Jim, unfortunately for many women I know, the idea of being a wife in the eternities where there is another wife is revolting. They choose not to truly love their husband because they fear the pain that will result from sharing him. They hate polygamy, the same way Emma Smith hated it.
Leaders of the Church can reassure or make light or command them to get with the program, all of which has been tried in the past. It does not work. Men commit to women when they feel uncertain, afraid they might lose her. Women commit when they feel safe. If the possibility of having to share him exists, they hold back.
And getting a sealing cancellation is often necessary for someone to heal before they feel ready to make that commitment again if they suffered greatly at the hands of another priesthood holder. Unfortunately, too often the sealing cancellation request is turned down, leaving the women feeling their choices are outside their control, in the hands of faceless men who do not understand their needs and think sending them a form letter denying the request they agonized over is somehow helpful.
I actually considered getting engaged to my boyfriend in order to get the sealing cancellation, then calling off our engagement, but could not do it to him. But I felt that desparate.
This conference contained so much that was wonderful for women, but we still have not addressed everything that is wrong. The fear of polygamy and having your own power to truly escape an abusive marriage remain to be addressed.
During the last 3 or 6 months we have had a heavy test in our lives. As listening/watching the Conference I felt they all had had a look into our hearts, home and thoughts. That they knew exactly what was going on. What a miracle to me.
I was struck by President Nelson's declaration about endowed women having the Priesthood in their home. I took this to mean, SINGLE or MARRIED. For too many years, as a married, endowed woman, married to an inactive and uninterested spouse, I have endured President Nelson's exampled comment from others, "Oh, I am so sorry you don't have the Priesthood in your home." It has been hard not to feel like a second hand citizen in the Gospel. This teaching by President Nelson has given me so much hope and encouragement. I can and do measure up after all!
A while ago, a Sister told about how she had done Temple work on behalf of one of her husband's relatives, who had been managing a Saloon during Salt Lake pioneer period, and who had been antagonistic to the Church her whole life. Yet, she felt a sweet spirit of gratitude while she was doing the ordinances. Her conclusion was that people can change drastically over time once in the Spirit World. Along these lines, what Elder Oaks is trying to say (I translated his speech into French, so I remember every one of his words), is that things will be so different that there will be peace and joy for all the faithful, regardless of their respective family issues.
My wife was pretty upset with a part of Elder Oaks' talk when he addressed concerns by sisters who faced being sealed with a man who is previously sealed. While I agreed with him that things would work out, relaying that the concerns over this should not be the focus of their faith, it bugs my wife greatly. (She started vacuuming around me so I couldn't hear the rest of the talk.) I believe it to be part of why she has not chosen to be sealed to me, which carries its own sadness for me, as I married her to be sealed as well. I have faith things will work out in the end for me, but it's not rare that I don't hesitate when pondering the scenario if she ever does ask me to be sealed. Too many things have been conditional for her, and I question whether that choice will be due to her not wanting to remain being sealed to her 1st husband who abandoned her, and is the father of her children.
I wonder.... if I made an eternal mistake in dropping my engagement to another faithful woman to marry her.
I have faith things will work out.. but it's hard living with someone who harbors such antipathy for this component of the gospel. It ripples out to temple worship as well.
Conference was wonderful for so many women I'm sure, but this point in Elder Oaks' talk really put a damper on my wife's enjoyment of conference. It's like the rest of the comments directed towards women wasn't even uttered.
I had to work both days at the hospital this past weekend, so I didn't have the privilege of being able to listen to General Conference this time.
However, just the tidbits I've gotten from emails, social media releases from the Church, and Meridian have made me, too feel uplifted more than usual from Conference.
I feel cherished and empowered by the Lord with these changes. Isn't it wonderful?
Email (will not be published)
Daily news, articles, videos and podcasts sent straight to your inbox.