“My family has always taken a stance of “live and let live.””
I come from a very diverse family. Growing up with that diversity has helped me to have an open mind throughout my life. While I have ancestral lines that have chosen to live plural marriage, the practice of it in my life began with my grandmother. I am the only descendant in the third generation that has decided to live it. Most of my relatives in the second generation have decided not to live it as well. I’ve been somewhat the odd one out, since choosing to live in this controversial lifestyle. However, my family has always taken a stance of “live and let live.” For us, it’s an overall feeling and understanding that if what people are doing makes them happy and it doesn’t hurt anyone else, then we support them in doing it.
“All people should get to be happy”
When I was younger, organized religions and “religious” adults tried to influence me. I was told that there was a specific way of doing things and if you didn’t do those things, then you were on the “wrong path.” Thankfully though, I’ve been separated enough from organized religions for a good portion of my life to realize that not everyone’s path is the same. What makes one person happy isn’t going to be the same as what makes another happy…and that’s OKAY! I don’t believe that there is a universal happy condition. Cookie-cutter happiness would be so boring. We believe that all people should get to be happy in their lives and we get to accept them. It’s okay that the idea of happiness looks differently for others than ours does.
“I don’t only get a husband, I get a sister wife as well”
Many of my family members and friends don’t get it. Many people around us don’t get it. In fact, it seems that a lot of the public and people around the world just don’t get it or understand. They think that I “deserve to have my own husband.” We’re fortunate, however, because most of those who are close to us are supportive of my beliefs, even though our beliefs maybe don’t make sense to them. For me, it’s not about “deserving” a husband of my own. It’s about being married to a good man who has already proven himself to be a kind, hard-working, loving, responsible husband and father. Another great benefit is that I don’t only get a husband, I get a sister wife as well that will love and support me and that I can love and support as we grow, learn, and refine ourselves together.
“Completely opposite lives”
One person in my life who has been a constant supporter is my older brother. My brother has always been there for me even though he doesn’t believe in my religion and my chosen lifestyle. He knows that it is right for me, and he respects me in my decision. That’s the beauty of the “live and let live” mentality… We can choose to be supportive of each other, no matter what that looks like. He and I are 2 years apart, and were raised up in the same household, at the same time. We were influenced by the same teachings and upbringing, yet we choose to live completely opposite lives. It’s okay for us to discuss religion and background, we can discuss it without passing judgment on each other for the way we’ve chosen to live.
“To live the way we believe…and let others do the same”
It can be easy to read attempts to come to an understanding as coercion or manipulation, but rest-assured there is no brow beating or threats of hell-fire and damnation in our family; Colton doesn’t and hasn’t ever threatened either Tami or myself with it. My mother and I would never threaten my brother with it, because at the end of the day, we all believe that it’s our place in life to live the way we believe that we should and to let others live the way they want to. As long as there’s no harm in it, there’s no foul. Coercion has no place in our religious belief.
“More open minded world”
How wonderful is it that we get to choose how we will live our lives and how we will believe. We (sometimes nominally) have the freedom to choose what our religion is, or what it isn’t, or if we even want to have religion in our lives at all. I would never choose anything else for my life. It has been so worth it, but I can respect that it isn’t for everyone. It’s okay to have some variety in the world and in our lives as well, and we’re grateful that our children may grow up in a world that’s a little more open-minded than the world we grew up in.
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