In regards to my interfaith marriage, I decided a long time ago that when I die, my husband and/or his family can go ahead and have me sealed to him posthumously. They know that I disapprove of work for the dead but they still want to do it. I don’t believe in it anyway, so I figure there’s little point in trying to insist that they not do it after I’m gone.
My husband has indicated that he’s not a big fan of the notion of having more than one wife in the next life and has been adamant that he would never, ever get sealed to a woman who isn’t me. The other day I gave him this scenario: “I die tomorrow, making you a 27 year-old single father with a 2 year-old daughter. You have my work done and have me sealed to you within the next year. Then you fall in love with a young LDS woman who’s never been married. You’re great together, she’s a good stepmother to your daughter, and she’s okay with being eternal wife #2. What would you do?” He groaned and admitted that in that scenario, he’d probably get sealed—but he really doesn’t want there to be a second eternal wife.
I gave him another scenario. He dies young. I eventually re-marry another LDS guy (we all know I have a thing)1 and spend the rest of my life with LDS husband #2. He dies, then before I die my LDS relatives want to know which husband to seal me to. I have the option of being sealed to both.
Again, my husband groaned and stated that he really didn’t want to have to share me with anyone. Fair enough; I don’t fault him for feeling that way.
So, the question is: eternal polygamy (both polygyny and polyandry). How do you feel about it? Can you see yourself having other wives or husbands in the next life? Can you see your spouse having other wives or husbands? What would you do if your current spouse died and you had the option of being sealed to a second person? If you’re a woman, you can either pretend that the church’s current policy allows you to be sealed to multiple people while alive, or you can speculate on which spouse you’d eternally jettison under the current standards. If you’re not LDS, pretend.
If eternal marriage were true, I would only be able to accept two possible scenarios for it:
(1) All people (male and female) must choose one and only one spouse to be sealed to.
(2) All people (male and female) can be sealed to every spouse they had whom they loved.
I could never accept the current practice where men can be sealed to multiple wives but women essentially must choose one man. To borrow a phrase from Kaimi Wenger, that’s “patriarchal bull[crap].”
Scenario #1 seems unattractive since it means people would have to choose among possible multiple living spouses whom they loved. But if Scenario #2 were the case, that would mean that a man could have four eternal wives, each of whom in turn could have four eternal husbands, and so on and so forth. Fair enough, but doesn’t that seem more like group marriage than polygamy?
Eternal marriage seems like a bit of a mess. I confess, it kind of makes me glad that I’m only planning on being married to God as part of the Church as a whole in the next life.
1 Katie Langston speculated on Facebook a few weeks ago that I like LDS guys so much because they’re technically off-limits to me as an evangelical, so I get “all the benefits of falling for a bad boy but in an actual good boy.” A very good theory! Alternatively, she also suggested that (a) I’m “drawn to the super-charged turbo power of the priesthood and [I] don’t even know it” or (b) I secretly love weird-looking white underwear. These theories are not as good, but they are far more entertaining.