Jump to content
Seriously No Politics ×

Why Is Polygamy So Vilified In The Us?


docrick

Recommended Posts

However, beyond the laws of this world, there are clearly many who have been called to the Principle by the Lord even in our day.

Ok Dad, your rhetoric on this topic is sickening. Pray tell who has been clearly called to practice the "Principle"? All you have is a few OT verses, none of which mention a commandment to engage in polygamy. I find it quite astounding that some can actually accept the notion that God instituted the practice in the 19th century. Just how was society so radically different in 1860 from today? IMO, the family is stronger when both parents are home all the time. I can only imagine the neglect that the wives and children must have felt. Certainly there are families that succeed despite the husband being gone for lengths of time, but I think almost all would agree that this scenario is not the optimum situation.

Also, there are many here who point out the problems (infidelity, etc) with modern marriage. Lets stop with that strawman right now. I've not read one anti-polygamy post pointing out the benefits of adultery. We all agree that extra-marital encounters are not beneficial to the family or society. Just because the problem is rampant does not mean most approve of it.

Finally, someone pointed out how other cultures practice polygamy and that its not fair to judge them based on our cultural biases. I agree, but I wonder how many of these cultures view women as anything more than subservient.

Link to comment

Awesomely skewed by taking quotes for today and attributing them to the practice of polygamy in the early church, at which time these quotes would not apply and would not have been said. Context of time and place is everything.

My post above was not intended to condemn those who righteously practiced polygamy in the past.

However, I do NOT believe that monogamy is a mere preparatory principle to polygamy. I believe monogamy fully encompasses the concept of eternal marriage and is NOT a compromise of any principle.

In other words, the LDS are living the FULL gospel today and not a partial one. I see NO need for a return to polygamy, although the arguments of some in this thread suggest a yearn for its return.

Polygamy is a thing of the past. Let it remain there forever.

Link to comment

Ok Dad, your rhetoric on this topic is sickening.

Nice.

Pray tell who has been clearly called to practice the "Principle"?

There are Saints whom I've spoken with who are very clear about the eternal nature of their marriages and their circumstances have dictated that their families will not be typical. The doctrines and practices that we now follow also mean that there will be men sealed to more than one woman. I'd share some personal insights but your opening line makes me suspect you would trample them without sensitivity or care.

All you have is a few OT verses, none of which mention a commandment to engage in polygamy. I find it quite astounding that some can actually accept the notion that God instituted the practice in the 19th century.

I'm sure you find it astounding that there are Prophets too. But that does not make the notion of Latter-day Revelation, or the Doctrine and Covenants being scripture, sickening or rhetoric.

Just how was society so radically different in 1860 from today?

It wasn't and if you actually read my ongoing dialogue you would see that I was making that point in light of societies relative acceptance of behaviors like mistresses vs. recognised polygamous wives.

IMO, the family is stronger when both parents are home all the time. I can only imagine the neglect that the wives and children must have felt.

Agreed- yet today we have latchkey kids all over the place. Polygamy isn't inherantly neglectful, and in fact the US marshalls rounding up the early Saints was the cause of more families being neglected than polygamy ever caused. In cases where a functional polygamist family was allowed to keep a household, as complex and difficult as it was, there were other adults there at all times. Polygamist women in the 19th cntury had educational and support opportunities beyond many of their peers.

Certainly there are families that succeed despite the husband being gone for lengths of time, but I think almost all would agree that this scenario is not the optimum situation.

Your argument makes more sense if you are speaking to todays corporate leaders than 19th century polygamists. Brigham was a great example of a father who preached and demonstrated that men should be involved with their families.

Also, there are many here who point out the problems (infidelity, etc) with modern marriage. Lets stop with that strawman right now.

I don't argue that monogamy is prone to infidelity- in fact I have stated quite clearly that even if it were legal I doubt the Lord would institute polygamy because we aren't honoring the relatively simple monogamy. I don't believe that polygamy as instituted by God was about sex at all, and I don't buy that particular argument. So I sincerely hope you aren't attributing that to me. (If you are see the fallacy you cited).

I've not read one anti-polygamy post pointing out the benefits of adultery.

Neither have I. I did however point out the hypocricy in our general culture regarding their favorite sins, while condemning others very strongly for what they perceive are sins, even though there aren't explicit Biblical verses condemning it, and in fact examples of Prophets entering into it, or directing others to do so. I also pointed out the hypocricy of those in the 19th century who were fine with a quite mistress but shocked at the Saints publicly practicing the same kind of marriage that Abraham, Isaac and Jacob practiced.

We all agree that extra-marital encounters are not beneficial to the family or society. Just because the problem is rampant does not mean most approve of it.

And yet on any day I can pick up the tabloids or turn on my TV and see it glorified. I never said polygamy and adultry were either/or propositions, I was comparing the popular cultures aggrandizement of one while the other was still considered taboo. Ironic given there are clear admonitions against fornication, less clear admonitions against homosexuality and no admonitions against polygamy in the Bible. (In fact the Book of Mormon has a stronger anti-polygamy stance than the entire Gospels and Old Testament.)

Finally, someone pointed out how other cultures practice polygamy and that its not fair to judge them based on our cultural biases. I agree, but I wonder how many of these cultures view women as anything more than subservient.

Amd I am not concerned with how other cultures or even the FLDS practice polygamy or any other type of marriage outside of the Temple Covenants revealed to us in this dispensation. As far as I'm concerned we should practice marriage in the way God reveals... and right now that means no polygamy in this life.

It's been commanded in the past, we are commanded not to practice it now, I have no idea what will happen in the future (but I am doubtful it will be practiced again given our societies horrible record with honoring marriage now)... and I don't long for it. I long for others to understand it without disparaging the early Saints though, even if they don't agree that it was a commandment.

Link to comment

Polygamy isn't inherantly neglectful....

I disagree with much of what you wrote, but this I believe is where I disagree the most. I believe that neglect is inherent in polygamy (at least in the context of our culture) and the more dependants a single man has the more severe the neglect must be, and I think the neglect would exists on many levels. It seems that polygamy is a bad deal for all involved. I'll try and expand more tomorrow (at work :P ), but I've neglected my wife enough tonight. <_<

'night all.

You have expressed what you believe. You don't need to repeat it so take it up a notch and provide some research or references or call it a day. We are not interested in moderating fights about everybody's feelings about polygamy. - Mods

Link to comment

I disagree with much of what you wrote, but this I believe is where I disagree the most. I believe that neglect is inherent in polygamy (at least in the context of our culture) and the more dependants a single man has the more severe the neglect must be, and I think the neglect would exists on many levels. It seems that polygamy is a bad deal for all involved. I'll try and expand more tomorrow (at work <_< ), but I've neglected my wife enough tonight. :unsure:

'night all.

You start by calling my comments sickening rhetoric and now you are going to tell me (a man with seven children) a theory that involves how having more depenents leads to more severe neglect of those dependents?

I can hardly wait to hear this theory. :P

Link to comment

Finally, someone pointed out how other cultures practice polygamy and that its not fair to judge them based on our cultural biases. I agree, but I wonder how many of these cultures view women as anything more than subservient.

Your pre-determined view and bias are obvious with this statement. What exactly is it about polygamy that makes you think women are nothing more than subservient - why do you jump to this conclusion? Obviously you have not studied the issue, evidenced by you being totally wrong, so what exactly did you base your â??subservientâ? conclusions on? Bias coupled with ignorance and the nonchalant waiving aside of my previous post by a superior western hand from the superior western culture - "we know better" "we are better".

FYI, Maori women were able to hold the highest of ranks in traditional polygamous Maori society, one of my own direct ancestors Rongomaiwahine, who was a polygamous wife of Kahungunu, enjoyed the highest rank attainable in a tribe and held a position among her people that was almost sacred, so much so that she became the eponymous ancestor of the Ngati Rongomaiwahine tribe. Other women such as Te Rauhina, Te Matakainga-i-te-tihi and Hinepua were living legends for various reasons and all held extremely prominent positions in Maori society despite all being polygamous wives, particulary Te Matakainga-i-te-tihi who was known as "the highest and the greatest" and held a position most resembled in the west by a sole governing Queen.

Your view is based on the vomit inducing "we know better" "we are better" bias, your holier than thou superior attitude presents a position of polygamy that is refined in the fires of bigotry and ignorance.

I've not read one anti-polygamy post pointing out the benefits of adultery. We all agree that extra-marital encounters are not beneficial to the family or society. Just because the problem is rampant does not mean most approve of it.

More evidence of your bias, while recognizing the "problem" (now there is a nice tame word, "problem" as opposed to abomination) your superior hand again waives aside the obvious hypocrisy. Do you frequent boards to vilify sexually promiscuous single persons and/or adulterers? Do you accuse defenders of this life style of sick rhetoric? Would you openly condemn practitioners of these types of lifestyles as you do Joseph Smith, Brigham Young, Abraham and Jacob? If yes, why havent we seen it until now, why havent we seen it until you are called out on it?

Link to comment

You start by calling my comments sickening rhetoric and now you are going to tell me (a man with seven children) a theory that involves how having more depenents leads to more severe neglect of those dependents?

I can hardly wait to hear this theory. :P

And if it's not a well documented theory you won't be hearing it.

We understand that lively debate will happen on this forum. However:

The trash talk ends now.

No more emotional outbursts without facts, figures or actual doctrine. Violators will be suspended. This board is for apologetics discussions. If you want to engage in trash talk go somewhere else.

Link to comment

You start by calling my comments sickening rhetoric and now you are going to tell me (a man with seven children) a theory that involves how having more depenents leads to more severe neglect of those dependents?

I can hardly wait to hear this theory. :P

I should have said households instead of dependents. I have 4 children myself, that's not what I meant. I'm sorry for the misunderstanding, no offense intended.

As for the rest of my hypothesis, since I don't have any scientific documentation I guess I'll keep it to myself.

Link to comment

I am a non-practicing polygamist. :P

I have always been a little puzzled at how our culture has a different response for roughly equivelent behavior on the part of different groups. Even in the 1800s it was accepted that powerful men had mistresses, but polygamy was quite the scandal.

Well, how do you feel about you being one of many husbands to a single wife?

Link to comment

I long for others to understand it without disparaging the early Saints though, even if they don't agree that it was a commandment.

I don't think the majority of people here who disagree with polygamy do. I know that personally, even though I am completely against polygamy, I respect the early Saints who practiced it. I have always emphatically stated that.

I don't believe that polygamy as instituted by God was about sex at all, and I don't buy that particular argument.

But the Bible has even stipulated that the Principle was instituted to "raise righteous seed" unto God. Sex certainly has something to do with that process. :P

My standing argument has always been....no matter how you slice it....polygamy involves an extreme emotional sacrifice between couples. The whole reason polygamy is an issue is because of the sexual nature. And, I think it's an issue for those of us who have been brought up in a religious background because we HAVE been taught and honestly believe that chastity and fidelity is important. We DO believe that forming an intimate relationship with our spouse is important and encompassing and right.

What I get frustrated with, frankly, is why WE are condemned...looked down upon...accused of not being "worthy", or living the gospel because we feel this way? It's ludicrous!

Why am I so odd and so wrong because I want to spend eternity forming a one-on-one partnership with my husband? Why am I considered selfish because I love my husband and don't want another woman involved in our relationship?

Look...as I pointed out on another polygamy thread, I have a friend who died in a car accident. Her husband remarried. He is sealed to both of them. His second wife has helped raise my friend's little girl, and has taken great care in preserving my friend's memory. I have always said that somehow...in the next life....their relationship will work out. I'm not begrudging or denying that there are situations where polygamy will exist.

But don't condemn me, and others like me, who don't WANT that type of life.

If you really want to help, help us understand WHY a loving Heavenly Father would institute such a practice? If God is God, why can't there be one person for everyone?

Link to comment

If you really want to help, help us understand WHY a loving Heavenly Father would institute such a practice? If God is God, why can't there be one person for everyone?

IMO, sacred tradition that was handed down from Jesus taught that the plan was one man and one woman. (We can debate Math 19:4-5 and I'm sure Mormons here will not infer my interpretation) The early Christians were also vilified because non-Christians pointed out the same thing that their ancient leaders practiced polygamy as well.

For myself, I would like the LDS to show where polygamy was practiced amongst the early Christians after Jesus was with us. He is the perfect example of what we are suppose to be emulating. I think we can all agree that the people in the OT didn't always do what God wanted. With him being as patient as he is, they all suffered on God's terms. We can debate whether or not polygamy is or was part of his plan and I know I will not agree with your conclusions in regard to the OT. Maybe we can if you can show me it was practiced after Jesus time on earth that wasn't directed by Joseph Smith and practiced by recognized Christians

Link to comment

What I get frustrated with, frankly, is why WE are condemned...looked down upon...accused of not being "worthy", or living the gospel because we feel this way? It's ludicrous!

Why am I so odd and so wrong because I want to spend eternity forming a one-on-one partnership with my husband? Why am I considered selfish because I love my husband and don't want another woman involved in our relationship?

Why do you care what a random person says about it? Who is condemning anyone? Find me more than an odd Mormon or two who thinks polygamy is great. A miniscule number were ever involved in it. What is with this campaign to make sure every single person says what you want them to? It isn't going to happen. Polygamy isnt' even on anyone's radar screen today unless it involves the groups involved in criminal activity.

Link to comment

IMO, sacred tradition that was handed down from Jesus taught that the plan was one man and one woman.

That makes me think. When some people make anti-homosexuality arguments, they argue that God created Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve. Going along those same lines, God did create Adam and Eve. He did not create Adam and Eve and Lisa and Linda and Naomi, then tell Adam to take all of them as his wives. He told Adam to take Eve, and then multiply. Adam was created in God's own image. That led me, in my naivete, to believe that God created Adam and Eve to be together because it was the way God lived.

If a single man is having relationships with several women, he is looked upon as a dawg by society because he is only 'after one thing.' If a married man is having a relationship with several women, and his wife doesn't know it, she'll divorce him when she finds out. He is accused of 'living a double life.'

However, if a man openly has several wives and calls it polygamy, he is living a 'principle.' It's a wonderful thing, ordained of God. He can reproduce with them as much as he feels he is commanded and it's all ok. To me, he's doing the same thing as the other two men, but he can justify it by saying that God commanded him to do it.

One big problem I have with polygamy, aside from the Lost Boys, the Child Brides, and welfare abuse, is that the men practicing it are also the ones who receive the revelation to practice it. What's to stop them from saying God revealed to them that He wants all the members to consecrate all of their possessions to his church? What's to stop him from saying that God revealed to him that He wants them to give up their lives for a religion?

I'm not saying it's the case, but the potential is there.

T-Bone

Link to comment

One of the best talks I have read on marriage was by Holland while at BYU many years ago... it may mean nothing to many of the posters here because it was given in the 1980s and some will probably say it is outdated nevertheless I would like to share it...

Love is a fragile thing, and some elements in life can try to break it. Much damage can be done if we are not in tender hands, caring hands. To give ourselves totally to another person, as we do in marriage, is the most trusting step we take in any human relationship. It is a real act of faith--faith all of us must be willing to exercise. If we do it right, we end up sharing everything--all our hopes, all our fears, all our dreams, all our weaknesses, and all our joys--with another person.

No serious courtship or engagement or marriage is worth the name if we do not fully invest all that we have in it and in so doing trust ourselves totally to the one we love. You cannot succeed in love if you keep one foot out on the bank for safety's sake. The very nature of the endeavor requires that you hold on to each other as tightly as you can and jump in the pool together. In that spirit, and in the spirit of Mormon's plea for pure love, I want to impress upon you the vulnerability and delicacy of your partner's future as it is placed in your hands for safekeeping--male and female, it works both ways.

Sister Holland and I have been married for nearly 37 years, just a half-dozen or so years short of twice as long as we have lived without each other. I may not know everything about her, but I know 37 years' worth, and she knows that much of me. I know her likes and dislikes, and she knows mine. I know her tastes and interests, hopes and dreams, and she knows mine. As our love has grown and our relationship has matured, we have been increasingly free with each other about all of that.

The result is that I know much more clearly now how to help her, and, if I let myself, I know exactly what will hurt her. In the honesty of our love--love that can't truly be Christlike without such total devotion--surely God will hold me accountable for any pain I cause her by intentionally exploiting or hurting her when she has been so trusting of me, having long since thrown away any self-protection in order that we could be, as the scripture says, "one flesh" (Genesis 2:24). To impair or impede her in any way for my gain or vanity or emotional mastery over her should disqualify me on the spot to be her husband. Indeed, it should consign my miserable soul to eternal incarceration in that large and spacious building Lehi says is the prison of those who live by "vain imaginations" and the "pride of the world" (1 Nephi 11:36, 12:18).

(BYU speeches.... I'm not sure how much I can quote with all the copyright laws and all - bold mine)

I think he has a lovely grasp on what it truly means to be married. It is more than mating, producing offspring, and existing.... it is more than sperm donation for a males and more than birthing for females.

It is developing a union, an emotional bond, and a depth of love unique in all the world.

I suppose (though do not even remotely believe) one could go with the idea that on occasion God wants to retreat to a form of relationship other than what Holland describes but it seems clear to me from the above quote that he, at least, sees something more holy in marriage, and most likely believes this beautiful form of partnering is of God.

~dancer~

Link to comment

blueadept:

Christians in Africa still practice polygamy.

Jews up till the Middle Ages in Europe practiced polygamy. There is some evidence to indicate that groups of Jews came to America to practice polygamy.

I know of no NT Apostles that practiced it. But I find no blanket condemnation of it either.

Link to comment

blueadept:

Christians in Africa still practice polygamy.

Jews up till the Middle Ages in Europe practiced polygamy. There is some evidence to indicate that groups of Jews came to America to practice polygamy.

I know of no NT Apostles that practiced it. But I find no blanket condemnation of it either.

Thank you, I will try to do some research about this for myself in regards to Christians in Africa. My question about the Jews is that not many of the Jews believed Jesus was who he said he was. So my thought would be if the Jews that did practice polygamy, I suspect that there was, did they also believe Jesus is the Son of God? So I'm not as sure about that connection, but I'll try to research what I can.

Link to comment

Very interesting conversation. I wasn't able to log on yesterday due to whatever change took place on the board.

An interesting question was brought up. Name a christian group after Christ that practiced plural marriage.

Well the answer to that is the early members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

We can debate NT scripture all we want but our interpretations are nothing more than spin. There are no scriptures NT or OT that SPECIFICALLY condemn the practice of plural marriage.

The argument that there were no "christians" living plural marriage after Christ is completely irrelavent. All divine authority was lost following the death of the Apostles in the "great Apostacy" (but that is a topic in and of itself) so the argument rings hollow in LDS ears.

The bottom line is that plural marriage was practiced by prophets of God, so it must be ok when God allows it's practice.

The LDS Church claims divine authority, priesthood, continuing revelation etc. God speaks today through his prophet. If God commands plural marriage it will come through his prophet just like in Joseph Smith's day.

Specifically, no one here can point to any teaching of the Savior that condemns plural marriage. The spin stops here.

Link to comment
An interesting question was brought up. Name a christian group after Christ that practiced plural marriage.

Well the answer to that is the early members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

Which was who???

I would buy this if reasonable evidence showed that any one of the apostles after Jesus practiced it. This is where the discussion has gone. IMO, tradition shows of no polygamy. You are saying that it was practiced by Christians. Name an early member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saint.

And the spin goes on.........

Link to comment
Specifically, no one here can point to any teaching of the Savior that condemns plural marriage. The spin stops here.

Any teaching?

How about, "do unto others as you would have them do unto you?" :P

Seems to me, unless a man likes the idea of sharing his wife with a bunch of other guys, he should not be contemplating taking on more women than his wife.

<_<

~dancer~

Link to comment

Which was who???

I would buy this if reasonable evidence showed that any one of the apostles after Jesus practiced it. This is where the discussion has gone. IMO, tradition shows of no polygamy. You are saying that it was practiced by Christians. Name an early member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saint.

And the spin goes on.........

Well how about these early members of the LDS Church. Joseph Smith, Brigham Young.

You can't show evidence from the scriptures that any of the Apostles of Jesus were even married, much less to one woman.

You my friend are the spin doctor. I can give you scripture after scripture of prophets of God practicing plural marriage.

I've asked you simply to provide ONE scripture old or new testament that SPECIFICALLY condemns plural marriage.

I know I know you can't do it.

As I mentioned before, I am no fan of polygamy and I hope if the practice ever is commanded again on the earth I don't have to practice it, but I see absolutely no reason to condemn any human being on this earth who practices plural marriage.

Tradition alone is not sufficient to condemn someone. Show me the evidence of condemnation by the voice of the Lord in the scriptures.

Any teaching?

How about, "do unto others as you would have them do unto you?" :P

Seems to me, unless a man likes the idea of sharing his wife with a bunch of other guys, he should not be contemplating taking on more women than his wife.

<_<

~dancer~

Cute but that isn't scriptural is it? :unsure:

Link to comment

blueadept:

From the LDS perspective polygamy MUST be commanded by God for it to have any validilty to Him. So in LDS thought it really doesn't matter whom else practiced polygamy. Just so long as we do what God commands.

I don't see Very Early Christianity as all that separate for Judaism. I believe that Jesus was trying to Restore Judaism to its rightful beliefs.

Link to comment

Why do you care what a random person says about it? Who is condemning anyone? Find me more than an odd Mormon or two who thinks polygamy is great. A miniscule number were ever involved in it. What is with this campaign to make sure every single person says what you want them to? It isn't going to happen. Polygamy isnt' even on anyone's radar screen today unless it involves the groups involved in criminal activity.

All the odd Mormons who think it's great must populate this board! <_<

Come on, Juliann...I'm not on any kind of "campaign to make sure every single person says what I want them to"....I thought you knew me better than that.

Everyone is entitled to their own opinion. I have just found it odd that since posting on this board, I have been criticized more than once for "being selfish", etc. because I was against polygamy. OK....maybe it shouldn't bother me that a "random person" feels that way...but come on....Why do any of us post here? Why should anyone care about how the other thinks? After all, we're all just "random people" sharing thoughts.

Obviously, since FAIR had to increase the bandwidth to handle the posting and viewing load, there are a heck of a lot of people out there who care about what random people have to say, so I guess I'm in good company.

You disappoint me, Juliann...I thought you could come up with a more original argument than that. :P:unsure:

Link to comment

Tradition alone is not sufficient to condemn someone. Show me the evidence of condemnation by the voice of the Lord in the scriptures.

Cute but that isn't scriptural is it? <_<

I know there's a reference in the NT about not following scripture alone but tradition as well and I'll try to find it if I have time.

But this is where LDS and other Christians differ. LDS like to use the OT to justify polygamy, and Catholics like to reference Jesus in particular from the NT along with tradition.

Both sides can claim apostolic succession and proper teaching. We just get there in unique ways

And people wonder why we never agree. :P

The original question was "Why is Polygamy so vilified in the US?

My answer is because of Tradition. When my TBM wife and I talked about this subject, I started from the point that it's immoral as taught by tradition. She started from the viewpoint of "well its in the Bible."

Link to comment

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...