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Zina Diantha Hunington Jacobs


Teancum

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Allen:

I can certainly respect how you view this matter -- many members do exactly the same thing in overcoming concerns they may have about polygamy. And I admit that my own opinions on the matter (and that's all they are) are subject to change as new details come. But the opinion I have today (rather than the hereafter) is based on my personal study of events that happened over 150 years ago, ample time for much research to be done and collected.

My concern with your method is that even though you may have studied the "pros and cons" of the lives of JS and BY, it seems to me that you have the mindset to never accept any of the "cons" until first confirmed in the next life, but are more than willing to accept the "pros" right now. To me, this suggests that you view Church leaders as infallible, incapable of making serious mistakes. I do not have that mindset. I personally believe that one can indeed have a testimony in the Restoration and still fear that JS made serious mistakes, such as with polygamy (or with BY, the priesthood ban against black males). An example is David Whitmer -- as far as I know, he retained his testimony in the BofM and the Restoration all his life, but obviously never returned to the LDS Church. William Marks was the same way, as were many others who left the Church over polygamy. Viewing early Church leaders as mortals capable of making serious error, allows one to retain a testimony in the Restoration while still questioning other episodes in Church history.

Is my view limited? Sure. And I think that applies to us all, even you. The question is how we use what we do have. We can ignore the bad, hoping it is explained to us someday in another life ... or we can call a spade a spade, and condemn what we believe to be wrong, with the flexibility to change our minds if and when new details become available.

As this is my 10th post of the day (my limit), I bid you adieu until tomorrow.

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As someone noted above, it appears that Henry was easily bullied. Most men (even faithful LDS men), I think, faced with their families being taken away from them, would fight back with everything they had. It appears that Henry meekly went on his mission, but that doesn't excuse BY's actions, imo. I don't see how Henry could be described as anything other than a "victim" of Brigham's "bullying." Face it, Brigham used his power and position to take another man's family; I simply cannot see any way to excuse that.

And there was no reason to take Zina from Henry in order to raise up a righteous seed to Joseph. Henry had already sired two sons with Zina for Joseph, and likely would have sired more if he had been permitted to stay with her (BY only sired one child with Zina -- so much for Brigham's raising up a righteous seed for Joseph). The evidence demonstrates that Henry was indeed a faithful LDS member -- how many men would agree to go on a mission after their Church leader just took their family? Henry had been made one of the presidents of the Seventy in 1845, and had served numerous missions. Why, pray tell, couldn't Henry be allowed to raise up a righteous seed unto Joseph? He was certainly doing a good job of it ... until Brigham decided he wanted Henry's wife and sons.

I find this whole line of reasoning really offensive. You have portrayed this as a tug of war between two men. Isn't a woman involved here? I think you have to start giving Zina some respect in her decisions. We have discussed stealing Zina and having her "taken" from Henry as if she were an object or property. Henry, on the other hand is the "victim of bullying." You need to start posting what ZINA had to say about this matter and find out how ZINA felt. She is the one who made the decision, not Henry, Brigham, or Joseph.

I often find this to be the case with discussions about plural marriage. The women are simply written off as if they are an object. I know that some people have been raised to see women as objects, but I was always taught to give them respect and to listen to what they have to say. We need to step away from our sexism.

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Rollo Tomasi said: To me, this suggests that you view Church leaders as infallible, incapable of making serious mistakes. I do not have that mindset. I personally believe that one can indeed have a testimony in the Restoration and still fear that JS made serious mistakes... Viewing early Church leaders as mortals capable of making serious error, allows one to retain a testimony in the Restoration while still questioning other episodes in Church history.

I'm sorry if I came off as one of those who believe the prophets infallible; I do not believe that. There are things that I do view as mistakes, but polygamy is not one of them. (You and I will obviously need to disagree on this.)

I fear, however, that our determination of what constitutes a "mistake" is based on our feeling that our hindsight is 20/20. Unfortunately, our hindsight is never completely 20/20 because of the incomplete information we have both cited. This means that we can just as easily make mistakes in our determination as could the early leaders. We don't see our mistakes, but are quick to see those of others, particularly historical leaders.

I suspect that, had we been raised in the same social environment as the early saints, with the same social mindset and presumptions, we would have made the exact same mistakes. For instance, we often speak of the "mistakes" made in relation to blacks and the priesthood. Our very speaking of these things presumes that we are right and "they" were wrong, and our mode of speech belies a smug arrogance that we, as enlightened individuals, never would have done what was done historically. That, of course, is hogwash. We would have. We do it now in relation to other matters every day, and we don't even see it.

The same holds true with other issues, even polygamy. The issue was one which split the membership of the Church. It drove some people out of the Church. For others it became their personal abrahamic test. Others flourished under the system. Others agonized and it tore them apart.

What would we have done? Or, more importantly, how would we have done? Those who, today, abhor polygamy would probably have abhored it then, and they would have left the Church. Those who are ambivalent about it today may or may not have accepted it back then.

We just don't know. But to judge the entire system as somehow wrong, as a mistake borne of men, is, I believe, short-sighted. We sit on our perch at the pinnacle of history and pass judgments on people who were trying to live their lives the best they could. They tried to implement in their lives those things they felt strongly came from God. And it is--I believe--wrong for us, as their religious successors, to sit in judgment of them.

My fear for the long run is that we, today, will be judged just as uncharitably by our children's children's children as we judge our ancestors. I pray that those descendents show mercy toward me in their judgments, and I, by my actions, must likewise show mercy toward my ancestors.

Rollo Tomasi said: Is my view limited? Sure. And I think that applies to us all, even you.

I agree.

Rollo Tomasi said: The question is how we use what we do have. We can ignore the bad, hoping it is explained to us someday in another life ... or we can call a spade a spade, and condemn what we believe to be wrong, with the flexibility to change our minds if and when new details become available.

This, I agree with, with the caveats and concerns that I mentioned above. The problem with your statement is that I don't see much flexibility on the part of those who abhor polygamy. To them it is wrong, period--end of story. That is not being flexible; it is being dogmatic.

-Allen

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This, I agree with, with the caveats and concerns that I mentioned above. The problem with your statement is that I don't see much flexibility on the part of those who abhor polygamy. To them it is wrong, period--end of story. That is not being flexible; it is being dogmatic.

I'm pretty flexible when it comes to polygamy. I can see there are good points and bad points to it. On balance though I tend to waver towards the position that the bad out weighs the good.

I certainly do not have the view that polygamy is wrong, full stop.

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Here, here. Awyatt, you did a great job of arcticulately summarizing the issue (IOW, I agree completely with you!).

I wonder what those issues are today - that we either support or implicitly accept - that will be viewed by our descendants 150 years from now as just awful? Are we all doing *everything* we can to change those issues for the better? No.

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I have read here how  terrible Joseph Smith was, and how Zina's expeience shows the church isn't true.

I am sure you have read that in this thread by me. I may think that-based on what I have read up to this point-that the case of Zina seemed rather cruel.

And yet we find that Zina was not happy in her marriage. We hear that Henry may not have been a good husband. We could claim it was simply Joseph Smith's propoganda machine, except that  Henry went through THREE other marriages. It sounds like Henry had some problems.

If you go back and read the Zina's diary that was linked to in this thread you can see that she made no mention of this in her diary.

Isn't it possible that Joseph Smith knew Henry wasn't all he was cracked up to be and he wanted to save Zina from the pain? W

It is certainly possible but we have no evidence of that.

We know that Zina went to Brigham on her own and no one forced her to go. .

Do we? How? And Brigham certainly could have said, "No Zina, go back to Henry. He will take care of you for time."

I guess there are many on this board who would have rather had Zina stay in the unhappy marriage.

First you make a huge leap. Second, don't we council in the church to work through difficulties in marriage and that a marriage should not be discarded lightly. What if you and your wife were struggling and one day she walks in and says "well, I would prefer the stake president as my hubby so SEE YA! " How would you respond? And oh BTW your kids are also going to the SP as well.

It sounds to me that Zina was given options that she otherwise wouldn't have had. She certainly couldn't divorce Henry and go on welfare because that program didn't exist.

There were many single women then who struggled. How many of them ran off to Brigham to be his wife? Perhaps Zina just had a thing for powerful men.

Teancum

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That, however, was not what was presented in the evidence from the second page of this thread. Consider, again, the words of Richard S. Van Wagoner:

Zina and Henry lived together as husband and wife until the westward-bound Saints reached Mt. Pisgah, Iowa. At this temporary stop on the pioneer trail, Brigham Young announced "it was time for men who were walking in other men's shoes to step out of them." "Brother Jacobs," he advised, "the woman you claim for a wife does not belong to you. She is the spiritual wife of brother Joseph, sealed up to him. I am his proxy, and she, in this behalf, with her children, are my property. You can go where you please, and get another, but be sure to get one of your own kindred spirit" (Hall 1852, 43-44).

It was only at this point--after informing Henry--that he was called on a mission. Those who believe the "all polygamy bad" mantra see this as "getting rid of the husband." Those who don't practice the mantra are able to say that we see through a glass darkly; that we, from our lofty perch of arrogance, cannot judge the motivations of others over a hundred years in the past. It is just as likely that BY did what he did for the reasons stated--to raise up seed unto Joseph's eternal family. (This is consistent with the dynastic view of polygamy.) If BY was taking Zina as his wife to fulfill his carnal lusts, there are many other things he could have asked Henry to do which would have more surely resulted in Henry's death--but he didn't. If BY was taking Zina as his wife to build his own dynasty, he wouldn't have settled for being sealed to her for time only, but would have insisted on an eternal sealing.

Your (Rollo's) claim that Henry was a "victim" in this is not borne out by the above statement. He knew that BY was taking Zina as his wife before going on the mission, and he knew the reason why such was happening.

Such may offend our sensibilities these days, but we must continually guard against allowing our sensibilities to color our judgment of things we don't know everything about.

-Allen

PS: I think it would be interesting to know what BY meant by the words "be sure to get one of your own kindred spirit." This, more than anything else, implies that there may have been problems with the situation--related to Henry--that we know nothing about.

Wow. This seems even more cruel.

Henry your wife is mine. you are not good enough for her. Go find one more of your ilk.

Sheeeeeesh!

Teancum

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I hope Teancum is reading this thread, because this quote from Brigham explains a great deal about the reason why the Zina situation happened.
If a woman can find a man holding the keys of the priesthood with higher power and authority than her husband, and he is disposed to take her he can do so
.

Yes. I am reading. I have seen this quote from Brigham before. The quote is reallywhat aggravated the issue as it surrounds Henry and Zina. It seems to me that Brigham was telling Henry that Zina was worhty of a higher and better priesthood hloder and that Henry needed to buzz of and find a women more suited to his lower priesthood and authority.

To me this is just awful.

Teancum

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I find this whole line of reasoning really offensive. You have portrayed this as a tug of war between two men. Isn't a woman involved here? I think you have to start giving Zina some respect in her decisions. We have discussed stealing Zina and having her "taken" from Henry as if she were an object or property. Henry, on the other hand is the "victim of bullying." You need to start posting what ZINA had to say about this matter and find out how ZINA felt. She is the one who made the decision, not Henry, Brigham, or Joseph.

I do hope Scott that if your wife ever chsoe to ditch you for another man you will be as respectful to her as you are for Zina and Brigham.

Teancum

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There were many single women then who struggled. How many of them ran off to Brigham to be his wife? Perhaps Zina just had a thing for powerful men.

Henry your wife is mine.  you are not good enough for her.  Go find one more of your ilk.

Sheeeeeesh!

Teancum

Perhaps Zina just had a thing for having a roof over her head. But that just doesn't seem to be lewd enough or crass enough for some here I suppose. Maybe it's because I'm a woman and I can empathize with Zina, having children and all, that a roof over one's head might come in handy now and then.

Actually Zina's decision was made back in the Nauvoo Temple when her sealing to Joseph Smith for eternity was reconfirmed and where her sealing to Brigham Young for time took place. She could have asked to be released -- the records show that other women did -- she however did not.

I don't believe Zina Diantha would've ever become third president of the Relief Society of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints if she had stayed with Henry. I strongly doubt she would've even made it to the Salt Lake Valley.

Sheesh is right. I was perfectly happy to ignore this thread and dismiss it as just another juvenile thread on plural marriage but someone asked me to post a few things which Teancum has chosen to ignore. Natch! Are we surprised? In the meantime Teancum, y'all might want to Windex whatever lens you're using to look at this issue, to have missed completely Zina's living conditions should, I hope, make you realize that your reading is awry.

p.s. And you missed a bunch of other stuff.

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Perhaps Zina just had a thing for having a roof over her head. But that just doesn't seem to be lewd enough or crass enough for some here I suppose. Maybe it's because I'm a woman and I can empathize with Zina, having children and all, that a roof over one's head might come in handy now and then.

Please demonstrate that Henry did not put a roof over her head.

Perhaps Zina just had a thing for having a roof over her head. But that just doesn't seem to be lewd enough or crass enough for some here I suppose. Maybe it's because I'm a woman and I can empathize with Zina, having children and all, that a roof over one's head might come in handy now and then.

1: I was not lewd or crass. So, as you empathize with Zina are you saying that you would willingly leave your husband for another man if you feel he may not be a good provider? At what point are you justified in such and action?

I don't believe Zina Diantha would've ever become third president of the Relief Society of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints if she had stayed with Henry.

Why? Because Henry was not as prominant as Brigham? Which is more important? Faithfulness to a spouse or being RS Pres?

I strongly doubt she would've even made it to the Salt Lake Valley.

You are entitled to your opinion btu Henry did leave mt. Psgah and go to England. Not ans easy task. he later ended up in California. Did he fly there?

Sheesh is right. I was perfectly happy to ignore this thread and dismiss it as just another juvenile thread on plural marriage but someone asked me to post a few things which Teancum has chosen to ignore. Natch!

I am discussing this in sinceruty and it is not juvenile. ANd I have not seen anything from you of much help. Point it out if I missed it. I may have. And I will go back and read the dairy again.

Are we surprised? In the meantime Teancum, y'all might want to Windex whatever lens you're using to look at this issue, to have missed completely Zina's living conditions should, I hope, make you realize that your reading is awry.

Many women and men had poor living conditions in Nauvoo. THis justifies Brigham taking a wife from someone?

BTW, your rude remarks are unecessary. I will resist posting bakc in like kind.

Teancum

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Natch! Are we surprised? In the meantime Teancum, y'all might want to Windex whatever lens you're using to look at this issue, to have missed completely Zina's living conditions should, I hope, make you realize that your reading is awry.

p.s. And you missed a bunch of other stuff.

Miss Nighthawk.

I read back through the diary that was linked to on the second post in this thread.

There is NOTHING that indicates Zina was worried about a roof over her head. In fact she does not even complain about her living conditions other then to mention a number of times she, Henry and children were sick. She speaks nothing negative about Henry and even mentions the fourth anniversary of their marriage. If I am blind my dear enlighten me.

Also, may I note that in February of 1846 as well as at Mt. Pisgah, Brigham Young had very little in the way of wealth. So to leave Henry because she was worried about a roof over her head is nonsense based on what I have read.

We could also note that during the period of the diary it is noted that Henry was on at least two missions. That could add to the difficulty of putting a roof over ones head though Zina does not say anything about it.

Teancum

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I find this whole line of reasoning really offensive. You have portrayed this as a tug of war between two men. Isn't a woman involved here? I think you have to start giving Zina some respect in her decisions. We have discussed stealing Zina and having her "taken" from Henry as if she were an object or property. Henry, on the other hand is the "victim of bullying."  You need to start posting what ZINA had to say about this matter and find out how ZINA felt. She is the one who made the decision, not Henry, Brigham, or Joseph.

I do hope Scott that if your wife ever chsoe to ditch you for another man you will be as respectful to her as you are for Zina and Brigham.

Teancum

Yeah, Scott's argument really blew me away. I find the polygamy defenders here especially fascinating.

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I find this whole line of reasoning really offensive. You have portrayed this as a tug of war between two men. Isn't a woman involved here? I think you have to start giving Zina some respect in her decisions. We have discussed stealing Zina and having her "taken" from Henry as if she were an object or property. Henry, on the other hand is the "victim of bullying."

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Laban the Younger said: Yeah, Scott's argument really blew me away. I find the polygamy defenders here especially fascinating.

What do you perceive as his argument? I found it to be nothing more than we should listen to what the women had to say about polygamy, not make uneducated assumptions that don't take their view into account.

What would such an statement blow you away?

-Allen

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Laban the Younger said: Yeah, Scott's argument really blew me away. I find the polygamy defenders here especially fascinating.

What do you perceive as his argument? I found it to be nothing more than we should listen to what the women had to say about polygamy, not make uneducated assumptions that don't take their view into account.

What would such an statement blow you away?

-Allen

I guess I shouldn't say the statement blew me away, because it really didn't. Scott started on a false premise, that the Zina Jacobs affair was a tug of war between two men with Zina as the prize, as if it was a fair contest between two suitors, and Zina anxiously awaited the winning contestant It was nothing of the sort. It is the typical story of a powerful man trampling over the rights of an average man. Zina wasn't the victim, Henry was. Are you suggesting it was a good thing for a woman to abondon her legal husband if a better offer comes along? Is that what early mormon polygamy was about? I did not know that.

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I find this whole line of reasoning really offensive. You have portrayed this as a tug of war between two men. Isn't a woman involved here? I think you have to start giving Zina some respect in her decisions. We have discussed stealing Zina and having her "taken" from Henry as if she were an object or property. Henry, on the other hand is the "victim of bullying."

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Laban the Younger said: Scott started on a false premise, that the Zina Jacobs affair was a tug of war between two men with Zina as the prize, as if it was a fair contest between two suitors, and Zina anxiously awaited the winning contestant It was nothing of the sort.

That is not what I got from Scott's statements at all. He stated no premise; he only said that we should look at what Zina had to say instead of focusing on what the men do. (When we focus solely on the men, we run the risk of marginalizing the women and the part that they play in any marital dynamic.)

Laban the Younger said: It is the typical story of a powerful man trampling over the rights of an average man. Zina wasn't the victim, Henry was.

So now we are back to focusing on what the men did. Scott never suggested that Zina was the victim, nor did he say that Henry wasn't.

You however, by your very statement above, show exactly what Scott was talking about--you focus on what BY did (a powerful man that trampled rights of an average man) and what happened to Henry (he was the victim). This is exactly what Scott was saying we shouldn't do, because if we do, we don't get the full picture.

Laban the Younger said: Are you suggesting it was a good thing for a woman to abondon her legal husband if a better offer comes along? Is that what early mormon polygamy was about? I did not know that.

Of course I'm not suggesting that. I only asked you what about Scott's argument blew you away. As you said, it didn't really blow you away (but I suspect it blew right past you).

-Allen

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Laban the Younger said: Scott started on a false premise, that the Zina Jacobs affair was a tug of war between two men with Zina as the prize, as if it was a fair contest between two suitors, and Zina anxiously awaited the winning contestant It was nothing of the sort.

That is not what I got from Scott's statements at all. He stated no premise; he only said that we should look at what Zina had to say instead of focusing on what the men do. (When we focus solely on the men, we run the risk of marginalizing the women and the part that they play in any marital dynamic.)

Laban the Younger said: It is the typical story of a powerful man trampling over the rights of an average man. Zina wasn't the victim, Henry was.

So now we are back to focusing on what the men did. Scott never suggested that Zina was the victim, nor did he say that Henry wasn't.

You however, by your very statement above, show exactly what Scott was talking about--you focus on what BY did (a powerful man that trampled rights of an average man) and what happened to Henry (he was the victim). This is exactly what Scott was saying we shouldn't do, because if we do, we don't get the full picture.

Laban the Younger said: Are you suggesting it was a good thing for a woman to abondon her legal husband if a better offer comes along? Is that what early mormon polygamy was about? I did not know that.

Of course I'm not suggesting that. I only asked you what about Scott's argument blew you away. As you said, it didn't really blow you away (but I suspect it blew right past you).

-Allen

OK, I will take Zina's decision into account, and lets even say that she was an independent women who entered into polygamy on her own accord, without any pressure. So Zina is happy, she made her decision, yay for Zina. OK, now that that's out of the way, how does that make the situation any better?

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