The narrow door in this last dispensation is in Section 132 of DyC. It was given to the church on July 12, 1843 in Nauvoo, Illinois.
It presents the new and everlasting covenant, of marriage and within this the principle of plural marriage. In the wake of this writing, as is natural, deep details appear that usually remain hidden or folded back into view.
It is in the restoration, where the lost doctrines are recovered and presented with the initial purity. But this new agreement is novel. Brings new ideas, never conceived or by the most fertile imagination of any man.
Joseph Smith asked the Lord how he justified that Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, David and Solomon, as well as others, had many wives and concubines. Unexpectedly, he did not receive an informational response, but a new agreement. That agreement is based on a law and it has conditions.
The new covenant involves God, a man and a woman and the promise to receive all that the Father has, including
the kind of life that he has in the celestial kingdom. To understand that life a bit, let’s see some details.
«… which glory shall be a fulness and a continuation of the seeds forever and ever..» ( 19 ) the seeds refer to our offspring there.
We read in verse 20 «Then shall they be gods, because they have no end; therefore shall they be from everlasting to everlasting, because they continue; then shall they be above all, because all things are subject unto them. Then shall they be gods, because they have all power, and the angels are subject unto them. «
It is the maturity of the human being to become like their parents and participate in adult life in the heavens.
And this affirmation unpublished in verse 63 «… and for their exaltation in the eternal worlds, that they may bear the souls of men; for herein is the work of my Father continued, that he may be glorified.« The clarity is absolute, both, God, man and woman sharing the glory of God that is in his work ( Moses 1:39 ). Divinity is an achievement not something alien to man, our identity on earth does not disappear afterwards but grows.
The law they must obey to have this glory, is their word and has the power to bind after this life to the contracting parties so that the promises are valid and in full force once they leave the world. But for this the conditions must be met.
The conditions are basically four, those described in D & C 132: 19 «… if a man marry a wife by my word, which is my law, and by the new and everlasting covenant, and it is sealed unto them by the Holy Spirit of promise, by him who is anointed, unto whom I have appointed this power and the keys of this priesthood … «
The verses of this revelation are long and detailed, they are similar to a legal text, as they abound in assumptions to better fix their application . The Lord makes sure that we understand the details of this agreement for important reasons that he explains in various places.
It was instituted for the fullness of his glory
«And as pertaining to the new and everlasting covenant, it was instituted for the fulness of my glory; and he that receiveth a fulness thereof must and shall abide the law, or he shall be damned, saith the Lord God « ( D & C 132: 6 )
This law given to the church in 1843 was not due to any reason or necessity of the law. 19th century where the saints lived. There was no demand, custom or internal movement that provoked even a debate or the request of the latter. Just in that time and place of the restored church there was no reason to live the plural marriage that is included in the new and everlasting covenant. The prophet took twelve years to make it public.
I will not dwell on the impact that the new doctrine had on the church, which included plural marriage, because it would be an extensive and difficult work. Brigham Young, learning of plural marriage, said «it was the first time in my life that I wanted to die.»
Why did the Lord insist on this matter? knowing the great test that would be for the saints. I think I see two main reasons.
This agreement was instituted for the fullness of his glory, therefore it had to be revealed in the fullness of his gospel, in the restoration. It is the truth of the family relationship in the heavens and it is necessary to enter into that agreement to reach that glory. In verse 5 we read «For all who desire to receive a blessing from my hand are to obey the law that was decreed for such a blessing, as well as its conditions, as instituted before the foundation of the world.»
In this case, it can be said that there is a demand for concrete causes for the existence of this law in the society of heaven, to which the saints wanted to belong. Therefore they had to obey.
The obedience of the saints to this law, in the nineteenth century, in a young democracy, with all its powers against, with the public opinion fiercely against, even the morality of the saints in internal contradiction, meant a break in the way of thinking It raised in the soul of each man and woman if they would be able to abandon their most intimate moral convictions for a commandment that they perceived as immoral.
To do this they would have to raise Abraham’s knife against his own soul.
The narrow door
In verse 36 , the Lord clarifies «Abraham was commanded to offer his son Isaac; nevertheless, it was written: Thou shalt not kill. Abraham, however, did not refuse, and it was accounted unto him for righteousness. « In Moriah, Jehovah breaks Abraham’s internal constitution, asking Isaac as his victim. Something immoral for Abraham. But this forms in him the internal constitution necessary to [enterand hath entered into his exaltation and sitteth upon his throne.] ( 29 ). This internal bankruptcy of Abraham in Moriah, gets ready to be formed again. To be in the future source of law and not subject of law. For that he needed to accept the source of all law and to accept that he was asked to practice a contradiction with the sacrifice of Isaac.
In Nauvoo on July 12, 1843, each member went to Moriya and put his constitution to the test before this agreement. The Lord knew. On October 6, 1890, plural marriage in the church was suspended unanimously. The knife was stopped. However, the new agreement is still valid.
It is very convenient to read the Official Declaration of President Woodruff and the selections of three of his speeches.
I think that wanting this glory requires a point of ambition or something of intrepidity. Not everyone in the fund wants it. As not for all parents their glory is to carry out that their children have good university or professional degrees. It takes some ambition and courage.
[As for the laws of our country, they were instituted for the fullness of our society and culture, and whoever receives his benefits must fulfill the law, or will be condemned to not have them]
Disorderly reflections about the everlasting agreement
The aspect of the new and everlasting agreement that contemplates plural marriage, produces a dry blow in our common sense as Westerners. I consider myself a convinced Westerner and I certainly detect a convulsion within me as I meditate on this. Needless to say, only the idea of practicing it brings me closer to the state of shock. However I am within the practice of the agreement that we have from the manifesto.
As Westerners when we think of God and his laws, we can not avoid doing it from that platform where we execute our thinking and decisions that are liberal democracies. I write from one of them, Spain.
Let’s say that our culture is the operating system in which we execute our agency. And ours gives a lot of attitudes and thoughts.
When we meditate on the Lord and his laws, we are still dressed as democrats. And sometimes with that ornate and corny dress of the politically correct. And we come to the scriptures from a society of powers regulated by laws, of laws born in parliaments, of parliaments chosen at the polls by free citizens.
We do not conceive greater sovereignty than ours delegated to our representatives. We question any authority and decision, we submit it to our judgment. And even from our small dimension we feel sovereign of ourselves.
And this is an immense achievement of our history that we must preserve as a treasure.
In the new and everlasting covenant we relate to the Lord from whom the law departs and we are his servants, an ancient and uprooted word of our present. We can not vote their laws, we can not choose who represents us before him to modify them. There are no initiatives, nor popular actions to change them. We have difficulties to accept that the laws emanate from him and that the acceptance of some of them place us in an internal contradiction with our environment.
He is the sovereign and yet invites us to share his sovereignty because «there is space there.»
It is in those torsions of our soul that we lose our human form and accept to be changed to a different one, which is required in a celestial society. These are the crises in which we grow.
This old and closed relationship is not permeable to geographic mobility and market demands and the strong currents that move it. Marriage agreements are linked to the family where the man provides and the woman maintains and conserves. Both are helped and satisfied. Now the benefits of the marriage relationship can be achieved outside those bonds, without the old duties, which are so frightening today.
Divorce grows and single-parent families also. And to me some want to convince me how great are the nursing homes where I will finish yes or yes. Because nobody will have time or space for my old age.
We could expand on detailing those changes in the family but it is exhausting and out of my intention.
The question is, why is no one shocked by all this? it is easy to answer: because each kingdom with its glory requires its laws and immerses its inhabitants in them.
However, the changes promoted by the new and everlasting agreement in 1843, seen as a whole, were not greater than those that we already have in current families. But instead it involved persecution and defamation of the saints.
It should not be surprising that the celestial glory (infinitely more advanced than the industrial one) requires some twisting and breaking in our human form, in our western and democratic customs and customs. That requires changes in the family. This, in the world, contracts more and more, but in the celestial glory it expands from eternity to eternity. So why is it strange that there are unexpected things
When we approach the Father and the Son we approach a family; to which we belong When we study their relationship, their laws approach them.
The place where they live is not a republic or a parliamentary monarchy. It is a kingdom and the Father reigns as an unelected sovereign because he is the Father and is not elected in his nature. His kingdom is based on his family, not on a plebiscite or in voting. On earth this form of government is associated with a dictatorship or tyranny.
That is the same model of the house of Israel, of which we are children and Abraham our father. When the Savior was on earth he did not talk about his president or his king but about his father and sometimes his father.
No organization or power in heaven surpasses the family bond. That is why the condition of son or daughter is greater than the talent endowment of each one.
To feel the blow in our common sense, or in our logic, should not frighten us or annul the desire to return home. We simply must understand that it is a new world.
Word adored as a divine totem. The world teaches us that man and woman are equal. But it is false they are not the same in almost nothing. Their sex is different and their gender in language too. Their morphology is different and they have different functions. How do we want to ignore all that?
The more equality we want to force, the more divorces. Marriage is based on being complementary and for that you have to be unequal. The modern unions or couples without legal ties in which both are dedicated to do the same, each one obtains the economic security they need outside of marriage, social recognition outside, sexual satisfaction outside of this, care for the children (the less and less) subrogated to entities or strangers. Tell me, what’s the use of marriage then? Has no sense. Because it is only looking for personal development detached from what it does to each man and woman.
The new and everlasting covenant is part of a marriage not of a de facto couple. Those, united by legal ties, begin to strengthen society with the determination to take a family forward and not just a personal project.
Poor word, inferior, simple, anodyne, without history, neutral, weak, impotent, invalid, dark, without context, forced, ridiculous, scarce, improper. Perversion of the language, betrayal of the history that married for centuries, overcoming wars and plagues.
Now this new upstart is placed on a pedestal and our language has to conjugate under penalty of civil death, in all sentences the term partner. Missing husband and wife only «my partner» remains. Degradation, usurpation, theft, coup, deception, amputation, abandonment, betrayal.
We read in Abraham 5:20 «… and whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that should be the name thereof. « Now, our Adam of today years ago, called the couple marriage, the husband couple and the wife couple. Three for the price of one. And that term, couple, empty, empty, childish, insubstantial forms in our mind, after language, a union of man and woman temporary, casual, light, ephemeral, precarious, weak, brief, unpredictable, disloyal, unsupportive.
In this way emptying the language, the soul becomes impoverished.
In the proclamation of the family the first presidency tells us
«… Husbands and wives—mothers and fathers—will be held accountable before God for the discharge of these obligations.»
The terms husbands and wives have disappeared from our use of language. How much do you think it will take for mothers and fathers to disappear ? ? Already these last words are besieged by the new biological father and biological mother, thus separating what was previously united. Already the reality propitiates new terms to mothers who freeze ovules to be fertilized once they finish their jobs and care. Sperm frozen, as merchandise by price.
They have already usurped their functions since, replaced their words, they have changed the meaning. What are you waiting for to make the last assault?
The everlasting covenant, which we live now, is built on husband and wife, sons and daughters sealed and united to previous generations by eternal bonds; united, by his word and his law, by someone anointed with authority; uniting, well, grandparents, grandmothers, uncles, cousins who, in my case, go back to the year 1650. Is it really so scandalous the plural marriage that was practiced in the past, before the destruction we see now?
This is the narrow door. It is very easy to adopt the current discourse and follow the current, however the truth does not usually emerge from those waters.
The restored gospel is coherent from its first syllable to the last. From the first vision, where Joseph Smith saw the physical bodies of the Father and the Son until the new and everlasting covenant of marriage everything is coherence.
All the visions of divine messengers and their handing over of keys obeys a scheme that develops over time composing an intelligent and significant embroidery. We can call it false if we want, but no careful and analytical mind can call the gospel restored incoherent and confusing. The order and purpose of each element participates as a symphony.
As a culmination, the new and everlasting covenant teaches the divinity of man and the humanity of God. It proclaims the preservation of our identity through eternity, the transcendence of the family, the eternity of words like papa, mama, son, grandfather, grandmother. The possibility of continuing and becoming like our Father. This gospel teaches us that divinity is an achievement and not a substance. That the Father understands us because he was in our situation and that is why he sends his son, to the best of his house.
All these ideas were inconceivable and inconceivable until the Prophet Joseph Smith revealed them in the nineteenth century. Until then, nobody could have imagined something like that. There were no references of theories, beliefs or literature that could have inspired a doctrine like this one.
Given the breadth of the doctrines of the world, where there are no roads but everyone does as he walks, he who approaches this everlasting covenant realizes that towards the top everything narrows and becomes clear upon entering through that door «For strait is the gate, and narrow the way that leadeth unto the exaltation and continuation of the lives, and few there be that find it, because ye receive me not in the world neither do ye know me. « ( 22 )