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Why so much oppostion, disgust for polygamy?


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dill and others, this is NOT about the FLDS, I don't care about them, I am talking about LDS and polygamy.

As to Abraham being a myth and his wives, are you a member, and if so have you read the scriptures?

from the Pickle jar: when you talk about LDS polygamy, you talk about FLDS polygamy too. Whether you or anyone else likes it or not, the FLDS are connected with LDS and the connection is more than just polygamy. Whether you ignore them or acknowledge their existence makes no difference; they are what they are because of their connection to Joseph's latter day revelation. They trace their roots to the same church tree that you do. They're simply another branch of the same trunk.

As for Abraham, what evidence do you have for his existence, outside of a book of ancient and mostly unverifiable provence? What do we know about the writer of Genesis? Are the stories true history or myths shrouded in antiquity? We aren't talking about faith; if Abraham really existed, then that is historical. But did he really exist? An itinerant sheepherder would have had little if any impact on kings or kingdoms, commerce or wars. Scholar Pickles the world over would be very impressed if you could actually verify Abraham's existence. Questions about him remain unanswered, even after all these years of study, so I'm sure those scholars are breathlessly awaiting your input.

And if you've read your scriptures as carefully as you think you have, you'd know that God is nowhere in the story of Abraham and Hagar. That was Sarah's idea, and a right nasty pickle it created too.

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dill and others, this is NOT about the FLDS, I don't care about them, I am talking about LDS and polygamy. 

As to Abraham being a myth and his wives, are you a member, and if so have you read the scriptures?

from the Pickle jar: when you talk about LDS polygamy, you talk about FLDS polygamy too. Whether you or anyone else likes it or not, the FLDS are connected with LDS and the connection is more than just polygamy. Whether you ignore them or acknowledge their existence makes no difference; they are what they are because of their connection to Joseph's latter day revelation. They trace their roots to the same church tree that you do. They're simply another branch of the same trunk.

As for Abraham, what evidence do you have for his existence, outside of a book of ancient and mostly unverifiable provence? What do we know about the writer of Genesis? Are the stories true history or myths shrouded in antiquity? We aren't talking about faith; if Abraham really existed, then that is historical. But did he really exist? An itinerant sheepherder would have had little if any impact on kings or kingdoms, commerce or wars. Scholar Pickles the world over would be very impressed if you could actually verify Abraham's existence. Questions about him remain unanswered, even after all these years of study, so I'm sure those scholars are breathlessly awaiting your input.

And if you've read your scriptures as carefully as you think you have, you'd know that God is nowhere in the story of Abraham and Hagar. That was Sarah's idea, and a right nasty pickle it created too.

Forget it, if you want to be obtuse, then forget it. You obviously don't get the point of the thread. It was about LDS objecting to polygamy, I did not think it was that difficult. The FLDS do not play a role, because they are not LDS.

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Scottie:  Stick to the point.  God commands it.  When God commands it, every worthy person has the opportunity to obtain the blessings.  He makes sure of that. Do I know exactly how that works out?  No. Do I have to?  No.  God does. And He is the one in charge.

The guessing about how that works out with numbers, etc. is not pertinent.

Edited for a misplaced capital letter. :P

I can't argue with blind faith. You win.

As far as TBM's being disgusted with polygamy, I don't know that they are. Most TBM's know that BY was a polygamist and they have no problem with that. For some reason though, when they find out that JS was a polygamist, it disturbs them. I really don't know why this is, but it is.

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1886/7:  Edmunds-Tucker Act was passed which gave the U.S. government the right to outlawed cohabitation,  . . .

Speaking of disturbing . . where is the disgust and moral outrage and law and enforcement over this growing trend today? Not to mention jokes about "practice" . . .

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Or the fact that Mormon women lost the right to vote because of their religious convictions under Edmunds-Tucker.

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Or the fact that Mormon women lost the right to vote because of their religious convictions under Edmunds-Tucker.

I am late to this thread, but women didn't even have the right to vote until 1921, did they?

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I'll tell you why I have a big problam with polygamy. My moral compass tells me it is wrong. To me it is not a principle of rightousness. I have prayed about it many times and have never had a feeling of comfort about it. I have to convince and contort my mind in all kinds of directions to try and believe it is a true principle.

If polygamy is a true eternal priciple then why has this priciple not been taught in General Conference in many, many years? I know that men are able to be sealed to more than one woman in the temple but when has the principle of plural marriage been taught and championed as an eternal priciple in Conference? If the church leaders don't see it as being important enough to ever discuss and champion then I don't think it is that important to believe in.

I no longer buy into the "domino effect" that says if the BOM is true then JS was a prophet and all the things he taught were from God. At this point I believe the BOM to be from God and that he used JS to bring it forth to the world. Much of the other things that came after that I have questions with. I don't have answers to many things but I no longer feel the need to try and believe things that make absolutly no sense to me on a moral and logical basis.

Not only does my moral compass go off when I think about polygamy but I think that most TBM's moral compass goes off too. That's why so many TBM's hedge their defense about polygamy with something like- "I hope I never have to practice polygamy... but" or something to that effect.

If God has given me a moral compass/instinct to know what is right and wrong then I think he has told me that it is not a priciple of rightousness. If I'm wrong then it's unfair that everything is so unnecessarily confusing.

Mateo

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Not only does my moral compass go off when I think about polygamy but I think that most TBM's moral compass goes off too.

Well...shouldn't it? We are told not to do it now.

That's why so many TBM's  hedge their defense about polygamy with something like- "I hope I never have to practice polygamy... but" or something to that effect.

I continue to see this "defense" thing. Whenever I see that label it is a red flag that the person using it has no interest in understanding the what, whens and hows of a rather quirky practice that has long since been continued. I find it disturbing that we are placed in a polemical position before the discussion even starts. It happened. It's interesting. It's over.

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This TBM has no problem with plural marriage. She only hopes that she lives her life to be worthy enough to be able to be part of it if the time should come in the eternities and it is asked of me. Personally I'd rather be a plural wife in the CK than be *separate and single* for the rest of eternity.

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EnemyAce asks: "I am late to this thread, but women didn't even have the right to vote until 1921, did they?"

Utah Territory was the first to grant voting rights to women in 1870. (That's how repressed women were in the Church. :P ) Wyoming gave voting rights to women in 1896, the first state to do so.

Women in Utah were reinfranchised and by 1900 women in Utah, Colorado and Idaho had the right to vote. The 1921 was federal elections, I believe.

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What is disturbing is that the Edmonds-Tucker act is unconstitutional. The government specifically made a law targeting a specific religion and then tried to enforce it ex post facto. Yet indians can smoke peyote, or san maria (or whatever it is) sacrifice animals all over, etc.

What is disturbing more so, are TBMs that don't seem to have a testimony of Joseph as a prophet and that this is a revelation from God. You DON'T get to pick and choose what parts of the Gospel are okay for you, not your decision. There is no blindness here, the mantra of those lacking in faith. I know who I am, what I am, and who my Shepherd is. This thread was not about following something no longer in force, it is about something from God through His prophet and people not willing to accept it. We all have to have our own Abraham-Isaac test or we are not worthy of more. If LDS cannot accept that God brought forth polygamy in this age through Joseph, then how can they accept further light and knowledge and truth?

You make your own decisions, I have had my witness of the divinity of God, that this is His church, His Gospel and that it was restored through Joseph. I have had a trial by fire and expect more, and hope to show my mettle before God through His grace and mercy.

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Mateo wrote: "That's why so many TBM's hedge their defense about polygamy with something like- "I hope I never have to practice polygamy... but"

I think the United Order will be hard to live, too. I don't think everything God asks us to do will be easy.

Mosiah 3: 19 For the natural man is an enemy to God, and has been from the fall of Adam, and will be, forever and ever, unless he yields to the enticings of the Holy Spirit, and putteth off the natural man and becometh a saint through the atonement of Christ the Lord, and becometh as a child, submissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love, willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon him, even as a child doth submit to his father.

I don't see it a sign of weakness to admit that it might be hard to live some of the commandments. Enough said?

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juliann  Posted on Aug 19 2005, 09:37 PM

 

QUOTE (mateo @ Aug 19 2005, 08:57 PM)

Not only does my moral compass go off when I think about polygamy but I think that most TBM's moral compass goes off too.

Well...shouldn't it? We are told not to do it now.

QUOTE

That's why so many TBM's  hedge their defense about polygamy with something like- "I hope I never have to practice polygamy... but" or something to that effect.

I continue to see this "defense" thing. Whenever I see that label it is a red flag that the person using it has no interest in understanding the what, whens and hows of a rather quirky practice that has long since been continued. I find it disturbing that we are placed in a polemical position before the discussion even starts. It happened. It's interesting. It's over.

Actually Juliann is was my quest to try and understand the "what, whens and hows of a rather quirky practice that has long since been continued" that really started to make me rethink my testimony. I am still trying to hang on and be as faithful as I can but it is not that easy. I was a TBM until I decided to follow the leaders counsel to read and study. And I didn't read the anti stuff. It was an article from FARMS that was trying to defend and explain JS and his polygamy that really started to give me trouble.

Why use the word "quirky" to describe polygamy? Why not say a "rightouse and God ordained" practice that has long been discontinued? When you try and explain it to your non-Mormon friends do you let them know that you think it is an eternal principle that you look forward to living in the Celestial Kingdom? Or do you call it a "quirky practice?"

Mateo

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I don't like polygamy. But maybe I am wrong. I am human. I don't feel disgust for polygamy myself. I prefer not to affirm belief in it myself. Many good men including Joseph Smith was said to have practiced it.

How do I know Joseph Smith was a good man? I read every arguments for & against the mans character & fell in love with who he was. I felt growing symphathy towards him. I felt the critics were wrong about him. Right now I am reading Reasoning From The Scriptures With the Mormons by Ron Rhodes & Marian Bodine. I read so many critics. I find more flaws with the critics character than I do Joseph Smith. I hate some anti-polygamists more than I dislike Brigham Young or Joseph Smith's for being polygamists.

I guess the more I thought critically about Joseph Smith the more I started to look for flaws in the critics characters. I reasoned if Joseph Smith could not be a prophet if he had flaws wouldn't that mean critics with character flaws were false teachers?

Most of Joseph's Smith's holier than thou monogamists critics are not the saved, right with God persons they claim to be. I am referring to my favorite anti-Mormon writers. I believe after years of reading them some really think they are saved, but in fact who are not.(Matthew 7:22,23)

I guess I can't take the need for adopting a monogamist critics negative view of Joseph Smith & polygamy if I feel prejudice against them.

Some disgust for polygamy that causes people to be uptight on this topic is innacurate polygamy presentation by the critics. I especially find awful Mormonism Shadow or Reality? chapter 16 entitled Plural Marriage. Jerald Tanner & his wife have had years to research the polygamy issue. Yet they still circulate false stories like the Nancy Rigdon & Martha Brotherton, Sarah Pratt ect to cause people to find Joseph Smith disgusting. I see no evidence they are as informed as they think they are.

I am less bothered by genuine historians who write books like In Sacred Lonliness, or Mormon Enigma. These books are not without flaws & I much prefer Joseph Smith Fought Polygamy. I much prefer hearing someone deny Joseph Smith was a polygamist than these other tell all books. Atleast Richard & Pamela Price respect Joseph Smith showing it is possible to read polygamy evidence & still affirm Joseph Smith as a prophet. I am open to Joseph Smith being presented as a polygamist it doesn't effect my faith in the mans prophetic calling these days. I am only open to respectful historical treatments of Joseph Smith & polygamy.

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What is disturbing more so, are TBMs that don't seem to have a testimony of Joseph as a prophet and that this is a revelation from God. You DON'T get to pick and choose what parts of the Gospel are okay for you, not your decision.

I think you are absolutely right. I believe that once you research JS' polygamist practices, you have 4 choices.

1. Put it on the shelf and continue to believe that he was a prophet.

2. View him as a false prophet, in which case none of Mormonism is true.

3. He WAS a prophet when he translated the BoM, but later fell.

4. Polygamy was sealings only and no sex was involved.

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Why use the word "quirky" to describe polygamy? Why not say a "rightouse and God ordained" practice that has long been discontinued? When you try and explain it to your non-Mormon friends do you let them know that you think it is an eternal principle that you look forward to living in the Celestial Kingdom? Or do you call it a "quirky practice?"

I call it a quirky practice because that is what it is to us. I guess that makes me a little quirk since my ggrandparents were polygs. I don't know where you picked up the idea that heaven is a place of horror but I always had this notion that it was a place of indescribable joy.

Would you please give me one official statement in the last decade that explains your idea of eternal polygamy? And then give us an official statement that explains why the CK will be populated by females and a few men? And since you won't be able to find anything at all like this...explain to me why you are making up scary bedtime stories. :P

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Scottie: Framing is everything. And just because you say those are the only options, doesn't make it so.

To make the list more orderly, let's start this way: (and I will use your phrase "Mormonism is true" although I don't care for it.)

These are the options:

#1. Believe that Joseph Smith never was a prophet, and all of Mormonism is false.

#2. Believe that Joseph Smith was a prophet when he translated the Book of Mormon and organized the Church, but fell, and then was replaced by Brigham Young and Mormonism is true.

#3. Believe that Joseph Smith was called a prophet, established the Church, but committed adultery under the guise of polygamy, repented and was forgiven by God, and died in full fellowship, and Mormonism is true.

#4. Believe that polygamy, as God commanded and practiced by Joseph Smith, was sealings only and no sex was involved and he was called a prophet and remained a prophet and Mormonism is true.

#5. Make a cursory study of polygamy, decide that some of Joseph Smith's plural marriages included sexual relations, become distressed because you don't know for sure if he was committing adultery or not, so put it on the shelf and continue to believe he was a prophet, even though you worry about it from time to time, but you still feel Mormonism is true.

#6. Recognize that the truth is not discernable among conflicting, incomplete, and self-serving statements about what God commanded and when, so accept that he is a prophet, and it will all be made plain at some future date that he was a prophet. So put it on the shelf for the time being and go to work on the things that are important to your salvation because Mormonism is true.

It is late at night, and there might be other options that a greater intellect than mine can see. But we have expanded on the limited options you gave us.

Sweet dreams.

Edited for a typo.

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I have noticed two negative reactions to polygamy.

1. The first (less common) is to bring up some evidence that would show the possibility that Joseph Smith used polygamy for his own life fantasies and those of his friends. I have respect for the people who use this approach.

2. The second is to simply react in disgust. This is pretty arbitrary as was pointed out by the original post on this thread.

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How do the LDS square polygamy with St. Paul's command (I Cor. 7:2) "let each man have his own wife and let each woman have her own husband"? Could a woman have her own husband if, in fact, she is only one of a number of wives to that individual?

edit--I'm sure there's a way around it --just curious what it is

I'd like to post this question again since it seems to have been ignored. I'm non-LDS, so I acknowledge that perhaps the question I raise may seem dumb or irrelevant...but to me it is of interest. The Apostle Paul would, to me at least, seem to clearly indicate that monogamy is the Christian command. How do LDS square polygamy with St. Paul's command?

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Count, I don't think "her own husband" is as much a problem as "his own wife." Her own husband does not indicate there are no other wives just that there is only one husband per woman. But after all "wife" is singular. However, you have probably read other posts which indicate that God has commanded polygamy at different times, and monogamy at others. It is God's choice.

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QUOTE (mateo @ Aug 19 2005, 09:59 PM)

Why use the word "quirky" to describe polygamy? Why not say a "rightouse and God ordained" practice that has long been discontinued? When you try and explain it to your non-Mormon friends do you let them know that you think it is an eternal principle that you look forward to living in the Celestial Kingdom? Or do you call it a "quirky practice?"

I call it a quirky practice because that is what it is to us. I guess that makes me a little quirk since my ggrandparents were polygs. I don't know where you picked up the idea that heaven is a place of horror but I always had this notion that it was a place of indescribable joy.

Would you please give me one official statement in the last decade that explains your idea of eternal polygamy? And then give us an official statement that explains why the CK will be populated by females and a few men? And since you won't be able to find anything at all like this...explain to me why you are making up scary bedtime stories. wink.gif

Julianne,

Where in my post or any post that I have ever written did I call/describe heaven as "a place of horror?" You seem to be implying that you do not believe in "eternal polygamy." If that is so then we agree on that part at least. And I also agree that there will not be an extraordinary more amount of women than men in heaven.

Unless I am totally misunderstanding your point (which is entirely possible) I do find it strange that you describe a supposed God-ordained practice as "horror" and a "scary story."

I too am a "little quirk" since my ancestors were polygamist as well. In fact, one was married to a mother/daughter combination. Talk about awkward.

Mateo

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What is disturbing is that the Edmonds-Tucker act is unconstitutional. The government specifically made a law targeting a specific religion and then tried to enforce it ex post facto. Yet indians can smoke peyote, or san maria (or whatever it is) sacrifice animals all over, etc.

What is disturbing more so, are TBMs that don't seem to have a testimony of Joseph as a prophet and that this is a revelation from God. You DON'T get to pick and choose what parts of the Gospel are okay for you, not your decision. There is no blindness here, the mantra of those lacking in faith. I know who I am, what I am, and who my Shepherd is. This thread was not about following something no longer in force, it is about something from God through His prophet and people not willing to accept it. We all have to have our own Abraham-Isaac test or we are not worthy of more. If LDS cannot accept that God brought forth polygamy in this age through Joseph, then how can they accept further light and knowledge and truth?

You make your own decisions, I have had my witness of the divinity of God, that this is His church, His Gospel and that it was restored through Joseph. I have had a trial by fire and expect more, and hope to show my mettle before God through His grace and mercy.

from the Pickle jar: Indians have sovereignty, and recognition as tribes with self-governance, something Mormons and the rest of the population don't have. As a result, Indians have a few perks that the rest of the population doesn't have. If you are an enrolled member of a tribe and you practice an ancient religion, then you have the right to practice your religion as the ancients did, even if that means smoking otherwise controlled substances.

You assume God intended that polygamy to be part of the Gospel. Not everyone makes that assumption. Some people assume that the current interpretation is the correct one, not the one that Joseph and Brigham used in the 1800's. We know that ongoing revelation and consequently changing interpretation of scripture is part of the process God uses to build up Zion.

Polygamy is one of the most prominent reasons that people doubt Joseph's prophetic mantle and that's a shame. It is entirely possible to have a testimony of Joseph as a prophet of God, and recognize that he didn't get everything right, that he saw through a glass darkly just like everyone else, and that he wasn't perfect or divine. He tried hard to do what he thought God wanted him to do, but that doesn't mean everything he said or did was as God intended. Because his interpretation is subject to subsequent inspiration, later prophets have changed the way he did many things. Joseph filtered the Gospel through his own worldview and experiences. God has fine-tuned the Gospel ever since, through his subsequent prophets.

Much has changed since Joseph's day; very little is as he built it. Some things have been elevated to commandment status; some things have been shoved aside. We are not expected to bury our heads in the flour bin; God expects us to verify that which we believe through study, prayer, and seeking the spirit. We not only get to pick and choose, we are expected to pick and choose. Unless you believe the heavens have closed and that we no longer receive revelation, we will always be required to pick and choose amongst that which Joseph left for us. While Joseph was alive, plural marriage was not canonized. After he died, it was canonized, practiced, changed, and now that particular revelation has a completely different interpretation.

This is a church built on constant change via constant revelation. That you know who you are is a good and wonderful thing; assuming that everyone is at the same place in their journey as you are in yours is both unfair and misguided. As long as there is a veil between us and God, there is no clarity, no knowledge. We all walk by faith, and our path will not be the same as our neighbor's path.

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However, you have probably read other posts which indicate that God has commanded polygamy at different times, and monogamy at others. It is God's choice.

Thanks Charity, this gives me a better sense of where some people are coming from on this.

To me, however, this raises another question, which is perhaps the one I should have posed in the first place: What could the rationale be for why God would command monogamy for 1850 years, completely subvert this command for 40 or 50 years, and then revert back to the command for monogamy?

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