Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Polygamists Fight to Be Seen As Part of Mainstream Society - washingtonpost.com

Polygamists Fight to Be Seen As Part of Mainstream Society - washingtonpost.com

Let me make something clear-
1. There was nothing in this article that was newsworthy of the front page of the Washington Post.
2. It failed miserably to explain what a Mormon is, so allow me to help you there. First, a Mormon is anyone who believes in the Book of Mormon. The Book of Mormon is a book that its believers and followers consider to be a second testament (the first is the Bible) of Jesus Christ. The Book of Mormon was restored to the Earth by way of the translation skills of a prophet, Joseph Smith, Jr. This in turn restored the Gospel and the Lord's Church (which fell away in the years following Christ's death, causing the splitting up of His established church, and the creation of so many different factions of churches). After Joseph Smith established this new and restored church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints, he was martyred. And shortly following his martyrdom, a group of fundamentalists splintered from the Church. And since then various other factions have splintered from the Church. But all of these different factions are called Mormons because they believe the Book of Mormon.
3. Not all Mormons condone or tolerate polygamy. I am Mormon, and I am LDS, a member of the original church retored by Joseph Smith, Jr. I do not condonoe or tolerate polygamy. Most Mormons do not.
4. Yes, the original Mormon Church practised polygamy over a century ago. That practice ended over 100 years ago. You cannot be a member of the LDS Church and practice polygamy.
5. There was nothing in this article so newsworthy or interesting that it deserved the front page of a nationally read newspaper. Shame on the Post for encouraging more anti-Mormon coverage.


  1. Anonymous10:57 PM

    Have you read section 132 of the D&C?

    Part of the original effort of Joseph Smith was to restore the House of Israel. The pattern of Israel’s house, ie Jacob (whose name was changed to Israel) and his four wives, Leah, Rachel, Zilpah and Bilhah, 12 sons and a daughter Dinah who did some remarkable stuff herself.

    While LDS members today may not appreciate it, Fundamentalist Mormons are here to stay, they have not gone anywhere since 1904 when the second manifesto was signed nor are they likely to go anywhere soon. It might also be noteworthy for the LDS members concerned about the manifestos (both the one in 1890 and the second one in 1904) to remember that Joseph F. Smith lead the church until November of 1918, a full blown, full fledged, child raising, father of 43 living plural marriage openly until his death.

    I think there was newsworthy information in the Post article and I don't feel it was anti-mormon. If 40,000 people are living this way, they deserve a voice too. Considering many LDS members even today would not be here if their ancestors had not lived this, seems silly that folks get so upset about it.

    It will be most interesting to see if the Supreme Court decides to hear the Rodney Holm case.

    I am not sure which group you refer to that split shortly after JS death. Emma took her boys and started another church with Bidamon - mostly over the fact she was really unhappy with Joseph living plural marriage. That was the reorganized church. It has now changed it's name. Emma never came west with the main body of the saints, nor did her children - if that is the group that split?

    The other groups did not spilt - however their original founders were men called to go to Mexico to continue the principle by church leaders at the time - ie. Anthony Ivins for example.

  2. Zwoelfet12:28 AM


    The Strangites (sp?) split in that timeframe, as well as a couple of other, smaller groups.

    From what I saw of the Post article, they made it appear that the Jeffs' group is part of the LDS Church (which it is not). Since Jeffs is not new, it is only news insofar as can be used to cast a shadow on the Church.

  3. oooh, 40,000 people?? hmm.. well, in that case, yes, let's give them a voice.
    as a matter of fact, i think right at this moment that at least 40,000 people have painful hang nails. i think those 40,000 people deserve a voice to. after all, hang nails can be pesky and distracting. and they should definitely qualify for sick leave. i mean 40,000 people, that is significant, right?
    um, no, it's not. 40,000 people isn't even a drop in the bucket. it's nothing.
    Fundamentalists Mormons are here to stay. I'm not arguing that. But they are in no way shape or form related to the religion that I practice or the Church I attend. In fact, most of their core beliefs aren't even remotely related to those of the LDS Church. And they need to stop acting like they are related in order to get a stronger voice.
    And yes, it is called "splitting" away when men start forming their own congregations and introducing their own practices away from the mainstream of the original church.

    for anyone interested- http://scriptures.lds.org/en/dc/132

  4. Anonymous1:38 PM

    Justice Scalia's dissent in the Romer vs Evans case seems to suggest that he, as a Supreme Court Justice, feels 40,000 may have some rights. As does Justice Christine Durham of the Utah Supreme Court - we shall see.

    Here is a brief excert from Justice Scalia:
    "The constitutions of the States of Arizona, Idaho, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Utah to this day contain provisions stating that polygamy is "forever prohibited." See Ariz. Const., Art. XX, par. 2; Idaho Const., Art. I, Section 4; N. M. Const., Art. XXI, Section 1; Okla. Const., Art. I, Section 2; Utah Const., Art. III, Section 1. Polygamists, and those who have a polygamous "orientation," have been "singled out" by these provisions for much more severe treatment than merely denial of favored status; and that treatment can only be changed by achieving amendment of the state constitutions. The Court's disposition today suggests that these provisions are unconstitutional, and that polygamy must be permitted in these States on a state-legislated, or perhaps even local-option, basis--unless, of course, polygamists for some reason have fewer constitutional rights than homosexuals.

    The United States Congress, by the way, required the inclusion of these antipolygamy provisions in the constitutions of Arizona, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Utah, as a condition of their admission to statehood. "

    It would appear Justice Scalia does not think they are hangnails.

    As far as Joseph F. who was pres till 1918 here is a brief quote from him

    July 7, 1878, Sunday morning; Salt Lake Tab.; Joseph F. Smith.

    "Some people have supposed that the doctrine of plural marriage was a sort of superfluity, or non-essential to the salvation or exaltation of mankind. In other words, some of the
    Saints have said, and believe, that a man with one wife, sealed to him by the authority of the Priesthood for time and eternity, will receive an exaltation as great and glorious, if he is faithful, as he possibly could with more than one. I want here to
    enter my solemn protest against this idea, for I know it is false. . .The marriage of one woman to a man for time and eternity by the sealing power, according to the law of God, is a fulfillment of the celestial law of marriage in part --- and is
    good as far as it goes --- But this is only the beginning of the law, not the whole of it. Therefore, whoever has imagined that he could obtain the fullness of the blessings pertaining to this celestial law, by complying with only a portion of its conditions, has deceived himself. He cannot do it."

    There is a very long list of plural marriage quotes by early church leaders here:


  5. justin4:45 PM

    Erin, you should look into polygamy. Just think, next time you make one of those lists instead of agonizing over which one to choose you could just marry them all and be done with it.

  6. Justin, That's called polyandry, not Polygamy,

  7. Jules1:12 AM

    What I find most amusing is that everyone commenting anonymously completely missed the point. The media is portraying this as an LDS issue when it simply is not. We do not condone polygamy any more than we condone gay marriage. Why? Because the prophet has issued a proclamation that says so. Read the Proclamation on the Family: marriage is one man, one woman. And I really don't think Joseph F. Smith is a great one to be quoting in support of modern living. He also said evolution never happened.

    PS--by saying this it in no way means I think Jospeh F. was misled or a false prophet. I'm saying that the truths of God are eternal, but He gives us those truths in small doses when He sees we're ready or worthy of them.

  8. justin1:17 PM

    Doesn't polygamy cover both polygyny and polyandry?

    Btw, you're all welcome in my harem any time.

  9. I can't even handle one man, how could I ever be expected to handle multiples?

  10. SistyUgler12:05 AM

    Sorry, if I post twice. I am not sure if my comment got posted or not. But I forgot to say something, so now I have a chance to add it at the end.

    You may mock the fact that 40,000 polygamists feel they deserve a voice. But I don't think that you are looking at who the people are that make up polygamists. Polygamists are not just random people, they are large families. Not only are they people who live in a family, they live amongst other polygamist families and not just some families but thousands of other families. Polygamists are not spread out over the US they are highly and mainly concentrated in UT, AZ, CO, Canada, and Mexico. This means that where ever polygamy exists, it exists in huge numbers making up a strong community. A community not made up of single people who may fade in and out of life but people who all belong to a family. While living here in Salt Lake, just about every time I go to the park, a museum, or to the movies I see polygamists. How can I tell? Just like you can tell when a new ward member never attended public school but was always home schooled. You just know.

    So, the point is they may not need a voice where you are but where I am they are everywhere and so I can appreciate them wanting a "voice".

    My second thought. For all the people who are leaving their comments anonymous... I can only think of two reasons why you would do so. One, because you want to keep peace and still be able to disagree with your friend Erin. Two, you know too much about Mormon polygamy and therefore you have read too much about what the LDS church does not want you to think about. If you know too much about the actual doctrine of the early church then you have been reading unapproved books. Funny isn't it?

    I don't think the article was in poor taste. It merely gave the history for the only reason polygamy exists at all in the US. Also, haven't you ever wondered what action the LDS Church would take if they legalize it? It was taken away because the Saints are supposed to be law abidding citizens and it being against the law, it came to a point when the Saints could no longer keep breaking that law. So, if it is no longer against the law... You do the math. So, in a way the gays are accomplishing God's purposes.

  11. Sistyugler, Mormons weren't the only people who practiced polygamy at the time the 1890 Manifesto came out, but we alone were vilified for it. People today are still prosecuted for bigamy, in fact. It has never been an exclusively Mormon thing. The whole point of this post was the fact that the media continually portrays LDS as backwoods polygamy freaks, and I think the recent upswing recently is for 2 reasons: Warren Jeffs was caught recently and is now on trial for all the heinous things he did as "prophet" of his cult, and Mitt Romney is running for president. If the media can tie these two together, they can undermine his chances as a candidate.

    And gays accomplishing God's purpose? Seriously...There are good gay people everywhere but I thougt you would know better than this.

  12. SistyUgler10:42 AM

    The mormons were the only Christians in America who said that God ordained their use of polygamy, other individuals practiced it but were not taking it to the point of saying that God had spoken and the only right way to be married is in polygamy. That was unique to Mormons in America (and any visiting Muslim sheiks). This was the aspect of mormon polygamy that Americans got angry about.

    I never said that all gay people are bad. Don't put words in my mouth. I simply said that the gay agenda (Marriage in any form amongst consenting adults) fits nicely with bringing polygamy back to the church, which by the way never left. Most of the quorom of the 12 and a large body of the church are in polygamous marriages right now, they are sealed to more than one woman. The church does believe in polygamy, they keep it quiet by not having them living at the same time. But in the eternal scheme of things they are in fact polygamists. We are told by Joseph, Brigham, and the early prophets that it is Gods true form of marriage and now the gay agenda is helping to bring it back into the open.

  13. SistyUgler11:00 AM

    Jules, the mormons were the only Christian group in America that said that God had spoken and ordained their practice of polygamy. Some individuals practiced it but it was the Mormons (and Muslims) who said that it was Gods highest form of marriage. It was the Mormons continued lying about its practice that infuriated Americans.
    You claim that this article is just Mormon hating however, the church lied about practicing it then and to outsiders (the press) I can see how they could think that the church lies about it now, especially when you consider that most of the church leaders and a large body of the saints are polygamists today. They are sealed to more that one woman. Polygamy is practiced by the mainstream LDS church it just isn’t obvious because we wait until the 1st wife is dead.

    Please do not put words in my mouth. I never said that gays were bad I simply stated that their agenda of marriage in any form among consenting adults is working to bring back the opportunity for Mormons to practice polygamy openly as they did for the first 90 years of the church’s existence.

  14. SistyUgler11:02 AM

    Sorry for the double post the comment field freaks out with long posts. I'll use word from now on.

  15. I'm not going to fight with anyone on the subject. I just quoted your words and expressed disappointment that you would use them. Yes, Mormons practiced polygamy because they thought it was sanctioned by God. They no longer do, and I believe the Proclamation on the Family clarifies where God and LDS should stand on the subject now, because we believe in modern revelation.

    Why is it still shrouded in secrecy? Who knows. The Lord saw fit not to require us to live it anymore and that whould be enough. It was more important for the church to become mainstream so the gospel could go forth than it was to live the law of plural marriage, and polygamy was a huge barrier. Even now, a hundred plus years later, we can see people using it as a weapon against us. As for living it now, well, my husband knows if I die and he remarries, I will be haunting him while he and his new wife do married people stuff (ahem!) It'll be ugly, let me tell you!

  16. Why do so many people think that if polygamy were suddenly legal that the LDS (note the distinction between LDS and Mormon here) Church would go back to polygamy?
    It isn't the LAW that keeps us from polygamy. It is the commandment from God that told us to stop. Just like it was a commandment from God that had us start doing it in the first place.
    Really, SistyUgler, what this comes down to is whether or not you believe prophets act on their own behest? Or do the will of God?
    LEgalizing polygamy won't mean the LDS Church returns to it. Only a commandment from God could make that happen again.
    Let's say there is a commandment from God that the LDS Church should practice polygamy again, but it is illegal to do so here in the States. Would we do it anyway? No. We also have a commandment to obey the laws of the land. And God wouldn't give conflicting commandments. While I wouldn't complain if the commandment to obey the laws of the land was repealed (no more traffic tickets!), I think it is highly unlikely that will ever happen.


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