Friday, January 15, 2010

Polygamy and funny underwear...

This year I was called to teach early morning seminary to the youth in our small branch, our local congregation. Currently I have a grand total of two students: my son and one other. We meet at my house every school morning at 6:30 a.m. to study gospel principles and scriptures for an hour before school.

Fridays are game days. We play games related to the scriptures, try to memorize scriptures and have fun recalling things we have learned during the week. We also have breakfast on Fridays—a favorite bonus.

This morning, after they dished up their breakfast, my son said, “Mom, do you know what I would rather do than play a game this morning? I would rather find out how I should answer people when I get asked about polygamy.”

Apparently yesterday they had both been asked, by several people, about polygamy and “our funny underwear.”

Several, in one day? I thought. Hmmmm....

I smiled and put away the game.

“Find out what they believe first,” I suggested. “Find out if they believe in the Bible and, if they do, try to use the Bible to help them understand our beliefs.”

Many people do not realize we believe the Bible to be the word of God. We honor and use it as a strong, foundational part of our religion.

“If they do believe in the Bible, remind them that great Biblical prophets and other men and women of God were called by the Lord to practice polygamy,” I said.

We discussed a few of these men and women, and what made them so great in the eyes of the Lord. We also talked about how polygamy was not used in the Bible very often and only lived by a few chosen of God, but that He did require it at times to fulfill just and wise purposes. We then talked about some of the blessings we have in our lives because those men and women of God lived the law of polygamy in accordance to God’s will and at the right time.

We then discussed Peter, who was called and ordained by Christ to lead His church after the crucifixion. Peter prophesied to the Saints that in the last days, before the second coming of the Savior, there would be a restoration or restitution of all things (Acts 3:21). For that to be true the restoration or restitution of all things must include God’s divinely instituted law of polygamy, lived by men and women called of God.

They got excited. Suddenly polygamy wasn't a point of contention. It was history. It was prophecy. It was a call from the Lord for just and wise purposes.

Next, using the Bible, I helped them understand how they could also answer their friends comments about the “funny underwear.”

Opening to Genesis 3:21, I suggested they show their friends our garments are given to us in similitude of the coat of skins that our loving Heavenly Father placed on Adam and Eve to protect them from the harsh and difficult things of the world before they left the Garden.

And, since coats of skin can only come from an animal, life had to be sacrificed and blood shed for Adam and Eve to wear them…just as the Savior would have to sacrifice His life and shed His blood to clothe and protect all of us from the trials and temptations of this world. Garments, therefore, remind of us that God stands ever ready to protect and clothe us, even to the shedding of His own blood, from the sins and stains of this world.

After our discussion those two students went to school carrying a great spirit of peace with them. That is what seminary and the gospel are for.

This morning we didn’t get a game played--we accomplished something much more.


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