The Seer continues its exposition of Celesti-al Marriage, as it calls the marriage institution of the Mormon Church. We make the following extracts:
When a man who has a wife teaches her the law of God, as revealed to the ancient patriarchs, and as mani-fested by new revelation, and she refuses to give her consent for him to marry another, according to that law, then it becomes necessary for her to state before the President the reasons why she withholds her con-sent. If her reasons are sufficient and justifiable, and the husband is found in the fault, or in transgression, then he is not permitted to take any step in regard to obtaining another. But if the wife can show no good reason why she refuses to comply with the law which was given unto Sarah of old, then it is lawful for her husband, if permitted by revelation through the pro-phet, to be married to others without her consent, and he will be justified, and she will be condemned, because she did not give them unto him, as Sarah gave Hagar to Abraham, and as Rachel and Leah gave Bilhah and Zil-pah to their husband, Jacob.
It is the duty of a man who takes another wife to look after her welfare and happiness, and to provide for her the comforts of life the same as for the first; for the Scripture, in speaking of such a man, says: “If he take him another wife, her food, her raiment, and her duty of marriage, shall he not diminish." (Exodus 21, 10.)
There is no particular rule as regards the residence of the different branches of a family. It is very frequently the case that they all reside in the same dwelling, and take hold unitedly, and with the greatest cheerfulness, of the different branches of household or domestic busi-ness, eating at the same table, and kindly looking after each others welfare, while the greatest peace and har-mony prevail year after year. Their children play and associate together, with the greatest affection, as broth-ers and sisters; while each mother apparently manifests as much kindness and tender regard for the children of the others as for her own. And, morning and evening, when the husband calls together his family to worship the Lord and call upon his name, they all bow the knee, and, with the greatest union of feeling, offer their devo-tions to the Most High.
It is sometimes the case that the husband provides for his wives separate habitations, as Jacob did for his four wives, each of whom had a separate tent. (See Genesis, 31, 33.) Where all the wives are equally faithful, the husband generally endeavors to treat them all without partiality.
Jealousy is an evil with which the saints in Utah are but seldom troubled: it is an evil that is not counte-nanced by either male or female; and, should any in-dulge such a passion, they would bring a disgrace and reproach upon themselves which they could not easily wipe away. And, indeed, it is very rare that there are any causes for jealousy, for the citizens of that Territo-ry think more of their virtue than they do of their lives. They know that, if they have any connections out of the marriage covenant, they not only forfeit their lives by the law of God, but they forfeit their salvation also. With such views resting upon the minds of both old and young, the people have the greatest confidence in each others integrity; they can entrust their wives and daughters, without any distrust, to the protection and care of their neighbors. Under the strict and rigid laws of virtue which prevail, and are carried into general practice, wives are not in constant fear of the inconstan-cy of their husbands; parents are not fearful of their children being seduced and their characters being de-stroyed; neither are they fearful that their children will form contracts of marriage without their consent; for such a thing is not allowed in the whole Territory. Such a state of things actually existing, not in theory alone, but in general practice, removes every cause for jeal-ousy, distrust and want of confidence, and lays a broad and permanent foundation for peace and union. If a man ill-treats any of his wives, he is looked upon as hav-ing violated the law of God, and it is difficult for him to recover from the disgrace.
There are more quarrelings, and jealousies, and dis-unions, and evil speakings, in one week, among two thousand families, taken at random anywhere in the United States or England, than would be seen through-out all Utah Territory in five years. And there is more unvirtuous conduct practised in one day in New-York City, or Albany, or Buffalo, or Cincinnati, or St. Louis, than would be practised in Utah in a thousand genera-tions, unless they greatly degenerated from their pres-ent standard of morals.
When a man and woman enter into matrimonial con-tracts and covenant to be each other's companion until death, they have claim upon each other for this life only; when death comes, their marriage contracts and cove-nants expire; and in the resurrection, however much they may desire to enjoy themselves in all the endear-ing relationships of husband and wife, they will find that their contracts and covenants which were made for time only, give them no title to each other in eternity. There-fore, they will not be permitted under any conditions whatever to live together as husband and wife. But can they not renew their contracts and be married again in that life? No; for Jesus says, "In the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven." (Matthew 22: 30.) Those who have not secured their marriage for eternity in this life, can never have it attended to hereafter; therefore, if they should through faithfulness even be saved, yet they would be no higher than the angels, and would be compelled to live separately and singly, and consequent-ly without posterity, and would become servants for all eternity, for those who are counted worthy to become kings and priests, and who will receive thrones and kingdoms, and an endless increase of posterity, and in-herit a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory. Such will need myriads of servants as their kingdoms and dominions increase; and the numbers requisite will be found among those who kept not the higher law, but still rendered themselves worthy of an inferior reward.
No uninspired man has authority from God to join to-gether the male and female in the marriage covenant. Marriage is an ordinance of God, and we read that "What God hath joined together let not man put asunder." (Matthew 19: 6.) Where man usurps au-thority to officiate in the ordinance of God, and joins to-gether the sexes in marriage, such unions are illegal in the sight of God, though they may be legal according to the laws and governments of men. The power to of-ficiate in the ordinances of God has not been made upon the earth since the great apostacy, until the present century. Something like seventeen centuries have passed away since the authority was lost on the eastern hemis-phere to administer in any of the ordinances of God. During that long period marriages have been celebrated according to the customs of human governments, by uninspired men, holding no authority from God; con-sequently, all their marriages, like their baptisms, are illegal before the Lord. Point out to us a husband and wife that God has joined together from the second cen-tury of the christian era until the nineteenth, if any can. Such a phenomenon cannot be found among the Christians or Jews, Mahometans or Pagans. All are without prophets or inspired men, all are, with-out divine authority: none have had power to seal on earth the marriage covenant that it might be sealed in heaven; none during that long period have heard the voice of the Lord commanding them to officiate in those sacred ordinances.
Marriages, then, among all nations, though legal ac-cording to the laws of men, have been illegal ac-cording to the laws, authority, and institutions of Hea-ven. All the children born during that long period, though legitimate according to the customs and laws of nation, are illegitimate according to the order and au-thority of Heaven. Those things which are performed by the authority of men, God will overthrow and de-stroy, and they will be void and of no effect in the day of the resurrection.
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