Introducing the Mormon Renegade’s Wife

Hello, everyone. I am new at this so please bear with me. 

I would like to introduce myself a little for those of you that do not know me. My name is Amber Sanders. My husband, myself, and my sisterwife live in Utah. David and I have been married now for 27½ years. We have 6 children: 2 are married and have their own families, 2 young adult children live at home, and our 2 youngest just turned 17 years old. David was just sealed to Tonya, my sisterwife, in February. 

I was raised in the LDS Church, but was never very active. David was a convert to the LDS Church in June of 1995. We raised our kids in the Church but to this day none of them attend the LDS Church. This is mostly due to the way they were treated by the kids in our ward when they were young. But we did raise our kids to be their own thinkers and not to lean on others for opinions and such. So I am grateful that they are all on the paths that they want to be on for themselves. 

We have lived in many places including Idaho, Maryland, North Dakota, and now Utah. Our journey in Fundamentalism started about 13 or 14 years ago. We have been mostly independent until a couple years ago we joined The Branch.

I work full-time from home for an advocate company helping disabled people with their disability claims. In my spare time I like to make quilts and watch TV crime shows like NCIS, Criminal Minds, and FBI. I also like to spend as much time with my grandkids and kids as possible. Some of my favorite things besides my grandkids would be sitting on the beach and watching the waves and smelling the ocean air; being on a quiet mountainside enjoying the view and the sounds of nature; fall is my favorite season, and yes I do love pumpkins; snowmen (my kids say I have a slight obsession with these); butterflies; and sunflowers. 

My sisterwife Tonya just recently joined our family, and is having neck surgery so she does not work. She and I have been friends for several years. It has been a blessing having her as part of our family finally. And I will go more into this later on. 

My husband, David, is a land surveyor by day and by night most people would know him as the Mormon Renegade.  He has been a Surveyor for 25+ years now. He started his podcast around a year ago I guess, and it just keeps getting bigger all the time. He is working on some new stuff so if you follow him stay tuned for a new look coming soon. He talks about anything from religion, politics, to even one on weightlifting I believe. But mostly religious topics and secondly politics. 

I would like to talk about plural marriage in today’s society and a little on how we live it and our experience with it.

With my husband’s podcast we hear things from listeners and get questions such as:

  • How can you live this life?
  • How does your household work?
  • How do your wives deal with jealousy issues?
  • What are some benefits (outside of your religious beliefs) to living plural marriage?

I will answer a few of the more family-oriented questions and ones that can be a bit more personal.

To start out, I am not a huge scripture person: I am not one that can spout off a scripture or tell you who said a certain comment.  But I do know the things that are taught are the true gospel and I do have a strong testimony of Celestial or Plural Marriage.

David and I were in a plural marriage years ago for a few years that did not work out. We were not part of any group; we were independents at the time. I do not and will not talk about that relationship.  But that is when we were first introduced to the thought of plural marriage. 

Just a brief explanation on how it first came about. It was actually myself that had brought this up to David. I was reading Doctrine & Covenants 132 and then the Manifesto, and as I went over these I had a question for David. This ended up turning into David doing more of a deep dive into the Principle of plural marriage and more studying. We talked about it and prayed about it and both came to the conclusion that we were to be living plural marriage. Out of our control, that marriage did not last. 

For the next several years David and I talked to many different fundamentalists and groups, and in the meantime we continued attending the LDS Church. We always felt like something was missing within our family and with the gospel. 

After joining The Branch about a year and a half ago, the missing gospel piece has seemed to be filled. In October we were reunited with Tonya, whom we have known for around ten years.

When I first met Tonya several years ago, she and I connected in a very spiritual way. This is the best way I can describe it, but unfortunately the timing of things was not right. I knew back then that someday she would join my family. I didn’t know when or how but I knew someday she would. 

Over the years we have kept in touch. She would keep us updated on events in her life, or would just reach out to say thanks for being there when she needed a friend. She had let David know she went through the LDS temple not too long ago and again thanked us for all we had done and taught her about the gospel. 

Then she heard David’s podcast and she reached out in October to let him know she had heard it and really liked it and just wanted to catch up. Well, the rest is history: she is now part of our family and I couldn’t be happier.

Now, living plural marriage isn’t for everyone, and not all will be called to live it. But I know and have testimony that we have been called to live this principle.

For every family, how their family lives is all different. In some families, the wives will each have their own homes within the same areas, and in some, they will live in the same house. This all depends on the couples and also the resources they have.

For myself, I have always felt a strong sense of wanting my family to all be together under one roof. We are lucky enough to have a home at this time that accommodates that. We each have our own bedrooms and share the rest of the house.

I feel it is important to be able to be friends with your sisterwife. And I am again lucky to have that with Tonya. We were able to bond all those years ago and have been able to strengthen that bond over the last several months.

I feel it is important that we can learn from each other. Where Tonya has not been in a family situation like ours before, there are things that I have been able to teach her and work on together with her for our home. These moments are not only important teaching moments but precious moments to cherish.

People ask about jealousy issues.  This is a hard one because if you say there is never any jealousy you are not only lying to yourself but to your loved ones. But I will say that when you know that you are living in a plural marriage because you have been called to do so by God, the sting is less hurtful. I think one of the best things that has helped us thus far is to always let each other know how we are feeling. Or if we have an issue with something, to not hold it in and fester on it, but to talk to one another about it so the issue can be worked out. And most of the time it ends up being a simple fix or misunderstanding of some sort. So I would have to say just like that line of communication is important with your Heavenly Father, It is also important with your spouse and sisterwife.

What are some benefits (outside of your religious beliefs) to plural marriage? On this, I would have to say, the friendship that you build with your sisterwife is one of the biggest for me. Not all that live it are able to have this. I am so grateful that I have a strong friendship with my sisterwife.

Others are things like strengthening the family. I do believe that plural marriage should only be lived for religious beliefs. Anything outside of that is not of God and if it is not being lived for the correct purposes then it is not right.

The last question and the most important one: How can you live this lifestyle? I have touched on this some already. But to sum it up, we have been commanded to live in plural marriage. In Doctrine & Covenants 132 God gives us this commandment and explains the law to us. Although some people believe that we are no longer to live it, I stand to believe that we have a never-changing God. He will not command us one day to do one thing then turn around the next and tell us something different. He is a steady and never-changing Being. 

I bear testimony that if we follow these commandments and are called to live this law, that we can be happy in our choices and that we can all learn to love our sisterwives and each other. I bear testimony that I know the Law of Celestial Marriage is correct and I am glad I have the opportunity to live it.

Why Plural Marriage?

Note from the blog owner: Jason is a new contributor to the blog. This is his first post.

A deep and sharp question that I have been asked is, “Why do you need more than one wife?”. To me, that is a damn good question. This simple question has provoked me to find out if I, in fact, need more than one wife, and why would I have that need. I have concluded that plural marriage isn’t about my needs, wants, or desires.

The true questions that should be asked are, “Why does a woman need a husband? Can she not do it on her own?” The statement that I wish to present, to provoke your thoughts is that plural marriage is more about the needs of a woman than that of a man.

I will give the reasons that I feel a woman should be married and why she needs a man. Before I go into these thoughts, I want to speak of marriage.

Marriage is simply a covenant between two people or two entities, for that matter. In the Bible, we are told that the Messiah will marry His people. This is done when we take His image in our countenance or take His name upon us (See D&C 20:77 Covenant renewed through the sacrament). As we see that a marriage is not always about a ceremony, but about a shared agreement. We see Isaac, son of Abraham, take his newly found bride into his tent and consummated the covenant with her, through sexual intercourse, prior to any ceremony being performed (see Genesis 24:65-67).

We also see that a man can marry more than one at a time, as we read a parable from Jesus in the New Testament, book of Matthew (Matthew 25:1-13). Jesus spoke of the Kingdom of God is like unto ten virgins. So, the children of God, those whom Jesus, the Christ will covenant with, are like unto ten virgins preparing to marry the Bride Groom, the Messiah, himself. If Jesus wanted us to believe in monogamy only, he would have said the Kingdom of God is like unto a virgin…not ten of them.

Our modern society promotes a one man, one woman marriage. If you think about it, this is backed by the Gospel of Jesus Christ, but in a different manner. Marriage is between a man and a woman, but the man can make that covenant with more than one woman at a time. Each woman is given a husband to cling to, it just happens to be the same husband that another woman claims. 

In our society today, we are being taught the differences between a Free Market and Socialism. I would like to make an analogy between economic systems and marriage.

Monogamy is like unto Socialism. In a monogamous society, every man gets one wife, even if they do not really deserve what they received, and it is regulated by the government. There is much abuse in this type of society, as some men have not earned a place to properly provide for a woman. Too often, an abusive man will be left alone, only to take on another woman, due to the overabundance of available and seeking women.

Plural marriage is like unto the Free Market, where a man can earn as many wives as he can afford to obtain. He must do the work to keep the wives, and he must learn to adjust to the needs, wants, and desires in an ever-changing and growing home.

In plural marriage, the man must do most of the work (emotional and spiritual) and the women receive all the fruits of his labors. The women stand to gain more benefits than the man, and yet the man’s love (and self-worth) keep growing with his ever-growing family. This love is what sustains him through his relations, just as a bee making honey, receives the honey as food to feed himself.  

 The first reason that I feel a woman needs a man is a basic concept. In simple terms, there needs to be opposition in all things.  In Ancient Chinese philosophy, yin and yang is a concept of dualism, describing how seemingly opposite or contrary forces may actually be complementary, interconnected, and interdependent in the natural world, and how they may give rise to each other as they interrelate to one another. (

I have asked different persons if they think the white part of the Yin Yang symbol is male or female. Most tell me that they thought it was female as she gives life to a child. When a child is conceived, it is the male that gives the living part to the union. He will plant his seed into the female who will grow the child within her. We often attribute characteristics of Yin to a Yang type person, and vice versa. Both parts of a relationship have their qualities that are distinct to themselves. When a mate finds its other half, it feels whole again.

When I speak of opposition, I don’t mean fire and water, pain and pleasure, or even up and down.  Opposition in relationships should be that one that compliments the other, such as one partner likes to do work outside gardening, while the other one will work inside doing dishes. This doesn’t mean both can’t go outside to work, but each may prefer to do a different task.  A woman needs a man who is the opposite of her, and yet compliments her in her goals of raising a child. He will build the house, while she will make the house a home. He will plant and harvest food and she will make it a meal. They complement each other in their tasks. In plural marriage, this is magnified where many hands make work lighter. Instead of one woman trying to do multiple tasks in part, multiple women can do a few tasks each to completion.

A woman’s need to be with a man has always been a familiar reason; a man can provide a shelter, food, and safety for his family. I spoke of this briefly in the above paragraphs. I have married shorter women, who often can use my height and long arms to reach items on the top shelf. When I milk our goats, I can do it in a third of the time that it takes my wife. I can carry full buckets of water without breaking a sweat, while my wife will struggle as she carries them to water the sheep.

Now I am not saying the women need a man just because he is stronger or taller than them. A man can provide much, with a decent job, or good working skills, leaving other skills for the wives to help with. There is something to be said about getting a hug from a motherly woman after an emotional day, or a kiss on the knee after playing too roughly. I can do most of what a woman can do in a house, but I am truly aware that they do it so much better. When a man provides for a woman through his labors, she will provide the children for him, raising them in righteousness.

A woman doesn’t need to join a plural family to enjoy a long, fulfilling relationship with her husband. If there are enough men to provide well for the women, then monogamy is well suited for this society. Today, we see an attack on men and women. Men are told not to be masculine and a woman can be a man claiming to be a woman. If society cannot provide strong men to fulfill their role and strong women to fulfill theirs, then the society will fall. With fewer men stepping up, the availability for women finding a good man is going down. Women will start seeking plural marriage as an option to help her attain her goals and growth for her family.

When a man marries plural women, the children can have multiple mothers to gain advice and experiences. The children do not have to go to a babysitter, who usually is physically and emotionally overtaxed and financially underpaid. The children can stay in the home and stay close to the other children being raised with them, keeping out introductions of community illness, newly discovered unpleasant habits, and other issues when being raised in a daycare environment, from other families. 

I feel a woman’s needs for a man are the emotional, sexual, and spiritual needs that she can only receive from a man of God. There have been men throughout history who have had more wives than they can manage, such as King David and King Solomon. We have read how God does not approve of his daughters just being a number to their husbands, or worse, being abused or neglected.

We have also seen in past times and modern times, when a man thinks his salvation is attached to the women he marries, he will marry young women so that he may have much offspring. In the past, a girl as young as fourteen could be much wiser and ready to raise a family. Today, these young girls are not ready for such responsibility. Even if the girl has had to raise her siblings, there are laws and morals that dictate marriage should be saved for consenting adults.

A man of God will show some characteristics of God, such as kindness, patience, understanding, charity, meekness, forgiveness, and humility. As he learns how to communicate with his wife, they will grow in a bond that cannot be broken, except by themselves. He will learn to see a flower that is her favorite, or to make a meal that is more than just nutritious, but also comforting to her.

As a man accepts more wives into his life, he must separate his interactions and get to know each wife individually. When a plural man can do this, he is able to see to their individual needs, while maintaining the well-being of the family.

Too often, women who have been separated from a marriage through divorce, are left to fend for themselves. Often a woman becomes hardened and off balance. She is not able to maintain her needs, as well as the needs of her children, and she lets go of herself to take care of the children. It is to be applauded for the efforts of women everywhere, who take care of the needs of children, and many times, it is someone else’s children who also benefit from the love she shows. But day after day, she gets increasingly drained and soon is not able to function at top quality.

When a woman joins a plural family, her burden is made lighter, and her cup of vitality is refilled, even one drop at a time. In plural marriage, though it is tough at first to find one’s place, it can be very comforting and will ease the burdens of single parenthood.

I have found that a man is able to love more than one woman at a time. He can show love to each one, according to their needs and their personality style.

A woman can have relations with many men at once, but I believe she will choose to love only one man at a time. This woman will love with all of her heart that one man until she can no longer do so. There is no doubt that this cycle has been revolving in the universe from the beginning of time and seeks no end.

We can have as many different views as we want, but in the end, there is nothing like the love between a man and a woman.

Why plural marriage? A man is able to maintain a relationship with multiple women at the same time. Women are also made to find the man who best suits their needs, wants, and desires. There are many men out there who want a wife. Are they doing what the Gospel teaches us on how to love or are they just taking advantage of the system? Men need to step up their game and presentation in order to receive the prize.