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Time to Legalize Polygamy?


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57 minutes ago, Calm said:

So what is meant here by a plurality of men and a plurality of women in your view?  Just more babies being born and raised to adulthood?  Polyandry and polygyny?  Something else?

IMO, it means what we are talking about on this tread…polyamory. And/or serial adultery. 

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21 hours ago, JLHPROF said:

I am considering the context of this discussion and I know what you are referring to.
Legalizing polygamy shouldn't be a free for all for all polyamorous relationships.  Of course that's true.

But I also reject the idea that polygamy as lived by Joseph and Brigham is sinful, evil, or disintegrating to the family, unless it's approved by God.
The practice requires God's approval, but God can't approve a sinful practice.  There can be nothing inherently sinful or harmful to the family in polygamy or else God couldn't approve of it.

I think we are talking about the same things and not disagreeing. Unless polygamy is commanded by God it is sinful.


At times God has approved of the taking of life.

Edited by Bernard Gui
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1 hour ago, Bernard Gui said:

IMO, it means what we are talking about on this tread…polyamory. And/or serial adultery. 

Was polyamory a big thing back in Brigham’s time?  I thought it was quite the opposite, though men with serial partners was seen as common.

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4 hours ago, The Nehor said:

If we are going to legalize polygamy I also think we really need to tighten up laws about minors marrying to prevent all kinds of weird abuses. Some states have some pretty vague limits.

The State of Mass., just raised their marriage age from 13 to 18 (just a few months ago)

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On 10/26/2022 at 1:24 PM, blackstrap said:

Well, if we want to be able to convert some Africans and some Muslims, we should embrace it. 😀

I had the privilege of serving on the International Board of Directors of one of the largest non-denominational mission organizations, doing most of its work in Africa. Around 1983 we met in Kenya and had to decide whether or not, once and for all, the mission would authorize its ordained members (ordained by their own denominations) to perform the baptisms of polygamists (mostly animists from remote bush areas). We had board members from 14 countries and around 40 denominations. We debated and prayed about it most of the night. At the time for a vote, there was no unanimity on a course of action. The thinking on the matter, seemed to split along national and denominational lines. It is important that we were not a denomination or church organization. We were a coalition of those who served a mission under our auspices, raised their support (funds) under our auspices, and serving in our organization while remaining in their denominations. At that time I was a pastor of a non-denominational church in the US. I believed that if I had asked, my congregation would have approved baptism for new convert polygamists. So that is how I voted. A majority of the board voted to allow those ministering under our auspices to baptize new convert polygamists. It seems that most of those who voted against were of the reformed persuasion. I found it a fascinating and spiritually challenging discussion.

Right after that vote, in the early morning hours they voted to "call" me to become the full-time deputy director of the mission, to be based in London. But, that is a whole other issue!

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FWIW, the last post-second manifesto (1904) plural marriages were performed in the Mexican LDS colonies in the early 1920s. The last plural marriage wives died here in the late sixties/early seventies. I believe the last two surviving plural spouses were sister-wives (literally) who were married to a Romney. I believe there were around 250 post-manifesto (after 1890) plural marriages performed here by various authorities.

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16 hours ago, provoman said:

Are there online sources of first hand accounts by those that lived it within the Church? I tried "In Sacred Loneliness" but would prefer source materials without someone telling me what I think of the source material.

It has been many years since I read Compton's book.  He and Bushman were both ahead of the institutional Church in taking a more candid approach to church history.  However, overall I feel that Bushman's candidness about Joseph Smith was more objective and even-handed, whereas Compton's approach took something of an editorializing, thumb-on-the-scales approach.

Thanks,

-Smac

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18 hours ago, Calm said:

Was polyamory a big thing back in Brigham’s time?  I thought it was quite the opposite, though men with serial partners was seen as common.

That seems to be the implication of “The Saints like a plurality of wives, and the sinners like a plurality of men and women.”

I guess we would have to read some of the risqué novels of the time to find out. I know the persecuted brothers and sisters often criticized the immoral behavior of their tormentors.

Edited by Bernard Gui
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18 hours ago, Calm said:

Was polyamory a big thing back in Brigham’s time?  I thought it was quite the opposite, though men with serial partners was seen as common.

I think it is more that cheating on your spouse and/or fornicating were common as they have always been.

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3 hours ago, The Nehor said:

I think it is more that cheating on your spouse and/or fornicating were common as they have always been.

That is how I read it.

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46 minutes ago, Tacenda said:

Joseph changed the meaning of marriage when he introduced polygamy. 

Polygamy existed as a form of marriage for millennia before Joseph.  I don't see how you can make that claim.  There have always been polygamous marriages.

Edited by JLHPROF
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13 minutes ago, JLHPROF said:

Polygamy existed as a form of marriage for millennia before Joseph.  I don't see how you can make that claim.  There have always been polygamous marriages.

Specific to the church, not to the world. 

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12 minutes ago, JLHPROF said:

Polygamy existed as a form of marriage for millennia before Joseph.  I don't see how you can make that claim.  There have always been polygamous marriages.

But were any of those forms of polydomous marriages considered new and everlasting covenant of marriage? 

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8 hours ago, Benjamin Seeker said:

I certainly hope that we can avoid the legalization of polygamy. We’ve already seen the dumpster fire it is in both fundamentalist sects and lds early history.

The only thing is, legalization may bring those FLDS and others like them out in the open and hopefully lessening abuse. But I get it!

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On 11/1/2022 at 6:51 PM, JLHPROF said:

I am considering the context of this discussion and I know what you are referring to.
Legalizing polygamy shouldn't be a free for all for all polyamorous relationships.  Of course that's true.

But I also reject the idea that polygamy as lived by Joseph and Brigham is sinful, evil, or disintegrating to the family, unless it's approved by God.
The practice requires God's approval, but God can't approve a sinful practice.  There can be nothing inherently sinful or harmful to the family in polygamy or else God couldn't approve of it.

Disagree full stop, how do you know God didn't disapprove?

Edited by Tacenda
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6 minutes ago, Tacenda said:

The only thing is, legalization may bring those FLDS and others like them out in the open and hopefully lessening abuse. But I get it!

Interesting. I hadn’t thought of that. Aren’t the FLDS pretty well known at this point, with Warren Jeffs in prison and all? I’d hope that they were already being closely monitored given their history.

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37 minutes ago, Tacenda said:

The only thing is, legalization may bring those FLDS and others like them out in the open and hopefully lessening abuse. But I get it!

Agreed.  Keeping it illegal paves the way for abuse.  Legal usually means regulated, and when we are talking about the safety of marginalized people (like women and children in these groups), regulated could be a very good thing. 

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10 hours ago, Tacenda said:

Disagree full stop, how do you know God didn't disapprove?

Because we have multiple revelation indicating that way and dozens of examples of polygamists as God's chosen prophets.

There is no indication that polygamy is inherently sinful.  It is forbidden without permission from God, but God cannot permit sin.  So it's not sinful, period.  The only sin is disobedience.

Much like the word of wisdom. There's no actual sin in alcohol or tobacco but there is sin in disobeying God concerning them.

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