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Wrestling With Polyandry


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It comes down to whether you believe Joseph was a liar, and perjurer, who toosed men out of the church for practcing what he taught in order to hide his own practice of a supposedly righteous principle

Just curious, do you accept the doctrine of the keys of the priesthood. You must have had permission from one having those keys to practice polygamy. He "tossed them out of church" for being rogues, for refusing to follow the guidelines of priesthood authority.

The Lord has order in the church.

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The other problem with this approach is that we do not have a "control" in place telling us what the will of God was "really" for any of these women. We are assuming that we know God's will and that any answer which included her involving herself in a relationship with Joseph must have been "wrong"

We can't know that. We have no right to "set aside" anyone's revelation because it does not agree with our misconceptions of what the will of God is for that individual.

You're right we should not make such judgments based on our conceptions of what a spiritual experience should be. That would be as dismissive of the experience as if you took an anti-supernaturalist bias from the get go. If we set aside (not "dismiss," let alone "deny") someone's spiritual experience, it would have to be for reasons we can point to.

I suggested the possibility of not being fully informed about the subject one is praying about. If one asks the wrong question, the likelihood of getting the wrong answer or misinterpreting the answer is increased. If that isn't full justification for setting aside the person's experience, it would be reason to exercise more caution in evaluating the experience.

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Very very interesting but not surprising considering the fact that you started this thread, as I said earlier. You are a good man, I think, to handle it this way!

I agree and think Don's story runs parallel to others with the exception that several don't come back to the church like he's done. And for BookofMormonLuvr, the world of belief & faith is big enough for all.
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The other problem with this approach is that we do not have a "control" in place telling us what the will of God was "really" for any of these women. We are assuming that we know God's will and that any answer which included her involving herself in a relationship with Joseph must have been "wrong"

We can't know that. We have no right to "set aside" anyone's revelation because it does not agree with our misconceptions of what the will of God is for that individual.

My ex brother in-law and sister in-law, who were brother and sister were married to my brother and sister (confusing?). Anyhoo, they are the Session's from Bountiful and are related to the Sylvia Session's line. In fact there is a monument devoted to Sylvia, right on Orchard Drive in Bountiful, that I'd walk by on my way to the Grand Central store as a child. Little did I know the significance of that monument and now when I look at my nephews I can almost say to them that Joseph Smith is related to them. ETA: I don't think I meant to quote your post, I'm watching Les Miserable's and got distracted and accidentally quoted, ding bat that I am. Edited by Tacenda
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Even if there were no sexual relations in Joseph Smith's polyandry, the next life part of it is still troubling.

Men: Would you allow the prophet to seal himself to your wife with the understanding that in the next life she would belong to him?

Women: Would you allow yourself to be sealed to the prophet with the understanding that in the next life you would belong to him and not your current husband?

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I suggested the possibility of not being fully informed about the subject one is praying about. If one asks the wrong question, the likelihood of getting the wrong answer or misinterpreting the answer is increased. If that isn't full justification for setting aside the person's experience, it would be reason to exercise more caution in evaluating the experience.

I understand you, I think, but there is a problem epistemologically with the idea of "misinterpreting the experience" in this context and I am not sure it can be resolved.

It is clear for example how one can misinterpret an experience of seeing a pool of water and having it turn into a mirage, because that is an objective experience subject to verification by other means, but in the case of a spiritual experience, it is not subject to verification by any means other than the subjective interpretation of the person who receives it.

Would God mumble in giving such an experience? Would he allow one to interpret a yes as a no?

Could all of our testimonies be based on misinterpretations?

The problem is that we have no objective standard to determine what would constitute a "misinterpretation" in this context, so it is pointless to hold to a position which requires us to pretend that such a thing is possible.

In my opinion the interpretation is the message itself, at least as far as we can know.

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Even if there were no sexual relations in Joseph Smith's polyandry, the next life part of it is still troubling.

Men: Would you allow the prophet to seal himself to your wife with the understanding that in the next life she would belong to him?

Women: Would you allow yourself to be sealed to the prophet with the understanding that in the next life you would belong to him and not your current husband?

The stark terminology reminds me of the problem I have with Mormon polygamy in general. This is the language of ownership, and as far I am concerned, the language of D&C 132 doesn't do much better. Ugh.

I can appreciate Hyrum Smith not wanting to choose between his then-dead wife and his then-living one. But putting marriage in terms of ownership just seems wrong.

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I understand you, I think, but there is a problem epistemologically with the idea of "misinterpreting the experience" in this context and I am not sure it can be resolved.

It is clear for example how one can misinterpret an experience of seeing a pool of water and having it turn into a mirage, because that is an objective experience subject to verification by other means, but in the case of a spiritual experience, it is not subject to verification by any means other than the subjective interpretation of the person who receives it.

Would God mumble in giving such an experience? Would he allow one to interpret a yes as a no?

Could all of our testimonies be based on misinterpretations?

The problem is that we have no objective standard to determine what would constitute a "misinterpretation" in this context, so it is pointless to hold to a position which requires us to pretend that such a thing is possible.

In my opinion the interpretation is the message itself, at least as far as we can know.

Yes. The lack of objectivity is certainly a problem. I have commented on that problem on the other board. Are we then reduced to absolute relativism then?

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Just curious, do you accept the doctrine of the keys of the priesthood. You must have had permission from one having those keys to practice polygamy. He "tossed them out of church" for being rogues, for refusing to follow the guidelines of priesthood authority.

The Lord has order in the church.

We will assume he wasn't a hypocrite in this regard and was following church law by kicking men out for practicing the very principle he was teaching them- that still would leave him a liar, multiple times over, and a perjurer- As he proclaimed on several occassions that he was innocent of the practice and had but one wife.

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Even if there were no sexual relations in Joseph Smith's polyandry, the next life part of it is still troubling.

Men: Would you allow the prophet to seal himself to your wife with the understanding that in the next life she would belong to him?

Women: Would you allow yourself to be sealed to the prophet with the understanding that in the next life you would belong to him and not your current husband?

Who are you asking? Henry Jacobs who was present when his wife was sealed to Joseph for eternity? Jonathan Holmes who stood in proxy for Joseph after his death when his wife was sealed to Joseph for eternity?

Mary Rollins, whose husband would never join the church, and who testified that she had had a vison confirming that she was supposed to be sealed to Joseph?

Or Zina Huntington, who rejected Joseph three times before praying fervently about the matter, then went forward and was sealed to Joseph for eternity after receiving a powerful confirmation?

Nothing has been written about any spiritual confirmation by the men, yet they remained in the church.

We cannot sort this stuff out because all of the actors have left this mortal life and we are now playing with an incomplete deck.

Of course, the matter will not be allowed to rest. But God is the one who can provide any answers He thinks that we need.

Glenn

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Even if there were no sexual relations in Joseph Smith's polyandry, the next life part of it is still troubling.

Men: Would you allow the prophet to seal himself to your wife with the understanding that in the next life she would belong to him?

Women: Would you allow yourself to be sealed to the prophet with the understanding that in the next life you would belong to him and not your current husband?

We have to realize that these people, for their entire lifetimes, believed in "until death do you part" and the idea that it was even possible to be married for eternity was totally foreign.

In fact of course all the rest of Christianity today would probably feel the same. Taking one's wife for eternity might not mean much to one who didn't really believe it, or just barely did.

There are other explanations of a darker stripe I can come up with, and I am sure others can as well if we want to go there. But I don't.

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The stark terminology reminds me of the problem I have with Mormon polygamy in general. This is the language of ownership, and as far I am concerned, the language of D&C 132 doesn't do much better. Ugh.

I can appreciate Hyrum Smith not wanting to choose between his then-dead wife and his then-living one. But putting marriage in terms of ownership just seems wrong.

We live in very different times and I think it is hard for us to get "back there" culturally. It might be a bit easier for those of us who were around before 1970 when the feminist movement began, but even then it is not easy.

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We live in very different times and I think it is hard for us to get "back there" culturally. It might be a bit easier for those of us who were around before 1970 when the feminist movement began, but even then it is not easy.

I recognize the cultural bias in my aversion. I'm just not sure what to do about it.

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DNA studies used to prove Joseph fathered no children with polygamous wife's = good science/conclusive results

DNA studies used to prove Native Americans don't have Jewish ancestry = bad science/inconclusive results

how do you physically tell if someone is Jewish? isn't that a religion?

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Yes. The lack of objectivity is certainly a problem. I have commented on that problem on the other board. Are we then reduced to absolute relativism then?

I think that "relativism" is not the answer, but understanding the difference between what is objectively verifiable and what is only knowable to the individual is very important.

But we must affirm the reality and importance of subjective experience for an individual in defining what is important to them.

If you are interested in this topic, I would suggest at least the conclusions of William James Varieties of Religious Experience as a start, maybe at least Lecture XX which is where his conclusions start.

Thomas Nagel is another philosopher who is important in this area, in my opinion.

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I think that "relativism" is not the answer, but understanding the difference between what is objectively verifiable and what is only knowable to the individual is very important.

But we must affirm the reality and importance of subjective experience for an individual in defining what is important to them.

If you are interested in this topic, I would suggest at least the conclusions of William James Varieties of Religious Experience as a start, maybe at least Lecture XX which is where his conclusions start.

Thomas Nagel is another philosopher who is important in this area, in my opinion.

I've read James, and I absolutely agree we need to affirm the the importance and reality of a person's experiences. I think we've moved a bit off track, so I think I'm going to leave the subject alone for now.

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I've read James, and I absolutely agree we need to affirm the the importance and reality of a person's experiences. I think we've moved a bit off track, so I think I'm going to leave the subject alone for now.

That's fine with me, but the answer to "Wrestling with Polyandry" is ultimately having a testimony and understanding that religious experience is a valid basis for the justification of beliefs of a religious nature.

I know that people get tired of hearing about that from me, but that is why I am here, screaming it from the rooftops. ;)

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That's fine with me, but the answer to "Wrestling with Polyandry" is ultimately having a testimony and understanding that religious experience is a valid basis for the justification of beliefs of a religious nature.

I know that people get tired of hearing about that from me, but that is why I am here, screaming it from the rooftops. ;)

You know what, I don't think we are in actual disagreement. My thought experiment was addressing a different issue.

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My thought experiment was addressing a different issue.

Perhaps you should clarify it then?

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The original thought experiment was in response to someone saying that we can't set aside their spiritual experiences without calling into calling our own into question. I was trying to say this need not be so.

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We live in very different times and I think it is hard for us to get "back there" culturally. It might be a bit easier for those of us who were around before 1970 when the feminist movement began, but even then it is not easy.

We also live in a very judgmental age. I remember in high school the teacher mentioned Utah and mormons and polygamy. No reaction from the class when it was told that mormons had more than one wife. No one cared. Likewise until the internet. But the internet changed the game and made the practice a judgmental practice of exploitation.

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