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Polygamy & Polygamist
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★ Polygamy & Polygamist

37,373.  The Prophet Joseph Smith there and then explained to me the doctrine of plurality of wives; he said that the Lord had revealed it unto him, and commanded him to have women sealed to him as wives; that he foresaw the trouble that would follow, and sought to turn away from the commandment; that an angel from heaven then appeared before him with a drawn sword, threatening him with destruction unless he went forward and obey the commandment. (Mormon & Polygamy)  Lorenzo R Snow, affidavit

 

 

37,374.  Now, sisters, list to what I say; with trials this world is rife.  You can’t expect to miss them all; help husband get a wife!  Now this advice I freely give, if exalted you will be, Remember that your husband must, be blessed with more than thee.  Chorus: Then, oh, let us say, God bless the wife that strives, And aids her husband all she can to obtain a dozen wives.  (Mormon & Polygamy)  W G Mills, Psalm cited Songs of Zion & cited Utah Historical Quarterly 1928 p58

 

 

37,375.  It is a fact worthy of note that the shortest lived nations of which we have record have been monogamic.  Rome ... was a monogamic nation and the numerous evils attending that system early laid the foundation for that ruin which eventually overtook her.  (Mormon & Polygamy)  George Q Cannon, Journal of Discourses XIII:202

 

 

37,376.  Not only were church leaders willing to violate the law to promote polygamy, they did not hesitate to blacken the character of individuals who threatened to expose the secret practice of plural marriage.  Sarah Pratt was not the only woman to suffer from this policy.  The 27 August 1842 Wasp, for example, branded Martha H Brotherton a ‘mean harlot’ and Nancy Rigdon suffered the same treatment after she opposed Smith’s polygamous proposals ... Jane Law, wife of Smith’s counselor William Law, was also blacklisted for rejecting Smith’s polyandrous proposal.  (Mormon & Polygamy)  Richard van Wagoner, ‘Mormon Polygamy: A History’ pp38-29


37,377.  Though the 1904 Manifesto sought and obtained Mormon confirmation of President Smith’s statements before the Smoot hearings, most Saints knew little of the covert post-Manifesto polygamy that Church leaders had been supporting.  (Mormon & Polygamy)  ibid.  p168

 

 

37,378.  My great-grandfather John D Lee was a polygamist.  He served under Joseph Smith and Brigham Young.  He had nineteen wives and sixty-four children so that he could become a god as God is now.  He really believed that God and Jesus are polygamists and that every Mormon man would have to have a lot of wives.  (Mormon & Polygamy)  Thelma Geer, author Mormonism, Mama and Me

 

 

37,380.  The idea of having more than one wife had become an integral part of the Mormon religion after Joseph Smith found it in 1830, but the Mormon Church officially abandoned the practice of polygamy in 1890, in part, so that Utah could gain statehood.


Still, some of its members continued to practice in secret at the risk of being excommunicated.  By 1935, some of the men who’d been expelled from the Mormon Church formed their own breakaway sect, first known as ‘The Work’ and decades later as the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  They viewed plural marriage as a central tenet – and the only way to attain eternal salvation.

Members of the FLDS believe they are following the true Mormon religion as it was first envisioned by Joseph Smith.  One of its central teachings is the idea of celestial marriage, in which a man must have a minimum of three wives to gain admittance to the highest of the three levels of heaven.  That [my] Dad was getting a third wife meant that he had begun to secure a place in the Celestial Kingdom for himself and his family.  (Mormon & Cults: FLDS & Polygamy)  Elissa Wall, Stolen Innocence pp7-9

 

 

37,381.  Those who take their religion most seriously return to polygamy because it has not been expunged from Mormon scripture.  (Mormon & Polygamy)  James R Spencer, author Beyond Mormonism

 

 

37,783.  In any event, it is easy to predict that within the FLDS community there would be a lot of pressure on fathers to put their daughters forward to be married as quickly as possible.  And Joseph Smith took a 14-year-old wife, didn’t he.  So the age of 14 is likely not coincidental.

One of the women interviewed on the Larry King show described her terror when she found out that her father had entered her name in the ‘joy book’.  She resorted to various kinds of acting out in an attempt to try to delay the announcement of her marriage. She eventually escaped the FLDS community at age 16.  In most cases, only a couple days’ notice was given between the announcement of marriage and the marriage itself.


The key witness at the Jeffs trial described her experience in similar terms.  The man she was married was her first cousin.  He was 19; she was 14.  He had regularly bullied her throughout their lives.  She touchingly described the emotional trauma she faced after a lifetime of believing that sex was dirty and then suddenly at age 14 start having sex with someone she not only did not love, but instead feared and detested.

The ‘joy book’?  This is straight out of Orwell’s 1984.  And, more to the point, straight out of mainstream Mormonism.  Remember the ‘Courts of Love’?  (Mormon & Cult: FLDS & Polygamy)  Bob McCue, board post 24th November 2006 ‘The Joy Book’

 

 

37,786.  It was all so superficial and to me phoney and shallow ... I prostituted myself to get to heaven.  (Mormon & Cult: FLDS & Polygamy)  Mary Mackert, polygamist wife

 

 

37,787.  I felt like one more mouth to feed.  Like a burden on my parents.  And it reduces men to just sperm donors.  (Mormon & Cult: FLDS & Polygamy)  Mary Mackert

 

 

37,382.  While the leaders were encouraged to qualify for their positions by living ‘the law’, many of the most faithful and dedicated lay members of the Church also entered plural marriage of their own free will.  They knew the true relationship between the manifesto and the higher law.  One example of this was the father of Camilla Eyring Kimball, wife of the current Church President, Spencer W Kimball.  On 3 November 1903 (over thirteen years after the manifesto was ‘unanimously’ accepted by the Church) her father, Edward Christian Eyring, took his wife’s younger sister, Emma Romney, as a plural wife.  The marriage was performed at Colonia Juarez by the Stake President, Anthony W Ivins, who had been sent to Mexico by President Wilford Woodruff to continue performing plural marriages after the manifesto, even though they knew such marriages were illegal in Mexico.  (Mormon & Polygamy)  Heber Grant Ivins, Polygamy in Mexico p5

 

 

37,383.  Any biography of Joseph Smith, or a listing of his accomplishments or innovations, no matter how concise, which fails to mention polygamy, is like writing a biography of Richard Nixon without mentioning Watergate.  (Mormon & Polygamy)  Randy Jordan, board post 4th April 2005

 

 
37,384.  In the case of a man marrying a wife in the everlasting covenant who dies while he continues in the flesh and marries another by the same divine law, each wife will come forth in her order and enter with him into his glory.  (Mormon & Polygamy)  Charles Penrose, Mormon Doctrine Plain and Simple, or Leaves from the Tree of Life p66

 

 

37,385.  Former Utah senator Jake Garn was reluctant to remarry following the death of his first wife, Hazel, in 1976, but he soon realized that he could not be both a father and a mother to his children.  When he began dating Kathleen Brewerton, who would become his second wife, questions soon arose about how his first wife would feel should he become sealed to a second wife.  The couple took their questions to President Spencer W Kimball.


He said he did not know exactly how these relationships will be worked out, but he did know that through faithfulness all will be well and we will have much joy, Brother Garn later recalled.  Kathleen told him that she was afraid of offending Hazel.  President Kimball’s demeanor seemed to change.  From being somewhat hesitant in his earlier answers, he now became sure and spoke with firmness.  He looked right at Kathleen and with a tear forming in his eye, he said, ‘I do know this: you have nothing to worry about.  Not only will she accept you, she will put her arms around you and thank you for raising her children.’  (Mormon & Polygamy)  Jake Garn, Why I Believe p13

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