Jul 8, 2009

What Would You Do If Polygamy Came Back?

Mormon Heretic had an interesting discussion on his blog recently about polygamy and I learned a lot about the good, the bad, and the ugly about its practice. It was especially interesting to hear the side of orthodox members who believe it to have been a divinely-inspired practice. Even though I don't agree with that view, I have to say that part of me admires the faith and willingness of those who claimed to receive confirmations about it to sacrifice so much in order to practice it as they believed it was supposed to be practiced -- even though, admittedly, I'm often disturbed by how it was practiced. Even just to be able to say today, as modern Mormons, that you believe that the way polygamy was practiced back in early Mormon history was divinely-inspired, takes a certain amount of guts and courage, in my opinion. Even Mitt Romney -- whose family tree contains examples of polygamy -- called it "bizarre" and "awful."

Have you ever thought about what you would do if Thomas S. Monson told us suddenly that the Lord was requiring his people to live this practice again in order to be saved? Or even if you personally didn't have to participate, what if men with higher callings (i.e. bishops, stake presidents, high priests) were instructed to take on at least one additional wife? Would you accept it? Or would you feel compelled to leave the Church?

Some things to consider:
  • Would you believe such a "revelation" if Thomas S. Monson and the Quorum of the Twelve sustained it?
  • Would you be OK with it as long as you didn't have to live it personally?
  • Would it be unacceptable to you even if only brethren with higher callings were instructed to practice it?
  • If you're a woman and your husband was asked to take on another wife, would you consider granting permission?
  • If you're a man, would you ever consider being eternally sealed to another woman even if it was a spiritual marriage only? (non-sexual)
  • Do you think that modern-day Mormon polygamy would look anything like Big Love?
  • Do you think you could be happy in a polygamist relationship?
And ultimately...
  • Would you leave the Church over it? Why or why not?

54 comments:

Urban Koda said...

Interesting Questions!

* Would you believe such a revelation" if Thomas S. Monson and the Quorum of the Twelve sustained it?

Since I believe the original revelation stemmed from a cover-up for infidelity, I would have to seriously question it. My big question would be why?

* Would you be OK with it as long as you didn't have to live it personally?

Probably not. Why would I support others doing something I personally disagree with. But with that said I fully support peoples rights to enter whatever marriages / relationship they feel is best for them.

* Would it be unacceptable to you even if only brethren with higher callings were instructed to practice it?

That would seriously raise red flags for me. In a Church where everyone is supposed to be equal, and supposedly being led by a God who is 'No respecter of persons', extending this commandment, or favor as an early leader called it, seems at odds with that.

* If you're a man, would you ever consider being eternally sealed to another woman even if it was a spiritual marriage only? (non-sexual)

Probably not. I'd have to know why it was even necessary

* Do you think that modern-day Mormon polygamy would look anything like Big Love?

I so need to get HBO, so I can watch the show and offer an informed opinion on questions like this!

* Do you think you could be happy in a polygamist relationship?

I guess... To be honest I used to think it would be cool, but that was purely a result of my being a horny young man at the time. I think if you're raised thinking it's normal and each member of the marriage is OK with it and working towards making it successful, I don't see why not.

* Would you leave the Church over it? Why or why not?

I'm kind of on the fence with the Church right now anyway. I don't think it would be a breaking point for me - probably just keep my head head down and my nose clean like I do now.

I do think that a commandment like this would be incredibly polarizing. Devout members would become even more devout, and persecution against those who left over it would be significantly higher than it would for one leaving over something relatively minor. I still remember the fallout from the 1 pair of ear-rings 'revelation' and how one lady in our past ward was ostracized because she vocalized her opinion that it was stupid.

Hypatia said...

For me, the most shocking thing about the history of the church's practice of polygamy, wasn't the fact that Joseph practiced it with only widows and unmarried women. He said he was commanded by the Lord to marry the wives of husbands who were still living (as well as 14 year olds). Meaning, he would marry women, in secret, behind their husband's backs in a lot of cases.
I think it would be hard, even for orthodox members, if polyandry accompanied by polygini came back.
And as for me and my house. I'm set on leaving the church as it is, for this and many other reasons...

The Faithful Dissident said...

"To be honest I used to think it would be cool, but that was purely a result of my being a horny young man at the time."

Urban, that is probably the most 100% honest comment that anyone has ever left me. LOL.

"I still remember the fallout from the 1 pair of ear-rings 'revelation' and how one lady in our past ward was ostracized because she vocalized her opinion that it was stupid."

LOL again. :D

By the way, I don't get HBO either and have never seen Big Love either. I've just seen clips and read about it here and there.

The Faithful Dissident said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The Faithful Dissident said...

I guess since I asked them, I should answer my own questions. :)

Would you believe such a "revelation" if Thomas S. Monson and the Quorum of the Twelve sustained it?

I'm willing to cut Joseph Smith some slack in that he endured a lot and was under a lot of pressure, and apparently felt compelled to practice polygamy. I don't really doubt too much that he felt compelled to do so (i.e. I don't really believe it was his intent to mislead people or stray from God), but I tend to believe that he was deceived or simply went too far with whatever it was that he may have gotten permission from the Lord to do. I think he eventually realized he was in over his head. It would be harder for me to cut Thomas S. Monson the same slack, since I would think that we've already been through this mistake before.

Would you be OK with it as long as you didn't have to live it personally?

As long as it doesn't concern minors, I don't really have any more problem with it than with swingers or people living common-law. Definitely not for me, but as long as it's consensual, I can't really be all that bothered by it.

Would it be unacceptable to you even if only brethren with higher callings were instructed to practice it?

I doubt it.

If you're a woman and your husband was asked to take on another wife, would you consider granting permission?

Not a chance in Hades.

Do you think that modern-day Mormon polygamy would look anything like Big Love?

I think it probably would, although as I said before, I haven't really seen the show. So I guess I'm not the best judge on that.

Do you think you could be happy in a polygamist relationship?

Really, really hard to imagine. And even harder to imagine is my husband ever going for it. Unless we're talking Salma Hayek or Catherine Zeta-Jones. :D

Would you leave the Church over it? Why or why not?

That's actually really hard for me to say. I think there are 2 most likely scenarios:

1) I would feel much like I do now. Accept the good things in the Church and distance myself from the bad. I would perhaps feel the need to have a larger distance and even quit going to church, but I wouldn't necessarily lose my faith in the same things that I have faith in now. I think I would just see it as another mistake, but this one would be major.

2) I would perhaps convert to the Community of Christ, who have rejected polygamy from the beginning. But I think I would probably blend CofC practices with the Mormon beliefs that have stuck with me.

hawkgrrrl said...

"Would I believe it if TSM and Q12 said polygamy was back?" Probably not. "What if it was just leadership?" Urban Koda said: "That would seriously raise red flags for me." I totally agree. It sounds like a perk for leadership, and that just sounds wrong, wrong, wrong.

I am pretty much where FD is on this issue. I can't imagine living in this way, even if FD were the other wife!

derekstaff said...

I've thought about this quite a bit. And I've never been able to come up with a satisfying answer. I suppose I won't until faced with the situation. It would become a matter of serious prayer and discussion. If you are going to point a gun to my head, I would have to say that I would be able to accept the practice of polygamy within my faith as long as it is done fully out of free will (ie, young girls are not bullied into marriages). I would not be able to accept it if I had any reason to suspect that there was coercion involved, or I was asked. In that case, I would probably withdraw my membership.

All of this is subject to change, of course, if I felt that the Spirit directly confirmed the validity of the revelation to restore polygamy.



(I'm personally ambivalent on whether or not polygamy as lived in the early days of the Restoration was inspired by God. I'm really not concerned with making that judgment unless the prophet tries to reinstitute the practice)

Carol Brown said...

Would you believe such a "revelation" if Thomas S. Monson and the Quorum of the Twelve sustained it? No.

Would you be OK with it as long as you didn't have to live it personally?
Absolutely not.

Would it be unacceptable to you even if only brethren with higher callings were instructed to practice it?
No way!

If you're a woman and your husband was asked to take on another wife, would you consider granting permission? Not in a million years, but I know my husband wouldn't take another wife.

Do you think that modern-day Mormon polygamy would look anything like Big Love?
I hope not.

Do you think you could be happy in a polygamist relationship? No.

And ultimately...

Would you leave the Church over it? Why or why not?

I haven't left the Church after seeing an incredible the amount of sexual abuse by ecclesiastical leaders so I don't think I would leave because of polygamy. However, I would probably speak out against it and might get excommunicated for that.

Anonymous said...

My husband and I are retirement age so I don't see my life changing in the least if celestial marriage were ordered again. But, for the sake of my daughters and my son too, I'd be utterly disgusted. I think it would be the final straw.

After the ban against the priesthood for Black people, the vicious way the Sept. Six were treated to silence them, the continuing second class status of LDS women, the shameful way gay Mormons are treated and the duplicity about the church's active exercise of political power I don't think I could salvage a shred of trust in the GAs.

That was "if" of course but it highlights how many things have been whittling away at the net positives of my membership. For many years now -- more than a decade actually -- I've felt like I had to go it alone to find my spiritual way. I've gotten good enough at it not to be frightened any longer if I need to make it clear to myself or anyone else that that's where my road to my Heavenly Father and Heavenly Mother lies.

Kaylanamars said...

Would you believe such a "revelation" if Thomas S. Monson and the Quorum of the Twelve sustained it?
Wow, tough questions. I would say no to this one.

Would you be OK with it as long as you didn't have to live it personally?
If I didn't believe it was revelation I definitely wouldn't be ok with it in the church.

Would it be unacceptable to you even if only brethren with higher callings were instructed to practice it?
Nope since it's just a step away from either hubby getting called to a higher position or for it getting generalized for everyone.

If you're a woman and your husband was asked to take on another wife, would you consider granting permission?
No way! I ain't sharing him with anyone in this life or the next!

If you're a man, would you ever consider being eternally sealed to another woman even if it was a spiritual marriage only? (non-sexual)
He wouldn't, but if he did, we'd be through!

Do you think that modern-day Mormon polygamy would look anything like Big Love?
Can't say since i've never had the desire to see it. Too many open wounds about the Church's past.

Do you think you could be happy in a polygamist relationship?
Never ever in a million gazillion years!!!!!!!
And ultimately...
Would you leave the Church over it? Why or why not?
This one would probably push me over the edge. I would hold onto the things I've already had testimonies over, but polygamy, no way one thing I'll just never accept in this life or the next...so if I go to Hades for it, I guess I'll have to accept that!

thefirestillburning said...

Fascinating conversation, and especially fascinating to be introduced to the blogs of some of the posters here for the first time.

I think anytime I have to consider whether I "buy-in" to a new revelation, and I don't have a strong overwhelming positive or negative press of the Spirit (which sometimes can come in opposite senses for different paragraphs of the same D&C section), I'll go to my understanding of science as my next evaluation criterion, then to consistency of beliefs with what my mentors have taught me, and then to consistency with previous scriptures.

My science would tell me that plural marriages in heaven are unavoidable, but probably harmful to trust and intimacy on earth.

The examples of my mentors would make my Spidey sense go off, and the "now you see it, now you don't" nature of polygamy, no polygamy, then polygamy would definitely lead to a "no vote".

FireTag

allboomer said...

Everyone is talking theoretical here, and we may be in for a shock. The Muslim community is lobbying in several Western countries for polygamy to be legalized. If Muslims can do it, will Mormons?

I wouldn't abandon the church if the practice began again because I believe it was divinely instituted. Also, my spouse lost a fiance before they were married. I always believed that woman was also intended to be part of our family.

bewarethechicken said...

HG: "I totally agree. It sounds like a perk for leadership, and that just sounds wrong, wrong, wrong."

A perk? Clearly, you are not married. ;)

A.J. said...

As an LDS wife that is SSA I think this would be very difficult. I would probably leave the church over it.

Bishop Rick said...

I am curious why someone would leave the church if polygamy were brought back. If you feel that strongly about it, why haven't you left over the past practice? If it is wrong now, it was wrong then.

Gay LDS Actor said...

Interesting questions.

*Would you believe such a "revelation" if Thomas S. Monson and the Quorum of the Twelve sustained it?

I'm still at a point where I believe the Prophet and the Quorum of the 12 are led by God, so if they announced that there was a revelation that polygamy had been reinstated, I guess I would have to believe it (although I would certainly pray to know of myself that it was true, for as is evident in my own life, sometimes I don't follow the counsel the Prophet and Quorum of the 12 give because it hasn't fit with my reality. That isn't even to say they're wrong about it; it just means I have chosen a different path because it has honestly made me happier). That being said, I don't think polygamy ever will be reinstated.
On a different note, I actually would be very surprised if the leaders of the Church announced that gay marriage was okay. As much as I would like them to, it seems like doing so would negate the foundation which the church has always been built. I actually think as far as the homosexuality issue is concerned, the leaders of the church are in trouble either way. It's an issue fraught with all sorts of consequences no matter how those who lead the church choose to handle it.

*Would you be OK with it as long as you didn't have to live it personally?

As long as it was consensual and didn't involve minors, I'd be fine with it. Hey, if I expect people to be okay with my consensual relationship with my partner, who am I to judge as long as the parties involved (including the children of such relationships) are happy?

*Would it be unacceptable to you even if only brethren with higher callings were instructed to practice it?

That would seem odd to me that the revelation only applied to certain people and not everyone, but if that's what was declared, again I would pray and think about it and see how it geled with me. Better them than me, though, I say.

*If you're a woman and your husband was asked to take on another wife, would you consider granting permission?

If I were a woman, I would be very uncomfortable with the idea. I don't think I would.

*Do you think that modern-day Mormon polygamy would look anything like Big Love?

Probably, although having never seen "Big Love," I really have no idea.

*Do you think you could be happy in a polygamist relationship?

I think it would be extremely challenging to make it work. Commitment to one person is enough for me.

*Would you leave the Church over it? Why or why not?

I would really have to weigh the circumstances. Having the kind of testimony I feel I have, if homosexual issues haven't caused me to shut the church out of my life, I hardly think polygamy issues would. Even though I've been excommunicated, I haven't left the church as far as I'm concerned. I can't imagine after all this that an issue like polygamy would be the straw that broke the camel's back.

Interesting discussion.

Andee said...

Would you believe such a "revelation" if Thomas S. Monson and the Quorum of the Twelve sustained it?
Like with any new church legislation, I would have to gain my own witness of its correctness, a witness which I have the right to request from the Lord. He does not expect me to be a blind follower. If I, personally, received a confirmation from the Lord, then, and only then would I accept it as revelation.


Would you be OK with it as long as you didn't have to live it personally?
As long as the practice is done with honor and respect by all involved, I'm not sure why I should have a problem with it, whether it would involve my neighbor or myself.

Would it be unacceptable to you even if only brethren with higher callings were instructed to practice it?
That would be harder for me. I agree with the earlier comment citing equality among members as an argument against this idea.

If you're a woman and your husband was asked to take on another wife, would you consider granting permission?
I believe I would but, of course, I would have to receive a witness about it.

Do you think that modern-day Mormon polygamy would look anything like Big Love?
I really have no idea.

Do you think you could be happy in a polygamist relationship?
I may get publically stoned for this, but yes, I do believe that it could be possible. If that was the life the Lord wanted me to live, I believe that he would help me to understand and value my life and my role.

Would you leave the Church over it? Why or why not?
No. I agree with Bishop Rick. Maybe the practice got out of hand before, and it could certainly get out of hand again, but if it was truly inspired then, it is possible that it could be again.

I don't know why my view differs so greatly from that of many of the saints. I'm even a convert, so I thought I'd have a harder time with it, but if the Lord asked it of me, I don't believe that I could dare refuse.

And regarding the comment about polygamous marriages and plural wives creating dissent and distrust while on earth, I do see that that could be a possibility if the women saw each other as rivals, but I believe that if the women truly loved each other as sisters and viewed the family as a single unit, rather than as two distinct units, that there would be no such issue regarding trust or intimacy.

NAlton said...

# Would you believe such a "revelation" if Thomas S. Monson and the Quorum of the Twelve sustained it?

I would. I would pray about it for my own personal revelation since that's what I've been taught to do. But I have no real reason to doubt them, so I'd give them enough faith to gain my own assurance of the revelation.


# Would you be OK with it as long as you didn't have to live it personally?

I'm not sure how to respond. I would be okay with it even if I were asked to live it. So....

# Would it be unacceptable to you even if only brethren with higher callings were instructed to practice it?

It would be unacceptable IF only the brethren with higher callings were asked. I think that would be fishy....I'd rather it not be a free-for-all, but I don't think it should be reserved for just the "higher" callings.

# If you're a woman and your husband was asked to take on another wife, would you consider granting permission?

Consider it? I'd give it. After prayer and fasting for my own confirmation. But I'd be 100% okay with it, if it were re-instated through revelation.

# If you're a man, would you ever consider being eternally sealed to another woman even if it was a spiritual marriage only? (non-sexual)

(I'm a girl, fyi)But I thought I'd make a comment about this. As a female, I'd want my husband to have a similar relationship with his other wife(s) as he did with me. It wouldn't be fair to ask them to live with us as a guest in our house. It's not right to ask that.

# Do you think that modern-day Mormon polygamy would look anything like Big Love?

No. But, then again maybe...but I feel it wouldn't be like BL.

# Do you think you could be happy in a polygamist relationship?

Yes. I really do. It's about trusting your husband and the Lord. If you can do both, then a polygamist relationship is probably easier than you'd realize.

To end this, I think that Andee makes a valid point about the family unit. The problem is redefining the family unit's structure. I don't see blood-relation as a requisite part of a family unit. I wasn't raised to. My best friends become part of my family as sisters and brothers. So I don't see it being a problem to accept another person into my family. It's just a different, new relationship.

I know that my feelings on this tend to be different than many in the church. But I think that if you truly have faith/trust in the Lord, that you COULD be happy in a polygamist relationship.

The Faithful Dissident said...

Thanks, everyone, for your comments. I've enjoyed them all so far.

Anonymous, I liked what you said:

"For many years now -- more than a decade actually -- I've felt like I had to go it alone to find my spiritual way. I've gotten good enough at it not to be frightened any longer if I need to make it clear to myself or anyone else that that's where my road to my Heavenly Father and Heavenly Mother lies."

I think a lot of us can relate.

Bishop Rick brings up an interesting question about why some of us would perhaps leave the Church over it now if polygamy were brought back, even though the past practice of it hasn't been enough to drive all of us from the Church completely. I suppose it has a lot to do with polygamy being "in the past." I think things become much more real and difficult to accept when they are happening to us now.

I was particularly intrigued by NAlton's comment, since she seems much more willing to consider polygamy than the rest of us. NAlton, I'm curious. Do you think you'd be able to live it even if you didn't receive a powerful personal confirmation about it? Could you put enough trust in the GA's that it's correct and to live polygamy even though you yourself perhaps don't feel a strong conviction about it?

Scott said...

I'm sure my perspective is fairly unique, but I'm actually hoping that polygamy becomes a Church-sanctioned (as well as civilly-legal) option... at about the same time gay marriage does!

I'm a gay married Mormon who loves his wife. I have a hard time imagining life without her. But I also have a hard time contemplating another fifty or sixty (or more) years of life in which I never really know what it's like to experience the romantic love that I could have with a man. And who knows what eternity has in store for me? The brethren have made a couple of off-the-cuff statements that my attractions will disappear in the next life, but I'm not sure how much faith I have in that declaration, and I often wonder if I'm going to spend an eternity with a woman who I love, but who I'm not completely and totally in love with.

I imagine a possible future in which polygamy and same-sex marriage are accepted by the Church and by society. I could find a husband--not to replace or supplant my wife, but to join our family and complete it. He would obviously have to be someone who loved her as much as he loved me, and who she loved enough that she would be willing to share me with him. It's a pie-in-the-sky dream. But it's one that makes me happy.

My wife and I have occasionally discussed a scenario like this one, but only very briefly and only rarely. She's not entirely comfortable with the idea, and so perhaps it will never happen even if it does become a possibility as far as the Church is concerned. But I can still hope. :)

Mormon Heretic said...

Wow, FD, I missed out on some fun conversation. As usual, I think we're pretty much in agreement here. I do want to throw in a few wildcards though.

I have a pretty big problem with polygamy. I guess I would soften that stance somewhat if a few of Joseph Smith's practices were allowed, such as allowing women to be sealed to multiple husbands. If it's ok for men to be sealed to multiple wives, the reverse is only fair too.

I also wonder what the stance would be for "swingers." If they got married polygamously, would these marriages be recognized formally?

Would we allow polygamous Muslims to join the church, as well as polygamists from India?

I'd also like to see a prohibition of marriages for men or women under the age of 18.

Anonymous said...

Many people do practice polygamy - except they're not "legally married." There are scores of people who have kids with multiple partners and continuing relationships with them! What's the difference btwn. them and Mormons?
I think with the legalization of homosexual marriages, it's going to open the door to polygamy. If you allow one, you're going to have to allow the other.

The Faithful Dissident said...

Scott, that was a very interesting scenario! Never thought of it that way, but you MoHos are always there to challenge our thinking. :)

MH, that's a valid question if the Middle East ever opened to the Church (and we always hear that the Gospel must be preached in every nation before Christ will come again). If a Muslim with more than wife (as far as I know he can have up to 4 wives in some Muslim countries) wanted to convert to the LDS Church, would he have to abandon his wives? And is that fair, not just to him but the women and children?

Anonymous, I don't regard what you described as polygamy. Those who bounce from one partner to the next and have kids with each one don't usually have any interest in all living together as husband and wife. The ones I know who have done that usually find that they don't really want to be together, so they live separately.

MH, I would guess that most swingers wouldn't be too interested in a polygamist marriage because it's not just about the sex. It may be too much of a commitment for them -- especially when there are like 20 kids in the picture. I think they're just interested in the "swingin.'" :D

derekstaff said...

FWIW, I know of several families in the vicinity who do live in polygamous arrangements, and seem perfectly happy (or at least, no more or less happy than any other family). The polygamy of these families are entirely consensual.

Scott
Interesting view. I can't blame you at all for yearning for a passionate love. It would be hard for me to have a committed relationship without the romantic/passionate aspect. I feel for you. I am highly skeptical that polyandrous marriage would ever be acceptable for the Church community, but for your sake, I hope it will.

anonymous
I think it's a bit disingenuous to conflate promiscuity with polygamy. The former has nothing to do with the committed relationships of polygamists. And I have absolutely no problem with making either homosexual or polygamous marriage legal. People should have the right to follow their conscience to consensually enter into such arrangements. That is a completely separate issue from whether or not we would be willing to be members of an organization promoting such marriages.

MH
I gather that swingers don't form committed bonds with specific couples, but simply enjoy being promiscuous. II have no more or less a problem with polyamorous marriages (marriages in which multiple husbands and wives are grouped into a committed relationship) than with any other form of polygamy.

Greg and Alyssa said...

*Would you believe such a "revelation" if Thomas S. Monson and the Quorum of the Twelve sustained it?

You know... ever since Prop. 8 I have been backing even further away from this idea of a perfect mortal man speaking for God. I wondered often about things like black men and the priesthood, certain statements by B. Young, etc., but to a degree since that was all in the past and before my time I guess I was hoping the system had become more perfect? The prop. 8 insanity has convinced me other wise so I'm pretty sure polygamy would be the last straw the church ever threw on my back.

*Would you be OK with it as long as you didn't have to live it personally?

No, I don't think I would. I think Mormon women are raised to be self-sacrificing enough as it is. I think for the sake of women and the history of the church, the church need never ask that much from their women again. I couldn't support any further abuses like that.

*Would it be unacceptable to you even if only brethren with higher callings were instructed to practice it?

Yes. In addition to my objections that mortal men can really speak faultlessly for God, I believe putting more power than necessary in the hands of mortal men over individual lives is dangerous. There is too much abuse of power and unrighteous dominion already. I knew some real jerky bishops and I don't see how they are any more deserving of more wives (if that is seen as a blessing) than anyone else.

*If you're a woman and your husband was asked to take on another wife, would you consider granting permission?

Not even when hell freezes over. I have a hard enough time getting all the attention I want already.

*Do you think that modern-day Mormon polygamy would look anything like Big Love?

Never seen it. If Big Love looks like depression and jealousy and unhappiness, then... yes.

*Do you think you could be happy in a polygamist relationship?

Definitely not. I love him, he's mine, hands off.

*Would you leave the Church over it? Why or why not?

I would definitely stop attending, and probably have my name removed as well in the hopes that the leaders would have a visual idea of the effect of their decision. In fact now that I think about it I would probably be a little bit noisy about it, so I might get kicked out before I have the chance to leave. But I would continue to hold to the good doctrines and values I believe are true.

Andee said...

I am surprised to see how few people are saying that they would pray for a witness. I certainly never follow the GA's counsel without seeking a witness, but if I did receive one, then I would hope that I would follow the Lord's wishes for my life.

Also, I don't believe that a polygamous marriage has any more tendency to be abusive and unhealthy than a regular marriage. I believe that abusive men will be abusive whether he has one wife or three.

We are all here to be tested to the very limits of our abilities. It is possible that that this will be a test we will have to face in the future, and so should be considered carefully. Polygamy IS an eternal principle; we all know this. I would not enter in to such a relationship just because the brethren said I should, but if you received a witness from God, how could you stand up and tell him, "No"?

Kaylanamars said...

Andee, i guess that is the real question...does one trust God enough/have enough faith that they would do whatever he asked. Personally, I'm not there and I don't know if I'll ever be in this life. I hate the idea of polygamy and since it's just so repulsive to me I wouldn't even begin to ask God for confirmation. And that's just how it is for me and maybe for other people as well. I'm still active because I haven't been asked to make that ultimate sacrifice (sacrifice personally) yet so I don't have to really think about it and I have testimonies of other aspects of the Gospel such as the Atonement and the scriptures. But this is something that has to remain separate for me. Maybe I'll get there someday. There are plenty of people who have no problem with the idea so that's not their ultimate trial of faith so to speak. But this one is definitely mine...

Mormon Heretic said...

I think we have a lot of stereotypes about polygamy. A while back, I read an article on MSNBC called I have two Husbands: a polygamist's diary.

It's not an FLDS story, but more of a swinger story. I suspect there are many more "committed" secret polygamists outside the Mormon culture, so I think it is a valid question. I know John Dehlin has even talked about active LDS who secretly practice polygamy, and he interviewed Anne Wilde. If we find their lifestyle objectionable, I have a hard time understanding why it would somehow be ok in our Mormon culture.

If a couple is living together, and wants to get baptised, all they have to do is get married and boom--within the week, they can be baptized. If polygamy were legalized, who's to say that a polygamist group such as the one in the MSNBC article, especially if they could become legally married, couldn't be baptized in the LDS church within a week, just as the monogamous--living together couple?

Andee said...

Kaylanamars:
Thank you for your response. I really appreciate your insight.

For my part, I'm probably more open to the idea because I feel like worse and harder things have already been asked of me.

Steve said...

Very interesting questions that really made me think. Here it goes:

# Would you believe such a "revelation" if Thomas S. Monson and the Quorum of the Twelve sustained it?

First of all, I object to putting the word revelation in quotes. It implies that Pres. Monson and/or the Q12 made it up. Why not take it at face-value and call it a revelation? Everyone should pray about it to receive a confirmation that it is in fact a revelation, though sadly I doubt hardly anyone would.

# Would you be OK with it as long as you didn't have to live it personally?

I think it depends. I'm with other posters who don't want to see 14 year old brides or marrying already-married women. Referring to comment #1, I'd really have to pray, pray, and pray some more about it. Somehow I don't think I'd ever have to worry about practicing it myself.

# Would it be unacceptable to you even if only brethren with higher callings were instructed to practice it?

Hmmm. My understanding is that during the first go-around, the decision to marry more than once had to do with the prospective polygamist's ability to support multiple wives financially. My great-great-grandfather was a polygamist but he never held any high callings in the church that I'm aware of. He just had a large farm.

I know a lot of really poor (financially) bishopric members and high councilors that would really struggle to earn enough money to support multiple wives. Then again, the church still encourages women to stay home where possible, but the brethren and local leaders seem to be willing to look the other way more often than not. So if the wives were working...

# If you're a woman and your husband was asked to take on another wife, would you consider granting permission?

I can't answer this for myself, and I don't pretend to know how my wife would feel on the matter. So no comment.

# If you're a man, would you ever consider being eternally sealed to another woman even if it was a spiritual marriage only? (non-sexual)

I realize that in the last go-around there were those who claimed they were only intimate with their original wives. But in this day and age in the sexually saturated culture we live in, I just don't think this is realistic.

# Do you think that modern-day Mormon polygamy would look anything like Big Love?

Oh yeah! Break out the Viagra and the cat-fights!

# Do you think you could be happy in a polygamist relationship?

No. I can't imagine loving anyone other than my wife the way I love my wife.

Anonymous said...

Wow, all I have to say is that I hope that the comments here arent the general view of the church. I admit I am a man, but if the Lord commanded the women to have multiple husbands, would I submit to it, Yes I would. That is the way it should be. No I am not lying, I would submit my will to the Lords. If that commandment came from the prophet, it came from the Lord, so we must follow it. Of course you dont have to follow it, but do you honestly think that the Lord will let you into the Celestial Kingdom for denying his commandments...thats right, He wouldn't. The Lord requires sacrifice in all things. So seriously get your heads in the right place. All you think about is your own selfish wants. Do you not believe that the Lord takes care of His own? Is it a hard commandment, yes. But frankly do you think that it would be any easier for the men to deal with multiple wives... It is a sacrifical law ment for the bettering of all involved. We can explain away with logical explainations of why this was practiced in the past but it really comes down to will we submit ourselves to the Lord?

The Faithful Dissident said...

"So seriously get your heads in the right place. All you think about is your own selfish wants."

Anonymous, would you have been able to look Emma Smith in the eye and tell her that? It's one thing to say it to me, but it would have been quite another to thing to say to Emma Smith, Fanny Alger, or Diantha Jacobs' first husband. But hey, maybe you're right, and all these people will be condemned to a lesser kingdom because they were so "selfish."

Original Mohomie said...

Really interesting discussion on a topic I've been wanting to post about for quite a while. I have mixed thoughts and feelings on this topic, mostly against the practice of plural marriage but intellectually understanding the possible validity of it, even potentially as a "higher" law which I find emotionally and intellectually troubling but can nonetheless maybe envision myself living if I had faith in it through personal revelation (I don't care how many people sustain it--I like to think I will always maintain a true principle, even if I stand alone in it *wink*)...assuming I ever bring myself to embrace the idea of even one wife. *sigh*

allboomer: interesting perspective. I want to pose a few questions to you. What if you rephrase your acceptance of the practice as you being meant to join their family? Let's pretend, for a moment, that they were meant to get married, and that when all is restored, she will be deemed "first wife" of sorts. How would you feel about that arrangement?

Or another scenario: let's pretend for a moment that though he loves you with all his heart and has absolutely no regrets about being with you, he also loved her with all his heart and had something above and beyond that he's never felt with anyone, including you. What if you perceive that upon seeing the two of them together in the next life after she joins your family?

Or is it OK to be #2 in a way, like parents have children they just relate to more than others, but their love for them is the same? Does it come down to you loving him in such a way that you wouldn't want him to have to choose between you and her and that you'd rather see him happy with both of you, even if you aren't the first and foremost, than torn between you?

Will you work through those feelings in a perfected, resurrected state with more light and knowledge? Will you have such an eternal perspective that you won't need to be #1 in his heart? Or will his heart be so perfected that there will be no such thing as #1 or inferior love, and all love will be as the love of God, so none of this will matter?

I think there are also questions to be asked by theoretically reversing the roles to having multiple husbands, even if that wouldn't happen and is outside the purpose of plural marriage.

Have you thought these things through to conclusion? I'm not implying you haven't; I'm asking because I'm interested in the perspective of those who seem intellectually and emotionally intelligent and also accepting of plural marriage.

Jared said...

"Would you believe such a revelation if Thomas S. Monson and the Quorum of the Twelve sustained it?"

Yes.

"Would you be OK with it as long as you didn't have to live it personally?"

Uhh, sure but I'd be "OK" with it if asked to live it personally (I'm not saying I'd like it but I would accept it).

"Would it be unacceptable to you even if only brethren with higher callings were instructed to practice it?"

No, as long as that instruction came from the prophet.

"If you're a man, would you ever consider being eternally sealed to another woman even if it was a spiritual marriage only?"

Yes, but not at this point in my life.

"Do you think that modern-day Mormon polygamy would look anything like Big Love?"

Haven't seen the show but, no, it wouldn't. When does Hollywood ever reflect reality?

"Do you think you could be happy in a polygamist relationship?"

Yes. Would it be hard work and stressful? Yes. Would it be an easy adjustment? No. But yes, I could be happy.

"Would you leave the Church over it? Why or why not?"

No. If the prophet and 12 sustained the practice, it is the mind and will of the Lord and I will not go against that. Yes, I'm orthodox LDS. You can call me simple-minded but that's my position. I'd question it and seek my own answer and not be terribly thrilled with the prospect of polygyny but I'd accept it.

Most of our strong distaste for polygyny comes from our culture. In a lot of Africa and especially in Muslim nations, polygyny is accepted (if not always widely practiced). Much of the world for most history practiced or at least accepted polygyny; it wasn't until relatively recently that non-Western societies started scaling back on it (although many still practice it).

My point is that much of our distaste (mine included) stems from our cultural values.

I'm not arguing for polygyny; it's not something I'd like. However, should the prophet and 12 reinstate it, I would follow their counsel.

Anonymous said...

I certainly don't see the fact that polygyny is practiced in some cultures as any kind of comfort. The cultures in which it is practiced also practice misogyny. And that dismissal of any rights of women and permission to use them as objects is probably essential to making polygyny "work".

Original Mohomie said...

I agree with Anonymous. I've never really been set at ease by the argument that something is historically traditional or practiced through most of time and accepted by many cultures. Slavery is one such practice I just will not support no matter how much anyone may argue it was done or condoned Biblically or a culturally accepted practice throughout history. I've heard otherwise "normal" Christians make such arguments even while saying they wouldn't necessarily be comfortable practicing it themselves.

I just don't buy the "it's always been done" or "God would never allow..." arguments.

Now, I'd much more easily accept the practice of plural marriage than embrace slavery. No contest whatsoever. And I'm not trying to open a can of worms to derail the conversation but explaining why that particular argument (historically traditional) holds no water in my mind.

Anonymous said...

So, totally random, and not really related to the conversation at hand, but I've long been dying to have a conversation about this....

Can sister wives have sex? Like, with each other? Are threesomes allowed in polygamous relationships?

If not, I couldn't do it, no way. The jealousy and doubt and self-questioning would be too much.

But if the sexual part of the relationship was multi-directional and totally open.... well..... we'd have to see.

DEFINITELY anonymous for this one, though I'm a new anony, not the same as any above.

The Faithful Dissident said...

:D

That's a very interesting question, Anon.

I would guess no. But that makes me think. Is a polygamous marriage considered like one big marriage involving several? Or is it many separate, different marriages connected to one man? If it's the former, I suppose there would be nothing wrong with them all sleeping in the same bed, for example. If it's the latter, isn't it kind of inappropriate for all the sister wives to be living together?

Anyone look at it differently?

thefirestillburning said...

Life gets so complicated in this theology! :D Sometimes I think it makes the notion of one spirit, many physical histories for each of us positively simple.

Aaron said...

No doubt I would leave the church. Polygamy is responsible for way too much grief and suffering of women and children in our church. I could not possibly have a happy relationship with my wife and kids under this kind of practice. And my wife and kids are #1 in my life, above the church on my list.

I cannot believe polygamy was commanded by God. It was so deceptive a practice in the beginning, and I can't believe that if it was truly commanded by God, that Joseph Smith would hide it from his wife, have secret weddings, even going so far as to have a bride dress up as a man, etc.

To see what it would be like in modern times all you have to do is look to the FLDS polygamists; there would be no difference.

Anonymous said...

I have been thinking of an answer to these questions since the post came out. My initial gut reaction to the post was an unequivocal yes! I would adore polygamy to come back. In fact my non-member husband and I joke about it quite often.

See, I have a severely disabled child. My 20 hour a day average is taken mostly by me and some by my husband. Very few resources and no family nearby and most of them really do not care anyway and try to pretend the problem doesn't exist. So after seven years in the trenches, I have a multitude of severe medical problems at 34. The most common help I am offered is to be told that I 'am a saint'.

If polygamy was available, yes I think that there would be problems, but maybe I could have an hour to myself a day for scripture study or other self improvement? Maybe my son would be able to have other 'parents' and siblings who care for him and what him to succeed. I remember reading once that the first female doctor in Utah was a polygamist and she felt she would never have been able to become a doctor without other women who were willing to help with the kids and housework (can't remember where I read it sorry).

Maybe I am being too idyllic, but to be able to share the burdens as well as the joys... that would be great. My doctor has been pretty blunt that I wouldn't have become sick if I had just had a little help.

Now that I say that, I guess I could say that my family is developing a asexual polygyny/polygamist relationship currently. As I have become more sick, a widowed male neighbour comes over twice a week to do basic work (such as chopping firewood) ans to lecture me on ways to better care for myself. My best friend who is separated from her husband currently brings her children over for a few hours a day a few days a week to play with my son so I can do other thinks like cleaning. In the last month, she has taken me to several doctor's appointments, helped with laundry, etc... I am not sure how my family would be surviving without this help.... Polygamy would give my family a little more stability - knowing that help and friendship was very close by. There must be other situations that we could look at and see that maybe more 'permanent' help, love and friendship would be beneficial.

Can we look at the possibilities that polygamy might give us a little better if we were able to leave the sexual aspects out?

The Faithful Dissident said...

"Can we look at the possibilities that polygamy might give us a little better if we were able to leave the sexual aspects out?"

I think you make a good point, Anonymous. The support network that you describe and wish for should exist. But is it polygamy? Does it require one man to head one huge family of multiple women and more kids than he can care for? I think it could be done without having to involve marriage and/or sexual relations. Sort of like in the case of your neighbour and friend who come by to help. It would be nice if there were more caring individuals -- or at the very least support available from your state -- to share the burden.

My heart goes out to you in your struggle. I work with difficult patients at work, but I get a break and get to come home and leave the stress at work. I can only imagine what it's like for you.

Sonia said...

Is the support network that is needed polygamy? I have no idea. But I think the support network must have a few things that make it almost impossible without some form of something very similar. The right group of people - hence why my husband and I joke about polygamy. :) The group would need to consist of people with a firm focus of the full goal (for example raising the children). The group would have to be tightly bound; i.e. marriage or some equivalent commitment that makes it clear to all members that walking away is not easy or "slackers need not apply" (I didn't word that right... I'm not sure how to, sorry). The group would also have to allow the individual members to 'fulfil' their basic wants and desires; i.e. If you want to work outside the home, that needs to be respected. Last of all, the group members must be there of their own free will and desire. That is really the tough one because the state does try to provide safety nets, but they tend to be woefully inadequate for a few reasons. One is that you can not pay someone to 'care'. You can pay someone to work for a certain time and even enjoy themselves, but you can't make them care. Opening your heart and mental energy to someone in your job is something that each person must decide and do for themselves. So paid safety nets will rarely work because of this factor. The staff will not exist or when they do, your child's needs are not necessarily the top priority or even in the top five.

So that is why polygamy always comes to mind for me. If my friend's husband returns home and they are no longer separated, than she will be far less likely to help out- as she has been my friend for years but really hasn't been able to help out until the separation. If my neighbour gets married, he will most likely not help art all- when he dates, he can disappear for weeks at a time. I can not speak for all or even a few in my position, but I really think that in some cases (some children, for example), a really tight focused community is needed. And it needs to be a long term commitment. (A program called wraparound has cropped up that gives parents some intense help for 6 months- 1 year. After that period of time the program ends even though almost all of the problems that qualified the family for the service have not changed. If it took the family seven years to get that desperate state, how can a year or less really 'fix' that? )

I am sorry about the long comment and the typos in my last comment. I also didn't mean to be anon- I was trying to figure out how to post. I'm Sonia.

The Faithful Dissident said...

Sonia, you bring an interesting perspective, so thanks for your comments.

Do you think that outside of your demanding situation because of your child, polygamy would have been best for future generations of Mormons? I can see the advantages when it comes to childrearing, but what about those without kids?

Also, I agree that you can't pay someone to care. I go to work and try my best to be caring and considerate, all the while maintaining a professional distance. If I didn't, it would kill me emotionally. I certainly care about them, but I'd be lying if I said it was in the same way that I care about my family. Nevertheless, even the imperfect relief system we have in Norway for elderly patients, mentally and physically disabled people, is pretty good. It could definitely be better and it doesn't replace family, but in some cases the people are better off in state institutions, collective housing, or foster care, than they are with their own families. Simply because the families don't have the mental and/or physical coping skills.

I wonder, though, how well the support network truly works in polygamous relationships. Due to human nature, we've heard of jealousies between the wives, and I wonder whether having "extra" mothers is necessarily a good thing. To be honest, I'm not sure I could give any better care to the child of a fellow "sister wife" than I could to the patients I work with. Certainly I could care for them and love them as human beings in a charitable sort of way, just as I would in a state-run facility, but I'm not sure I could really be a "mother" to them.

I certainly admire what you do for your son on a daily basis.

Sonia said...

FD- I guess I am not sure if it would have been best. Certainly the ranks in the pews would have been filled a lot faster. :)

Seriously though, I am not sure. I have gotten the impression that 'normal' families in many cases really struggle to with many problems. In America (2004), 1 in 200 americans suffer from 'food insecurity'. That is thought to be a low number and that is over 1 million individuals. How many families could use an additional breadwinner? Or an additional person to help make clothing, PTA, gardening,etc...to help save money but improve lifestyle? Also, how many families have elderly and disabled family members in nursing homes who would have them at home if they could because they had help? (There are so many young, physically disabled adults that live in nursing homes because that is the only safety net that will take them.) This isn't an easy question to answer....

You are correct in the fact that some people do better outside of their homes due to problems in the home. I am aware that I am looking at polygamy through a very different lens that most individuals. I am also aware that it would take the right group of people or there would be problems such as jealousy, etc... Some people have commented on their concern whether they would be the 'first' or 'best' wife... To me, that negates some of the benefits of the group if the person is so concerned about status in the group. But I can also see concern about how this idea can and is abused- the way that the boys are chased out of FLDS groups and the girls are married youing is a very good example. And I do think that it should be practised either way- whether extra wives or husbands.

So I do not know. Dedicated groups do exist such as Camp Hill organisations and people stay in these groups for the most part for decades. And the people who work there love to be a part of such a tight, loving community. However, I read stories of intentional communities that collapse upon themselves all the time. So I guess there are other reasons for these groups than children, but I think that unless we have the 'trial' we do not tend to think of big-view solutions. Unless your 30yo sibling has been forced to live in a nursing home because you can not afford to help money or time wise in a full time manner, why would you think about it? To the uninitiated, some problems/difficulties do not even enter their minds unless a small news blurb pops up on their news show/radio station. Maybe it really depends on how desperate you are... I will admit to being a faithful, but very desperate 'housewife'! LOL

Stephanie said...

My feeling about polygamy in the early church is that the Lord commanded it as an Abrahamic test to Joseph Smith and a few people. Joseph Smith asked about it, and the Lord delivered. I think it got out of hand after that. I am not sure how to explain Brigham Young other than it was used to help care for women who would otherwise be destitute. Those are the two reasons I understand the Lord uses polygamy: as a test and to raise posterity. However, I view both of these as very temporal, and I don't see how polygamy fits into eternal salvation. Nothing in the temple indicates polygamy to me. I have a deep hope that God is completely egalitarian, and that the treatment of women in this world (and in the church) is temporal, somehow related to our fallen state, but that it will be different in heaven. Eternal polygamy flies in the face of that hope, so I just don't think I can get on board.

To answer your questions:

Would you believe such a "revelation" if Thomas S. Monson and the Quorum of the Twelve sustained it?

I wouldn't want to, but I probably would.

Would you be OK with it as long as you didn't have to live it personally?

I don't know. Probably. I would have to assume it is temporal.

Would it be unacceptable to you even if only brethren with higher callings were instructed to practice it?

I don't know.

If you're a woman and your husband was asked to take on another wife, would you consider granting permission?

I would probably divorce him just for asking. Scott brings up an even more difficult scenario for me. I admit I would certainly divorce my husband if he approached me wanting to marry and have sex with another man.

Do you think that modern-day Mormon polygamy would look anything like Big Love?

No. That is fiction and not inspired of God.

Do you think you could be happy in a polygamist relationship?

No way in hell.

Stephanie said...

Oh, and would I leave the church over it? I honestly don't know. But, if the U.S. legalizes polygamy, I doubt the church would jump on board with it.

SUNN(0)))ofaB.C.Rich said...

I'm not a mormon and this polygamy stuff kinda disturbs me... I was checking out some other mormon blogs and saw some stuff that this Brigham Young fella said and to me it just seems very text-book cult leadership practice... pardon the "cult" mention there I know you guys get offended by that, but really it's the same thing David Koresh did, got as many of the women followers for himself as he could... to me he's just as repulsive as Warren Jeffs and as this Bishop guy brought up, if it was wrong then why wouldn't it be wrong now?

Doug the Ex-Fat Guy said...

I'd crap my undies..

Quark (of Star Trek, Deep Space Nine) to his brother, Rom (describing Rom's g/f)..."She's a female, Rom...and if there's ONE constant in the universe, it is that...women are trouble!!"

Anonymous said...

It is odd to hear LDS members express things that basically say this: "I believe Joseph Smith was a prophet and Thomas S Monson is a prophet, polygamy was practiced but now it isn't, God doesn't want it practiced now, I hope it doesn't come back." The fact is I am a polygamist. I have two wives. The marriage to my first wife required no permission other than a temple recommend interview of us both. However the second marriage required the approval of the first presidency of the church. Those men who signed the approval letter were Gordon B. Hinckley, Thomas S. Monson and James E. Faust. Brothers and Sisters wake up! The covenants we make with God are real. They are binding because He our Father honors them as long as we do. Do you think when governments of this world pass laws it changes God's mind. Can you see what a foolish idea that is? The idea that God requires us to get the approval of a group of mortal, uninspired, ungodly men to allow us to enter into a marriage is also foolish and evil. Marriage is a covenant between a man and a woman which is only valid after death upon the conditions stated in Sec 132 which also explains that men can have more than one wife. I am fully active in the LDS church and didn't lie and am not lying. Do you believe in God? Do you believe in life after death? Then you can awake to the fact that the LDS church is still approving plural marriages (at least polyandry) which will be binding after death. Just because the parties are not currently in a government sanctioned union doesn't mean God will not honor it. In fact the reason why the first presidency has to approve it is so God can honor it. So please stop saying and especially stop thinking that the Church and the Lord no longer allow plural marriage. They both do! It is only the church leadership which caved in to government pressure and doesn't allow it to be fully practiced now. There are thousands and thousands of wonderful women who have no man who can take them and have them sealed to the family of God. Do you understand that is what the sealing is, it is to God. That is why the LDS church will not give a cancellation of sealing to a woman until she has a new man to whom she will be sealed.
Sisters who are sealed to your husbands what do you feel when you see your sisters in the church who have no one to love them enough to take them to the temple? Do you think a mindset which says, “I have mine and I don’t care enough about you to share the blessing of being sealed to our Father.” will admit you entrance to the celestial world?
I personally would love to give this blessing to more of my sisters. And God never forces an ordinance upon any person. Those who pressure others into "obedience" are from Satan's plan not God's. So all you sisters out there that really want to be sealed to God and trust Him that plural marriage is a blessing, as soon as this temporary ban is lifted I am here for you. I will love you and care for you as I do my other wives (which both of them have testified to many others I am the best husband they have ever seen). And for those who are currently judging me as lustful remember as you judge so shall ye be judged. Those are your own faults you are projecting on to me. That will also bar you from entrance to God’s home. Please repent, I want to see you there. I don’t care if it is a 90 year old sister who has a moustache. If she wants to be sealed in the temple I will be there for her.

Anonymous said...

It is odd to hear LDS members express things that basically say this: "I believe Joseph Smith was a prophet and Thomas S Monson is a prophet, polygamy was practiced but now it isn't, God doesn't want it practiced now, I hope it doesn't come back." The fact is I am a polygamist. I have two wives. The marriage to my first wife required no permission other than a temple recommend interview of us both. However the second marriage required the approval of the first presidency of the church. Those men who signed the approval letter were Gordon B. Hinckley, Thomas S. Monson and James E. Faust. Brothers and Sisters wake up! The covenants we make with God are real. Do you believe in God? Do you believe in life after death? Then you can awake to the fact that the LDS church is still approving plural marriages (at least polyandry) which will be binding after death. Just because the parties are not currently in a government sanctioned union doesn't mean God will not honor it. In fact the reason why the first presidency has to approve it is so God can honor it. So please stop saying and especially stop thinking that the Church and the Lord no longer allow plural marriage. They both do! It is only the church members and their leaders which caved in to government pressure and don't allow it to be fully practiced now.
There is no future event that needs to happen for you to decide whether you accept plural marriage or not. Your acceptance of God is at this moment in the balance. His church still accepts plural marriage in the most important and eternal aspect. And God accepts it also. So the real question is whether you accept a God who accepts the doctrine of plural marriage.
Remember being sealed is being sealed to the family of God which lives in the highest degree of the Celestial world.
Sisters who are sealed to your husbands what do you feel when you see your sisters in the church who have no one to love them enough to take them to the temple? Do you think a mindset which says, “I have mine and I don’t care enough about you to share the blessing of being sealed to our Father.” will admit you entrance to the celestial world?

The Faithful Dissident said...

Anonymous, I'm not sure what to make of your comment, but I'd love to hear more details about your claims. You're seriously saying that the First Presidency under GBH gave you permission to marry a second wife when other people are excommunicated for it? And polyandry? Polyandry isn't even practiced in the temple anymore. A woman can only be sealed to one man.

It'd be fascinating if what you're claiming were true, but you'll probably be disappointed to hear that I don't believe you. Unless I've totally misunderstood your comment?

johnny said...

Polygamy sounds so heartbreaking to so many women and men. I would think that most relationships that started out with the best of intentions would soon flounder and turn into war of emotions and misunderstanding and animonisity. There is no way that I would think of polygamy as God's way of marriage.....it is a Human Rights issue to me. The reason to have marriage with one other person is that it is a commitment to another person that should only be to them....total commitment, fidelity, honesty, and affection. How else can a couple have security in their relationship. I would pose the question to men, "what if your wife brought another husband......then another, and then another......and then another one." Just because she was worthy to have as many as she wanted or if they wanted her. Most men would consider murder or leaving after about the 3rd husband. Why in the world would a god that loves his children want us to live with one gender enslaved to the other.....just because of differing physical gender identies we are treated with different laws. Why should females be treated in a way that disgraces and invalidates their deepest emotions of wanting to be loved and appreciated.

The man on here that offered to "allow" any woman to marry him who wanted to......must think you are really something fantastic. Are you really so generous that you would spread yourself so thin as to sleep with multiple women......wow....how selfless!!

Anonymous said...

Most divorced parents are practicing polygamists. Askonrush what court is like. I have an interesting story to tell about my polygamist style relationship prior to becoming a Mormon. My son's father is technically a rapist. I was pregnant at 15 and he fathered a child with a married woman that would eventually become his wife. We were good friends. I even became friends with his wife. I watched her kids and she watched mine. I ate with them and even stayed with them briefly when I separated from my husband. When I met my 2nd husband, he was hostile against the LDS church because he hated polygamy. It was kind of funny because I was still friends with my son's other family and actively participating in their life and they in mine (although never sexual). He told me about a girl he dated in high school that he wanted to marry but wouldn't because she said he needed to convert so they could marry in the temple. When I went to salt lake city looking for work I became interested in the LDS church. When talking on the phone to my husband about it, I felt in that moment he drifted away in a forever sort of sense. It was a physical sense to a heartfelt thing. He said he hated them because they were polygamists. When I spoke to the missionaries to join the church I asked them if they practiced polygamy and said I never would. It would be the one thing preventing me from joining (keep in mind, I was still actively involved with my older son's dad and his family, including cook and and caring for his children). Looking back I feel suspiciously guilty of polygamy, although I have never married in the temple. I didnt think much of it growing up with a baby as a teenager, either. It made life easier. We aren't friends any more because I don't feel right about it after becoming Mormon. Isn't that an interesting twist? There was just one thing that made me feel sad and angry about the idea of polygamy. It was what happened about a year ago. I was raped by a man and while he was doing so he told me he wanted to be my brigham young and would have me once a week! And share himself with other women. I cried and told him I thought I was never going to the temple again and of course, that seems inspiring to someone who just raped god out of you. It broke my heart because I felt like I couldn't go back after having sex with this lunatic. But mostly I thought about how I didnt want to be punished for Bringham Young's decisions. Why is it fair that I was raped and turned on this man by being a Mormon. He thought that meant he could do and have anything with me. I really have lost my heart for the church after that. It feels like Brigham Young raped me. But it's also hard because I looked like a polygamist too, and behaved like one. Even though that man didn't know me or my friendship with my son's father I felt it very acutely. I don't like to inspire men to be rape and abuse. So it's been a really rough year for me. I lost my church. I lost my best friends and I was raped. I'm sad, scared and tired. I don't recommend polygamy to anyone. I may have had a place at my son's dad supper table when I would help prepare meals or had a friend to talk to but I didn't have the sexual relationship that you need to have a healthy relationship with someone of the opposite sex. I was taken advantage of. In exchange for that friendship I traded away child support and ended up working a lot harder than I probably ever would have needed to. I was taken advantage of and I think polygamy does that. There are always people left out like a third wheel and I think some women would be used in awful ways by their men.