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Interesting Presentation: Ethics Of Polygamy


John Corrill

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Troy Bowles grew up in a polygamous family. At age 17 he stopped participating in the religion...He busied himself writing his story and telling of the ethical problems he saw within polygamous society. In 2003 he spoke before the Utah State Senate Judiciary Committee and voiced his protests about the inactive position taken by law enforcement with regard to the common practice of arranged marriages between polygamous men and underage girls...

There are various ethical ideas surrounding the issue of polygamy. Using stories and examples from my own experience, I will explicate these views and speculate about the possible future of the legality of polygamy in the US.

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I really wish I were in town to see that one. I mean, people say a lot of things about polygamy, but to hear somebody who actually grew up in a polygamist home would be the only way to really undestand what it's like.

T-Bone

I guess those of us whose grandparents grew up in polygynist homes can be forgiven our lack of need to trespass into others' personal lives in this fashion.

USU "What's next, Oprah?" 78

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I really wish I were in town to see that one. I mean, people say a lot of things about polygamy, but to hear somebody who actually grew up in a polygamist home would be the only way to really undestand what it's like.

Perhaps you should buy/borrow the following book:

Mormon Polygamous Families: Life in the Principle by Jessie L. Embry. (Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press, 1987).

Or the following from the SLTrib blog on polygamy:

Be Yourself

I believe in being honest, true, chaste, benevolent, virtuous and in doing good to all men. I believe that by living a certain set of principles I can create the person that I want to become. I have traveled to surrounding communities since I was a small child.

I work every day with people of all walks of life. While I enjoy many of my associations with these people, there way of living is not for me. I have had every opportunity to see what their lifestyles have to offer and it isn't what I want.

I have been exposed to both sides of the equation and have made an informed and educated decision. I am making choices to create the character I am pursuing. I like what I see in my home, I like what I see in my community. I claim the privilidege of worshipping almighty God according to the dictates of my conscience and allow all men the same priviledge, let them worship how, where or what they may. I do claim this priviledge. I require this right for me and I require this right for you.

I have permission to be exactly who I am. I have the right to feel what I feel and to believe in the vision that I see. It is OK to think what I think and to dream what I dream, to love everything that I love. I never ever have to deny my trueself or pretend to be something I am not.

I am worthy of love and respect. I am unafraid to use my mind. I strive for health and peace. I trust my heart. I take pride in the integrity of my spirit.

I believe in what is true to me. Trust yourself. Think for yourself. Act for yourself. Speak for yourself. Be yourself.

- Theral, 22

 

Love me, Don't Judge Me

Another view from Saturday's pro-polygamy rally:

If you judge me, then you'll have no time to love me. That is quote from Mother Teresa, which I feel is very true. I hope that one day I can be judged for who I am, not for the way my parents choose to live.

I go to school, I want to have friends, I play sports, I am just like any other teenager. But why am I treated differently just because of my parents?

If you judge me before you knew me, you would never know I am just like you.

For those of you who judge me as abused, as uneducated or somehow less than you because of my parents' choices, your intolerance hurts us kids.

I've been made fun of, my religion has been made fun of, and I've been excluded because of your prejudice. If you don't like to be judged, why is it so easy to judge me? Because I have more than two parents who love me, does that mean I should not be loved by you? Because I have more brothers and sisters, who respect me, does that mean I do not deserve your respect?

If nothing else comes about from today, it would be for the world to know I do not want to be judged because of my parents beliefs, because of my beliefs or because of how many parents I have.

- Amanda, 14

 

Homework Help Abounds

I get a lot more support than most kids do but that's only because I have a bigger family and there's more people to support me. I think I get my homework done faster because I've got a lot of brothers and sisters who can help me with it.

If one person can't help me with something, the other person probably can. And that makes me feel really good because I've always got somebody that can help me.

- Sara, 10

 

I'm Perfectly Health. How About You?

Hey everybody. I come from a polygamist family. I've enjoyed a great upbringing by smart, fun-loving parents. And, yes, I have several dozen siblings. I wouldn't trade my family for anything. I feel I've been very blessed being part of a polygamist family, not disadvantaged. A big family has helped me to learn how to interact and maintain relationships with a diversity of personalities. Education as a priority at home and generally we get good grades. We are encouraged to go to college if we want to. I have many family members with successful careers; some have graduated from college and/or graduate school, while others have never attended but are smart, hardworking and resourceful. Several of my brothers and sisters have had their bosses tell them they are the best employees they've ever had.

We are not brainwashed, mistreated, neglected, malnourished, illiterate, defective or dysfunctional. We are useful, responsible, productive members of society. I have in my life come into contact with several mental health professionals and they all said I was fantastic. I put a lot of thought into and decided they are right.

But I have been classified as a perfectly healthy well-adjusted teenager.

My brothers and sisters are free-thinking and independent people. Some have chosen this lifestyle while others have branched out to a diversity of religions and are loved and accepted for whatever they choose to be.

My religious education has always been easygoing and enjoyable, never harsh or forceful. I wouldn't refer to my family as average or typical but what I can say, and I say this on behalf of numerous children, teens and adolescents - it's been a great one.

- Jessica, 17

 

And a Civil Rights Defender

There are a lot of negative myths told to the public about my family's lifestyle that are simply not true. I have never experienced any of these horror stories I have heard in the media. Nor do I know any one who has.

I was raised in the Salt Lake Valley by parents that gave me a wonderful childhood, teaching me strong, moral beliefs about freedom of choice and respect for others.

One of my strongest beliefs, given to me by my parents, was the belief that everyone should have the right to choose their mates and what lifestyle is right for them.

Along with that, is the belief that one must be educated to make wise decisions. Because of the help and support of my family, my father and all of my mothers, I was able to graduate from high school two years early and am currently attending college.

I am on the President's Honor Roll and will be receiving my associate's degree in business next summer. I hope to one day be an attorney to fight for the civil rights of others.

I have never felt my opportunities or choices were limited by the lifestyle I was raised in but rather by the prejuidices of others toward my family. Who should be able to choose what lifestyle is right for you, the government or you?

I believe every individual should have the right to choose for himself. God bless America, the land of the free.

- Katherine, 16

 

Future Supreme Court Justice?

Another view from Saturday's pro-polygamy rally in Salt Lake City:

I am really happy to be able to participate in this rally. I see myself as an independent fundamentalist Mormon and I believe everyone should be free to live his or her own religion. I do not know right now if I want to live polygamy in the future, but I do want to have that as an option. My parents encourage me to make my own decision.

The polygamist families I have met are very good people and I think it is cruel for someone to try and break up such happy families. The anti-polygamists trying to break up these families do not think of the families' best interests, but only of what they want. And that hurts people.

Though I haven't told anybody of the things I believe in, there are some people who know in my neighborhood. Sadly, those people tease me over and over and yell at me, 'At least my parents aren't polygamists.'

Here's some advice: Don't let that kind of stuff get to you like it did to me. I was smart enough to just ignore them.

Other than one B in my math class, I am a straight A student who wants to go to law school. My dream is to become a Supreme Court justice like Christine Durham.

I want to be able to defend people who fight for their rights like polygamists do. These people should be treated better and get more respect.

- Sylvie, 13

A Choice of My Own

Another speaker's thoughts from Saturday's pro-polygamy rally in Salt Lake City:

I have lived in a polygamist culture for most of my life. I have made the choice to someday live this Principle and I don't expect you to understand the reasons for this choice. But I do expect you to defend my right to make that choice.

This is a choice so many people have made in the past. And because they have made this choice, they have been alienated. They have persecuted and prosecuted but their resolve remained. Mankind has always persecuted what they don't understand. Sadly, that has been a natural reaction to anything that challenges the status quo.

But because you are ignorant of something is no reason to want to destroy it. Understanding and reason are two of our greatest tools as human beings. In the heart of every American is written the immortal second sentence of the Declaration of Independence. This promise has been a source of hope and promise for a better life for immigrants from all over the world. But because of our beliefs, we've been denied this promise.

Because of their beliefs, many of our people have been incarcerated and had many of their basic human rights stripped from them -- mainly life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. I did not come here today to ask for your permission to live my beliefs. I shouldn't have to. I came here to defend a principle I hold so dearly. As Thomas Paine once wrote, 'The time of the sunshine patriot and the summer soldier is over. These are the times that try men's souls.'

- Tyler, 19

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>I guess those of us whose grandparents grew up in polygynist homes can be forgiven our lack of need to trespass into others' personal lives in this fashion.

Does this include the practice of "marrying" underage girls. Is that a violation of the men's rights to have relations with multiple underage girls.

Just curious how far you are taking the privacy issue.

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I guess those of us whose grandparents grew up in polygynist homes can be forgiven our lack of need to trespass into others' personal lives in this fashion.

Does this include the practice of "marrying" underage girls. Is that a violation of the men's rights to have relations with multiple underage girls.

Just curious how far you are taking the privacy issue.

It's the sensationalisation of the whole thing that I find offensive.

Prosecute the widespread welfare fraud, battery (as in the case of the Kingstons), child rape and whatnot. Stop the thievery of disaffected members' real estate by giving them real remedies.

But let's not get our panties in a wad that somehow, somewhere, someone is having a good time.

USU "The Oprahfication of America is not a good thing" 78

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Can I assume that you found Nightline's recent programs on online preditors rather offensive. These preditors are having a great time with underage girls until someone called the police. Child porn, and other fun stuff.

Real party poopers, nicht wahr.

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Can I assume that you found Nightline's recent programs on online preditors rather offensive. These preditors are having a great time with underage girls until someone called the police. Child porn, and other fun stuff.

Real party poopers, nicht wahr.

Didn't see the piece you refer to.

Nor do I see the connection between those who prey on the gullible over the internet and those who've held onto a short-lived lifestyle far beyond its intended duration as a religious duty.

I've got no problem with them doing so, so long as it's consentual.

But I don't get the hysteria right now. It's the Short Creek Raids of the 1950s all over again, and I smell political motivation . . . which tends to be in the nature of "Look over here!" whilst chicanery is going on over there.

USU "Sceptical as ever" 78

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Nighthawke, those were interesting comments by people I've never met and will probably never meet. But since you're online and we can interact, what are your thoughts on polygamy?

I'll share mine willingly. 2 conditions that are easy to meet for both of us :P

1. We agree that we are sharing opinions and that in opinions there are no wrong answers.

2. I'll respect your opinion and you respect mine.

With that out of the way:

My opinion on polygamy is shaped by my readings on the Lost Boys. Mathematics says that if there are 50% men and 50% women, and we are going to practice polygamy, some of the young men have to go. I think the way in which they are left for dead in the desert is horrifying. Even if everything else were as glowing as the accounts quoted, and everybody involved believed polygamy was the best way to go, I'd still be against it because of what happens to the teenage boys.

That's my opinion. Those are my thoughts. Please share yours.

[edit]

I think it would be cool to have somebody help with homework.

[/edit]

T-Bone

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Can I assume that you found Nightline's recent programs on online preditors rather offensive.
Having just seen a short segment of one, I find it rather voyeuristic and have to wonder about such things being seen as entertainment by anyone.

Good that these people are being discovered and hopefully stopped, yech that anyone goes after ratings with these guys as their draw.

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Nighthawke: I'm not sure I understand why you posted a notice about polygamy as practiced today by a particular group--does this person say which group he belonged to?

John Corrill: Hi Nighthawke. I suspect that will part of his presentation.

Nighthawke: I could understand your posting such a notice on the FAIR board if it was somehow relevant to polygamy as practiced by the Saints in Nauvoo and Utah over 100 years ago. But clearly, in this instance, this is not the case.

John Corrill: My guess is that Troy's will discuss his specific experience with polygamy, but it appears that his larger theme is the "ethics of polygamy" in general. That could be considered inclusive of our own polygamist heritage. In addition, modern polygamists have intentionally and carefully preserved the culture and social patterns that existed in Utah and Nauvoo (thus the term "Fundamentalist") and provide an amazing window into those societies.

Anyway, if you are able to attend, it would be great to meet you and chat further . . .

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Nighthawke: I live in Canada's national capital region and that is far, far away from Salt Lake City's Main Library.

John Corrill: Darn!!! I keep hoping that one of these days we will have an opportunity to get acquainted.

Nighthawke: I don't see how someone living today in the year 2006 could provide anyone with a window into someone living in the 1840s-1900s.

John Corrill: Let's use a culture unrelated to Mormonism as an example. The Amish have resisted embracing modernism and instead choose to preserve as much of their culture over time as they can. ie religious practices, transportation practices, homemaking practices, etc. While the Amish today are not EXACTLY like the Amish of 150 years ago - they are a LOT closer to it than the rest of society. Observing the Amish today gives a glimpse into Amish culture of 150 years ago.

Nighthawke: ...you view today's FLDS led by Warren Jeffs as akin to nineteenth century LDS. That just isn't the case.

John Corrill: I would not argue that the FLDS of today is EXACTLY like 19th century Mormonism in Utah and Nauvoo, but there are MANY cultural dynamics, practices, beliefs, and traditions which exist in the LDS fundamentalist culture, which our own mainstream LDS culture has not retained: ie polygamy; arranged marriages; socially isolated & closed community; at odds with the law; relocating again and again and again to escape persecution; Prophets on the run; Prophets in jail. These are incredibly interesting dynamics which are common to Nauvoo and Utah in the 19th century and are happening in Arizona, Utah and Texas before our very eyes!!!! Certainly, as far as these practices are concerned, the Fundamentalist community of today is MUCH closer to Utah and Nauvoo Mormonism that WE are - and gives us an interesting view into the past.

Nighthawke: To which I say which fundamentalist polygamous sect John?

John Corrill: I don't think this matters. The point is - As far as the practice of polygamy is concerned they are ALL much more like 19th century Mormonisme than we as mainstream LDS are and can help us understand MUCH about polygamy in general - past and present. This is why I think Troy's presentation will be so interesting. I mean sheesh, they try to pattern their marital practices after Joseph Smith and Brigham Young - you won't find that in the LDS "Marriage Enrichment" course :P

Hey, nice chatting with you, as always!!!!

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Nighthawke:  I don't see how someone living today in the year 2006 could provide anyone with a window into someone living in the 1840s-1900s.

John Corrill:  Let's use a culture unrelated to Mormonism as an example.  The Amish have resisted embracing modernism and instead choose to preserve as much of their culture over time as they can.  ie religious practices, transportation practices, homemaking practices, etc.  While the Amish today are not EXACTLY like the Amish of 150 years ago - they are a LOT closer to it than the rest of society.  Observing the Amish today gives a glimpse into Amish culture of 150 years ago. 

Nighthawke:  ...you view today's FLDS led by Warren Jeffs as akin to nineteenth century LDS. That just isn't the case.

John Corrill:  I would not argue that the FLDS of today is EXACTLY like 19th century Mormonism in Utah and Nauvoo, but there are MANY cultural dynamics, practices, beliefs, and traditions which exist in the LDS fundamentalist culture, which our own mainstream LDS culture has not retained:  ie polygamy; arranged marriages; socially isolated & closed community; at odds with the law; relocating again and again and again to escape persecution; Prophets on the run; Prophets in jail.  These are incredibly interesting dynamics which are common to Nauvoo and Utah in the 19th century and are happening in Arizona, Utah and Texas before our very eyes!!!!  Certainly, as far as these practices are concerned, the Fundamentalist community of today is MUCH closer to Utah and Nauvoo Mormonism that WE are - and gives us an interesting view into the past.     

Nighthawke:  To which I say which fundamentalist polygamous sect John?

John Corrill:  I don't think this matters.  The point is - As far as the practice of polygamy is concerned they are ALL much more like 19th century Mormonisme than we as mainstream LDS are and can help us understand MUCH about polygamy in general - past and present.  This is why I think Troy's presentation will be so interesting.  I mean sheesh, they try to pattern their marital practices after Joseph Smith and Brigham Young - you won't find that in the LDS "Marriage Enrichment" course :P

Hey, nice chatting with you, as always!!!!

If the Amish wanted to "preserve as much of their culture over time as they could" they would still be Mennonites. Also, the Amish have four orders: Swartzengruber, Old Order, Andy Weaver, and New Order. Which one should I observe to give me a glimpse into Amish culture of 150-200 years ago? For that matter, perhaps none of the American Amish can give me that glimpse, maybe they are all wrong and it is the European Amish that I should be looking at.

The other thing that must be taken into account is that the FLDS has fallen into the "wrong hands" and those hands, Warren Jeffs, have muddied and mangled the "MANY cultural dynamics, practices, beliefs, and traditions" that you mentioned. (Kind of like what Todd Compton did with 'In Sacred Loneliness'.)

If one is interested in a glimpse of nineteenth century Mormonism and its practice of polygamy I recommend a trip to the library or bookstore and read what those nineteenth century Mormons wrote about it. The only glimpse one gets from anyone else is that person's point of view, which is why, for example, Helen Mar Whitney wrote her reminiscences in the first place.

Helen had better things to do with her time, little grandchildren she wanted to spend her time with, friends she wanted to visit and so forth, but then she would read what was being printed in the newspapers and she would get riled up and write editorials in the Deseret News, and and she wrote a couple of lengthy pamphlets, and many, many articles in the Woman's Exponent to counter those erroneous 'glimpses' that people were getting. That was very important to Helen. You can read that she wasn't feeling well sometimes, that she was very tired, but there was a deadline looming and she very rarely missed those publishing deadlines. Why? Because she felt it was important that people get a correct view, or in her case, an LDS woman's view.

It's a shame that that still happens today. Helen would be horrified to think that people think they are getting an insider's view of nineteenth century Mormonism's "cultural dynamics, practices, beliefs, and traditions" via Warren Jeffs' FLDS.

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Hi Nighthawke. Thanks for your post.

There is much good information HERE on how children are used as propaganda, much like they were at the recent pro-polygamy rally.

Kinda heartbreaking.

I see....... :P

So when the polygamists trot out their kids to defend their lifestyle its propaganda, but when TAP trots out the so-called "Lost boys" it an unflinching look at the truth of polygamy?

BTW, John, nice to see you still around. We always need to have our one-note wonders.

C.I.

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Nighthawke: Which [Amish Order] should I observe to give me a glimpse into Amish culture of 150-200 years ago...maybe they are all wrong....

John Corrill: Or ... maybe ANY of them would give you a glimpse into historical Amish culture, and viewing ALL of them would give you a better glimpse.

Nighthawke: The other thing that must be taken into account is that the FLDS has fallen into the "wrong hands"...

John Corrill: That's your opinion, of course. Many of Jeffs followers view him as "The Prophet" and see him further restoring Joseph and Brigham's church - ie Temple in Texas, etc. But again, we see some similar dynamics today as in Nauvoo - outsiders (press, politicians, etc) criticizing "the Prophet"; some followers leaving and become vocal critics; other followers feel "persecuted and defend "the Prophet" and polygamy with a greater passion; etc, etc. Interesting stuff....

Nighthawke: If one is interested in a glimpse of nineteenth century Mormonism and its practice of polygamy I recommend a trip to the library or bookstore and read what those nineteenth century Mormons wrote about it.

John Corrill: Oh, I totally agree with this EXCELLENT suggestion, and in particular, the suggestion to read Helen Mar Kimballs writings - all of them.

Nighthawke: Helen would be horrified to think that people think they are getting an insider's view of nineteenth century Mormonism's "cultural dynamics, practices, beliefs, and traditions" via Warren Jeffs' FLDS.

John Corrill: Maybe. But it's also not difficult imagining her writing and publishing lengthy defenses for the FLDS and contemporary polygamy in general.

CI: BTW, John, nice to see you still around.

John Corrill: Thanks CI. By some unknown, mysterious act of fate perhaps, I am no longer censored when posting on the FAIR board. Yea!!!!

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Nighthawke: Helen would be horrified to think that people think they are getting an insider's view of nineteenth century Mormonism's "cultural dynamics, practices, beliefs, and traditions" via Warren Jeffs' FLDS.

John Corrill: Maybe. But it's also not difficult imagining her writing and publishing lengthy defenses for the FLDS and contemporary polygamy in general.

Really? Can you can show me that the FLDS publishes something similar to the Woman's Exponent with a woman as its editor and encourages all FLDS women to contribute articles for publication? That FLDS women are regularly published in everyday newspapers? And that FLDS women have had their books published? Can you show me an FLDS woman's article in the Washington Post like I can show you a nineteenth century LDS woman's article in the Washington Post? (eg.

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If one is interested in a glimpse of nineteenth century Mormonism and its practice of polygamy I recommend a trip to the library or bookstore and read what those nineteenth century Mormons wrote about it.

What's troubling and puzzling about this issue is that one cannot find anything at the official LDS website, LDS.org when it comes to the origin, practice, acceptance or even reasons for polygamy during the days of Smith and Young. I get the sense that the LDS Church choses to make every attempt to distance itself from this past practice. If it was such an important and meaningful practice, as commanded by God, why such the "avoidance"?

As a matter of fact, they seem to show a rather disrespect for the practice in their "History of the Prophets" section of their website. They specifically refer to the "monogamous" marriages (and dates thereof) of all Prophets, beginning with George Albert Smith Jr., as "Significant Events" for each prophet. But for all Prophets before George Albert Smith Jr., who all practiced polygamy, not one of their polygamous wives or marriages is even mentioned. Should we conclude that they were less "significant" than monagomous marriages? The Church is totally silent on these polygamous marriages, in direct contrast to reflecting monagamous marriages of Prophets as "Significant Events"!!

Why the official embarrasment and/or avoidance of something that was supposedly so sacred, meaningful and special for these prophests and their respective polygamous wives?

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Nighthawke: ...unlike you I can't imagine an FLDS Helen Mar "writing and publishing lengthy defenses for the FLDS and contemporary polygamy in general." I just don't have that vivid an imagination.

John Corrill: One doesn't have to look far to find modern, intelligent women defending contemporary polygamy. One example is here: http://www.principlevoices.org/ Helen Mar Kimball is probably these womens hero. They publish books, they lobby the legislature and attorney general, they attend and present at conferences, they speak to the national media, etc, etc. I've met many of these women, and they would volunteer that as far as polygamy is concerned, they are trying to pattern their lives after Joseph Smith. Again, the point is, we can learn SO much about polygamy in Nauvoo and early Utah, by observing modern polygamy. The FLDS may not be an EXACT copy. Another offshoot polygamist sect may not be an EXACT copy, but over and over again, when a culture is built around polygamy as it's defining social element, common themes re-emerge.

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Ref: I get the sense that the LDS Church choses to make every attempt to distance itself from this past practice. If it was such an important and meaningful practice, as commanded by God, why such the "avoidance"?

John Corrill: Good question, Ref. I've raised this same issue on several occaisions, and have essentially been told that even though I have participated in 99.999999% of all church meetings, conferences, seminary, institute, Family Home Evening, church magazines and news papers and missionary service during my 35 years in the LDS Church, I obviously missed that Sunday School Lesson in February of 1972 when it was briefly mentioned that Joseph Smith was a polygamist. Never mind that I was probably in the cryroom, in my mothers arms, eating Cheerios. I'm SUCH a slacker!!! If I had only been there, I would not have this mistaken view that we as a church "avoid" and distance ourselves from our polygamist heritage - particularly Joseph Smith.

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If one is interested in a glimpse of nineteenth century Mormonism and its practice of polygamy I recommend a trip to the library or bookstore and read what those nineteenth century Mormons wrote about it.

What's troubling and puzzling about this issue is that one cannot find anything at the official LDS website, LDS.org when it comes to the origin, practice, acceptance or even reasons for polygamy during the days of Smith and Young. I get the sense that the LDS Church choses to make every attempt to distance itself from this past practice. If it was such an important and meaningful practice, as commanded by God, why such the "avoidance"?

As a matter of fact, they seem to show a rather disrespect for the practice in their "History of the Prophets" section of their website. They specifically refer to the "monogamous" marriages (and dates thereof) of all Prophets, beginning with George Albert Smith Jr., as "Significant Events" for each prophet. But for all Prophets before George Albert Smith Jr., who all practiced polygamy, not one of their polygamous wives or marriages is even mentioned. Should we conclude that they were less "significant" than monagomous marriages? The Church is totally silent on these polygamous marriages, in direct contrast to reflecting monagamous marriages of Prophets as "Significant Events"!!

Why the official embarrasment and/or avoidance of something that was supposedly so sacred, meaningful and special for these prophests and their respective polygamous wives?

Why do you think the Church needs to post everything on the "origin, practice, acceptance or even reasons for polygamy during the days of Smith and Young" on its official website? To save people the trip of going to the library or bookstore?

As for the Teachings of the Presidents manuals, I have the John Taylor book in front of me right now. If you look at the foontnotes you'll notice that the manual quotes extensively from B.H. Roberts, The Life of John Taylor. So I just went down to the basement, fed the cats, and picked up Roberts' book off the shelf and flipped to the back of the book and sure enough all of his wives and children are listed along with photos and "Biographies of the Wives of John Taylor". I just checked GospeLink and the information is also there. That took all of two minutes.

Are you suggesting that members of the Church can't do that for themselves?

I don't believe the Church is embarrassed about polygamy, if they were then why footnote something to a book that has all that information at one's fingertips?

By the way, lds.org isn't completely devoid of information on polygamy, I've demonstrated here before that the information is there--one just has to click on a few extra icons to find it.

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Nighthawke:  ...unlike you I can't imagine an FLDS Helen Mar "writing and publishing lengthy defenses for the FLDS and contemporary polygamy in general." I just don't have that vivid an imagination.

John Corrill: One doesn't have to look far to find modern, intelligent women defending contemporary polygamy.  One example is here:  http://www.principlevoices.org/  Helen Mar Kimball is probably these womens hero.  They publish books, they lobby the legislature and attorney general, they attend and present at conferences, they speak to the national media, etc, etc.  I've met many of these women, and they would volunteer that as far as polygamy is concerned, they are trying to pattern their lives after Joseph Smith.  Again, the point is, we can learn SO much about polygamy in Nauvoo and early Utah, by observing modern polygamy.  The FLDS may not be an EXACT copy.  Another offshoot polygamist sect may not be an EXACT copy, but over and over again, when a culture is built around polygamy as it's defining social element, common themes re-emerge.

My posts have been specific to the FLDS, I wrote, "...unlike you I can't imagine an FLDS Helen Mar..." to which you responded with a non-FLDS organization for your example. :P

Principle Voices is in no way affiliated with Warren Jeffs' group and certainly does not defend or condone Warren Jeffs' ideas on polygamy:

Q: Is Warren Jeffs connected with your group?

Anne Wilde (Community Relations Director, Principle Voices): Not at all. Warren Jeffs and the Fundamentalist LDS church is only one of many fundamentalist groups. I've never met him, and I don't particularly want to meet him. I know some of the people who have left his community, but I am glad to say I am not associated with his leadership in any way.

Q: Why are you glad about it?

Wilde: I understand that he has exercised a lot of control over his people and has condoned and even married underage women. I believe that a girl ought to be 18, generally speaking, before she gets married, in monogamy or polygamy. And so there are things I've heard have gone on in that community that I am glad I am not a part of. And yet I still respect a lot of people that are members of that group.

I am glad you brought up this issue of young girls being taken into marriages.

I do not condone that or recommend it.

A Second Wife's Tale

I'm glad to hear that you talked to some of these women; so, what did they think about your thoughts and feelings with reference to Joseph Smith?

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I don't believe the Church is embarrassed about polygamy, if they were then why footnote something to a book that has all that information at one's fingertips?

If they weren't, why not show the same respect for polygamous wive's of Prophets as they do for monogamous wives of Prophets and reflrect them as "Significant Events"? Why not mention them at all on an official website that is supposed to give a history of each Prophet? Why only mention the monogamous wives?

Why only in a "footnote" to an unofficial publication when it would be so simple to include the sacred and meaningful polygamous marriages of the Church founders as a "Significant Event", in the very websight they do for monogamous marriages of past prophets? Why do they so obviously differentiate the "significance" of these two types of marriages in the same websight? It would be so easy to include, reflect a consistency in content, and show the same respect for these women of supposedly sacred marriages as their monogaous counterparts!

Why?

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