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Distinct polygamy concerns


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46 minutes ago, Calm said:

Smac, this kind of stuff really turns me off your posts…

And yes, there is stuff Julie does that is annoying to me too, but I have other ways of talking to her and only this one for you.

Point taken.  I will take your counsel under advisement.

Thanks,

-Smac

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59 minutes ago, bluebell said:

Can you clarify this paragraph?  It sounds like you are saying that women have to be very careful and not ask for an exception to be made for them because then they'll end up like KK and SY.

I'm saying that asking for an exception in an adversarial, my-way-or-the-highway sort of way is problematic.

I'm saying that the proposed course of action - publicizing exceptions to the rule - may result in some (many?) exception requests being denied, which in turn would create hard feelings, acrimony, "Well, why not?  My friend so-and-so got one...", and so on.

If the policy is problematic, then I am quite open to it being changed.  But not by turning it inside out.  Not by trying to make the exception swallow the rule.  Not by gutting the policy.

Thanks,

-Smac

 

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2 hours ago, smac97 said:

Yes.  But Juliann doesn't like that part of their stories, hence her appeal to authority about "modern scholarship" "discarding" it (which I'm fine with, I just don't feel obligated to do so).

For me, the "sword and angel" story is, at best, supplemental and ancillary evidence as to the provenance and doctrinal/revelatory pedigree of polygamy.  The "primary" authorities on which I rely are the Bible, D&C 132, Jacob 2, past prophetic pronouncements, the Church's current acknowledgment (effectively, "Yes, it's in our doctrines, but no, we don't practice it"), and so on.

Very concise.  You posit three options:

Option 1: "False Story" - The story is, altogether and in every sense, false --> "question the integrity and credibility of several church leaders and historical women in the church."

Option 2: "Yes, Joseph said it, but he made it up" - "The story is "true" (as in the story really originated with Joseph) --> "Joseph made it up and used the story to compel others to marry him, and to hide the shame and accountability of it all behind an angel with a sword," or

Option 3: "Yes, Joseph said it, and yes, it happened" - The story is "true" (as in the story really originated with Joseph and that what Joseph said is factually accurate) --> "cause me to rethink the attributes and nature of God in ways that are uncomfortable to me."

There may also be a fourth option:

Option 4: "Ambivalence - The story is muddled + not authenticated in records of the Church" - The story is both muddled (its "chain of custody" is very poor due to the prevalence of hearsay, hearsay-within-hearsay, long passages of time between when Joseph would have said it and when recollections were recorded, etc.) and unnecessary (the Church has not authenticated or ratified it, and the verity and origins of the doctrines pertaining to polygamy are not based on it), so members are free to set it aside and give it no substantial weight or consideration.  

I think Option 1 is unworkable, both from a basic historical perspective, and from a perspective of faith.  It does beyond the evidence.

Option 2 is, for me, unworkable because it assumes way too much about the character of Joseph Smith.  In my view, the great weight of the evidence is that he was a sincerely devout man.  Daniel Peterson has argued, in my view quite persuasively, that the private writings of Joseph Smith are strong evidence of his sincerity relative to the Gold Plates, and that this really throws a monkey wrench into the "Pious Fraud" theories bandied about.  In a similar sense, I think his sincerity and overall decency make it way too big a stretch to buy into the "Joseph was a depraved lech who fabricated a revelation about polygamy as a pretext to justify his slaking his carnal lusts"-style characterizations.  Moreover, if Joseph really was a prophet, I can't really conceptualized the Lord allowing him to commit such serious sins without correction or "removal."  Joseph was reprimanded by the Lord for transgressions far less serious than serialized lechery/adultery.  So the "Joseph made it up" explanation for the angel-and-sword story does not work for me.

Option 3 is, for me, workable (though I do not choose it).  I think there are times when a servant of God "sacrifices" his agency.  Consecrates it.  Gives it back to God.  If and when that happens, then the individual has committed to a particular course and may well be obligated to pursue it because he has voluntarily given up his agency.  

Paul repeatedly declared himself to be "a prisoner of Jesus Christ."  See Philemon 1:1, 9, Ephesians 3:1, Ephesians 4:1 ("prisoner of the Lord"), 2 Timothy 1:8 ("Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner...").  Here is Elder Condie's exegesis of this concept:

So maybe a person "acting as a prophet" is constrained in terms of his individual agency.  The angel-and-sword story is not unique in this regard.  Alma the Younger (who was not, at the time, a "prophet" was told "If thou wilt of thyself be destroyed, seek no more to destroy the church of God" (Alma 36:9), followed by three days of being "wracked with eternal torment" (v. 12).  That sort of ultimatum doesn't really jibe with our normal expectations about how we are "free to choose."  I think this is because there are times when the Lord constrains our choices insofar as we are affecting other persons.  

Moreover, there are a number of scriptures that warn us against presuming to judge how God operates.  "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts."  (Isa 55:8-9.)  "Wherefore, brethren, seek not to counsel the Lord, but to take counsel from his hand."  (Jacob 4:10.)  "Wherefore, enter ye in at the gate, as I have commanded, and seek not to counsel your God. Amen."  (D&C 22:4.)

I think Option 4 is perhaps the safest and most logical approach.  We don't need to reach a conclusion about the story.

Well, Option 4 can provide a respite.  

As an attorney, there are times when I have a number of disputed issues that I want the judge to make a ruling on.  The judge will sometimes make a decision about items A, B and C, and then say "Having adjudicated A, B and C, the Court need not reach or address items D, E and F."  There are times when the judge doesn't need to resolve every dispute or question presented by the parties.

Perhaps there is something similar going on with the Lord.  "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways," and all that.

Option 3 and Option 4 allow for a "positive light" for me.  YMMV.

I respect that you have a concern about this.  It's quite a legitimate one.  But I also think it is a resolvable, reconcilable one.

Thanks,

-Smac

While I appreciate your attempt to offer some respite, I have grown more comfortable with the idea of a "rough stone rolling" perspective.  Not just in regards to Joseph Smith, but in regards to much of the history of the church, its leaders, and members.  I don't need perfect explanations, perfect obedience and righteousness from leaders, and a history free of fault, mistakes, lies, and even murder among members before I will believe.  I find the fallen human element within it all to be more realistic and explanatory.  

Option 4 is not really a historical option, it is a choice of ambivalence towards history in the face of uncomfortable possibilities and/or unclear evidence.  In this case of difficult and unsettled evidence, ambivalence in deciding what really happened is my choice, but I still understand that one of those options are the only historical possibilities.  1) False story (either made, exaggerated, or misunderstood history -as calm points out as a possibility).  Either way, the story as told is not how it really happened.  All of those options fall under "false story". 2) Yes, Joseph said it, but he made it up, or 3) Yes, Joseph said it and it really happened, and sometimes relatable.  

Unlike you, I don't see option 3 as workable.  I am well aware of those verses and have long interpret them in very different ways.  We can submit/sacrifice our will to the Lord in becoming "slaves" to the spirit, but where there is compulsion and threat of death, then the sacrifice/submission is not truly of a free will, but a forced one.   It is too strained to call  it an act of free will, or a free and willing sacrifice of will, while under the threat of death by sword.  To do so would be to make rape victims something other than victims.  "The angel made me do it", is just not a workable option for me.  Nor do I perceive Joseph as actually using that in an option #2 kind of way - that also is not workable for me. Though I see how it would be convenient and tempting to go there from an outside perspective.  

The most likely option for me is the one that speaks to human nature given the context of these events and how they were viewed by many, and that is option # 1.   In the early church there was strong opposition around the idea of polygamy, even from the highest leadership in the church and from Joesph's own brother Hyrum.  Most of the participants spoke of the shame and embarrassment behind these events.  They spoke of fear of losing friendships and being judged as impure.  I can't imagine the potential guilt and shame of going behind Emma's back, and knowing that others are aware of what you engaged in - even while being married to another man and in at least one case, pregnant!   They all seemed to foresee and understand the trouble that would come from such things and seemed to shrink from the prospect - a trouble that has plagued the church for nearly 2 centuries now.  They knew that judgment was coming upon them, at least from the eyes of their fellow men and members of the church.  There is more than enough motive to fabricate a story to preserve ones social image and be freed from the shame and judgment of the church, including from Emma herself, and to preserve ones historical reputation and legacy (the journal entries seem to be speaking to that).  Despite what some think, polygamy was not easily accepted in the church.  What Joseph and these women did was considered to be "scandalous" and "dirty" affairs by many in the church.  It is easy to see how such a story might lend one to be more sympathetic of their actions and choices.  It frees them from any liability, shame, and guilt by making it a forced decision by none other than God almighty.

That to me is understandable given the context and social stigma of it all.  It is the human thing to do.  I think the story caught on, and it became a way to soften the hearts of the members towards Joseph Smith as polygamy became openly practiced in the church.  It became a convenient story one could use to defend the practice and the really, really troublesome way that it unfolded behind Emma's back and with married/pregnant women.  That is why I choose option #1 as the most likely scenario.  That doesn't diminish my testimony in the church one bit.  While it is an uncomfortable truth and an uncomfortable history, much of history just seems to go that way when humans are involved!  I don't see it as throwing these women under the bus either.  While dishonest, yes, it is an understandable and natural human instinct in the face of a mountain of judgment and legacy to preserve.   I believe that these women sincerely believed that they were doing the will of the Lord, and some were tempted to defend what their conscience in a more socially acceptable way.  I don't think this takes Joseph off the hook for his implementation of polygamy either.  Polygamy just unfolded in a terrible mess with many human mistakes.  Yet, the church of Jesus Christ (perfection), and of Latter-day Saints (imperfection) is just as true and fallible today as it ever has been.  True and fallible is what you get when you combine perfection with imperfection.

 

Edited by pogi
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On 7/7/2022 at 12:11 PM, YJacket said:

I am as far away from "woke" as someone can probably get and I still think polygamy was not of God that JS did not teach it, practice it, nor encourage anything like it.  That from time to time in certain specific instances in scripture God has allowed it is vastly, vastly different than what the Church taught after JS was killed.

So am I correct in the assumption that you are not a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints? 

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48 minutes ago, smac97 said:

Study the scriptures, ponder and pray.

Clarify the nature of the questions and concerns.

Research the issues.  At length.  

Evaluate the policy in question, and the possible doctrinal/revelatory bases for it.

Confer with trusted and faithful Saints who may have information and insights that could illuminate these things.  

Talk with local leaders about this.  Seek further "review" at the stake and/or area level if appropriate.

Avoid adopting an adversarial posture relative to the leaders of the Church.

Avoid betraying confidences.

Really avoid "public protest"-style antics and strategies.

At some point, if you feel you really have a case to make for requesting a policy change, follow the generalized counsel provided by then-Elder Oaks in his 1987 article, Criticism.

Here's the governing principle he lays out:

He then goes on to lay out "five different procedures a Church member can follow in addressing differences with Church leaders—general or local, male or female":

I'm sort of confused about what exactly is being bandied about here.  Publicly disclosing matters of church govedrnance that were requested to be kept in confidence is, I think, reprehensible.  It is not only a betrayal of trust, but here it appears to be raised as a justification for taking on an adversarial, Kate Kelly-esque "my way or the highway" approach to affecting change in how the Church operates.  

As an attorney, I regularly use information and legal resources available to me to create "leverage," to force the other side to do, or not do, something.  Nothing wrong with this.  To the contrary, it's all party of how the adversarial system operates.  We have rules within which we as lawyers function, and those rules contemplate and allow . . . pressure.  Leverage.  Compulsion.  The system is by design adversarial.

I have an entirely different perspective as to how the Church should function.  And more to the point, how it should not function.  Kate Kelly.  Sam Young.  Bill Reel.  Denver Snuffer.  These guys all knew exactly what they were doing.  They wanted to bring the Church to heel.  They wanted to push it, to coerce it, to bend it to their will.  They adopted inherently adversarial postures and tactics.  Nothing they did bespoke matters of faith, of scripture, of counsel, of persuasion, of seeking the Lord's will.  It was their way, full stop.  Kate Kelly trespassed on sacred ground.  Sam Young put on his stupid starvation-and-empty-chair kabuki theatre.  Bill Reel continued with his vapid online rants.  Denver Snuffer presumed to judge the entirety of the Church.

I dunno.  Maybe I am totally misreading this, which to me is coming across as a sort of "The cat's out of the bag about exceptions to the sealing policy, so let's shout about it until the Brethren cave, and also insinuate that they are sexist, while we are at it" approach, straight out of Kate Kelly's playbook.

Thanks,

-Smac

Yes, you are totally misreading this.  And choosing to read it in the way that chooses to make some posters' motives look as bad as possible when kinder reading (even if it's still a misunderstanding) is an option.

 

 

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49 minutes ago, smac97 said:

Yes.  Perhaps because the Brethren aren't taking a wink-wink, nudge-nudge approach.  They aren't drawing specific and emphatic attention to the exceptions, which would pretty quickly come across as an invitation to use those exceptions.

A rulemaking body that goes out of its way to publicly announce that exceptions to a rule are available for the asking is . . . gutting the rule.  Vitiating it.  Hollowing it out.

Thanks,

-Smac

But we have just established that the bold is not at all the case for abortion (which the church has spoken of publically).  How can we admit that public exceptions for abortion do not gut the rule and then argue that public exceptions for sealings would?

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48 minutes ago, smac97 said:

I'm saying that asking for an exception in an adversarial, my-way-or-the-highway sort of way is problematic.

I'm saying that the proposed course of action - publicizing exceptions to the rule - may result in some (many?) exception requests being denied, which in turn would create hard feelings, acrimony, "Well, why not?  My friend so-and-so got one...", and so on.

If the policy is problematic, then I am quite open to it being changed.  But not by turning it inside out.  Not by trying to make the exception swallow the rule.  Not by gutting the policy.

Thanks,

-Smac

 

Thanks for clarifying.  It's hard for me to see Juliann as someone who would go to publically at the prophet and apostles with a my-way-or-the-highway approach but it's interesting to me that that is what you seem to be accusing her (and calm?) of.

Do you believe that some of the posters on here are advocating for the bold?

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1 hour ago, pogi said:

Polygamy just unfolded in a terrible mess with many human mistakes. 

 

Given how messy and error prone monogamy is, there was no way polygamy was going to unfold without it being a bigger mess and more mistakes.  No different than when the Law of Moses was first established.   Anything new is going to be filled with problems.  Time tends to work most of the bugs out.  People learn from the mistakes of others.  Joseph Smith did not have anyone to learn the mistakes from other than a few stories in the Old Testament.   Joseph was sort of like the guy who first climbed Mount Everest.   Much different climb than those who do it today.

Edited by carbon dioxide
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7 minutes ago, carbon dioxide said:

Given how messy and error prone monogamy is, there was no way polygamy was going to unfold without it being a bigger mess and more mistakes.  No different than when the Law of Moses was first established.   Anything new is going to be filled with problems.  Time tends to work most of the bugs out. 

No doubt that a mess was inevitable.  And I know it is easy to judge with the benefit of hindsight, but I don’t think God intended it to unfold as it did and many avoidable mistakes were made.

The bugs got worked out for sure, in the form of a manifesto.  

Edited by pogi
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1 hour ago, pogi said:

No doubt that a mess was inevitable.  And I know it is easy to judge with the benefit of hindsight, but I don’t think God intended it to unfold as it did and many avoidable mistakes were made.

The bugs got worked out for sure, in the form of a manifesto.  

True but if polygamy was to be restarted today, it would not be nearly as messy.  And there would be much less legal problems.  Given that same sex marriage is now legal, polygamy could easily be made legal using the same arguments.  Even stronger argument with the addition of the First Amendment being considered.  The free exercise of religion is not about protecting socially acceptable religious practices like baptism or praying.  The government never was going to infringe on that practice.  It is about protecting the socially unacceptable practices that society might not like.  The First Amendment is about protecting something like polygamy, not whether one can go to church or pray.

Edited by carbon dioxide
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4 minutes ago, carbon dioxide said:

True but if polygamy was to be restarted today, it would not be nearly as messy.  And there would be much less legal problems.  Given that same sex marriage is now legal, polygamy could easily be made legal using the same arguments.  Even stronger argument with the addition of the First Amendment being considered.  The free exercise of religion is not about protecting socially acceptable religious practices like baptism or praying.  The government never was going to infringe on that practice.  It is about protecting the socially unacceptable practices that society might not like.  The First Amendment is about protecting something like polygamy, not going to church.

Well, it’s a good thing that same sex is legal because there won’t be any women left in the church to practice it if polygamy becomes legal and is reinstated in the church.

Edited by pogi
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52 minutes ago, pogi said:

there won’t be any women left in the church to practice it

Probably true for some/most areas .The FLDS scene says some women will go for it. In Africa there are areas where polygamy is common. We might even convert a few Muslims ( sure Fred ). 

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12 hours ago, Obehave said:

I just thought of another concern for rongo to consider while talking about this issue with his Relief Society sisters in his ward. The spirit of contention could arise as it has here in this thread. We wouldn't want to see that happen.

The spirit of contention can arise with any subject, especially subjects that are difficult.  I find that usually this is brought up when people just don't want to discuss an uncomfortable subject and is often a way to shut down other people.  I find it really frustrating. While I too, think that a woman should be teaching this I appreciate that rongo is always willing and I've never seen him shy away under the guise of a subject being so called contentious.

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1 hour ago, Rain said:

The spirit of contention can arise with any subject, especially subjects that are difficult.  I find that usually this is brought up when people just don't want to discuss an uncomfortable subject and is often a way to shut down other people.  I find it really frustrating. While I too, think that a woman should be teaching this I appreciate that rongo is always willing and I've never seen him shy away under the guise of a subject being so called contentious.

This is more than just a difficult subject.  This is one where lots of people have planted their flag into a certain position and are pretty much committed to it.  So yes contention can always pop up but some topics to a much greater degree than others.  Rongo is a much braver soul than I am.   I wish him well if he decides to go ahead of this. 

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1 hour ago, Hamba Tuhan said:

some people will have more than one spouse, but I suspect such will be very, very rare indeed.

It could balance out if there were some women with multiple husbands and some men with multiple wives, if only one or the other…got to wonder where the excess is coming from.

Edited by Calm
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16 hours ago, Teancum said:

Taking additional wives and being quite happy with it seems very carnal to me.

You’re unwittingly making my point. You view the divinely sanctioned practice of plural marriage to be carnal because you are carnal, and for this reason it shouldn’t be expected that you will ever be able to see it any other way unless you are converted. The things of God are hopelessly beyond the scope of comprehension of the natural man. It’s supreme arrogance on the part of the natural man to believe that human intellect alone, unaided by the illuminating power of the Holy Spirit, will ever be able to provide a complete understanding of truth and the nature of reality. 

9 But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.
10 But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.
11 For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God.
12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.
13 Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.
14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. (1 Corinthians 2)

Chapter 5 of Hebrews goes even further, informing us that one of the very important reasons why the enlightening power of the Holy Ghost is absolutely essential is because without it a man is very likely to call that which is good evil (as do those on this board who condemn as evil the divinely authorized practice of plural marriage) and calling that which is evil good.

9 And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him;
10 Called of God an high priest after the order of Melchisedec.
11 Of whom we have many things to say, and hard to be uttered, seeing ye are dull of hearing.
12 For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat.
13 For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe.
14 But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil. (Hebrews 5)

The last phrase can mean nothing other than that the stronger doctrinal meat of the gospel, I.e. the deeper mysteries of the kingdom of God, are likely to be condemned by those who possess only a modicum of spiritual discernment.  Those who don’t possess a sufficient measure of the Spirit of God are doomed to spend their lives immersed in error, confidently thinking they’re right when, in actuality, they’re very often dead wrong, especially when it comes to matters pertaining to the gospel.

 

Edited by teddyaware
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2 hours ago, teddyaware said:

You’re unwittingly making my point. You view the divinely sanctioned practice of plural marriage to be carnal because you are carnal, and for this reason it shouldn’t be expected that you will ever be able to see it any other way unless you are converted. The things of God are hopelessly beyond the scope of comprehension of the natural man. It’s supreme arrogance on the part of the natural man to believe that human intellect alone, unaided by the illuminating power of the Holy Spirit, will ever be able to provide a complete understanding of truth and the nature of reality. 

9 But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.
10 But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.
11 For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God.
12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.
13 Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.
14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. (1 Corinthians 2)

Chapter 5 of Hebrews goes even further, informing us that one of the very important reasons why the enlightening power of the Holy Ghost is absolutely essential is because without it a man is very likely to call that which is good evil (as do those on this board who condemn as evil the divinely authorized practice of plural marriage) and calling that which is evil good.

9 And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him;
10 Called of God an high priest after the order of Melchisedec.
11 Of whom we have many things to say, and hard to be uttered, seeing ye are dull of hearing.
12 For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat.
13 For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe.
14 But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil. (Hebrews 5)

The last phrase can mean nothing other than that the stronger doctrinal meat of the gospel, I.e. the deeper mysteries of the kingdom of God, are likely to be condemned by those who possess only a modicum of spiritual discernment.  Those who don’t possess a sufficient measure of the Spirit of God are doomed to spend their lives immersed in error, confidently thinking they’re right when, in actuality, they’re very often dead wrong, especially when it comes to matters pertaining to the gospel.

 

 

"are likely"

"very often"

you don't sound too confident. 

How much does it bother you that God doesn't need you to judge others? God doesn't need you, he knows how judge others righteously

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20 hours ago, Obehave said:

I just thought of another concern for rongo to consider while talking about this issue with his Relief Society sisters in his ward. The spirit of contention could arise as it has here in this thread. We wouldn't want to see that happen.

I've done many things like this before. They aren't anything like discussion board threads like here --- where the same 20 active posters "go at it" with their complex personality and board histories. For most people, presentation and discussion like this will be quite new. Priority one for me is for this to be a positive experience. 

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19 hours ago, Tacenda said:

And a deer in the headlights reaction. But maybe these women will be much further than I was in 2006 when I first learned about Joseph Smith's polygamy. In fact it was as if I was in a car accident where everything was in slow motion.

I definitely want to avoid "deer in the headlights." I've done many things like this before, and have a reasonably good read on what to expect and how it will go. Discussion in this thread is helping me be over-prepared, just in case. 

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13 hours ago, juliann said:

You really think that telling me not to disclose what they gave me special permission for is not "secrecy?" Really?

I think this is a crucial point when addressing the lying about polygamy on the part of both men and women. B.H. Roberts (a polygamist himself who was denied his seat in the House of Representatives as Utah's first congressman over polygamy) made the point in discussing John Taylor's debate with ministers at Bolougne sur Mer (France) that when sworn to secrecy by God, situational lying inevitably comes up when God's secrecy command comes into conflict with direct questions about it. He used the example of Peter, James, and John coming down from the Mount of Transfiguration, and being asked by the other apostles what had happened up there. Whatever they said would have been a lie (they were commanded to tell no one until the resurrection). When divine commandments to secrecy collide with a desire for absolute honesty, what are people to do?

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12 hours ago, MustardSeed said:

Well I don't know if this will assist you with your class Rongo but here is my position: Im deeply grateful that my faithful husband is disgusted by past and possible future polygamy, IF ONLY because he cares to demonstrate understanding and compassion for my view on it. I trust it goes deeper than that for him but if not, at least I feel heard and defended by the man I love.  And if he changes his mind, I trust I'll have the freedom to change my mind about him.

That's all I "need" for now.  What I "want" is for someone high up to demonstrate the same.  Hasn't happened yet, but I understand defend to the death all things doctrinal or accepted as such.

There is such a range of reactions and strong feelings on this and some other issues, and all  Church members are at different places on the spectrum with it (though many haven't really given it much thought or been exposed to it much, actually). 

In 2009, after the FAIR conference in Frankfurt, we also had a fireside in Strasbourg, France (just across the Rhine). My wife and I spent the night in Offenburg, and were going to be picked up by a member of the Strasbourg stake presidency Sunday after church. We were early to church, and the only one there was a woman in her twenties. She was from Freiburg, but sometimes came on her own to help with the Offenburg branch (not a calling, purely voluntary). One of my teachers in the MTC was from Freiburg, so I asked her if she knew the family. That was her sister, and her family! After her mission, with no prospects for temple marriage materializing, she spent a few years in Australia, hoping to find someone to marry in the temple. Then, she finished her degree and was working for their version of Child Protective Services. She was very sharp and glowed with the Spirit (her family was very strong, and all sons and daughters served missions as a matter of course after their father had joined the Church from being talked to by missionaries at the train station). There weren't any other English speakers there that day, and it was nice for my wife to have her with her at church (the branch president had been at the FAIR conference, and he asked me if I would give my presentation for a combined priesthood/RS Society third hour). 

Afterwards, my wife said that if we still practiced polygamy, she would have no problem with her being a wife as well. She felt so bad for her. 

People definitely fall between the extremes of "utter revulsion, under any circumstances, full stop" and "acceptance," and this includes women as well. But, it's almost all looking back at the past or hypothetical. I don't know anyone who expects or looks for it to be lived again on earth (the hereafter is a different story, and again, there is a range of views on this). 

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