Okay I'll say it, Polygamy

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Orson
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Okay I'll say it, Polygamy

Post by Orson » 11 Nov 2008, 13:53

Does anyone want to share their opinions on this subject? Not in a critical way, but how do you deal with the fact that Joseph married other men's wives? I think one of the most difficult questions to answer is "why did Joseph marry Orson Hyde's wife when Orson was still out on his famous mission to the holy land?"

I know it's all speculation, but sometimes helpful speculation can help displace negative thoughts when something is difficult to understand.
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Brian Johnston
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Re: Okay I'll say it, Polygamy

Post by Brian Johnston » 11 Nov 2008, 14:17

Hush! put the crazy uncle back up in the attic :lol: We don't talk about that here!

I'm just kidding.

This is most definately a tough topic for people, a lot of people. I would love to get a conversation going about it.
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Re: Okay I'll say it, Polygamy

Post by Curt Sunshine » 11 Nov 2008, 14:53

Short answer: I have come to believe that Joseph learned as he grew, and that he came to see polygamy very differently than Brigham did. I look at the dynastic and communal sealing nature of his situation and the literal "multiple wives of one husband with lots and lots of kids" nature of what came to be after the martyrdom, and I see two very different things for two very different times.

I don't think the "raise up seed unto me" concept of Jacob 2 deals with number of kids, but I do think it deals with posterity forged in the furnace of affliction. It also created, in a very real way, a new and unique ethnicity - and I think that is not insignificant.

Finally, I think the practice of polygamy burned into their souls the concept of eternal marriage and communal unity in the hereafter that is a bit different than understood by the world.
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Re: Okay I'll say it, Polygamy

Post by hawkgrrrl » 11 Nov 2008, 16:49

Bushman said Joseph lusted for kin more than he lusted for women. To me he seems to have a bottomless pit of need for family. He also seemed to not really understand the endowment or the principles of sealing very clearly. He seems to be not just making it up as he goes, but trying to make sense of it. I think he struggled to understand these ideas, and possibly misinterpreted some.

But here are some things that help me:
- Many women who initially hated the idea said they received a spiritual confirmation that they should participate. Were they deluded into it? While they were undoubtedly pressured, there were some who vehemently resisted pressure and later accepted it based on their own spiritual confirmation. I'm not willing to dismiss those women out of hand. Who am I to judge?
- Even if Joseph committed adultery (vs. polygamy), I can disaggregate that from the body of his work. He created a world-class theology. There's more to it than just the man. And knowing I am a sinner, I'm not inclined to judge. His sins don't justify my own. We tend to forget that all human beings are sinners.

Lowell Bennion rightly theorized that in a weird way the idea of eventual polygamy (in the CK or whatever) probably makes married couples less close than they might otherwise be, robbing them of their intimacy because they are resigned to the idea that marriage should not be intimate between a couple, but that we should be less possessive than that kind of intimacy would entail.

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Re: Okay I'll say it, Polygamy

Post by SallyM » 12 Nov 2008, 15:43

OK - I'll say it....I think it is all of the devil!

I think both JS, BY and whoever else practiced it were misled.

Seriously I dont get it at all....probably never will so if I see it in the afterlife I will get it then! I think if I do see it, it will be nothing like how it was practiced on earth.

Yes I could get it if it was just a man taking responsibility for a woman's temporal needs etc (eg when her husband died at war or whatever etc)...thus 1st wife would have normal marriage (eg sexual bond), 2nd wife would be cared for in all material ways but would have more of brother/sister type love for the new husband taking that on etc...this would show me that God just wants all women to be able to enjoy the peace of being looked after etc..... but the facts show it was not practiced like this at all...men going behind their wives backs proposing marriage to others (many teenagers and married women), men going against the law, lying publicly etc.....that behaviour is not of God. Well not the one I believe in anyway.

But the whole BIG LOVE scene of multiple sexual partners, all these wives playing happy families etc is not on my wave length. All but the 1st wife feel less then what they should in my opinion...the God I believe in wants EVERY woman to feel cherished etc...and I pesonally do not feel you can get that if you are sharing one man among multiple women in the physical sense...it just destroys the beauty of sex when it is shared.....

Anyway thats my 2cents.

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Re: Okay I'll say it, Polygamy

Post by SallyM » 12 Nov 2008, 15:45

Opps. I did not mean to sound critical of what past leaders have said/practiced.
I just dont believe it was right.
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Re: Okay I'll say it, Polygamy

Post by hawkgrrrl » 12 Nov 2008, 19:21

Sally M - FWIW, I don't like it either. Not one bit. I can't think of a scenario in which I would comply with it. But as I said, I also don't want to dismiss the perspective of those women who found it repugnant yet felt they had a spiritual witness they should participate. Now, the men, OTOH, I don't really have a great excuse for one way or another--and I'm not a man, so it's hard to identify. Clearly it was not great for anyone, but obviously worse for women in most ways (although it did enable many to pursue careers through opportunities opened up by group parenting.)

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Re: Okay I'll say it, Polygamy

Post by cjonesy108 » 23 Nov 2008, 20:08

ahh polygamy...what a topic.

like many Mormons, I'm a descendant of a polygamist. that said, i think it is and always has been wrong, evil, vile, etc. I don't personally think it was ever a commandment of God.

A little food for thought from one of my favorite philosophers, Soren Kierkegaard. He has an idea called the 'teleological suspension of the ethical,' that is, God can command us to do something that would seem unethical, yet serves his higher purpose. The example he uses to frame this idea is Abraham offering Isaac. But I disagree with Kierkegaard. I don't believe God would command us to do something unethical or immoral. Would he not then cease to be God? I know maybe people would say that God's ways are higher than ours, so we have to take it on faith, but I just don't believe God would do that. I don't believe God has multiple wives either.

The thing about it is, monogamous relationships are a highly evolved form of living -- and polygamy takes something I believe to be beautiful -- the love between man and wife to create a family -- to it's basest form. polygamy is about procreation, not about love.

I tend to agree with what Joseph told William Marks: "This doctrine of polygamy, or spiritual wife-system, that has been taught and practiced among us, will prove our destruction and overthrow. I have been deceived; it is a curse to mankind, and we shall have to leave the United States soon, unless it can be put down, and its practice stopped in the Church."

It took another 45 years or so to be put down, but thank the good Lord above it was.

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Re: Okay I'll say it, Polygamy

Post by Monkey » 24 Nov 2008, 07:58

I have thought about polyamy alot during my life as a member of the lds church. I have been married for over 26 yrs and born more than 10 children. Many times my husband was interested in physical intimacy and I was in tactile overload. I thought that it would be nice if there were more than myself taking care of his needs. I also thought that it would be very very nice to share the load of caring for children so that each of us sister wives would have the possiblility of a few hours of peace without children pawing and needing and talking and questioning, like a break!!!!

AND the math just doesn't add up for me. I see no truth to the belief that polygamy is necessary here on earth NOR in the afterlife. I do NOT buy into the story that more women than men are righteous so there will be more women in Heaven than men. HOGWASH!!!! My husband is a Saint, I am the one of little faith and who has had overt negative behaviors in the past. I am happy to believe that JS had real hungar for something that led him to marry so many women, including already married women and that he explained it from a spiritual perspective. I am not certain that we will look like we look now in the afterlife anyway. The whole female/male thing is still not solid in my Eternal perspective. AND the belief just doesnt add if I attempt to look at it from the perspective of one who believes in the perpetuation of the male/female resurrected body view. Either way, I believe CK will be full of ALL of us, NOT more women than men.

That is my limited view.

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Re: Okay I'll say it, Polygamy

Post by Salo » 29 Nov 2008, 18:01

Orson wrote:but how do you deal with the fact that Joseph married other men's wives? I think one of the most difficult questions to answer is "why did Joseph marry Orson Hyde's wife when Orson was still out on his famous mission to the holy land?"
I'll try to give you my answer on your original question 1st . I believe that some of the spiritual justifications for polygamy help to explain how JS could rationalize things like marrying men's wives while they were out on mission. I remember from Comptons "in Sacred Loneliness" the idea of the docrine of Kindred Spirits which basically states that if you met a women and you felt a kinship towards her that you must have known her in the prexistence and that you were preordianed to find eachother. Also there is the thought that if a women was aready married but a leader with higher athourity desired her then it was OK for the said leader to take the women to wife as she would have a greater chance to gain exaltation sort of by piggybacking her way into that leaders kingdom. It is intresting to note here that people were so eager to join leaders families that you see grown men in Nauvoo being adopted into the families of men like BY. Also it was believed that earthly athourity was not binding so these women in JS's eyes were not really married or taken in the sence we understand a married women to be , while very rough we see in my opinion the begins of the concept of priesthood authority in this and of temple marriage and eternal families ( Mormonism is unique in teaching that we are saved as a family unit this is probally the origins of that teaching ). In the docrine of Kindred Spirits we see the rough beginings of our belief in pre existence and eternal progression. The way I appraoch these difficult topics is to look at the church as a evolving system and allow it the right to refine its teachings over time . Hope this was helpful i'll give my thoughts on polygamy soon.
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