Last time we discussed the story of Abraham and Isaac, a troubling story in the Bible. This time I’ll ask Dr. John Conrad about polygamy. Do they practice polygamy in the House of Aaron? I’ll also ask about his views on gay marriage and the LGBT community.
John: Yeah, Mormonism is a puzzle to me on polygamy. The strongest scripture I’ve ever read against polygamy is in the Book of Mormon.
GT: I know, it’s in Jacob.
John: Yeah, I read that. I thought, I agree with this. This works for me. It calls it an abomination.
GT: That’s a Book of Mormon scripture you like.
John: Oh, I witness to it. I think it’s true. I do not think all polygamists are abominations, because I know a lot of polygamists. I mean, living in this valley, you’ll bump into some fine people. Polygamy is not good. It’s harmful to the husband-wife relationship. It’s very harmful to the children. Because, when you look at–one of the things that we’re promised, and in fact, a defining characteristic of Christianity and Judaism, that’s different from the rest of the world, is that you’re made in God’s image. That there’s something about you that reflects your parent. I mean, just like if you’ve got kids, I know I’ve got kids, you can see yourself in your kids. There’s a stamp. Well, God’s stamp is in us. One of the names of God is jealous. He didn’t want Israel chasing after other gods. What’s more, he got angry. I can’t believe that we could be in God’s image and share something that belongs in one relationship. Again, I’m not condemning all polygamists. I don’t think polygamy is his best. And I think in the New Covenant, you know, he comes back for one bride.
John: Again, because I’ve been around polygamy, I’ve seen the pain. I mean, I knew a couple that had a really good marriage. They were polygamists. They had always agreed at some point that the husband would take another wife, and they came to that point, and he married another woman. The first wife was not prepared for the damage. It just–that marriage relationship is, it’s a pretty strong edifice that’s built around it. In fact, we all know, we’ve all seen what happens when people step out of it, and the hurt. So, I just, I believe that if we’re made in God’s image, and he doesn’t want to share his affection, I do not think that my wife should have to deal with trying–how to be at peace with me being with another woman.
I asked John about their views on LGBT as well.
What scriptures do they use in the House of Aaron? Does it include the Book of Mormon or other scriptures? Dr. John Conrad is chief high priest and will answer these questions.
GT: Let’s jump back to Scripture. So, it sounds like the Bible…
John: The Bible is our basis. The Levitical writings.
GT: The Levitical writings, so, that’s Glendenning.
John: Those are the revelations and some of those are epistles he wrote, that’s very much a part of what our belief system is. We probably don’t study them as much as we used to. But like this place here, Eskdale, came into being because there’s a writing, Levitical writings 241. It says, “Go into the lands of the earth and find a place where people,” basically, I’m really summarizing, “Where people will learn to live together, and learn to be consecrated, and there, they’ll be able to find the necessities of life.” So, I could say I didn’t believe them, but I’d have to back up and say, “Well, the harvest of that seed is surrounding me.”
John: So, I think it’s important to realize that we see the Bible as the basis, but that God can speak and that those are words, we believe, to us. I’d be the first to say I read some of the writings, and I don’t understand them.
I also asked him about the Book of Mormon and the Doctrine & Covenants, which they don’t use.
The House of Aaron is a group of Messianic Christians. What are their worship services like? What is their church structure, and how large is this group? Dr. John Conrad is chief high priest and will answer these questions.
GT: Do you have any temples or anything like that?
John: One of the things, in fact, we were doing that today, when you came in, and we were concluding, we have a setup. I don’t know if you noticed, we have the menorah, the altar, where we walk through the items that were in the temple, which to us are all pictures of the work of Yeshua, the work of Jesus. When you look at the laver, he says that He is the Word made flesh, and we’re washed by the water of the Word. He is the perfect sacrifice. He’s the light of the world. The menorah, when you look at every single thing in the temple, it’s a picture of the redemptive work of the Messiah. So, we have a service, and we are going to build a building. That’s what we were talking about when you came.
GT: Right. Yeah, I could tell.
John: That will have what we call the sanctuary part where we walk through these pictures, the altar of sacrifice, the laver, the menorah, the altar of incense, the table of the bread of the presence. All of these are pictures of the work of the Messiah and leading us into the presence of God. So, we are in the process of building. We don’t like to call it a temple. Maybe a sanctuary might be a better way to describe it.
GT: Okay, so it wouldn’t be like an LDS endowment or anything.
John: No, and I don’t know as much about the LDS temples. I know just a little because, of course, it’s kept somewhat secret, but I think it would be somewhat different.
GT: So, it would be open to the public, probably?
John: Yes, it would be. Though, if a person wanted to walk through it, it wouldn’t require affiliation with the House of Aaron, but it would be very difficult to walk through that if you did not believe in Yeshua, if you didn’t believe in Jesus as the Messiah. It’s a little bit like and I think the LDS have closed communion. Our communion is open.
We’ll learn more about their group size and leadership stucture. What are your thoughts of the House of Aaron?