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Distinct polygamy concerns


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34 minutes ago, Nofear said:

You should publish your analysis somewhere, either formally in a paper or informally as a blog post or something (heck, Hales may be willing to host it) so that it can be referenced easily.

Definitely 

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1 hour ago, carbon dioxide said:

 

I think a sexless marriage would be better than one with sex for multiple reasons. 

You said, "If Joseph was having sex behind Emma back, yes that would be wrong."  Then you talk about how you don't think Joseph was having sex and that there are sexless marriages.  Which makes me think you feel that if these marriages were sexless it would be ok to go behind Emma's back.

So I'm not asking about which one is better.  I'm asking if you felt it was ok. 

1 hour ago, carbon dioxide said:

For some people, that might be fine. Depends on the specifics of what the marriage was all about.  It might just be a more of transactional type thing.  How you connect with your husband might be different than how others interact with their spouse.  Not everyone thinks like you are I.  I don't know why Joseph just did not divorce Emma first if she was not happy about the idea of polygamy.  

So just toss her aside so he can be married to other women?

1 hour ago, carbon dioxide said:

  Perhaps he did not think it was option but it would have saved a lot of grief in the long run for both of them. 

 

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1 hour ago, Rain said:

You said, "If Joseph was having sex behind Emma back, yes that would be wrong."  Then you talk about how you don't think Joseph was having sex and that there are sexless marriages.  Which makes me think you feel that if these marriages were sexless it would be ok to go behind Emma's back.

So I'm not asking about which one is better.  I'm asking if you felt it was ok. 

So just toss her aside so he can be married to other women?

 

Would I have done it?   No,. but I was not in the position of of what Joseph was.  He was in a very difficult decision.  The balance between honoring the wishes of Emma and the commands of God. If Joseph believed it was a command that would be a significant factor in his decision making. So if Joseph felt that having sexless marriages was a way to both keep the command of God while maintain a level in intimate fidelity with Emma, then I would  ok with it.   Now I don't know if these marriages were all sexless.   I was not there to know.   But I am not many of think in their minds that if Joseph married, sex had to be involved as it they are inseparable things.

As to tossing her aside?  No!.  It is called a mutual agreement between the both of them.  Let me turn the question around. 

If Joseph believed that he was under command from God,  should Joseph just toss God aside to keep honor and keep Emma happy?

Is that an eternally wise decision?  Maybe if Emma is going to be the one who judges Joseph at the last day the answer is yes.  If God is judging, probably a bad idea.   We are put in this world to see if we would follow the commandments of God.  Not to see and discover what situations we could find to say no to God. That is my view at least. Perhaps you have a different view.   I am not saying Joseph should have divorced her.  That is not my call.  Just it would have been a decision that would have likely caused less problems for both of them.

The whole situation is very difficult for me.   I have great empathy for both Joseph and Emma.  Both were placed in very difficult situations.   I don't think Joseph made the best choices and I believe he would say today he wish he made some different decisions.   I think even Emma might also have some different insight.  I don't think Joseph liked doing anything that hurt Emma.  However he had other things he also had to consider.   I do try to keep an open mind on a personal level.   One of my relatives was one of Joseph wives.   Given the whole sealing thing and eternal families and relationships. I anticipate that in the hearafter, I may have perhaps a few more personal encounters with that wife, Joseph and perhaps Emma than the average person will.  So I keep an open mind to avoid having to do a lot of apologizing to them and look forward to getting all the facts from them personally.  That will be a great experience.

Edited by carbon dioxide
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17 hours ago, juliann said:

I think the most important thing for any man to do when speaking to a group of women about this is to first acknowledge that polygamy (as practiced) by definition places women in an inferior position and that anecdotal stories don't change the fundamental problem in any situation that (in the words of Brian Hales) expands men's emotional and sexual opportunites while reducing them for women. 

Second, there should never be any worry despite noisy voices trying to push the idea. To do that, they need to produce any modern prophet confirming polygamy doctrine (it has been routinely referred to as a "practice"). There isn't one, I know because I have been met with silence everytime I ask for over a decade.

Women need to be able to counter the thoughtless and uncaring voices. They need to know that they are not required to put "dead" prophets over the modern living ones, that are always used, and anyone doing that is out of line (there is an authoritative quote on this.) 

Third, most never put together that women are eventually sealed to all of their spouses, with the same sealing ordinance that men use, so the idea that we still believe in polygamy because of men's live sealings is bogus. 

Once the table is cleared, allowing defenses to be laid aside, then there can be a discussion of historical polygamy. Women need to know they are not apostates for not accepting polygamy in the afterlife, there is no proof for it whatsoever....it is considered speculation by the Brethren, and that they never need to defend that it placed women in a subordinate position, that is self-evident.

Also, there is endless question begging going on until someone can answer what the point of it is. JS never did, all we have are the 19th century reasons which have all been discarded and even sound silly. 

 

 

I find your views interesting and don't disagree with a lot of what you say. At least in your first three paragraphs. I am curious though.  Your positions seem fairly strong and even strident.  Why should anyone view them as authoritative? I am also surprised how easily you dismiss the pronounced doctrine of 19th century LDS leaders as well as a canonized "revelation" in the Doctrine & Covenants.  Discarding and calling something silly that you don't like currently is a problematic approach to a Church that claims God directs it through prophets.  Of course this is not a problem just for the plural marriage issue. It also is for the priesthood ban and numerous other alleged changing doctrines in the Church.  But I digress.

It seems to me that if the LDS leaders really wanted to clarify all of this they could.  Easy approach is to state the Church no longer practices plural marriage, it is not doctrinal at least currently and only is when God commands ( arguing that is isn't or wasn't is really nonsense IMO) and then do not allow men or women to be sealed to more than one person.

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12 hours ago, juliann said:

You couldn’t have given a better tone deaf example of why so many women are angry about being told by men they can get over polygamy. 
 

It was the women doing most of the sacrificing, you know, the women who are already “more spiritual” to provide the men with lots of women in the CK?   

We need to get over our fallen emotional and spiritual natures, and now that you couldn't have given a better example of anger bias and rhetoric, that too. This can be accomplished without getting over polygamy.

I am saying that men need to find the divine emotional and sexual boundaries and that was perhaps the purpose of this practice  (...and so on, I won't repeat the rest of it). Not just women.

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10 minutes ago, CV75 said:

We need to get over our fallen emotional and spiritual natures, and now that you couldn't have given a better example of anger bias and rhetoric, that too. This can be accomplished without getting over polygamy.

I am saying that men need to find the divine emotional and sexual boundaries and that was perhaps the purpose of this practice  (...and so on, I won't repeat the rest of it). Not just women.

Mansplaining at its best. 

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1 hour ago, pogi said:

I think the sex is probably the least of the concern honestly.  Conjugal/marital fidelity includes way more than just physical relations.  We are talking about including multiple other women into a sacred marriage trust and bond for all eternity without the knowledge of the wife, and under the deception/lie that it was not happening and that it will just be the two of them for all eternity.  It is a decision that will affect the rest of Emma's eternal family and marriage dynamic, and it was a decision that was made behind her back.  Not only was it done behind her back, she was also lied to about it.  How is that ok?  Joseph violated a sacred trust with Emma and made decisions, and lied to her, about family matters of eternal consequence for Emma.   People often try to diminish the seriousness of the fidelity violation by suggesting that he may not have had sex with them, but that is not looking at or considering the big eternal picture and dynamic of how these decisions might affect Emma beyond the sex (which will probably happen in eternity).  

True story - when I married my wife, she made me promise that if she died before me that I would not get sealed to another woman.  She simply could not swallow the idea of having to share me for all eternity and merely being another wife to me.  She was ok with me getting married again civilly.  The sex wasn't the issue for her.  It was the eternal polygamous family dynamic that was the issue for her.  To pretend like there was no violation of fidelity, or that it was not extremely severe, in marrying other women behind Emma's back for ALL ETERNITY...  I don't know what to say about that.  

I get what your saying and I think our views might change on the other side.   We see and view things in a narrow field of vision right now.   I suppose since I look at the issue without consideration of the emotional side of it, then I rub people the wrong way regarding it.  Perhaps Joseph should have been more open about it.  He just told Emma he was going to follow what he viewed as a command and let Emma decide to stay or go.   Polygamy is still a raw issue for a lot of people so my main lesson it to really avoid the subject matter outside of those people I really know personally.  That is helpful for me going forward.

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2 hours ago, Peacefully said:

Mansplaining at its best. 

Please explain how mansplaining applies in this case. I think people are responsible for personally managing their anger on this or any other topic, and we have the gift of the Holy Ghost to assist that.

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3 hours ago, Teancum said:

I find your views interesting and don't disagree with a lot of what you say. At least in your first three paragraphs. I am curious though.  Your positions seem fairly strong and even strident.  Why should anyone view them as authoritative? I am also surprised how easily you dismiss the pronounced doctrine of 19th century LDS leaders as well as a canonized "revelation" in the Doctrine & Covenants.  Discarding and calling something silly that you don't like currently is a problematic approach to a Church that claims God directs it through prophets.  Of course this is not a problem just for the plural marriage issue. It also is for the priesthood ban and numerous other alleged changing doctrines in the Church.  But I digress.

It seems to me that if the LDS leaders really wanted to clarify all of this they could.  Easy approach is to state the Church no longer practices plural marriage, it is not doctrinal at least currently and only is when God commands ( arguing that is isn't or wasn't is really nonsense IMO) and then do not allow men or women to be sealed to more than one person.

What I find is that critics usually have a dog in the fight to keep women on edge about polygamy. I'm rather stunned that you would defend 19th century reasons for polygamy, though. Which of these do you not find silly? There are a lot more if you do agree with this short list....

https://medium.com/@jellistx/how-nineteenth-century-mormons-understood-polygamy-4ae576788962

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Apostle George Q. Cannon said that “under the system of Patriarchal Marriage, the offspring, besides being equally as bright and brighter intellectually, are much more healthy and strong.”

Apostle Heber C. Kimball taught that polygamous marriages granted health to the men who practiced it too. “I have noticed that a man who has but one wife, and is inclined to that doctrine, soon begins to wither and dry up, while a man who goes into plurality looks fresh, young, and sprightly. Why is this? Because God loves that man, and because he honors his word.”

By contrast, monogamy was a source of feebleness and even caused the fall of Rome. Cannon again: “the shortest-lived nations of which we have record have been monogamic. Rome, with her arts, sciences and warlike instincts, was once the mistress of the world; but her glory faded. She was a monogamic nation, and the numerous evils attending that system early laid the foundation for that ruin which eventually overtook her.”

Orson Pratt argued that “God the Father had a plurality of wives,” and thus polygamy was an emulation of Him.

Brigham Young and others taught that polygamy was not only compatible with exaltation but necessary: “The only men who become Gods, even the Sons of God, are those who enter into polygamy.” (One of many possible selections from his talk on The Beneficial Effects of Polygamy.)

 

 

 

 

 

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27 minutes ago, CV75 said:

Please explain how mansplaining applies in this case. I think people are responsible for personally managing their anger on this or any other topic, and we have the gift of the Holy Ghost to assist that.

Says the man to women who will never experience or have to experience what women have or will. 

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4 minutes ago, juliann said:

What I find is that critics usually have a dog in the fight to keep women on edge about polygamy. I'm rather stunned that you would defend 19th century reasons for polygamy, though. Which of these do you not find silly? There are a lot more if you do agree with this short list....

https://medium.com/@jellistx/how-nineteenth-century-mormons-understood-polygamy-4ae576788962

 

 

Perhaps I did not express myself well. I do not believe in nor support the 19th century LDS leaders position on polygamy at all. I just am amazed that you and others as believers in the LDS CHurch and its claims want to simply dismiss it.  Well I get why you would want to run away from it but I don't think it is that simple.  So no I don't support it. I don't think it was of God.  I think it demonstrates that the LDS prophets are not very reliable prophets at all.  This and the priesthood bad are tow of the most blatant example of their lack of prophetic ability. I have no desire to keep women on edge about this. I would rather they see it and reject it for the nonsense it is.  But that can lead to other problems.  Thus their conundrum.

How about my easy solution?  THoughts on that?

 

 

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17 minutes ago, Teancum said:

Perhaps I did not express myself well. I do not believe in nor support the 19th century LDS leaders position on polygamy at all. I just am amazed that you and others as believers in the LDS CHurch and its claims want to simply dismiss it.  Well I get why you would want to run away from it but I don't think it is that simple.  So no I don't support it. I don't think it was of God.  I think it demonstrates that the LDS prophets are not very reliable prophets at all.  This and the priesthood bad are tow of the most blatant example of their lack of prophetic ability. I have no desire to keep women on edge about this. I would rather they see it and reject it for the nonsense it is.  But that can lead to other problems.  Thus their conundrum.

How about my easy solution?  THoughts on that?

 

 

What is easy about not allowing for mistakes, bad judgment, and poor execution in those around you? I choose not to be a hermit to avoid the foibles of humanity. I also choose to stay in a church that stimulates my brain and has given me support throughout hard trials despite my disagreement with some of its policies or leaders. It may be dinosaur slow in matching its inclusion of women to its unique theology of women, but every once in awhile something comes along like proof of billions of galaxies that is quite satisfying. 

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Everything I have learned about my own polygamous ancestors shows that it was very difficult for both the men and the women.  I remember reading a heartbreaking letter to an ancestor from his wife that he was not welcome to come back home.   There was considerable anger and pain, as she had felt abandoned by him, no matter that they had 10 children together.

I have also read stories of men being under near constant abuse from their wives every time that they came back from being with the different wife.  Their wives were in great pain and it was extremely difficult for them. 

This was not the only doctrine that was hard for some to accept.   The universalism of D&C 76 and the 3 degrees of glory challenged many.  The Word of Wisdom was explicitly gradually adopted because of the difficulty.

It appears from everything I have read that Joseph didn't bring it forth in a wise fashion.   Joseph was a young man trying the best he could.  He erred in much related to the doctrine. 

Ultimately the question is simply whether the doctrine is either true or false.  Does it come from God or man?  If it is from God, then it will be a eternal principle independent of whatever we want, whatever we feel on the topic.   

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44 minutes ago, Teancum said:

Perhaps I did not express myself well. I do not believe in nor support the 19th century LDS leaders position on polygamy at all. I just am amazed that you and others as believers in the LDS CHurch and its claims want to simply dismiss it. 

I share this amazement, just from the position that I believe polygamy can, at times, by divinely mandated.

44 minutes ago, Teancum said:

Well I get why you would want to run away from it but I don't think it is that simple. 

Same here.  I don't see a meaningful interaction with what the Church presents as scriptural and revelatory. 

The Church has published four separate essays about polygamy, more than any other topic:

These essays are replete with unequivocal declarations about the divine origins of (authorized) polygamy:

  • "In biblical times, the Lord commanded some to practice plural marriage—the marriage of one man and more than one woman. By revelation, the Lord commanded Joseph Smith to institute the practice of plural marriage among Church members in the early 1840s."
  • "Latter-day Saints do not understand all of God’s purposes in instituting, through His prophets, the practice of plural marriage. The Book of Mormon identifies one reason for God to command it: to increase the number of children born in the gospel covenant in order to 'raise up seed unto [the Lord].'"
  • "Church members came to see themselves as a 'peculiar people,' covenant-bound to carry out the commands of God despite outside opposition."
  • "The revelation on plural marriage, recorded in Doctrine and Covenants 132, emerged partly from Joseph Smith’s study of the Old Testament in 1831. Latter-day Saints understood that they were living in the latter days, in what the revelations called the 'dispensation of the fulness of times.' Ancient principles—such as prophets, priesthood, and temples—would be restored to the earth. Plural marriage, practiced by ancient patriarchs like Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Moses, was one of those ancient principles."
  • "The revelation on marriage stated general principles; it did not explain how to implement plural marriage in all its particulars."
  • "Between 1852 and 1890, Latter-day Saints openly practiced plural marriage. ... They believed it was a commandment of God at that time and that obedience would bring great blessings to them and their posterity."
  • "Latter-day Saints believe that monogamy—the marriage of one man and one woman—is the Lord’s standing law of marriage. In biblical times, the Lord commanded some of His people to practice plural marriage—the marriage of one man and more than one woman. Some early members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints also received and obeyed this commandment given through God’s prophets."
  • "After receiving a revelation commanding him to practice plural marriage, Joseph Smith married multiple wives and introduced the practice to close associates."
  • "Although the Lord commanded the adoption—and later the cessation—of plural marriage in the latter days, He did not give exact instructions on how to obey the commandment."

FAIR points to 2 Samuel 12, D&C 132, and Jacob 2.

The Encyclopedia of Mormonism has an article about it: Plural Marriage

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In 1843, one year before his death, the Prophet Joseph Smith dictated a lengthy revelation on the doctrine of marriage for eternity (D&C 132; see Marriage: Eternal Marriage). This revelation also taught that under certain conditions a man might be authorized to have more than one wife.

And on and on.

There seems to be a lot of prevaricating about the bush on this stuff.  Plural marriage is as doctrinal as subjectively "icky" things like animal sacrifice, yet nobody seems to be suggesting - directly or obliquely - that animal sacrifice was not divinely mandated.

I have previously shared some thoughts on the difficulty of addressing this topic:

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First, there are the "prurient" and "gotcha" elements.  Discussions of polygamy - particularly online, and particularly involving critics of the Church - very often veer into lurid, voyeuristic territory.  Latter-day Saints are not going to be comfortable with critics speculating/fantasizing about the sex lives of polygamists.  Keeping such discussions tactful, respectful, moderate, and so on is quite difficult when one side of the discussion is bound and determined to make the discussion - and the lives of the long-deceased individuals being discussed - as sensationalized and racy as possible.  Brian and Laura Hales are, in my view, at the forefront of handling these sensitive issues.  They do so with candor, but also with tact and respect.  

The "gotcha" element is also pretty strong.  Imagine some online stranger approaching an observant Jew and says "Hey, I'm curious about the Jewish practice of Metzitzah b'peh, which is where the Mohel 'uses his mouth to suck blood away from the baby’s circumcision wound as part of the circumcision ritual.'  How 'bout we have a long frank discussion about that?"  I think the Jewish fellow would likely feel "a condition of discomfort" about such a proposed discussion.

Second, the concept of polygamy is sociologically "icky."  I have a lot of compassion and empathy for people who are not comfortable with the concept of polygamy.  I'm not particularly comfortable with it.  I do not understand it.  So much of the Restored Gospel comports with my general, gut-level sense of "right" and "wrong," but polygamy . . . doesn't.

However, neither does animal sacrifice.  Neither does Nephi slaying Laban.  Neither does the slaying of Nehor.  Neither do the deaths described in 2 Kings 2 ("Go up, thou bald head...").  And so on.  There are all sorts of things in play here.  Context matters.  A lot.  Historical context.  Social/cultural context.  Scriptural context.  Gospel context.  So does accuracy in conveyed information.  So do my personal life experiences, as well as the importance of properly characterizing those experiences as finite, blinkered, and not altogether accurate (rather than definitive, perfected and utterly, pristinely correct).  Such contextualization takes some real time and study and effort.  I think most Latter-day Saints are just not situated to have in-depth discussions about such a difficult, complex and subjectively "icky" topic. 

Third, the concept of polygamy is difficult to discuss because it is not only sociologically "icky," it's also sacred.  The Church enacted polygamy by revelation, and ended it by revelation.  It's a part of the Restored Gospel.  D&C 132 is still there.  Not disavowed. 

Fourth, not only is the doctrine of polygamy tough to accept, its practice in the 19th century had some substantial problems.  "Love thy neighbor" is straightforward and hard to criticize.  "Enter into a polygamous marriage" has a lot more moral ambiguity about it.  People, both those who were called upon to practice polygamy and those of us who look back on that practice, had/have some quite legitimate concerns about it, as I've commented previously here:

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Polygamy is a toughie.  However, its practice in the 19th-century Church is not the first time that the disciples of Jesus have been asked to live out-of-step with their neighbors, including those who are members of the faith I recognize that many things the Church of Jesus Christ teaches are difficult for its members and others to accept.  Perhaps this is why He said: "Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword."  Perhaps this is why He also said (several times, actually) : "Behold, I am God; give heed unto my word, which is quick and powerful, sharper than a two-edged sword, to the dividing asunder of both joints and marrow; therefore give heed unto my words."  Christ also said: "He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me."   Christ also said "For if ye will not abide in my covenant ye are not worthy of me."  

My dad and I were talking about these things a while back, some of which have been described as the "dark sayings of Jesus."  My dad noted that some people focus on the "sweetness and light" sayings of the Savior, which is probably fine - unless that focus is exclusionary.  Christ had warnings for us, after all.  Such as this: "If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you."  And this: "The world cannot hate you; but me it hateth, because I testify of it, that the works thereof are evil."   And this: "Therefore, fear not, little flock; do good; let earth and hell combine against you, for if ye are built upon my rock, they cannot prevail."   And this: "For by doing these things the gates of hell shall not prevail against you; yea, and the Lord God will disperse the powers of darkness from before you, and cause the heavens to shake for your good, and his name’s glory."

Polygamy is a difficult topic to address because it was divinely mandated, but sociologically disliked (both then and now).  That there were some elements of deceit in its practice by some makes the matter much more challenging and complex.  Consequently, I have a lot of compassion and empathy for people who are not comfortable with the concept.

Fifth, I think few Latter-day Saints are sufficiently informed about the particulars and nuances of the 19th century practice of polygamy, such that they feel comfortable entering into a candid discussion about it.  We know the general parameters, but few are familiar with, say, the particulars of Joseph Smith's polygamy.  Not being sufficiently prepared to address such matters in an adversarial discussion, I think most Latter-day Saints are understandably uncomfortable about having such discussions.

I'm sure there are other factors out there, as well.

I'm open to discussion about this stuff, but I can't get on board with what look like efforts to jettison plural marriage, to re-characterize it as something other than what the Church plainly declares it to be: from God.

44 minutes ago, Teancum said:

So no I don't support it. I don't think it was of God. 

I respect and appreciate that position.  But for my personal spiritual experiences about the Restored Gospel, and the convictions based on those experiences, I would likely join you in that assessment.

As it is, however, the Latter-day Saints are stuck with Plural Marriage in their doctrinal pedigree.  

44 minutes ago, Teancum said:

I think it demonstrates that the LDS prophets are not very reliable prophets at all.  This and the priesthood bad are tow of the most blatant example of their lack of prophetic ability.

I draw a distinction between the two.  The Priesthood Ban lacks any known or established revelatory provenance, and apparently was instead a policy that over the course of many years became sufficiently entrenched that it required a revelation to dislodge it.  I am very happy about that.

In contrast, Plural Marriage does have revelatory provenance.  It is, as much as some would prefer otherwise, a doctrine of the Church (albeit not currently practiced).  The Church teaches this even now.  And unlike the racist explanations previously proffered for the Priesthood Ban, we have never renounced Plural Marriage as a revealed doctrime.  We discontinued the practice pursuant to revelatory instruction.

44 minutes ago, Teancum said:

I have no desire to keep women on edge about this.

Nor do I.  It's a difficult topic.

44 minutes ago, Teancum said:

I would rather they see it and reject it for the nonsense it is.  But that can lead to other problems.  Thus their conundrum.

I don't see Plural Marriage as "nonsense," any more than I see animal sacrifice, the "dark sayings of Jesus," the "bread of life" sermon in John 6, and other comparable difficult-to-accept doctrines in that way.

Thanks,

-Smac

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56 minutes ago, juliann said:

...but every once in awhile something comes along like proof of billions of galaxies that is quite satisfying. 

Quite satisfying indeed. This is an amazing picture from the JWST. All the non-spikey dots are galaxies, even the smallest ones.
main_image_deep_field_smacs0723-5mb.jpg

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37 minutes ago, juliann said:

What is easy about not allowing for mistakes, bad judgment, and poor execution in those around you?

I am happy to do so up to a certain point. On major doctrinal issues from those that claim to be the mouthpiece of God not so much.  Especially when there is an abundance of statements made that seemed pretty clear these leaders were not simply speculating or playing around.  THe point of using the word "easy" or "simply" is this seems to be the approach used to not deal with the problematic statements.  It was just silly and their opinion and so on.  As noted I think that approach is problematic and a poor apologetic approach to sticky issues.  That my opinion anyway.  Does not work for me.  If it does for you then wonderful.

37 minutes ago, juliann said:

 

 

I choose not to be a hermit to avoid the foibles of humanity.

I don't even know what your point is or what you are insinuating.  I have wrangled with these topics likely just as much as you if not more.  The fact that my conclusion about these things and others are to me,  substantive evidence that the claims by the CHurch of being God's One and Only True Church with divine authority and a prophetic mantel  is more likely than not false.  That does not make a person a hermit or an attempt to avoid the foibles of humanity.

37 minutes ago, juliann said:

 

 

I also choose to stay in a church that stimulates my brain and has given me support throughout hard trials despite my disagreement with some of its policies or leaders.

Ok I think that is fair if it works for you.

37 minutes ago, juliann said:

 

It may be dinosaur slow in matching its inclusion of women to its unique theology of women, but every once in awhile something comes along like proof of billions of galaxies that is quite satisfying. 

 

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4 hours ago, pogi said:

I think the sex is probably the least of the concern honestly.  Conjugal/marital fidelity includes way more than just physical relations.  We are talking about including multiple other women into a sacred marriage trust and bond for all eternity without the knowledge of the wife, and under the deception/lie that it was not happening and that it will just be the two of them for all eternity.  It is a decision that will affect the rest of Emma's eternal family and marriage dynamic, and it was a decision that was made behind her back.  Not only was it done behind her back, she was also lied to about it.  How is that ok?  Joseph violated a sacred trust with Emma and made decisions, and lied to her, about family matters of eternal consequence for Emma.   People often try to diminish the seriousness of the fidelity violation by suggesting that he may not have had sex with them, but that is not looking at or considering the big eternal picture and dynamic of how these decisions might affect Emma beyond the sex (which will probably happen in eternity).  

True story - when I married my wife, she made me promise that if she died before me that I would not get sealed to another woman.  She simply could not swallow the idea of having to share me for all eternity and merely being another wife to me.  She was ok with me getting married again civilly.  The sex wasn't the issue for her.  It was the eternal polygamous family dynamic that was the issue for her.  To pretend like there was no violation of fidelity, or that it was not extremely severe, in marrying other women behind Emma's back for ALL ETERNITY...  I don't know what to say about that.  

Exactly.

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3 hours ago, CV75 said:

Please explain how mansplaining applies in this case. I think people are responsible for personally managing their anger on this or any other topic, and we have the gift of the Holy Ghost to assist that.

When a man is explaining to a woman how she should handle something or feel about something that doesn't apply to him or that he has never/will never experience, that's usually a good example of "mansplaining".

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1 hour ago, smac97 said:

I share this amazement, just from the position that I believe polygamy can, at times, by divinely mandated.

Same here.  I don't see a meaningful interaction with what the Church presents as scriptural and revelatory. 

The Church has published four separate essays about polygamy, more than any other topic:

These essays are replete with unequivocal declarations about the divine origins of (authorized) polygamy:

  • "In biblical times, the Lord commanded some to practice plural marriage—the marriage of one man and more than one woman. By revelation, the Lord commanded Joseph Smith to institute the practice of plural marriage among Church members in the early 1840s."
  • "Latter-day Saints do not understand all of God’s purposes in instituting, through His prophets, the practice of plural marriage. The Book of Mormon identifies one reason for God to command it: to increase the number of children born in the gospel covenant in order to 'raise up seed unto [the Lord].'"
  • "Church members came to see themselves as a 'peculiar people,' covenant-bound to carry out the commands of God despite outside opposition."
  • "The revelation on plural marriage, recorded in Doctrine and Covenants 132, emerged partly from Joseph Smith’s study of the Old Testament in 1831. Latter-day Saints understood that they were living in the latter days, in what the revelations called the 'dispensation of the fulness of times.' Ancient principles—such as prophets, priesthood, and temples—would be restored to the earth. Plural marriage, practiced by ancient patriarchs like Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Moses, was one of those ancient principles."
  • "The revelation on marriage stated general principles; it did not explain how to implement plural marriage in all its particulars."
  • "Between 1852 and 1890, Latter-day Saints openly practiced plural marriage. ... They believed it was a commandment of God at that time and that obedience would bring great blessings to them and their posterity."
  • "Latter-day Saints believe that monogamy—the marriage of one man and one woman—is the Lord’s standing law of marriage. In biblical times, the Lord commanded some of His people to practice plural marriage—the marriage of one man and more than one woman. Some early members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints also received and obeyed this commandment given through God’s prophets."
  • "After receiving a revelation commanding him to practice plural marriage, Joseph Smith married multiple wives and introduced the practice to close associates."
  • "Although the Lord commanded the adoption—and later the cessation—of plural marriage in the latter days, He did not give exact instructions on how to obey the commandment."

FAIR points to 2 Samuel 12, D&C 132, and Jacob 2.

The Encyclopedia of Mormonism has an article about it: Plural Marriage

And on and on.

And this is the puzzling thing about the approach of stating the 19th century leaders statements were simply silly and that they have been discarded.  Sure I imagine a number of statements by some of these men were flippant and off the cuff.  ut the history of the Church shows that the leaders went to great lengths to fight to sustain and maintain plural marriage even at the risk of prison and going into hiding.  It was something they at least were convicted that it was a proper course.  And IMO the only reason they gave it up was they lost the battle on it with the US government.  The Church would have likely ceased to exist had they not given it up at least as a legal entity with property. That and statehood desires.

1 hour ago, smac97 said:

There seems to be a lot of prevaricating about the bush on this stuff.  Plural marriage is as doctrinal as subjectively "icky" things like animal sacrifice, yet nobody seems to be suggesting - directly or obliquely - that animal sacrifice was not divinely mandated.

I have previously shared some thoughts on the difficulty of addressing this topic:

I'm open to discussion about this stuff, but I can't get on board with what look like efforts to jettison plural marriage, to re-characterize it as something other than what the Church plainly declares it to be: from God.

Agreed.

1 hour ago, smac97 said:

I respect and appreciate that position.  But for my personal spiritual experiences about the Restored Gospel, and the convictions based on those experiences, I would likely join you in that assessment.

Yes I understand that.  This was one of a number of issues that I could no longer reconcile with a conviction about the Church being the restored gospel.  I was able to for decades but no longer could.  To me the fact that the only way you can likely maintain a different position is because of a testimony.  For me the conflict beane to great and it is now evidence that the LDS CHurch is not some restored gospel with a divine mandate.

1 hour ago, smac97 said:

As it is, however, the Latter-day Saints are stuck with Plural Marriage in their doctrinal pedigree.  

I agree.

1 hour ago, smac97 said:

I draw a distinction between the two.  The Priesthood Ban lacks any known or established revelatory provenance, and apparently was instead a policy that over the course of many years became sufficiently entrenched that it required a revelation to dislodge it.  I am very happy about that.

In contrast, Plural Marriage does have revelatory provenance.  It is, as much as some would prefer otherwise, a doctrine of the Church (albeit not currently practiced).  The Church teaches this even now.  And unlike the racist explanations previously proffered for the Priesthood Ban, we have never renounced Plural Marriage as a revealed doctrine.  We discontinued the practice pursuant to revelatory instruction.

That is a reasonable distinction.

1 hour ago, smac97 said:

Nor do I.  It's a difficult topic.

I don't see Plural Marriage as "nonsense," any more than I see animal sacrifice, the "dark sayings of Jesus," the "bread of life" sermon in John 6, and other comparable difficult-to-accept doctrines in that way.

Thanks,

-Smac

Well I am not  there with you on the  the similarities between animal sacrifice and plural marriage.  Though if there is  God I don't think he ever needed burnt offerings.  Just another man made construct in religious worship practices throughout history

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2 hours ago, SkyRock said:

Everything I have learned about my own polygamous ancestors shows that it was very difficult for both the men and the women.  I remember reading a heartbreaking letter to an ancestor from his wife that he was not welcome to come back home.   There was considerable anger and pain, as she had felt abandoned by him, no matter that they had 10 children together.  

That is sad, but it is the abandoned woman suffering the most here, and the children. Ten children only makes her plight worse, it doesn't give any indication that she wasn't abandoned for all practical purposes. These are the situations where children don't even recognize their fathers. I'm sure he may have tried his best...but he had at least another family for comfort. She had nothing.

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I have also read stories of men being under near constant abuse from their wives every time that they came back from being with the different wife.  Their wives were in great pain and it was extremely difficult for them. 

This is a sort of cry me a river thing. They were not forced to take so many wives. Again, men had more than one family with which to seek comfort. There are also stories of families who went without so that when the man showed up there would be food and wood to burn. This is why anecdotes don't tell us much about the big picture. What you shared of this also indicates that if he wasn't visiting her regularly, she also wasn't getting any kind of support...which is why it made no difference if he was there or not. 

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It appears from everything I have read that Joseph didn't bring it forth in a wise fashion.   Joseph was a young man trying the best he could.  He erred in much related to the doctrine. 

And BY, who never claimed to be a revelatory man, did much worse. 

 

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Ultimately the question is simply whether the doctrine is either true or false.  Does it come from God or man?  If it is from God, then it will be a eternal principle independent of whatever we want, whatever we feel on the topic. 

 

We would be in a huge mess if everything that came from God is eternal. I find this a very odd position to take. I'll stick with Pres. Hinckley who flat out said it isn't doctrinal, and other leaders who consistently refer to it as a practice that ended.

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21 minutes ago, Teancum said:

And this is the puzzling thing about the approach of stating the 19th century leaders statements were simply silly and that they have been discarded. 

Is that is what is being advocated here?  I admit I am not paying super-duper attention, but the gist I have sensed is along these lines.  Members of the Church want to jettison Plural Marriage as a doctrine.  Altogether.  It was never a doctrine, not in the 19th century, not now in latent form.  Is this right?

21 minutes ago, Teancum said:

Sure I imagine a number of statements by some of these men were flippant and off the cuff.  ut the history of the Church shows that the leaders went to great lengths to fight to sustain and maintain plural marriage even at the risk of prison and going into hiding.  It was something they at least were convicted that it was a proper course. 

Yep.  Even when Pres. Woodruff was ending Plural Marriage, he emphasized that the course of action he was taking was - as he saw it - God's will.  From the Official Declaration 1:

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The Lord showed me by vision and revelation exactly what would take place if we did not stop this practice. If we had not stopped it, you would have had no use for … any of the men in this temple at Logan; for all ordinances would be stopped throughout the land of Zion. Confusion would reign throughout Israel, and many men would be made prisoners. This trouble would have come upon the whole Church, and we should have been compelled to stop the practice. Now, the question is, whether it should be stopped in this manner, or in the way the Lord has manifested to us, and leave our Prophets and Apostles and fathers free men, and the temples in the hands of the people, so that the dead may be redeemed. A large number has already been delivered from the prison house in the spirit world by this people, and shall the work go on or stop? This is the question I lay before the Latter-day Saints. You have to judge for yourselves. I want you to answer it for yourselves. I shall not answer it; but I say to you that that is exactly the condition we as a people would have been in had we not taken the course we have.

… I saw exactly what would come to pass if there was not something done. I have had this spirit upon me for a long time. But I want to say this: I should have let all the temples go out of our hands; I should have gone to prison myself, and let every other man go there, had not the God of heaven commanded me to do what I did do; and when the hour came that I was commanded to do that, it was all clear to me. I went before the Lord, and I wrote what the Lord told me to write. …

I leave this with you, for you to contemplate and consider. The Lord is at work with us.

It is deeply problematic, I think, for Latter-day Saints in 2022 to revise the history of the Church.  If they want to jettison Plural Marriage as a revealed doctrine, they need to address 2 Samuel 12, D&C 132, and Jacob 2, the Church's essays, the foregoing statements from Pres. Woodruff, and so on.  Glossing over or ignoring these things will not do.

21 minutes ago, Teancum said:

And IMO the only reason they gave it up was they lost the battle on it with the US government.  The Church would have likely ceased to exist had they not given it up at least as a legal entity with property. That and statehood desires.

I agree.  I think we just differ in that I think that "reason" came from God.  Again from Pres. Woodruff: " I should have let all the temples go out of our hands; I should have gone to prison myself, and let every other man go there, had not the God of heaven commanded me to do what I did do..."

In the end, this is a question of faith.

21 minutes ago, Teancum said:

Yes I understand that.  This was one of a number of issues that I could no longer reconcile with a conviction about the Church being the restored gospel.  I was able to for decades but no longer could.  To me the fact that the only way you can likely maintain a different position is because of a testimony. 

I am bound by my convictions, which form certain presuppositions on which I proceed.  

I suspect you are likewise bound by your convictions and the presuppositions that flow from them.  

21 minutes ago, Teancum said:

For me the conflict beane to great and it is now evidence that the LDS CHurch is not some restored gospel with a divine mandate.

Polygamy and the Priesthood Ban and a few other topics have been very difficult for me to address, but not sufficient to falsify my convictions and presuppositions.

21 minutes ago, Teancum said:

Well I am not  there with you on the  the similarities between animal sacrifice and plural marriage. 

Both Plural Marriage and animal sacrifice are similar insofar as both are

A) difficult to understand in terms of purpose and necessity,

B) difficult to some of those with modern sensibilities to accept in terms of having been commanded by God,

C) inherently "icky" to we modern folks,

D) practices which our predecessors were called upon to observe, but which we are not, and

E) practices which were, and are, attributed to God.

21 minutes ago, Teancum said:

Though if there is  God I don't think he ever needed burnt offerings.  Just another man made construct in religious worship practices throughout history

I don't fully understand animal sacrifice.  But then, I don't claim to understand the Atonement, either.  I'm not sure a full and complete understanding is necessary.

Thanks,

-Smac

Edited by smac97
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2 hours ago, Tacenda said:

https://www.ldsdiscussions.com/polygamy

Not sure how accurate this website is, anyone know?

I think a good historical overview of Joseph Smith's polygamy is the first two books of Brian Hales series "Joseph Smith's Polygamy".  The third book is more of an attempt to explain the doctrine behind his polygamy and also discusses Brian's belief on polyandry.  If you haven't read the first two books, I'd strongly recommend them.

Looking over that page, I think the biggest issue I have with it is that it really simplifies the timeline.  I, personally, think that when you look at the order of how things happened, it makes a little more sense.  It is also interesting that we might have lost most of the information we had if it wasn't for the Temple Lot case as well as Joseph F. Smith (as a young apostle) tracking down wives.

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