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When Pondering Polygamy.... Do You Feel


RedSox

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You state what I believe almost word for word. Thank you for writing it so clearly and from you heart. I think it's really easy for those whom have never had to face that choice to say they would, but it's an entirely other matter to actually have to do so.

Big question, how many of you on this board would willingly give up your wife for eternity to the prophet just because he asked you to? It's an honest question that none of us can answer because we don't have to at the present time. But there were polyandras wives whom were married to Joseph Smith, and their husbands in most cases gave up being mates for eternity.

Does anyone really believe that God would ask these brothers to do so? I really find it difficult to believe so.

If the Lord asked you to kill your son... would you?? I don't know that I would have the faith to do that or to have practiced the law of polygamy. But I believe that Joseph Smith was commanded and followed the command.

I also want you to speculate on polygamy as a Celestial Law. Given that there are likely more righteous women than men, and that it is highly likely that more women will obtain the celestial kingdom than men... then I ask you - which of these women does not deserve to enjoy a husband and a family life in eternity?? Unless there happens to be a perfect match in numbers in that Kingdom, polygamy WILL be part of the plan!

I don't know why any of us really participate in these discussions. Do we think anyone's opinion will change due to verbal contention?? We all (including me) come here with very predisposed opinions and in the end we will likely continue to listen to the spirit that guides us - whatever that spirit may be. Good Evening.

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Given that there are likely more righteous women than men, and that it is highly likely that more women will obtain the celestial kingdom than men... then I ask you - which of these women does not deserve to enjoy a husband and a family life in eternity?? Unless there happens to be a perfect match in numbers in that Kingdom, polygamy WILL be part of the plan!

What if there are more righteous men than women? Could bigamy be a possible outcome?

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Absolutely... but do you know more righteous men than women. :P<_< I think God knows the end from the beginning.

You have to take into account that more males are born than female so first there is an imbalance there. Then there is the issue that males have a higher death rate all through their lives (IIRC), definitely in their pre-accountability stage. So that would make the balance of CK candidates heavier on the male side at the beginning.

I am not saying there will be more men than women in the CK, I'm saying we don't know enough about the numbers or how God will judge to have any useful data to project what the future may bring.

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You have to take into account that more males are born than female so first there is an imbalance there. Then there is the issue that males have a higher death rate all through their lives (IIRC), definitely in their pre-accountability stage. So that would make the balance of CK candidates heavier on the male side at the beginning.

I am not saying there will be more men than women in the CK, I'm saying we don't know enough about the numbers or how God will judge to have any useful data to project what the future may bring.

You know, we have scripture showing that God has sanctioned polygyny from the time of Abraham down to as recent as Wilford Woodruff. If you have enough faith to believe that there even is a Celestial Kingdom, why isn't that enough?

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As one who married later in life and who saw far more of the "single scene" than he ever desired to, I would say the observation that decent women outnumber decent men is probably a correct one.

I had the opposite experience on the dating seen in the age group 30-40.

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As I umderstand Celestial living, and the responsibility of the man, it is the man's responsibility to find himself a wife. If he fails in that quest, he may find himself in the Celestial Kingdom, but without the full glories that one could receive. However, if a woman fails in the quest to be wooed by a man, she still has an opportunity. So, bygamy is probably not practiced in heaven.

Of course, this is all subjective and dependant on one's circumstances. It is something to consider if you are a single male who is having cold feet concerning marriage.

If the church were to reinstate it, I would not practice it, partly because the law of the country prohibits it...

This is exactly the reason the church would not reinstate it. It is one of our tenants to be subject to the laws of the land. It just also happens to be one of the criticisms that that is the only reason the church discontinued the practice of polygamy. (It really just comes down to if you believe that President Woodruff was the prophet of God or not.)

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Not every sealing was a marriage. Just because we today only seal spouses and children to parents doesn't mean that was the understanding in the early days of the Church. And considering that Joseph Smith fathered no children in any polyandrous marriages (or with anyone other than Emma), I don't think you can make a solid claim that any sealing to a married woman was considered a marriage (not simply a sealing), and that you can consider any of these "polyandrous marriages" as actually being that.

We can make a rock solid claim to that effect because the wives themselves considered them full marriages as evidenced by the legal court testimony of several of them (solicited by the LDS Church itself). This means not only is your opinion just wishful speculation without documentary support, it is at variance with the Church-encouraged legal testimonies of several of the wives.

Theophilus07

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Absolutely... but do you know more righteous men than women. :P<_< I think God knows the end from the beginning.

I don't keep count on the amount of righteous men to women. But if there is going to be more righteous of one gender, shouldn't that be a red flag as to "Why the such the polarization between the genders?" Is one gender just inept to be more kind and/or obedient to God? And if so, Why?

If that is the case, that one gender is superior in the ranks of being more righteous, then it would appear that the disobedient gender isn't really at fault because it seems to be more of a genetic program for them to be such a way. Now could they really be blamed for their actions? After all, it's their nature to be that way. "But we're not supposed to yield to the natural man." Well, that's just unfair then because one gender has it easier than the other. Maybe that's the reward for enduring a harder mortality.........more spouses.

I guess one could argue and say that it's not that one gender is more righteous by nature, but possibly the outcome is just known ahead of time and such statements regarding that there is to be more of one gender than the other in the highest degree of heaven is just stating the obvious and that it has nothing to do with genetics.

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This is exactly the reason the church would not reinstate it. It is one of our tenants to be subject to the laws of the land.

Except when the Church practiced polygamy in Nauvoo where it was against the law, and except when the Church practices polygamy in the Utah Territory, where it was also against Federal Law. It can be documented that the Church disobeyed the laws in two different geographical settings. Federal law does not seem to have had much influence on the Church in those two settings. Either that, or it was not one of the Church's tenets.

Incidentally, a "tenant" is an occupant of a room or suite, while a "tenet" is a rule or principle. I think you meant "tenet."

It just also happens to be one of the criticisms that that is the only reason the church discontinued the practice of polygamy. (It really just comes down to if you believe that President Woodruff was the prophet of God or not.)

If you do, then bear in mind Pres. Woodruff stated that he discontinued polygamy because in saw in vision that otherwise, the Church's property would have been confiscated by the Federal government. Why believe he was the prophet, but disbelieve what he says?

Theophilus07

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We can make a rock solid claim to that effect because the wives themselves considered them full marriages as evidenced by the legal court testimony of several of them (solicited by the LDS Church itself). This means not only is your opinion just wishful speculation without documentary support, it is at variance with the Church-encouraged legal testimonies of several of the wives.

The wishful thinking is yours....there is absolutely no reason to assume that all of the sealings were marriages as we think of marriages...and certainly no documentation for it.

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This is exactly the reason the church would not reinstate it. It is one of our tenants to be subject to the laws of the land.

Except when the Church practiced polygamy in Nauvoo where it was against the law, and except when the Church practices polygamy in the Utah Territory, where it was also against Federal Law. It can be documented that the Church disobeyed the laws in two different geographical settings. Federal law does not seem to have had much influence on the Church in those two settings. Either that, or it was not one of the Church's tenets.

Incidentally, a "tenant" is an occupant of a room or suite, while a "tenet" is a rule or principle. I think you meant "tenet."

It just also happens to be one of the criticisms that that is the only reason the church discontinued the practice of polygamy. (It really just comes down to if you believe that President Woodruff was the prophet of God or not.)

If you do, then bear in mind Pres. Woodruff stated that he discontinued polygamy because in saw in vision that otherwise, the Church's property would have been confiscated by the Federal government. Why believe he was the prophet, but disbelieve what he says?

Theophilus07

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The wishful thinking is yours....there is absolutely no reason to assume that all of the sealings were marriages as we think of marriages...and certainly no documentation for it.

Nevertheless, some of the plural wives did leave legal court testimony, solicited by the Church, that their "sealings" were full marriages. There's no assumption about THOSE plural wives because the documentation does, indeed, exist.

Theophilus07

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Actually, women in Utah got the right to vote in 1870 - and they voted to protect polygamy. They were later disenfranchised on the basis of their religion by the 1887 Edmunds-Tucker act.

Freedom of religion...

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.

Thinking: Read the above post by No Touch, just in case you skipped over it. Then go read about woman's suffrage in Utah. Then go another step and read about the lives of women in Utah in the 19 hundreds. You are apparently very ignorant on the way women were treated in Utah.

Interesting reading (especially between the lines).

The bill giving the Utah women the right to vote (but not hold office) was signed in 1869. Later that year on October 9, two sermons on "Celestial Marriage" were delivered in the tabernacle by Orson Pratt (JD 13:183) & George Q. Cannon (JD 13:197). Then in 1870 the Utah women were allowed to vote. A vote against polygamy would have been a vote against the Church. They voted for polygamy. (It's interesting to note that Tom Green's wives defended him during his 2001 trial in Utah.)

You may have learned from news reports how difficult it is for a woman to escape from a polygamous community these days. Imagine the difficulty for a woman who is in an isolated part of the country in the 1870's!

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We can make a rock solid claim to that effect because the wives themselves considered them full marriages as evidenced by the legal court testimony of several of them (solicited by the LDS Church itself). This means not only is your opinion just wishful speculation without documentary support, it is at variance with the Church-encouraged legal testimonies of several of the wives.

Theophilus07

I spoke with regard to the "polyandrous marriages". I have no argument or problem with plural marriage in general. But do you have evidence/testimony as you describe that pertains to any of the "polyandrous" marriages?

You may have learned from news reports how difficult it is for a woman to escape from a polygamous community these days. Imagine the difficulty for a woman who is in an isolated part of the country in the 1870's!

Listen, if you are going to deny someone's free will and wishes, based on you calling them a brainwashed victim/captive, please at least do me the favor of realizing that you are no different than those you claim are oppressing. You think it justified to decide for these women what you think their lifestyle should be, and what YOU consider to be freedom. But what freedom is it if women do not have a choice, and it is you the "sympathetic" man coming in to tell them how they should and should not live?

This kind of argument makes it impossible for any women to ever show approval of the practice because no matter what they do, even gathering in large meetings and demonstrations to defend the practice, you will still deny they are choosing so. You will call them victims under duress, and in doing so deny them their voice and the freedom to live as they wish.

This is exactly the reason the church would not reinstate it. It is one of our tenants to be subject to the laws of the land. It just also happens to be one of the criticisms that that is the only reason the church discontinued the practice of polygamy. (It really just comes down to if you believe that President Woodruff was the prophet of God or not.)

Brush up on your Church history, and realize that the Articles of Faith are not Commandments, and the laws of the land do not supersede God's laws. The early Church was commanded by God to take up this practice. When the laws of the land are written to be in direct conflict with God's laws and our Church we are excused. I don't think any Mormon considered themselves subject to laws like the Extermination act in Missouri. Nor did they ever intend to obey the federal Edmunds-Tucker act, who's main purpose was to destroy the Church using polygamy as a pretext. And in that I believe they were justified.

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Scott:

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.

Reply:

As a reminder, you feigned ignorance of the Church census of men and women. The quote indicated during the time period there were more men than women.

Scott:

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.

Much like that of a Master Race? Clearly one of the more creepy things I do believe I have seen you post.

In a prior post I asked :

Well certainly as a writer of Churchnews you should know better than I, but on Larry King, President Hinckley said: "The figures I have are from -- between two percent and five percent of our people were involved in it [polygamy]. It was a very limited practice..."

Is that a true statement? Only 2-5%

Scott Replied:

I'm not certain his figures represented the lastest scholarship on the matter. And again, he didn't specify whether this was true throughout the pre-Manifesto Utah period of Church history. I understand plural marriage was very frequent during the reformation of the 1850s but declined significantly in the territory as time went on.

Since you seem to be aware of the â??lastest scholarshipâ? pray tell, what were the percentages of males and females that practiced polygamy from say 1850 â?? 1890?

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Reply:

As a reminder, you feigned ignorance of the Church census of men and women. The quote indicated during the time period there were more men than women.

Much like that of a Master Race? Clearly one of the more creepy things I do believe I have seen you post.

Since you seem to be aware of the â??lastest scholarshipâ? pray tell, what were the percentages of males and females that practiced polygamy from say 1850 â?? 1890?

So you want to lock down numbers? Then tell us, what you mean.

All males and all females no matter the age, or religion?

All males and all females no matter the age, that are LDS?

All males and all females of marriagable age, no matter the religion? Um, would that be 14 and older or did you have a different age in mind?

All males and females of marriageable age, that were LDS? Same question regarding age as before.

All males and females of marriageable age, that were LDS in good standing? Same question on age, add how we judge standing/faithfulness.

Personally I think that 2-5% figure was based upon total population in the Church including children. And it was obtained by taking the total numerical population of the Church, including children of record which wasn't split off until later, and using the total number of adults in polygynous housholds to create a percentage. The number isn't really good for much, but I haven't seen many numbers that really tell you much, the data isn't really there to provide meaningful numbers.

-SlackTime

-SlackTime

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QUOTE

Scott:

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.

Reply:

As a reminder, you feigned ignorance of the Church census of men and women. The quote indicated during the time period there were more men than women.

That is nonsense. I never feigned ignorance. What I have done all along is maintain that raw census figures are not meaningful in determining whether plural marriage in the Church left righteous male Church members without opportunity for marriage.

QUOTE

Scott:

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.

Reply:

Much like that of a Master Race? Clearly one of the more creepy things I do believe I have seen you post.

Properly understood, it is not "creepy" at all. The intent of raising up seed unto the Lord is that there be a large and strong enough membership base, not just for the Church to survive in the face of persecution and oppression, but so that missionaries can be sent out to take the gospel message to all the world, to every nation, kindred, tongue and people.

Thus, the concept is the direct opposite of Hitler's Nazism, which was exclusivist in the extreme in that it endeavored to annihilate population groups whose members, purely by reason of birth, did not belong to the pure "Aryan" race. The Church of Jesus Christ, on the contrary, is universal in its invitation to all persons, living or dead, to come unto Christ and be perfected in Him.

Now then, what is highly "creepy" is your deliberate and outrageous attempt to distort my remarks and spin them into some sort of religious-based fascism. For this, you deserve sharp censure.

Since you seem to be aware of the “lastest scholarship” pray tell, what were the percentages of males and females that practiced polygamy from say 1850 – 1890?

Are you trying to send me on a paper chase in hopes of diverting attention from the fact that you have failed to document your alleged figures of 3 percent to 25 percent men/women ratio of those engaged in plural marriage?

So far, you have violated at least two board rules in this exchange: one relating to Godwin's Law and the other being your failure to provide references when they are called for.

Do you want to see how many other violations you can rack up? Maybe you're going for a record.

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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?

Since you want opinions... I can give mine. :P

I hated polygamy. Always have. It disgusted me and was a big issue for me. Caused me many a sleepless nights.

Many, many moons later I read "In Sacred Loneliness". And it actually IMPROVED my opinion of Joseph Smith and polygamy. (I also disagreed with a couple of conclusions the author had made. Didn't feel there was enough evidence for his suppositions.) HOWEVER, my opinion of Brigham Young TANKED. I might be able to wrap my head around the general JS polygamy (but don't care to try), but I really personally feel that BY beyond messed it up.

But that's just my opinion.

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QUOTE(Scott Lloyd @ Apr 27 2007, 04:34 PM) *

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.

Reply:

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.

QUOTE

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.

My reply was not directed to you, but to TAK. Are you posting under a sock-puppet name? Have I outed you?

I know that TAK's Widtsoe quote was taken second-hand from an anti-Mormon Web site, because the ellipses are in precisely the same place and it is excerpted in precisely the same manner. Moreover, the Web site has precisely the same national census figures that TAK cut and pasted. It's not hard to tell that TAK found that Web site, probably in the same way I did, through a Google search.

QUOTE

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.

QUOTE

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.

Reply:

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.

That he would disagree is pure supposition on your part. Nowhere is there any indication that we are bound to believe this was the sole reason for the discontinuance of plural marriage. The fact is, the Church had defied the federal government on this issue for decades. When the politicians in Washington had had ample opportunity to behave decently on this matter and failed, then it was time for the Lord to rescind the commandment that plural marriage be practiced by His covenant people. By then, though, enough of a population seed bed had been established that the Church was able to thrive into the 20th Century and fulfill its mission to take the gospel to all the world.

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By the way, Theophilus, now would be a good time to tell us whether you and TAK are one and the same.

Inquiring minds want to know!

We are not the same.. Maybe the Mods can confirm it..

Getting paranoid Scott?

As to my sources..

They are derived ultimately from LDS authorities, so why should it matter where I got them from?

Btw..

As to your faith promoting spin on polygamy.. If polygamy was all about raising righteous seed, where was Joseph Smith’s righteous results from his 30 or more wives?

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