marriage bed symbol

marriage bed symbol

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Anthroplogy vs God's Definition of Marriage

I recently completed a course in anthropology, and through this class, became aware of some different perspectives that other cultures hold about marriage and similar unions that make up family units.

Anthropology is a most interesting study. What anthropology asks is that we practice cultural relativism – that is: suspend judgment of other people’s practices until we understand them in our own cultural terms.

However, it is up to each individual to apply their own religious convictions, internalized controls, conscience, and ethics in determining what is right and what is wrong. Anthropology cannot do this for us.

Its purpose is to help us respect everyone’s right to act according to the dictates of their own conscious, find beauty in the creativity of mankind, and preserve the cultures and languages created by all ethnic groups.

The most glaring lesson I have taken from the whole experience is that the world cannot depend on anthropology to establish an all-inclusive moral or ethic character for the world. Because of its empirical (equalizing, puts everyone on the same level) and holistic (reserves judgment until after learning all the facts) perspective, restrictions and ethics, all anthropology can do is identify and define what is, not what is right or what is wrong. 

Cultural relativism is only a temporary tool that has built into it the ability to make judgments. It does not automatically establish that every culture’s practices are morally or ethically right and correct for them, or for everyone in the world.

If anthropologists had political power to create and enforce law and were allowed to create for us the standard of morality and ethics that applies for everyone, slavery, apartheid, Nazism, and the Indian caste system might still exist as acceptable cultural institutions, because it seeks to preserve and respect all cultural forms. They would only require that everyone understand, not correct, or try to change, disrupt or eliminate a uniquely developed culture.

They would establish a prime directive if you will. Do not disrupt, interfere, or alter the development of any culture no matter how small or insignificant.

Anthropology is a science. It is a science of observation. It is not a ruling government body or giver of religious, moral or ethical standards for society to follow.

Yet many anthropologist and society attempt to use the finding of anthropologists to justify homosexual marriage, cohabitation, and extramarital affairs as moral, ethical, and socially acceptable practices.

They will claim this by using some obscure cultures in the world that practice these, while completely ignoring the fact that those cultures that entertain these practices are nature and sexuality worshiping religions.

Those that are of Christian, Jewish, or Muslim generally do not share these beliefs, and even recognize those practices as morally incorrect and counter productive to the sustaining of a healthy society.

To exhibit how we cannot depend on anthropology to define our global moral ethics, they cannot even agree on a definition for marriage.

One group of anthropologists tried to be inclusive of all marriage practices by creating their own universal definition as:

“A culturally sanctioned union between two or more people that establishes certain rights and obligations between the people, between them and their children, and between them and their in-laws. Such marriage rights and obligations most often include, but are not limited to, sex, labor, property, childrearing, exchange, and status. Thus defined, marriage is universal.” (Haviland, Pins, McBride, Walrath, 2014)

Even my professor attempted to justify this line of thinking through his powerpoint presentation by listing his “three arguments against same sex marriage.”

The one that particularly stood out to me as a glaring contradiction was:

All Marriages are between Men and Women
        Same-sex marriages have been documented not only in a number of societies in Africa, but in other parts of the world as well. Anthropologists define marriage as unions between “people”, not man and women, because not all marriages are male and female based.” (Todd, 2014, p.30)

I found this to be contradiction because at the same time another group of anthropologists say “It is true that virtually every society in the world has an institution that is very tempting to label as “marriage,” but these institutions simply do not share common characteristics.” (Podolefsky, Brown, Lacy, 2013)

Many cultures have customs that help legitimize birthrights and family lines, but even they do not call it marriage. We have put that label on their socioeconomic cultural practice. An example of this would be the Hindu practicing Nayar of Kerala India.

This culture’s practices are used to justify gay marriage and adultery by anthropologists. Among the Nayar, they don’t have a practice they call marriage or a word for marriage. The word they do use translates to “tying rite.”

This “tying rite” allows for multiple men, begins when a man brings the family linen. The couple have no obligation to each other, and the marriage ends when the woman says it does. (Haviland, William A; Prins, Harald E.L.; McBride, Bunny; Walrath, Dana, 2014,p.202-203)

My findings are that the Lord’s definition of marriage is not in danger of anthropology or any sciences defaming its validity or moral, ethical and spiritual foundations.

“…trust no one to be your teacher nor your minister, except he be a man of God, walking in his ways and keeping his commandments.” (Mosiah 23:14)

Though the world and science may deride, I choose to stay with the Lord’s definition:

The Family is ordained of God. Marriage between man and woman is essential to His eternal plan. Children are entitled to birth within the bonds of matrimony, and to be reared by a father and a mother who honor marital vows with complete fidelity.

Happiness in family life is most likely to be achieved when founded upon the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ. Successful marriages and families are established and maintained on principles of faith, prayer, repentance, forgiveness, respect, love, compassion, work, and wholesome recreational activities.

 By divine design, fathers are to preside over their families in love and righteousness and are responsible to provide the necessities of life and protection for their families. Mothers are primarily responsible for the nurture of their children. In these sacred responsibilities, fathers and mothers are obligated to help one another as equal partners.”
(Ensign, Nov. 1995, 102)


Haviland, William A; Prins, Harald E.L.; McBride, Bunny; Walrath, Dana, (2014) Cultural Anthropology The Human Experience. (14th ed.). Wadsworth, Cengage Learning.

Sadasivan, S.N. (2000), A Social History of India., S.B. Nangia, A.P.H. Publishing Corporation. Retrieved November 8, 2014 from

Todd, Jesse, 2014, Brookhaven College, 2014 Cultural Anthropology Chapter 9 Powerpoint presentation

Podolefsky, Aaron; Brown, Peter J.; Lacy, Scott M., (2013) Applying Cultural Anthropology. (9th ed.). McGraw-Hill Humanities/Social Sciences/Languages

Friday, December 26, 2014

Continue - The - Courtship Night (At Home) -- Become Masters of Kama Sutra


Marriage experts agree that regularly dating your spouse (even if you don't feel like it) is less costly than divorce. ;0)

Have you tried this one? It's cheap and great for LDS married couples with young children at home!

Get the Cosmo Kama Sutra book of positions. (about $9 at Amazon) - No...I don't get a kick back, but thank you for thinking of me. I'm recommending this book because it doesn't have photos of live people demonstrating the positions. It does have good visually instructional drawings, and clear easy to follow instruction.

Kama Sutra is an ancient Sanskrit word that loosely translates to mean " desire procedures ".  It was (and still is) taught to Hindu boys and girls in India to help prepare them for marriage. From an American perspective, it was like your grade school sexual education classes, except it also taught techniques to help love making in marriage more enjoyable, and positions that could help with conception. It also trained young men and women sexuality ethics.(Devi, 2013,

Try to do all of them. Make up a few of your own. Become kung fu masters of Kama Sutra in the bedroom together. Remember to be patient, practice good communication skills, stretch first, make sure the kids are safe and occupied first, lock the bedroom door, and (most important) don't take it seriously. There is no pass/fail and the only contest is how unified you can be as a couple. have fun.

Happy Dating!

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Continue - The - Courtship Night (At Home) --- Winter Wonderland

A Very Merry  Continue The Courtship Night to all you married lovers out there.

If you were wishing for a white Christmas, I think some of you may have got more than you bargained for. But, we can take a lemon and turn it into a  lemon chiffon cake with a warm creamy Christmas spice sauce.

Today's totally free stuck at home (because you are blessed with small children or just because you're snowed in) date idea is to build a snow family together. Or, you can build an igloo and cuddle up inside with a candle and some snacks just for the two of you.

Happy Dating!

Here's a bonus: found this fun recipe for snow ice cream.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Continue - The - Courtship Night (At Home) -- Wrapped In Love

"Keep your courtship alive. Make time to do things together – just the two of you. 

As important as it is to be with the children as a family, you need regular weekly time alone together as a couple. Scheduling it will let your children know that you feel that your marriage is so important that you need to nurture it. That takes commitment, planning, and scheduling.

It doesn’t need to be costly. The time together is the most important element."
~Elder Joe J. Christensen, 1995

This can something as simple as closing yourselves off in a room and wrapping presents together. Play some Christmas music. Wrap presents naked. Wrap each other in leftover Christmas wrap. Include some treats. When you're done, wrap yourselves around each other. 

Here's a tip - how about having sex first? Sex alleviates tension, floods the system with endorphins (a natural feel-good drug), and oxytocin (bonding drug) that both improve mood and assist in making conversation more pleasant. 

In her sexless marriage talks and writings, Michele Weiner-Davis said that many married couples report having their best conversations after sex. (Weiner-Davis 2012)

Happy dating!


Friday, December 5, 2014

Continue - The - Courtship Night (At Home) --- Christmas Quickies and Cookies

A Very Merry Continue-The-Courtship Night everyone! (It's fun being a member of an exclusive club of married folks)

"Couples should work toward complete mutual fulfillment in every lovemaking experience, but sometimes that may not be possible due to energy and/or time constraints. You may both decide to enjoy a "quickie" together when only a few moments are available or when one of you isn't in the mood for 'gourmet' sex.

A quickie most likely will not provide sufficient time and/or stimulation for the wife to reach orgasm, but if your attitude is right and circumstances are such, a quickie can be like a little gift. Quickies can be okay, as long as they are mutually agreed upon and do not become the regular fare." (Laura M. Brotherson,2004)

Tonight's activity: Have a quickie, and bake some Christmas cookies together.
Here's a fun video of how to make these easy quick Linzer Christmas cookies or Italian Christmas cookies made with anise. 

Fun Fact: Did you that our sexual desire and food appetite are governed by the same part of the brain? The Lymbic System! So naturally, this is an excellent way to satisfy both parts of this part of the brain and get some extra dopamine - the wellbeing chemical.

Happy dating!