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Martin

The Legalization Of Polygamy In The United States

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In reading the quote you highlighted that Sylvia Sessions told her daughter on her death bed... I was struck by the absence of anything specific about the physical relationship of Joseph Smith as her "father"... One would think that such a statement would include some such reference...

for instance:

"Josephine's mother told her she was the "daughter of the Prophet Joseph Smith, she having been sealed to the prophet at the time that her husband was out of fellowship with the Church."

What did she really mean by this statement? That she was Joseph's daughter by right of her mother being "sealed" to the prophet? I am sealed to my mother and my step-father... and have taken him as my "father" vs. my biological father. I was not produced by a physical relationship between my mother and step-father... but became his "daughter" through marriage and moreso, and by my mother and I being sealed to him in our eternal family...

I see how you could make that interpretation based on that part of the quote, but we should look at the rest of her statement.

Just prior to my mothers death in 1882 she called me to her bedside and told me that her days were numbered and before she passed away from mortality she desired to tell me something which she had kept as an entire secret from me and from all others but which she now desired to communicate to me. She then told me that I was the daughter of the Prophet Joseph Smith.

Sylvia Sessions's sealing to Joseph Smith was not a secret "from all others". I don't have the details of the documentation for this particular sealing handy, but records of Joseph's other plural marriages indicate the identities of the person who performed the ceremony and the witnesses present. Unless this one performance of the ordinance was done differently from all the others and in violation of the requirements of witnesses and records established in D&C 128, there were other people who knew of the sealing, and Sylvia Sessions knew this because she saw them there. Because the fact of the sealing was not secret, then the doctrinal consequence of that sealing, that Josephine's subsequent birth automatically sealed her to Joseph as a spiritual daughter, was not a secret either. It sounds like Josephine had been unaware of her mother's sealing prior to this moment, but it's information that was certainly known to others and would not have died with her.

This leaves her statement with only one candidate for what this secret was - that she was the daughter of Joseph Smith in the ordinary sense of the word. If Joseph was the biological father of her child, Sylvia Sessions's words are exactly how we would expect a 64-year-old woman in 1882 to say it. I'm having a hard time imagining what additional explicit detail she might have felt would be necessary, considering she was unaware that Mormons living 126 years in the future would want to read other meanings into her simple statement.

If this affidavit were evidence that undermined the doctrine of the church, I could understand the desire to spin it, but as Will pointed out, it doesn't matter whether Joseph's polyandrous sealings were physically consummated marriages if God commanded him to do it.

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This leaves her statement with only one candidate for what this secret was - that she was the daughter of Joseph Smith in the ordinary sense of the word. If Joseph was the biological father of her child, Sylvia Sessions's words are exactly how we would expect a 64-year-old woman in 1882 to say it. I'm having a hard time imagining what additional explicit detail she might have felt would be necessary, considering she was unaware that Mormons living 126 years in the future would want to read other meanings into her simple statement.
Really, this isn't the only possible interpretation. It is wonderful that you think so, but I don't read this way, and you aren't very convincing. When we add to this the fact that we KNOW that there is no biological connection between the daughter and Joseph Smith, it certainly makes your position less plausible, don't you think?

Ben

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Really, this isn't the only possible interpretation. It is wonderful that you think so, but I don't read this way, and you aren't very convincing. When we add to this the fact that we KNOW that there is no biological connection between the daughter and Joseph Smith, it certainly makes your position less plausible, don't you think?

Ben

Sorry, I'm not aiming to be convincing, I'm explaining what I think the most probable interpretation is. What do you think it was that she "kept as an entire secret from me and from all others but which she now desired to communicate to me."? If it was the sealing, do you have an interpretation of "all others" that excludes the officiator, witnesses, and anyone who would have seen the sealing record later on? Did Joseph Smith perform the ceremony himself with no one else around to see, ignoring D&C 128? If you have a more plausible interpretation, how does it account for her claim that she was about to tell her daughter something that nobody else knew?

I'm getting very curious how some apologists know for a fact that there is no biological connection. Do you and Will Schryver have access to new research on Josephine Lyon's paternity that you haven't shared here? The most recent news I can find is this Deseret Morning News article from November 2007. From the article:

Perego also has gathered DNA samples on about 120 descendants of Josephine Rosetta Lyon, daughter of Sylvia Sessions Lyon, who was one of Smith's wives. But Y chromosome evidence, used to determine paternal relationships from father to son, is not present for Lyon because she is female. The effort to determine Lyon's parentage is ongoing, he said.
While Y chromosome DNA is passed from father to son and is most accurate in identifying living people, mitochondrial DNA is passed from mother to daughter and is more often used in paleontology and archaeology, Perego said. As a result, there are distinct limitations on the testing that can be done to date because such testing on a living â?? and cooperative â?? male descendant requires an unbroken male line.
Plural wife Sylvia Sessions Lyon left a deathbed affidavit for her daughter, Josephine, telling her that her father was Joseph Smith. In terms of circumstantial evidence, "that is probably the strongest case out there, but it involves a daughter. I've collected maybe 120 samples from descendants of Josephine, but as of today, there is not an accurate method" to prove parentage.

I'd like to give you two the benefit of the doubt, but I'm increasingly suspicious that you read somewhere about Moroni Pratt, Zebulon Jacobs, Orrison Smith, Mosiah Hancock, and Oliver Buell being proven not to be children of Joseph Smith, and you extrapolated those findings to include Josephine Lyon somehow. If Ugo Perego or some other scientists have made a breakthrough in the last five months that enables testing the paternity of a female ancestor, that would be a major accomplishment, and I'd love to hear about it.

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Sorry to jump all over you so late in the game, but I've been busy elsewhere for the past couple of days.

If not, she could probably get accustomed to the idea. Some things take some growing into.

If not, she'd say no, and you wouldn't be authorized to do so.

D&C 132:61 And again, as pertaining to the law of the priesthoodâ??if any man espouse a virgin, and desire to espouse aanother, and the first give her consent,...

(bold added by me)

First wives rule!

Now, back to aguing about Joseph Smith and his various relationships.

Which, btw, doesn't seem to be the point of this thread.

But, maybe, that's just me.

Jane

a first wife (and we rule!!)

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Just my 2 cents: I do not think the church will reinstate polygamy. If they do, it will be a long time in the future because it caused so many problems for the church that we are still very sensitive to it. I've never understood the whole concept of plural marriage being somehow more holy or better in any way than a monogamous marriage. In fact, I view it as an inferior form of marriage (in general) to a good monogamous marriage. I can only view it as a temporary sanction that was instituted to build up a strong church in a short period of time.

If plural marriage was, by nature, better than monogamous marriage then the creation story would have modeled that. As it is, God created one being in His image and then separated them into ONE man and ONE woman. Together, they are a complete human being made in the image of God. God also sees fit to make a basic 50/50 split in the human population. I see monogamy as the idea and plural marriage as an emergency institution.

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If plural marriage was, by nature, better than monogamous marriage then the creation story would have modeled that.

A thought just came to my mind. In the scriptures, Jesus is the Bridegroom and the church is the bride. It's funny, but I don't think there's more than one bride for the Bridegroom.

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Well, there is the Ten Virgins story that some interpret as potential brides...but it would have worked as well even if only one woman was prepared.

ktg, all I know is that I've read several journals where the women and men have stated that they believe that the polygamous relationships they've been involved in have allowed them to experience charity/pure love in ways they've never experienced it before.

Personally I believe while this is certainly one possible benefit of polygamous relationships, there are other ways of experiencing this though I must admit that sharing the nearest and dearest over a long period of time, even potentially eternity is about the best test of unselfishness I can think of.

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If you knew who I am, you would laugh at that!

I noticed Martin was skulking about a bit here earlier, but doesn't seem to want to let us in on the joke!

So- Martin- who are you that we would find your position so amusing?

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I noticed Martin was skulking about a bit here earlier, but doesn't seem to want to let us in on the joke!

So- Martin- who are you that we would find your position so amusing?

I think Martin is really Martina.

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I noticed Martin was skulking about a bit here earlier, but doesn't seem to want to let us in on the joke!

So- Martin- who are you that we would find your position so amusing?

You will have to wait for an answer...if you ever get one. From another thread, posted at noon:

"How does 3 days off sound to you? If you want to slander LDS, go somewhere else. ~Mods"

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I think Martin is really Martina.

My guess:

Looney-Marvin-the-martian.jpgI laugh all the time at this guy so it only makes sense from 'our' Martin's claim.

Oh wait, this guy's name is Marvin. Back to the drawing board.

Got to add one more image though. Might keep it on file somewhere for future usage:

marvin-the-martian-posters.jpg

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Personally I believe while this is certainly one possible benefit of polygamous relationships, there are other ways of experiencing this though I must admit that sharing the nearest and dearest over a long period of time, even potentially eternity is about the best test of unselfishness I can think of.

I suppose it would have been supremely unselfish if I had given up my babies to someone who couldn't have their own too, but it still would have gone to much against my nature to do it (except in extreme and unusual circumstances) :P

I realize that the vast majority of people who lived plural marriage did it with the best of intentions and out of a strong feeling of it's "correctness." I think the amount of sacrifice required goes above and beyond the average person's ability. If it didn't, we would have seven girl babies for every one boy baby. I don't think it is the best way for most people, and I don't think it is any more holy than good old fashioned one girl/one guy marriage.

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If not, she'd say no, and you wouldn't be authorized to do so.

... and that would be perfectly okay with me.

It's not like I really want to have another wife. I think the one I have is awesome.

... which is why I wouldn't consider it to be a bad thing to have more of the same kind of thing. :P

First wives rule!

ALL righteous women rule, IMHO. ;)

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Okay, here's my Martin the Martian:raywalston-copy.jpg

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I suppose it would have been supremely unselfish if I had given up my babies to someone who couldn't have their own too, but it still would have gone to much against my nature to do it (except in extreme and unusual circumstances) :P

It is the ongoing nature of the sacrifice--24/7--that makes me think of it as rather unique as opposed to a one time choice of giving up of something (though the suffering would not be just one time so I think it is a decent comparison myself).

I realize that the vast majority of people who lived plural marriage did it with the best of intentions and out of a strong feeling of it's "correctness." I think the amount of sacrifice required goes above and beyond the average person's ability. If it didn't, we would have seven girl babies for every one boy baby. I don't think it is the best way for most people, and I don't think it is any more holy than good old fashioned one girl/one guy marriage.

I agree that there is unlikely anything that makes it "more holy". It is simply, imo, another way for us to practice godlike virtues in our lives and it is the quality of the practice, not the practice itself, imo again, and how much God is involved in that practice that makes something holy.

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Okay, here's my Martin the Martian:raywalston-copy.jpg

I guess one of the marks of aging in Martians is that their antennae grow more cheesy looking.

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D&C 132 discusses plural marriage, but does not require it. You are misreading D&C 132.

...

Hi cj,

You must add: D&C 132 does requires it when commanded.

Is the Lord afraid to command it? Is He afraid of the United States governement? Does He know the laws that bring Eternal Life, or is the United States lawmakers the ones who have such great wisdom? (These rhetorical questions have obvious answers to a believer.)

Read this introduction:

1 Verily, thus saith the Lord unto you my servant Joseph, that inasmuch as you have inquired of my hand to know and understand wherein I, the Lord, justified my servants Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, as also Moses, David and Solomon, my servants, as touching the principle and doctrine of their having many wives and concubinesâ??

2 Behold, and lo, I am the Lord thy God, and will answer thee as touching this matter.

3 Therefore, prepare thy heart to receive and obey the instructions which I am about to give unto you; for all those who have this law revealed unto them must obey the same.

The clear message, as I read it, from these verses is that the Law which is being revealed to Joseph (and those others who accept it) is the Law that justified well known ancient men having many wives and concubines. And those who enter into this law of marriage MUST obey the law, or they will be damned.

Agreed, this law (as revealed in D&C 132) does not specifically always demand plural marriage-- but when it does, then one cannot ignore the requirement to live plural marriage without breaking the covenant.

Verse 44 in D&C 132 clearly implies plural marriage at times:

44 And if she hath not committed adultery, but is innocent and hath not broken her vow, and she knoweth it, and I reveal it unto you, my servant Joseph, then shall you have power, by the power of my Holy Priesthood, to take her and give her unto him that hath not committed adultery but hath been faithful; for he shall be made ruler over many.

How can it possibly be that since 1904 no one in the church has never had to live by verse 44?

The idea that we have to live by the law of the land no matter what is troublesome. Especially when the church could live verse 44 today, and the law would not bother them. Should we not be more concerned about living by God's commandments than the clearly inconsistent and at times corrupt laws of the United States?

It comes back to the fully entrenched idea that the President of the church is guaranteed to never lead the church astray. If this is only partially true, then there is room for the Lord's will not being done in the way the D&C 132 law is being lived in the church.

Richard

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Dropping in on this thread kind of late, and to answer Martin immediately: if plural marriage were reinstituted and we were called to practice it, we would do so.

And I'm not using the "royal we" and referring to myself, here. In a most peculiar conversation with my wife a year or so ago, this subject came up, and she said that if plural marriage were in fact reinstituted and we were called to practice it, then so be it. She even went so far as to identify a never-married sister in our ward as her choice for my first plural wife, if ever it came down to it. It was her position that she, not I, was the gatekeeper, so to speak.

In times past, when this question has been brought up among my non-member acquaintances, I have always referred to the scripture where it says: no man can serve two masters. This usually gets a laugh.

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What is with the fixation on plural marriage? That was then, this is now. And it seems these threads are all started by people who aren't LDS or even FLDS. For what it is worth, most of us don't care who Joseph Smith was sealed to or who were his children.

If these people want to peel this scab of off an old wound, I recommend the Texas Polygamy Blogspot. Go, enjoy, argue with someone that cares. Have a nice life, but have it somewhere else.

If we are not practicing our faith correctly, that is between us and God. Let's deal the trolls out of it.

If we refuse to post on polygamy subjects, maybe these people will go back to their caves.

Rufus

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What is with the fixation on plural marriage? That was then, this is now. And it seems these threads are all started by people who aren't LDS or even FLDS. For what it is worth, most of us don't care who Joseph Smith was sealed to or who were his children.

If these people want to peel this scab of off an old wound, I recommend the Texas Polygamy Blogspot. Go, enjoy, argue with someone that cares. Have a nice life, but have it somewhere else.

If we are not practicing our faith correctly, that is between us and God. Let's deal the trolls out of it.

If we refuse to post on polygamy subjects, maybe these people will go back to their caves.

Unfortunately, there are a few LDS here who are hoping it comes back and will use anything at their disposal to "prove" it. What we need to do is demand documentation from a modern prophet saying anything close and then report the thread when it is not provided. Maybe it will be all right at some point, who knows....but we will never get away from the shadow of the criminal groups if we allow people to represent themselves as LDS and preach that it is in our future. Even if it was, no one would have to do it anyway....they didn't when it was a commandment.

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swtrms1ru5.jpg

solcov2ft8.jpg

Only two in five said they'd practice the principle IF COMMANDED BY THE PROPHETS??? Sounds like we're 60% apostate.

Want to know the grand total of threads and posters I've reported in my entire lifetime? :P ZERO.

Edit: the above scans are from Rocky Mountain Empire by Samuel W. Taylor, and Solemn Covenant by B. Carmon Hardy.

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It may be that if it became a reality and given time to adjust to the idea and see it in practice that people would change their minds. It may be they just can't conceive of it ever happening emotionally and therefore think they would reject, but just because someone thinks they will react in a certain way does not guarantee that reaction as has been proved time and time again in my experience. Just as many can't conceive of marrying anyone else, yet if a spouse dies in time most who have had good marriages look for the same positive experience again.

Which is one reason why I think we have to come down to earth and actually live out our lives rather than just be judged by the Lord on how we would have acted if we had the chance...having the chance just may change us.

Brigham Young didn't come gently to the idea. Often the faithful rejected the command until they had a personal witness for it. I don't blame anyone who rejects accepting this concept that isn't even a command these days, but is in fact commanded against because it is likely they have never received a witness to it. Nor do I see God handing out witnesses to the rightness of the practice when it's currently 'not right'.

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Unfortunately, there are a few LDS here who are hoping it comes back and will use anything at their disposal to "prove" it. What we need to do is demand documentation from a modern prophet saying anything close and then report the thread when it is not provided. Maybe it will be all right at some point, who knows....but we will never get away from the shadow of the criminal groups if we allow people to represent themselves as LDS and preach that it is in our future. Even if it was, no one would have to do it anyway....they didn't when it was a commandment.

wec1id7.jpg

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