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Polygamy and Polyamory on the rise


Krisjhn

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Compare that to polygamy and life among the early Utah Mormons.

You, of course, must also deal with the clear evidence that Joseph Smith practiced polygamy and the old RLDS position that he did not no longer has merit:

The research findings seem to increasingly point to Joseph Smith Jr. as a significant source for plural marriage teaching and practice at Nauvoo. -- Community of Christ

Of course, they follow that with the unsubstantiated claim that Joseph tried to stop the practice as late as 1844.

In short, while the CofC may have spent its whole history in opposition to plural marriage it, along with all the rest of Christiandom, has yet to forumulate a satisfying response to the questions raised by OT polygamy.

C.I.

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First off, neither author is LDS. In fact, neither are even Christian. They are BOTH orthodox Jews.

Bzzzzzt. Wrong but thank you for playing. :P

John Welch is the same John Welch that founded the Foundation for Ancient Research and Mormon Studies (FARMS), he is a Law Professor at BYU J. Rueben Clark School of Law. He is most definitely a Christian. He is (was?) the president of the Jewish Legal Society.

C.I.

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I do not think it will be long [my guess? five to ten years] before polyamory and polygamy will begin to be accepted in this country. I believe that if gay marriages are legalized in the US it will only be a few short years before polygamy does the same.

So, what does this mean for the LDS. It puts us in a bit of a bind. Do we approve of polygamy or do we disapprove?

It doesn't mean anything for the LDS.

One can live with or sleep with as many

women or men as one wishes just as long

as one doesn't obtain a marriage license.

For example, Magic Johnson and Gene

Simmons brag about sleeping with thousands

of women during their careers. We can be

relatively certain that some children resulted

from such behavior. What keeps them out of

the slammer is they didn't marry the women.

Bernard

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First off, neither author is LDS. In fact, neither are even Christian. They are BOTH orthodox Jews.

Bzzzzzt. Wrong but thank you for playing. :P

John Welch is the same John Welch that founded the Foundation for Ancient Research and Mormon Studies (FARMS), he is a Law Professor at BYU J. Rueben Clark School of Law. He is most definitely a Christian. He is (was?) the president of the Jewish Legal Society.

C.I.

A Mormon as President of the Jewish Legal Society???

John Welch did write "Chiasmus in the Book of Mormon," New Era 2 (February 1972): 6-11., and "The First Mormon Temple", published by BYU Studies and edited in significant part by Welch won the Best Book of the Year Written for a General Interest Audience, from the Mormon History Association.

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Interesting.

Just out of curiosity, how would you feel about it personally? I do not know if you are married or not. I am assuming that you are. If you are not, please pretend. If you were married to a wonderful loving man and had a wonderful, intimate marriage, how would you feel if President Hinckley called your husband in and told him that he needed to take plural wives and that they needed to be young so they could raise up righteous seed. Would your feelings be gratitude, indifference, turmoil? Would you just gird up your loins and deal with it, but not really want it? It would cause a loss of time for you with your husband, a loss of fatherly time for your childrens, a loss of intimacy in both emotional and physical ways.

I don't really know if most women adored the polygamous situation in Utah, adapted, or despised it. I know that there are women that fall into each camp and everywhere in between. I would be surprised to find out that there were many who thought it was ideal.

There is not a lot of polygamy in my geneology, but the one case that stands out in my mind is with my great-great-great grandfather. My ancestor was his second wife. She lived out back of the main house in a one room shack. She was definitely not the sometimes priviledged first wife. Her diary shows her suffering through her trials because she was following the will of God. She hoped for a better life in the Celestial Kingdom, but she would still be second wife in the Celestial Kingdom. I wonder how much better things might be for her there than in this earthly life.

I don't answer "iffy" questions.

However, I have obtained for myself a witness that marriage for eternity, including a plurality of wives, is a doctrine of the Church.

As for your ancestor, it would be interesting to know what period she lived in before jumping to conclusions. What date are her diary entries?

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A Mormon as President of the Jewish Legal Society???

Yes indeed.

John Welch did write "Chiasmus in the Book of Mormon," New Era 2 (February 1972): 6-11., and "The First Mormon Temple", published by BYU Studies and edited in significant part by Welch won the Best Book of the Year Written for a General Interest Audience, from the Mormon History Association.

That's him.

C.I.

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(snip) However, my question is not IF the Lord would in time subsequently reinstate the practice among the saints, but rather if the Lord would restore it as he did with Joseph, wherein the revelation was not made for the public at first and only a few entered in privately?

Definitely, that's how he would do it. It's like ordering murders. God tends to do things in the way that will cause the most commotion later.

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"For if I will, saith the Lord of Hosts, raise up seed unto me, I will command my people;"

This plainly says the Lord can command His people on the subject.  Whether you have faith in a particular prophet is your private judgement.

from the Pickle jar: a literal reading of this scripture results in the concept that if God wants to raise up seed, he will command his people to raise up seed.

Raising up seed doesn't automatically mean polygamy. There is no justification in that sentence for making the leap from "raising up seed" to "polygamy". "Raising up seed" does not equal "polygamy". There may be justification in other passages of scripture, but not in that one.

Ah straining to justify a presupposed position? . . it doesn't say one way or the other, nor did I say it takes a single position . . just that He can command. That Christ said Abraham will be in the kingdom tells me he *may* have followed more than his wife.

Now, if Joseph said He commanded and one believe's Joseph was a valid prophet, then one decides to accept him and it or not. Today, until we believe we have such a command the practice is a non-issue, IMO. What is not a non-issue is what one will decide in the last days if Christ or His prophet commands . . . don't be lukewarm.

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Now, if Joseph said He commanded and one believe's Joseph was a valid prophet, then one decides to accept him and it or not. Today, until we believe we have such a command the practice is a non-issue, IMO. What is not a non-issue is what one will decide in the last days if Christ or His prophet commands . . . don't be lukewarm.

from the Pickle jar: one can believe that Joseph Smith was a prophet without believing that everything Joseph said, did, or wrote was prophetic. One can also realize that just because Joseph believed that God commanded that he restore polygamy, it doesn't automatically follow that that is what God commanded, or that God commanded anything about polygamy at all (God to prophet communication being what it is).

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Maybe it's just me, but a lot of folks really missed some key points in the Book of Mormon scriptures I presented in 4th Nephi. I would recommend people carefully reread those scriptures.

One point: The Nephites multiplied exceedingly fast with the one wife system during the 200 years after Christ's visit to America. (raised up seed)

Anyone care to point out more?

Does anyone recall the wording of the official agreement the LDS/Mormon church made with the US government regarding the practice of polygamy? I seem to recall reading something that indicated the LDS church promised to never again practice polygamy in the United States ever. It seems like it was in relation to the disenfranchisement of the corporation of the LDS church. I'm not talking about the 'Official Declarations' in the LDS D&C. I'll see if I can find that again.

Bradley E. Barnhart, priest (RLDS Restorationist)

Springfield, OR.

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I don't answer "iffy" questions.

However, I have obtained for myself a witness that marriage for eternity, including a plurality of wives, is a doctrine of the Church.

As for your ancestor, it would be interesting to know what period she lived in before jumping to conclusions. What date are her diary entries?

Is there a way that I could ask the intent of my question that would help you feel more comfortable in answering?

When I have asked my wife, sister, sisters-in-law, and other women acquaintences, they have typically responded that polygamy would be something that they could probably endure, but it was not something which they would seek. My wife holds that she wants to be my sole wife in the Celestial Kingdom. The only women that I have heard that would prefer polygamy either had marginally happy marriages or found intimate relations unsatisfying in some way or another. These observations are from a limited sample set, so I do not mean to generalize what I have found to all LDS women, they are just anecdotal observations.

As for the dates of my ancestor, the bulk of her journal entries are from 1868 through 1893. She lived in SE Idaho. I'm not terribly sure why that is relevant. Her husband was not on the underground.

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A Mormon as President of the Jewish Legal Society???

Yes indeed.

John Welch did write "Chiasmus in the Book of Mormon," New Era 2 (February 1972): 6-11., and "The First Mormon Temple", published by BYU Studies and edited in significant part by Welch won the Best Book of the Year Written for a General Interest Audience, from the Mormon History Association.

That's him.

C.I.

I am trying to find him on this list. Please help.

Past Presidents (* Deceased)

Hon. Oscar S. Caplan *

I. Archer Levin *

Oscar M. Nudelman *

Abraham Johnson *

Morris K. Levinson *

George Sugarman *

Maxwell N. Andalman *

David F. Silverzweig *

Jack E. Dwork *

Harry D. Cohan *

Benjamin Weintroub *

Roy I. Levinson *

Samuel L. Antonow *

Samuel Allen *

Judge Carl B. Sussman *

Archie H. Cohen *

Hon. Harry A. Iseberg *

Paul G. Annes *

Elmer Gertz *

Bernard H. Sokol *

Morton Schaeffer *

Solomon Jesmer *

Alec E. Weinrob *

Meyer Weinberg *

Reginald J. Holzer *

L. Louis Karton *

Hon. Bernard E. Epton *

Meyer S. Balin *

Marvin M. Victor

Burton Schatz *

Michael Levin *

Samuel Shkolnik *

Fred Lane

Favil D. Berns

Harold T. Berc

Marvin Juron

Oscar A. Jordan *

Stephen P. Patt

Judge Sheldon C. Garber

David Baum

Hon. Charles Levy

Martin Tiersky

Michael Pekay

Judge Edward R. Jordan

Kenneth R. Siegan

Daniel Hoseman

Eugene F. Friedman

Marvin J. Rosenblum *

Daniel E. Beederman

Bertram D. Meyers *

Robert W. Matanky

Mitchell A. Orpett

Eugene Lichtenstein *

Judge Gerald C. Bender

Joel S. Hymen

Paul J. Sussman

Rabbi James M. Gordon

Gary S. Wild *

Ralph M. Goren

Alan E. Molotsky

Hon. Michael Ian Bender

Theodora Gordon *

Gail Tuler Friedman

Gerald S. Schur

Bonnie McGrath

Judge Barbara M Meyer

Stephen G. Baime

Lonny Ben Ogus

Michael B. Hyman

They seem to be Jewish for the most part.

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I don't answer "iffy" questions.

However, I have obtained for myself a witness that marriage for eternity, including a plurality of wives, is a doctrine of the Church.

As for your ancestor, it would be interesting to know what period she lived in before jumping to conclusions. What date are her diary entries?

Is there a way that I could ask the intent of my question that would help you feel more comfortable in answering?

When I have asked my wife, sister, sisters-in-law, and other women acquaintences, they have typically responded that polygamy would be something that they could probably endure, but it was not something which they would seek. My wife holds that she wants to be my sole wife in the Celestial Kingdom. The only women that I have heard that would prefer polygamy either had marginally happy marriages or found intimate relations unsatisfying in some way or another. These observations are from a limited sample set, so I do not mean to generalize what I have found to all LDS women, they are just anecdotal observations.

As for the dates of my ancestor, the bulk of her journal entries are from 1868 through 1893. She lived in SE Idaho. I'm not terribly sure why that is relevant. Her husband was not on the underground.

I come from a long line of polygamists, the Benjamin Johnson line to be exact, and have been lucky to have an uncle who works in the genealogical department for the church (He saved a lot of us from having to do this work :P ). My own father was born in the polygamous colonies in Mexico and I have about a bazillion relatives spread out through Arizona/Utah. They're everywhere in the Mesa/Tempe/Tucson area.

I've read several of these women's journals and have found them all to fascinating reading. A couple were very pious, and had a tendency to write about the faith of their beloved husband. In fact, it was very noticeable to me that these women's journals were more about their husband than it was about them (isn't that telling). In others, these women were not happy. Many times they were very resentful towards the husband. I would call them needy. It has been literally ten years since I read some of these journals, yet I can remember one time when the wives ganged up on the husband because he had not come home at a promised time, and they made him sleep outside. Ha.

I am open to the possibility of my husband having multiple wives, as long as I get to have multiple husbands. That is the only fair way, right? A goddess should get as much lovin as a god.

Most of the mormon women I have discussed it with don't seem to think the concept of polygamy will apply to them unless they want it to....which they don't. Or they say they will reserve judgement til after they are dead. I have a pretty good sampling size. (up to 50 women). I have met one women who thought it was a grand idea, but she really couldn't stand her husband, lol. I think they got divorced last year.

Big green hugs,

Froggie

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A Mormon as President of the Jewish Legal Society???

Yes indeed.

John Welch did write "Chiasmus in the Book of Mormon," New Era 2 (February 1972): 6-11., and "The First Mormon Temple", published by BYU Studies and edited in significant part by Welch won the Best Book of the Year Written for a General Interest Audience, from the Mormon History Association.

That's him.

C.I.

I am trying to find him on this list. Please help.

Past Presidents (* Deceased)

Hon. Oscar S. Caplan *

I. Archer Levin *

Oscar M. Nudelman *

Abraham Johnson *

Morris K. Levinson *

George Sugarman *

Maxwell N. Andalman *

David F. Silverzweig *

Jack E. Dwork *

Harry D. Cohan *

Benjamin Weintroub *

Roy I. Levinson *

Samuel L. Antonow *

Samuel Allen *

Judge Carl B. Sussman *

Archie H. Cohen *

Hon. Harry A. Iseberg *

Paul G. Annes *

Elmer Gertz *

Bernard H. Sokol *

Morton Schaeffer *

Solomon Jesmer *

Alec E. Weinrob *

Meyer Weinberg *

Reginald J. Holzer *

L. Louis Karton *

Hon. Bernard E. Epton *

Meyer S. Balin *

Marvin M. Victor

Burton Schatz *

Michael Levin *

Samuel Shkolnik *

Fred Lane

Favil D. Berns

Harold T. Berc

Marvin Juron

Oscar A. Jordan *

Stephen P. Patt

Judge Sheldon C. Garber

David Baum

Hon. Charles Levy

Martin Tiersky

Michael Pekay

Judge Edward R. Jordan

Kenneth R. Siegan

Daniel Hoseman

Eugene F. Friedman

Marvin J. Rosenblum *

Daniel E. Beederman

Bertram D. Meyers *

Robert W. Matanky

Mitchell A. Orpett

Eugene Lichtenstein *

Judge Gerald C. Bender

Joel S. Hymen

Paul J. Sussman

Rabbi James M. Gordon

Gary S. Wild *

Ralph M. Goren

Alan E. Molotsky

Hon. Michael Ian Bender

Theodora Gordon *

Gail Tuler Friedman

Gerald S. Schur

Bonnie McGrath

Judge Barbara M Meyer

Stephen G. Baime

Lonny Ben Ogus

Michael B. Hyman

They seem to be Jewish for the most part.

Whoops, my bad.

I contacted Prof. Welch (I used to be his research assistant) and he said that he is simply a member of the JLA and has just completed his second and final term as a member of the Executive Commitee of the Biblical Law Section of the Society of Biblical Literature.

Sorry 'bout that.

I wonder where I pulled that "president" thing out of?

Oh well, it's a good thing I'm not a fundamentalist or I'd be forced to stop believing in my own inerrancy.

C.I.

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I pondered greatly over whether I should join in this thread. I have been in discussions many times online, and before the internet with close friends and my wife. When I was younger, I thought polygamy would be great idea. I am not sure where I would have put another soul since we lived in a mobile home for nine years, but still I was ready and willing to participate. The relationship with my wife was so almost perfect, that her compassion for her fellow sisters who she was close to that were single for one reason or another, she would have been willing to accept this calling. I remember a discussion we had one day. One of her the sisters whom she had befriended was going through such struggles, as she divorced her husband who had been abusive to her and the children. She said I wish polygamy was alive and well today. This woman needs a husband and I would share you with her. We have not discussed this for many years now, and I believe she still feels the same, but my readiness to step to the plate has changed. It has taken many years to understand that a person who was called to take more than one wife, had to be worthy to do so, and had to have the support of his wife as well. I honestly do not know if I have the ambition or desire to accept it. Not for the physical aspect of it, but that the effort of working at a relationship that I have with my wife is possible. I am sure I am not the only man who thinks this way.

Do I believe that polygamy was given from God? Yes. Do I believe he can give or take away doctrines? Of course. Think of the old law of Moses. I have asked many mainstream christians, what laws did they live by before Moses? Of course we know it was the laws of the Gospel. So God set forth the lower laws for Israel to live because of the generations of slavery they were subjected to.

It does not matter if one religion or another believe polygamy is sin. They are following their own values and attitudes which were not the same as the ancients, and certainly not the same as the restoration's.

Well I have gone on long enough.

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I have a book at home, a very excellent book. So excellent in fact that I highly recommend every member of the Church to have a copy of it in their home if they are at all interested in understanding the Jewish Faith adn the Old Testament (which, really, we all should since the LDS especially are nothing without it). It is called Hebrew Law in Biblical Times, ed. by W. Falk and John W. Welch. You can find it online actually here:

Hebrew Law in Biblical Times

I happened to have this book and was going to suggest it myself for a discussion for those that don't indeed "even know what a concubine is" according to Hebrew law.

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We have not discussed this for many years now, and I believe she still feels the same, but my readiness to step to the plate has changed. It has taken many years to understand that a person who was called to take more than one wife, had to be worthy to do so, and had to have the support of his wife as well. I honestly do not know if I have the ambition or desire to accept it. Not for the physical aspect of it, but that the effort of working at a relationship that I have with my wife is possible. I am sure I am not the only man who thinks this way.

You are not the only one. My husband feels that way and always has. I personally think he would be great, but it gets into areas where he feels he needs more work before taking on more responsibility.

If you are not, please pretend. If you were married to a wonderful loving man and had a wonderful, intimate marriage, how would you feel if President Hinckley called your husband in and told him that he needed to take plural wives and that they needed to be young so they could raise up righteous seed. Would your feelings be gratitude, indifference, turmoil? Would you just gird up your loins and deal with it, but not really want it? It would cause a loss of time for you with your husband, a loss of fatherly time for your childrens, a loss of intimacy in both emotional and physical ways.
I am indeed married to a wonderful loving man, etc. I would be happy to do so as long as I had input on the wife....I'd would require someone who was a good communicator, listener and empathetic and willing to work at relationships. If that happened, my feelings would likely be both gratitude and turmoil, much like they were when other members have been added to our family whether long term or short. Gratitude because I love having more opportunities to love and share, turmoil because I know that adapting to the changed family dynamics will be likely rough as they are with any significant lifestyle change. As to a loss of time, etc. that would only be if you arranged it that way. OTOH, there are some ways you could arrange it so that you had more time with your husband (the other wife helps with the children so you two can have more time by yourself), all the children join in fatherly activities and the two wives take over some of the fatherly duties so that he has more one on one time as well.
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My husband and I early on in our marriage, decided that the best way to prevent problems was to make decisions theoretically ahead of the time when you would need to make them in reality. We taught this to our children. Decide right now what you will do if one of your friends offers you a cigarette, for instance. If you know what you would do, you won't be taken by surprise and maybe make a poor decision under pressure.

We did this about polygamy, for ourselves. What we would do? There was no question but that we would follow the prophet. And we made some plans for how we would be able to make such a circumstance workable. In practical matters, plural marriage would have many advantages. We still had a lot of fear and trembling about the personal dynamics. Three is never a good number. Two tend to gang up on one. Or are perceived as doing so. I think we could have been successful. With prayer and help from above.

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Now, if Joseph said He commanded and one believe's Joseph was a valid prophet, then one decides to accept him and it or not.  Today, until we believe we have such a command the practice is a non-issue, IMO.  What is not a non-issue is what one will decide in the last days if Christ or His prophet commands . . . don't be lukewarm.

from the Pickle jar: one can believe that Joseph Smith was a prophet without believing that everything Joseph said, did, or wrote was prophetic. One can also realize that just because Joseph believed that God commanded that he restore polygamy, it doesn't automatically follow that that is what God commanded, or that God commanded anything about polygamy at all (God to prophet communication being what it is).

One can decide to accept whatever they want . . as I believe I orginally stated.

Of course, what one accepts or denies doesn't make facts correct, either. The source of truth would be the Holy Spirit.

But as far as our Biblical knowledge of ancient prophets goes, I believe there were several comments posted about Abraham that have been so far ignored. I also believe some people would like to counsel God about what He can and cannot command based on their perception of Nephite history. And finally, I find it interesting that Jospeph Smith is not considered a prophet due to actions that reportedly go far back into his work and yet he was still getting revelations and making prophecies up to his death.

Yes, people can and do accept whaever they want.

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