Plural Marriage and Families in Early Utah

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Ann
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Re: Plural Marriage and Families in Early Utah

Post by Ann » 19 Dec 2013, 12:19

hawkgrrrl wrote:I think Joseph saw himself as the head of a great dynasty. Polygamy was part of that. Parts of the temple ceremonies are based on the anointings of kings. All of these point to the idea of being literally spiritual royalty.

Having said that, I see polygamy as a fallen human state throughout history that served to subjugate women because they were not viewed as equals and men wanted multiple sex partners - whether Joseph or Abraham practiced it, it's a lifestyle that harms and oppresses women and benefits men.
Would you mind telling me/us very frankly, then, what you do to bear the church's teaching on this?
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Roy
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Re: Plural Marriage and Families in Early Utah

Post by Roy » 19 Dec 2013, 12:52

Roy wrote:Super great post journeygirl. I couldn't agree more. I see Joseph as originally trying to get back to the primitive religion of the early saints. In his quest, Joseph latched on to a custom that was common in the time of the Partriachs. The pure concept of the restoration would be to go back to how things were before. I don't think that it quite worked out that way but i do believe that was the idea.
hawkgrrrl wrote:I think Joseph saw himself as the head of a great dynasty. Polygamy was part of that. Parts of the temple ceremonies are based on the anointings of kings. All of these point to the idea of being literally spiritual royalty.
I agree with that hawkgrrrl. Temple ceremonies are an interesting example of the concept of restoration combined with new elements as well. They were borrowed from Freemasons and thought to be of ancient origin. They were updated to serve the purposes of JS and the church in his day but the changes were taught as a "restoration" of the original, uncorrupted, ceremony.

This reminds me of your BCC post about retroactive continuity. We superimpose our understandings and values upon the ancients. This is furthered by our ideas on "dispensations," "apostasy," and "restoration."
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DarkJedi
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Re: Plural Marriage and Families in Early Utah

Post by DarkJedi » 19 Dec 2013, 13:01

GBSmith wrote:
DarkJedi wrote: So, yes, we have our free agency and are free to choose whether to obey or disobey any commandment - with a price. Such strings do not make us totally free.
I guess I don't see this as any different than any decision or choice we make about anything. Every action has consequences. The free part is that you get to make the choice but you don't get a pass on what comes next. But total freedom? That's an interesting concept but not something you see in the real world.
I think total freedom does exist. There are man-made consequences/prices and there are church-made consequences but there are also natural consequences and sometimes no real affective consequences at all. I'm not saying that all man-made consequences are bad (people should be imprisoned for murder and child molestation among other things), but not believing in the sanctity of plural marriage should have no consequence, man-made, church-made, or otherwise.
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Sheldon
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Re: Plural Marriage and Families in Early Utah

Post by Sheldon » 19 Dec 2013, 13:11

Something not mentioned in the article was Brigham Young’s assertion that one could NOT get into the Celestial Kingdom without plural marriage. In fact, the phrase “Celestial Marriage” as found in the D&C referred to plural marriage, as a monogamous marriage was in fact not “Celestial”.

But to tackle that issue, the church would have had to again disavow something BY taught over the pulpit. Twice in two weeks might be a little too much for some to handle (Ray’s Flood theory at work here)

GBSmith
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Re: Plural Marriage and Families in Early Utah

Post by GBSmith » 19 Dec 2013, 13:29

hawkgrrrl wrote:I think Joseph saw himself as the head of a great dynasty. Polygamy was part of that. Parts of the temple ceremonies are based on the anointings of kings. All of these point to the idea of being literally spiritual royalty.

Having said that, I see polygamy as a fallen human state throughout history that served to subjugate women because they were not viewed as equals and men wanted multiple sex partners - whether Joseph or Abraham practiced it, it's a lifestyle that harms and oppresses women and benefits men.
The assertion is that Abraham, et al were commanded to take more than one wife but I don't recall ever reading anything that would justify that conclusion. It was a custom and in part had to do with lineage and inheritance but that's about it. I think that JS an BY had their own reasons for polygamy but most were justifications not a restoration of a divine "principle".

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Orson
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Re: Plural Marriage and Families in Early Utah

Post by Orson » 19 Dec 2013, 14:19

Ann wrote:Would you mind telling me/us very frankly, then, what you do to bear the church's teaching on this?

Having views similar to Hawk's I can tell you I simply assume it will go the way of the priesthood ban. I know it is more difficult because we do have section 132 and there is no corresponding revelation supporting the ban, but eventually the collective belief of the majority of the church membership will win out. It probably won't be until my great-grandchildren's generation, but my assumption that it will eventually go away comforts me.

Also, the fact that today I don't have to support or believe in the principle is an enormous help. It never comes up at church or anywhere in a way that I am required to affirm to remain in good standing.

I should also clarify that I do believe Jacob 2, and in extremely rare and isolated cases such as Abraham needing posterity that it may be approved by God, but certainly nowhere near what was practiced in early Utah. And in those cases we must recognize that it still is an extremely difficult and even abusive situation to both wives -- thus the extreme rarity and the complete non-practice today.
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hawkgrrrl
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Re: Plural Marriage and Families in Early Utah

Post by hawkgrrrl » 19 Dec 2013, 16:18

Ann wrote:
hawkgrrrl wrote:I think Joseph saw himself as the head of a great dynasty. Polygamy was part of that. Parts of the temple ceremonies are based on the anointings of kings. All of these point to the idea of being literally spiritual royalty.

Having said that, I see polygamy as a fallen human state throughout history that served to subjugate women because they were not viewed as equals and men wanted multiple sex partners - whether Joseph or Abraham practiced it, it's a lifestyle that harms and oppresses women and benefits men.
Would you mind telling me/us very frankly, then, what you do to bear the church's teaching on this?
I agree with Orson. If it came up more or was a current teaching, I would definitely not be able to stay in the church. Because it's a teaching that has basically been dropped and relegated to the back of the broom closet, I can deal.

Assuming I'm right, then church leaders are in a tricky predicament. They've inherited this history, including most of them being descendants of polygamists, so what exactly can they say without insulting the memory of those people? I have no polygamous ancestors, so I am free from any filial obligation to practitioners of polygamy, but I recognize others feel it. I confess that whenever I get an inkling that one of our top leaders relishes the idea of eternal polygamy, I lose some respect for that person, similar to if I found out that he was a narcissist or reveled in the leader-worship we sometimes see on display.

Ann
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Re: Plural Marriage and Families in Early Utah

Post by Ann » 20 Dec 2013, 02:13

hawkgrrrl wrote:
Ann wrote:
hawkgrrrl wrote:I think Joseph saw himself as the head of a great dynasty. Polygamy was part of that. Parts of the temple ceremonies are based on the anointings of kings. All of these point to the idea of being literally spiritual royalty.

Having said that, I see polygamy as a fallen human state throughout history that served to subjugate women because they were not viewed as equals and men wanted multiple sex partners - whether Joseph or Abraham practiced it, it's a lifestyle that harms and oppresses women and benefits men.
Would you mind telling me/us very frankly, then, what you do to bear the church's teaching on this?
I agree with Orson. If it came up more or was a current teaching, I would definitely not be able to stay in the church. Because it's a teaching that has basically been dropped and relegated to the back of the broom closet, I can deal.

Assuming I'm right, then church leaders are in a tricky predicament. They've inherited this history, including most of them being descendants of polygamists, so what exactly can they say without insulting the memory of those people? I have no polygamous ancestors, so I am free from any filial obligation to practitioners of polygamy, but I recognize others feel it. I confess that whenever I get an inkling that one of our top leaders relishes the idea of eternal polygamy, I lose some respect for that person, similar to if I found out that he was a narcissist or reveled in the leader-worship we sometimes see on display.
There's a post at feministmormonhousewives (which I'm not always into) saying that the "technically true" tilt of the lds.org article is insulting the memory of their ancestors:

Among the family histories of our bloggers are women who were denied the ability to marry the man they loved and assigned to an older man as a plural wife. Women who converted to the gospel and followed the commandment to join Zion by emigrating to Utah, only to find their only option to be marriage to an older man. Women who took a deep breath and submitted to this institution that cost them happiness and companionship because they believed they were ensuring their salvation.

And it wasn’t just that all of the women in polygamy had the same misunderstanding. This is what they were taught directly from the mouths of the leaders from the days it was whispered amongst General Authorities, to the day it finally became public knowledge, to the day before it was revoked.


http://www.feministmormonhousewives.org ... -polygamy/

“Individuals who did not enter the practice could still stand approved of God.” Huh. Really? If church leaders “recognized” that, it sure didn’t make it to the people they led."

Sheldon said above, "...to tackle that issue, the church would have had to again disavow something BY taught over the pulpit. Twice in two weeks might be a little too much for some to handle. (Ray's flood theory at work here.)" What I guess the women at fMh are saying that not tackling this issue with thorough honesty is disrespectful.
"Preachers err by trying to talk people into belief; better they reveal the radiance of their own discovery." - Joseph Campbell

"The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes." - Marcel Proust

"Therefore they said unto him, How were thine eyes opened? He answered and said unto them, A man that is called Jesus made clay, and anointed my eyes...." - John 9:10-11

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