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Why Do Many Restorationist Sects Of The Lds Church Disbelieve Js Ever Practiced Polygamy?

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I know that the RLDS and Community of Christ, and maybe other groups as well, deny that JS ever practiced polygamy. I'm curious to understand why?

Thanks.

:)

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Um, because the practice is revolting?

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Um, because the practice is revolting?

So . . . lying to one's self is the best way of coping with uncomfortable historical data?

USU "Could never be that prissy" 78

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Um, because the practice is revolting?

But it's a biblical practice which is also supported by the BOM under specific circumstances, which many (most?) restorationists still claim to have a testimony in.

Therefore, that someone finds it revolting doesn't seem like a very good reason, alone, for denying that a prophet of God (or a man who believed he was a prophet of God) could ever have done it.

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I don’t know exactly why, but it might have something to do with the fact that polygamy is a distasteful doctrine to a lot of people. It is hard to understand and come to terms with. But the fact that it happened, and was initiated by Joseph Smith, seems like a pretty well established and known fact to me. It just so happens to be an ‘inconvenient truth.’

In the case of the Community of Christ, they seem to be moving further and further away from their Mormon roots, and trying to move more in the direction of mainstream Protestantism. If this is indeed the case, it would only make sense for them to disavow themselves with JS and polygamy as much as possible.

I know next to nothing about other Restorationist sects. Perhaps our own bookofmormonlvr could enlighten us - or anybody more knowledgeable about the subject.

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Thanks cal. I'll check those out. Moreso though, i'm wondering why someone who claims the BOM is the word of God would deny that a prophet of God could ever practice polygamy (since the BOM specifically outlines that it is occasionally permissible).

It seems, from the little i've studied, that the denial isn't just that JS never had more than wife, but that a true prophet of God would never have more than one wife. Maybe i'm misunderstanding the argument though.

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I don’t know exactly why, but it might have something to do with the fact that polygamy is a distasteful doctrine to a lot of people. It is hard to understand and come to terms with. But the fact that it happened, and was initiated by Joseph Smith, seems like a pretty well established and known fact to me. It just so happens to be an ‘inconvenient truth.’

In the case of the Community of Christ, they seem to be moving further and further away from their Mormon roots, and trying to move more in the direction of mainstream Protestantism. If this is indeed the case, it would only make sense for them to disavow themselves with JS and polygamy as much as possible.

I agree that for that sect, the denial does make more sense.

I know next to nothing about other Restorationist sects. Perhaps our own bookofmormonlvr could enlighten us - or anybody more knowledgeable about the subject.

I hope so.

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Um, because the practice is revolting?

From my ancestors' journals

My great-great-grandmother, desiring further blessings, persuaded her husband that it was time for him to seek another wife. Between the two of them, a woman was chosen, he asked, she assented and shortly afterwards became a part of the family. Some time later the new wife became pregnant and was delivered of her first child. Unfortunately not only did the child die, but the woman was rendered barren and became an invalid, dependent on others completely for her care. Instead of complaining about the situation or feeling betrayed, my gggrandmother praised the Lord for allowing them to experience the infinite level of love that could be only be experienced in her view through celestial marriage. Though an invalid, the second wife was beloved by all the family and cared for without complaint and was admired by all, there is even a reference to BY visiting the home and complementing the invalid on her situation and how the evidence that it such a blessing to all those involved was apparent in the happiness of the expressions and actions of the family.

Yep, that journal telling about how it was like to live the practice of plural marriage is such a revolting report that I go puke my guts out every time I read it.

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I know that the RLDS and Community of Christ, and maybe other groups as well, deny that JS ever practiced polygamy. I'm curious to understand why?

Ditto! If JS were a prophet and if the BOM is true how do you deny that he had more than one wife. And why is it ok for BY but not JS. That's the one I never understood.

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From my ancestors' journals

My great-great-grandmother, desiring further blessings, persuaded her husband that it was time for him to seek another wife. Between the two of them, a woman was chosen, he asked, she assented and shortly afterwards became a part of the family. Some time later the new wife became pregnant and was delivered of her first child. Unfortunately not only did the child die, but the woman was rendered barren and became an invalid, dependent on others completely for her care. Instead of complaining about the situation or feeling betrayed, my gggrandmother praised the Lord for allowing them to experience the infinite level of love that could be only be experienced in her view through celestial marriage. Though an invalid, the second wife was beloved by all the family and cared for without complaint and was admired by all, there is even a reference to BY visiting the home and complementing the invalid on her situation and how the evidence that it such a blessing to all those involved was apparent in the happiness of the expressions and actions of the family.

Yep, that journal telling about how it was like to live the practice of plural marriage is such a revolting report that I go puke my guts out every time I read it.

I'm completely hooked on that show 'sister wives' on TLC (partly because the brown family actually lived in my hometown for a while!) and watching it, and reading experiences like the one you shared above, would seem to prove that it is not a bad experience for everyone. In fact, it is an experience that some people seek out because they seem to believe it is a blessing.

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Who cares if Joseph practiced polygamy. It is not the fact that he did it but how he went about it. In secret and with underage women in some cases. that is the part that is hard to comprehend.

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Who cares if Joseph practiced polygamy. It is not the fact that he did it but how he went about it. In secret and with underage women in some cases.

None of Joseph's wives were "underage".

Your chronocentrism is showing, and it's not a pretty sight.

Lehi

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Who cares if Joseph practiced polygamy. It is not the fact that he did it but how he went about it. In secret and with underage women in some cases. that is the part that is hard to comprehend.

That may be, but it's not the subject of the OP so let's try to stay on topic. :)

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Ditto! If JS were a prophet and if the BOM is true how do you deny that he had more than one wife. And why is it ok for BY but not JS. That's the one I never understood.

I don't think any of the split off groups thought it was o.k. for Brigham either. Because of plural marriage being practiced in the Utah church most of them saw it as being in a state of apostacy.

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None of Joseph's wives were "underage".

Your chronocentrism is showing, and it's not a pretty sight.

Lehi

A Fourteen year servant girl with a already married man twenty years her senior. Underage is not the first term that comes to my mind when trying to defining this situation. But I guess it does fit.

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For what it's worth, here is a link to LDS.org containing some good information about the practice of polygamy. At least it is accurate in that it does not deny Joseph Smith’s involvement in it.

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Sandy, thanks for those links. That was interesting. I know very little of the Community of Christ's history (just bits and pieces).

I was wondering if there was ever any contact between Brigham Young and Joseph's son or Emma Smith, later on, after they each established a different church.

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<br />I know that the RLDS and Community of Christ, and maybe other groups as well, deny that JS ever practiced polygamy. I'm curious to understand why?<br /><br />Thanks.<br /><br /><img src='http://www.mormondialogue.org/public/style_emoticons/default/smile.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':)' /><br />

After Joseph's death there was a dispute between Brigham Young and Emma Smith. She was in a state of denial regarding Joseph's practicing plural marriage that actually involved conjugality. As time went on she came to deny that he had practiced any sort of plural marriage and intimated that it had all been cooked up by Brigham and other of the brethren. As well, she may have wanted to protect her children from disdain by preserving her husband's reputation as a virtuous man.

I think she also knew that if she went west with the saints, Brigham would have tried to take her as a "spiritual wife" (as he did others of Joseph's wives) and that would have been more than she could stand. She truly disliked the man.

As the main RLDS splinter group found new leadership they courted Emma's approval and accepted her denials of Joseph's involvement in polygamy. From that point on it was a matter of defending a position that had been decided upon, similar to the way the LDS faith defended Blacks not receiving the priesthood and many other doctrines that are now increasingly becoming an embarrasment to the church.

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Sandy, thanks for those links. That was interesting. I know very little of the Community of Christ's history (just bits and pieces).

I was wondering if there was ever any contact between Brigham Young and Joseph's son or Emma Smith, later on, after they each established a different church.

There was contact later between Joseph Smith III and the LDS church I believe or possibly one of his brothers, but I think it may have been after Emma's death. As I recall there was nearly indisputable evidence presented to him at that time from numerous general authorities who were personally involved with Joseph and plural marriage which he took into consideration but I think he decided to "stick with the story" his mother had given. can't remember for sure. It's been a while since I read about it. Do a google search on Joseph smith III, polygamy and Salt Lake City and you'll most likely run across it.

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Thanks, Palerider. I'll do that.

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The official position of the RLDS Church was that Joseph Smith did not practice plural marriage. However, there was a footnote of sorts which said that if he did he was wrong to do it.

It is interesting that most of the splinter groups at the time of the martyrdom practiced polygamy, including Strang, Samuel Smith and others. Where on earth did they get such a notion? It is also true that William Marks (RLDS First Presidency) reprimanded Joseph Smith III over his claim that his father was not a polygamist, as Marks (former Nauvoo Stake President) said he knew for sure that he was.

My position is that Joseph did not practice plural marriage as we think of it, or as it was later practiced in Utah. He was sealed to a number of women but that was it. No physical relations took place in my opinion. DNA research has proved that none of the children attributed to the Prophet through plural wives, and who were told by their mothers that Joseph was their father, were his. I think that evidence is persuasive as he had no trouble at all fathering children with Emma.

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In secret

Yes, and I understand why this can be a big problem for some people. We like to think of our prophets as brave and bold like Samuel the Lamanite up on the wall and not Jonah who ran from the Lord, however it was not just his own personal safety that was involved and that makes it a completely different situation in my view (though that doesn't automatically make secrecy justified), nor do we know what specific directions were given him by God...it is not without precedent that God has instructed individuals to keep things secret in the scriptures.
and with underage women in some cases.

Only by today's standards and there is no evidence that there were physical relationships involved with those under the age of 17, one of his 17 year old wives is likely imo.

See here: http://www.fairwiki...._to_young_women

And while I can understand why that is an issue for some, they should be complaining about every other man who married girls the same age at that time if so, yet that is rarely mentioned.

Sunstoned, if you mean Fanny Alger, she was 16 to 18, from what I've read, I favour 17.

Sorry bluebell, if anyone wants to continue the conversation, please start a new thread, I will cease derailing this one.

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I think she also knew that if she went west with the saints, Brigham would have tried to take her as a "spiritual wife" (as he did others of Joseph's wives) and that would have been more than she could stand. She truly disliked the man.h.

Possibly but not the reason she gave:

When asked many years later why she didn’t go west, she simply replied, “I had a home here, I didn’t know what lay out there.
http://www.emmasmith....com/biography/

Nauvoo was probably the first place she felt was really home since her marriage.

She was also caring for Lucy Mack Smith, who was 69 at the time.

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