Polygamy and Disassembling

Public forum to discuss questions about Mormon history and doctrine.
Khadijah
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Re: Polygamy and Disassembling

Post by Khadijah » 19 Mar 2020, 11:14

3 or 4 wives is acceptable.

20 or 30 or more is offensive, evil and driven by satan and testosterone and big, narcissistic egos.

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nibbler
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Re: Polygamy and Disassembling

Post by nibbler » 19 Mar 2020, 11:54

Khadijah wrote:
19 Mar 2020, 11:14
3 or 4 wives is acceptable.
Depends on who you ask.

Sometimes flipping a statement can shed light on issues. For instance:

3 or 4 husbands is acceptable.

20 or 30 or more is offensive, evil and driven by satan and estrogen and big, narcissistic egos.
It’s strange. When I couldn’t find the drop and the plague came, you seemed so far away I would not ever be able to find you again. But I know now that you were here all along, and that nothing, not the Black Death nor seven hundred years, nor death nor things to come nor any other creature could ever separate me from your caring and concern. It was with me every minute.
― Connie Willis , Doomsday Book

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DarkJedi
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Re: Polygamy and Disassembling

Post by DarkJedi » 19 Mar 2020, 12:28

My personal opinion, 1 spouse. This was one of Joseph's and Oliver's big points of contention. Oliver did not agree with polygamy and saw marriage as one man and one woman. I have always liked Oliver. This was also a major point of contention between the church and the former reorganized church. I honestly don't get how they can deny the evidence that Joseph was a polygamist, but they do not agree with polygamy.

Full disclosure and in the context of modern times: Gay marriage was not a thing then. I personally support gay marriage, but also support the church's right to not perform or recognize gay marriage. Hence my use of "1 spouse" above. In the church context I believe it is and should be 1 man and 1 woman (although I hope that at some time we can move beyond that).
In the absence of knowledge or faith there is always hope.

Once there was a gentile...who came before Hillel. He said "Convert me on the condition that you teach me the whole Torah while I stand on one foot." Hillel converted him, saying: That which is despicable to you, do not do to your fellow, this is the whole Torah, and the rest is commentary, go and learn it."

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Khadijah
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Re: Polygamy and Disassembling

Post by Khadijah » 19 Mar 2020, 16:27

I do not argue with that.

Perhaps it got started in antiquity as a way to see that widows were supported?

Roy
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Re: Polygamy and Disassembling

Post by Roy » 19 Mar 2020, 17:39

Khadijah wrote:
19 Mar 2020, 16:27
I do not argue with that.

Perhaps it got started in antiquity as a way to see that widows were supported?
From what we know of history in antiquity, it seems more likely that multiple wives and/or concubines were a status symbol as a show of wealth and power. For a significant portion of human history women and wives were viewed as something similar to property.
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Khadijah
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Re: Polygamy and Disassembling

Post by Khadijah » 20 Mar 2020, 00:21

Sigh. Now you are going to make me work. I remember reading in the Tanakh that God ordered that the widows and women with children be taken care of. I should know it well, but in my dotage, even after a long time of study, I forget things.

Pinetreelover
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Re: Polygamy and Disassembling

Post by Pinetreelover » 26 Apr 2020, 21:14

I just wanted to add that the doctrine of polygamy was always very hurtful to me Because I am a woman. I was told several times at church while growing up that my future husband would have multiple wives after this life and if I wanted to live in the celestial kingdom I’d have to accept that. Hearing that at church even though I was TBM , never set right with me. I felt like a second class member and the whole idea of it made me feel powerless and angry. If that doctrine is true (I don’t think it is though), then the celestial kingdom sounds like hell to me. I think choice will exist as it does here - I think I’ll just go to a place I feel comfortable at. I’ll be around people I like being around.

Curt Sunshine
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Re: Polygamy and Disassembling

Post by Curt Sunshine » 29 Apr 2020, 17:55

I believe all scripture and religious teaching is a reflection of the people's beliefs at the time. I honor that, but I don't have to take any of it as objective, eternal Truth. "God commanded" a lot of things I don't believe God actually commanded - and that statement applies today, as well. What lots of people believe God commands is very different than what I believe God commands - and I recognize the validity of pointing out that statement cuts both ways.

Justifications for teachings have existed for as long as the teachings have existed - but so has evidence refuting many justifications. Many polygamous wives throughout history, for example, were not widows. The general rule was the opposite: additional wives were young, beautiful, and/or politically connected. Concubines and harems were the same - without the "benefits" of marriage perks. Polygamous men generally were among the wealthy - and generally among the powerful. Etc.

I personally cannot defend polygamy based on divine command - but I can't reject the concept that people can love multiple people deeply and fully. Therefore, while I hate what "organized polygamy" nearly always has included over time, I have no problem with polygamy as individual, truly and fully consensual, conscious, informed choice - in mortality or in an afterlife. I believe I won't make that choice, if offered, but I don't condemn anyone who believes it will be a choice and would accept it.
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DarkJedi
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Re: Polygamy and Disassembling

Post by DarkJedi » 30 Apr 2020, 06:02

Curt Sunshine wrote:
29 Apr 2020, 17:55
I believe all scripture and religious teaching is a reflection of the people's beliefs at the time. I honor that, but I don't have to take any of it as objective, eternal Truth. "God commanded" a lot of things I don't believe God actually commanded - and that statement applies today, as well. What lots of people believe God commands is very different than what I believe God commands - and I recognize the validity of pointing out that statement cuts both ways.
I think scripture, as in other writings, can not only be a reflection of people's beliefs at the time but of the individual writer's beliefs and those individual beliefs may or may not coincide with the beliefs of the society as a whole. I think Peter and Paul are good examples of this - same basic beliefs in the Gospel of Jesus Christ but very different in some of the details. Which one is right? They can both be right and they can both be wrong. So what Peter believed God commanded may be understood completely differently by others.

An example for me personally might be Alma's multiple admonitions to "pray continually." I perceive that most members see that as a commandment. I don't, I see it as something Alma strongly believed in and preached but not necessarily a commandment. Then again, I disagree with Alma quite a bit.

FWIW, I believe God commanded very little and much of scripture is the opinion of the individual writer (including Joseph Smith).
In the absence of knowledge or faith there is always hope.

Once there was a gentile...who came before Hillel. He said "Convert me on the condition that you teach me the whole Torah while I stand on one foot." Hillel converted him, saying: That which is despicable to you, do not do to your fellow, this is the whole Torah, and the rest is commentary, go and learn it."

My Introduction

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nibbler
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Re: Polygamy and Disassembling

Post by nibbler » 30 Apr 2020, 07:24

Curt Sunshine wrote:
29 Apr 2020, 17:55
I personally cannot defend polygamy based on divine command - but I can't reject the concept that people can love multiple people deeply and fully. Therefore, while I hate what "organized polygamy" nearly always has included over time, I have no problem with polygamy as individual, truly and fully consensual, conscious, informed choice - in mortality or in an afterlife. I believe I won't make that choice, if offered, but I don't condemn anyone who believes it will be a choice and would accept it.
With those qualifiers the conversation could mirror conversations about whether free will is an illusion. For example, what does it really mean to be fully consensual?

That's not really a question, just an echo of a debate people have had over whether our decisions, actions, and desires are fully choices we make. I'm not on either extreme, I think there's a long gradient between 100% free will and 100% fatalism and that it's nearly impossible to tell where we fall on that scale for any given decision/behavior.

...which is probably why you added the comment about organized polygamy. Organized polygamy really begins to erode things like consent.
It’s strange. When I couldn’t find the drop and the plague came, you seemed so far away I would not ever be able to find you again. But I know now that you were here all along, and that nothing, not the Black Death nor seven hundred years, nor death nor things to come nor any other creature could ever separate me from your caring and concern. It was with me every minute.
― Connie Willis , Doomsday Book

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