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Fifth Columnist

Polygamy Resulted in Fewer Children Per Woman

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In another thread, CQUIRK posted a link to this interesting study: http://www.newswise.com/articles/polygamy-hurt-19th-century-mormon-wives-evolutionary-fitness

The study showed that "[p]olygamy practiced by some 19th century Mormon men had the curious effect of suppressing the overall offspring numbers of Mormon women in plural marriages, say scientists from Indiana University Bloomington and three other institutions in the March 2011 issue of Evolution and Human Behavior. Simply put, the more sister-wives a Mormon woman had, the fewer children she was likely to produce."

Yet, the only permissible reason for polygamy in the Book of Mormon is to "raise up seed unto me." Jacob 2:30.

How can we reconcile the fact that the only justification for polygamy in the Book of Mormon turns out to be false?

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In another thread, CQUIRK posted a link to this interesting study: http://www.newswise.com/articles/polygamy-hurt-19th-century-mormon-wives-evolutionary-fitness

The study showed that "[p]olygamy practiced by some 19th century Mormon men had the curious effect of suppressing the overall offspring numbers of Mormon women in plural marriages, say scientists from Indiana University Bloomington and three other institutions in the March 2011 issue of Evolution and Human Behavior. Simply put, the more sister-wives a Mormon woman had, the fewer children she was likely to produce."

Yet, the only permissible reason for polygamy in the Book of Mormon is to "raise up seed unto me." Jacob 2:30.

How can we reconcile the fact that the only justification for polygamy in the Book of Mormon turns out to be false?

Because it is not false and you have not even remotly come close to getting "the justification" for polygamy to be false.

I think you are misunderstanding the words spoken of in Jacob among other things.

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Buried deep within the text of the early Christian St. Augustine's City of God, is that exact same justification for polygyny -- and a note that it was not unlawful.

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Yet, the only permissible reason for polygamy in the Book of Mormon is to "raise up seed unto me."

Quality,

not necessarily, quantity.

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Because it is not false and you have not even remotly come close to getting "the justification" for polygamy to be false.

I think you are misunderstanding the words spoken of in Jacob among other things.

What does "raise up seed unto me" mean if not quantity?

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I echo Senator. It was to raise up righteous seed, not more numerous.

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I echo Senator. It was to raise up righteous seed, not more numerous.

How does polygamy accomplish that in a manner that is superior to monogamous relationships?

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How does polygamy accomplish that in a manner that is superior to monogamous relationships?

Rather than looking at polygamy in general, look at polygamy in the specific situations where it was sanctioned by the Lord, and then ask the same question.

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Rather than looking at polygamy in general, look at polygamy in the specific situations where it was sanctioned by the Lord, and then ask the same question.

OK. How did Brigham Young's polygamy help him to raise a more righteous family? Did BY spend more time with his family?

How did Brigham Young become a better husband and father by practising polygamy? Or, how did Brigham Young's polygamy contribute to his "seeds" level of righteousness?

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OK. How did Brigham Young's polygamy help him to raise a more righteous family? Did BY spend more time with his family?

How did Brigham Young become a better husband and father by practising polygamy? Or, how did Brigham Young's polygamy contribute to his "seeds" level of righteousness?

Too narrow a focus. Look at the LDS community as a whole during the time period plural marriage was practiced, not just one family.

Or, if you really prefer to look at one family, look at Abraham or Jacob.

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Too narrow a focus. Look at the LDS community as a whole during the time period plural marriage was practiced, not just one family.

Ok. How did polygamy benefit the LDS community and their righteousness in a way that monogamy didn't or couldn't?

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Or, if you really prefer to look at one family, look at Abraham or Jacob.

If the theory is sound wouldn't the benefits apply to all families who practiced polygamy and not just Abraham or Jacob? I'm not sure why we would look at Abraham or Jacob but exclude the Brigham Young family. What am I missing?

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In another thread, CQUIRK posted a link to this interesting study: http://www.newswise....tionary-fitness

The study showed that "[p]olygamy practiced by some 19th century Mormon men had the curious effect of suppressing the overall offspring numbers of Mormon women in plural marriages, say scientists from Indiana University Bloomington and three other institutions in the March 2011 issue of Evolution and Human Behavior. Simply put, the more sister-wives a Mormon woman had, the fewer children she was likely to produce."

Yet, the only permissible reason for polygamy in the Book of Mormon is to "raise up seed unto me." Jacob 2:30.

How can we reconcile the fact that the only justification for polygamy in the Book of Mormon turns out to be false?

While it is true that women in polygamous marriages had, on average, fewer children, the study does not (nor could it), study how many childen each of sister wives would have borne had they not been in such a relationship. I am unaware of any studies showing that there were more single men, unable to find wives, because Brigham Young had 16 wives with whom he had children. I am not saying that all of the sister wives would have been old maids had they not married Brigham. I don't know. Does the study identify a greater percentage of single males who never married in polygamous communites than that which exists in non-polygamous communities?

In addition, we know that many of Brigham's wives were elderly, not of child-bearing years. Does the study account for that in all of the polygamous relationships they studied?

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Just look at how many Smith's were presidents of the Church. The Tanners are popular in the upper reaches of the Church hierarchy. The list is long on currant members who have polygamy in their family history.

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What does "raise up seed unto me" mean if not quantity?

I don't know :P but it is very clear that you have no idea what it means. I suggest you not try and pontificate on it.

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Just look at how many Smith's were presidents of the Church. The Tanners are popular in the upper reaches of the Church hierarchy. The list is long on currant members who have polygamy in their family history.

The theory could also be that there is some degree of nepotism within Church Leadership. I'm not sure callings are an accurate measurement of righteousness. My own stake president has a tendency to have members of his own family (sons, sons in law, daughters, daughter in laws, even family friends) in leadership positions within the Stake. I think sometimes it is based more on a comfort level with individuals and not necessarily worthiness.

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If the theory is sound wouldn't the benefits apply to all families who practiced polygamy and not just Abraham or Jacob? I'm not sure why we would look at Abraham or Jacob but exclude the Brigham Young family. What am I missing?

I cited Abraham or Jacob as logical choices to look at individual families because, as far as we know, they were the only families in their time who received the sanction of the Lord in practicing plural marraige.

In Brigham Young's time he was part of a community of Saints practicing plural marriage. A picture of only Brigham Young's family is therefore an incomplete picture, and might not answer the question of why the Lord would sanction plural marriage.

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How does polygamy accomplish that in a manner that is superior to monogamous relationships?

Just as a child born to smokers is more likely to end up smoking, as only the most faithful LDS men and women were asked to enter into plural marriage, the odds were much higher that these marriages would produce strong, faithful Latter-day Saints. It is a pretty simple concept.

T-Shirt

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Ok. How did polygamy benefit the LDS community and their righteousness in a way that monogamy didn't or couldn't?

Speaking of the LDS practice.

It has already been pointed out that much of the Church leadership from that time to the present are the result of plural marriages. If the Lord is really calling each of them (as we LDS maintain) then that indicates success at raising up righteous seed.

Each family that successfully engaged in plural marriage was a family that was willing to defy conventional morality, enter into an often uncomfortable and stressful relationship, and undergo persecution and sometimes imprisonment because they believed in the testimony of the Spirit. It raised children who had unforgettable examples of parents who's priority was what God wanted them to do and who were willing to make great sacrifices to do it.

It has also been suggested that plural marriage served as a magnet for the Church's critics, which had earlier been focused on Joseph's prophetic claims. When persecution grew dire and had the backing of the Federal government in its move to destroy the Church we couldn't give up the Church's prophetic claims without destroying the Church, but we could give up plural marriage. The Lord defused the strongest criticisms of the Church and left the key doctrinal claims of the Church intact through the Manifesto.

Plural marriage may also have served as a tool in quickly homogenizing LDS culture and assimilating new members, forming a strong core of believers who could carry the Church on through hard times more quickly than monogamous families could have.

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Just as a child born to smokers is more likely to end up smoking, as only the most faithful LDS men and women were asked to enter into plural marriage, the odds were much higher that these marriages would produce strong, faithful Latter-day Saints. It is a pretty simple concept.

T-Shirt

Yes, but wouldn't those families have been strong LDS families even under monogamy? I don't see how polygamy would have made any difference. Good Parents raise good kids. If the purpose of polygamy wasn't quantity of children then I fail to see any benefits. Polygamy shouldn't improve the quality of children.

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How does polygamy accomplish that in a manner that is superior to monogamous relationships?

That's a valid question.

And one that I'm not qualified to answer. In fact, I don't think any 21st century LDS is qualified to answer that. You would have to study the journals and writings of those that lived that lifestyle and come to your own conclusion.

One possible advantage is in the providing a greater number of mates for believing, priesthood holding men; marriages of women that might other wise be made to unbelieving men thus reducing the chances of children being raised up under the covenant, or "unto me".

Seed are going to be raised either way. In a condition where the ratio of believing, priesthood holding men to women was low, sanctioned polygamy could be a viable solution to helping ensure that a greater proportion will be raised up unto the Lord.

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Yet, the only permissible reason for polygamy in the Book of Mormon is to "raise up seed unto me." Jacob 2:30.

How can we reconcile the fact that the only justification for polygamy in the Book of Mormon turns out to be false?

what is false?

The studies you cite herein show that women in polygamous arrangements have "seed", thus, seed is raised, so where is the falsehood?

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Yes, but wouldn't those families have been strong LDS families even under monogamy? I don't see how polygamy would have made any difference. Good Parents raise good kids. If the purpose of polygamy wasn't quantity then I fail to see how it may have impacted quality.

We know that there were slightly more men in Utah during the practice of plural marriage, but what was the ratio of righteous men, who would be good fathers, to righteous women? That might be more difficult to determine, if it can be.

If strict monogamy meant that more righteous women would have to be married to unrighteous men who could not raise righteous children with them (or, alternately, remain unmarried), then plural marriage would result in more righteous children than monogamy would.

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How can we reconcile the fact that the only justification for polygamy in the Book of Mormon turns out to be false?

It isn't false, it's called , multiplication, lets say the average woman in 1841 was having 8 children.

That's 8 children times 1 wife which equals 8 (8X1=8 )

Now if you have 2 wives that's 7 children pre wife (7X2=14)

3 wives that's 6 per wife (6X3=18)

4 wives that's 5 per wife (4X5=20)

5 wives that's 4 per wife (5x4=20)

From this point forward the trend goes in reverse.

In most cases men had 2 or 3 wives, 5 was a lot of wives.

Then you had Joseph with 24 and Brigham with 50 wives and 54 children (that's a lot of seed!)

So in all cases even with your logic the worst thing that can happen is you have the same amount of children with a lot of wives.

Polygamy guarantees far more children than monogamy, hence why God has used it at times to call up seed.

The math behind your evidence shows how false the claim is you made. 20 children is a lot more that 8

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