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How do you deal with hard questions


zeezrom

  

53 members have voted

  1. 1. As an example, how do you deal with polygamy?

    • I don't worry about it. It has nothing to do with me.
      2
    • I don't worry about it. I don't understand it but don't need to.
      0
    • I face it. Study it. I don't like it but know understanding will come later.
      6
    • It bothers me but I put it on a shelf and forget about it.
      1
    • I think it was a mistake but I still have a testimony in J. Smith.
      4
    • It was a mistake and it has reduced my testimony in J. Smith
      10
    • I'm okay with the concept historically and doctrinally today.
      25
    • Other
      5


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I checked other because I went about resolving my doubts differently. I knew some of my questions could not be answered by study so I was going to have to seek out gifts of the Spirit that would allow me to access knowledge available only through that medium. All of my effort went into drawing closer to God. A couple of significant trials and difficulties followed that seemed overwhelming but which have proven to be part of the purification process. I had some profound spiritual experiences - none of which directly answered the questions I started out with but all of which provided answers to far more meaningful questions. And since that time, the world is in focus. I don't know how to say it any better - I just see very clearly now.

Don't misunderstand, I'm not negating the power of study. I studied my little heart out and continue to do so - it's my nature - but it's not studying church history that brings the answers, it's knowing God.

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This is a struggle for a lot of people. I would like to know how you deal with it.

People who have trouble with polygyny (why are we saddled with the wrong word, polygamy, even in today's supposedly more educated world?) are simply chronocentrists. And, I believe strongly that they miss the most important parts of the issue because they focus on the man who's the husband, and not on the women, nor on the men who are not husbands.

Multiple wives has been the standard of mating throughout most of history. It is far from uncommon today even in its formal version(s). But informally, it is probably the more prevalent condition of human life.

People seldom recall (or reflect) on the fact that it is the women who benefit most through polygyny. Every woman who wants to will be married to a man who is wealthy enough to support her. It won't matter if she's beautiful or ugly, young or old, or in any other condition: there will be a man who will take her as his wife.

On the other hand, only the men who can compete (be it on the basis of wealth, physical attractiveness, strength, intelligence, or whatever attributes women find most appealing) will have wives, the rest of us would be left out in the cold.

Women must (in general) find polygyny appealing because we see that there are so many who make themselves subordinate wives to men who they know are already married, although their status is "mistress" or "kept woman", or "harlot" or "whore".

Polygyny is not about sex, per se. It's about status and economics. It's about women choosing to have better genes for their children (which brings sex into the question, but not as most people imagine).

People who have a problem with polygyny need to stop and think about it more than simply summarily rejecting the idea based on ephemeral "mores" and "morals".

Now, with that said, I am fully convinced that it is God's will, right now, that we not practice plural marriage. He's said so, and I accept that. That's not the question before the house. We are here discussing whether polygyny is ever a good thing, whether it is universally evil. It is not, ipso facto, evil; it is not, on its face, good, either.

It is a reasonable response to the issues facing men and women as they approach life.

Can polygyny be abused? Of course it can, anything can be abused, but that does not mean that thing is, in and of itself, bad.

But there are far more cases where polygyny has been a blessing to all participants than where anyone has been objectively harmed by the practice.

Lehi

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What's so hard about dealing with polygamy?

Perhaps the inner conflict one feels to learn that the esteemed prophet of the restoration:

- had an intimate relationship with a teenage maidservant years before the doctrine of plural marriage was revealed

- sent trusted friends away on missions so he could propose to their wives

- coerce women into becoming his brides by telling them their eternal salvation depended on it

- kept most of his polygamous relationships secret from his wife, much to her chagrin

Those kind of things can throw you for a loop.

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Women must (in general) find polygyny appealing because we see that there are so many who make themselves subordinate wives to men who they know are already married, although their status is "mistress" or "kept woman", or "harlot" or "whore".

This might go down as one of the worst statements ever made here.

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Studying the full history of polygamy greatly damaged my perception of Joseph Smith's character, but it did not obliterate his other theological contributions.

Why did Joseph Smith's polygamous acts damage your perception of him? What else exactly were you expecting?

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This is a struggle for a lot of people. I would like to know how you deal with it. Thank you for your time. Sorry if my choices are lame - those are all I could think of.

What hard questions? When one does as mercyngrace has posted the hard questions seem to fade away. There is no hard questions.

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This might go down as one of the worst statements ever made here.

I was just going to say that.

Women must (in general) find polygyny appealing because we see that there are so many who make themselves subordinate wives to men who they know are already married, although their status is "mistress" or "kept woman", or "harlot" or "whore".

Nice one LeSellers. How enlightened of you.

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Perhaps the inner conflict one feels to learn that the esteemed prophet of the restoration:

- had an intimate relationship with a teenage maidservant years before the doctrine of plural marriage was revealed

- sent trusted friends away on missions so he could propose to their wives

- coerce women into becoming his brides by telling them their eternal salvation depended on it

- kept most of his polygamous relationships secret from his wife, much to her chagrin

Those kind of things can throw you for a loop.

But if God commanded Joseph to do it, because God is doing the same, then why should it be that surprising?

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Why did Joseph Smith's polygamous acts damage your perception of him? What else exactly were you expecting?

Are you serious?

If I got up in sacrament and recited the full history of Joseph Smith's polygamy (fanny alger, helen mar kimball, sarah pratt, emma's perspective, etc) do you think a few ward members might be mildly distressed?

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But if God commanded Joseph to do it, because God is doing the same, then why should it be that surprising?

"Because God is doing the same"

???

I think the issues is that god-commanded polygamy would manifest itself differently than it was actually practiced.

Or, it is difficult to see why God would command polygamy at all.

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... polygyny (why are we saddled with the wrong word, polygamy, even in today's supposedly more educated world?)

The word is still accurate, although not as specifically descriptive. And in Smith's case, which included both polygyny and polyandry, it's better.

But of all the misused words and terms found on this board and others like it, that would be far down on my list.

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I generally agree with LeSellars. Plural marriage as practiced by the Church in the 19th century was not an evil or impure practice, and in fact had some advantages over traditional marriage for the time and circumstances in which it was practiced.

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My fellow board members, lets not get hung up on polygamy. THe thread was started to see how members deal with hard issues. Hard issues are different issues for each member. I have no issue with polygamy. THat is not a hard issue for me. I don't know that I have any hard issues. Maybe, for the sake of argument, we can through out the priesthood ban.

I deal with that by trying to see what perspectives can be offered. Some think that it was not instituded by God. Other think that it was. I think by studying the issue is the best way to deal with the issue. Most topics have lots of articles that deal with these issues.

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fred57 asked, "What's so hard about dealing with polygamy? "

I'll wait until you answer mine.

I've heard people tell me they struggled with polygamy. I don't know why exactly. I know why I struggle with it but my question is pointed to members in general - how do members deal with this - not "how should I deal with it."

Thank you.

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The process MnG described is not easy. In fact it can be excruciating.

Senator,

You are right. It can be excrutiating and there is often an unimaginable price to be paid. But once you've come out the other side you KNOW the schooling you received was worth any price. Not only that, God makes up for what you've lain on the altar in ways that you never could've imagined.

Lay claim to the blessings that are your inheritance.

MnG

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Do you want to know what I think the hardest question in Mormonism is?

Why does religion look to be simply the outgrowth of various cultural folklores, myths and superstitions - our earnest, but futile attempts to explain our existence in unknowable universe?

This is a hundred times more difficult to deal with than polygamy.

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