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Plural Marriage was Essential for Exaltation.


Ray Agostini

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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.

First, please read the quote that Suzanne provided...how these women took the ridicule. You need to realize that these are likely to be our families, Ray. It is not some butterfly in a jar on the shelf. I can still go to the family farm and see where my grandmother told me about standing watch for the Feds (they got him regardless) Their graves are in the local cemetary...Ulrich and his four wives. Ulrich did not outlive them all yet they are buried side by side...something to ponder because at least one remarried. We have found the house in Switzerland that my great-grandfather lived in as a child. If anything is shocking it is how they could have left the breathtaking beauty of the Emmental valley. Everything they had was stolen by the captain of the ship when they arrived in America.

It is very unfair to conflate the sects that live in isolated outposts to SLC, a crossroad of the West. You have not acknowledged the ease in which the women could divorce. You also have not addressed that you are talking about a minority population that was by no means the norm...no matter how many firey sermons went down in the Tabernacle.

Please give my ancestors the respect they deserve. They were adults. They had brains. They were not forced to do anything. They had full lives that encompass so much more than being "victims". My paternal great-grandmother died at 33 by falling from a beam of the house that was being built for her on the property. A sister-wife took in the children. What was despicable is the treatment of this wife by my great uncle. When they came of age and the father had died.... he somehow forced his step-mother from the farm and took it over despite the promise of his father that it would be hers. Apparently no one bothered to get the paperwork done to protect her. In her diary she speaks of this in one sentence and simply says she will not dwell on the sadness. Ironically, she recently found out that she went on to marry a relative from my mother's side and had a happy and comfortable existence.

These are people, Ray...real people with real lives. It is offensive to me when you denigrate them by lumping them in with sects that are nothing like them ....or you turn my beautiful great grandmother into some kind of hapless victim of "abuse".

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The way I clearly interpret the contradiction leaves me seriously in doubt that Jacob and D&C 132 "harmonise". Only some high trapeze verbal acrobatics can alleviate the problem, IMO.

If D&C 132 were for real, then the Nephites should have revealed all of this. It would have been consistent teaching since the time of Abraham, when it was supposedly first given. And if God did not reveal it to the Nephites, one can only wonder why? No where in the BoM does it explicitly say that PM is necessary to exaltation (salvation), and as for the meaning of the term "new and everlasting covenant", that was initially and specifically plural marriage, that is what D&C 132 is. Later re-interpretations made it apply to monogamous marriage too. That is what I meant by historical revisionism. Just think of the circumstances surrounding the reception of section 132. Joseph produced it to convince his wife that PM was necessary both to her and his exaltation.. It was not a revelation about monogamy, but about polygamy.

We can argue that the Nephites didn't have this teaching, or that scripture, and find all kinds of loopholes to explain the problem, but the bottom line is this: If it was so essential, then why didn't God reveal this to the Nephites?

I've stopped reading the thread at this point . . Ray, please PM me if would like to explore any of the thoughts below in a serious discussion and I'll be happy to try and prayerfully explain further to the best of my ability.

IMO the fallacy of this argument is a test which argues that if PM is true doctrine (as you interpret it), THEN when the writings were set down AND condensed those authors (plural) must have been inspired to include this teaching (as you interpret it) in its entirety.

Surely you can find other D&C teachings (which may be more acceptable to you) that are also not included in the BoM.

IMO a key principle often either ignored or misunderstood in the quotes is one meant to address those who will not accept the principle and/or agree to practice it if asked by the Lord or his duly authorized messenger. How does such an attitude abide with consecration?

A likely primary reason for eternal plural marriage would be to extend the New and Everlasting Covenant to those people who cannot have an eternal spouse because of a gender imbalance. There could of course be other primary reasons as well. Should those (male or female) who would deny such a blessing to fellow souls be accounted as Celestial?

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These are people, Ray...real people with real lives.  It is offensive to me when you denigrate them by lumping them in with sects that are nothing like them ....or you turn my beautiful great grandmother into some kind of hapless victim of "abuse".

Juliann,

You're getting very emotionally involved here. Unfortunately your ancestors were also part of US history, and we can't water down history in deference to feelings.

Let's try to get some facts straight.

I did not "lump" your ancestors in with the modern sects. I said that the legacy of polygamy, which was started by Joseph Smith, has led to the abuse we see today in these offshoots. We are not talking here about people four or five generations removed in the 19th century, we ar talking about young girls and women being abused right now, because of this legacy of polygamy. That is what I am talking about, not your ancestors, and even when I discuss history, US history, US religious history, and I speak of polygamy, I am speaking of what I personally see as a tragic failure, in line with Compton. If it is of any comfort to you, the nation of Australia was also built upon a tragic failure - first through its convict history starting in 1788, and then at Galipoli in 1915. Now, try to think UNemotionally, Juliann, and separate inividual condemnation or judgement from historical fact. Let me explain.

My own children are descended from convicts going back five or six generations, through their mother. IOW, they are descended from people who were convicted of petty crimes and transported to Australia, but they also have ancestors who were settlers, not convicts. We can't whitewash this history. Because a distant relative was transported for stealing a loaf of bread says nothing much about the character of that person, but it is a fact that they had a criminal record by the standards of the 18th/19th century. The story of the convicts, however, has to be told UNemotionally. We can't whitewash it, no matter who is offended. And both it's good and bad points have to be brought out for a proper analysis to occur.

Second example. In 1915 thousands of Australian soldiers lost their lives in Turkey in the assault on Galipoli. It was one of the biggest bungles in World War 1, an act of utter stupidity and poor military manouvering, yet on April 25th, the day it happened, is now celebrated as the birth of modern Australia as an independent nation. Today, those soldiers have hero status, although they essentially engaged in an act of stupidity and lost their lives. It was their bravery that stood out. When war veterans, and now their families, walk those streets on what is now called ANZAC Day, do you think people remember the stupidity of the Galipoli assault? No, they remember, sacredly, those who gave their lives in that assault. Just like when you have your pioneer marches; do people remember the abuses? No, they remember their gallant efforts to found what has become the most prosperous state in the Western United States. I take nothing away from them. But I am not going to water down what I feel, again, was essentially a tragic failure of a system of marriage, with no individual condemnation of those who valiantly took part in it. But the "generals" have to wear blame, I'm afraid, and Sandra Tanner, who is directly descended from Brigham Young, has published a lot of that blame against a system founded by her own relative. My guess would be that she can still separate her personal feelings for Young while condemning what he instigated. And you must bear in mind that there are many, many descendants of polygamists who do likewise, but from a viewpoint different to yours.

I mean neither them nor you any personal insult, but their beliefs and their religion have to be scrutinised unemotionally. You do not feel polygamy was a mistake, but some of the other descendants of polygamists DO feel that what they did was a mistake. I don't think this takes away any of their admiration for them as relatives. Blink has already written of such family experiences. Let me quote that, from earlier on in this thread:

My spouse is descended from the 2nd wife in a polygamous marriage on one side and several polygamous wives on the other. Their journals are enough to break the iciest heart. They lived hell while on this earth, because they were told their eternal salvation depended on their sacrifice. To be consigned to live that sacrifice forever is simply unthinkable. That they were deluded and misled is a terrible thing. Were I to allow myself to be similiarly misled would only compound their sorrow.

That's an assessment from a viewpoint different to yours, but also from descendants. So I'm not going to play to the emotional card here when assessing the facts. I mean no insult to your ancestors, but I feel it is our duty to make individual assessments about the good and bad in what they believed and practised.

:

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These men and women believed that plural marriage was God's will just as sure as you know the Book of Mormon is scripture.

There is the crux of the matter, at least for some of us.

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.

Some of us at least feel that God didn't command it, that Joseph invented the revelation to cover his affairs, and that Brigham perpetuated and expanded it to satisfy his own thirst for power and sex. That thousands of believing LDS lived and defended it is unfortunate for them and for us. That they sincerely believed the lie that Brigham perpetuated is a testament to the ability of otherwise rational men and women to rationalize their lives. That they received what they thought were revelations and visions of the truthfulness of a principle that God calls an abomination is just one more in a long line of otherwise smart people believing what powerful manipulative men laid out for them. Millions of people have been misled by powerful, manipulative, convincing men. History is littered with the bodies of those millions. Our ancestors swallowed a lie; we have their direct legacy today: Colorado City, Hildale, the Allreds, the Jeffs. And their indirect legacy in a manmade revelation in our canon. We cannot put it behind us until we remove Sec 132 from the canon.

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!

We should all place that quote in a prominent place in our homes. Why? Because it shows the power that man has over the minds of others, and it should serve as a warning to us and our posterity to be ever mindful of following the arm of flesh. One woman's glowing manifestation of misplaced obedience is no more powerful than another woman's manifestation of the pain of the same misplaced obedience. Helen Mar Kimball is not a role model of a strong pioneer woman; Helen Mar Kimball is a role model for a woman who bought a bill of goods that a powerful manipulative man sold her. I admire the women who stood by their principles and refused to comply much more than I admire Helen Mar Kimball. And I admire the men who withstood the pressure to conform a lot more than I admire the men who succumbed to the eccesiastical abuse of their leaders.

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We should all place that quote in a prominent place in our homes. Why? Because it shows the power that man has over the minds of others, and it should serve as a warning to us and our posterity to be ever mindful of following the arm of flesh.

And once again the Defenders of Dead Mormon Women denigrate their memory by chalking up their words/beliefs/actions to brainwashing. I can just envision Blink patting Helen's little head and saying, "That's okay dearie, I understand...you just didn't know any better and weren't as enlighted as I am."

One woman's glowing manifestation of misplaced obedience is no more powerful than another woman's manifestation of the pain of the same misplaced obedience.

Who are you to declare who obedience misplaced? The condescension is sickening.

Helen Mar Kimball is not a role model of a strong pioneer woman; Helen Mar Kimball is a role model for a woman who bought a bill of goods that a powerful manipulative man sold her.

Yada Yada Yada, Blah Blah Blah. I'm taking Helen's word over yours. You have no evidence, no proof, nothing except your own dogmatic declarations to support your assertion that Smith and Young were anything less than sincere in their beliefs.

I admire the women who stood by their principles and refused to comply much more than I admire Helen Mar Kimball.

I'm sure those Dead Mormon Women appreciate your support.

And I admire the men who withstood the pressure to conform a lot more than I admire the men who succumbed to the eccesiastical abuse of their leaders.

This is just more of Blink remaking God her Her image.

C.I.

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Hypothetical conversation among friends in 200 years, when most of society has reach a level of enlightenment where it discarded such useless and harmful things as belief in God and marriage.

- Hey guys, I read the most amazing thing yesterday. Can you imagine that in the 21st century, there were still people who believed that marriage was important, and even sacred?

- No way!

- Yes, I tell you. There were even people who thought that marriage was so sacred that they should have sex only when they were married!

- But this is awful. Do you mean that they weren't allowed to have sex as kids and teenagers?

- Exactly. And wait, that's not all. Not only couldn't they have sex before marriage, but they couldn't have it outside of marriage either.

- They could have sex only with their spouse??

- Yes. Can you imagine that? Only one partner throughout their entire life???

- Eeek! But that's awful! Why ever would anyone submit to such a horrible thing?

- Well, from what I've read, some thought God told them to be that way.

- I'm sure glad I don't believe in God! What kind of monster would ask people to have only one partner in their entire life??

- I don't know. And the worst is, marriage didn't seem to make that many people happy. A lot of people divorced, and even those who stayed married were often unhappy. Why anyone would submit themselves to such an abuse is beyond me.

- Hm. I guess it's always the same thing: they were indoctrinated, you know, brainwashed. I heard most religious people were like that. I guess it makes sense: only gullible people could believe in such absurdities as God, and Heaven, and Hell.

- Yeah. They were afraid of themselves and each other, so they put all those barriers on themselves and others. It's so sad.

- Yep. Poor people. I can't understand how some loonies can milite for the re-instatement of marriage. They gotta be crazy! I'm sure glad all this is behind us.

Del

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Hypothetical conversation among friends in 200 years, when most of society has reach a level of enlightenment where it discarded such useless and harmful things as belief in God and marriage.

- Hey guys, I read the most amazing thing yesterday. Can you imagine that in the 21st century, there were still people who believed that marriage was important, and even sacred?

- No way!

- Yes, I tell you. There were even people who thought that marriage was so sacred that they should have sex only when they were married!

- But this is awful. Do you mean that they weren't allowed to have sex as kids and teenagers?

- Exactly. And wait, that's not all. Not only couldn't they have sex before marriage, but they couldn't have it outside of marriage either.

- They could have sex only with their spouse??

- Yes. Can you imagine that? Only one partner throughout their entire life???

- Eeek! But that's awful! Why ever would anyone submit to such a horrible thing?

- Well, from what I've read, some thought God told them to be that way.

- I'm sure glad I don't believe in God! What kind of monster would ask people to have only one partner in their entire life??

- I don't know. And the worst is, marriage didn't seem to make that many people happy. A lot of people divorced, and even those who stayed married were often unhappy. Why anyone would submit themselves to such an abuse is beyond me.

- Hm. I guess it's always the same thing: they were indoctrinated, you know, brainwashed. I heard most religious people were like that. I guess it makes sense: only gullible people could believe in such absurdities as God, and Heaven, and Hell.

- Yeah. They were afraid of themselves and each other, so they put all those barriers on themselves and others. It's so sad.

- Yep. Poor people. I can't understand how some loonies can milite for the re-instatement of marriage. They gotta be crazy! I'm sure glad all this is behind us.

Del

That's what the polygamist Prophets, fathers, and mothers were teaching their children about monogamy. Scary isn't it.

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You do not feel polygamy was a mistake, but some of the other descendants of polygamists DO feel that what they did was a mistake. I don't think this takes away any of their admiration for them as relatives.

Ray, you need to stop and listen. All I am saying is that it is done and over with. It happened. If we can't understand it we cannot explain it. If we can't explain it how would anyone be able to say their lives were a "mistake"? All you are saying is that you despise what they did. We know you despise it. But what does that tell us about them? Nothing at all.

The emotional reaction is with those who immediately go into the moral outrage syndrome. That is all I ever see from people who pound on it by using their modern day perceptions, by forcing their own values on a group they will not take the time to appreciate and by never allowing the people who made the choice the dignity of that choice.

I will continue to expect that this strange practice be dispassionately analyzed and explained. Without that everyone can just continue to thump their chests and shake their sticks, I guess. I prefer to try to get to know these people and understand why they made the choices they did.

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That's what the polygamist Prophets, fathers, and mothers were teaching their children about monogamy.  Scary isn't it.

Any proof?

Del

FLDS-they are doing just what was taught and commanded by the Prophets. The children are raised to be polygamists.

The Manifesto was only political and if you have read anything about it you would know it was not revelation.

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One woman's glowing manifestation of misplaced obedience is no more powerful than another woman's manifestation of the pain of the same misplaced obedience.

Who are you to declare who obedience misplaced? The condescension is sickening.

No kidding. Here we go again....Serenity/harmony/WAzing/blink and her nonstop proclamation of the real definition of truth, justice and the American way. Over and over and with nary a supporting document in sight until we ran screaming to this message board.

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FLDS-they are doing just what was taught and commanded by the Prophets. The children are raised to be polygamists.

The Manifesto was only political and if you have read anything about it you would know it was not revelation.

Read the rules and then prove it.

* Posts will be judged on a "noise to substance" ratio. Too much noise and too little substance and your posts (and you) will not last long. Noise is defined by taunting, name-calling, vulgarity, excessive chatter and nonstop nitpicking. You are expected to add something to a dialogue not simply pick apart everyone else's comments.

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Any proof?

Del

FLDS-they are doing just what was taught and commanded by the Prophets. The children are raised to be polygamists.

You are giving me modern FLDS as a proof of what LDS used to be 150 years ago??? You're KIDDING, right?

The Manifesto was only political and if you have read anything about it you would know it was not revelation.

Are you assuming that everyone necessarily comes to the same conclusions as you do when reading the same material as you do?

Moreover, politics and revelation can perfectly go together in my idea.

Del

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I will continue to expect that this strange practice be dispassionately analyzed and explained.  Without that everyone can just continue to thump their chests and shake their sticks, I guess.  I prefer to try to get to know these people and understand why they made the choices they did.

There's really no need to psychoanalyze why these women, and men, did what they did. They were obeying God's will. It's the same reason some people drink poisoned kool-aid and fly planes into buildings. Those are extreme examples, but devoutly religious people are willing to sacrifice happiness in this life for rewards in the next life. That's what polygamy was about, obeying god and getting your eternal reward.

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Why not throw in Hitler and the Nazisfor good measure? That would sure prove your point! Why stop with the FLS and Jim Jones? Anything but actually deal with the data. You two just lost any credibility. Let the chest thumping and Tarzan calls continue....

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Why not throw in Hitler and the Nazisfor good measure?  That would sure prove your point!  Why stop with the FLS and Jim Jones?  Anything but actually deal with the data.  You two just lost any credibility.  Let the chest thumping and Tarzan calls continue....

Whoa!! Chill out before that vein in your neck explodes. <_< You are obviously a passionate defender of polygamy, but this is just an Internet message board. :P

You're cool with polygamy, and that's fine with me. I'm just stating why I think most women entered into it - it was a religious principle that they wanted to follow. It doesn't make it a good thing. I was simply pointing out that I believe some people do things in the name of God that they wouldn't do on their own accord. In my most humble opinion, polygamy is not a good marriage system. But that's just me.

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Whoa!! Chill out before that vein in your neck explodes. You are obviously a passionate defender of polygamy, but this is just an Internet message board. :P

Is anyone here capable of rational discussion? Is continually telling someone they are "defending" polygamy when they are merely asking for an informed explanation of it rather than moral condemnation supposed to excuse you from doing just that?

It doesn't. Get a new strawman.

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I'm just stating why I think ... I was simply pointing out that I believe ... In my most humble opinion, ... But that's just me.

Nowhere in your previous post did you specify that it was only your opinion: you presented everything as obvious facts.

Del

Oh geez. :P I didn't realize the words I type here are taken as gospel fact. I didn't even back up my claims with any suppostive evidence. I am sorry for the confusion this apparently caused you. <_< To clear up any future problems, I will state for the record whatever I write on this message board is simply my opinion. Feel free to debate my opinions. In fact, I think that is the purpose of this board. I may attempt to back up my opinion with supportive evidence, but it is still just my opinion. Please don't take what I say as "obvious facts".

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I didn't realize the words I type here are taken as gospel fact. I didn't even back up my claims with any suppostive evidence.

I don't think you realise that while YOU are aware that your opinion is only that, your opinion, there are people on these boards who act like their opinion is the ultimate Truth. So when you jumped on the stage and started saying things in an authoritative manner and without backing it with any evidence, you looked completely like those people.

As you keep pointing out, this is a message board. We don't know you. We can only see what you post. So if you post opinions in a strong tone and without backing them, what we see is another one of those people who think they have all the truth and their words should indeed be taken as gospel.

We see what you show. We're not prophets, sorry :P

Del

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Whoa!! Chill out before that vein in your neck explodes. You are obviously a passionate defender of polygamy, but this is just an Internet message board. :P

Is anyone here capable of rational discussion? Is continually telling someone they are "defending" polygamy when they are merely asking for an informed explanation of it rather than moral condemnation supposed to excuse you from doing just that?

It doesn't. Get a new strawman.

I tried to offer my opinion of why it was practiced, but you flamed me. So I will make another attempt. It is my opinion (not a fact) that the women and men in Utah who entered into polygamy did so because they felt it was God's will. I base my opinion on journal entries and Todd Compton's book. My opinion could be wrong. Perhaps the women back in those days loved polygamy. Perhaps they would have practiced polygamy without a revelation from God. Maybe they all lept for joy when the revelation was first published. I just don't get that impression from what I've read.

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I tried to offer my opinion of why it was practiced, but you flamed me. So I will  make another attempt. It is my opinion (not a fact) that the women and men in Utah who entered into polygamy did so because they felt it was God's will. I base my opinion on journal entries and Todd Compton's book. My opinion could be wrong. Perhaps the women back in those days loved polygamy. Perhaps they would have practiced polygamy without a revelation from God. Maybe they all lept for joy when the revelation was first published. I just don't get that impression from what I've read.

Now objecting to your hypberbole is "flaming"? heh It is nice that you are willing to recognize that they did what they "felt it was God's will" rather than being suicidal maniacs... because this is what you actually said.

There's really no need to psychoanalyze why these women, and men, did what they did. They were obeying God's will. It's the same reason some people drink poisoned kool-aid and fly planes into buildings. Those are extreme examples, but devoutly religious people are willing to sacrifice happiness in this life for rewards in the next life. That's what polygamy was about, obeying god and getting your eternal reward.
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I don't think you realise that while YOU are aware that your opinion is only that, your opinion, there are people on these boards who act like their opinion is the ultimate Truth. So when you jumped on the stage and started saying things in an authoritative manner and without backing it with any evidence, you looked completely like those people.

As you keep pointing out, this is a message board. We don't know you. We can only see what you post. So if you post opinions in a strong tone and without backing them, what we see is another one of those people who think they have all the truth and their words should indeed be taken as gospel.

We see what you show. We're not prophets, sorry <_<

Del

I was actually kind of flattered that my words would be taken as fact, while Brigham Young's words are just his opinion. :P

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