DID JESUS MARRY, AND DID HE LIVE THE PATRIARCHAL LAW?

TRUTH

Vol. 14 JANUARY 1949 NO. 8

 

DID JESUS MARRY, AND DID HE LIVE THE PATRIARCHAL LAW?

      The following article on the Patriarchal Law of Marriage, and proving Jesus’ acceptance of the Law, was written by the Editor, Joseph W. Musser, in September 1932.

       It has always been our conception that Jesus, in his lifetime, not only availed himself of the marriage rite, but that, in accordance with his teachings in the present dispensation (D&C., Sec. 132), he became the husband of several worthy and beautiful women, and the father of a number of children. We are now induced by many of our friends who consider this an appropriate time for its introduction, to present the article in the columns of TRUTH.

 

Doubtless, "because of the plain and most precious parts of the Gospel of the Lamb", as spoken of by Nephi ( 1 Nephi 13:32 ), having been taken from the Jewish scriptures, this subject as pertaining to the life of the Savior has been shrouded, more or less, in mystery. The law of celibacy as practiced by the clergy in the Roman Catholic church has had its part in impressing a large portion of the so-called Christian world that marriage, while legal and proper as an indulgence to be enjoyed by the laity, yet strict piety on the part of the clergy and the great responsibility resting upon this group, render marriage not only undesirable for them but a sacrament forbidden.

Some of Paul’s sayings as recorded in the New Testament, have been erroneously construed to imply that Paul did not enter into marriage, and that he taught not to marry rendered men and women more capable of serving the Lord and spreading the truths of the Gospel.

"I say therefore to the unmarried and widows, it is good for them if they abide even as I, but if they cannot abide let them marry: for it is better to marry than that they should commit sin." (I Cor. 7:8,9 I.T.). Without a clear understanding of the context and the special point Paul sought to drive home, the statement, as quoted, is taken by many as a disapproval by Paul of the marriage state as a high and glorious principle, and therefore the Savior, being without sin, perfect and having full power over his emotions, naturally would not indulge in such a human practice. While to mortal and sinful man, subject to the weaknesses of the flesh, the indulgence of marriage is permitted as a means of providing a legitimate outlet for their physical and sexual emotions; yet it were better for them to entirely subdue such emotions, turning their energies into more useful channels. And around this myth of sophistry and human reasoning, we have built a high wall as around a legendary castle wherein the Savior of mankind dwells and into which castle there must not enter the thought of sex or any indulgence of an earthly nature.

But what of the law? Did not Jesus say, "Behold I am the law and the light. Look unto me and endure to the end, and ye shall live; for unto him that endureth to the end will I give eternal life. Behold I have given unto you the commandments; therefore keep my commandments." Nephi 15:9, 10.

Jesus being the lawgiver could not be a lawbreaker. He that makes and promulgates the law must not break it, but shall all the more be law-abiding. It was obedience to the law that made it possible for God to become God. Let Him break the eternal laws and He must needs surrender His godship—a God dethroned would be the result.

"Jesus Christ", said the Prophet Joseph F. Smith, "Never omitted the fulfillment of a single law that God has made known for the salvation of the children of men. It would not have done for him to have come and obeyed one law and neglected or rejected another. He could not consistently do that and then say to mankind, ‘Follow me.’ " A part of his schooling in mortality was to bring himself in subjection to all the laws that his Father had instituted for the salvation of Mankind.

There is a law, irrevocably decreed in heaven before the foundation of the world, upon which all blessings are predicted; and when we obtain any blessing from God, it is by obedience to that law upon which it is predicated. D&C 130:20-21

The law of Baptism is an example. That law is eternal and irrevocable. Only through compliance with it can man enter the kingdom of Heaven. Jesus could not evade that law. "Suffer it to be so now:, said he, when John, because of a feeling of inferiority hesitated, "for thus it becometh us to fulfill all righteousness." Baptism is an ordinance administered primarily for the remission of sins. Jesus was said to be without sin, and yet he could not fulfill the law of righteousness without submitting to baptism, as every other man and woman are forced to do in order to obtain salvation. This law is eternal; it applies to all worlds that have ever been created or that ever will be created. The earth itself, as well as all Gods and Saviors, together with their offspring, must accept this law or forfeit salvation.

There is a law of procreation just as eternal and as fixed in its demands and consequences, as the law of Baptism. God himself is obliged to render obedience to this law; indeed it is directly through the operation of this divine law that makes godship possible—without it there could be no God as rational beings comprehend Him.

After placing Adam and Eve on earth, God’s first commandment to them was to "be fruitful and multiply and replenish the earth and subdue it." Surely, if the indulgence of the marriage state be immodest and not in accord with the highest ideals of chastity and godliness, the Lord would not have introduced the subject to and commanded its practice by His immortal children, making it a solemn duty to engage in the marriage relation. Adam and Eve were immortal beings. They had been created perfect. The earth was perfect. Perfection breathed its life into every flower and shrub and animal. Certainly God would not introduce among them a principle tending to degrade, and demand its practice.

Through the power of Lucifer earth became corrupted to the point where God found it necessary to destroy all life except a few chosen specimens spared to replenish the earth after its baptism by water. After the deluge, the commandment was re-given to the Prophet Noah and his family:

Bring forth with thee every living thing that is with thee, of all flesh, both of fowl and of cattle, and every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth; that they may BREED ABUNDANTLY in the earth and be FRUITFUL AND MULTIPLY upon the earth—and a commandment I give unto you (Noah), be ye FRUITFUL and MULTIPLY; bring forth ABUNDANTLY on the earth and MULTIPLY therein. (Gen. 9:2,8,14 I.T.)

Thus was the word of God and the law of the universe irrevocably re-fixed in the hearts of human kind. It was fixed by divine command and its application was to be universal and unending. "The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul; the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple." Ps. 19:7.

Why build an earth, a home for the children of God, unless it is to be inhabited? Would a man build a great mansion with no expectation of its being occupied? The mating instinct for the purpose of bringing forth offspring is as much a part of the divine plan as was the atonement of Christ. Indeed the Savior announced the law in latter days, leaving no possible room for doubt as to its meaning. The Prophet of this dispensation, Joseph Smith, made inquiry of the Lord with reference to His justification of His servants Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, Moses and others, touching the doctrine of their having many wives and concubines. The Savior answered thus:

Behold! And lo, I am the Lord thy God, and will answer thee as touching this matter: Therefore, prepare thy heart to receive and obey the instructions which I am about to give unto you; for all those who have this law revealed unto them must obey the same; for behold! I reveal unto you a new and an everlasting covenant; and if ye abide not that covenant, then are ye damned; for no one can reject this covenant, and be permitted to enter into my glory; for all who will have a blessing at my hands, shall abide the law which was appointed for that blessing, and the conditions thereof, as were instituted from before the foundation of the world: and as pertaining to the new and everlasting covenant, it is instituted for the fullness of my glory; and he that receiveth a fullness thereof, must and shall abide the law, or he shall be damned, saith the Lord God. ***. D&C 132:2-6.

Mark you, the Lord is answering His servant relative to the principle of marriage as practiced by His ancient worthies. And so important did God deem that subject and opportune the occasion, that He reiterated an ancient covenant and gave it forth to this dispensation as a NEW AND EVERLASTING COVENANT. Did Jesus Christ our Lord view marriage as a "principle of mere inclination and indulgence" to be permitted mankind, but too noisome and coarse in its nature to become a part of his life? Let us consider his words further:

When they (referring to those who have lived in mortality and died without being sealed in marriage by divine sanction), are out of the world they neither marry nor are given in marriage but are appointed angels in heaven; which angels are ministering servants, to minister for those who are worthy of a far more and an exceeding and an eternal weight of glory.

For these angels did not abide my law (of marriage and procreation while on earth);l wherefore they cannot BE ENLARGED, but remain SEPARATELY and SINGLY, WITHOUT EXALTATION, in their saved condition, to all eternity, and from henceforth are not Gods, but are angels, of God forever and ever.***

Go ye, therefore, and do the works of Abraham; enter ye into my law (the law of Patriarchal marriage—polygamy) and ye shall be saved. But if ye enter not into my law ye cannot receive the promise of my Father, which He made unto Abraham. God commanded Abraham, and Sarah gave Hagar to Abraham to wife. And why did she do it" Because THIS WAS THE LAW. ***Was Abraham therefore under condemnation? Verily I say unto you may; for I, the Lord, COMMANDED IT. D&C 132 2-6,16,17,32,35.

A word from Apostle Orson Hyde on the marriage question:

 

JESUS OBEYED MARRIAGE LAW

 

I DISCOVER THAT SOME OF THE Eastern papers represent me as a great blasphemer, because I said, in my lecture on Marriage, at our last Conference, that Jesus Christ was married at Cana of Galilee, that Mary, Martha, and others were his wives, and that he begat children.

All that I have to say in reply to that charge is this—they worship s Savior that is too pure and holy to fulfil the commands of his Father. I worship one that is just pure and holy enough "to fulfil all righteousness"; not only the righteous law of baptism, but the still more righteous and important law "to multiply and replenish the earth." Startle not at this! For even the Father himself honored that law by coming down to Mary, without a natural body, and begetting a son; and if Jesus begat children, he only "did that which he had seen his Father do." J. of D. vol. 2:210

I will venture to say that if Jesus Christ were now to pas through the most pious countries in Christendom with a train or women, such as used to follow him, fondling about him combing his hair, anointing him with precious ointment, washing his feet with tears, and wiping them with the hair of their heads and unmarried, or even married, he would be mobbed, tarred and feathered, and rode, not on an ass, but on a rail. What did the old Prophet mean when he said (speaking of Christ), "He shall see his seed, prolong his days, etc.?" Did Jesus consider it necessary to fulfill every righteous command or requirement of his Father? He most certainly did. *** He came to fulfill. Did he multiply, and did he see his seed? Did he honor his Father’s law by complying with it, or did he not? (to multiply and replenish the earth). Others may do as they like, but I will not charge our Savior with neglect or transgression in this or any other duty. J. of D. vol. 4:259-260.

In the face of such a clear exposition of the law and of its fixed purposes and endurance, as expounded by the lawmaker Himself, no system of logic may be devised excusing the full acceptance and the literal living of the law by the Lord himself. Indeed he could make no greater claim to virtue and perfection than his Father—Himself having married and obeyed the law of procreation—Christ being His royal Son, begotten in the flesh. And to this end man and woman were born. Paul understood the principle. Said he:

But I would have you know (addressing the Corinthian Saints), that the head of every man is Christ; and that the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God. *** For the man is not of the woman; but the woman of the man. Neither was the man created for the woman’ but the woman for the man. *** Nevertheless, neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man in the Lord. I Cor. 11:3,8,11.

They (man and woman) are one and must necessarily operate together as one (husband and wife) or they are not perfect.

We glean from an article published in TRUTH 13:249, by M. Zvi Udley, Th.M., PhD, whom we understand is a profound Hebrew scholar, the following:

Jesus said once that he came to fulfill the law: the first positive commandment of the Bible, according to rabbinic understanding (Maimonides Minyan ha Mitzvet, 212) is that dealing with the propagation of the human race (Gen. 1:28); thus it has been considered the duty of every member of the House of Israel to marry at an early age. The late rabbis set eighteen as the age for marriage (Ab. V. 24): and anyone, they maintained, who remained after twenty without marrying was cursed by God Himself.

"But", says the critic, "can you produce no proof of these marriages? Are you founded on simple exegesis?" Indeed not! But first, let us recall the two other passages of Scripture that prophesy of a married Messiah: Psalms 45:9, King’s daughters are among thy honorable women (Benoth melekim bikrotheka); even more clearly than the English does the Hebrew show this to mean an amorous association, for the word is more correctly translated "sweethearts"—with a definite implication that a marriage has been performed! Further in Isaiah 53:10, it is plainly recorded that "he shall see his seed", by what is meant that at his crucifixion he shall see one, at least, of his own children present: some old accounts of the crucifixion plainly record that one of the women at the cross carried in her arms a child. Was this not his? *** What does old Celsus say, who was a physician during the first century, whose medical works are esteemed very highly at the present time? His works on theology were burned with fire by the Catholics, they were so shocked by what they call their impiety. Celsus was a heathen philosopher; and what does he say on the subject of Christ and the Apostles, and their belief? He says, "The grand reason why the Gentiles and Philosophers of his school persecuted Jesus Christ was, because he had so many wives; there were Elizabeth and Mary, and a host of others that followed him." However, we can say that the wives of Jesus were: Mary Magdalena, Martha, Mary, Elizabeth, Quetzalpetlatl.

Did Jesus have children? There seems to be evidence that such was the case" In 1873 M. Clermont-Ganneau discovered near Bethany on the Mount of Offence certain sarcephagi of extremely ancient times. On these were small crosses, but none of the usual symbols of Jewish burials, "which leaves no doubt of the religion of the persons whose remains were preserved in them." M. Clermont-Ganneau, writing of these discoveries in the PALESTINE EXPLORATION FUN QUARTERLY, 1874, pp. 7-10, notes the following to have been buried there: Salome, wife of Judah; Judahm, son of Eleazar (Lazarus); Eleazar, the son of Nathan; Martha, daughter of Pesach; SIMEO, SON OF JESUS; Salomzion, daughter of Simeon. Other sarcephagi had been destroyed earlier. Concerning them writes Cleremant-Ganneau: "By singular coincidence, which from the first struck me very forcibly, these inscriptions, found close to the Bethany road, and very near the site of the village, contain nearly all the names of the personages in the Gospel scene which belonged to the place: Eleazar (Lazarus), Simon, Martha…a host of other coincidences occur at the sight of all these evangelical names ***"

The "Simeon son of Jesus" was called in one of the inscriptions "the Priest: (HaKohan), and M. Clermont-Ganneau concluded: "*** this Simeon might very well be the second Bishop of Jerusalem. But then would arise *** the grave question of the marriage of Christian priest, since Simeon has a daughter named Salamsion". M. Clermont-Ganneau’s French name suggests him to be Catholic, and bound to the doctrines of celibacy; however, the first 15 Bishops of Jerusalem were circumcised Jews, and the earlier ones, at least, certainly obeyed the marriage commandments! It seems the only reason Clermont-Ganneau did not candidly state his beliefs was the question of a married clergy, for throughout his article he suggests this Simeon to have been the Bishop of Jerusalem. He promised to write a complete paper on the subject when he had more carefully examined all the find. It was an important find from the standpoint of archaeology, for it was the first actual discovery of the name "Martha", which "would alone be sufficient to make this collection important from an exegetic point of view"; yet, his promised paper was never published! Why? Was it because a full study of the find disclosed that this "Simeon the Son of Jesus" was the Bishop of Jerusalem? I fully believe this to be the case. Orthodox Christians have purposely destroyed valuable historical evidences which would prove embarrassing to them; that such was probably the case here is suggested by the fact that several ancient writers imply that Simeon the Bishop of Jerusalem, and President of the Church, (died c. 106 A.D.), was of the family of Jesus. It would be only natural for Jesus’ son, when he was old enough, to succeed James, the brother of the Lord, on his death, to the Presidency of the Church. In all probability Simeon was a son of Jesus and Martha, and was that child who appeared at the crucifixion.

Speaking on the subject of Christ and his apostles and their belief, Celsus says:

The grand reason why the Gentiles and philosophers of his school persecuted Jesus Christ, was, because he had so many wives; there were Elizabeth and Mary, and a host of others that followed him.

Commenting on the above, Elder Jedediah M. Grant stated:

The grand reason of the burst of public sentiment in anathemas upon Christ and his disciples, causing his crucifixion, was evidently based upon polygamy, according to the testimony of the philosophers who arose in that age. A belief in the doctrine of a plurality of wives caused the persecution of Jesus and his followers. J. of D. 1:345-6.

Then Jesus, being the great lawgiver to this earth, and having announced the law of procreation under the relationship of the Patriarchal order of Marriage, must of necessity have entered into the law himself. Proof that he did so is not lacking even in the Jewish scriptures, meager as they are in their recording of sacred events pertaining to the life and ministry of the Lord and especially to the domestic life of not only Himself but many other noted historical characters. This may be accounted for, at least in part, by the fact that among the Jews in that day the universality of the marriage practice was commonplace in the minds of the people, so much so that little attention to the functions and operations of the law was given by the historians. For Jesus, the supposed son of Joseph the Carpenter, to have entered into marriage would, in the very nature of things, have excited no unusual attention; he would have been regarded an oddity had he not done so.

Jesus was begotten and born in the usual way. He grew to perfect manhood, possessed of full physical powers. Tall and comely with ruddy countenance; well balanced, of even temperament, strong and intellectual; "whose personal form was perfect in proportion and beauty", said Brigham Young. He was a leader of men, fearless but kind and gentle, and devoted to all things righteous. In him was deep and abiding sympathy for the down-trodden, charity toward the weak and erring, while he gave no quarter to the defamer, the hypocrite or the debaucher. He was the literal Son of God, sired under perfect connubial conditions. His mother had received the birth and rearing that made for perfect motherhood. History records that Joachim and Anna were the parents of Mary the mother of Christ; that Anna, as Hannah of old, was barren and she, with her husband, grieved much because of their misfortune. In response to prayer an angel visited Joachim and said:

Be not afraid, Joachim, nor troubled at the sight of me, for I am an angel of the Lord sent by Him to you that I might inform you that your prayers are heard, and your alms ascended in the sight of God. For He has surely seen your shame, and heard you unjustly reproached for not having children: for God is the avenger of sin, and not of nature; and so when He shuts the womb of any person, He does it for this reason, that He may in a more wonderful manner again open it, and that which is born appear to be not the product of lust, but the gift of God. *** Therefore, Anna, your wife, shall bring you a daughter, and you shall call her name Mary; she shall, according to your vow, be devoted to the Lord from her infancy, and be filled with the Holy Ghost from her mother’s womb; *** So in the process of her years, as she shall be in a miraculous manner born of one that was barren, so she shall, while yet a virgin, in a way unparalleled, bring froth the Son of the Most High God, who shall be called Jesus, and, according to the signification of his name, be the Savior of all Nations. Book of Mary—Lost Books of the Bible, Chapter 2.

The circumstances of the conception and birth of Christ therefore, gave him the heritage of a perfect body and mind. He was no weakling, this man Jesus. In the great council of the Gods before the world was formed, he successfully contended with the adversary of light-0-Lucifer, a son of the Morning—and won! It was a battle of giants with Christ the victor! And yet so natural and commonplace were his mortal environments—his growth and manners—that those knowing his kin-folks refused to impute to his birth and life a divine conception and mission. They said:

Is not this the carpenter’s son? Is not his mother called Mary; and his brethren James and Joses, and Simon and Judas? And his sisters, are they not all with us? Whence then hath this man all these things, and they were offended in him.

For to their finite minds it was inconceivable that a God could come from the womb of mortal Mary. And though born the Son of God, he grew up as a natural man, possessed of human strength and mortal tendencies.

Though he were a son (of God), said Paul, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered, and being made perfect (through such suffering), became the author of eternal salvation unto all those who obey him. Heb. 5:8,9

The boy Jesus grew to manhood under a training and environment perfect as mortal conditions could provide and, reaching maturity, his princely attraction doubtless drew unto him those charming women whom heaven had prepared to become his nuptial mates. It was easy, and natural, too, for such women to fall in love with Jesus.

Among his early acquaintances, no doubt, were Lazarus, his devoted friend, and Martha and Mary, the sisters of Lazarus. One would naturally assume that in the home of this friendly trio Jesus found solace and comfort, and that he repaired to that haven of rest as often as circumstances permitted. Nor would such visits furnish reason for criticism by the neighbors at Bethany, for the friendly relationship, though it should later bloom into courtship and marriage, would be looked upon merely as commonplace in the light of Jewish customs and beliefs of the day. No doubt, as time went on, the acquaintance, at first but casual and friendly, grew serious.

"Now Jesus loved Martha, and her sister (Mary) and Lazarus", was the simple statement made by one of his biographers, John, known later as the "beloved disciple".

What meant that love? Was it not an affection reaching the innermost precincts of the heart? And pointing to the great event as mentioned by the Prophet Isaiah, "When thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin he shall see his seed." (Isa. 53:10). How could he see his seed (children) save he first sired them? He must needs marry and fulfill that eternal law which he himself had enunciated and through the operations of which he was given a body. And that these charming maidens did become the wives of Jesus, in the light of their mutual association following the early acquaintance spoken of, must be admitted. Commenting on this phase of the subject, Prof. Orson Pratt, the great scriptorian, once wrote:

The Psalmist David prophecies in particular concerning the wives of the Son of God (Psalms 45). We quote from the English version of the Bible, translated about 350 years ago (or about the year 1500): "All thy garments smell of myrrh and aloes, and cassia when thou comest out of the ivory palaces where they have made thee glad. King’s daughters were among thy honorable wives: upon thy right hand did stand the queen in a vesture of gold".

That the Master had taken wives from among the daughters of kings as well as from those of more humble birth—all of royal birth in the sight of God—is to be assumed as most likely; and doubtless the Psalmist sang that masterful song under the inspiration of the Holly Spirit.

But let us return to the maidens, Mary and Martha:

Martha, by temperament was born to serve. She was the housekeeper, the home manager. She found pleasure and took pride in this, her special gift and calling. Mary was more contemplative and given to spiritual meditation. While Martha was preparing the meal or making their home ready for their royal husband, it was Mary’s wont to sit at the feet of her Master and receive his counsel and the meditations of his soul. On one such occasion, it is related that "Martha was cumbered about much serving and came to him, and said, Lord dost thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone? Bid her therefore that she help me." (Luke 10:40) How like a wife of Martha’s nature and disposition to vent such a plaint. And here note: that no mere friend would venture a like criticism in company of so noted a guest. Had Jesus been a visitor only what right had he to bid Mary to assist Martha? It was the voice of a displeased wife to her husband. Had such a relationship not existed, such faultfinding, in the very nature of things, would have been deferred at least until after the guest’s departure and the sisters were alone. But in the relationship of husband and wives the mask of conventionality is torn aside and the truth is spoken. Hence Martha’s mild complaint. She felt imposed upon and, much like the wife of today, hesitated not to register her feelings. But Mary was being ruled by deeper emotions. She "sat at Jesus’ feet and heard his words."

Doubtless the meaning of his life was opening unto her deeper understanding. She was beginning to learn his true mission and the nature of his impending sacrifice. Little did she care for meat and drink to sate the physical body, for she was now drinking in divine revelry from the fountain of life and from such a draught one can never thirst. Her spiritual eyes were opening and, who knows, perhaps the event of coming motherhood was strangely and deeply thrilling her soul.

Martha, Martha, thou art careful (filled with care) and troubled about many things; said the husband, but one thing is needful and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her. Luke 10:41-42.

The clearer meaning of Mary’s mission was unfolding. She was learning of the great sacrificial event to come and of her hero King’s final triumph! The hour came. Six days before the Passover when the stage was set for Jesus’ betrayal and crucifixion it is related he come to Bethany to the home of Martha and Mary. How natural that he should go to their home and spend with them the few precious moments before his death!

There they made him a supper; and Martha served. ***Then took Mary a pound of ointment of spikenard, very costly, and anointed (both the head and) feet of Jesus and wiped his feet with her hair. Mk. 14:3,4,6. John 12:2,3.

At the seeming extravagance of Mary, it is related, that Judas Iscariot complained and characterized the act a wanton waste, as he stated the precious ointment could much better have been sold and the means devoted to the poor, but Jesus said: "Let her alone; for she hath preserved this ointment until now, that she might anoint me in token of my burial." John 12:7, I.T.

And who, let us ask, among all the women of the village, could have been better qualified to thus anoint the Master than a devoted wife to whom he had so tenderly taught the significance of his coming death, burial and resurrection? Who among all the women, but a wife, would have license to rest on the bosom of the Lord, anoint his body and wipe his feet with her hair?

In the sickness, death and healing of Lazarus, another example of wifely confidence and devotion is shown by Martha and Mary, who sent—not for the doctor or High Priest, but for Jesus, their Lord and husband, although he was a long distance away. Others had been healed by the Savior from a distance without personal contact, but in this case Jesus preferred to be with those who, by relationship, had a higher claim on his cheering presence, and he journeyed to them. "Lord, behold he whom thou lovest is sick:, was the message of the sisters, brief but sufficient in the circumstances. Martha met him as he approached the village, uttering in sadness: "Lord, if thou hadst been here my brother had not died." Jesus, giving comforting assurance, tenderly inquired after Mary, as a loving husband would naturally do. "And when Mary heard that Jesus was come she arose quickly and came unto Him", and reaching him, "she fell down at his feet"—and a customary salutation on the part of a wife in that day, "saying unto Him if thou hadst been here my brother had not died."

The same sweet confidence shown as when later these loving companions entertained and anointed their Lord! How much unlike a mere friendship or respect for priestly gown are such actions. They breathe close relationship and a familiarity belonging only to the sacred ties of husband and wives. The two sisters had become the wives of Jesus—He was their husband. To him and him only they looked for comfort, and they looked not in vain. He was their stay and staff. Understanding the true order as later expressed by Paul—"that the head of every man is Christ and the head of every woman is man"—they appealed to their head, their husband, with the faith and confidence born of a perfect love.

____________________

 

Another Mary entered into the life of Jesus. She was known as the Magdalene. She had been sorely vexed by the power of Satan. Jesus, by his superior authority, had healed her and cast out from her, as the scriptures state, "seven devils". Praising God, she followed him. From that time she became a part of his life and participated in every major event thereof.

Something of the touching romance that brought the lives of the two—Jesus and Mary Magdalene—together, resulting in a beautiful courtship and final marriage, as we just assume from the circumstances, is told in records discovered in recent years.

According to these records the father of the Magdalene was a wealthy merchant, an importer of spices and perfumes from Arabia, his residence being in Magdala. As a child Mary experienced poor health and in young womanhood she became subject to epileptic fits, in consequence of which, her father sent her to a sanitarium and nunnery, where she spent long hours in study, prayer and meditation. She was finally released and with many servants and great wealth at her command, she moved to Bethany, where she established residence. Though naturally a pampered and spoiled child, because of her ill health, as she grew up she became possessed of many charms of beauty and grace; she was intelligent and grew to command great respect and matronly influence. Many charitable acts were credited to her life.

One day in June, while walking out, accompanied by servants, she espied a man crossing a wheat field, and was immediately attracted by his youthful and kindly mien. Inquiring of her Egyptian servant regarding the identity of this man, she was informed that he was Jesus, of whom all had heard so much. She waved her hand at him and he, the Christ, ignored the salutation and proceeded meditatively on his journey; at which rebuff the woman was stung and in anger asked: "Who is he, to be so bold as to slight the great Mary Magdalena?" She threatened to make him pay for the insult.

That night "she dreamed a vision"; she saw the Christ on a celestial throne surrounded by a great retinue of Princes and officers. She visioned his future greatness, and the scorn she had felt was changed to veneration. She relates the vision to her maid servant and ponders its meaning. The first week in August she retires to her garden and finds Jesus sitting under a sycamore tree. "this time" she mused, "he will not refuse my invitation." She bids him enter her house for a drink of choice wine. The Master, with characteristic gentility and dignity, declines the proffered drink, adding, however, —and his kingly countenance softened with a smile of tender affection—"Mary, I love thee!"

Mary, subdued and thoroughly contrite, falls and weeps at the feet of her lover. His true self is revealed unto her. All her days following this touching incident she attended the Christ, administering to his needs. With her wealth she keeps and sustains him and his apostles in all their doings, completely foregoing her previous social activities. She was first to be at the tomb and to find it empty on that sacred Sabbath morn; seeing this she weeps bitterly; confronted by one whom she supposes to be an attendant, she demands to know where the body has been removed so that she might retrieve it and place it in a suitable sepulcher. Then Christ reveals his identity, saying, "Mary, why weepest thou?" bidding her to go and inform the apostles of the great triumph over death.

In this interesting item of history the healing of Mary by the Christ is not mentioned, but doubtless that event had much to do with the woman falling at his feet in worship. Her soul was deeply touched and that which might be expected to result in a mere worldly love was suddenly turned into a devotion—a wifely worship—that has sung its strength and tenderness down through the ages.

At the crucifixion of Jesus, Mary Magdalene was foremost among the women watching and she was prepared to administer unto him "for his burial"—among which was Mary Magdalene and Mary, mother of (Jesus and) James and Joses; "and there was Mary Magdalene and the other Mary sitting over against the sepulcher"; "and when the Sabbath was passed Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of James and Salome, had brought sweet spices that they might come and anoint him". (Mary the sister of Martha had previously anointed him for his burial.)

"And very early in the morning the first day of the week, they came unto the sepulcher at the rising of the sun." Now, when Jesus was risen the first day of the week, he appeared first to MARY MAGDALENE (Mark 16:1). It is related that Mary had been to the sepulchre early in the morning and discovered it to be empty. She naturally turned away weeping because the body of her Lord was missing. She sought whom she supposed to be the gardener for direction, and when this personage addressed her familiarly as "Mary", she turned herself and said unto him, Rabboni, which is to say, master (or husband). And here let me digress briefly to say that the term "Lord", "Master", or "Rabboni", were common salutations of wives to their husbands in that day. The terms "Lord" and "Master" are still used by wives in England and other European countries. So when Mary addressed Jesus as Master, it is fair to assume she was addressing her husband. But to continue: "Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father, but go to thy brethren, and say unto them, I ascend to my Father, and your Father, and to my God, and your God."—John 20:1-28.

Now, who would be most apt to be sitting over against the sepulcher waiting for the dawn of morning, in such a tragedy? Would it be the casual friend or disciple, or would it be the mother and the wife? To whom would one expect a devoted husband to appear first, --a casual friend or his wife who bore with him many of the burdens of the heat of the days before his crucifixion? The natural and proper thing happened. Mary Magdalene, one of the wives of Jesus, was at the tomb at daybreak on the first day of the week, at the earliest hour the grave could be visited according to Jewish custom and law. He appeared unto her first and gave her a divine message. Through her his apostles were informed of the resurrection event, and through her, his devoted wife, his resurrection was glorified.

Retrospecting briefly, there was the marriage feast in Cana of Galilee: "And the mother of Jesus was there". "And Jesus was called, and his disciples, to the marriage." (John 2:1,2). And when an additional supply of wine was needed, Jesus was appealed to and he produced it, turning, as the record states, water into wine, thereby performing what is recorded as his first miracle.

Now, it was said to be a Jewish custom at weddings for the bridegroom to furnish the wine, or such other cheer producing beverage as might be selected for the occasion. On this occasion it appears that the normal supply had been depleted and the mother, being in charge of the arrangements, informed her son of the fact, and Jesus, performing a double service, provided a superior wine, unlike that which was partaken of during the first part of the festivities, and "manifested forth his glory", through the miracle, thereby strengthening the faith of his disciples in him.

If this was not the wedding of Jesus, whose wedding was it? If it was not his wedding, why request him to furnish wine? Had Jesus been a guest only—and a distinguished guest, he would certainly have been—it is unthinkable that he would be called upon, in the midst of the festivities, to augment the wine supply; for what should an invited guest have to do with bearing the expense of part of the wedding supper? Could such a breach of etiquette happen in polite society in this day? Only on the theory that he himself was the bridegroom, and that it was his place to do so, can the incident be explained. And in the light of the fact that the marriage took place in Galilee, where Mary Magdalene evidently lived (see Matt. 27:55,56), it needs no great stretch of imagination and does no violence to reason, to assume the bride on the occasion was that same Mary from whom Christ had previously cast seven devils, and to whom the revelation of the resurrection of her Lord was later to be given.

Jesus understood the law; he announced it as a governing law to earth’s inhabitants, the principle of which was later proclaimed by the inspired Paul—"Man is not without the woman, nor the woman without the man in the Lord."

In the beginning God created man in His own image, male and female created He them; not one individual but two. The man, Adam, was not complete, nor ever could be, until his counterpart, Eve, was added to the creation. They two became perfect in the Lord. And in order to go on in perfection to eternal lives, they must be fruitful and multiply and replenish the earth, their home and coming kingdom.

As our Father Adam found it necessary to a complete salvation and exaltation to multiply and replenish the earth, so naturally Jesus, appointed to come forth in the meridian of time, had just as perfect understanding with reference to his duties in parenthood. Jesus was born to be Christ, but worlds without end he could not have attained that high station and become a joint heir with his Father, without first doing that which his Father had done before him. "He that hath seen me hath seen the Father", he told his apostles. Why? Because he was in the express image of the Father, was a partner with him, and had done what his Father had done before him. "Verily, verily, I say unto you, the Son can do nothing of himself but what he hath seen the Father do; for what thing so ever He doeth, these also doeth the son likewise. For the Father loveth the son, and showeth him all things that himself doeth."

Could anything be more natural than for the Father to teach the Son both by precept and example, as Abraham doubtless taught Isaac, and as Isaac taught Jacob, etc.? Like father like son. The Father had married and had sired children. Jesus was one of them. He taught Jesus the law of procreation and Jesus, learning from his Father, followed in the footsteps thereof, for the "Son can do nothing of himself, but what he hath seen the Father do." They were one in thought and action; they motivated alike and, to be literally like his Father, Jesus must needs become a father. It is through the law of procreation that holy men become Lord of lords, King of kings, or father of fathers. It was Jesus’ right to so become and he embraced the fullness of that right.

Then, too, it was the son’s place to bring glory unto the Father that he might in turn receive glory from the Father. This was accomplished in part through the posterity of the Son—his sons and daughters—which greatly added to the Father’s kingdom, thereby tending to glorify the Father. Jesus was glorified in being permitted to sire offspring; thus they glorified each other.

"Father, the hour has come; glorify thy Son that thy Son may also glorify thee:*** I HAVE GLORIFIED THEE ON THE EARTH: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do." (John 17:1,4). These were no idle words Jesus spoke unto his Father. "I have glorified thee on the earth", and he might have added—"by, among other things, fulfilling the law of procreation, thereby raising up seed to thy name’s honor and glory", for "Lo, children are an heritage of the Lord; and the fruits of the womb is his reward. As arrows are in the hands of a mighty man; so are children of the youth."—Psalms 127:3,4).

Of what greater blessings can a man conceive than a heritage of numerous and honorable posterity, which is an essential element in and the very foundation of Godship? In this, as well as in other details, did Christ fulfill the law.

Jesus not only became a married man, but he lived the fullness of the Patriarchal order of marriage. Martha, Mary her sister, Mary Magdalene, Phoebe, Sarah, Rebecca, Josephine and others might have been members of his royal household. Certainly, at least some of them did so become, and he, like his Father before him, became a father;

For they are given unto him to multiply and replenish the earth, according to my commandment, and to fulfill the promise which was given by my Father before the foundation of the world, and for their exaltation in the eternal worlds, that they might bear the souls of men; for HEREIN is the work of my Father continued, that HE MIGHT BE GLORIFIED. D&C 132:63.

Jesus Christ had a natural birth; he had lived a natural life and, in fulfillment of the prediction of the Prophet Isaiah that he should see his own seed, he became a father. He beheld with mortal eyes his children and he blessed them that their fruitfulness should continue. "And who shall declare his generation?" said Isaiah. The posterity of Jesus Christ has been carefully nurtured and preserved through all the years following his crucifixion, and today that seed is manifested in many of the faithful sons and daughters of God who have laid their all on the altar for the building up of God’s Kingdom on earth. His seed is among us and the sublime faith—the determination and courage exhibited in their lives today do honor to the Royal Progenitor.

In the great sacrificed, agonizing as it was, the Son of God did not flinch nor falter. Power was in him to both lay down his life and take it up again. As the first fruits of the resurrection his body came forth from the tomb not having seen corruption, and he—a father—ascended to his Father clothed upon with glory, immortality and eternal lives, inheriting thrones, dominions, principalities, powers and exaltations, and possessing in fullness, the blessings of his progenitors, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. He has gone to prepare a place for not only his own posterity, but also for those who, like himself, have accepted, or will do so, the fullness of the Gospel plan, including the eternal principle of marriage in the Patriarchal order; and who, with their numerous wives and children, through their faithfulness, will take up their eternal abode in the Celestial kingdom of God and, with the matchless conqueror and King—Jesus Christ—become "Priest and Kings, receiving of the fullness of His glory" and joint heirs with him to all the Father hath.