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When Pondering Polygamy.... Do You Feel


RedSox

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edited to add:

"The implied assumption in this theory, that there have been more female than male members in the Church is not supported by existing evidence. On the contrary, there seems always to have been more males than females in the Church...The United States census records from 1850 to 1940, and all available Church records, uniformly show a preponderance of males in Utah...This theory is not defensible since there was no surplus of women."

- LDS Apostle John A. Widstoe, Evidences and Reconciliations, 1960, pages 390-392

Reply to edit:

The Widtsoe quote does nothing to help your argument, because it does not address the question at hand: whether at any given time there is a preponderance of righteous women in the Church as compared with righteous men.

Once again, as has been repeatedly explained, raw census figures do nothing to help us arrive at any kind of intelligent conclusion on this matter, because they are not broken down according to religious faith, let alone level of commitment to the faith.

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Ultimately your opinion on this matter should stem from your testimony of the Restoration. If you believe Joseph Smith & Brigham Young were true Prophets, called of God, and you accept the Church they did so much to build up, I do not see how you cannot look with pride, as a righteous God-fearing already oppressed people willingly took up a new commandment that would further divide them from the rest of their world and would further galvanize their violent antagonists.

If you view polygamy as evil and oppressive "just because", then I do not see how you can support the Prophet who delivered it from God and the Prophet who openly declared it as an integral part of the Gospel which he lived as much as any man of his day.

If the spirit has told you this Church is true, see what it says about this principle, which is still a part of our doctrine.

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Good points, Scott. I've thought about this a bit and if my choices were limited, I could see how polygamy would start to look somewhat attractive. I would more likely choose not to marry, but let's say these ten men were the only men available to marry:

1. Fred - has a history of violence towards women

2. Don - member who has a drinking problem

3. Al - verbally abusive

4. Alex - stares at women's chests when talking to them and if they fall down, he helps them up by grabbing their butt (I actually knew a guy like this in my FHE group in Provo - He was #1 on my list of guys I wouldn't date to save my life)

5. Nick - thinks everything he doesn't want to do is "women's work"

6. Rob - Has "revelations" on my behalf (went on one date with a guy like that - He was #1 on my list of guys I would never date again to save my life)

7. Ryan - A habitual liar

8. Peter - happily married man, a good dad, is temple worthy, and has tolerable imperfections

9. James - same

10. John - same

If I lived in those conditions, the last three guys would probably start to look pretty good! I would prefer to remain unmarried, but I can see why some women would've chosen that life if there were a shortage of worthy men. Statistics showing more men than women does not mean the majority of those men were marriage material.

Compare these ten women to above

1. Unconciously seeks out abuse and then complains that she can't find good men (while looking in bars.

2. Gets drunk to escape hollowness of her life

3. Mistress of emotional blackmail.

4. Reads harlequin romance novels and wants her guy to be like this: http://www.theonion.com/content/node/56422

5. Flagrant spender, refuses to limit expenses at all.

6. Constantly has vague, undefinable spiritual impressions that tell her to do pointless things. Also very vapid. Gets upset if you dare question her inspired urges.

7. Breaks down crying whenever she doesn't get her way.

8. Nice girl, Temple Worthy, with enough sass to be fun.

9. Molly Mormon

10. Lives commandments and has a testimony, but struggles with many temptations.

I think if you match them down the list they're perfect for each other :P

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Reply to edit:

The Widtsoe quote does nothing to help your argument, because it does not address the question at hand: whether at any given time there is a preponderance of righteous women in the Church as compared with righteous men.

Once again, as has been repeatedly explained, raw census figures do nothing to help us arrive at any kind of intelligent conclusion on this matter, because they are not broken down according to religious faith, let alone level of commitment to the faith.

The Widtsoe quote does EVERYTHING to help the argument. The popular, but incorrect, belief promulgated by most LDS says nothing about the number of righteous anything at any time. Go to any LDS church and ask about polygamy, and you'll probably be told that polygamy was started to take care of the widows of the men who died on the Trek West. This myth says nothing about the number of righteous anything. It focuses on the widows who, it is said, outnumbered the men by the time they got to Utah. The Widtsoe quote directly addresses this popular LDS myth.

Theophilus07

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Polygamy wasn't because of widows from the trek West because polygamy began before the trek West, and was practiced by Joseph Smith. It was commandment that was given to a few. It does not require a justification to the temporal/material world based on any census figures, and trying to justify it in such a way is missing the point.

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Right now I'm doing research on Mormon fundamentalism. It has been eye-opening to read quotes from Heber J. Grant about the evils of polygamy ("new" polygamy), while he himself was a polygamist. Although I've not read the records from the Smoot hearings, I think that JFS probably struggled to both live and decry polygamy.

Today, many of us are the descendant's of Mormon polygamists. Regardless of that fact, when you think of pre-1904 polygamy, are you disgusted? enthralled? intrigued? ashamed?

For me, I'm somewhat fascinated by the whole idea. It's hard to imagine men and women willingly entering polygamy. In a way, I'm proud of the great amounts of faith that my forebearers had in the principle, but I'm also somewhat horrified by some of the hardships a polygamist life exacted upon plural wives (and sometimes husbands...especially when they were on the lam).

What are your reaction to the practice?

Disgusted.

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Let me put it a different way:

Get out of your head the idea that polygamy is inherently evil and oppressive to women simply because, and think about what is wrong with consenting grown women agreeing to marry the same man, and share him as husband among them, especially under the sanction of God, which has clearly been given in the past.

It didnâ??t start out with â??consenting grown women agreeing to marry the same manâ? now did it? It started out with 15 and 17 year old girls, and it was done in secret, behind Emmaâ??s back, and lies were used to cover it up. As far as the â??agreeingâ? part goes, I wonder if undo pressure was placed on some of these â??consentingâ? women with tails about angels with flaming swords, or being destroyed if you donâ??t participate.

God doesnâ??t operate in darkness and he doesnâ??t need people to lie for him. His works are not works of darkness. Polygamy and Polyandry as practiced by JS and the Church was all of these things. I do not see Godâ??s hand in any of it.

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I feel sorry for the women of polygamy. I don't believe it's the "highest" and "most holy" principle. If men were more faithful, there would be no need for it. God created Adam and Eve who came from each other. He did not create Eve, Joan, Sherri, Martha, Bertha, Shirley, Mary and Gladys from Adam.

1 Corinthians 11

11 Nevertheless neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man, in the Lord.

Woman ... as in singular. ONE MAN and ONE WOMAN, who came from each other, before the Lord. THIS is the highest, most holy principle.

I feel more for the men. All the complaining that they got every day for not doing things right would be quite difficult for the men. And I don't think your passages address polygamy at all. All the verse speaks about is the unity of marriage between man and woman. It does not use the word "one" in it. It would apply in both monogamous and polygamous relationships.

Also given the fact that apparently the Old Testament prophets did not read monogamy into the Adam and Eve story as the standard, I would advise you not do that. I would suggest that people like Abraham, Jacob, and others understood these scriptures much better than you do.

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It didnâ??t start out with â??consenting grown women agreeing to marry the same manâ? now did it? It started out with 15 and 17 year old girls, and it was done in secret, behind Emmaâ??s back, and lies were used to cover it up. As far as the â??agreeingâ? part goes, I wonder if undo pressure was placed on some of these â??consentingâ? women with tails about angels with flaming swords, or being destroyed if you donâ??t participate.

God doesnâ??t operate in darkness and he doesnâ??t need people to lie for him. His works are not works of darkness. Polygamy and Polyandry as practiced by JS and the Church was all of these things. I do not see Godâ??s hand in any of it.

The age of consent and what was considered "grown" was very different, no matter how much you want to try to place this all into a modern context. I mean for crying out loud, My wife's Grandmother was married at age 14 (and they are still together), but is that inherently more acceptable because it is a monogamous marriage?

Yes, lies were used to cover it up. I don't think the Church really had any sort of obligation to be open and honest with the rest of the world/country, which was already very open about their desire to destroy the Church.

In regards to Angels and flaming swords - here's a novel concept - what if it was true (I know it's difficult for those of you who think nothing supernatural can happen)? What if Joseph actually did receive such a visit, what should he have done and/or said?

And once you try and wrap your mind around that, and are at least willing to entertain the notion that God commanded polygamy, maybe you can understand how Joseph Smith dealt with it. I'm not saying I agree with him hiding it from Emma, and long term neither did he, he was honest with her. I can understand even a just man following a command of God to enter polygamy being fearful enough of his wife's reaction to delay telling her about it. I would be afraid of my wife's reaction if she & I were in Emma & Joseph's position.

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The Widtsoe quote does EVERYTHING to help the argument. The popular, but incorrect, belief promulgated by most LDS says nothing about the number of righteous anything at any time. Go to any LDS church and ask about polygamy, and you'll probably be told that polygamy was started to take care of the widows of the men who died on the Trek West. This myth says nothing about the number of righteous anything. It focuses on the widows who, it is said, outnumbered the men by the time they got to Utah. The Widtsoe quote directly addresses this popular LDS myth.

Theophilus07

That there may be a few LDS still clinging to old excuses and ideas about polygamy has nothing to do with the current discussion and topic. Nor does your calling the myth popular make it so. I haven't heard that particular line since I was a teenager and that would place it back in the early 70s. I heard the myth that when the 7th temple was built with an angel Moroni statue on it, it would herald in the 2nd coming of Christ more recently than that. :P

In fact I think it is rather entertaining that critics like to bash these old wives tales far more than they like to address anything else.

-SlackTime

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SCOTT

Reply to edit:

The Widtsoe quote does nothing to help your argument, because it does not address the question at hand: whether at any given time there is a preponderance of righteous women in the Church as compared with righteous men.

Once again, as has been repeatedly explained, raw census figures do nothing to help us arrive at any kind of intelligent conclusion on this matter, because they are not broken down according to religious faith, let alone level of commitment to the faith.

Reply:

Indirectly it does prove my point, but more so the quote was shown to dismiss your conjectures....

Apostle John A. Widstoe stated: â??The implied assumption in this theory, that there have been more female than male members in the Church is not supported by existing evidence. On the contrary, there seems always to have been more males than females in the Church...â?

You stated:

Some critics of the Church are fond of citing census figures in territorial Utah to bolster their claim that polygamy effectively took away the opportunity of marriage from many male members of the Church.

And

Since only highly faithful and dedicated Church members were considered eligible to enter into plural marriageâ?¦ Next, we must rule out male Church members who, for whatever reason, could not qualify for a temple marriage. No census figures I have seen provide such a breakdown.

And

And it could be argued that a male Church member unwilling to make and keep temple covenants was undeserving of a righteous LDS woman, and she would be right to reject him.

Reply:

According to Widstoe, during the time of polygamy, there were more men than women in the Church. Therefore polygamy clearly took away the opportunity for marriage for many males and the suggestion that there were Mormon males unworthy of any wives is preposterous and duplicitous to your own faith to suggest the common Mormon man who worked to build up the church were some how not worthy. The reality was that the â??highly faithful and dedicated Church membersâ? were in fact church leaders.

Two quotes from Heber C Kimball, who apparently was not satisfied with his 40 wives said:

â??Brethren, I want you to understand that it is not to be as it has been heretofore. The brother missionaries have been in the habit of picking out the prettiest women for themselves before they get here, and bringing on the ugly ones for us; hereafter you have to bring them all here before taking any of them, and let us all have a fair shake."

- Apostle Heber C. Kimball, The Lion of the Lord, New York, 1969, pp.129-30.

and again...

"I say to those who are elected to go on missions, remember they are not your sheep: they belong to Him that sends you. Then do not make a choice of any of those sheep; do not make selections before they are brought home and put into the fold. You under stand that. Amen"

- Apostle Heber C. Kimball, Journal of Discourses, vol. 6, p.256

I wonder if the role of missionaries back then was to go find more womenâ?¦

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Ultimately, getting back to the topic question, when I ponder polygamy I feel two emotions. Admiration, and relief.

Admiration for men and women who were able to lay aside their own prejudices and predilections and obey a commandment from the Lord to accomplish the Lord's purposes whatever their personal feelings on the matter.

Relief that I'm not asked to make that same sacrifice.

-SlackTime

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SCOTT

Reply:

Indirectly it does prove my point, but more so the quote was shown to dismiss your conjectures....

Apostle John A. Widstoe stated: “The implied assumption in this theory, that there have been more female than male members in the Church is not supported by existing evidence. On the contrary, there seems always to have been more males than females in the Church...”

You stated:

Reply:

According to Widstoe, during the time of polygamy, there were more men than women in the Church.

Through a quick Google search of, oh, about 45 seconds, I was able to identify the anti-Mormon Web site from which you seem to be getting the bulk of your material, including the above abbreviated and ellipsized quote from John A. Widtsoe.

I doubt you actually have convenient access to Evidences and Reconciliations. I do, so I'll point out that the context of Elder Widtsoe's statement was correcting the erroneous notion that plural marriage was instituted because there were more women than men in the Church. It hardly needs pointing out that such an argument has not been made in this thread; certainly not by me. Rather, my point all along has been that plural marriage had the effect of bringing together as spouses many of the more righteous men and women in the Church, thus creating, far more quickly than otherwise would have been the case, numerous households in which children could be born under the covenant. The result was that by the turn of the century, the Church was no longer just an oppressed and hounded minority. It could function from a position of strength as it sent missionaries into the world to gather converts. And another effect was to create numerous lineages through which still greater numbers could be born. Thus, most people today with Mormon pioneer ancestry can trace their roots to one or more polygamous families.

And so it was that the purpose of the Lord was fulfilled as expressed in Jacob 2:30; that is, by instituting plural marriage among the early members of the Church, the Lord raised up seed unto himself.

Therefore polygamy clearly took away the opportunity for marriage for many males and the suggestion that there were Mormon males unworthy of any wives is preposterous and duplicitous to your own faith to suggest the common Mormon man who worked to build up the church were some how not worthy.

I have not made such a suggestion. On the other hand, it is preposterous and duplicitous on your part to suggest that "the common Mormon man" was or is incapable of mustering the personal righteousness to qualify for a temple recommend. The fact is millions of such men have done so and continue to do so. I sat last night with three-score or so of them as I attended a temple session.

The reality was that the “highly faithful and dedicated Church members” were in fact church leaders.

On this topic at least, I'm beginning to think you are incapable of discerning reality.

But it any event, I will remind you that our exchange began when I challenged you to back up your assertion that 3 percent of Mormon men were involved in plural marriage with 25 percent of Mormon women.

It has been a couple of days now. As I make this post, the thread has dropped to the third page on the list. So I am concluding that, after this long, you are unable to back up that assertion. An admission of that fact would be nice, but I will take your silence as confirmation.

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The age of consent and what was considered "grown" was very different, no matter how much you want to try to place this all into a modern context. I mean for crying out loud, My wife's Grandmother was married at age 14 (and they are still together), but is that inherently more acceptable because it is a monogamous marriage?

Marriage might have been acceptable at an earlier age, but it still was NOT the norm. Secondly, a couple who married early, married another young person, they didn't normally marry someone twice their age. What was not normal was an older married man seeking a younger bride. Why the need for a young woman when there were so many righteous and supposedly available 40+ women?

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QUOTE(Theophilus07 @ Apr 25 2007, 08:10 PM) *

The Widtsoe quote does EVERYTHING to help the argument. The popular, but incorrect, belief promulgated by most LDS says nothing about the number of righteous anything at any time. Go to any LDS church and ask about polygamy, and you'll probably be told that polygamy was started to take care of the widows of the men who died on the Trek West. This myth says nothing about the number of righteous anything. It focuses on the widows who, it is said, outnumbered the men by the time they got to Utah. The Widtsoe quote directly addresses this popular LDS myth.

Theophilus07

That there may be a few LDS still clinging to old excuses and ideas about polygamy has nothing to do with the current discussion and topic. Nor does your calling the myth popular make it so. I haven't heard that particular line since I was a teenager and that would place it back in the early 70s. I heard the myth that when the 7th temple was built with an angel Moroni statue on it, it would herald in the 2nd coming of Christ more recently than that. :P

In fact I think it is rather entertaining that critics like to bash these old wives tales far more than they like to address anything else.

-SlackTime

I don't know how long it has been since Theophilus has been inside "any LDS church," but I doubt he is anywhere near qualified to make such a statement.

My life of 50-plus years in the Church tells me he doesn't know what he is talking about. Much of that time has been spent teaching in the priesthood quorums and Sunday School auxiliary organization. Moreover, my professional life is writing for a publication devoted to coverage of affairs of the Church. I am thus very familiar with Church teaching and curriculum. I don't recall ever being in a formal teaching situation in which it has been stated that polygamy was instituted to take care of the widows of men who died on the trek west.

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Marriage might have been acceptable at an earlier age, but it still was NOT the norm. Secondly, a couple who married early, married another young person, they didn't normally marry someone twice their age. What was not normal was an older married man seeking a younger bride. Why the need for a young woman when there were so many righteous and supposedly available 40+ women?

Many such women did become members of polygamous households.

However, if a primary purpose of plural marriage was to quickly raise up seed unto the Lord, it stands to reason that the women would mainly have to be of childbearing age.

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Compare these ten women to above

1. Unconciously seeks out abuse and then complains that she can't find good men (while looking in bars.

2. Gets drunk to escape hollowness of her life

3. Mistress of emotional blackmail.

4. Reads harlequin romance novels and wants her guy to be like this: http://www.theonion.com/content/node/56422

5. Flagrant spender, refuses to limit expenses at all.

6. Constantly has vague, undefinable spiritual impressions that tell her to do pointless things. Also very vapid. Gets upset if you dare question her inspired urges.

7. Breaks down crying whenever she doesn't get her way.

8. Nice girl, Temple Worthy, with enough sass to be fun.

9. Molly Mormon

10. Lives commandments and has a testimony, but struggles with many temptations.

I think if you match them down the list they're perfect for each other <_<

:P Yeah, those are good matches, but they will make nightmare children! :unsure:

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I'm glad you are discriminating, at least.

In a perfect world, good women would uniformly reject scoundrels and creeps and only marry good men. Alas, that is not the case nearly as often as it should be!

In a perfect world, there wouldn't be any scoundrels and creeps! <_< That sounds nice. But I wouldn't have any interesting stories to tell like the time this drunk guy came knocking on my door and was convinced I was hiding his wife in my apartment. :P After he (and the cops) left, his wife came running out from the apartment upstairs after spending time with her new boyfriend.

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Marriage might have been acceptable at an earlier age, but it still was NOT the norm. Secondly, a couple who married early, married another young person, they didn't normally marry someone twice their age. What was not normal was an older married man seeking a younger bride. Why the need for a young woman when there were so many righteous and supposedly available 40+ women?

Really? Influential, affluent, and powerful monogamous men even today routinely marry women decades younger. The only reason they aren't marrying 15 year olds is because of the cultural and legal shift. But if you think such age disparities are a new innovation of the past 50 years you are living in a dreamworld.

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Really? Influential, affluent, and powerful monogamous men even today routinely marry women decades younger. The only reason they aren't marrying 15 year olds is because of the cultural and legal shift. But if you think such age disparities are a new innovation of the past 50 years you are living in a dreamworld.

There were a few polygamous divorces due to the men marrying younger wives. Several first wives never did become comfortable with the practice, and in some cases they left because their husband spent too much time with the younger wives. And yes, I can prove this through a couple of sources.

Honestly, just because these men married additional wives did not make them perfect, therefore I don't know why there is such a resistance with some people to call a spade a spade. Not everyone practiced polygamy correctly, or Brigham and Joseph would not have admonished several for not living the principal correctly...ie...Phelps (after returning from Boston with 3 wives...was excommed by the church and Young)

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Redsox Said:

Today, many of us are the descendant's of Mormon polygamists. Regardless of that fact, when you think of pre-1904 polygamy, are you disgusted? enthralled? intrigued? ashamed?

For me, I'm somewhat fascinated by the whole idea. It's hard to imagine men and women willingly entering polygamy. In a way, I'm proud of the great amounts of faith that my forebearers had in the principle, but I'm also somewhat horrified by some of the hardships a polygamist life exacted upon plural wives (and sometimes husbands...especially when they were on the lam).

What are your reaction to the practice?

Practicing a form of polygamy has gone on for quite a while. The Greeks practiced a form of polygamy, but instead of being married it was just what we today call an orgy. If one has seen the pictures/paintings more than likely the majority is somewhat sickened by such acts. That same form continues today, but under the term "swingers". I don't know what everyone thinks about this, but can only relate my feelings/thoughts on it and from the people I interact with.

Personally, I find the act of polygamy repugnant and I'm glad it has been done away with. Imagine you being one of the wives and knowing that your husband is sharing what the two of you consider special. I'm implying sex in case I have to spell it out to anyone confused by my lack of expanding on the topic. For women to willingly allow their husband to take another woman would require a lot of control of your emotions. I know I couldn't do such. While I think it is wrong of the government to impose a law to outlaw polygamy, I disagree with the practice of it.

Jim Jones practiced a form of polygamy. If my memory serves correctly, I believe that Jim Jones didn't marry the women in the cult that he lead, but it is reported that he did have sex with the women. The age range is uncertain though. I know people might argue in saying "But polygamy doesn't have to involve sex." You're right, it doesn't, by definition. Polygamy is strictly the act of taking more than one wife. Nowhere does the definition say that sex is part of polygamy. But to assume that no sex occurs is quite naive of one in my opinion.

Early church leaders who did have more than one wife typically did engage in intercourse with their additional wives. Hence the many children that they would have to their name. I don't believe Joseph Smith, Jr. had children other than with Emma. If someone knows otherwise, please enlighten me. I don't see how there could ever be a "righteous" form of this act. Sex is great, but it can also be devastating to some depending on how their partner/significant other treats them. No one wants to be second fiddle. If one does, then I stand corrected. I know I don't and I expect the same from my partner.

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Practicing a form of polygamy has gone on for quite a while. The Greeks practiced a form of polygamy, but instead of being married it was just what we today call an orgy. If one has seen the pictures/paintings more than likely the majority is somewhat sickened by such acts. That same form continues today, but under the term "swingers". I don't know what everyone thinks about this, but can only relate my feelings/thoughts on it and from the people I interact with.

Personally, I find the act of polygamy repugnant and I'm glad it has been done away with. Imagine you being one of the wives and knowing that your husband is sharing what the two of you consider special. I'm implying sex in case I have to spell it out to anyone confused by my lack of expanding on the topic. For women to willingly allow their husband to take another woman would require a lot of control of your emotions. I know I couldn't do such. While I think it is wrong of the government to impose a law to outlaw polygamy, I disagree with the practice of it.

Jim Jones practiced a form of polygamy. If my memory serves correctly, I believe that Jim Jones didn't marry the women in the cult that he lead, but it is reported that he did have sex with the women. The age range is uncertain though. I know people might argue in saying "But polygamy doesn't have to involve sex." You're right, it doesn't, by definition. Polygamy is strictly the act of taking more than one wife. Nowhere does the definition say that sex is part of polygamy. But to assume that no sex occurs is quite naive of one in my opinion.

Early church leaders who did have more than one wife typically did engage in intercourse with their additional wives. Hence the many children that they would have to their name. I don't believe Joseph Smith, Jr. had children other than with Emma. If someone knows otherwise, please enlighten me. I don't see how there could ever be a "righteous" form of this act. Sex is great, but it can also be devastating to some depending on how their partner/significant other treats them. No one wants to be second fiddle. If one does, then I stand corrected. I know I don't and I expect the same from my partner.

Your confusing properly sanctioned polygamy with entirely different animals - promiscuity, fornication, and adultery. To compare polygamy to the practices you describe here is like comparing a righteous monogamous marriage to "f*** buddies". Forgive the language please, but I don't know a better term for this relationship. It is insulting to the memory of the people who suffered so much oppression under the government to follow their religion.

But if you still think it's horrible, I only hope that your opinions are equally harsh towards Abraham, Moses, David, Solomon, and every other Polygamist in the Bible. Even Christ, who used polygamous marriage as the setting for a parable, as he didn't seem to show any dissaproval of it either.

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Through a quick Google search of, oh, about 45 seconds, I was able to identify the anti-Mormon Web site from which you seem to be getting the bulk of your material, including the above abbreviated and ellipsized quote from John A. Widtsoe.

My quote of Elder Widtsoe did not come from any anti-Mormon Website -- I own a copy of Evidences and Reconciliations and took it from my copy. I bought a copy because in other forums, some apologists who held to the old "widows" myth thought I was lying so I produced scans for them. Your implication is mistaken that I distorted the quote through abbreviation and ellispses. That's why I've been providing scans for the apologists who can't let go of the myth.

I doubt you actually have convenient access to Evidences and Reconciliations.

Your doubts are mistaken. I have a copy of it I purchased through Amazon.com.

I do, so I'll point out that the context of Elder Widtsoe's statement was correcting the erroneous notion that plural marriage was instituted because there were more women than men in the Church. It hardly needs pointing out that such an argument has not been made in this thread; certainly not by me.

If you think the old "widows" myth is not being taught right now in many places in the Church and in letters to the editor, and on message boards on the Internet, you are only fooling yourself. Anyone can test this by visiting any ward and asking why God instituted polygamy. Don't be surprised to encounter the "widows" myth widely disseminated throughout the Church.

Rather, my point all along has been that plural marriage had the effect of bringing together as spouses many of the more righteous men and women in the Church, thus creating, far more quickly than otherwise would have been the case, numerous households in which children could be born under the covenant. The result was that by the turn of the century, the Church was no longer just an oppressed and hounded minority.

Pres. Woodruff might disagree. In 1890, he was faced with the Supreme Court upholding the seizure of Church property under the Edmunds-Tucker Act. According to LDS lore, he saw in vision that plural marriage was leading toward the economic and political destruction of the Church.

Theophilus07

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