The new reality show Breaking The Faith follows a group of young FLDS women in their quest to break free from the confines of Fundamental Mormonism. I had a chance to catch the show’s premiere Sunday, and I have to say I’m looking forward to seeing more.
The mainline Mormon Church, which is now led by Thomas S. Monson has repeatedly denied any correlation between them and FLDS led by Warren Jeffs, or any other polygamous splinter group.
The Mormon Church may reject the FLDS as being part of their faith, but they still revere Joseph Smith as prophet and founder of their religion, just as the FLDS do. This prophet that they both look to as a leader in their church is the same man who had the revelation which has led to women being treated as commodities in both religions.
In the 132nd section of the Doctrine and Covenants Smith reveals the new revelation he had on marriage. He calls it “the new and everlasting covenant”. It starts off by Smith asking the Lord why various men in the bible had many wives. After his inquiry he says God revealed to him His command and desire for Smith to practice and introduce the new doctrine of plural marriage to the Mormon people.
As I’ve read different quotes by the Mormon leaders it sounds as though the women they married were something to be acquired, as another would collect antiques or baseball cards.
Heber Kimball said – “Brethren, I want you to understand that it is not to be as it has been heretofore. The brother missionaries have been in the habit of picking out the prettiest women for themselves before they get here, and bringing on the ugly ones for us; hereafter you have to bring them all here before taking any of them, and let us all have a fair shake.” ( The Lion of the Lord, New York, 1969, pp 129-130. Original source: The New York Times, April 17, 1860)
Brigham Young stated – “Do you think that I am an old man? I could prove to this congregation that I am young; for I could find more girls who would choose me for a husband than can carry any of the young men.” (Journal of Discourses, v. 5, p. 210)
They didn’t marry these women for love, but for their own social standing in their community. Thanks to Joseph Smith the same thing is happening again and again in polygamous communities. Young women and girls are treated as a means to an end. The end being for the Mormon man to be exalted and earn his godhood, and to have a posterity that goes on and on. While the women are left feeling used and abused.
The Mormon Church may tell the world polygamy is behind them, and has no part in their doctrine today. This couldn’t be further from the truth. According to Bruce R. McConkie polygamy will start again after the Second Coming.
“Obviously the holy practice [of polygamy] will commence again after the Second Coming of the Son of Man and the ushering in of the millennium.”(Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine)
No, the Mormon Church may not practice polygamy as they did years ago, but they do practice a “spiritual polygamy”. This happens when the wife of a worthy Mormon priesthood holder passes away, he is then free and clear to marry again in the temple for time and all eternity. Whereas if the husband of a worthy Mormon woman passes she can marry again, but this time only for time, meaning she wouldn’t be with her second husband in eternity.
One of the things I hated to even think about as a Mormon was the possibility of sharing my husband with another. I heard many church members say that there will be more worthy women than men in heaven, and because of this, many women would be asked to share their husbands with another.
This would ensure that all women will have the opportunity to receive the blessings of the priesthood, to live in the Celestial Kingdom, and so on.
Considering the internal struggles I wrestled with at even the possibility of living this doctrine in the future, I can only imagine the heartache these women go through as they face the reality of living it now.
I pray for them and I pray that as they make their way out of this religion they will also allow the real God of the universe to come into their hearts and reveal himself to them.
For further insight and information on Celestial Polygamy check out Michelle’s article here: http://lifeafterministry.com/2013/11/12/celestial-polygamy/