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Dante'S Polygamy


cinepro

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I need the bit of text represented by the '...'

As bomtruth says, there is a lot that is represented between things. I can't remember which verse it was Brigham stated, but there was another thing he may have said, from the JoD, I believe, that I have seen used, that was misinterpreted, because someone put '...' in between. It is important to know the full surrounds of the source.

Have a good week =).

TAO

Unfortunately, I sloppily pasted the quote from another website. Incidentally, this same quote appears in Compton's book without the ellipses. I'd also be interested to find out what is actually in the original source document.

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I am the finance clerk for our local singles branch, and while I was in the clerk's office there today one of the young men happened to come into the office and after he completed his business I asked him how he understood the principle of plural marriage with respect to the post-life eternity.

Interesting data point, Stargazer. Can you do me a favor and also ask the same question to as many of the single sisters as you can?

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I actually also did some asking around today, and was surprised to find how many people actually believe they may be required to practice polygamy in the afterlife. I wonder how many believe that ALL exalted beings will be required to practice polygamy. Do any of you believe this?

Having worked extensively with investigators and new converts, I've seen the missionaries completely downplay the issue of polygamy, and certainly never seen them disclose that many LDS believe that polygamy will be practiced in the afterlife. The basic story told is that polygamy was given up by the church over 100 years ago and any church member currently found to practice it is excommunicated.

What is your take on the statement by President Hinckley in the King interview that polygamy is not doctrinal?

Also, do you believe that if laws against polygamy were revoked (granted that no one has been convicted on a polygamy charge for quite some time now) the church would reinstate the practice?

Since I see the church first and foremost as a self-interested organization.

It almost sounds like you are a member of country club of some sort.

I sure hope you aren't working with investigator and new converts today in that very unflattering and completely false description of the Lord's Church.

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True Religion isn't supposed to conform to the culture, it is supposed to form the culture.

If I was LDS I couldn't care whether the doctrine and history of LDS polygamy is popular. I couldn't care if it turned people away.

If I was searching for truth in religion today, I wouldn't be looking for something current unless it was with a living prophet starting today. It seems impossible that a one true religion, if it has existed for more than a generation, is going to be current. (I am not saying anything against modern revelation. But we have to wait for that, right? Not just condemn the past) I am only saying this because I want Mormons to continue to agree with us Traditional Catholics regarding the role of true religion in society. You mark it down, when members start clamoring for their church to be current, it will follow that they no longer care about the reason the religion was founded. When Mormons don't care if their Latter-day faith in 2011 is compatible with a Latter-day faith less than 200 years past will be the day Mormonism is irrelevant, and the original vision of Restored Christianity is lost.

We have the same things in the Catholic Church. Modernism is rampant in the Catholic Church. Many Catholics don't care these days about the blood of martyrs and their beliefs, of the faith that nourished all the saints. They are interested in their televised 21st Century and want their religion to reflect the beliefs of the evening news. They say the Catholic Church must be updated so we can appeal to modern man. But Tradition denies that modern man and his current fads are revealed from heaven. We can't follow them. We can't care about this ardent desire to conform our beliefs and practices to modern habits and folkways when they seem to be in conflict. We must know that the true faith, when it is properly practised, will properly influence culture. Besides, in 70 years, our grandchildren will have no respect for the norms of this age anyway!

Many people in all religions nowadays don't care about their ancestors in the faith. They do not have any reverence for religious tradition or antiquity. It seems like a particular problem of our age, an arrogant age that thinks it is distinctly better and therefore deserves to be considered as the standard by which any age is measured. Any one true religion stands squarely in the way of such an attitude and says "No. We must look to the past for guidance." There is a reason why the Scriptures include roll after roll of dry genealogies for kings and patriarchs and priests. It is teaching us that that we must have continuity with our Fathers, if we would hope to serve the same Lord the same way.

Traditional Mormons stick to your guns and I'll be a Tradional Catholic sticking to mine. By doing so, you and I will have more in common with each other than disgruntleds of both our faiths who won't start their own religions, but want to change ours.

3DOP

Excellent. And very well stated. Now, if only I could believe that even the original "revealed" religions you speak of had any legitimacy to begin with. To me, ALL religious dogma is manmade, from the getgo, and always was, and always will be. "God" does not require mass adherence to a dogmatic set of doctrines. "God", being infinite, is fully capable of dealing with each sapient soul individually, since we are created as such. This need for mass adherence/obedience is surely a human conformity and control thing and does not descend from "God" at all....

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Fourth: "Joseph Smith's wives included women who were married to other living men."

Fifth: "Joseph Smith publicly denied polygamy at the same time he was practicing it"

Sixth: "Joseph Smith taught the principle of plural marriage to some women while their husbands were away on missions, suggesting they enter into the practice before their husbands got back"

I think these are the points that most people would find most disturbing.

But if there's any real difference between polygamy and plural marriage, wouldn't these sealings be only for eternity (with no intimate relations, here on earth, between Joseph and these already married women), and wouldn't Joseph have been telling the truth when he denied polygamy?

I've seen as much said or implied by Mormon apologists.

Is it possible?

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Excellent. And very well stated. Now, if only I could believe that even the original "revealed" religions you speak of had any legitimacy to begin with. To me, ALL religious dogma is manmade, from the getgo, and always was, and always will be. "God" does not require mass adherence to a dogmatic set of doctrines. "God", being infinite, is fully capable of dealing with each sapient soul individually, since we are created as such. This need for mass adherence/obedience is surely a human conformity and control thing and does not descend from "God" at all....

Thanks Questing Beast.

Let me break down your alternative to one true church:

QB

Now, if only I could believe that even the original "revealed" religions you speak of had any legitimacy to begin with.

3DOP

Sure. It sounds like you wouldn't mind. There is comfort in religion, especially if you really believe. Great. It seems like you get that and could go for that. But the predisposition isn't there. If you don't think that God (not "God") reveals His benficent presence in nature, you don't have any reason to be expecting even more speculative information from Him, meaning revelation that goes beyond nature. I wouldn't even try to talk seriously about Catholicism for instance, before there is a foundation of belief in a good God. I understand that the "good God" idea has been under attack from the philosophers and the natural scientists. I just think they are "off their chumps". I really think God is good before I approach any religion. Of course there are questions, diffficulties, problems. But the alternative is what? I am just not geared for agnosticism. Why would a random universe make a thing like me? And why would a random universe make me happy and make me think it loves me? No...I think that its an intelligence out there with lots of...influence, power, whatever you want to call it. I feel loved before I even start wondering about my moral predicament.

QB

To me, ALL religious dogma is manmade, from the getgo, and always was, and always will be. "God" does not require mass adherence to a dogmatic set of doctrines.

3DOP

A dogmatic set of doctrines? Heh. I don't know what to say. I see one thing in the world, God. You see something else, "God". But you ought to be able to agree that if there is a good God, we probably could expect more than just what we can see from nature. Are you assuming that the true religion for some reason HAS to be present now? Even if you reject what you know to be present, what about the future? Maybe the final revelation isn't here yet. Christians depend on the Jews. Moslems and Mormons depend on the Christians. Maybe its still unfolding. If so...maybe you could be a searcher for what isn't arrived yet, knowing that a good God won't hold you accountable for knowing about what isn't here yet? Sigh...see why we have to start with a good God?

QB

God", being infinite, is fully capable of dealing with each sapient soul individually, since we are created as such.

3DOP

I am not sure I follow here. It seems like you are assuming that believers in a corporate religion deny God's ability to speak individually to souls. No way! Of course He speaks individually! The true religion will arise because he says the same things to the individuals! The good God isn't going to say conflicting things to the individuals. So...if there is a good God, a one true faith is inevitable...(sooner or later...not necessarily so soon as 2011 AD) not because he doesn't speak to individuals, but because He says the same stuff to them.

QB

This need for mass adherence/obedience is surely a human conformity and control thing and does not descend from "God" at all....

3DOP

I will concede that this element of submission and obedience and following of authority can be divorced from the true religion. But I can't agree that it follows that the good God wouldn't teach the same things to a bunch of people with the result that they would have a conformity of beliefs and practices that would characterize a true religion. I disagree with this last statement.

But anyway QuestingBeast, thanks so much for a thoughtful reply. If there is a good God, may He bless you and lead on your quest. If there isn't, I'll just be really surprised, or maybe I won't even know it. What a sad thought. I hope one of us gets to kindly tell the other, "I told you so."

Take care,

Rory (aka 3DOP)

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But if there's any real difference between polygamy and plural marriage, wouldn't these sealings be only for eternity (with no intimate relations, here on earth, between Joseph and these already married women), and wouldn't Joseph have been telling the truth when he denied polygamy?

I've seen as much said or implied by Mormon apologists.

Is it possible?

Only if some of his plural wives were liars.

It would also make Joseph a fool, because with all the heat he took from Emma and others, you would think it might occur to him to explain the philosophy to her so she would understand the platonic nature of the relationships. :pardon:

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I actually also did some asking around today, and was surprised to find how many people actually believe they may be required to practice polygamy in the afterlife. I wonder how many believe that ALL exalted beings will be required to practice polygamy. Do any of you believe this?

Having worked extensively with investigators and new converts, I've seen the missionaries completely downplay the issue of polygamy, and certainly never seen them disclose that many LDS believe that polygamy will be practiced in the afterlife. The basic story told is that polygamy was given up by the church over 100 years ago and any church member currently found to practice it is excommunicated.

What is your take on the statement by President Hinckley in the King interview that polygamy is not doctrinal?

Also, do you believe that if laws against polygamy were revoked (granted that no one has been convicted on a polygamy charge for quite some time now) the church would reinstate the practice?

Last will be first and all that, I think that if laws against polygamy were repealed (fat chance) that the church would not reinstate the practice. But my reason for thinking this is not because the First Presidency and the Quroum of the Twelve wouldn't want to, but because the Lord wouldn't require its reinstatement. The reason why the Lord wouldn't do so (in my humble opinion) is because I think at least part of the reason why it was instituted in the first place was to test the Saints will to obey His word, and another part being to provide an even strong differentiator than there was already. If the "World" changed its mind and said, "Oh, nevermind, go ahead if you want", the obedience and the differentiation would be accomplished by NOT reinstating it.

My take on President Hinckley's "not doctrinal" answer is simply that the Principle is not a doctrine we are being required to live at this time. Hence, any practice of it is non-doctrinal and an excommunicable offense.

Why NOT downplay polygamy with new investigators? Since we are not practicing it, and there's little or no likelihood that we're ever going to practice it in this mortal life, what is the use of making a point of it? Other than as a point of history.

And why should talk of being required to practice polygamy in the afterlife be some kind of big bugaboo in the first place? It will only actually happen under some very concise and exacting circumstances, to wit:

  1. There is an afterlife
  2. Joseph Smith was an actual prophet of God and the Church of Jesus Christ of LDS is exactly what it claims to be
  3. God requires it of those who receive exaltation

Therefore, there is quite literally no problem to be concerned with! For the following reasons:

  1. If there isn't actually going to be an afterlife, then there we are: nobody is going to practice polygamy because we will all be simply extinguished.
  2. If there is an afterlife and the Church isn't true after all, then according to practically every other relgion on the planet all Mormons are going to go to hell anyway, and there's most certainly no polygamy there.
  3. If there is an afterlife, and the Church is true, if you don't want to practice polygamy, then nobody, least of all God, is going to force you to practice it. Remember that only the upper third of the Celestial Kingdom requires eternal marriage to get in. There's plenty of room in the other two thirds, after all. And for that matter there's nothing wrong with the Terrestiral Kingdom if you can't handle the Celestial. Even the Telestrial Kingdom is so much more glorious than this life that there is no real way you can compare them.

Just as in the apocryphal proverb about being so darned busy shaking hands with friends in the afterlife that you won't have time to worry about being in Hell, there is nothing about Polygamy in the afterlife that should worry anyone.

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Interesting data point, Stargazer. Can you do me a favor and also ask the same question to as many of the single sisters as you can?

I thought of this, cinepro, but picture it: an older married man comes up to a few single sisters in the singles branch and asks: "So what do you girls think about polygamy..." Before I got to the part about "...in the afterlife" they would either start moving quickly away to tell the branch president that I was hitting on them as additional wives. Want to guess how fast I would be talking to the stake president?

Oh, wait, I guess that's what you were trying to trick me into doing!

You sly devil! But I'm too smart for you!

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Only if some of his plural wives were liars.

It would also make Joseph a fool, because with all the heat he took from Emma and others, you would think it might occur to him to explain the philosophy to her so she would understand the platonic nature of the relationships. :pardon:

But if you believe Joseph practised polygamy (in the usual sense of the word), you'd have to believe at least one of his plural wives (Emma) was a liar.

As for being a fool for taking heat from her and others when he could have explained that these sealing didn't involve intimate relationships here on earth, would Emma be fine with sharing him in heaven (and would his critics have believed him)?

He denied having more than one wife to his critics, and even if he explained the meaning of these sealings to Emma, she may have still had trouble accepting them (or even believing him.)

I don't know how plausible this thesis is, but I've seen it advanced by Mormon apologists.

Is it possible that these sealings were temporally Platonic?

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inquiringmind:

Something to think on. Eventually EVERYONE will be Sealed to each other in a big family.

That is a great thing to think about it. We are ALL brothers and sisters. We are ALL ONE big heavenly family. We are ALL links of ONE chain.

When I think about it, plural marriage makes even more sense to me than before.

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That is a great thing to think about it. We are ALL brothers and sisters. We are ALL ONE big heavenly family. We are ALL links of ONE chain.

When I think about it, plural marriage makes even more sense to me than before.

And I think this is the key to understanding it all. We have to stop thinking in terms of our mortal experience.

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But if you believe Joseph practised polygamy (in the usual sense of the word), you'd have to believe at least one of his plural wives (Emma) was a liar.

I do believe Emma lied about Joseph's polygamy. Other than a few remaining polygamy-deniers, who doesn't?

As for being a fool for taking heat from her and others when he could have explained that these sealing didn't involve intimate relationships here on earth, would Emma be fine with sharing him in heaven (and would his critics have believed him)?

He denied having more than one wife to his critics, and even if he explained the meaning of these sealings to Emma, she may have still had trouble accepting them (or even believing him.)

How would that be worse than not even trying to explain it? Isn't it cruel to allow your wife to mistakenly believe you are being married "for time and eternity" to other living women if in fact you're only being married "for eternity"?

Is it possible that these sealings were temporally Platonic?

I think at least some of them were platonic.

But based on the non-platonic nature of almost every other polygamous Mormon marriage following Joseph Smith's, I don't feel compelled to assume his were somehow the exception to the rule, instead of the model.

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How would that be worse than not even trying to explain it? Isn't it cruel to allow your wife to mistakenly believe you are being married "for time and eternity" to other living women if in fact you're only being married "for eternity"?

Maybe he did explain it, and she didn't like the idea of his being bound to anyone else for eternity (or didn't believe him.)

I think at least some of them were platonic.

But based on the non-platonic nature of almost every other polygamous Mormon marriage following Joseph Smith's, I don't feel compelled to assume his were somehow the exception to the rule, instead of the model.

I haven't done any research on Brigham Young's plural marriages, or the other plural marriages that followeed Joseph Smith's--but how do we know they were polygamous (i.e. non Platonic)?

It's my understanding that there's no DNA evidence that Joseph fathered any children by any wife other than Emma?

Has there been any research of this nature on Brigham (or the others)?

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It's my understanding that there's no DNA evidence that Joseph fathered any children by any wife other than Emma?

Has there been any research of this nature on Brigham (or the others)?

No need.

Brigham Young's wives bore him over four dozen children. We know who they are and how they got here.

Lehi

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No need.

Brigham Young's wives bore him over four dozen children. We know who they are and how they got here.

Lehi

After Brigham Young, we should definitely get to testing for Joseph F. Smith. I don't want to sound presumptuous, but I have my suspicions...

jfs_3.jpg

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Thanks Questing Beast.

Let me break down your alternative to one true church:

QB

Now, if only I could believe that even the original "revealed" religions you speak of had any legitimacy to begin with.

3DOP

Sure. It sounds like you wouldn't mind. There is comfort in religion, especially if you really believe. Great. It seems like you get that and could go for that. But the predisposition isn't there. If you don't think that God (not "God") reveals His benficent presence in nature, you don't have any reason to be expecting even more speculative information from Him, meaning revelation that goes beyond nature. I wouldn't even try to talk seriously about Catholicism for instance, before there is a foundation of belief in a good God. I understand that the "good God" idea has been under attack from the philosophers and the natural scientists. I just think they are "off their chumps". I really think God is good before I approach any religion. Of course there are questions, diffficulties, problems. But the alternative is what? I am just not geared for agnosticism. Why would a random universe make a thing like me? And why would a random universe make me happy and make me think it loves me? No...I think that its an intelligence out there with lots of...influence, power, whatever you want to call it. I feel loved before I even start wondering about my moral predicament.

I feel loved too. I always have. Where I am not predisposed to feel satisfied with ONE religion, is seeing the whole world as no different than myself. And believing that "God" works through ONE religious dogma is just not supported by what I see. Rather, as I have said already, it seems that "God" is big enough to handle an infinity of sapient souls one-on-one. There is no need for dogmas that whole masses of people must conform to. There is no ONE WAY to live beyond personal integrity. Experience does the rest, i.e. teaches the individual what is and what is not conducive to Joy - which is the whole point of a flawed mortal world: that is why I see the universe as loving instead of mindlessly destructive. The love is in the teaching. We keep nothing from "here" but our memories. So all the cushy bennies that most people associate with religious obedience are not correlated to that obedience: in other words, we do not see a correlation between obedience to the ONE dogma, and material preferment in this world. The benefit of obedience to personal integrity (not lying to yourself) is growing wisdom and appreciation for Existence.

3DOP

...Are you assuming that the true religion for some reason HAS to be present now?

Of course! Mormons are taught from the cradle that Joseph Smith is the prophet of the restoration of all things (restitution of all things since the holy prophets began). But I don't "go there". To me the true religion is written in each and every soul from the moment we come to be, making any "restitution of all things spoken by the holy prophets since the world began" redundant. Awareness of the "true religion" comes with experience individually.

Even if you reject what you know to be present, what about the future?

I don't reject "what [ I ] know to be present". The future does not exist in this space-time continuum. Moment-by-moment is all we know. "The future is unwritten, the past is but a dream", is probably as close to our empirical reality as we ever get.

Maybe the final revelation isn't here yet.

There is no "final revelation" to immortal beings. We are always learning more about "God", or in other words, "Existence In The First Place".

Christians depend on the Jews. Moslems and Mormons depend on the Christians. Maybe its still unfolding. If so...maybe you could be a searcher for what isn't arrived yet, knowing that a good God won't hold you accountable for knowing about what isn't here yet? Sigh...see why we have to start with a good God?

I do start with a good God. And I do believe that the best description of Mormonism is, "The fourth of the great Abrahamic religions".

QB

God", being infinite, is fully capable of dealing with each sapient soul individually, since we are created as such.

3DOP

I am not sure I follow here. It seems like you are assuming that believers in a corporate religion deny God's ability to speak individually to souls. No way!

Not at all. But I am no longer surprised to be "led" out of a "corporate dogma" into wide open territory, all by myself. Looking back, I see where I have been and believe that where I am now is the natural progression of someone who truly depends on him/herself as the thinking choice-maker: and integral to this continuing process is a conscious, continuous desire and effort to be in the "presence of God".

Of course He speaks individually! The true religion will arise because he says the same things to the individuals! The good God isn't going to say conflicting things to the individuals. So...if there is a good God, a one true faith is inevitable...(sooner or later...not necessarily so soon as 2011 AD) not because he doesn't speak to individuals, but because He says the same stuff to them.

But also "the world" says a lot of things NOT in sync with what "God" says. Within the religion of your choice (no exceptions), there is a myriad of spiritual paradigms. Mormons are very different in their individual beliefs, if they think at all about metaphysical and historical matters. So the dogma is ONE, but the paradigms are legion.

QB

This need for mass adherence/obedience is surely a human conformity and control thing and does not descend from "God" at all....

3DOP

I will concede that this element of submission and obedience and following of authority can be divorced from the true religion. But I can't agree that it follows that the good God wouldn't teach the same things to a bunch of people with the result that they would have a conformity of beliefs and practices that would characterize a true religion. I disagree with this last statement.

I can accept that "God" works within a dogma. And that masses of like-minded people are a strength to each other (for good or ill). But obedience must finally come down to an individual integrity alone: obedience because of an ethic such as "when the prophet speaks the debate is over", is simply not any sort of excuse for being right. The only way you can be right is to follow your authentic self and that means never lying to yourself, even if the only person in the world who believes is you.

But anyway QuestingBeast, thanks so much for a thoughtful reply. If there is a good God, may He bless you and lead on your quest. If there isn't, I'll just be really surprised, or maybe I won't even know it. What a sad thought. I hope one of us gets to kindly tell the other, "I told you so."

Take care,

Rory (aka 3DOP)

There is not "I told you so" about any of this, imho. No one can tell another "I told you so", because none of us can see inside to the metaphysical paradigm that guides that person. The written/spoken word is woefully inadequate to express the metaphysical.

What happens with each one of us, as far as I can tell, is that at some point we "get it": we really begin to know why we Exist at all, and it is all about enJoyment. Misery is only necessary insofar as we need further learning in order to "get it". And the ways to get that awareness are infinite. Joy really is dependent on ONE set of values, which can be summed up in the singular word, Justice. Without Justice there is no Joy. The soul that behaves unjustly can never comprehend Joy. It can obtain the whole "world" and yet remain dark and miserable. The soul that has perfect, infinite Joy possesses nothing at all BUT the Joy, the satisfaction of Existence. And in that state of awareness, the entire world in its infinity becomes the possession of that soul. The soul that feels Joy needs nothing else and the future is a promise of all things....

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Were any of Brigham's wives (or Joseph F. Smith's) married to other men?

In a word, yes, but the answer is far more complex than one word can express.

This is another place where I have to beg off on details because of a lack of handy resources. I'll put it on the list. :)

Lehi

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Were any of Brigham's wives married to other men?

No. The closest B. Young came to polyandry is Zina Diantha Huntington Jacobs Smith Young. B Young said: "Brother Jacobs," ... the woman you claim for a wife does not belong to you. She is the spiritual wife of brother Joseph, sealed up to him. I am his proxy, and she, in this behalf, with her children, are my property. You can go where you please, and get another, but be sure to get one of your own kindred spirit."There was no way that Young was going to "go there" with Joseph Smith's polyandry. It died with him....

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No. The closest B. Young came to polyandry is Zina Diantha Huntington Jacobs Smith Young. B Young said: "Brother Jacobs," ... the woman you claim for a wife does not belong to you. She is the spiritual wife of brother Joseph, sealed up to him. I am his proxy, and she, in this behalf, with her children, are my property. You can go where you please, and get another, but be sure to get one of your own kindred spirit."There was no way that Young was going to "go there" with Joseph Smith's polyandry. It died with him....

Polyandry would require intimate relations here in mortality.

How do you know Joseph had intimate relations with the wives of these other men (here in mortality) when there's no DNA evidence to show that he fathered any children by them?

(And given your personal Theology, would it matter if it gave him "Joy"?)

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Polyandry would require intimate relations here in mortality.

??? Why. One can be sealed and not have intimate relations.

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??? Why. One can be sealed and not have intimate relations.

You think people would get that.

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??? Why. One can be sealed and not have intimate relations.

Technically, that wouldn't be polyandry (and that was my point.)

Questing Beast said that Joseph's "polyandery died with him," and I asked him was how he knows that Joseph's relationships with these women were truly polyandrous (i.e. intimate.)

You think people would get that.

Have either of you been following this thread?

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