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Distinct polygamy concerns


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7 hours ago, manol said:

I agree.

If Joseph did indeed lie (or equivocate or otherwise give intentionally misleading responses) about polygamy, one of the conclusions a person might draw is that Joseph set the example and therefore it is okay, and even right, to lie or equivocate or mislead under some circumstances.  (I'm under the impression this was the late-19th-century interpretation of many in the Church, but I could be wrong.)  What are your thoughts around that aspect?

That's always the wrong lesson to be learned from "sanctioned lying" instances in the scriptures or Church history (e.g., Abraham, Sarah, and Pharaoh, Nauvoo polygamy, etc.). It's not too far from that to justifying lying in temple recommend interviews because the person feels justified. 

I'll have more to say on this later (I only have time for some quick-strike responses right now). Honesty and "righteous lying" (ever justified?) is a very interesting topic to me. 

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6 hours ago, juliann said:

Rongo, I so appreciate your effort to do this and I believe that you are probably the only one in your ward who can do it responsibly. So I hope you will take what I am trying to explain in the spirit it is intended. You will have single women in RS. Think of the underlying message in pitying single women and implying being married to anyone at all, in any configuration, is preferable to what they are now. One of the things the church is trying to do, but not succeeding well, is to treat single women as valuable disciples just as they are. They are not living Plan B. This is their Plan A and they can contribute as much to others and the church as any married woman and live just as full and meaningful a life as anyone else. 

Of course (and no offence taken). There are probably more single women than average in this particular Relief Society, and all wards have at least several. 

My sister is a RS president in Gilbert, and she has been divorced for almost 25 years now. She would be very good on this topic as well (I'd need to bring her up to speed a bit on some things, but she already knows quite a bit). Maybe I could suggest that she do this (thinking out loud). 

I'm always very cognizant of "do no harm" and ensuring that people leave uplifted or at least edified, and that would include where people are at in the audience. I wonder if the sisters the RS president is concerned about will even come (depending on where they're at and how calcified their "setting" vis a vis the Church is)? 

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5 hours ago, MustardSeed said:

I believe differently, I know me, and if Rongo doesn't validate as much as he educates I couldn't support.  

The modern counseling term "validation" is what we used to work on under the Missionary Guide as "empathy." All people, all the time (there were role-plays and cassette tapes we used in our study). Validation/empathy is **huge** (I've worked with several CES letter casualties, and they're not interested in anything you have to say if you aren't genuinely empathetic, and not just "trying" or "faking it"). 

Whether or not I would strike the right balance between validation and education in your case, I don't know. Maybe you would end up commiserating with Raingirl out in the foyer. ;) 

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On 7/8/2022 at 10:04 AM, Obehave said:

I'm still not sure what to think about what others have said about him having more than one wife. I believe he was sealed to more than one woman butI don't know if it was a typical husband wife relationship. I haven't received personal revelation from God about it so it is still up on the air as far as I am concerned and I'm not particularly concerned about how many wives he or any other man has. I can conceive how a man could righteously have more than one wife though and I believe if Joseph did have more than one wife in the usual sense that he would have been righteous about it.

He was sealed to more than one woman because BY made it so.  The journal entries show that on the day BY married Joseph Smith's "widows" what he ACTUALLY did was marry the women to HIMSELF with him being a proxy stand-in for Joseph Smith.

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On 7/8/2022 at 10:34 AM, california boy said:

 

Tacenda, I think you should have quoted this from the link that I believe is dead on.

 

Isn't this how polygamy started?  Wasn't Fanny Alger the first claimed case of polygamy?  The teenager that Emma caught Joseph Smith with in the barn?  When caught, Joseph Smith claimed that God commanded him to practice polygamy to excuse his adultery.

Honestly, when people start digging into the whole polygamy thing, it becomes more and more difficult to defend it and claim that it came from God IMO.  And if you do defend it, you also have to defend Joseph Smith lying about it in Nauvoo, claiming the rumors were not true.  Well if they were not true, then isn't Joseph Smith admitting to committing adultery?

I think you need to reconsider the "simplest explanation".

 

 

Except what if Joseph actually told the truth.  What if Joseph in public and in private was actually being honest.  And Emma did not "catch" JS with Fanny.  There is absolutely nothing to that, that wives tale was told decades after the actual incident (whatever that was).  There are effectively three contemporary sources for Fanny and JS.  This went before the High Council and in front of 12 men Joseph Smith explained "the girl business".  Whatever Joseph said, it satisfied 12 men who heard the first hand accounts . . .but some individual in 2022 who never met JS thinks he has it all figured out based on rumors said 200 years ago.

Sorry man, you've got to find better evidence than that. 

Fanny and Joseph are supposedly getting it on in the barn in September of 1836, and then by November of 1836 she is married to another man.  Now if she had been pregnant, or a record of any child being born in the next 9 months, you might have a case.  But there is nothing.  So Joseph is having sex with her, marries her and literally 2 months later she is married to another man.  That's what I call bull.

I don't think so; women do not get over a man in 2 months to go marry another dude-especially if they have had sex with the guy.

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On 7/8/2022 at 4:54 PM, 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

Option 1.

When you research Church History, the actual journal entries, not what someone wrote about the journals, you'll find a lot of interesting things. Such as after JS's death, the Q12 felt they needed a sign from God to reorganize the structure of the Church.  They claim that a huge lightening bolt hit during meeting when they made this decision to decide that BY was now leading the 12.  They tell this story years later, it's a good story. . . .and then when one goes to the actual journal entries and the meeting minutes . . . nothing.  No mention of this grand sign from God; nothing until years and years later.

The early Church leaders did a whole lot of BSing.

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37 minutes ago, rongo said:

Of course (and no offence taken). There are probably more single women than average in this particular Relief Society, and all wards have at least several. 

My sister is a RS president in Gilbert, and she has been divorced for almost 25 years now. She would be very good on this topic as well (I'd need to bring her up to speed a bit on some things, but she already knows quite a bit). Maybe I could suggest that she do this (thinking out loud). 

I'm always very cognizant of "do no harm" and ensuring that people leave uplifted or at least edified, and that would include where people are at in the audience. I wonder if the sisters the RS president is concerned about will even come (depending on where they're at and how calcified their "setting" vis a vis the Church is)? 

You team teaching with your sister, especially if you allow her the lead, basically shoe her deference, could help some women if they are having issues as well with the men always presiding because they interpret it as giving men permission to dominate, are considered to be more authoritative than women, etc. show them an example of a man being willing to take the back seat to a woman leader. 

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55 minutes ago, rongo said:

Of course (and no offence taken). There are probably more single women than average in this particular Relief Society, and all wards have at least several. 

My sister is a RS president in Gilbert, and she has been divorced for almost 25 years now. She would be very good on this topic as well (I'd need to bring her up to speed a bit on some things, but she already knows quite a bit). Maybe I could suggest that she do this (thinking out loud). 

I'm always very cognizant of "do no harm" and ensuring that people leave uplifted or at least edified, and that would include where people are at in the audience. I wonder if the sisters the RS president is concerned about will even come (depending on where they're at and how calcified their "setting" vis a vis the Church is)? 

I'd be the first one to show up! And I believe the women struggling will too, so they will know that they're not alone. I remember bringing up JS's polygamy that I'd just learned of, the list of wives, their ages and if they were already married. But didn't go into it with my Visiting Teachers at the time. I barely mentioned during one of their visits that I'd learned that he lived polygamy and one of the sisters said, "Nope, I don't wanna know! So that shut me up real quick and I felt ashamed for bringing it up. This before the gospel topic essays, or the Saints books. 

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3 hours ago, Calm said:

And that is what would trouble me most…at least in my idealized ‘I hope I am that person who could stick to it if it was just me’ self picture…it is not my own suffering (which pain I hope would not have me giving in) I think about, but what suffering I might cause others when sticking to my principles…Alma and Amulek likely caused the severity of the response that included tossing women and children into the fire pit along with the scriptures they possessed.  The believing men were cast out and their families destroyed instead of them, my guess is it was seen as a fate worse than death knowing their ones are suffering such a horrible death and also likely a challenge to Alma and Amulek to stop it if their God was so powerful. 
 

I have always wondered how Amulek and Alma and other believers felt later on after it was over about how God withheld his hand when women and children were being slaughtered in horrible ways, but then wiped out the mockers who were beating A&A when Alma cried out for relief. It is one of the first things I am going to be asking in the afterlife to explain.  (And one of those scripture stories that make it look like women are plot devices/rewards and punishments in God’s view, that God uses women to fulfill men’s fate, in this case both the wicked and Alma and Amulek’s.)

It is much harder for me to reason that my self esteem of being the person who would die for Light and Truth is worth protecting at the cost of another’s pain. And if my standing strong wasn’t going to have any real impact on anyone else, wasn’t going to change the world, why would God need me to be a protector of Truth that ultimately doesn’t need my protection instead of being first a protector of the weak and innocent?  What a cruel test of my commitment if that is the purpose. I cannot reconcile it with other verses describing God’s relationship with even the least of his children. 

Thankfully, I have never been placed in such a difficult situation. 

I’ve never interpreted Alma and Amulek’s experience like that but I get what your saying and it makes sense. 

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24 minutes ago, bluebell said:

I’ve never interpreted Alma and Amulek’s experience like that but I get what your saying and it makes sense. 

Yes, I haven’t heard of anyone else reacting to it like that. Sometimes things just strike me in odd ways, something that is a minor detail in the story grabs my attention and refocuses the story around that. 

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4 hours ago, rongo said:

That's always the wrong lesson to be learned from "sanctioned lying" instances in the scriptures or Church history (e.g., Abraham, Sarah, and Pharaoh, Nauvoo polygamy, etc.). It's not too far from that to justifying lying in temple recommend interviews because the person feels justified. 

I'll have more to say on this later (I only have time for some quick-strike responses right now). Honesty and "righteous lying" (ever justified?) is a very interesting topic to me. 

There's also another side to that coin.  Sometime around 2002 I was invited by a neighbor down the street from me to attend a meeting of the Concerned Christians group in Mesa, Arizona (and for those who may not know, the mission of Concerned Christians in Mesa (as copied and pasted from their current website) is "To declare freedom in Jesus Christ to those enslaved by Mormonism and to equip other Christians in churches to do the same").   So they are, by definition, what I would call an anti-Mormon group.  And since my neighbor saw me as one of those people "enslaved by Mormonism", she thought I needed to attend.  Obviously she didn't know me well, because I jumped at the opportunity and I ended up attending more than one meeting (I forget if it was more than two, but it was at least two meetings).  And alas, their tactics didn't work on me, because I am still, to this day, "enslaved by Mormonism" (and loving it).

But at the first meeting I was surprised by the "devotional" message given by one of the people in the pre-meeting breakout group (he was not one of the people I knew by name, I have no idea who he was).  The guy used the Bible story of Joshua sending the two spies into Jericho, and Rahab lying about knowing where the two men were after she hid them, as justification for them doing whatever is necessary to get people out of Mormonism.  The guy didn't know at that time that I was an active member of the church, or he might have changed his devotional.  But it was a surprise to me that he was advocating deception as part of their methodology while "exposing the truth about Mormonism".

Edited by InCognitus
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On 7/8/2022 at 5:06 PM, rongo said:

That's what it still says, but I'm personally aware of three exceptions to this. It isn't advertised, bit there are at least a few exceptions granted by the FP.

Interesting.  But it seems vary rare.

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On 7/9/2022 at 4:43 AM, 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. 

Dude I don't live in a pretend realm of spiritual superiority that I need to know something is that really is wrong is right.  What is supreme arrogance is your attitude and constant pious preaching like you are something special/  It is not only arrogant but dangerous and a reason why religion is bad.  Religious people who think they have some special insight because they have the "spirit" and don't act like the "natural" man are the epitome of arrogance.  And the passages that say you have to somehow put in some special spiritual nature to understand what is otherwise nonsense is a great way to control people.  And you have swallowed it hook line and sinker. But guess what?  You ain't special nor do you have some special insight.  But know LDS plural marriage is non more divine than any other religious group that did/does similar things.  It is interesting that many small off the main stream religious  sects seem to often have the common theme of the powerful male leaders taking on extra sexual partners. Joseph Smith was no different.  You reject all the others don't you?  But somehow at of all them Joseph had some divine command. Sure. 😏

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On 7/6/2022 at 5:38 PM, pogi said:

1) The whole compulsion by an angel with a drawn sword story never sat well with me.  

The sword represents God's justice - not violence. So the angel was bringing a just message. I believe the message was that polygamy is considered just by God. And Joseph Smith was being commanded to teach it... not necessarily that he was being commanded to live polygamy himself, even if he interpreted it that way or it later got interpreted that way by Brigham Young who was apparently always pro-polygamy. The Lord didn't command him to take up any particular second wife.

On 7/6/2022 at 5:38 PM, pogi said:

2) Joseph being sealed to other men’s wives never sat well with me.

The fact that he had no progeny with other men's wives tells me that these were not temporal marriages, but sealings for eternity. In other words the marriage did not take effect until their death. JS apparently never consumated any of these marriages, although some who later became critical seemed to testify of it.... they never came out and said it that I have seen.

On 7/6/2022 at 5:38 PM, pogi said:

3) The whole justification of raising up seed never sat well with me - especially considering that Joseph never had seed through polygamy.  Did he really need that many wives to “raise up seed”?  Did he really need to be sealed to married men’s wives to raise up seed?  

Do we really know that JS had no other children outside his marriage from Emma? As far as I know genetic testing has only been done on the children of women from other marriages.

On 7/6/2022 at 5:38 PM, pogi said:

4) Yes, lying about it is a concern, but not only because “lying is bad”, but because infidelity is bad and D&C specifically states that polygamy is only condoned where the first wife approves of it and where the other wives are virgins (if I remember correctly - can’t check right now), which was not the case with all of his polygamous wives.

I never interpreted section 132 exactly as the Church has. It never says that a second spouse must be a virgin - only that if she is a virgin, and agrees to a polygamous marriage, she can enter one. Under Mosaic law, a previously married woman or widow could marry again - even in a polygamous marriage  - and at times the man was actually commanded to offer his hand in marriage if for instance his brother had died and left his widow - no exception if he was already married. Nor does section 132 infer that one must be in a polygamous marriage to be exalted. Nope. Not there. Only that one must be married. 

The lying I never liked either. I never like lying. JS was human.

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4 hours ago, RevTestament said:

it later got interpreted that way by Brigham Young who was apparently always pro-polygamy

What gives you that idea?  Iirc, Brigham describes his first impression as preferring the grave.  Not saying he didn’t embrace it and in my view he went overboard and became too casual about it, but I don’t think he started out that way.

Edited by Calm
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On 7/7/2022 at 1:09 AM, webbles said:

I went a grabbed the 1880 10% IPUMS data set.  It has a variable for "Married within the past year".  I grabbed that plus the gender and then calculated the percentage for various age ranges.  I got average ages less than what that chart shows.

For men:

Ages 13-15: 0.05%
Ages 16-17: 0.36%
Ages 18-20: 8.83%
Ages 21-23: 28.82%
Ages 24-26: 25.31%
Ages 27-34: 25.02%
Ages 35-44: 7.42%
Ages 45-60: 4.18%

For women:

Ages 13-15: 2.00%
Ages 16-17: 9.96%
Ages 18-20: 34.90%
Ages 21-23: 24.99%
Ages 24-26: 12.57%
Ages 27-34: 8.88%
Ages 35-44: 3.88%
Ages 45-60: 2.82%

So, almost 12% of all the women married in that one year (1880) were under 18.  But for men, it was just 0.41%.  Over half the men were under 27 and over half the women were under 24.  ~45% of the women were <20.

 

This article has some more in depth discussion on it: https://journal.interpreterfoundation.org/assessing-the-criticisms-of-early-age-latter-day-saint-marriages/

In some circles it is popular to characterize Joseph's young bride marriages as abuse. There was a huge power differential and a significant age difference. Even if culturally they did not think in terms of abuse, the claim is God is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow and by today's standards Joseph's young bride marriages would be deemed abuse. I don't accept that argument but at the very least I can see why others are making it.

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On 7/9/2022 at 12:05 PM, MustardSeed said:

The hereafter is supposed to be the big carrot, enticing me to live righteously on this earth and make the right decisions. The celestial kingdom has never looked particularly pleasing to me ...

As much as I yearn to be worthy of the Celestial Kingdom, I really don't view it as a "carrot" or a "reward" but simply the kind of place I want to be in as the Celestial Kingdom also happens to be the place that offers maximal felicity and glory for its inhabitants. The other kingdoms are good too. We will largely choose* the kingdom we wish to inherit by being willing to live in the manner that is necessary for that kingdom.
"For he who is not able to abide the law of a celestial kingdom cannot abide a celestial glory. And he who cannot abide the law of a terrestrial kingdom cannot abide a terrestrial glory." D&C 88:22-23

If the arrangements/requirements to abide a certain kingdom are not to our liking, then we don't have to go there. Again, a lot of it is up to us. God will force no one to "heaven".
"For what doth it profit a man if a gift is bestowed upon him, and he receive not the gift? Behold, he rejoices not in that which is given unto him, neither rejoices in him who is the giver of the gift." D&C 88:33

 

* There is, of course, some other things that go into it. For example we have to demonstrate ability to live that law, covenant to do so, and receive the necessary sanctification.

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12 hours ago, RevTestament said:

The lying I never liked either. I never like lying. JS was human.

I am sure Joseph preferred to be more open with everyone. The problem was if he was more open, he would not get more compassion or understanding.  It would be hard to live in a situation where if you told the truth all the time that the consequences for it was usually different degrees of negativity.  I personally do believe in the concept if you want to be told the truth on anything, you have to mature enough to handle that truth and respond to it in a reasonable way.  If the response is getting stones, figuratively and literally thrown, that provides little incentive to tell the truth in the future. 

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1 hour ago, Nofear said:

This article has some more in depth discussion on it: https://journal.interpreterfoundation.org/assessing-the-criticisms-of-early-age-latter-day-saint-marriages/

In some circles it is popular to characterize Joseph's young bride marriages as abuse. There was a huge power differential and a significant age difference. Even if culturally they did not think in terms of abuse, the claim is God is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow and by today's standards Joseph's young bride marriages would be deemed abuse. I don't accept that argument but at the very least I can see why others are making it.

If there is one thing I really want to see in the spirit world is those people who judge the relationships of Joseph had with this wives stand before Joseph and his wives and explain themselves to them.  These people did not know them personally.  Were not involved in any of the detailed conversations they had but they feel free to judge 180 years later.  I just want to be like a fly on the wall in those encounters. They are going to happen and I think a lot of very strong apologies will be made to both Joseph and the wives. 

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On 7/8/2022 at 10:20 PM, 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.  

Since the manifesto was the step put forward to end plural marriage do you think plural marriage was a mistake?

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On 7/8/2022 at 10:34 PM, 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 whether one can go to church or pray.

Well SC case Reynolds seems to disagree with you.

 

 

Quote

The Court upheld Reynolds's conviction and Congress’s power to prohibit polygamy. The Court held that while Congress could not outlaw a belief in the correctness of polygamy, it could outlaw the practice thereof. The majority reasoned that while marriage is a “sacred obligation,” it is nevertheless “usually regulated by law” in “most civilized nations.” Finally, the Court held that people cannot avoid a law due to their religion. 

https://www.oyez.org/cases/1850-1900/98us145

 

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10 hours ago, carbon dioxide said:

I am sure Joseph preferred to be more open with everyone. The problem was if he was more open, he would not get more compassion or understanding.  It would be hard to live in a situation where if you told the truth all the time that the consequences for it was usually different degrees of negativity.  I personally do believe in the concept if you want to be told the truth on anything, you have to mature enough to handle that truth and respond to it in a reasonable way.  If the response is getting stones, figuratively and literally thrown, that provides little incentive to tell the truth in the future. 

No excuses.  No justification.  No victim blaming.  We can't suggest that it was Emma's fault for not being more compassionate and understanding when Joseph comes to her about marrying and sleeping around with dozens of other women and teenagers, including hired help in the home.  Joseph lied to his wife in sleeping with/marrying other women behind her back.  That is not ok.   If we want other people to take us seriously, we have to call things out and stop trying to white wash our very human history.  The optics are terrible when you try to excuse such things and blame the victim. 

Is that how you raise your kids?   

"Principle Skinner, my son Ferris prefers to tell the truth about his sluffing school, but whenever he is honest he just gets no compassion and understanding...  So, if you want him to tell you the truth on anything, then you have to be more mature and give support and understanding when he fakes sick.  So, it is really your fault that my child is not honest."

It sounds horrific even in the context of sluffing school - which is like a gnat compared to the camel of what Joseph did to Emma. 

 

Edited by pogi
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8 hours ago, carbon dioxide said:

If there is one thing I really want to see in the spirit world is those people who judge the relationships of Joseph had with this wives stand before Joseph and his wives and explain themselves to them.  These people did not know them personally.  Were not involved in any of the detailed conversations they had but they feel free to judge 180 years later.  I just want to be like a fly on the wall in those encounters. They are going to happen and I think a lot of very strong apologies will be made to both Joseph and the wives. 

Agree with the former sentiment. Presentism is a big plague for today's culture. The latter sentiment, not so much for me agreeing with. I guess I just don't see post mortality as being a huge apology fest or there being many “Hah! I was right and you were wrong!” moments. :)

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