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Modern Polygamy Timeline & Purpose - not sure I follow...


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54 minutes ago, hope_for_things said:

Morally & ethically wrong, I would agree that its not a good practice. 

I'm primarily just pointing out how the text was written and what we should expect the meaning of that early text to be.  The evidence for polygamy being part of Joseph's theology in 1829 (or part of the BoM theology) when this text was first dictated is non-existent.  The idea that Joseph interpreted the text the way it was interpreted much later in the 19th century is also not supported anywhere that I can see.  

Or he just ignored the scripture. We have apostolic leaders today who ignore scripture. But, that’s a different thread!

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8 minutes ago, SouthernMo said:

Or he just ignored the scripture. We have apostolic leaders today who ignore scripture. But, that’s a different thread!

Well, scriptures are written by a multitude of authors with contradictory ideals.  Its like saying that someone is ignoring or following what is on the internet.  The internet is anything but a monolithic cohesive consciousness, and the scriptures are similar, a collection of divergent writings spanning over a millennia of religious ideas.  The scriptures are really a like a library of different ideas.  And that's not even getting to whether individuals are consistent with they way they live and think over the course of their lives, which obviously they aren't.  Joseph being no exception.  

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3 minutes ago, hope_for_things said:

Well, scriptures are written by a multitude of authors with contradictory ideals.  Its like saying that someone is ignoring or following what is on the internet.

This is one of the best insights that has been shared with me in months.

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4 hours ago, CA Steve said:

This is the thing that has bothered me regarding the "righteous seed" claim.

I think you may be underestimating how thoroughly the brief practice of plural marriage altered the nature of the marriage relationship for both men and women in Latter-day Saint culture. On this point, I find the following enlightening:

Kathryn M. Daynes, More Wives Than One: Transformation of the Mormon Marriage System, 1840-1910 (Urbana and Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 2001), 307 pp.

In short, when the pool of potential marriage partners expanded to include already married men, single women had increased options. No longer were they basically forced into marrying any eligible bachelor out of economic necessity. Latter-day Saint women could afford to be choosy, and in a single generation, this altered the gender dynamic in marriage. Where I live, the rest of the world is still trying to catch up with principles clearly taught 100 years ago by Joseph F. Smith regarding how men should be treating wives and children -- principles that seem to have a clear genealogy in the experience of plural marriage.

As 21st-century Saints, we are still reaping this harvest in our families, whether we have any polygamist 'DNA' in us or not. When I was doing my master's study in America, I took one of my mates from the university to church with me one Sunday. (It was, for him, an anthropology exercise.) Afterward, he said elders quorum had been the weirdest thing he'd ever seen. I tried to review the lesson in my head to figure out what oddness he meant, but, as he explained, it was the fact that the back of the class was nearly ten men all holding and caring for infants with complete ease and comfort.

Edited by Hamba Tuhan
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Latter-day Saint women could afford to be choosy, and in a single generation, this altered the gender dynamic in marriage

Polygamous wives generally got married earlier (as adults) and with less engagement time, iirc, in Daynes' study of immigrant women coming to Utah.  I can't remember if she studied how many later got divorced and remarried monogamously, but it appears to have been an acceptable option, so it makes sense if poor and no family as many women were, imo, to marry into a stable, financially safe situation with the idea that when something better came along, one could take it....something the reverse of what society used to see from men much more than women.  

Not saying this was standard, but that it was even an option for women...it is hard for me to imagine that didn't have an effect on power dynamics between men and women back then.

Edited by Calm
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49 minutes ago, Calm said:

It is hard for me to imagine that didn't have an effect on power dynamics between men and women back then.

As both Daynes and Kenneth Godfrey have noted, women in really happy, successful, stable marriages often became the brokers for future wives -- bringing unmarried friends and family members into the home so that they could enjoy the blessings too. I can't remember which scholar provided it, but I remember reading a letter from a plural wife, praising the kindness and industry of her husband and then encouraging her unmarried best friend to come and visit in the hope that she could join the family as the next wife.

Few things are more likely to provide a false image of our history than forgetting or ignoring the agency and intelligence of the women involved.

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I can't remember if she studied how many later got divorced and remarried monogamously, but it appears to have been an acceptable option ...

Anthony Reid has written extensively on this dynamic in pre-Islamic, pre-colonial Southeast Asia. The ability for a dissatisfied wife to leave a marriage relationship and take her original bride-price with her meant that men had to be forever courting their wives to keep them inside the relationship. The structure was still very much patriarchal, but it mirrored the patterns of indigenous kingship, where rulers knew that their failure to provide peace and prosperity would result in their people shifting their allegiance to another ruler inside the web of competing patron-client relationships that was the geopolitical reality at that time.

Edited by Hamba Tuhan
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I have not read the entire topic, but wanted to add my opinion on the matter.

In my opinion the fullness of the gospel is being restored. Moreover, it has been restored in regards to all we need for salvation. It was NOT restored in one fell swoop. It was neither restored at the first vision nor on April 6, 1830. Over time the gospel has been restored. We can see this fullness being restored incrementally (temple building, priesthood restoration, etc.). Part of the gospel in the past was polygamy. A principle often abused, (see David, King Solomon, etc), The Lord gave wives to these men. Sometimes the men took more than what the Lord allowed. 

Because polygamy was part of the gospel past, it makes logical sense to me that to have a full restoration of the gospel, at some point polygamy would need to have been reestablished even if it was for a limited time (determined by the Lord, not man). I believe that when the Lord chose to restore the principle of polygamy it was to build seed up in the church (as we can read in the Book of Mormon) and also as part of restoring what was once a past practice to then a current practice. from the Bible dictionary:

 

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  Restitution, restoration                                                                                                                                These terms denote a return of something that was once present but that has been taken away or lost....

 

 On a further note, it would not surprise me if in the next life there is polyandry...

Edited by Anijen
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4 hours ago, hope_for_things said:

Morally & ethically wrong, I would agree that its not a good practice. 

I disagree on all counts.

I believe God is invariably good. 

I believe God commanded polygamy at that time.

Therefore polygamy can neither be morally nor ethically wrong nor bad.  God doesn't command bad things.  Mistakes are men's weakness in obeying God's perfect commands.

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On 1/21/2019 at 2:02 PM, SouthernMo said:

This revelation (if we are to accept it) indicates that polygamy is to be instituted with Native Americans to produce whiter children, and essentially eradicate the darker skins of those people.  Maybe that also falls under the Jacob 2 provision 'raise up seed?'  It does not appear that any of these men raised many children (if any?) with these Native American plural wives.

How was the Jacob 2 provision met?

It was met by many in Utah. Obviously Joseph never had the opportunity. If you look at the Biblical situations it is evident that the Jacob 2 provision is not the only reason God may command (or forbear) polygamy. We will find out more in the next life, or the Millennium, whichever comes first for us.

Glenn

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2 hours ago, JLHPROF said:

I disagree on all counts.

I believe God is invariably good. 

I believe God commanded polygamy at that time.

Therefore polygamy can neither be morally nor ethically wrong nor bad.  God doesn't command bad things.  Mistakes are men's weakness in obeying God's perfect commands.

This is a perfect example of circular reasoning.  

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24 minutes ago, hope_for_things said:

This is a perfect example of circular reasoning.  

Maybe I'm a little slow tonight but I'm not seeing the link that closes the circle.

Just a basic if -> then.

IF God is always good and perfect THEN His command of polygamy cannot be bad (immoral, unethical).

Not seeing the circularity.

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11 hours ago, JLHPROF said:

I disagree on all counts.

I believe God is invariably good. 

I believe God commanded polygamy at that time.

Therefore polygamy can neither be morally nor ethically wrong nor bad.  God doesn't command bad things.  Mistakes are men's weakness in obeying God's perfect commands.

How could it be good?  Let's consider.  Joseph marries Emma and promises fidelity to her.  Some years go by and he goes behind her back, marries another teenage girl who was living with them.  that breaks a covenant, no?  How is that good?  he gets in trouble with her and they move on.  He then goes behind her back again and breaks the covenant again and again and again.  She starts to catch on that he's doing this, they fight, and somehow come to an agreement.  The agreement is reached and she oks a couple of marriages, then he proceeds to go behind her back again and again marrying others.  How could God be behind this if he is invariably good?  Do you really think God oks people breaking covenants they make to him and others?  Not only oks it but commands it?  Seems backwards from what the Church preaches today--in terms of covenant keeping, no?  I know you prefer the old school Mormon world, so do you think it good to break covenants too?    

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12 hours ago, JLHPROF said:

I disagree on all counts.

I believe God is invariably good. 

I believe God commanded polygamy at that time.

Therefore polygamy can neither be morally nor ethically wrong nor bad.  God doesn't command bad things.  Mistakes are men's weakness in obeying God's perfect commands.

By your fruits you shall know them. The fruits are on the whole rotten, therefore the commandment was not of God.

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31 minutes ago, Gray said:

By your fruits you shall know them. The fruits are on the whole rotten, therefore the commandment was not of God.

I don't agree that the fruits are on the whole rotten so I find this premise false.

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1 hour ago, stemelbow said:

Do you really think God oks people breaking covenants they make to him and others?  Not only oks it but commands it?  Seems backwards from what the Church preaches today--in terms of covenant keeping, no?  I know you prefer the old school Mormon world, so do you think it good to break covenants too?    

I don't believe temporal covenants supercede God's covenants.

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35 minutes ago, Gray said:

By your fruits you shall know them. The fruits are on the whole rotten, therefore the commandment was not of God.

Look - I’m not a fan of how polygamy was practiced in the early days of the LDS church, but this is too simplistic of an argument for me.

I come from polygamist heritage. I wouldn’t have been born were it not for a man taking multiple wives. I don’t think I’m rotten fruit.

Perhaps you mean that the practice of polygamy got the church into trouble. It sure did! Even the history - 100 years later - continues to cause trouble today. 

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11 minutes ago, SouthernMo said:

Look - I’m not a fan of how polygamy was practiced in the early days of the LDS church, but this is too simplistic of an argument for me.

I come from polygamist heritage. I wouldn’t have been born were it not for a man taking multiple wives. I don’t think I’m rotten fruit.

Perhaps you mean that the practice of polygamy got the church into trouble. It sure did! Even the history - 100 years later - continues to cause trouble today. 

Sometimes children are born from rape. That doesn't mean that rape isn't wrong because something good came from it. Children are the fruit of sexual intercourse. How that intercourse happens can be appropriate or inappropriate.

But on the whole the fruits of polygamy were rotten. Children can be born through polygamy or monogamy, but ultimately monogomy is the best system for both parents and children, yielding the best fruits. Polygamy leads to infidelity, lawlessness, the love of wives and husbands waxing cold, parental and spousal neglect, child marriage, and even incest.

I have polygamous ancestors too. That doesn't mean polygamy wasn't a mistake.

Edited by Gray
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13 minutes ago, JLHPROF said:

I don't believe temporal covenants supercede God's covenants.

So God was not involved with the marriage covenant?  Was God involved in the covenant of marriage with Fanny Alger, seeing as she too was married to him before, likely, the sealing key was given?

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15 minutes ago, Gray said:

Sometimes children are born from rape. That doesn't mean that rape isn't wrong because something good came from it. Children are the fruit of sexual intercourse. How that intercourse happens can be appropriate or inappropriate.

But on the whole the fruits of polygamy were rotten. Children can be born through polygamy or monogamy, but ultimately monogomy is the best system for both parents and children, yielding the best fruits. Polygamy leads to infidelity, lawlessness, the love of wives and husbands waxing cold, parental and spousal neglect, child marriage, and even incest.

I have polygamous ancestors too. That doesn't mean polygamy wasn't a mistake.

Appreciate the thoughts. 

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10 hours ago, JLHPROF said:

Maybe I'm a little slow tonight but I'm not seeing the link that closes the circle.

Just a basic if -> then.

IF God is always good and perfect THEN His command of polygamy cannot be bad (immoral, unethical).

Not seeing the circularity.

I commented that I believe Joseph's implementation of polygamy was morally wrong.  Then you disagreed by saying that you believe God commanded polygamy (assuming you mean Joseph's implementation of polygamy specifically) and that since your assumption is that God is incapable of giving an immoral command, the conclusion being that Joseph's actions were moral.  

It becomes circular when you look at the entire reasoning.  Joseph didn't do anything immoral because God commanded him and God can't command anything immoral.  How do we know polygamy is moral, because God told Joseph it is.  How do we know God says its moral, because Joseph claimed he did.  

 

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43 minutes ago, hope_for_things said:

I commented that I believe Joseph's implementation of polygamy was morally wrong.  Then you disagreed by saying that you believe God commanded polygamy (assuming you mean Joseph's implementation of polygamy specifically) and that since your assumption is that God is incapable of giving an immoral command, the conclusion being that Joseph's actions were moral.  

It becomes circular when you look at the entire reasoning.  Joseph didn't do anything immoral because God commanded him and God can't command anything immoral.  How do we know polygamy is moral, because God told Joseph it is.  How do we know God says its moral, because Joseph claimed he did.  

 

And...go figure...now by law, it is immoral which is right back where Joseph started...unlawful.  Ugh...it is circular. 

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7 hours ago, Gray said:

By your fruits you shall know them. The fruits are on the whole rotten, therefore the commandment was not of God.

I don't think that is true.  There were many fruits, good and bad, if one looks at what everyone involved with polygamy said and did.  Of course, focusing on the negative or a small number of those involved can lead to assuming all were rotten, but the end result for many women and men involved was more positive if one trusts what they wrote about it or how they behaved (staying in the Church, continuing to be willing to sacrifice greatly).

And with Emma, in the end she loved Joseph and honored him even if she appears to have rejected polygyny by denying it happened.

Was Joseph lying to Emma caused by polygamy or by his own discomfort of conflict with his wife?  Because I know of plenty of other men and women who approached their monogamous marriages in the same way as it looks to me Joseph approached Emma on the subject of polygamy with going behind the spouse's back.  And what these individuals were trying to accomplish had nothing to do with adultery or romance or whatever, but some other type of desire or need looked on as inappropriate by the spouse.  It being plural marriage in the case of Joseph ramped up the consequences, but I have seen marriages destroyed because of money or time spent on material possessions, social activities, careers, hobbies, and even things for or support of the children without first getting the approval or at least neutrality of the spouse.  And whether it was in your face defiance or more of the under the table, behind the back in hopes of avoiding conflict, relationships were deeply undermined. 

IMO, the rotten tree yielding rotten fruit was dishonesty, not polygamy.  There were polygynous marriages that from all accounts were successful.  These seemed to happen when all were on the same page and open about expectations and worked together.  Otoh, dishonesty taints everything it touches.

Edited by Calm
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7 hours ago, Gray said:

Polygamy leads to infidelity, lawlessness, the love of wives and husbands waxing cold, parental and spousal neglect, child marriage, and even incest.

All these things occur with monogamy, some would say more so in some aspects (mistresses, affairs, neglect due to not having extended family to help).

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