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Plural Marriage was Essential for Exaltation.


Ray Agostini

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The women didn't have to have get in bed with a polygamous man to help with the gardening.

No. But at least they had a garden.

The church threatened their exlatation if they didn't enter this practice.

How odd that the vast majority of those mindnumbed robots didn't enter into it....hmmmm An awfully rebellious bunch, those Mormon women.

They did this because they thought it was the only way to be exalted.  From all the revelations on it, I can see why the women believed it.

And yet....most didn't do it. Are you concerned about their exaltation? Obviously they were not. But nice of you to care. :P

Any chance you are going to produce some documentation and a control group or are we just going to be treated to your moral outrage?

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The women didn't have to have get in bed with a polygamous man to help with the gardening.

No. But at least they had a garden.

ARE YOU SERIOUS???????

The church threatened their exaltation if they didn't enter this practice.

How odd that the vast majority of those mindnumbed robots didn't enter into it....hmmmm An awfully rebellious bunch, those Mormon women.

So why didn't they? Was hell the same to them as living it?

They did this because they thought it was the only way to be exalted.
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Lori,

It seems that it was all about the reward they would receive later for all the suffering they were enduring by living it. Obeying Gods commandments is supposed to make us happy here on earth.

:P How much of your Bible have you read?

Again, just because the monogamous women were hungry for food too doesn't justify taking to bed with someone to help feed them! Imagine if this is how our church operated today if there was famine.

Can women hold a deed to land today?

You are forgetting all the womans rights that has taken place in the interm.

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I have yet to read any books on how wonderful polygamy was.  It seems that it was all about the reward they would receive later for all the suffering they were enduring by living it.

That's just the point. You take all their "suffering" which they endured and you automatically attribute it to plural marriage. The women involved never blamed it on that. Moreover, can you show that monogamous women in the Utah territory (the vast majority of women apparently) were not "suffering" in the same ways as well? In other words, you attribute their unhappiness to plural marriage without ever giving evidence that monogamous women were appreciably happier or that the unhappiness claimed was the direct result of plural marriage rather than just the hard-life conditions that were prevalent on the American frontier at that time.

I did see that they were willing to defend it passionately despite their sufferings.

Which ought to tell you that their sufferings were not as great as you make them out to be. But that would require actually giving credence to what those Dead Mormon Women actually said rather than just dismissing it as irrelevant because they were brainwashed, threatened, etc.

This could show they really had the Spirit testify to them that it was the Highest principle to give them exaltation.  It also can show the fear of what it meant to the saints to have sacrificed so much for polygamy and to have it thrown all away because of the government.  It was really sad to read about the spiritual confusion during the manifesto period. 

Yes, your pity for those Dead Mormon Women is duly noted. You still haven't explained why, if their salvation was at stake, the great majority of women in Utah never appear to have engaged in plural marriage nor have you shown that they were denounced or demoted in any way for failure to do so.

Again, just because the monogamous women were hungry for food too doesn't justify taking to bed with someone to help feed them!  Imagine if this is how our church operated today if there was famine.

This, of course, completely ignores the fact, which has been repeatedly stated, that they did it almost completely for religious purposes and not for food, sex, money, etc., althoughs benefits could be attributed to it.

I would like to know why there were any monogamous couples because Brigham and the apostles talked to the church about how evil monogamy was.

Good question, one which you should answer since it directly cuts against your assertions of theats of loss of exhaltation. coercion, etc.

C.I.

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I don't think a woman could own land at that time.. Am I correct in my thinking?

I would have to research that and I'm not that interested. :P I certainly would not assume they could not....they obviously inherited. Divorce was quick and easy (another little problem for the Dead and Dumb Mormon women theorists) because BY set it up that they pretty much settled things amongst themselves. So women did not have the problems of keeping their children and such that easterners were. (one must talk in eras regarding polygamy and I don't have the years on this and am too lazy too look).

The point was that single women, especially immigrants, were coming in with nothing and for the most part doing low paying sustenance jobs. To be married, especially to a wealthier polygamous man, meant that she automatically had a share in what he had. It did redistribute assets.

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I would like to know why there were any monogamous couples because Brigham and the apostles talked to the church about how evil monogamy was.

Good question, one which you should answer since it directly cuts against your assertions of theats of loss of exhaltation. coercion, etc.

C.I.

I haven't done enough research on the monogamous couples to know what the majority felt but from the polygamy books you can find out that some of them refused to enter it so I guess they were rebelling. Then I read that Brigham and others would chastise the brethern who let the wives tell them "no." They actually had the authority to go against the wife according to D & C 132.

Were a majority of the saints unaware when they came to Salt Lake that polygamy was a commandment and then once they arrived they felt shocked and betrayed by the church? (kind of like how I feel right now for being in the dark on all the history)

I wonder how many left the church or went inactive after learning the truth. Has anybody done research in this area?

In my opinion, the Saints that came to Salt Lake that were monogamous probably had wives who refused or they were rebels. Otherwise you would have to say the Prophets were only giving those revelations about exaltation and about the evils of monogamy to their own wives and not the church. (weren't those statements to the church though?) I just don't have enough info on it so I can only share my opinion.

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I am concerned that women were entering into it under the premise that they would be damned for not doing it.  That's called brain washing.  I believe the initial start of polygamy was seduction mixed with belief that Joseph was infallible. 

Were they doing it only for the reward they would be getting in the next life?  I can't answer that, but I can see from all the reading I have done that polygamy is abuse.  The emotional abuse to a woman is heart wrenching.  For you to defend that is sick. 

I have yet to read any books on how wonderful polygamy was.  It seems that it was all about the reward they would receive later for all the suffering they were enduring by living it.  Obeying Gods commandments is supposed to make us happy here on earth.  I didn't see anything to show these women were happy.  I did see that they were willing to defend it passionately despite their sufferings.  This could show they really had the Spirit testify to them that it was the Highest principle to give them exaltation.  It also can show the fear of what it meant to the saints to have sacrificed so much for polygamy and to have it thrown all away because of the government.  It was really sad to read about the spiritual confusion during the manifesto period. 

Again, just because the monogamous women were hungry for food too doesn't justify taking to bed with someone to help feed them!  Imagine if this is how our church operated today if there was famine.

I would like to know why there were any monogamous couples because Brigham and the apostles talked to the church about how evil monogamy was.  Were they just waiting for more women to be of age?  Does anybody have any good research on this area?

Good grief, could you twist this any more than you already have??

First and foremost for practicing plural marriage is that both, Mormon men and women, believed it to be God's will. Period. They also believed it to be part of the "restitution of all things" similar to that of the patriarchs Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. In other words, there was biblical precedent for entering into it.

As for happiness, Elizabeth Kane, wife of Thomas L. Kane, had many misconceptions about the Mormons and plural marriage which changed over time while she lived in St. George, Utah:

In her journal, Elizabeth commented that she thought Mormon women knew that "intimate friendship" was possible in marriage but not plural marriage. This she wrote early in her stay.

Later, she found that the idea of "intimate friendship" was not possible in polygamy did not always hold up. "Maggie McDiarmid" and her husband seemed very much in love, and Elizabeth was astonished to learn that they were polygamists. Elizabeth had already heard Maggie's story of falling in love with and marrying her husband and had observed their manner towards each other as proof that "after twenty years of wedlock there could still be married lovers" before realizing that they were involved in plural marriage. "Louisa," who was also previously mentioned, was very devoted to her husband, and Elizabeth was very surprised when she found out that she was also a plural wife and, in her case, not even the first wife. Elizabeth was forced to reconsider her own ideas of romantic love and friendship between husband and wife when she found that kind of love and frienship in circumstances in which she had thought them impossible.

- "A biographical study of Elizabeth D. Kane" by Darcee D. Barnes.

I suspect there were both happy and unhappy plural marriages... gosh just like there are both happy and unhappy monogamous marriages.

As for not reading anything about how "wonderful polygamy was", just because you haven't read it doesn't mean that it does not exist. Dr. Andrea Radke recently said, "Recent interest in the place of Mormon women is evidenced by the prolific numbers of publications that address Mormon women

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Divorce was quick and easy (another little problem for the Dead and Dumb Mormon women theorists) because BY set it up that they pretty much settled things amongst themselves.

Just more evidence of what a disaster and mockery they made of marriage. The "sacredness of marriage" to the polygamist men was perfectly represented the minute I read that Jospeh sealed himself twice to the Partridge sisters just to keep his secret.

At one point the divorces were so high that they were going to stop doing plural marriages. I can find the quote if you need it.

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I just don't have enough info on it so I can only share my opinion.

Wouldn't it be wiser to inform yourself and then post your thoughts instead of just "winging it"? It's not like there's a shortage of information about plural marriage. For crying out loud, there's even a lengthy blurb about it in a quilting book of all things:

Whether it was a matter of accepting polygamous marriage and the "wife order" within that strucure, or a role in the women's relief organization, or a specific task assigned by church leadershp to manage a hotel, to start a cotton industry, or to build a canal, . . .

Of primary significance for these quilt owners was the life they shared with others through polygamy or plural marriage. The quilts indicate mutually supportive relationships and an ability to accommodate to such a living situation. Yet the practice and its acceptance varied with each individual. A number of these women were the first wives of plural marriages and thus had the opportunity to reside in one location, often Salt Lake, without the ongoing responsibility for their husbands. For others living togethr, polygamy provided the opportunity to help in producing and maintaining food, bedding, and clothing in order to meet the Church's goal to develop a home-based, self sufficient economy, from raw material to finished product.

Among the women of this study, the practice of polygamy was (yada yada yada)...

- Cross, Mary Bywater. Quilts & Women of the Mormon Migrations: Treasures in Transition, 1996. p. 184-...)

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I just don't have enough info on it so I can only share my opinion.

Wouldn't it be wiser to inform yourself and then post your thoughts instead of just "winging it"? It's not like there's a shortage of information about plural marriage. For crying out loud, there's even a lengthy blurb about it in a quilting book of all things:

Whether it was a matter of accepting polygamous marriage and the "wife order" within that strucure, or a role in the women's relief organization, or a specific task assigned by church leadershp to manage a hotel, to start a cotton industry, or to build a canal, . . .

Of primary significance for these quilt owners was the life they shared with others through polygamy or plural marriage. The quilts indicate mutually supportive relationships and an ability to accommodate to such a living situation. Yet the practice and its acceptance varied with each individual. A number of these women were the first wives of plural marriages and thus had the opportunity to reside in one location, often Salt Lake, without the ongoing responsibility for their husbands. For others living togethr, polygamy provided the opportunity to help in producing and maintaining food, bedding, and clothing in order to meet the Church's goal to develop a home-based, self sufficient economy, from raw material to finished product.

Among the women of this study, the practice of polygamy was (yada yada yada)...

- Cross, Mary Bywater. Quilts & Women of the Mormon Migrations: Treasures in Transition, 1996. p. 184-...)

I have done a lot of reading about PLURAL marriage. My opinion was given about the monogamous ones. I was asking for anybody's help on this area. I gave my opinion based on what I have read from the polygamy research I have done. You have misunderstood what I was talking about.

Since you seem to have this wealth of information that I don't, do you mind sharing?

The only person twisting anything here is YOU. I would have to completely throw out all evidence of anything negative to validate any of your points and even then it doesn't work. I would also have to throw out any moral standards I have within me, and any kind of self worth as a woman and child of God.

Are we not allowed to share opinions of things on this board? For "crying out loud"

isn't that what most of us are giving here? Based on my research I haven't come to complete conclusions-just opinions. That doesn't mean you have the right to demean them.

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What I find interesting about Nighhawke's defenses of 19th century Mormon polygamy is that she has never had to actually go through it. The comparisons to monogamy have worn thin. In bad monogamous marriages at least the woman can deal on-on-one with the husband, and hurt him if necessary (I know all about that), but the man can thumb his nose, as Brigham Young did by sayiing, "so what? I have so many other wives what's the loss of one?" Have you read Brigham's boasts in the JD? He also said that he could take younger and prettier wives and the "old tarts" who did like his theocratic polygamy could leave. I'm paraphrasing.

The other interesting thing is, would Pres.Hinckley and the GAs defend polygamy this vigourously? Why has this not done from the pulpit, at least "in principle"? They could at least have qualified that although it is not practised now it was nevertheless a "true principle" and they could have praised the women who endured it? But we never heard a word. When you come on boards you see some members defending it like mad, so again I see this duality in doctrine and belief. What what the BoM and the D&C say are two very different things. That's why. And what the church teaches and believes today, and what it did in the 19th century in regard to polygamy, are two very different things - radically different.

The fact of the matter is that the leaders, maybe not all or even most, are realising that polygamy is exactly as Compton described it, basically a failed experiement that brought immense sorrow to women. It is perversion, if ever there was perversion, of "correct principles" which bring happiness to people. No, I don't back down from my harsh statements in condemning it, and the BoM condemns it even more! What I don't condemn are those women who had to endure it "in the name of God".

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If I were you I would pay closer attention to the sisters who "radically defended polygamy", since they are the ones who lived it/practiced it. For you to just dismiss what they said as "nonsense" puts you in the same camp as the critics who condemned, persecuted them and were chiefly responsible for their "loneliness" in a desert that nobody wanted but were only too happy to leave behind on their way to greener and richer pastures.

Why do you assume I have not paid "close attention", because I have not drawn the conclusions you have? So what you're saying is that I need to read more until I come to the "correct conclusion"?

The quote I gave previously from Zina Huntington WAS actually written in a defence. Let me reiterate it for you, at least the part where she defends how to endure polygamy:

"They expect too much attention from the husband, and because they do not get it, or see a little attention bestowed upon one of the other wives, they become sullen and morose, and permit their ill-temper to finally find vent." Zina felt that "a successful polygamous wife must regard her husband with indifference, and with no other feeling than that of reverence, for love we regard as a false sentiment; a feeling which should have no existence in polygamy."

So that's normal? Right, I get it.

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"They expect too much attention from the husband, and because they do not get it, or see a little attention bestowed upon one of the other wives, they become sullen and morose, and permit their ill-temper to finally find vent." Zina felt that "a successful polygamous wife must regard her husband with indifference, and with no other feeling than that of reverence, for love we regard as a false sentiment; a feeling which should have no existence in polygamy."

Hmmm... that sounds like what My sister said for 13 years in an abusive mononogmous union. Go figure... :P

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And risk the iron fist of Uncle Sam?  Come on now Ray.  :P

So gay people have more conviction than polygamy-believing Mormons? If you're so dead convinced it was from God you should be out there and prophesying as John Taylor did, that if the United States rejects polygamy it will be it's downfall.

But instead this is the reality, from Pres.Hinckley: "It's behind us"

LOL. Sorry, but I find that funny.

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The other interesting thing is, would Pres.Hinckley and the GAs defend polygamy this vigourously? Why has this not done from the pulpit, at least "in principle"?

Defending polygamy is not part of the job description of being a general authority--all they are required to do is bring souls to Christ by preaching His gospel, by bearing testimony of Jesus Christ, their mission is Christ-centred; not Church history centred. To do otherwise would be to fall into the same trap early Church leaders did when John C. Bennett was spreading his malicious lies about plural marriage: diverting the Church from missionary work.

Perhaps, the Church declines to emphasize it in any way because of the very real possibility of some men in the Church practicing their own version of plural marriage. It's happened in the past, hence the need for secrecy; and it's happened in recent times.

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What I find interesting about Nighhawke's defenses of 19th century Mormon polygamy is that she has never had to actually go through it.

I really don't think anyone is "defending" it. It is just that no one ever seems to get around to explaining it before the moral outrage descends.

The comparisons to monogamy have worn thin. In bad monogamous marriages at least the woman can deal on-on-one with the husband,

But you do have to have a control group to come to any conclusions at all. And this is not happening. I don't care how monstrous the situation was...I still want a meaningful evaluation of it. We can all sit here and show disgust over any number of things...so what?

This is a very important point that continues to be missed...divorce was quick and easy. No one was trapped and the fact that there was so much divorcing is fact that women and men were not afraid to take advantage of this out. There is a rather earthy quote from BY snarling at men who wanted out that I heard in a lecture. Women only had to ask, apparently....he was much more accomodating of them than the men.

I just don't get the need for all the breast beating. It happened. It's over. Why not try to understand it rather than endlessly expressing outrage? I don't have that much energy to go through history and be mad for everybody.

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I just don't get the need for all the breast beating.  It happened.  It's over.  Why not try to understand it rather than endlessly expressing outrage?  I don't have that much energy to go through history and be mad for everybody.

What you should really be expressing ourage at is the BoM. What is says about polygamy makes me look like an apologist, because it describes exactly what happened to them and how they felt.

I don't feel "outrage" at all, nor have I set myself up as some kid of defender of women or feminism. I'm the most politically incorrect person you could meet.

Let me reiterate, I am trying to understand it, which was what I've said in several posts, and I'm trying to understand why some still feel the need to defend it, and that is what has been happening. Is it because they feel this will compromise Joseph Smith? I think it does to an extent, and that's what motivates the defences, not the actual practice itself, which was "abominable" (BoM). So there, don't blame me, blame the BoM. Personally, I could not care if people want polygamy, or polyandry, or homosexuality, all I am concerned about is spiritual, physical, mental and emotional abuse, which continues in Utah and other places to this day because of the legacy of polygamy. The whole idea has to be quashed before these abusers will learn that what they do is wrong. I am talking about religiously-motivated polygamy where women enter it because they feel it's what "God wants". Then again, that's there choice, but too many women and young girls have been abused by this practice.

What I am discussing here is a violation of human rights and the beliefs that motivate those violations.

http://www.polygamy.org/

That's what interests me. That's why I'm trying to understand what motivates people to hold on to something that brought so much heartache.

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Let me reiterate, I am trying to understand it, which was what I've said in several posts, and I'm trying to understand why some still feel the need to defend it, and that is what has been happening.

But to most modern members who are called upon to explain it to incredulous outsiders, it is merely an embarrassment to Mormon history, a skeleton in the family closet. One farsighted plural wife's saddened reaction to the Manifesto was to think how her descendants would riducule her for having lived the Principle. Not only had she and her fellow plural wives suffered and prevailed as the true heroines of their Mormon culture, but they were in fact and are still victims of the conflict which orginally centered on an unbending Church and a crusading, punitive government, and today centers on lack of understanding. In light of the deprivations these staunch upolders of the faith endured, it is a sad commentary on the lack of empathy of Church members today that this woman's prophecy has indeed come true.

- Nancy Tate Dredge, "Victims of the Conflict", Mormons Sisters: Women in Early Utah, p. 150.

These men and women believed that plural marriage was God's will just as sure as you know the Book of Mormon is scripture. Get it? I don't see it as an embarrassment, and I get angry when Mormon-eaters surface. You'll never understand it because you aren't even coming at it from the right direction which is why did God command it? Nonsense you say? Tell that to the thousands of LDS who lived and defended the doctrine of the plurality of wives because they believed it to be the will of God and who received revelations and visions of the truthfulness of the principle.

I am thankful that . . . [God] has condesended to show me that the promises made to me the morning that I was sealed to the Prophet of God will not fail & I would not have the chain broken for I have had a view of the principle of eternal salvation & the perfect union which this sealing power will bring to the human family & with the help of our Heavenly Father I am determined to so live that I can claim those promises.

- Helen Mar Kimball Smith Whitney, March 30, 1881.

Now there's a quote the critics of the Church won't post on their websites!

That's it, I'm done. I'm finding these threads absolutely pointless.

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