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Isaiah Foretells The Practice Of Polygamy Being Restored


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Am I the only LDS woman left who thinks polygamy (and polygyny) is really a pretty good idea and practice when done from right motives? You seem so hostile to the whole thing.

My wife is all for it. She was all for it when she was constantly pregnant and the only woman around to do all the work and baby care. She is all fo :P r it even more so now that I am an old fart and hard to get a long with.

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You didn't read what I wrote. The verse only outlines what the women would say at the beginning of such a marriage, not how the marriage would be lived from that point on (the wife saying at the outset "Husband, you won't have any responsibility in this," does not mean God is saying the same thing). I kind of feel like writing more but your concerns would be resolved if you read how I explained it before.

I did read what you wrote--your explanation was fine. I just disagree with what you said and so I offer you some sources you might respect which may help you understand why I disagreed with your conclusions:

LDS Old Testament Student Manual p. 141

Verse I of chapter four seems to continue the thought of chapter three rather than to begin a new thought. This phrase suggests that the condition mentioned in verse 1 is caused by the scarcity of men, a result of the devastation of war mentioned in Isaiah 3:25-26. The condintions under which these women would accept this marriage ("eat our own bread, and wear our own apparel") are contrary to the Lord's order of marriage. To be unmarried and childless in ancient Israel was a disgrace. So terrible would conditions in those times be that women would offer to share a husband with others and expect no material support from him, if they could claim they were married to him.

"Isaiah Plain and Simple" by Hoyt W. Brewter Jr. page 37

This scripture is not, as some have supposed, a rallying call for polygamy; but rather it is a description of very adverse conditions. So many men will have been killed in wars(see Is. 3:25) that there will be a shortage of eligible marriage partners for single women. "Seven women" (symbolically meaning many) will propose marriage to "one man." Contrary to law, which requires the husband to provide for the wife (Ex. 21:10), in these desperate times the women will pledge to provide the necessities of life for themselves. In Eastern culture it was considered a disgrace to remain unmarried. Furthermore, for a woman to be childless was considered a great curse.

"A companion to your study of the Old Testament" by Daniel H. Ludlow p. 286

In a Semitic society, the greatest disgrace for a woman was to be barren. Here Isaiah describes a time in the latter days when women will support themselves financially, but they will seek a husband who will make it possible for them to achieve the honor of motherhood and thus take away their "reproach".

Please note that in these interpretations there is no mention of the women supporting themselves being temporary, as you have suggested. It is considered an integral part of this marriage relationship--and note that the sources state it is contrary to LDS as well as Judaic law. If this was a unique aspect of these psuedo-marriages in Ancient Israel, I would not expect it to be different in the Latter days. This is one of my reasons for dismissing the claim that this verse talks about modern day LDS polygamy. These interpretations all agree that this verse is talking about conditions in ancient Israel. If, as I suggest, it is also talking about conditions in the latter days, as well, then I contend what Isaiah saw and described in 4:1 is not a positive thing. It shows a desperation on the part of these women to have children with a man in a relationship which has no commitment, financial or otherwise and is not exclusive and nothing is expected of the man to be a father to his children. In my opinion, this is similar to what we see in our society today with the high number of illegitimate births and the social acceptance of single motherhood.

Just because some people go about it the wrong way doesn't mean anybody who practices it has to go about it the wrong way. The position of the Church used to be, "It's unconstitutional for polygamy to be outlawed." It shouldn't now be, "Polygamy is evil and should never be lived and the fact that we did it even for a brief time is embarrassing so let's just try to forget it ever happened." It might also help to read what the Church History in the Fulness of Times student manual has to say on the subject.

I'm not familiar with the "Church History in the Fulness of Times student manual" is. Is it new?

I'm sorry but the church's position is and has been to distance themselves from this practice. It was upsetting to read in an Ensign article my own polygamous great-grandmother and her other three sister wives and their children not even mentioned and only the first wife and her family pictured or discussed in an article about their husband--giving the clear impression he was monogamous, however, I must trust that our church leaders do so for what they believe are the church's best interest.

Personally, I think children today need a father in the home--not a figurehead, which is usually what happened in polygamous households. This is a different day and age. Our children struggle as it is to get attention from their busy parents and I can only feel that for most families, polygamy would only exacerbate the areas they are already lacking in.

[Edited to remove double post]

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Thanks Calmoriah. I have the D&C, Old, New Testament, PofGP and BofM Student Manuals, but I didn't know there was one for Church History also. Thanks.

It's not bad. I think I've found a reference to almost everything I've looked up in it, just not a lot of detail at times. I think it is a great tool for getting a decent overview, not too short, not too long that you get lost.

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The conditions under which these women would accept this marriage ("eat our own bread, and wear our own apparel") are contrary to the Lord's order of marriage.

Let's draw a modern parallel. Suppose you take a young man and a young woman and they are both decent members of the Church doing the best they can to live the Gospel. They both know many people in the Church and both know each other and are both single. Their paths cross from time to time but nothing much grows from their relationship. At some point they both hear Elder Oak's talk encouraging dating over "hanging out" and the guy somewhat halfheartedly and somewhat sincerely asks the girl out. They go out and have an okay time, the date ends, and several weeks go by. The girl starts getting weighed upon with the impression that marriage is important and is always getting asked a lot why a wonderful girl such as herself can't find a husband. She calls up the guy and says, "Okay, straight up: When we went out on a date it wasn't like there were fireworks or anything and I'll admit that but I think we got along pretty good and I don't think you're flat-out turned off by me. One thing I don't tell people much is that my dad back east is a multi-millionaire. He told me when I was a little girl that whenever I got married that he would supply enough funds so that my husband would never have to work. Moreover we would also be able to hire maids and nannies so that you would never have to help out around the house and never have to change any diapers. Plus, all my friends are married now and having babies and I can really feel my biological clock ticking. You don't need to make a decision now but if you think all that might help you decide to marry me then let me know within a week."

That's about as far as the Isaiah verse goes, but what would the guy in this situation do after that? Being a righteous priesthood-holding male he would say, "Okay, I can see where you're coming from with all that and maybe I could give serious consideration to marrying you but if we got married I know that a responsibility-free marriage is counter to the gospel plan so it won't be exactly like how you outlined it. If your dad wants to hook me up with a new BMW or pay off my student loan then I won't turn that down but I politely refuse to be in a marriage where I'm not involved with my wife and kids. Now, you think about that and if you are fine with that I'll give you my final decision on the marriage within the week timeline you set." We can't say for sure if Isaiah's scenario would have gone something like that if he had continued describing it but I'm 100% sure that's how it would work out if at least the man in question, and probably the woman too, were righteous people moving along the gospel path.

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With the legalization of same sex marriages in Canada many critics contend that polygamy is destined for the same fate in the Great White North.

Read this columnist's words in the link provided if you are curious as to how such an expectation can be had. He predicts polygamy will be legal in Canada in five years time.


Also, the FLDS operate a colony in Bountiful, British Columbia where they openly practice polygamy in defiance of the law yet no police action has been brought against them. The fear, at leas it is assumed, that if the law intervened then a Charter challenge would be perused on behalf of the FLDS citing violation of their religious freedom. If the FLDS did pursue that legal avenue they will assuredly win and thus polygamy will become legal. Therefore in true Canadian fashion the federal government in Ottawa ignores it and pretends it isn't there or hopes that it goes away or, better still, hopes that the problem solves itself.

The Charter is the over sanctified Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms which is essentially a type of constitution. The Charter helped make same sex unions possible and pretty much anything else legal in Canada provided you can make it into a human rights issue. With the support of the Charter and the precedent setting government approval of same sex unions it is only a matter of time before polygamy will become legal in Canada. Polygamy is openly practiced by FLDS adherents and secretly by Muslim immigrants. For a country that allegedly prides itself on tolerance, accommodation and state enforced multiculturalism complemented with a legal framework to punish dissenters, it would be hypocritical, and discriminatory, for Canada not to.

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I think the economic conditions at the time that Isaiah 4:1 speaks of will be so extremely bad that men may have a very hard time supporting even one wife and family.

My Bishop's wife worked as a nurse to put him through law school, and even worked on Sunday. That doesn't fit well with gospel principles, but they realized that the financial welfare of their family was a very high priority. Sometimes it becomes necessary to break a lesser law in order to live a higher one.

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