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Interesting Presentation: Ethics Of Polygamy


John Corrill

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ref, using the beta site for searching will come up with a lot more references to any topic. Keep checking back as they are refining the site, both in terms of search capability and additional info on many topics.

The original LDS site search engine is practically useless.

You might find the LDS newsroom plural marriage info interesting.

You can also find polygamy info in the Church History Institute manual.

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Nighthawke: . . . please don't put up the same old stuff that has already been rebutted on this board and on ZLMB . . .

John Corrill: Rebutted? Good one . . . :P

USU78: I for one would appreciate context being supplied. For example, if abusive patriarchal polygynist X is to be accepted as being abusive to/neglectful of wives and children, I would like to see the circumstances which surround his neglect, if any. Being "neglectful" because you're on a mission or in the Sugarhouse Pen is unimpressive to me.

John Corrill: Let's see, would these circumstances be consider important: A certain prophet decides that it's time to practice polygamy - or believes God has called him to practice polygamy, and so sets about marrying a multitude of wives. This person believes it is best not to mention any of this to anyone. He decides he won't tell his first wife and asks all his subsequent wives to not mention it either. They secretly get married and secretly go on about being married. This person even marries the best friend of his first wife. He is careful to ask her not to say anything to his first wife because there might be "trouble" if she found out. Eventually she does find out and he has to use "harsh measures" to get her to cooperate and accept all his other wives. He even "lets go" a few of his wives that he had just married a few months previously in order to appease his first wife. This results in a lot of hurt and confusion. Later, he tells 14, 15 and 16 year old girls that they need to marry him or they will lose their salvation. Depressed and beaten down, they "decide" they will go ahead and marry him. (note: this is not Warren Jeffs, but it sounds a lot like him, doesn't it?)

USU78, Is this the kind of context you think would be helpful?

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I for one would appreciate context being supplied.  For example, if abusive patriarchal polygynist X is to be accepted as being abusive to/neglectful of wives and children, I would like to see the circumstances which surround his neglect, if any. Being "neglectful" because you're on a mission or in the Sugarhouse Pen is unimpressive to me.

Let's see, would these circumstances be consider important: A certain prophet decides that it's time to practice polygamy - or believes God has called him to practice polygamy, and so sets about marrying a multitude of wives. This person believes it is best not to mention any of this to anyone. He decides he won't tell his first wife and asks all his subsequent wives to not mention it either. They secretly get married and secretly go on about being married. This person even marries the best friend of his first wife. He is careful to ask her not to say anything to his first wife because there might be "trouble" if she found out. Eventually she does find out and he has to use "harsh measures" to get her to cooperate and accept all his other wives. He even "lets go" a few of his wives that he had just married a few months previously in order to appease his first wife. This results in a lot of hurt and confusion. Later, he tells 14, 15 and 16 year old girls that they need to marry him or they will lose their salvation. Depressed and beaten down, they "decide" they will go ahead and marry him. (note: this is not Warren Jeffs, but it sounds a lot like him, doesn't it?)

You can claim all you like that context doesn't matter, but it does.

In the context of bloody, vicious Muslim expansionist attacks on Italy and the South of France, following the conquest of Iberia, Sicily, Sardinia and Corsica, the Crusades make perfect sense.

Give me your examples, documented of course and in context but not merely persumptive, of neglect and abuse in Deseret.

USU "Wishin' and hopin'" 78

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Give me your examples, documented of course and in context but not merely persumptive, of neglect and abuse in Deseret.

USU "Wishin' and hopin'" 78

I'm not sure any amount of documentation would convince you. My personal family history documents a tragic case of neglect of a plural wife by an apostle. But, of course, it isn't verified by appropriate priesthood authority.

Do you really believe it didn't ever happen? Certainly not to the extent some believe, but it did happen--even by the best intentioned of them.

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Give me your examples, documented of course and in context but not merely persumptive, of neglect and abuse in Deseret.

USU "Wishin' and hopin'" 78

I'm not sure any amount of documentation would convince you. My personal family history documents a tragic case of neglect of a plural wife by an apostle. But, of course, it isn't verified by appropriate priesthood authority.

Do you really believe it didn't ever happen? Certainly not to the extent some believe, but it did happen--even by the best intentioned of them.

You misunderstand me.

I agree that some were probably neglected, perhaps abused:

1. I do not accept as neglectful/abusive those who leave family to go on missions.

2. I do not accept as neglectful/abusive those whose families had a hard time of it as the economy of Utah got going (it took a very long time).

3. I do not accept as neglectful/abusive those whose families suffered as Dad was hounded by the feds, perhaps ultimately ending up in the Sugarhouse Pen.

As to 1 and 2, the situation applies equally to faithful polygynous and monogamous marriages. Only 3 applies to polygynists, as monogamists weren't imprisoned as "cohabs."

Everything else that qualifies as neglect/abuse under a reasonable and non-presentist standard I accept as neglectful/abusive.

So . . . where are the numbers?

Where is the evidence, other than heartbreaking family stories of how tough times were back in the day?

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Do you think they are going to be able to continue to ignore the issue with all the press this is getting?

What issue? The fact that they no longer prosecute people for polygamy? The press may scream polygamist in its headlines but the fine print in the article doesn't say anything about Jeffs being prosecuted for polygamy. I haven't read anything in the media letting Mr. Shurtleff know that he forgot to charge Jeffs with polygamy, have you?

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Nighthawke: . . . please don't put up the same old stuff that has already been rebutted on this board and on ZLMB . . .

John Corrill: Rebutted? Good one . . . :P

USU78: I for one would appreciate context being supplied.

John Corrill: ... (note: this is not Warren Jeffs, but it sounds a lot like him, doesn't it?)

USU78, Is this the kind of context you think would be helpful?

What was it that got you banned off the FAIR message board again?

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I haven't read anything in the media letting Mr. Shurtleff know that he forgot to charge Jeffs with polygamy, have you?

The media did report that polygamy charges have been filed against seven of Jeffs' followers in Colorado City. I suppose they are concentrating on the child rape charges against Jeffs.

Then the media would be wrong. Please show me where the media has reported "that polygamy charges have been filed against seven of Jeffs' followers in Colorado City."

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Nighthawke: What was it that got you banned off the FAIR message board again?

John Corrill: I found it very interesting how you chose to reply to my last post. All my whining about a man secretly marrying his wife's best friend and conspiring to hide if from her and anyone else, then pressuring teenagers into additional secret marriages seems to mean absolutely nothing to you. Zero. Whoosh! Gone.

BUT, dare to make the feared comparison of the day, and the chastisement begins. It's as if actions themselves have no intrinsic moral value - the moral value can only be determined by observing WHO the souce of the action is. I'm just curious if this is your basis for moral judgement? If it is, so be it. I won't try to steer you away from it, nor condemn it. I'm just curious to know. Am I close? How people make moral judgements is a very interesting topic to me.

BTW, I've spent the last few hours at my local University Library reading a biography of a woman in polygamy in Utah during the "Deseret" era. It was the first book on the list when I searched the library catalog for "Polygamy in Utah". It's about Ida Hunt Udall. Are you familiar with her story? It's been very interesting. I'll try to post some excerpts later tonight.

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Nighthawke: Yes Joseph Smith married 14-year old Helen Mar Kimball but he didn't forcefully tear her clothes off and rape her which is what many of the FLDS are being prosecuted for.

John Corrill: I have not read anywhere that any FLDS are being prosecuted for forcefully tearing off girls clothing and raping them. What I have read is that Warren Jeffs told a young girl between the age of 14 and 18 that if she did not enter a particular marriage and submit to her husband she would lose her salvation. She was also told that it was her duty to submit and that she cannot fight the priesthood of God. Personally, I think this kind of coercion toward a young girl or woman is just as bad as tearing her clothes off. Apparently the law does as well. The fact that Jeffs arranged this marriage and delivered these verbal threats makes him an accomplice to rape.

http://www.cnn.com/2006/LAW/08/31/jeffs.affidavit/index.html

But, I wonder where Jeffs came up with this line? It's so familiar...Hmmm, let me think....Did he come up with it all by himself? Hmmmm...do we know of any other prophets who threatened girls between the ages of 14 and 18 with their salvation if they did not submit? Wait...wait... it's on the tip of my tongue.....Have any other prophets told young girls that they need to obey the preisthood and submit? Hmmmm.....let me think....

Nighthawke: Yes I'm familiar with Ida's story. It is a typical story of 1880s Utah and surrounding states/territories -- when the feds were hunting "cohabs".

But of course you'll tell us that the persecution and prosecution of Mormons had nothing to do with the hardships and heartbreak experienced by plural wives

John Corrill: 2 years of Ida's 25 year plural marriage were spent on the "underground" being chased by the feds. During this time she and her husbands first wife were living apart. After these two years, Ida moved in with her husband and first wife. THIS is when the real problems in the marriage began - when they were no longer forced apart. The next 23 years of her marriage - when the feds were not chasing them - are heartbreaking and a typical tale of Utah polygamy and it's neglect of children and women. I'll post a longer, separate thread on Ida in a few minutes.

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Nighthawke: Yes Joseph Smith married 14-year old Helen Mar Kimball but he didn't forcefully tear her clothes off and rape her which is what many of the FLDS are being prosecuted for.

John Corrill: I have not read anywhere that any FLDS are being prosecuted for forcefully tearing off girls clothing and raping them. What I have read is that Warren Jeffs told a young girl between the age of 14 and 18 that if she did not enter a particular marriage and submit to her husband she would lose her salvation. She was also told that it was her duty to submit and that she cannot fight the priesthood of God. Personally, I think this kind of coercion toward a young girl or woman is just as bad as tearing her clothes off. Apparently the law does as well. The fact that Jeffs arranged this marriage and delivered these verbal threats makes him an accomplice to rape.

http://www.cnn.com/2006/LAW/08/31/jeffs.affidavit/index.html

But, I wonder where Jeffs came up with this line? It's so familiar...Hmmm, let me think....Did he come up with it all by himself? Hmmmm...do we know of any other prophets who threatened girls between the ages of 14 and 18 with their salvation if they did not submit? Wait...wait... it's on the tip of my tongue.....Have any other prophets told young girls that they need to obey the preisthood and submit? Hmmmm.....let me think....

I've told you before Helen Mar was not guaranteed salvation when she married Joseph Smith. She believed in and taught that salvation is through Jesus Christ. She lived righteously all her life and admonished her children to also live righteously so that they could obtain salvation and exaltation. Why didn't she teach that salvation was in plural marriage? Why admonish righteousness if she and her posterity were guaranteed salvation?

We've gone over this before. yada yada yada... Why the mods let you back on I'll never know.

G'bye.

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Nighthawke: I've told you before Helen Mar was not guaranteed salvation when she married Joseph Smith.

John Corrill: I didn't say she was guaranteed salvation when she married Joseph Smith. And I agree with you that Helen believed there were many other things, besides marry Joseph Smith, she felt she had do in life in order to not lose her salvation.

But, I wasn't refering *just* to Helen Mar. There were other girls between the ages of 14 and 18 who were also threatened with loss of salvation if they didn't agree to enter the marriage. Do you remember who they were? I do.

Nighthawke: Why the mods let you back on I'll never know.

John Corrill: Me Neither!!! What were they thinking???

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