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The polygamy "whitewash" continues ...


Rollo Tomasi

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Moreover, as reflected in the portion of its Web site directed toward news media, the Church has an on-going problem with outside media that fail/refuse to differentiate in their reports between the Church proper and apostate-offshoot groups -- some of them with a history of perpetrating violence -- that continue to promulgate the practice of polygamy.

I would like to see articles such as this reflect polygamy with a passing reference. But having spent some time in France, I have become a little less ethnocentric. The common perception is that the church is practicing polygamy. It is the first word out of their mouth...even the taxi driver. My missionary couple friends told me their experience in trying to participate in a blood drive. When it was found out they were Mormons...they were refused even though the area was in dire need. It took some re-educating to convince the local government officials that they were not dealing with polygamists. Now the local Mormons are welcomed in blood drives. That is the state of ignorance the church is dealing with. But the state of ignorance we have to deal with is the "ugly American" syndrome we see on this board from those who cannot imagine a world church and that there are actually believers out there who don't have their concerns or needs.

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Then there should be multiple references to "eternal polygamy" within the last year alone. Please produce even one and end the debate.

You make my point for me. Do you not see this?

In the early days, men were being sealed to men. Are they going to be "married for eternity"? When you figure out what it even means get back to me.

And yet the church promotes "eternal marriage".

Marriage

Using your example - say your daughter seals you to 10 men after you die. Are you suggesting this sealing ceremony is different from a "marriage" ceremony?

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You made a comparison of the Church to Japanese whom, you say, "wipe clean" any mention of World War II atrocities. The logical conclusion to be drawn from that is that you are claiming the Church wipes clean any mention of polygamy in its past. That is a conspicuously false claim; ergo it is either stupid or dishonest.

The Japanese remove mentions of things they do not want mentioned in their texts. The LDS church removes things they do not want mentioned in their texts. Is this hard to understand. A specific example is laid before you in this thread.

Are you really that unfamiliar with the Doctrine and Covenants? Or are you presuming to interpret our own scripture for us?

I'm presuming to have been part of numerous discussions on this board over the years where members waged this battle of words between themselves - without help from non-members.

I've seen the question evenly divided between members who say D&C 131 and 132 ARE specifically talking about polygamy and members who vehemently deny this.

If we start a new thread will you participate? I assure you that you will soon find yourself debating this against your own - not me.

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You make my point for me. Do you not see this?

Hint: If you are going to claim polygamy is big "eternal doctrine" you need to produce some references from modern prophets. That is how Mormonism works. Stop wasting time and produce them.

And yet the church promotes "eternal marriage".

Ah, here we go....the "now you see plural marriage it now you don't" shell game when you are asked for documentation.

Using your example - say your daughter seals you to 10 men after you die.  Are you suggesting this sealing ceremony is different from a "marriage" ceremony?

Uh...seeing that my parents were already married and we children were brought in as part of the sealing ordinance...I do hope that I didnt' marry them all. :P

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I've seen the question evenly divided between members who say D&C 131 and 132 ARE specifically talking about polygamy and members who vehemently deny this.

Which is why you need a statement from a modern prophet about this "big doctrine". Cut to the chase and produce it!

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Hint: If you are going to claim polygamy is big "eternal doctrine" you need to produce some references from modern prophets. That is how Mormonism works. Stop wasting time and produce them.

You're missing the point so completely I'm not sure I can explain it.

1. Your two most influencial prophets in regards to doctrine both were sealed (ie. eternally married) to multiple women.

2. No subsequent prophet denied the doctrine of multiple partner eternal marriage.

This means eternal, multiple, marriages are still part of the doctrine. Let's start with that. Do you agree or disagree?

Ah, here we go....the "now you see plural marriage it now you don't" shell game when you are asked for documentation.

Huh? MAN you are loosing me.

You: I can marry 10 men and after I'm dead my daughter could seal me to all of them.

Me: So let's assume she does this. Are you married to all these men for eternity?

You: The term is sealed.

Me: And yet the church promotes "eternal marriage". (shows link to lds.org where term used is "marriage" not "sealing")

You: Ah, here we go....the "now you see plural marriage it now you don't" shell game when you are asked for documentation

??????

---

And THEN:

Me: Using your example - say your daughter seals you to 10 men after you die. Are you suggesting this sealing ceremony is different from a "marriage" ceremony?

You: Uh...seeing that my parents were already married and we children were brought in as part of the sealing ordinance...I do hope that I didnt' marry them all.

???????

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You made a comparison of the Church to Japanese whom, you say, "wipe clean" any mention of World War II atrocities. The logical conclusion to be drawn from that is that you are claiming the Church wipes clean any mention of polygamy in its past. That is a conspicuously false claim; ergo it is either stupid or dishonest.

The Japanese remove mentions of things they do not want mentioned in their texts. The LDS church removes things they do not want mentioned in their texts. Is this hard to understand. A specific example is laid before you in this thread.

A search of the curriculum materials on the official Church Web site yields 69 hits for the search term polygamy. It yields 80 hits for plural marriage and 10 hits for plural wives. I have just disproven your claim that the Church "removes mention" of polygamy.

And this doesn't even cover the massive output of Church-owned or Church-affiliated publishers, such as Deseret Book, BYU Press and FARMS.

Are you really that unfamiliar with the Doctrine and Covenants? Or are you presuming to interpret our own scripture for us?

I'm presuming to have been part of numerous discussions on this board over the years where members waged this battle of words between themselves - without help from non-members.

I've seen the question evenly divided between members who say D&C 131 and 132 ARE specifically talking about polygamy and members who vehemently deny this.

If we start a new thread will you participate? I assure you that you will soon find yourself debating this against your own - not me.

Don't confuse the quirky views of a dissident but vocal minority with the orthodox beliefs of the Church.

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Don't confuse the quirky views of a dissident but vocal minority with the orthodox beliefs of the Church.

Would you be able to explain clearly the orthodox beliefs of the church on the subject since you seem to feel you know them?

I would be interested in reading what you believe is the orthodox church position.

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A search of the curriculum materials on the official Church Web site yields 69 hits for the search term polygamy. It yields 80 hits for plural marriage and 10 hits for plural wives. I have just disproven your claim that the Church "removes mention" of polygamy.

No you haven't. All you've done is shown that they haven't removed ALL references. Address the subject at hand. In this example a story of a woman in a polygamous relationship was edited to remove all references to polygamy.

That the church addresses polygamy in rare instances shows nothing. The Japanese also will address their past where and when they need damage control. But when it comes to printing stories about their history - they edit to remove the unsavory.

I also searched lds.org as you did. I'm moving my findings to another thread.

Don't confuse the quirky views of a dissident but vocal minority with the orthodox beliefs of the Church.

Let's give it the ol' college try. I hope you'll participate.

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Hi Bryan...

QUOTE (truth dancer @ Jun 28 2005, 11:08 AM)

I think it is a really tough call for the church.

IMO...I don't think there is any issue that makes the church look bad more than polygamy, nor is there any other issue that would keep people from joining the church.  So to write anything that suggests the church was (still is) involved in it could be detrimental to missionary work and the desire to create a good public image.

On the other hand not disclosing the truth of it all, certainly does seem like they are presenting a false history and is rather misleading ....IMO.

It is sort of a no win situation...   

~dancer~ 

How about the LDS church tell the complete truth and let the members and potential converts process the info and make decisons based on the truth ; not sugar-coated and white washed versions of church history?

Potential converts have a right to know what they are getting into. They have a right to know about Joseph Smith's and BY's not so favorable practices. Hiding and whitewashing these things is a recipe for disaster once some members discovers the truth. Missionaries don't give the whole story of mormonism. They give the "familes are forever" version which seems to sell better.

Just to clarify... I'm totally with you on this... <_<

I was just thinking from the perspective of the church they probably struggle with how to handle this whole situation... they want to distance themselves from polygamy and yet it is so there! But again... I'm with you. I didn't find out about polygamy until a few years after I joined the church. Found out from some friends at school. Of course I didn't believe them and defended my new church with all my childhood strength until I discovered that I was wrong! :P

I think most members today know of polygamy but have been misled as to its purpose, doctrine, teachings, etc. etc. etc.

:unsure:

~dancer~

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Don't confuse the quirky views of a dissident but vocal minority with the orthodox beliefs of the Church.

Would you be able to explain clearly the orthodox beliefs of the church on the subject since you seem to feel you know them?

I would be interested in reading what you believe is the orthodox church position.

That "at various times throughout Biblical history, the Lord commanded people to practice plural marriage," that in this dispensation, the Lord commanded some of the early Saints to practice plural marrriage, that the Prophet Joseph Smith and those closest to him, including Brigham Yong and Heber C. Kimball, were challenged by this command, but obyeyed it, that Church leaders regulated the practice in that those entering into it had to be authorized to do so and the marriages had to be performed thorugh the sealing power of the priesthood, that in 1890, the President Wilford Woodruff received a revelation that the leaders of the Church should cease teaching the practice of plural marriage, and that the Church has nothing whatever to do with groups that are practicing polygamy today.

The above is condensed and paraphrased from the Sunday School gospel doctrine teacher's manual currently in use, so I am confident this reflects the orthodox position of the Church.

Why do you ask? Did you think I wouldn't be able to do it?

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A search of the curriculum materials on the official Church Web site yields 69 hits for the search term polygamy. It yields 80 hits for plural marriage and 10 hits for plural wives. I have just disproven your claim that the Church "removes mention" of polygamy.

No you haven't. All you've done is shown that they haven't removed ALL references.

I've shown the fatuousness of your implied claim that the Church "wipes clean" all references in its history to the practice of plural marriage. For example the Doctrine and Covenants Student Manual used by the Church Educational System contains Wilford Woodruff's denial of Emma Smith's reported claim that Joseph had nothing to do with the practice. "I bear record before God, angels and men that Joseph Smith received that revelation, and I bear record that Emma Smith gave her husband in marriage to several women while he was living, some of whom are to-day living in this city, and some may be present in this congregation, and who, if called upon, would confirm my words" (see page 334).

Address the subject at hand.
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Why do you ask? Did you think I wouldn't be able to do it?

I asked because I was curious if you would go beyond the sanitised answer. That's all.

Sanitized answer? What's that supposed to mean? You asked for a clear exposition of the "orthodox" position of the Church. I gave it to you as clearly, concisely and accurately as I could. Was I supposed to go beyond that? If I did, how could it have qualified as the orthodox position?

Really, yaanuffs, it seems you are looking to make a man an offender for a word.

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Really, yaanuffs, it seems you are looking to make a man an offender for a word.

Why don't look at the amusing irony in your accusation?

You get a bit offended at me for using "sanitised" and then accuse me of being an "offender for a word".

Pretty funny, you have to admit. :P

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I've shown the fatuousness of your implied claim that the Church "wipes clean" all references in its history to the practice of plural marriage. 

I never said "all". These are our words - not mine. I do believe that in most cases where polygamy could be mentioned or it could not - the LDS church "wipes clean" the references. Are there exceptions? Sure.

That the Church addresses it only in "rare instanceres" is your own subjective evaluation.

EVERYTHING is opinioin. It's yours that the church does not. Subjective to be sure.

It was edited to shorten it.

Convenient that cuting the polygamous references was the best way to "shorten" it, eh?

I honestly cannot believe that any sensible person could read the two versions and come to the conclusion that there was no effort made to leave out polygamy. Lie to yourself at your own risk.

Don't forget the CES materials, which are not on lds.org. And the items published by Deseret Book and other Church-affiliated outlets that I mentioned above. Or do these somehow not count?

It's not a matter of counting - it's matter of what comes from the pulpit. Any Catholic can write about bad Popes in history. But you won't see the church itself address it very often.

CES materials have been talked about at length here. The same thing happens there frequently.

I'm not interested in abetting your efforts to wrest the scriptures. But enjoy yourself.

Wrest? Ahh...wresting is in the eye of the beholder. Subject to vantage and belief, at all points.

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Really, yaanuffs, it seems you are looking to make a man an offender for a word.

Why don't look at the amusing irony in your accusation?

You get a bit offended at me for using "sanitised" and then accuse me of being an "offender for a word".

Pretty funny, you have to admit. :P

What else am I to conclude? You challenge me to recite the "orthodox" view of the Church and then take a jab at me for not going beyond orthodoxy.

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Docrick said:

I don't understand the pre occupation with polygamy. In past times the Lord required it and who knows He may require it in the future, I don't know.

I don't think there is a pre-occupation with polygamy. I personally find it distasteful - and if people are pre-occupied with it - I'm sure they have their reasons.

My concern with this topic as presented is that it appears that the facts regarding its practice are being intentionally omitted and/or hidden.

Stop lambasting the LDS Church for a religious practice we believe was revealed by God Himself and go lambaste the Old Testament prophets.

Yeah - that's it. Two wrongs make it right!

Why is it alright to lambaste the OT prophets and not lambaste the modern day prophets?

That doesn't make sense.

Do you believe it was wrong then and deserving of being lambasted? If so - then so should the modern practice. If not - then defend the history of Mormon polygamy vigorously.

Hacedor

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Juliann said:

Hint: If you are going to claim polygamy is big "eternal doctrine" you need to produce some references from modern prophets. That is how Mormonism works. Stop wasting time and produce them.

Juliann - it appears that what you stated above is exactly the problem.

That is how Mormonism works.

You won't find quotes from modern prophets (I assume by modern you mean within the last 60 to 75 years?). And furthermore - you're beating a dead horse by asking for them because you knew that they wouldn't be found.

And if through a diligent search of LDS sources, some critic found a reference to it - wouldn't you then claim that this person wasn't speaking as a prophet - but as a man?

And to an outsider - or an insider turned outsider - it appears that the reason you won't find a modern quote is that there is a great deal of stigma with the whole topic of polygamy - as is illustrated by the comparisons of the accounts from the beginning of this thread.

And based on the comparison at the beginning of this thread - I am willing to wager that if there was a quote available - you'd have a hard time finding it.

You said it yourself... "That is how Mormonism works" :P

Hacedor

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Docrick said:
I don't understand the pre occupation with polygamy. In past times the Lord required it and who knows He may require it in the future, I don't know.

I don't think there is a pre-occupation with polygamy. I personally find it distasteful - and if people are pre-occupied with it - I'm sure they have their reasons.

My concern with this topic as presented is that it appears that the facts regarding its practice are being intentionally omitted and/or hidden.

Stop lambasting the LDS Church for a religious practice we believe was revealed by God Himself and go lambaste the Old Testament prophets.

Yeah - that's it. Two wrongs make it right!

Why is it alright to lambaste the OT prophets and not lambaste the modern day prophets?

That doesn't make sense.

Do you believe it was wrong then and deserving of being lambasted? If so - then so should the modern practice. If not - then defend the history of Mormon polygamy vigorously.

Hacedor

I happen to think neither the ancient nor the latter-day prophets deserve lambasting. On the contrary, I pay them honor and respect for obeying the Lord in this and other matters. And, yes, I do so unabashedly and vigorously.

At the same time, I think it perfectly reasonable for the Church to distance itself from offshoot groups -- several of them prone to lawlessness and/or violence -- that perpetuate the practice of polygamy contrary to the Lord's command. If that means being careful to present its history in a way designed to avoid confusion and misunderstanding, then so be it.

But given the totality of published material from the Church and its affiliated publishers, such as Deseret Book, BYU Press and FARMS, I find contentions that the Church hides or "whitewashes" its history to be unpersuasive.

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Juliann - it appears that what you stated above is exactly the problem.

That is how Mormonism works.

You won't find quotes from modern prophets (I assume by modern you mean within the last 60 to 75 years?). And furthermore - you're beating a dead horse by asking for them because you knew that they wouldn't be found.

Well, I think most believers find the way Mormonism works to be the very reason they value their religion. To others...it frightens them to think that religion can change because it undercuts their need for certainty. They are happier in more fundamentalist leaning religions that leave no room for doubt.

And if through a diligent search of LDS sources, some critic found a reference to it - wouldn't you then claim that this person wasn't speaking as a prophet - but as a man?

Why not talk about what color socks I "might" wear tomorrow "if" it rains? You now understand your dilemma and I don't think goading questions will help you.

And to an outsider - or an insider turned outsider - it appears that the reason you won't find a modern quote is that there is a great deal of stigma with the whole topic of polygamy - as is illustrated by the comparisons of the accounts from the beginning of this thread.

From a real "insider" who was told stories of polygamous life by her grandmother who grew up in a four wife household, the "stigma" is in your mind. I have yet to run across anyone who is lucky enough to have this ancestory that is not quite proud of it. It is no different than having a famous outlaw, king or anything in your ancestory. It was great fun talking to a cab driver in Geneva who knew about Mormons and being able to tell him that my ggrandparents were polygamists. Your problems with my family are your own. I suggest you critique your own family tree.

And based on the comparison at the beginning of this thread - I am willing to wager that if there was a quote available - you'd have a hard time finding it.

I think the point is clear to the readers. Along with all the morality lectures accompanied by breastbeating and howls of self-righteous indignation there are always the breathless claims about "eternal polygamy". And yet there is not one statement from a modern prophet saying anything close to it. It is becoming a bigger and bigger bore...although the theatrics are sometimes fun to watch.

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You drew the comparison to the Japanese who, you say, "wipe clean" from their texts any reference to accountability for World War II atrocities. The terms any and all are equally universal. If you now want to agree with me that it was a bad comparison, I welcome your change of heart.

It was a great comparison. Both "wipe clean" as they will - when and where they will. I welcome your admission that it WAS a great comparison.

I note that in the process of backpedaling and insertion of qualifiers, your former certitude has now evolved into an unsubstantiated statement of belief, which is hardly surprising, and which, frankly, holds little interest for me.

A qualifier is just that - a qualification when someone is too stubborn to see the similarities between 2 very close realities. I qualify so that you might have a chance to see the error of your faith-induced blindness to this simple fact - the LDS covers up polygamy where and when it can.

The reason people like myself must further explain comparisons like this is that upon intimate inspection - there will be differences. Of course there will. While Teletubbies and Romper Room can be said to be very much alike - if someone really wants to challege the idea...well...they certainly can and YES there are differences. This can become a "yeahbut....yeahbut....yeahbut...." for weeks if we want. Or - a sensible person can see that the church omits references to polygamy. In every case? No. So - OK....you're right. It's not EXACTLY like the Japanese. But it's a good enough analogy for anyone else who is not beholden to such nitpicks in comparisons.

As for "unsubstantiated statements of belief".....heh...that's hilarious. That's 90% of this board. You have little to read and respond to if you have no interest in that.

Reluctance to accept at face value the inferences of an antagonist hardly qualifies as lying to oneself.

It has as much value as inferences from a true believer. Either we're both disqualified or we can both express our views and do our best to back them up.

Since plural marriage is no longer practiced in the Church, it is to be expected that sermons from the pulpit would not touch on it very often.

But it IS still practiced. See, if you were right I would agree. But members on this very thread have explained that men and women are married to multiple partners in this life all the time. When one dies they can and often are married to another for all time and all eternity. If you are marrying people to more than 1 person for eternity I would say plural marriage is still very much a part of your church.

The quote I gave was from CES literature. Such a ringing refutation of the notion that Joseph Smith had nothing to do with polygamy is highly inconsistent with a supposed effort to hide the Church's past regarding plural marriage.

Do you assert that I cannot find an example of a quote in CES literature that once referred to polygamy and was aterred to remove it? You know as well as I that there are many.

I'm curious - which book again are you talking about and what is the date of publication?

So you have said. And thus, stripped of bluster and spin, your comments amount to little more than unsubstantiated opinion.

Eye of the beholder.

I've actually related the comments of this discussion this to a group of friends of mine and they are amazed at YOUR spin. But this is where I'm at the disadvantage - most people here are Mormons. I am not any longer 'cept by heritage. Therefor you can take comfort in numbers...I cannot here. *shrug* - I obviously don't care. If I was concerned about that I wouldn't be on this board. But rest assured - your comments to me, in light of the examples shown in this thread and others, would be laughable to most people in the world. Your spin seems stable only when all others spin the same direction and speed. Anyone outside that whirlwind will see it for what it is.

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But it IS still practiced. See, if you were right I would agree. But members on this very thread have explained that men and women are married to multiple partners in this life all the time. When one dies they can and often are married to another for all time and all eternity. If you are marrying people to more than 1 person for eternity I would say plural marriage is still very much a part of your church.

Which means what? This is ridiculous. Having your name on a piece of paper is "practicing polygamy"? One more time....when temple work is done for everyone, there will be all sorts of sealings on paper. Please explain in detail what "polygamy" in the afterlife will be.

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