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“Doubt Not, but Be Believing” Elder and Sister Renlund CES Training June 2018

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9 minutes ago, Hamba Tuhan said:

I worry that to those less familiar with actual work in historical documents, statements like the above, despite being correct, sound weaselly and desperately apologetic. On this point, I'll repeat a post I made three years ago (and which was based on even earlier posts):

This shouldn't be surprising. Anyone should just be able to think back to stories they've told of events and whether they were identical in every telling. That is this should be a phenomena everyone is familiar with from their own experience.

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43 minutes ago, carbon dioxide said:

True though how much time did Joseph really spend with his wives?  I can see a power issue being involved in marriages of old and young but that would be more of a problem if they spent lots of time together.  I would contend Joseph might have had the perfect plural marriages.   They were married BUT did not did not spend much time with each other as to drive each other crazy and not nearly enough time for power issues to have been a big problem. I have not seen any contemporaries of Joseph Smith who were critical of him bring up the age difference issue.  It does not seem to have been important to them.  But they were against polygamy which was abnormal to the culture then and today.

But if married, it is generally assumed they were not available to be married to other men...or do you believe that Joseph married his wives and told them they should feel okay to go out and look for other men to marry?

The marriage in and of itself altered their lives.  Those who believe they didn't have a fully informed and free choice because of their age find that problematic.  Often the example of Helen Mar Kimball not being allowed to go to a dance like her friends is used ( though this is inaccurate because the reason was not that she was sealed to Joseph, but because there were "blacklegs" at that particular dance and she notes iirc those girls who went had their reputations damaged by association).

Edited by Calm

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26 minutes ago, clarkgoble said:

This should be a phenomena everyone is familiar with from their own experience.

It should be ... but then one sees how much noise this point seems to generate amongst the disaffected ...

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14 minutes ago, Calm said:

But if married, it is generally assumed they were not available to be married to other men...or do you believe that Joseph married his wives and told them they should feel okay to go out and look for other men to marry?

Well with some like Zina Huntington she remained married and living with her other husband. To the single women I don't think that happened. I'm fine with the idea Joseph was commanded to live the principle and then didn't implement it well and arguably Brigham doing a worse job. In part that why I suspect the Lord stopped it. Had Joseph put some reasonable restrictions on it and followed the requirements set out in D&C 132 I think our history would be much happier.

I should add I don't have a problem with the polyandry. People who treat polyandry as somehow worse than polygyny are applying a double standard. Further if my wife were to remarry after my death (as I'd hope she would) that'd be polyandry. Once you accept life after death then I think it changes the perspective on these things - although I think as a practical matter living it successfully in this life just isn't doable by most people as 19th century Mormonism demonstrates. (Not to mention contemporary groups practicing it)

Edited by clarkgoble

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45 minutes ago, Hamba Tuhan said:

I worry that to those less familiar with actual work in historical documents, statements like the above, despite being correct, sound weaselly and desperately apologetic. On this point, I'll repeat a post I made three years ago (and which was based on even earlier posts):

 

To quote one of the young men in the priests quorum in which I taught a first vision lesson attempting to reconcile the differences:  “I think I’d remember when I met God.”

I can accept the differences in the accounts as Joseph’s audience changed, as his understanding of God developed, and as the state of the church progressed.  What concerns me is Church leaders choice to not share the other accounts. 

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36 minutes ago, clarkgoble said:

Well with some like Zina Huntington she remained married and living with her other husband. 

Already married women were definitely in a different category as far as I can tell from unmarried women, and younger women all fell in the later category.

I suspect power dynamics were very different when it came to the married women.

This started out with the comment the only reason people were upset with the marriages to young women was the gross factor, so I have only been talking about power dynamics for that subset of his wives.

Edited by Calm

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30 minutes ago, clarkgoble said:

Further if my wife were to remarry after my death (as I'd hope she would) that'd be polyandry.

Would you call it polyandry if it was believed she could only be married to one of you in the eternities?

Edited by Calm

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20 minutes ago, rockpond said:

To quote one of the young men in the priests quorum in which I taught a first vision lesson attempting to reconcile the differences:  “I think I’d remember when I met God.”

All kinds of things sound intuitively correct, even when they're not.

Quote

What concerns me is Church leaders choice to not share the other accounts. 

This is an inherent aspect in all story telling. As Spanish philosopher José Ortega y Gasset once noted, all communication depends on the fact that, out of the literally infinite things that we could say, we choose not to say nearly all of them.

One week before I submitted my PhD thesis, I cut an entire chapter. I then had to go back and remove/alter all intertextual references to the contents of that chapter. If I were a historian of the Church, some people would immediately conclude that I was trying to hide something. Instead, I was just trying to simplify my focus.

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35 minutes ago, Calm said:

Would you call it polyandry if it was believed she could only be married to one of you in the eternities?

Yes.

39 minutes ago, Calm said:

This started out with the comment the only reason people were upset with the marriages to young women was the gross factor, so I have only been talking about power dynamics for that subset of his wives.

Agreed although I think in most of those cases the reasons were more complex. For instance I suspect with Fanny it was opportunity and ability to keep it quiet.  But again I think that had he followed what we now know as D&C 132 from the beginning it may have been more traumatic short term but less so long term. But we'll never no of course for sure. There's also the issue of that interesting vision by Brigham Young while moving west where Joseph appeared and taught the principle of adoption to him - although Brigham kept it secret for a while. I think the law of adoption would have meant the Kimball marriage wouldn't have happened and that's one of the problematic ones. It's unclear if God had been trying to teach it to Joseph and Joseph got confused or what happened. He appears to have thought that adoption could only work through marriage thus the dynastic marriage strategy. The vision Brigham has later, even if not initially implemented, seems to have solved that problem. However Brigham didn't deal with the bigger problem of old men thinking they were single 20 somethings again, not having too many wive they couldn't care for emotionally.

Edited by clarkgoble

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2 minutes ago, clarkgoble said:

Yes.

Do you think most people would see it that way looking at the relationship from the outside rather than the personal feelings of those involved?

Edited by Calm

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25 minutes ago, Calm said:

Do you think most people would see it that way looking at the relationship from the outside rather than the personal feelings of those involved?

I don't think most people consider remarriage when one of the people is dead an issue. Although if death is just a temporary separation it is. The real issue is how people will view it on the other side of the veil.

 

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1 hour ago, Hamba Tuhan said:

All kinds of things sound intuitively correct, even when they're not.

This is an inherent aspect in all story telling. As Spanish philosopher José Ortega y Gasset once noted, all communication depends on the fact that, out of the literally infinite things that we could say, we choose not to say nearly all of them.

One week before I submitted my PhD thesis, I cut an entire chapter. I then had to go back and remove/alter all intertextual references to the contents of that chapter. If I were a historian of the Church, some people would immediately conclude that I was trying to hide something. Instead, I was just trying to simplify my focus.

That would be a fair example if we were talking about one document with one author. 

Instead, it’s been countless writings and addresses by dozens of leaders over nearly two centuries. 

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19 minutes ago, clarkgoble said:

I don't think most people consider remarriage when one of the people is dead an issue. Although if death is just a temporary separation it is. The real issue is how people will view it on the other side of the veil.

 

I agree.  My experience is most people don't respond to the terms polyandry, polygyny, and polygamy in that way though if they have issues with them...they more often just transpose what they assume a mortal experience is like to how they talk about the eternal relationship, but that makes little sense to me because I don't believe we can conceive of what we will be like after a million years of existence or just having our previous existence become part of our conscious thought again.  For one thing,  I figure God must have done a huge number on the majority of us suppressing what we were like before birth because when I know people's upbringing and environment, personality and motivations are usually reasonable to me (though not always predictable), so either God works really hard to match our premortal identies up perfectly to our mortal circumstances...which seems unlikely just figuring out the odds of all the people having to live a certain way to achieve it...or there are pretty faint traces of our eternal experiences currently in our mortal lives.  It seems to me our eternal being wouldn't show up as tendencies if we were just unaware of it and it was there as our unconscious as opposed to major suppression.  How could a few years of mortality have impact on behaviours established for eons?

So worrying about eternity based on what we are experiencing here is a waste of effort, imo...outside of it just making practical sense to do our best.

Too wrapped up in my own head today.  Need to go watch something really frivolous.

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On 1/16/2019 at 7:11 PM, cinepro said:

I agree.  While I do think it's a good thing that they are finally acknowledging how severe the problem is, it's extremely disappointing if this is the best way they can deal with it.

The better boat analogy is the scene in Jaws where the happy shark-hunters are confidently searching for the shark so they can kill it.  But after a brief sighting of the beast, Chief Brody realizes the situation they are in and can only say "You're gonna need a bigger boat."

Well Elder Renlund, if that talk is indicative of the quality of the "boat", then I can only say (speaking on behalf of the doubters), you're gonna need a better boat.

 

The better boat analogy....

FB_IMG_1547811763924.jpg

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On 1/17/2019 at 2:37 PM, cinepro said:

 

 as far as getting people who don't have that testimony to see him as a prophet, it's a PR disaster.  

Elder and Sister Renlund are happy and pleased with Joseph's plural marriages and have no doubt whatsoever it was 100% God's will.   The new 2018 preach my gospel discloses in the 1st discussion  multiple accounts of the first vision.  Should we also disclose our church founder's plural marriage networks in the missionary discussions or just let them stumble upon the information on the Internet?  

Edited by blueglass

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9 hours ago, changed said:

The better boat analogy....

FB_IMG_1547811763924.jpg

That is a better analogy.

The crazy thing with the Renlund's boat analogy is that the Brethren have the ability to fix all those dings and dents in the boat.  All of those issues that can make a passenger feel that it might not be seaworthy could be corrected.  But, it would mean giving up much of what they hold dear -- so I don't see it happening.

 

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20 hours ago, JLHPROF said:

Marriage is God's, not the state.  Legal is irrelevant to it.

 

No not really. This is simply your a priori assumption. It is based on your own bias faith with no evidence to back it up.  Thus we can set it aside.

 

 Marriage is the state's right in the world we live in and in Joseph's world too. It is awfully convenient to say "Well God told me to do this to to hell with what the state says."  At least today, Emma would have great legal reasons for divorce.

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20 hours ago, JLHPROF said:

To the skeptic, nothing.

To the faithful, everything.

It is a my prophet is better than your prophet game.

 

Yet nobody really knows....

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20 hours ago, carbon dioxide said:

It basically is the gross factor for you.  Young and young is not gross but old and young is gross.  That really is opinion on your part.  What really matters to me is agency.  The scriptures provide no age requirements for marriage.  None of Joseph wives were underage in the legal sense.  There was no law of man or God that gives an age limit to how many years apart someone can be married.  What is really comes down to is an "ick" factor that you can't accept. That is fine but on a legal and scriptural level the age issue is not relevant.  So whether it was normal for "old man + young girl" really is not is what is important. 

Polygamy is not adultery by the way.  It does not fit the basic meaning of adultery.  Joseph did not "take" other men's wives.  That sort of language implies he kidnapped these women and forced them to do something against their will.   That did not happen.

The good news is that God gives all of us agency.  If you have a problem with eternal laws and principles, you don't have to live them.  Of course don't expect to be rewarded for rejecting eternal laws.

Yea polygamy is adultery. It only isn't when people want to support their religious bias that has ugly polygamy involved.  

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1 hour ago, Teancum said:

Yea polygamy is adultery. It only isn't when people want to support their religious bias that has ugly polygamy involved.  

And if it were legal?  If the almighty "state" allowed multi-partner marriage then would it be?

In other words, we need to set an actual measurable standard to the word.

If God said it wasn't and the state said it wasn't, then would a new way of defining adultery appear?

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1 hour ago, Teancum said:

Yea polygamy is adultery. It only isn't when people want to support their religious bias that has ugly polygamy involved.  

The definition of adultery is sexual intercourse between a married person and someone who isn't his or her spouse.  Polygamy is not adultery.  You can say it's immoral or unethical if you want but by by definition it's not adultery.

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10 minutes ago, bluebell said:

The definition of adultery is sexual intercourse between a married person and someone who isn't his or her spouse.  Polygamy is not adultery.  You can say it's immoral or unethical if you want but by by definition it's not adultery.

I said this.  The claim is then made he had only one legal wife (that's also debatable).

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18 minutes ago, JLHPROF said:

I said this.  The claim is then made he had only one legal wife (that's also debatable).

I haven't seen any definitions (but I haven't looked at all of them) that mentions someone having to be legally married.  If someone is considered a spouse, then I don't see how being legally married would matter.

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2 hours ago, Teancum said:

Yea polygamy is adultery. It only isn't when people want to support their religious bias that has ugly polygamy involved.  

The Old Testament prophets probably had a good idea what constituted adultery and none of them considered polygamy to  be adultery.  A number of them had multiple wives.

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19 hours ago, carbon dioxide said:

The Old Testament prophets probably had a good idea what constituted adultery and none of them considered polygamy to  be adultery.  A number of them had multiple wives.

They also permitted slavery and required a engaged woman to have screamed to be able to claim rape in a populated area. If she hadn't 'cried out', she could be stoned to death. No mention of threat of violence keeping her silent or being knocked unconscious being an exception.  And restitution for rape of an unengaged or unmarried woman included the option of marriage to the rapist.

Edited by Calm
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