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Fifth Columnist

Polygamy Resulted in Fewer Children Per Woman

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Now while they could of had more children individually married to different men, would all of those other 49 men be righteous men of god like President Young?

You could have just given me a brownie point back on post#21 and saved yourself the trouble!! :P

then again I'm beginning to believe you enjoy hearing yourself talk

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

It was for both reasons.

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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.

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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I appreciate the spiritual evidence you received. It doesn't invalidate the spiritual evidence received daily by those of other faiths.

Each of us only has access to the spiritual evidence we have each received - individually. My evidence invalidates the evidence of others when it contradicts that evidence - for me. It is personal.

If you have spiritual evidence that contradicts mine you must act as your evidence indicates, but I can't accept your evidence if it contradicts mine.

At the final judgement of course we will find out who was closest to the objective truth, but until then we can only go by what we have.

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Each of us only has access to the spiritual evidence we have each received - individually. My evidence invalidates the evidence of others when it contradicts that evidence - for me. It is personal.

If you have spiritual evidence that contradicts mine you must act as your evidence indicates, but I can't accept your evidence if it contradicts mine.

At the final judgement of course we will find out who was closest to the objective truth, but until then we can only go by what we have.

I agree.

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You could have just given me a brownie point back on post#21 and saved yourself the trouble!! :P

Yeah, it gets old when you got to repeat what was already said in a thread! My bad for not giving you props for bring this up first!

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I certainly think polygamy was a mistake.

I would say that the continued polygamy after Official Declaration 1 which discontinued the practice was a mistake.

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In my view, plural marriage was a God-given commandment and a vital component of the Restoration, not a mistake. Its revocation was the same.

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I would say that the continued polygamy after Official Declaration 1 which discontinued the practice was a mistake.

I would go further and say that it was a mistake to begin with. I can't think of a single positive thing that came out of it. Joseph was human, and this was one of his errors.

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I would go further and say that it was a mistake to begin with. I can't think of a single positive thing that came out of it. Joseph was human, and this was one of his errors.

I disagree completely, the will of the Lord is never a mistake. I understand that you feel this way and respect your feelings on the matter, but as I cannot agree. Revelation is revelation, if Joseph was working against the will of God then he would of been removed from his post as the Prophet by revelation from God.

I have no doubt that Joseph Smith made mistakes, but this is a revelation not something that Joseph wanted to do. If this is a mistake it is God's mistake not Joseph's. Joseph struggled with the God's command for him to take more wives, he was so ashamed that he tried to keep it hidden from Emma and even lied in public about having other wives.

The same went for Brigham Young, he refused to accept polygamy for a long while, when Joseph finally convinced him to take a second wife Brigham did it with great resistance. President(of the Quorum of the Twelve at the time) Young said he would rather be dead than take another wife at one point.

I accept the revelations of God as just that, God's will revealed through his Prophets, he commanded that polygamy be practiced under the authority of the priesthood and in 1890 he commanded that the practice was to end in accordance with the law of the land.

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The D&C doesn't state that at all, come on!

The D&C states that through the priesthood a man can be sealed to more than one spouse, Jacob gives the reason for this as to raise seed up to God in the BoM.

You have to take the whole meaning from all the scriptures, .. You can't focus on any one verse and expect to get the whole meaning of it, you need to reference it to the rest of the Standard Works, hence the massive amount of work done to make a KJV bible with references to the standard works.

D&C 132 provides no real reason for polygamy. Polygamy almost appears mandatory as part of the Priesthood, and one only need the permission of their current wife to participate.

While I understand your point, you focus only on Jacob to provide THE one an only reason. Who is to say that Jacob applies to what is stated in the D&C; especially given that Jacob never mentions the Priesthood.

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D&C 132 provides no real reason for polygamy.

Actually... it does, I think.

Verse 63:

But if one or either of the ten virgins, after she is espoused, shall be with another man, she has committed adultery, and shall be destroyed; for they are given unto him to amultiply and replenish the earth, according to my commandment, and to fulfil the promise which was given by my Father before the foundation of the world, and for their exaltation in the eternal worlds, that they may bear the souls of men; for herein is the work of my Father continued, that he may be bglorified.

So they are for several reasons:

1) 'To multiply and replenish the earth, according to my commandment' - so more children can be born

2) 'To fulfill the promise which was given by my Father before the foundation of the world' - could mean several things... perhaps allowing Father's spirit children to receive bodies?... or something else.

3) 'For their exaltation in the eternal worlds, that they may bear the souls of men, for herein is the work of my Father continued, that he may be glorified' - due to an unequal (I think it means unequal) number of male and female spirits obtaining exaltation, polygamy is needed so everyone who is deserving of it receives it. Bearing the souls of men could mean having spirit children, or it could also mean that every man deserving of a wife can have one, since they are our most precious gift, one that helps lead us back to Christ. For herein is the work of my Father continued that he may be glorified speaks of HF's mission and the whole purpose of coming to this earth - so we can become like him!

So three reasons, I think =).

Polygamy almost appears mandatory as part of the Priesthood, and one only need the permission of their current wife to participate.

It's mandatory for those it is commanded to. Permission isn't always needed, if I remember correctly (there are certain exceptions to the permission rule), but asking for their permission is required, if I am reading correctly.

While I understand your point, you focus only on Jacob to provide THE one an only reason. Who is to say that Jacob applies to what is stated in the D&C; especially given that Jacob never mentions the Priesthood.

Jacob mentions reason 1. The other 2, in my opinion, are truly great reasons, ones I am truly grateful for, for they complete the cycle of justice, that they do =D. I am grateful that all who deserve an exalted husband and/or wife will receive one if they endure to the end =).

BTW, about the thread topic... polygamy resulted in more net children than regular mairrage did, so it fulfills reason 1, I think. I could be wrong though... have to do more reading.

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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?

First and foremost, I have not read the entire thread, only the OP. If what I say has already been said, just ignore it.

If I understand the data correctly, the more sister-wives, the less that individual woman had. I don't believe it shows that less children were had in polygamous families as a whole than if they had been monogamous.

But I find Jacob's wording curious. The Lord states that plural marriages (or plural families) can be used to "raise up seed unto me" (Jacob 2:30). Abinadi drew on Isaiah's messianic imagery and spoke of the Son of God's "seed." He identifies the Son of God's seed as those who have "heard the words of the prophets," "hearkened unto their words," "believed that the Lord would redeem his people," "looked forward" to "a remission of their sins," and "heirs of the kingdom of God" (Mosiah 15:10-11).

According to Levi Hancock, the Prophet Joseph told him in 1832, "Brother Levi, the Lord has revealed to me that it is his will that righteous men shall take Righteous women even a plurality of Wives that a Righteous race may be sent forth uppon the Earth preparatory to the ushering in of the Millenial Reign of our Redeemer" (quoted in Bushman, Joseph Smith: Rough Stone Rolling, pg. 326).

The "raising up of seed" may not have so much to do with childbearing or population growth.

See Kathleen Flake, "The Emotional and Priestly Logic of Plural Marriage," 2009 Leonard J. Arrington Lecture.

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This does bring up some interesting questions.

1. Was a woman more likely to die in childbirth the more children she had?

2. Did the chances of losing the baby increase? (I know with age, you are more likely to get gestational diabetes and that increases the chance of a stillbirth)

3. What was the male to female ratio within the church in those days? Out of the male members, how many were active/worthy/most likely to teach their children about the Gospel?

Having to share a husband sounds like a raw deal, but makes me wonder if it was easier for women to go without sex knowing their death was quite possible during childbirth. Living in an age where we all have access to birth control and much better medical care, it's hard to imagine that arrangement being acceptable. Even with advanced medical care, I have thought with every pregnancy, "I could die. My baby could die." It's really a terrifying thought. Not very likely, but if I had lived back then and known so many women and babies who did die, I might be happy to be celibate after delivering a couple of healthy babies in case my luck ran out. I have many friends who would have died for sure during childbirth if they had lived back then.

I think MorningStar gets at the heart of the matter here. I'd love to see a study about perinatal survival rates of women in monogamous vs polygamous marriages at that time.

Frontier conditions were tough. Maybe being married to a guy with access to resources would help a woman survive childbirth. Did the resource-rcih men provide an environment in which it was more likely to survive childbirth? If so, that's plenty of reason to attach several women to his household.

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I think MorningStar gets at the heart of the matter here. I'd love to see a study about perinatal survival rates of women in monogamous vs polygamous marriages at that time.

Frontier conditions were tough. Maybe being married to a guy with access to resources would help a woman survive childbirth. Did the resource-rcih men provide an environment in which it was more likely to survive childbirth? If so, that's plenty of reason to attach several women to his household.

I can imagine more help in the birthing process. More women acting as mid-wives, than in other communities, perhaps.

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Quality,

not necessarily, quantity.

I think this gets to the heart of the matter.

Since the idea is to raise up righteous seed, not just boost the population, flat birth rate comparisons have little relevance in discussions such as this.

As I understand it, plural marrige was administered in such a way as to ensure that, in general, only faithful and devout men and women entered into it. A child born into a union with two parents devoted to the gospel and the cause of Zion, albeit a plural marriage, theoretically stands a better chance of being nurtured in a gospel setting than does a child born into, say, a household where the father is less committed to the faith.

Plural marriage had the effect of establishing numerous genealogical lineages in which the faith of the Latter-day Saints could be carried from generation to generation. It was a seedbed for producing a critical mass of people that not only had the strength to survive as a community of believers but the capacity to carry the gospel throughout the earth and do as the covenant of Abraham mandated: bless all the families of the earth.

This is the essence of the passage in Jacob about raising up seed unto God.

To illustrate this, one need only look at the genealogy of a typical Latter-day Saint today with Mormon pioneer ancestry. Odds are he or she has at least one genealogical line that stems from a plural marriage. Thus, the "seed" raised up by means of the practice of plural marriage in the early days of the Church is still bearing fruit today: i.e. people with plural marriage in their genealogical lines continue to spread the gospel to others and Zion's tent continues to cover the earth.

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D&C 132 provides no real reason for polygamy.

This is quite wrong. I refer you to verse 63:

For they [wives] are given unto him to multiply and replenish the earth, according to my commandment, and to fulfill the promise which was given by my Father before the foundation of the world, and for their exaltation in the eternal worlds, that they may bear the souls of men; for herein is the work of my Father continued, that he may be glorified.

Not only does this verse give a reason for plural marriage, but as I see it, it gives the same reason that is given in Jacob. (See my prior post.)

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D&C 132 provides no real reason for polygamy. Polygamy almost appears mandatory as part of the Priesthood, and one only need the permission of their current wife to participate.

While I understand your point, you focus only on Jacob to provide THE one an only reason. Who is to say that Jacob applies to what is stated in the D&C; especially given that Jacob never mentions the Priesthood.

Christ never mentions the Priesthood either, does that mean that there is no atonement because the salvation he taught did not mention a priesthood like the D&C and BoM teaches us?

The whole idea of eternal progression is that we are revealed the will of the Lord, line upon line, precept upon precept, until he have a perfect knowledge. If Jacob didn't mention the Priesthood that is because the Lord didn't reveal that aspect of his laws regarding polygamy at that time.

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The whole idea of eternal progression is that we are revealed the will of the Lord, line upon line, precept upon precept, until he have a perfect knowledge. If Jacob didn't mention the Priesthood that is because the Lord didn't reveal that aspect of his laws regarding polygamy at that time.

as TAO pointed out, there are at least 3 reasons (I was wrong about section 132) given for polygamy, multiply and replenish, fullfill promise of God, and exaltation. So it would appear there is not a just one reason. and if we read jacob we find a fourth reason (multiple and replinish is not the same as raising righteous children). So we just can't look to Jacob and say "Jacob provides THE reason for polygamy", which seems is what you suggested earlier.

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So we just can't look to Jacob and say "Jacob provides THE reason for polygamy", which seems is what you suggested earlier.

Well this is a great example of what assumption does.

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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?

Mormon plural marriage did have the purpose and effect of raising up "seed". But not in the way you seem to understand it. Early Mormon polygamy was intended to maximize the offspring of only those men who participated in the practice. Joseph Smith only introduced the practice to the most faithful and long-proven members of the Church. Once in the Great Basin, that is pretty much how things worked until the practice was terminated at the end of the 19th century. Plural marriage was much more common among church leaders--general and local--than among the rank and file of church membership.

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