-laws and grandchildren.

I've been thinking about marriage. I feel so blessed to have such a happy and wonderful marriage to a man who has sacrificed so much to make me, and our children, happy. Marriage is ordained of God and is to be respected and honored. Too many in our society disrespect and dishonor it and I think we see the effects of that more and more. I support and recognize marriage as being between one man and one woman. Until Heavenly Father, through His living prophet on the earth, changes that definition, that is the only union I recognize: between one man and one woman. I believe marriage is not for convenience or experimentation or even just for pleasure. I believe it is to join a man and a woman who have covenanted to pledge their lives to each other and to create a family.

I've been watching some episodes of Sister Wives. It's fascinating to watch them. I had to laugh at one episode where they were talking about how hard it is to be raising 12 kids between them--my sister has 12 kids herself and she and her husband are an amazing example of righteous parenting and they do it together without any extra help. I don't support a polygamous lifestyle and would not be interested in participating in one myself, but I have to give Kody Brown credit for being willing to take care of his women and all of his children. He seems to be a devoted husband and father. Too many men make babies with multiple women and then abandon the women and the children. He's willing to step up and take responsibility and be involved in their lives. I'm not sure how he can balance 4 "wives" but they seem to make it work. And they have similar values to me, especially their emphasis on family and family unity.

If the supreme court rules that homosexual marriage is legal, then I would expect Kody Brown and other polygamists to demand their right to be married. I would also expect other groups and individuals to demand their rights. And if we change the definition of marriage, how can we deny marriage between siblings, cousins, even between parents and children? Many may say that would never happen, but I would've never guessed that homosexual marriage would have been considered. these other unions may sound wrong, even distasteful, but changing the definition of marriage for one group necessarily opens the door to changing it for all groups. And people who currently support homosexual marriage will also have to support these other forms of "marriage."

No matter what the law of the land is, or may become, God's laws cannot be legislated in a courtroom or through a ballot box. We can fight against His laws, we can ignore them and break them, but that does not change them. Whether we believe in God or not does not change the fact  that He exists and that He is real.

People can choose to live whatever lifestyle they choose. We have all been given free agency. But with that agency comes responsibility and accountability. God's gift to us is agency and our gift to God is how we use that agency. I have lived long enough, had enough of my own experiences, and seen enough around me to know, without any doubt whatsoever, that following God's laws and keeping His commandments brings joy and peace. Breaking them brings unhappiness and misery. It doesn't matter who we are or where we live, this is true for all of us.

As I celebrate my anniversary with the man of my dreams who has made me a better person and who loves me unconditionally, I am absolutely convinced that God ordains marriage between one man and one woman and when we adhere to His laws we experience a multiplicity of blessings. We can choose whatever road we want to take, but there is only one road that leads back to God. There is only one road that brings the blessings of peace and joy in mortality. I will be forever grateful for His blessing on my marriage and for being able to find my soul mate.

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