The Polygamy Problem

Public forum to discuss questions about Mormon history and doctrine.
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Orson
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Re: The Polygamy Problem

Post by Orson » 28 Jul 2009, 10:56

Poppyseed wrote:...So, either the prophet is imperfect, or God isn't the God I need him to be.
My take on the subject - all men are imperfect. I know sources can be found to support both sides of the infallibility question, but to me a prophet is still a man – and men are far from infallible. Some of these things can test our ability to forgive, that’s how I look at it.

To me God is definitely the God I need him to be. Follow the spirit in all things, follow the prophet when the spirit confirms his words to you.
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I first found faith, and thought I had all truth. I then discovered doubt, and claimed a more accurate truth. Now I’ve greeted paradox and a deeper truth than I have ever known.

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just me
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Re: The Polygamy Problem

Post by just me » 28 Jul 2009, 11:40

Of course God is the God we need Him to be. That is what (I think) Poppyseed is saying. The Spirit tells me that God is good, loving and merciful. He loves all women and men equally. Therefore, polygamy came from fallible men/prophets and not from God.
God is not a sexist, racist, murderer or anything of the kind.
Most of us, sooner or later, find that at critical points in our lives we must strike out on our own to make a path where none exists.~Elaine Pagels

Ultimately, you are the path-the path begins and ends with you.~Stephan Bodian

He who think he knows, doesn’t know: He who knows he doesn’t know, knows.~Sanskrit proverb

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Tom Haws
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Re: The Polygamy Problem

Post by Tom Haws » 28 Jul 2009, 11:50

The Math

50 boys + 50 girls = 50 families,
not 25 familes + 25 bachelors,
and not 10 familes + 40 bachelors.

If we don't understand the above, we can't understand the basic problem with cultural polygamy.

In 1850s (the Utah Reformation see below), the math became a serious issue in Utah. And it's a serious issue today in Colorado City. The history of all the "lost bachelors of Mormonism" would be a fascinating one.

The Lying

"Lying for the Lord" still has not died among us.

====

The Reformation and Plural Marriage

"According to historian Paul H. Peterson, the pledges of conformity with Church practices led to a measurable increase in plural marriages throughout the Mormon region. Many men who had previously resisted plural marriages were sealed to one or more plural wives. Stanley S. Ivins' statistical research reveals that the number of plural marriages in relation to population was 65 percent higher in 1856-57 than in any other two-year period in Utah history."
Last edited by Tom Haws on 28 Jul 2009, 14:18, edited 1 time in total.
Tom (aka Justin Martyr/Justin Morning/Jacob Marley/Kupord Maizzed)
Higley and Guadalupe
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Sure, any religion would do. But I'm LDS.
"There are no academic issues. Everything is emotional to somebody." Ray Degraw at www.StayLDS.com

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Re: The Polygamy Problem

Post by just me » 28 Jul 2009, 12:06

I just want to share the reaction I am having to this thread because I think it helps illustrate what a problem it really is.

I find that I feel this need to post all the scriptural evidence I feel I have that proves polygamy not of God. I feel the need to be RIGHT and make polygamy be NOT of God. I find myself feeling somewhat emotional that others believe God demands polygamy for exaltation, some say salvation.

I'm discovering that my biggest problem isn't what I thought (lying).

My heart is crushed by the idea that God loves his daughters less than his sons. My soul cries out at the very thought of concubines, 14 year old brides and neglected first wives.

So, as not to burden this thread with my passionate plea against polygamy I had to go blog about it. If you want to read it you can find it here: http://truthseekertoo.blogspot.com/2009 ... ygamy.html
Most of us, sooner or later, find that at critical points in our lives we must strike out on our own to make a path where none exists.~Elaine Pagels

Ultimately, you are the path-the path begins and ends with you.~Stephan Bodian

He who think he knows, doesn’t know: He who knows he doesn’t know, knows.~Sanskrit proverb

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Re: The Polygamy Problem

Post by Poppyseed » 28 Jul 2009, 13:39

(This is in reference to polygamy in the CK, not necessarily on earth)

If I think about polygamy in terms of sealings and the blessings of Abraham, then in makes more sense. If everyone must be sealed together, and if the priesthood is only for men to hold, then it makes sense that unattached people would need to be sealed in somehow. I guess I am just wondering if this a "in name only" circumstance. It certainly isn't when we look at a situation where a man may lose his first wife to cancer and then be sealed to a second after the first's death. I think I might like to understand why only men have the priesthood and why sealings can only happen thru marriage and child bearing. I mean, JSmith did seal women to him, like the black woman who lived with him. But he didn't marry her. Could it be that in the here after that sealings and marriage with not be connected?

We say we don't practice polygamy today, but we really do each time a scenario like this occurs. It is something that brings about such mixed feelings. Why wouldn't I want that widower to continue on in happiness and companionship? But in the same breath it seems like a loss too because that husband with reunite with his first wife but then bring some serious baggage with him.
“Be not afraid of growing slowly; be afraid only of standing still.” --old Chinese proverb

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Re: The Polygamy Problem

Post by Poppyseed » 28 Jul 2009, 14:12

Forgive me here. I am talking WAY too much. It is just that I think that this issue with regards to the principle of polygamy is at the core of my issues with the temple.

I was just reading a little of the Church of the firstborn from Hugh Nibley. (Not a church itself....just a concept if you are familiar.) I remember in college being rather jazzed about this concept. It made me feel like there was a difference between being merely mormon and really having the gospel of Christ really working in you and your view of things advanced and accurate. I still like the idea of really comprehending the spirit of the law and not getting hung up on the unimportant. But then I read about how basically those who become part of this exclusive group are those who have had all the ordinances and who have been properly sealed and who will receive everything the Father has. I am absolutely cool with all of it.....until polygamy comes into it. So, either I am on to something profound.....or I am splitting hairs over something that won't matter once I am there.

I used to attend the temple quite a lot and I can document how it blessed my life and even made my face more full of light.....if you can go with me there. BUT, it has all changed. I have a current temple recommend, but I can't bring myself to get thru the front doors. I am not sure why this is fully, but I think it has something to do with this concern. Now, I know this is deeper doctrine and I know I don't know much about it. But, the older I get the more it bothers me and literally makes me wary of God. It puts a wedge there that disrupts my peace. I think I want to feel like I did before when I trusted everything. But now....I find it all feels warped or twisted or disappointing.

I honestly search my heart on polygamy. I can even say that I may have a testimony on it as I can recount my one experience with the Spirit on the issue. But I hate the idea! I am repulsed by it much like I am with some sinful practices. So, I feel that if I am ever going to move forward, I must come to terms with these issues.
“Be not afraid of growing slowly; be afraid only of standing still.” --old Chinese proverb

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just me
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Re: The Polygamy Problem

Post by just me » 28 Jul 2009, 14:28

Poppyseed. I believe that we ALL must become sealed to each other through the sealing power of the Holy Ghost. It is not a sexual thing. We are all ONE and must come to recognize that. That is my answer. Joseph was sealed to men, too. I really think that the truth is a sealing of all humankind to our Father and Mother as One.
Most of us, sooner or later, find that at critical points in our lives we must strike out on our own to make a path where none exists.~Elaine Pagels

Ultimately, you are the path-the path begins and ends with you.~Stephan Bodian

He who think he knows, doesn’t know: He who knows he doesn’t know, knows.~Sanskrit proverb

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Heber13
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Re: The Polygamy Problem

Post by Heber13 » 28 Jul 2009, 14:46

For me, the difficulty with the situation is that so little is taught about the true events, so when I became aware of them, it really threw me for a loop. I was able to reconcile it all now, but especially when I was such a student of the gospel for so many years, it is unfortunate the church hasn't found a way to teach the history more openly.

Polygamy hasn't been a major thing for me (since I'm not required to live it), it is not a deal breaker and I can live with the fact that it was commanded for a while, then not commanded any longer. I'm ok with that. But I will admit, it makes me a little less certain of church leaders who make statements like they do in the Prop 8 campaign, because I can see how in the past, despite what was said, things can change.

I think we are in a new age now with the Internet that a lot more people really know the facts than before when the church didn't like talking about negative things, so didn't try to lie about it, but certainly didn't choose to address it. My 14 year old daughter asked me about it the other day, because she heard about it and was worried that in heaven she will have to share her husband. I know for me, I certainly wasn't thinking of polygamy at 14, or at 24, for that matter. The youth today are exposed to a lot more of these interesting topics in the church.
Luke: "Why didn't you tell me? You told me Vader betrayed and murdered my father."
Obi-Wan: "Your father... was seduced by the dark side of the Force. He ceased to be Anakin Skywalker and became Darth Vader. When that happened, the good man who was your father was destroyed. So what I told you was true... from a certain point of view."
Luke: "A certain point of view?"
Obi-Wan: "Luke, you're going to find that many of the truths we cling to...depend greatly on our point of view."

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Re: The Polygamy Problem

Post by Tom Haws » 28 Jul 2009, 14:59

just me wrote:I believe that we ALL must become sealed to each other through the sealing power of the Holy Ghost. ... a sealing of all humankind to our Father and Mother as One.
Beautiful.
Tom (aka Justin Martyr/Justin Morning/Jacob Marley/Kupord Maizzed)
Higley and Guadalupe
Gilbert, Arizona
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Sure, any religion would do. But I'm LDS.
"There are no academic issues. Everything is emotional to somebody." Ray Degraw at www.StayLDS.com

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Re: The Polygamy Problem

Post by wordsleuth23 » 28 Jul 2009, 15:59

How do you feel about Warren Jeffs? If the thoughts aren't positive, what's the difference? The primary reason polygamy is wrong, is the way that it has been practiced. I'm not advocating polygamy, but the key thing here is choice. Using one's position of authority, claiming God has commanded it, and then guilting women into it is wrong. If there were all for it, they were all old enough, and they weren't being pressured into by a prophet or any other authority figure, then it is less wrong to me. I'm sure to some it is sexually deviant no matter what, but I think the key thing is choice. He put women in an enormously difficult position--reject the prophet or secretly marry him, regardless of age difference.

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