“[According to Mormon apostle Dallin H. Oaks], [t]he ancient order of marriage is the divinely sanctioned union, recognized by the state, between one man and one woman[.] [Quoting fellow LDS apostle M. Russell Ballard from a speech Ballard delivered in 2008 at Brigham Young University, Oaks declared]: ‘We follow Jesus Christ by adhering to God’s law of marriage, which is marriage between one man and one woman. This commandment has been in place from the very beginning.’ . . . [see Oaks, ‘Religious Freedom,’ in ‘Newsroom: The Official (Mormon) Church Resource for News Media, Opinion Leaders, and the Public,’ transcript of Oaks’ speech at BYU-Idaho, Rexbury, 13 October 2009.”
Now, for the inconvenient caveats:
“EXCEPT, if you are the Patriarch Abraham, in which case you can be married to Sarah (who might be your half-sister), and to Sarah’s slave girl, Hagar. The ancient order of marriage is pretty liberal when it comes to marrying siblings, cousins and slaves.
“EXCEPT, if you are Kind David or King Solomon, in which case you might have as many as 300 wives and 300 additional concubines, and copulating with and siring children by slaves was perfectly acceptible, both in the eyes of your citizens, and in the eyes of God, who sanctioned the practice.
“EXCEPT, if you are Jesus, and married to both Mary Magdalene and Elizabeth (and likely others) ([a] [t]eaching unique to early Mormon apostles, most notably Jedediah Grant, Orson Hyde, and Brigham Young).
“EXCEPT, if you are Joseph Smith, in which case you can secretly practice polygamy to girls as young as 14, and also be married to women who are already married to other men. The ancient order of marriage demands, however, that you don’t tell your first wife about all the others, because it makes her really mad. For that matter, it’s best not to tell ANYONE except your good buddies, because then they might think twice about your apostolic calling.
“EXCEPT, if you are Brigham Young, in which case you can have as many as 55 wives married to you in this life, and untold numbers sealed to you in the life hereafter. It is also perfectly acceptable to divorce them if they don’t take care of themselves, or expect you to take care of them.
“EXCEPT, if you are John Taylor, Lorenzo Snow, Wilford Woodruff, George Cannon, Heber Kimball, and on and on and on, in which case you can obtain a new wife every time your last wife gets worn out.
“EXCEPT, if your wife died, and you’re an LDS apostle, you can be sealed to another, much younger woman, so you’ll get both of ’em in the eternities. (Dallin Oaks married June Dixon in 1952, who passed away in 1998. In 2000, he married Kristen McMain, both of whom are sealed to him for time and all eternity–contrary to the ‘ancient order of marriage’).
“But other than THAT, the Mormons are absolutely correct in defending the ‘ancient order of marriage.'”
(**Source: “Helping Elder Oaks: The Ancient Order Of Marriage,” by “peter_mary,” 16 October 2009, original emphasis)
–from Steve Benson