Breakaway Fundamentalist Sect Leader Arrested

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Roy
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Breakaway Fundamentalist Sect Leader Arrested

Post by Roy »

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/crime/po ... 17e9821134

Polygamy continues to be a scourge used to abuse women and underage girls. I hate that the coercion of eternal destinies is used to get them to comply. I am saddened that this coercion began under our first prophet, Joseph Smith. I would very much like for the current church leadership to disavow polygamy, that God is not pleased by the practice, and that it will not be practiced in heaven.

I know this is not likely to happen. If only...
"It is not so much the pain and suffering of life which crushes the individual as it is its meaninglessness and hopelessness." C. A. Elwood

“It is not the function of religion to answer all the questions about God’s moral government of the universe, but to give one courage, through faith, to go on in the face of questions he never finds the answer to in his present status.” TPC: Harold B. Lee 223

"I struggle now with establishing my faith that God may always be there, but may not always need to intervene" Heber13
AmyJ
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Re: Breakaway Fundamentalist Sect Leader Arrested

Post by AmyJ »

I am not a fan of polygamy either for those reasons....

AND it is important to remember that Joseph Smith and Brigham Young did not see polygamy the same way.

Joseph was more interested in sealing people into a heavenly community (who knows whether or what additional benefits were at play for him). For Joseph, I think a case can be made that polygamy was used to create the beginnings of a divine community more so or equally as much as a divine family. It was more of a case of "create the connection here through the sealing and then the exact role can be sorted out later". Yes, there are scores of debates about the number of children Joseph could have sired outside marriage - but the number of possible children range from 0 to 5-6 I think (and I am being generous in my estimates - I think solid cases were made for 3-4 that are being disproved by DNA as time is passing by).

Brigham Young used the sealing power to create a divine family/harem for himself and in a sense to create a divine breeding stock in the community. We have documented that Brigham Young had 56 children with over 50 wives. We have lots of words about how he thought the power structure worked and how impersonal those connections could be/were.

I don't think that polygamy works on an organized religion level (actually church sanctioned/sponsored in the community). I think the biggest threat is that all family structures fail when members of the family (and then eventually out to communities) are diminished into being objects fulfilling roles (harem member, child at heavenly table placeholder, child producer, child tender, sugar daddy, etc.). The same tendencies for family power imbalances, converting people into objects (productive or not) and related stereotypes, are universal - Joseph and Brigham didn't invent them, they just conceived of/created an American religious organization that explicitly championed them in the official theology on some levels.

At the end of the day, I think the biggest problem in the situation is saying and believing that actions like sealings in this life impact the afterlife. By saying that and explicitly organizing rituals and theology around it, humans are effectively one-sidedly litigating both this life and the next life. When you can say there are circumstances where you can create a divine relationship binding across space and time (by your theology), you are also saying that there are circumstances where you can't create the divine relationship (which cause a ton of heartache), and you have to do deal with the circumstances of where the relationship is created in error (sealing cancellations vs clearances and the one-sided way of creating living sealings for serial monogamists). And unfortunately, Joseph Smith and Brigham needed this community belief in their authority to create those relationships to form and sustain the LDS communities from the emergence of the church from colonial America and the Salt Lake migration.
Roy
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Re: Breakaway Fundamentalist Sect Leader Arrested

Post by Roy »

Yes. 100%

I have been imagining since yesterday how the church might thread the needle between disavowing polygamy and accusing the founding brethren of gross immorality.

The best that I can come up with would be for President Nelson to receive a revelation that the polygamy practiced in the early church was "for time only" and was designed to be a test of faith to prove the dedication of the membership at that time. The members and leaders misunderstood and conflated this temporary earthly polygamy command with eternal monogamous marriage. Monogamy is pleasing to God. Even though God did command polygamy for a specific purpose for a specific time, He has promised never again to do so (similar to promising never again to flood the earth with water). Monogamy is what will be practiced in heaven (with the possible exception of special circumstances allowed by God on a case by case basis).
"It is not so much the pain and suffering of life which crushes the individual as it is its meaninglessness and hopelessness." C. A. Elwood

“It is not the function of religion to answer all the questions about God’s moral government of the universe, but to give one courage, through faith, to go on in the face of questions he never finds the answer to in his present status.” TPC: Harold B. Lee 223

"I struggle now with establishing my faith that God may always be there, but may not always need to intervene" Heber13
AmyJ
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Re: Breakaway Fundamentalist Sect Leader Arrested

Post by AmyJ »

Roy wrote: 09 Dec 2022, 11:03 Monogamy is what will be practiced in heaven (with the possible exception of special circumstances allowed by God on a case by case basis).
That's the problem with serial monogamy in a strictly monogamy setting. And serial monogamy makes a lot of sense for a lot of reasons (mostly having to do with raising the next generation and having someone bound to you to support you 24/7 in your old age). When you legislate serial monogamy into just monogamy, you lose strong marital ties like that and have to pick "1 spouse". As near as I can tell, at some point the leadership decided and re-decided to decrease the impact this problem by making sure that men could have multiple legal wives (hence multiple sealings) in their lifetimes and women could not (without going through additional hoops).

While I know that this is comforting to imagine being said (and being what sealings would look like and that all that) - I don't think it will look like that. I think that your part of the universe as a creator will be with a "team of your choosing" (the sealing as it were) - males/females/unknown in unknown configurations and that you can go visit other universes/establish contact with other "teams" as decided. It won't be a centralized "table" with individuals gathered around, not really.

We have had telephone and video for a long time now, we are used to the concept of "away and visible/audible/connectable to" for connecting with family. We have learned the Peek-a-boo lesson of "hidden and still connected" (basically). For Joseph Smith and Brigham Young, anything past a set of miles was essentially the same as being dead in terms of "away and connectable to".
Watcher
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Re: Breakaway Fundamentalist Sect Leader Arrested

Post by Watcher »

It is my personal impression that one of the most misunderstood relationships in current western culture is monogamy (or marriage however it is defined). I was quite unprepared for marriage when my wife and I started ours. After the birth of our first child, I realized that the sacrifice of a mother is exponentially greater than that of a father. I think it is foolish and counterproductive to think or speculate about the birth of a human life unless there is a biological father and biological mother. I have come to realize that because of her commitments to our children that she is much more connected to then and their needs both physically and spiritually.

I believe that marriage is a partnership and I often hear that it is an equal partnership but, in all honesty, I do not see that way. It is obvious to me that the contributions of women in marriage is greater than that of men. My wife and I are older now, empty nesters (about to become great grandparents) and yet she is still the key to every good thing in our relationship and the most binding influence of our family through the succeeding generations.

I speculate that marriage is divinely designed for the primary benefit of women because they deserve it the most because of what is required of them. I speculate more; that if polygamy is an eternal construct that it must benefit women even more than monogamy does. And yet I have never encountered much concerning what blessing in eternity that are specific and unique for women. Jesus said that the greatest effort in heaven is that of service (a servant). My current plan is to turn all that I acquire in the resurrection towards service to my wife. If there is polygamy anywhere in my eternal intents, it will only be because my wife sees and realizes a need for it. For all my imaginations – I do not understand eternity beyond what binds me to my wife and family.

I believe that many problems in our current society is the singularity of self-interest and efforts to fulfill personal wants and needs. I am concerned that personal wants and needs are counter to marriage – especially between a man and a woman that are physically different. Perhaps the greatest achievement is not succeeding in fulfilling what we personally want, desire and need but in realizing and fulfilling the wants, desires and needs of others. Which I believe to be the results of agency and the great plan of salvation.
Roy
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Re: Breakaway Fundamentalist Sect Leader Arrested

Post by Roy »

AmyJ wrote: 09 Dec 2022, 12:20 I think that your part of the universe as a creator will be with a "team of your choosing" (the sealing as it were) - males/females/unknown in unknown configurations and that you can go visit other universes/establish contact with other "teams" as decided.
Yeah, I certainly don't want to create heartache for people that have experienced monogamy and would want to have connection to both spouses in the eternity. That "teams" solution makes me think "Seal them all. Let God sort them out."
"It is not so much the pain and suffering of life which crushes the individual as it is its meaninglessness and hopelessness." C. A. Elwood

“It is not the function of religion to answer all the questions about God’s moral government of the universe, but to give one courage, through faith, to go on in the face of questions he never finds the answer to in his present status.” TPC: Harold B. Lee 223

"I struggle now with establishing my faith that God may always be there, but may not always need to intervene" Heber13
Ann
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Re: Breakaway Fundamentalist Sect Leader Arrested

Post by Ann »

Roy wrote: 08 Dec 2022, 15:50 https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/crime/po ... 17e9821134

Polygamy continues to be a scourge used to abuse women and underage girls. I hate that the coercion of eternal destinies is used to get them to comply. I am saddened that this coercion began under our first prophet, Joseph Smith. I would very much like for the current church leadership to disavow polygamy, that God is not pleased by the practice, and that it will not be practiced in heaven.

I know this is not likely to happen. If only...
It’s been many years now since the ugliness of polygamy became clear to me. I’m less reflexively angry, but still, like you say, saddened that “we” brought this to the U.S. In my opinion - and maybe this is happening behind the scenes - the church should be doing everything possible to get women and children out of these communities.

I’m also going to disagree a bit with the idea that Joseph’s polygamy was so very different from Brigham’s. If we could ask Emma, I think she would say that the heartbreak, the loss of trust and intimacy were anything but benign.
"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
AmyJ
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Re: Breakaway Fundamentalist Sect Leader Arrested

Post by AmyJ »

Ann wrote: 10 Dec 2022, 00:35 It’s been many years now since the ugliness of polygamy became clear to me. I’m less reflexively angry, but still, like you say, saddened that “we” brought this to the U.S. In my opinion - and maybe this is happening behind the scenes - the church should be doing everything possible to get women and children out of these communities.

I’m also going to disagree a bit with the idea that Joseph’s polygamy was so very different from Brigham’s. If we could ask Emma, I think she would say that the heartbreak, the loss of trust and intimacy were anything but benign.
I think the degree of emotional damage that Joseph and Brigham did was extensive, and hard to categorize. I also think that the motivation for polygamy was different between the 2. I am not a scholar by any means, but I think that there is a foundational difference between Joseph's flavor of polygamy and Brigham's. I truly believe that Joseph intended polygamy to be a way to spiritually connect people to form a community (at least on some level) for the next life, while Brigham was using polygamy to connect people to him in this life and the next life so he could influence them. I don't think that Joseph knew what he was doing when he introduced the concept and set it up - and that caused a lot of problems for him. I think that Brigham knew what he was doing and did it anyways.
Roy
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Re: Breakaway Fundamentalist Sect Leader Arrested

Post by Roy »

AmyJ wrote: 12 Dec 2022, 06:32 I truly believe that Joseph intended polygamy to be a way to spiritually connect people to form a community (at least on some level) for the next life,
I agree that there is some evidence for that. Some people will say that God commanded polygamy but didn't provide an explanation. I don't feel that is exactly true. JS and his contemporaries gave several explanations. However, those explanations can sometimes contradict and none of them fit with the current doctrine of the modern church. Therefore we downplay the reasons that were given and pretend that it must be incomprehensible.

Just like the priesthood and temple restriction. BY and his contemporaries were not shy about why they felt these blessings should be withheld from our brethren of African descent. Most of these reasons are racist and do not fit with current church teachings. Therefore we say (or at least Elder Oaks says) that God commanded the restriction and God rescinded the restriction but all the explanations put forward to justify the restriction were just the flawed theories of men (including men at the highest levels of the church).

BY was fairly masterful in the way that he took control of the church. He was a strong leader at a time when the church needed a strong leader. OTOH, today we would probably consider him to be a tyrant.
"It is not so much the pain and suffering of life which crushes the individual as it is its meaninglessness and hopelessness." C. A. Elwood

“It is not the function of religion to answer all the questions about God’s moral government of the universe, but to give one courage, through faith, to go on in the face of questions he never finds the answer to in his present status.” TPC: Harold B. Lee 223

"I struggle now with establishing my faith that God may always be there, but may not always need to intervene" Heber13
Old-Timer
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Re: Breakaway Fundamentalist Sect Leader Arrested

Post by Old-Timer »

I am fine with whatever arrangement each individual wants - in the eternities but also with fully consenting adults in mortality. Polygamy in this life, as a system, always is based on indoctrination and coercion - but I am fine with it if it truly is consensual (not incestuous).

I know people who have loved only one person and can’t imagine or want another spouse. I also know men and women who have loved more than one spouse equally and want to be with both/all of them eternally.

One reason I am fine with whatever for whomever is that I don’t believe sexuality, sexual activity, pregnancy, etc. exist after mortality. That makes no sense to me, so I am fine with each person being with anyone else - singular or plural - male or female - whatever they want - in this life and whatever follows.
I see through my glass, darkly - as I play my saxophone in harmony with the other instruments in God's orchestra. (h/t Elder Joseph Wirthlin)

Even if people view many things differently, the core Gospel principles (LOVE; belief in the unseen but hoped; self-reflective change; symbolic cleansing; striving to recognize the will of the divine; never giving up) are universal.

"For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong." H. L. Mencken
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