Jump to content
Seriously No Politics ×


  • Posts

  • Joined

Posts posted by rongo

  1. 19 hours ago, Tacenda said:

    And a deer in the headlights reaction. But maybe these women will be much further than I was in 2006 when I first learned about Joseph Smith's polygamy. In fact it was as if I was in a car accident where everything was in slow motion.

    I definitely want to avoid "deer in the headlights." I've done many things like this before, and have a reasonably good read on what to expect and how it will go. Discussion in this thread is helping me be over-prepared, just in case. 

  2. 20 hours ago, Obehave said:

    I just thought of another concern for rongo to consider while talking about this issue with his Relief Society sisters in his ward. The spirit of contention could arise as it has here in this thread. We wouldn't want to see that happen.

    I've done many things like this before. They aren't anything like discussion board threads like here --- where the same 20 active posters "go at it" with their complex personality and board histories. For most people, presentation and discussion like this will be quite new. Priority one for me is for this to be a positive experience. 

  3. 4 hours ago, Rain said:

    So she doesn't want anyone there when it happens? I sometimes feel we are the only ones who haven't left the valley in July as so many go to where it is cooler.  Church was so empty this week. I was shocked how quickly the sacrament was passed.

    That's like the ward we moved from. We're out where the new growth is (San Tan Valley), and our ward is busting at the seams with youth and children. Vacations are winding down, because most schools start in late July (that's never made sense to me --- having school in late July and August, when it's hottest, but that's Arizona for you).

    I don't think the thing itself will take place until August at the earliest.

  4. 3 minutes ago, juliann said:

    It was eliminated after polygamy stopped. The D&C was redacted and reprinted. But fundamentalists won, so to be fair, the church did try. 


    Can you imagine eliminating it today? I think that would be more problematic for many than leaving it in. Everyone has some paper copies at home that could be compared. And, the Church doesn't explain changes, except to say that they "do not represent changes in doctrine." That would be really hard to say about decanonization, and the obvious next question would be "how can that be doctrine for so long,and then snap! suddenly no more?" 


  5. 4 minutes ago, juliann said:

    As for polygamy being rotten, come on. I'm a product of it. I admire my ancestors and am in awe of their sacrifices in coming to Utah and doing what they believed in. I'm also very proud of my ggrandfather for not abandoning his wives after the Manifesto. 

    This is the most powerful argument for the fruits of it. The positive effects (as measured by faithful progeny today) continue to reverberate through generations. 

    4 minutes ago, juliann said:

    All the church needs to do is stop the speculation about polygamy in the afterlife, which they can easily do by making it public that they do seal women to two living husbands by special permission. This is where secrecy is hurting not only the church but women who think this is only for men.

    Given the major handbook changes that have happened over the last few years, I'm surprised that this hasn't been mentioned in the handbook yet. It's rare, but it does happen (subject to FP approval). 

  6. 4 minutes ago, juliann said:

    No they weren't. There wasn't that much wealth to get the participation they needed. And many men weren't following any rules, such as get permission from the existing wife or even an authority....especially when they were already polygamous. There are accounts of wives talking the husband into another wife...and plenty of stories of husbands going off on their own to court other women.  From what I can tell, any functioning man who wanted another wife would be "authorized" if he bothered to ask.  The point was to get everyone who was willing into polygamy, not to be selective....there were too many who wouldn't do it to be picky.

    Brigham Young and John Taylor spoke of turning men's requests down. I have no doubt that there were some men who left the rails and acted on their own, but we're talking about authorized polygamy. 

    In Journal of Discourses, Wilford Woodruff and John Taylor put the number of men and women who participated in it at 10% of the Church. I know that this figure is argued about today, and I'm not sure how much can definitively be said today from the sources, but I've always been fascinated that so many did not participate in it. Especially since it was definitely a "sign" of status and "upper crust of the Church." 

  7. 5 minutes ago, Calm said:

    I think in person question asking, even if you say “I don’t know, let me get back with you on that” can make a big impact

    Absolutely! It's healthy for people to see that sometimes the answer is "I don't know," or that they will need to be gotten back to (and then the follow-up, of course). 

    It's also fundamental what is doctrine (and what isn't), who determines doctrine, and who is authorized to speak for the Church. And, it's helpful to learn that speculation isn't something to be feared and isn't binding as long as people are clear on the ground rules of doctrine/not doctrine and who is authorized to speak for the Church. I already have thought that this would be the starting point. Not that speculation should be "peddled," but most reasons and explanations given are going to be at least partially speculative, and as long as people realize that, they can put together what works for them (if they want it to work for them). 

  8. On 7/6/2022 at 3:42 PM, bluebell said:

    I can't remember.  Did you say that you were a member of FAIR for a while?

    Yes, from 2003 to 2011. Those were days never to be forgotten!, but it changed in scope, goals, and initiatives for my taste (things along the lines of the "The Show" debacle last year, with the full-throated doubling down in support of it, followed by a full reversal a few days later ("this type of stuff has no place at FAIR or in the Church"). There was some mission creep and ill-advised initiatives like that even back then. 

    I thoroughly enjoyed my time there, and learned a lot, but felt it was time to move on.  

  9. 9 minutes ago, strappinglad said:

    I hope that your RSP makes an opportunity for follow up lessons once your main presentation has had a chance to sink in. 

    In the past, this sort of thing has led to a number of "ask anything" Q&A things. People are really energized being able to discuss and ask about things like this. We'll walk before we run, though. The RS president wanted it to be sometime in July ( 😮!), and she was **really excited** when she asked me. 

    I'm going to make sure the bishop supports and endorses it, of course, but I think he's solidly on board. 

  10. 9 minutes ago, Calm said:

    What about finding a woman who is interested in the subject, appears to be relatively strong in faith and able to handle questions of herself and others and is willing to study?  Meet with her first and prepare her with the questions you are discussing here and work with her to refine the answers, including giving her a list of resources and having her come back to you with her conclusions and additional questions. 

    Then when both of you are prepared, team teach the activity. 

    That would definitely be best in the "good, better, best" continuum. I'll see what possibilities there might be. 

  11. I really appreciate everyone's input and participation in this thread! There are many more potential concerns than I had originally brainstormed. Thank you, @Calm and @YJacketfor bringing up the theories about Joseph Smith being fully absolved (it was all Brigham Young's fault!). I've added this to the OP. I know that these have some cachet among some today, and it's not only demonstrably incorrect, it could be a source of concern. I hadn't considered that. 

  12. I'm certain that most men who were authorized to take other wives were wealthy enough to take care of multiple families (on paper --- there was some neglect as well). But, I know through my family history that some dirt poor men were authorized. My ancestors John W. Hess and Thomas Grover were wealthy, but the Frys, Joneses, Wildes, Toones, etc. were not. My Jones ancestor in particular had to eat the seed potatoes during a starving winter with his two wives and children. They were more than poor. My Jones ancestor was a peg leg who emigrated with a young son from England, and he lived in a tenement in Nauvoo with other poor people. There was also an element of worthiness and faithfulness as well (an ideal that wasn't always reached). 

  13. 1 hour ago, sunstoned said:

    Good points. JS did not follow what was laid out in sec 132.  To me it is clear what his motivation was. Polygamy was also a non starter for me. It was conceived in secrecy and practiced in secrecy.  I believe the fruits of modern LDS polygamy are rotten. both for the church and for all the break offs.  I feel the church should denounce it as a misguided mistake and as a practice that was not ordained from God.  Yes, it would ruffle some member's feathers,  I think that in the long run the church would be in a much better place.

    I think this would more than just ruffle some members' feathers, and I think that the Church would never recover from it in the long run. It would call everything into question, and would be like pulling at a thread which, instead of coming out or breaking, keeps going and going until the whole fabric is unraveled. At a minimum, D&C 132 would have to be eliminated or heavily changed, and millions of people would have their "old" copies to compare with the edited versions. 

    Those are just the practical reasons not to do this. 

  14. 6 hours ago, carbon dioxide said:

    Rongo, I think there is enough evidence in this tread to decline the invitation to speak to the Relief Society on this subject.   I see far more downside than upside.   The saying is true, Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus and when it comes to polygamy, its is worse than traveling through a minefield in Ukraine.   I avoid even the subject with my wife.   In the few times it has come up, it does not go well and I just move away from the subject as quickly as possible.

    Appreciate the input, but I strongly disagree. I know that there is a lot of upside in giving people an outlet to learn about troubling things and to ask questions in a faithful environment. 

  15. 6 hours ago, Tacenda said:

    Much like obituaries, many don't tell the whole story.

    This reminds me of some funeral talks in Journal of Discourses. Unlike today, when even the most worthless of wretches gets the best spin possible, there were several where the speaker said, essentially, "This man led a profligate life, and is not going to the celestial kingdom. No point sugar-coating it. Let it inspire us to get our acts together." 

    While you're obviously right that obituaries don't tell the whole story, I'm kind of glad that people don't get thrown under the bus in them, or at their funerals. 

  16. 7 hours ago, Raingirl said:

    You make some good points. 

    I personally wouldn’t be able to sit through a man teaching a polygamy lesson in RS, no matter what he taught about it. However, I also wouldn’t sit through a polygamy lesson taught by a woman if she put any kind of positive spin on it. 

    I guess you're not the target audience.

    I'm definitely not going to burn everything down and say it was all not of God, full stop. My mandate is for this to be an atmosphere of faith, and this isn't what the RS president wants or envisions. It's also not what I believe.

  17. 8 hours ago, juliann said:

    First, a woman should be doing this but you are likely more knowlegable than some random person.  This is a good list. I would start with the difficulty of researching polygamy and how it has always been formulated around the husbands with the wives as an afterthought to the point we don't even know their names. An example is how they count polygamist "families" as one entity, i.e., a man's family.  That leaves out all the wives who had their own families. 

    Second, don't miss the point. Polygamy is about inequality, as in the above example, several women are considered the same as one man. What comes with this are the feelings about it for women, that outweighs all of the research/facts/history. And it never gets addressed. The most damaging response ever is "we don't know." That leaves the future wide open. The only thing we don't know is what to do with this piece of history and why it happened. The best thing you could do for women is close it off with the Manifesto and the Proc....as well as official statements saying it is over. (I'd really emphasize the Proc because only rich men financially supported wives and as fathers, some kids didn't even know them. It is in direct violation of the Proc) Always treat polygamy as a discarded piece of our history that didn't work out well, not as something still in play.

    The usual response of men being sealed to multiple wives now is easily answered by what you are already aware of, women are being sealed to more than one husband. It is also important to note that the CHI dictate that wives would have to choose one husband when sealed to all dead husbands has been removed. The minute people have to throw in polyandry, assigning women positions as wives usually gets bogged down and stops. Also, except for the first wive, JS was being sealed to married women. Polygamy started with polyandry (see 132:41 where women are allowed to be with another man with a "holy annointing.")There will be some women who insist they would love the idea and it would be great to have help crap. A well crafted reminder that this demeans women and places them in secondary positions would be helpful. As well as how hurtful this is to so many women who do fear being in a secondary position. 

    Third, polygamy was already dying, it isn't a sustainable practice. It resulted in men picking off younger and younger women. No one should ever be talking about polygamy as if it was always the same. It changed dramatically and needs to be addressed by era, not as "polygamy." 

    Fourth, reading and researching it won't help with finding reasons because the problem is it's ickiness, not knowing more about it. In my experience, it only gets ickier the more you do find out. What is helpful is to read the accounts of the wives, in their own words, to give them their place in history. About the sword and angel, modern scholarship is discarding these handed down after the fact stories (like the crickets and seagulls.) There is nothing from JS himself, others attributed it to him. That isn't a solid source. If I recall, it originated from one person. 

    For me, the test in how someone views women is if they are able to include polyandry, like JS did, without needing to play games about sex. If they can't do that, women are in a secondary position to men and those people aren't really discussing polygamy, they are only maintaining men's superiority and right to acquire women at will. And I would be sure to tell the women that if any married man ever ever talks about acquiring more wives at some point that he be made to make a trip to the bishop's office for lusting after women.

    Very good thoughts, juliann! I agree that a woman would be best, if available. It was really good having my primary president be the presenter and help with Q&A when our ward did our fireside series 10+ years ago (she had interest and was really sharp). 

  18. 10 hours ago, rpn said:

    And there is no way you can discuss everything, so just take a list of resources for people who wish to understand more.

    (And if the OP is a man and is NOT a polygamy scholar, the OP should tell the RSP that they aren't the right person to give that lesson, and unless they are going to advertise and live stream it, there is no point of teaching those who are IN THE PEWS, what the history and doctrine was or wasn't, means prospectively or not.)

    I disagree about just taking a list of resources to hand out. That's the modern "podcast/wiki" approach, and it is sterile and impersonal --- and I've seen people struggle more after being given an omnibus list of resources as the sole approach. It is very effective to let people ask their "ask anything" questions in Q&A, for example, and for people without much exposure to the topic, it is helpful to have it presented. 

    I also don't believe that one has to be a "polygamy scholar," as long as that person is competent. You go to war with the army that you have, not the army that you wish you had. It would be great to get Kathleen Flake or Kathryn Danes, instead. but that's very unlikely. I also believe that there is great power in using local resources, if there are local resources. 

  19. 9 hours ago, MustardSeed said:

    You were asked by someone who doesn't know you, to teach a class on polygamy to a group of women?

    OK....  why?

    I think a combination of firesides I've done in the past, coupled with our new bishop's recommendation after meeting with and talking with me and my wife. 

    The RS president is excited, and thinks this is sorely needed. 

  20. 10 hours ago, Buckeye said:

    I’m not sure if this has been covered, but the impact of polygamy on men is horrible and often overlooked. I agree with all the concerns about the impact on women, but for me the impact on men is at least as bad and much less discussed.

    Simply put, because roughly equal numbers of men and women exist, to accept polygamy as practiced by the church (ie, multiple wives per husband), one must either (i) believe that men are inherently less valiant than women or (ii) accept that huge numbers of men will be excluded from exaltation for no fault of their own.  Even if just a few men practice polygamy, that means some portion of men will be excluded from eternal marriage. And I don’t buy the argument that only a small potion of saints practiced it. That may have been factually true because we practiced it for only a few decades, but our teaching was that all should practice it. And why not? If something is good we desire all to receive it. 

    Polygamy is simply evil. There’s no way to square it. The impact on women is harmful. And the impact on men is just as harmful. Just ask any of the mothers of FLDS “lost boys”

    I've added the "lost boys" effect as #11 in the OP. Thanks for coming up with that one!

  21. 28 minutes ago, YJacket said:

    Well, you could just blow up the whole system and tell them JS never instituted polygamy, fought against it his entire life, worked to excommunicate any who practiced it.  You could tell them Nauvoo rather than being a virtuous city had an extremely seedy underbelly of prostitution and creating counterfiet money.  That the prostitution was with women on the outskirts of town (i.e. the poor areas) who traded sex for food.  That one of BY's first polygamous wives was not approved by Joseph, that that wife left her husband and 7 kids, she brought 2 of them with her and the infant who's name was Brigham Young Cobb died on her way to go live with her lover; that in the court divorce documents in the 1850s no mention of religious duty to God was found; she just simply stated that she loved BY more and that her love for her husband had grown cold.  And that in any other circumstance we would clearly conclude that whatever man this woman went to was committing adultery, and that having a child named after your next "husband" while currently married to another man would be a very huge indicator that the child was the product of an adulterous relationship.

    I mean, that's what I'd do if I was asked to do what you were . . .

    Good thing it's me and not you, right? ;)

  • Create New...