It was definitely on their minds - and I consider it a key tipping point. If you check the D&C (I just read it), Woodruff mentioned the loss of property and lands over and over again as a major factor (as you metnion). The loss of property, temples was a factor in this, no question. Sure there were other factors, but I have noticed that when temporal concerns conflict with spiritual concerns, the church tends to side with the temporal -- at least, in my experience that's true -- far more than I think is healthy for an organization with a divine commission.Ray Degraw wrote:I have always believed Woodruff ended the practice because the government threatened to confiscate the church's lands and property. Money and wealth is big deal to the LDS church . . .
SD, fwiw, I think that exact wording (the second sentence as a motivating factor in the first) is uncharitable in context. If I am threatened with having everything confiscated that supports my life and the lives of my family - and being jailed, so I can't start again in supporting them - and seeing my religion exterminated, "money and wealth" isn't going to the be issue that drives me (especially in a time of general hardship and relative poverty). Continued existence, freedom and not seeing my family starve or face severe deprivation are going to be foremost on my mind.
Of course, polygamy ended for the reason you mention. OD1 says that explicitly. I would have NO problem with it ending for that reason, even if I believed it was God's pure will - and I think even the most ardent traditionalists who remained in the Church accepted that as a justifiable reason. To say it was to retain money and wealth . . .
Let's just say I disagree with that wording as anything close to the primary reason polygamy ended. In fact, I would go so far as to say that it probably wasn't on their minds, as worded, at the time.
They also let a lot of brethren go to prison for staying true to the plural marriage "doctrine" before they came out with the manifesto. I also think the church defaults to making the members sacrifice as a way of acheiving their own temporal ends far too quickly for my liking.
We can agree to disagree though. I maintain that temporal matters and money are hugely important to the church. More important than I am comfortable with. Take a societal problem, or a trend in society, and punctuate it with a business loss to the church (loss of membership, loss of property, expense to the budget, inability to expand) and you see faster action. Demonstrating commitment to values is a secondary consideration in many of these decisions to the church.
i also recognize I'm driven by my life's experiences when temporal, NOW matters conflict with church values. In my experience, they have sided with the temporal side every time. I tend to see things through that lens.
you can invoke the "seeing through a glass darkly" maxim here...but I simply cannot deny my life's experiences. And I tend to interpret history through those experiences. Money is a big deal to the church. Take a problem and attach money, property, and church temporal interests to it -- it becomes a source of focus for the church. I can quote example, after example, after example.