On July 12, 2014 (Month 4 Day 14), I prayed during Havdalah. I began with a blessing: Blessed are you Jehovah our God, Sovereign of the Cosmos, who creates the lights of fire. The Divine responded:
So what’s on fire in you?
Interesting question, no? In the prayer, the Divine did not answer the question, so in a sense the Divine did not reveal or tell me what was “on fire” in me, so all I can do is speculate.
Here are some things that are on fire in me. It should go without saying that I have a fire for the Divine, the Messiah, and the Spirit.
I have a fire for the truth. Truth is a difficult thing to ascertain. Is truth only the Bible? No. Is truth only science? No. Is truth only personal experience? No. Unfortunately, those who want to make truth easy to find, want to narrow it down to one thing.
Truth is far more elusive than many want, but truth can be known. For instance, the truth of the Scriptures can be known, and that information of truth is profound. But that does not necessarily automatically negate truths found within science or truths found in personal experience.
I also have a fire for family. Family is important, and it might just be the single most important thing this side of eternity. The family relationship is truly unique and tremendously dynamic. Yet, no matter how similar families might be, they still remain exclusively their own. These unique, dynamic, and exclusive realities make for distinctive characteristics that identify families.
I also have a fire to develop my family, to grow my family. That means that I have a fire for having a relationship with two women, two women who have a similar fire to mine.
Going back to the prayer, later in the prayer, the Divine conveyed:
I want to offer nothing to you tonight regarding your wives.
That is an interesting statement. As to why, I have no real idea. However, the Divine continued:
Things are changing,
Chronologically, that is important because within about two weeks of this prayer, I would have interaction with another lady, where we would discuss marriage and our understandings of spiritual leading and religious leanings.
Returning to the prayer, the Divine added:
but I am not going to reveal how, when, or where,
Well, I just revealed. The Divine sure didn’t though, and when it happened, I was caught off guard. Maybe I should not have been, but I sure was. However, during the prayer, the Divine continued:
and may not discuss these things with you again.
What that means is not exactly clear. Therefore it is interesting that the Divine continued:
Life will be, life will become, it all depends on you.
It is not the concepts about life that interest me. What interests me is the concept that “it all depends on [me].”
Does it “all” depend on me? That is a daunting idea. That the manner in which my life would develop becomes completely dependent upon me. That is not what we, as believers, teach. We teach that life unfolds according to the will of the Divine.
So what does it mean that “it all depends on [me]”? The only thing, the ONLY thing, that makes sense is that my family development with my wife and/or wives depends completely on me.
Maybe that is not fair. Maybe that is not the way I wanted the Divine to work it. But that is certainly what the Divine conveyed.
As I have conveyed, it took me months, years, to determine what it is that I want. So in that way it has been completely dependent upon me.
I simply feel, and it is a feeling like having a sense that something simply is, that there will be those who simply do not grasp why it has taken me so long. For them, I don’t think there will ever be an answer that I can provide.
But as I have been trying to convey, I was trained up in a very particular way, especially about marriage, religion, culture, and family. It was incredibility personal having to confront all of that.
For whatever reason, Mary did not ever seem to have this type of personal conflict. Once she believed that a family of two wives was the right thing for her, she has not swerved from that commitment.
For me, the personal conflict began with religious upbringing. Through this conflict, I learned my religious upbringing was more influenced by the culture than I ever wanted to believe. Discussions were not always cordial, but when all the discussion was over, their presentation almost always appealed to one particular passage, Romans 13.1.
It was over the course of those discussions that I learned that religion is shaped far more by the governing authorities than the Scriptures. That was an amazing revelation, which simply means that as governing authorities adjust their governing methods, then believers adjust what they believe is permitted religiously.
That reality helped reveal why so many believers find alcohol permitted, but condemn things like drugs that have been deemed illegal. Their decision has very little to do with what the Scriptures say, because they appeal to what the legislators say. For them, redefine legality, and things are either permitted or prohibited, all at the power of governing authorities.
As for marriage, government should have no “legal” definition of marriage and marriage should have no legal bearing on law. Here is what I mean.
Marriage is a personal contract, ultimately between two or more individuals, entities that have the ability of mind and adult status to determine for themselves the manner in which they want to bind themselves to another human being. Those individuals, whether two, or three, or more, should legally contract with themselves, amongst themselves, drawing up legal documents that serve as a means to legally govern that contract, if, perhaps when, they have to go to law against each other.
The church can debate until the end of the world what constitutes marriage and what they believe is scriptural or unscriptural. But what matters before government is that the governing authority recognizes no marital status and becomes blind to marriage, find a method of permitting individuals to use some type of legal contract with each other as a means of solving problems if/when they go to law against each other.
That is a simplistic presentation. I know there are a myriad of details. But the concept is sound. There is no need for the governing authorities to recognize marriage, as it is currently defined and utilized, in order to interact with its citizens.
The other matter that I had personal conflict with is family. Even though I value and esteem family, family is such an odd thing. Family often, at least in my experience, is also shaped by culture, society, and religious preferences far more than scriptural information.
That reality brought me into direct conflict with parents and in-laws. Try as they might to defend monogamy-only, the Scriptures simply do not and will not support only monogamy. Monogamy-only is more than a doctrine, it has become dogmatic regulation, where failure to remain only monogamous brings out, at best, censureship, at worst, the severing of familial relationships.
That is because family is inseparably linked to religion and religious interpretation. For the family to be accepted, religiously, is for the parents to uphold the religion, irrespective of the Scriptures. If my family were a family that placed themselves on the side of religious interpretation and religious tradition instead of supposedly on the side of Scripture, then you know, I could appreciate their perspective.
However, because my family has decisively stated that they side with Scripture over religious interpretation and religious tradition, their collective resolve to monogamy-only is beyond baffling.
So for me, the personal conflict had many layers. I have decided to stand for what is Scriptural, and a marriage consisting of multiple wives is scriptural. It no longer matters to me what my family prefers, what my family holds as opinion, or what my family holds as preference.
My family instructed me that the truth within the Scriptures mattered, and both parents and in-laws told me to stand up for that truth. I am. I will. That is why I want a marriage with two wives.
I will be cordial, I will be respectful of my family and their choices, but they no longer hold sway over me. That was the biggest hurdle in my personal conflict, coming to terms with the reality that I would stand on my own, even if that meant that I would walk away from the very thing that I support – family.
If what matters most to family for determining religious and moral instructions is what the Scriptures communicate, then it is my hope that they will see the Scriptures for what they say and do not say regarding monogamy. Until then, my family and I will be at odds, but I will not limit myself to teach the liberty found within the Scriptures, I intend to exemplify that liberty.
So in a sense, as the Divine conveyed, “it all depends on [me]”. I truly had to determine what it is that I wanted to do. It took me a long time to wrestle through those personal conflicts, to learn the situation, learn what I was facing, and learn how I wanted to address the situation.
That was my personal side of what was changing. Sadly, unfortunately, perhaps properly, it took a lengthy amount of time. To go into a marriage with two women, it seems that a man would be ill-advised to make that decision in haste.
With that in mind, during the above prayer, the Divine conveyed that things are changing. At that time, during that prayer, I had no idea how it was changing. But as I mentioned earlier, things changed because within about two weeks, I would begin talking with a lady about marriage.
On July 19, 2014 (Month 4 Day 21), during Havdalah I prayed. I did not begin with a blessing, but did ask: Father, will you converse with me? Do you have anything you wish to share with me? The Divine responded:
Considering that my notes reveal that I was concerned about my future, I am pleased that the Divine was willing to convey something to me. The Divine continued:
So listen. Listen quick and listen fast.
Again the whole concept of shema. But this time, I was told that quick and fast had a lot to do with listening. As I am writing about this, the concept of James 1.19 came to mind.
Have I been quick and fast to listen to the Divine? In retrospect, and with candid presentation, I have to say no, there were times that I did not want to be swift to listen.
Why? Because listening to the Divine created many uncomfortable moments. After all, if the Divine is willing to lead in this fashion, lead a man and/or a woman to a marriage with two wives, what else could the Divine do?
Let’s just be candid, shall we, most American mainline Christians are not ready to believe that God would lead people to polygamy. Now, some do believe this, but many of those who believe this are Mormons, and it is called The Principle and those who believe in that principle believe that God provides a person with a testimony to live plural marriage.
But I am not a Mormon, and don’t plan on ever aligning myself with Mormonism.
However, contrastingly to the concept of God providing a testimony for plural marriage, mainline Christianity doesn’t believe one iota that God would lead in such fashion. In fact, I once had a mainline Christian tell me, emphatically and pointedly, that this type of leading brings fear and turmoil and that they believed that this type of leading was wrong on so many levels that the leading couldn’t possibly be from God.
In many ways, during my struggle with this, I found myself agreeing with that assessment. Why? Because I come from what I would call “mainline Christianity”.
That background shaped my struggle with this entire concept, and possibility of God leading in such fashion. Many “mainline Christians” find this type of leading to be absurd or down right unscriptural.
So was I quick to listen? Not really, for I too believed that God would not really lead in such fashion. I struggled with it. Yet, I still moved forward thinking it just might have been reality. Yet as I worked through the months, I doubted myself, I doubted my prayers, I doubted Christians, and I doubted the Church.
But I didn’t doubt the Scriptures, and I couldn’t separate myself from my experiences. And my experiences, whether accepted by Churches and Christians, were real and really happened, and my life was the better for it, even though it brought difficulty within my family.
But back in 2014, I was not too keen on listening quick and listening fast, for there were many days I wanted it to simply not be. Then the events of July 2014 happened, and I had to sit up and take notice.
But going back to the prayer, the Divine continued:
Times are changing and changing fast, tomorrow’s days don’t last, forever they’ll be, but the tempest sore is quick as the fastest animal, it will be here and gone, but its mark it will leave.
That is a difficult concept. Times did change, and so did I. I was not ready to be a husband of two wives. But here in 2016, I am.
But at that time what I did not understand from that prayer was what the tempest was. But that tempest showed up and I had to work through it. It was not a tempest with family, but with determining how my future would unfold, because how I chose to approach that tempest affected my future. Because my life and how it would unfold depended upon me.
And it left its mark. But back to the prayer, the Divine continued:
The days after that morrow are yours to enjoy, but pain and agony are yours first.
That sounds horrible, but it was necessary. The tempest, as I came to understand, was what I will be describing in the upcoming Installments, talking to a lady about marriage. As I will explain later, the lady was not the tempest, not even discussing the concepts of marriage and faith were the tempest. The tempest was me having to come to terms with myself and my decisions.
Back to the prayer, the Divine continued:
This feels unfair, but unfairness only reveals despair, despair is not in the air for this is my will for you.
At the time, the tempest seemed unfair. But over time, I did learn to indentify with the conclusion of that concept, unfairness reveals despair, because when we feel anguish and misery we feel that things are unfair.
However, despair is not what the Divine wants, not for anyone, otherwise the Divine is not the repository of hope.
Yet, the Divine makes it clear, “this is my will for you.” Considering a thought that the Divine is about to convey, some might interpret that the Divine’s will for me is to simply pass an “Isaac” test. But that is NOT the case.
The Divine’s will for me is a marriage with two wives, developing a family that is healthy, and demonstrating faithfulness of New Covenant beliefs, even though it will challenge mainline Christianity. So consider that the Divine continued:
You must know you can do this, and all that sets before you, this is your trial, your proving grounds, and pass, and pass through these grounds you will.
To know that I can do this. What is “this”? Candidly, a marriage with two wives.
But there was a trial, and it was not an “Isaac” test, even though many, many, many Christians have tried to convince me of such. The trial was to determine what depended upon me, which would reveal the manner in which my life would unfold.
I passed through those grounds, but back then, it was anything but simple. So consider how the Divine continued:
Unscathed? No. Scarred? Yes.
Was I harmed? Well, in my psyche I was. Who did I want to become? Would I accept that which would be presented?
Again, it’s not about the lady, even though many could interpret it that way. It wasn’t. This question was: What would I choose? Who would I become?
That is why how the Divine continued is important:
Forever remembering your choices, your direction, your decisions.
That is what was, and is -I suppose- to some extent still, at stake: my choices, my direction, my decisions, which is why it all depends on me. How would I choose to take the direction of my marriage and family?
So consider that the Divine immediately added:
Fail not. Fail not. Fail not.
To be clear, to fail not is NOT indicating that I should remain monogamous. Failing was to make the wrong choice, the wrong direction, the wrong decision.
However, the choice, the direction, the decision that the Divine had and has for me is for me to be a husband with two wives helping them be successful and helping their children. To the disappointment and mortification of many mainline Christians, I have made this abundantly clear in the telling of “My Story”.
So consider that in the prayer the Divine added:
Now, for the hope.
After all the challenges of that prayer, I am grateful for something positive. The Divine continued:
The day will pass quickly, but it will be very difficult.
In all, the “day” was not an actual 24-hour day, the “day” was metaphor. The day represented the “day” that I spent during the trial. While it took some actual days, the metaphoric “day” did pass quickly.
Consider that the Divine continued:
Just remember to focus on me, in me, be in me, and I will take you through this trial. You must focus.
I did. I had to. Not because of the lady. But because of the choices that were being brought to me. The choices were not easy.
After that, the Divine added:
Now, for the good.
As much as the Divine offered insight into the trial, and then offered hope, the Divine also provided a good. That is helpful in ways that those who struggle to understand their place before the Divine can appreciate.
The Divine went on to convey:
The future is bright, is golden hue, lovely, resplendent, hopeful, and full of joy, children at your feet, wives at your side, it will be glorious, you will enjoy it.
This is why I know without doubt that this is not an “Isaac” test. This is what the Divine has given. Some might call it a testimony. I, however, refer to it as leading.
Before I begin to talk about that experience of July 2014, there is, I think, one more prayer that I want to highlight. Then I will discuss what happened.
Blessings and Shalom