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A View Into Utah Polygamy - Ida Hunt Udall


John Corrill

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Cougarfan: You forget Polygamy is best for those women who wish to obey the Lord.

John Corrill: This is one of the things that incenses me the most about polygamy - that people are coerced into, not because they want to, but because someone tells them it is God's expectation. This line sounds just like one out of Warren Jeff's playbook. http://www.cnn.com/2006/LAW/08/31/jeffs.affidavit/index.html

Juliann: But I am a defender of women being able to choose their own lifestyle...

John Corrill: Juliann, I'm so glad you said this. Thank-you. Thank-you. I totally agree. I don't thing women should EVER again be told they should enter a polygamist marriage. They should never be told that it is God's will for them or that they need to obey.

Juliann: To discuss any of this would bring an avalanche of what we see said about these women who can't defend themselves everyday...disdain, disgust, pity, revulsion, moralizing, name calling.....

Jaybear: Actually, I see a great a deal of sympathy being expressed for these dead women. Its the instution of polygamy that they are demeaning.

John Corrill: This is a spot-on observation, Jaybear. I'm glad this was clearly discernable.

Juliann: There is nothing insulting at all in telling a woman that her life choice is immoral, revolting, disgusting and deserving of nothing but pity.

John Corrill: Where do you come up with this stuff? I haven't made any judgements about a woman's choice. I do think the way the women were treated, however, is immoral, revolting and disgusting.

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Awyatt: And yet you miss the point. The point is your lack of balance in this issue. I showed you where, despite Annie's later feelings concerning polygamy vs. monogamy, she was still able to see some good in the practice. You, on the other hand, can see none. Zero. Nada. Zilch. Balance, John. Annie had some; you have none. That is the point.

John Corrill: A few good things can come of any disaster. However, I don't think people hope for or wish for or choose disaster. Equally good things can happen without the disaster, and the pain and turmoil and destruction of many is spared. Polygamy is our churches biggest disaster. We should not defend it as something good.

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Nope, I'm not asking you to do anything, other than to stop asking people who don't have a definitive answer (myself included) and go to the source. Is that unreasonable?

First off, I've clearly stated that I believe the only reasonable explanation is because the Lds church desparately want to distance itself from this past practice. I think the treatment of marriages on this supposedly "historical information" website is indisputable evidence.

Second, I am only asking for explanations based on "your opinion". If you are not asking me to accept your explanation now, due to the obvious problems with it, what is "your opinion" for this obvious disclosure distinction, other than what I have offered?

Third, over the past 15 months I have emailed and written the LDS Church with respect to this very issue on eight specific occasions. No reply. I think they have avoided the question much like they have avoided the past practice within this website!

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First off, I've clearly stated that I believe the only reasonable explanation is because the Lds church desparately want to distance itself from this past practice. I think the treatment of marriages on this supposedly "historical information" website is indisputable evidence. (emphasis added)

If your mind was already made up, then why did you go through the disingenuous approach of asking others for "reasonable" answers? Your belief is that you already have a reasonable answer; why ask others then?

I think this is indisputable evidence that you already had your mind made up and were not looking for answers as you led others to conclude. :P

-Allen

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What are the rates of real monogamy in today's marriages? Don't forget to count the divorce and remarriage rate as well as the ongoing adultery rate. Let's drop the platitudes and use data.

I give up. If you want to believe that institution of marriage does not lead to greater levels of fidelity, I am not going to even try to convince you otherwise. Though I am curious if your dispute with this premise is based on data, or just because you want to be disagreeable.

Right.  There is nothing insulting at all in telling a woman that her life choice is immoral, revolting, disgusting and deserving of nothing but pity.  Nothing demeaning or personal there!

There are not "telling" these women anything, they are using the life experciece of these women to justify their personal opinions on the institution of polgyamy.

This is a thread on polygamy but nice try.  However, I am curious too...according to you it is not demeaning to tell gay people that it is just the "institution" of homosexuality that is disgusting...it is nothing demeaning about them.   Try that out on a couple and let us know how it goes.

I will answer yours, if you will answer mine.

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I am asking "why the distinction" within the website. If you don't believe the current lds church is embarrassed about this past practice, or wants to distance/avoid its association with it today, give me your opinion or explanation as to why these women are not shown the same respect as monogamous wives are on this lds church website!

Emotions aside, of course!

Rather ironic that you talk about emotions but say it is off limits for everyone else. :P Institutions are emotionless. Exactly how does it become "embarrassed"? And what gauge are you measuring emotions with?

You further load your phony question with emotions like "respect". Your measure being that if something is not mentioned it is disrespect. OK. What about all of the other things they don't mention? See what happens when you load questions with unmeasurable criteria? You set up a standard that you can't meet, commonly called a double standard...thus you have no credibility. This brings us back to Helen Mar Kimball's assessment of such "concern": "But the most despicable characters are the overly righteous souls, who are filled with such holy horror at the mention of "Mormon" polygamy, and are the ones whom we look upon with suspicion, and set them down as among the most corrupt of hypocrites."

We cannot tell you exactly why polygamous marriages are not mentioned in every nook and corner of anything the church puts out. We aren't privy to the emotions behind it. I would prefer that the marriages were mentioned. Why don't you tell us what awful emotions are lurking behind it all? You certainly aren't interested in anything we have to say!

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First off, I've clearly stated that I believe the only reasonable explanation is because the Lds church desparately want to distance itself from this past practice.  I think the treatment of marriages on this supposedly "historical information" website is indisputable evidence. (emphasis added)

If your mind was already made up, then why did you go through the disingenuous approach of asking others for "reasonable" answers? Your belief is that you already have a reasonable answer; why ask others then?

I think this is indisputable evidence that you already had your mind made up and were not looking for answers as you led others to conclude. :P

-Allen

I asked because I wanted to see if there was any other explanations. As we see the problems with your first response, do you now agree with me? If not, why? Remember, I am only seeking your opinion. Do you find any flaws with my reasoning?

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John Corrill: Where do you come up with this stuff? I haven't made any judgements about a woman's choice. I do think the way the women were treated, however, is immoral, revolting and disgusting.

So what? What credibility have you established with whoever you are apparently trying to convince? I think the way the countermopologists ignore what these women said is immoral, revolting and disgusting....and bordering on mysogenistic Now we have both expressed our opinions. So what.

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First off, I've clearly stated that I believe the only reasonable explanation is because the Lds church desparately want to distance itself from this past practice.  I think the treatment of marriages on this supposedly "historical information" website is indisputable evidence. (emphasis added)

If your mind was already made up, then why did you go through the disingenuous approach of asking others for "reasonable" answers? Your belief is that you already have a reasonable answer; why ask others then?

I think this is indisputable evidence that you already had your mind made up and were not looking for answers as you led others to conclude. :P

-Allen

I asked because I wanted to see if there was any other explanations. As we see the problems with your first response, do you now agree with me? If not, why? Remember, I am only seeking your opinion. Do you find any flaws with my reasoning?

There was no problem with my first response. I thought you were talking about just the presidents up through Heber J. Grant. After your response to me, I went back and looked at all of the presidents, which it was not clear to me at first should be done.

Once I did that, I figured out what you were talking about. And guess what--you are right that in the "Significant Events" list there are only the marriages listed of those who were monogamists. (With the notable exception of Joseph Smith, although his polygamous marriages are not listed.)

But then you ask me to take the cognitive leap that judges someone else's motives in why this was done. That, I won't do. I think you are wrong in doing that, as well. That is why I suggested you go to the source.

As to whether I find flaws with your reasoning... well, that should be obvious if I find flaws in the cognitive leap you ask us to take with you. <_<

-Allen

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I give up.  If you want to believe that institution of marriage does not lead to greater levels of fidelity, I am not going to even try to convince you otherwise.  Though I am curious if your dispute with this premise is based on data, or just because you want to be disagreeable.

I ask for data and you "give up". Need I say more? And you can throw the spinning red herrings back into the sea. <_<

There are not "telling" these women anything, they are using the life experciece of these women to justify their personal opinions on the institution of polgyamy.

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Juliann: So what? What credibility have you established with whoever you are apparently trying to convince? I think the way the countermopologists ignore what these women said is immoral, revolting and disgusting....and bordering on mysogenistic Now we have both expressed our opinions. So what.

John Corrill: I realize there are some people I won't convince. I don't need to win everyones approval. All I want to do is be visible and heard as an LDS member who does not approve of polygamy in general and Joseph Smith's polygamy in particular. Just because one is LDS doesn't mean they have to accept this kind of abuse as OK. Too many people think they have to accept this in order to be LDS. You don't.

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Hi Allen,

I agree with you. Polygamy is worse for those individuals who prefer monogamy.

We agree on something... miracles do exist! <_<

I've said nothing that discounts personal preference. I know that many others, including John C., abhor polygamy. That is their preference, but their preference doesn't mean that they are correct. Just because I don't like brussels sprouts doesn't mean that they are inherently inferior to cabbage, for instance. It is an individual taste.

I can't speak for John (but I think he would agree), but my opinion is that I support (or accept :P ) whatever form of alternative relationships in which consenting adults choose to engage. I truly do not care about other's choices so long as children are not being hurt and the alternative partnering practice is entered into without coercion.

How do you account for those who do have successful lives in polygamous relationships?

Two things...

As I mentioned, there are those who enjoy all sorts of alternative partnering and sexual practices that are not the norm. This speaks to the variety of human beings.

I also think humans have an ability (a truly AMAZING ability) to survive and cope with difficult situations. I have known women to find happiness under some pretty horrendous circumstances.

I've stated this before but for the women who loved polygamy... GREAT! Good for them. I seriously mean this. I'm glad they found a lifestyle that the loved.

What is more difficult is to hear of the situations where women did NOT love the lifestyle.

~dancer~

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truth dancer, and others. I really wish you would acknowledge that there are challenges and difficulties and horror stories in monogamous relationships, as well. I don't know any plural wives. I know many monogamous wives. There are some who are in really sad situations. Verbally abusive husbands. Husbands who don't support the family. Husbands who changed horses, midstream, so to speak, left a lifestyle the wife had thought they would have. So does this condemn monogamy? Or marriage in general.

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Hi Charity...

truth dancer, and others. I really wish you would acknowledge that there are challenges and difficulties and horror stories in monogamous relationships, as well. I don't know any plural wives. I know many monogamous wives. There are some who are in really sad situations. Verbally abusive husbands. Husbands who don't support the family. Husbands who changed horses, midstream, so to speak, left a lifestyle the wife had thought they would have. So does this condemn monogamy? Or marriage in general.

Of course there are. I do not think anyone has suggested otherwise.

Did you read my statement that I know many women who find happiness in horrendous situations?

I do not see how this speaks to the unique issues of openly sharing one's husband.

The struggles within a monogamous marriage speak to the struggles in a monogamous marriage. :P

The struggles that occur with women who share their husbands speak to this unique circumstance.

~dancer~

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truth dancer, I know you said "consenting adults" etc. But most arguments which feature the misery in specific polygamous marriages are used to condemn all polygamy. The misery found in specific monogamous relationships is not used to condemn monogamous marriage or marriage in general. That is the difference.

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Many women from Utah were strongly for women's rights. They also spoke highly of polygamy and believed that it was divinely instituted. The church taught that it was required if one wanted to enter into the celestial kingdom and become a God. Many women claimed to receive angelic visitations and spiritual witnesses to marry Joseph Smith. Were they all wrong? Were they all relieved of personal agency? From what I understand, Joseph used heavy manipulation telling them that if they didnt marry him that an angel would kill him. I personally dont like the idea of a God that works this way, but I am open minded. Many women in Utah believed that polygamy was required to become a God. Therefore this puts them in a difficult situation especially with the manipulative pressure this could place on women to enter into plural marriage which they may not approve of, they then must also be positive about it because the church leaders tell them to be. This is a difficult situation for them if they have different views. Similar to lay church members now who may think differently to church leaders on issues.

Yet, many women I speak with now tell me that they do not like or get the idea of polygamy. They feel that it objectifies women and that it treats them as property. I personally do not believe that polygamy is required to enter into the highest degree of heaven as was taught by the church in polygamous Utah. I also do no like with the situation it put women in by practicing this doctrine in the church.

I think in Joseph Smith's haste to restore "all things" from the bible he instituted polygamy which was not divinely inspired. He was a product of the time he lived in trying to create a church that restored all things to their original biblical format.(similar to other preachers views at the time of Joseph, e.g. Rigdon and communal living) However, there were many people that received spiritual experiences about polygamy and there were many who left the church because of it. So I keep an open mind and know what I feel convictions for.

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First off, I've clearly stated that I believe the only reasonable explanation is because the Lds church desparately want to distance itself from this past practice.  I think the treatment of marriages on this supposedly "historical information" website is indisputable evidence. (emphasis added)

If your mind was already made up, then why did you go through the disingenuous approach of asking others for "reasonable" answers? Your belief is that you already have a reasonable answer; why ask others then?

I think this is indisputable evidence that you already had your mind made up and were not looking for answers as you led others to conclude. :P

-Allen

I asked because I wanted to see if there was any other explanations. As we see the problems with your first response, do you now agree with me? If not, why? Remember, I am only seeking your opinion. Do you find any flaws with my reasoning?

There was no problem with my first response. I thought you were talking about just the presidents up through Heber J. Grant. After your response to me, I went back and looked at all of the presidents, which it was not clear to me at first should be done.

Once I did that, I figured out what you were talking about. And guess what--you are right that in the "Significant Events" list there are only the marriages listed of those who were monogamists. (With the notable exception of Joseph Smith, although his polygamous marriages are not listed.)

But then you ask me to take the cognitive leap that judges someone else's motives in why this was done. That, I won't do. I think you are wrong in doing that, as well. That is why I suggested you go to the source.

As to whether I find flaws with your reasoning... well, that should be obvious if I find flaws in the cognitive leap you ask us to take with you. <_<

-Allen

So Awyatt,

You have never been asked for your "opinion" before??? What is the "cognitive leap" I am asking you to make.

ANd the problem I see with your first response is that it makes and/or would carry little sense in the public view. Here is a Church that places few higher things than the salvation of eternal marriage, is a stickler on family historyand journals etc., provides it's own website for one to become aquainted with its past Prophets and their significant events of their lives, has web space enough to provide geneology galore, and you really think it was pure happenstance that only monogamous marriages are disclosed as a Significant Event?????? It shows EVERY monogamous marriage, including second marriages in the event of deaths, But other than giving recognition to Emma Smith, mentions NOT ONE marriage of any polygamy practicing prophet!!!!

Do YOU really believe that the exclusion of all polygamous marriages on this church website was purely arbitrary based upon what those creating the website thought was of historical significance? IF so, just say it and I will leave it at that.

I am not asking whether it was right, wrong, ethical, unethical, good, bad or anything else. I am asking (in everyone's own opinion) why, if as all the defenders of this past practice want us to believe that is was nothing to be ashamed of, the Lds Church, in its own website, gives no recognition to ANY of these marriages side by side where it gives SIGNIFICANT recogniton and respect to EVERY monogamous marriage.

And please don't give me the Robert Millet response of "Don't answer the question they asked, answer the question they should have asked!"

Thanks in advance

Hey I will even open up this response to Juliann!

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Good point Ref.

I think it is to gain converts to the church that might be put off by this. I can see where the church is coming from but my personal opinion is that if you are entering into a contract with an organization they should let you know as much as you can about them including history. To do otherwise is unethical and manipulative.The church should be open and honest. By doing what they are, in my mind, they are not. If the church is the true church why should we be "ashamed" of our heritage?B]

Instead they leave it up to Jeff Lindsay so that if their are controversies he can be blamed instead of the authorities. lol j/k

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Just because one is LDS doesn't mean they have to accept this kind of abuse as OK. Too many people think they have to accept this in order to be LDS. You don't.

Grow up. You have told us time and time again how you "feel". I don't "accept" polygamy and yet I have no need to denigrate people I don't even know to convince myself how morally superior I am to them. You slap pejoratives like "abuse" on something that women were willingly engaging in as if that settles it. It doesn't. Your insulting language is bad enough...but it is your obsessive need to pry into other people's business that is disturbing.

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To do otherwise is unethical and manipulative.The church should be open and honest. By doing what they are, in my mind, they are not. If the church is the true church why should we be "ashamed" of our heritage?B]

Maybe you can help Ref answer the questions that obviously have left him speechless.

Is the church dishonest, unethical and manipulative when they leave out information of any kind?

Hello...anybody home? You can't expect a response until you define your terms!

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You are nonresponsive.

To what, specifically?

Maybe you can help Ref answer the questions that obviously have left him speechless.

Is the church dishonest, unethical and manipulative when they leave out information of any kind?

Juliann, try and stay on topic here. Lets not do the Millet thing!

I have not rendered any opinion on the adjectives you listed above. Rather I have suggested that I believe the Lds Church wants to distance itself from polygamy. I have provided their own website as specific support and asked anyone else to give their "opinion" as to why NOT ONE polygamous marriage of any of their prophets are mentioned while EVERY mongamous one is mentioned as a "Significant Event"! One could get the impression that every prophet prior to George ALbert Smith, Jr. was a devout bachelor!!! :P

If I am "goading" for anything, it would be your answer, as an opinion of course, to the very specific question I asked.

Do you believe, as Mr. Awyatt appears to, that the exclusion of every polygamous marriage (what, a hundred or so), and the inclusion of every monogamous marriage as a "Significant Event"(what, perhaps 10-12) was purely happenstance or arbitrary? Or, in your opinion of course, do you believe it was by carefully thought out design?

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Juliann: So what? What credibility have you established with whoever you are apparently trying to convince? I think the way the countermopologists ignore what these women said is immoral, revolting and disgusting....and bordering on mysogenistic Now we have both expressed our opinions. So what.

John Corrill: I realize there are some people I won't convince. I don't need to win everyones approval. All I want to do is be visible and heard as an LDS member who does not approve of polygamy in general and Joseph Smith's polygamy in particular. Just because one is LDS doesn't mean they have to accept this kind of abuse as OK. Too many people think they have to accept this in order to be LDS. You don't.

Guidelines reiminder:

- Do keep quotes and comments in context. Avoid over use of ellipses or quotes out of context in an effort to change or obfuscate their original meaning. Any comments or quotations should take into account the broader cultural and historical context they are addressing. (for example imposing contemporary mores on peoples of the old testament or the 18th century in order to accuse them of sins or crimes)

You may disagree with polygamy, but Don't cross the line and refer to polygamy as abuse. Your status with the LDS Church doesn't exclude you from this rule.

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Guidelines reiminder: 

- Do keep quotes and comments in context. Avoid over use of ellipses or quotes out of context in an effort to change or obfuscate their original meaning. Any comments or quotations should take into account the broader cultural and historical context they are addressing. (for example imposing contemporary mores on peoples of the old testament or the 18th century in order to accuse them of sins or crimes)

You may disagree with polygamy, but Don't cross the line and refer to polygamy as abuse. Your status with the LDS Church doesn't exclude you from this rule.

But in the broader culture of the mid to late 19th century, wasn't polygamy looked down upon by our society as something that was very detrimental, and even perhaps abusive? It got Joseph Smith in significant trouble in Illinois, was against the law in many states and brought on the fury of the Federal Gov't with the Morrill Act and other initiatives. Certainly, based on history, our culture during that time took a very negative view of polygamy. While "abuse" may not apply in every situation, I think it would be very safe and reasonble to say most, if not all outside the lds church, felt it was immoral and could certainly lead to abuse. If not, why the Federal mandates of the time and actions taken against the Lds Church?

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Cougarfan: You forget Polygamy is best for those women who wish to obey the Lord.

John Corrill: This is one of the things that incenses me the most about polygamy - that people are coerced into, not because they want to, but because someone tells them it is God's expectation. This line sounds just like one out of Warren Jeff's playbook. http://www.cnn.com/2006/LAW/08/31/jeffs.affidavit/index.html

At least you quoted me correctly and in context.

However, I misstated. I should have said: You forget Polygamy was best for those women who wished to obey the Lord.

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