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Posts Tagged ‘polygamy’

polygamy1I’m sure you’re puzzled by the title of my article but please bear with me as I explain. Today I was watching a marathon of the past season of Sister Wives. I know, I don’t know how I can watch it either, but in my defense I have taken breaks from watching their show. The complete disregard for how God designed marriage gets to me, still I find it funny at times. I guess I’m easily amused. :)

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Mormon Decisions 10Journal of Discourses 24:126 “But let me refer you to another blessing connected with Abraham, namely, that in him and his seed should all the nations of the earth be blessed. Or, in other words, that God would honor him by making of him and his seed agents through whom He would communicate truth, intelligence and salvation to the world. It is said “the glory of God is intelligence,” and He is desirous to impart this intelligence to the human family, that through it they may be exalted to the Godhead.” – John Taylor, Salt Lake City, April 8, 1883

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Mormon Decisions 10History of the Church 6:448; “To the Marshal of said City, greeting.

You are here commanded to destroy the printing press from whence issues the Nauvoo Expositor, and pi the type of said printing establishment in the street, and burn all the Expositors and libelous handbills found in said establishment; and if resistance be offered to your execution of this order by the owners or others, demolish the house; and if anyone threatens you or the Mayor or the officers of the city, arrest those who threaten you, and fail not to execute this order without delay, and make due return hereon.

By order of the City Council,

Joseph Smith, Mayor.”

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Mormon Decisions 10Journal of Discourses 11:221; “Where did this commandment come from in relation to polygamy? It also came from God…When this system was first introduced among this people, it was one of the greatest crosses that ever was taken up by any set of men since the world stood…When I see any of our people, men or women, opposing a principle of this kind, I have years ago set them down as on the high road to apostacy, and I do to-day; I consider them apostates…” – John Taylor, Salt Lake City, April 7, 1866

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wedding ringsWhile gathering info for our Polygamy and Mormon Church Leaders series I kept noticing a common occurrence in the lives of these men. The issue for this article isn’t about polygamy (that’s for another day), rather my focus is on the age of the girls these men married.  I refer to them as girls because quite frankly that’s what they were; little girls, aka, children.

The last submission for our series included a young girl who was 13 years old when she married Perrigrine Sessions and each time I thought of that scenario I felt physically ill.  Sadly, many of the genealogy sites I referenced contained comments from his descendants who remarked they were surprised that ‘girls were married so young back then’.

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RS LogoAs most of our readers know, Melissa submits a small info page on the monthly LDS publication for the Visiting Teaching Messages.  The intended audiences for these publications are the women in their Relief Society program and their purpose is to provide encouragement and directions for living a godly life while following Christ.

All that got me to wondering what female Mormons today think of those in the Relief Society back in the days of Emma Smith.

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Mormon Decisions 10A Ministry of Meetings: The Apostolic Diaries of Rudger Clawson [p. 128] “[Saturday, 30 December 1899]…The principal topic of discussion was the attitude of the brethren when arrested and found guilty of unlawful cohabitation. Would it be proper for them to promise to obey the law—or rather express their intention to do so?

 

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Mormon Decisions 10Times and Seasons,Vol. 5, No. 6, pg 474; “Whereas brother Richard Hewitt has called on me to-day, to know my views concerning some doctrines that are preached in your place, and states to me that some of your elders say, that a man having a certain priesthood, may have as many wives as he pleases, and that doctrine is taught here: I say unto you that that man teaches false doctrine, for there is no such doctrine taught here. And any man that is found teaching privately or publicly any such doctrine, is culpable, and will stand a chance to be brought before the High Council, and loose his license and membership also: therefore he had better beware what he is about.” – Hyrum Smith, March 15, 1844

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My Five WivesAs you may have heard TLC has decided to add another show about the modern polygamist lifestyle to its nightly schedule. The new show is titled “My Five Wives” and follows the life of Brady and his wives: Paulie, Robyn, Rosemary, Nonie and Rhonda as they experience the ups and downs of being a polygamist family.

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Mormon Decisions 10Ensign, March 2014, “The Lord’s Standard of Morality”; “…He [God] needs to speak only once on the issue of morality, and that one declaration trumps all the opinions of the lower courts, whether uttered by psychologists, counselors, politicians, friends, parents, or would-be moralists of the day.

Contrary to much public sentiment, there is nothing negative or restraining about God’s moral standards. Rather, they are positive, uplifting, and liberating. They build relationships of trust, they enhance self-esteem, they foster a clear conscience, and they invite the Spirit of the Lord to bless individual and married lives. They are the proven standards for happy marriages and stable communities.

What, then, is the Lord’s standard for use of the sacred power of procreation—His standard of morality?…The procreative power is to be exercised in the marriage relationship for two key reasons: (1) to bind and strengthen ties between spouses and (2) to bring souls into the world. These uses have the blessing and endorsement of the Lord.

On the other hand, the procreative power is not to be exercised outside the husband-wife relationship. Accordingly, any conscious thoughts or voluntary actions that stimulate or result in the expression of the procreative power outside the marriage relationship are disapproved by the Lord.” – Elder Tad R. Callister

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Edward Stevenson

May 1, 1820 – January 27, 1897

Early Mormon PolygamistsUntil a month or so ago I had never heard of Edward Stevenson.  I obviously knew about the MTC (Missionary Training Center), but had no idea one of the buildings on BYU’s campus was named in his honor or what significance this man’s name surely holds for everyone whose shadow has crossed the doorway.

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Mormon Decisions 10Journal of Discourses 18:56; “God has strictly forbidden, in this Bible, plurality of husbands, and proclaimed against it in his law.” – Orson Pratt, Salt Lake City, July 11, 1875

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Amasa Mason Lyman

March 30, 1813 – February 4, 1877

Legacy: “anything handed down from the past, as from an ancestor or predecessor”.

Early Mormon PolygamistsAmasa’s legacy still proudly resounds in the lives of the many descendants that sprang from his family tree. Two of his wives were mothers to three LDS apostles, but two overriding facts overshadow the list of the renowned in Mormon historical circles.  His descendants seem to wear his pioneer name on their shoulders as a badge of honor while ignoring the obvious issues.

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Mormon Decisions 10Journal of Discourses 12: 312; “Our sisters need not be worried about any doctrine. Brother Penrose said it would be better for them if they believed in the doctrine of polygamy. But they do believe it; they know it is true, and that is their torment. It perplexes and annoys many of them, because they are not sanctified by the spirit of it; if they were there would be no trouble. I want to say this much—the sisters do believe it.” – Brigham Young

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John Doyle Lee

September 6, 1812 – March 23, 1877

Early Mormon PolygamistsI’ve studied countless stories of early Mormons in my lifetime. I’ve spent time listening to stories of gone-by eras from my own relatives and read diaries and history books of others.  While each story is significant, there are a few that have stuck with me over the years and I would imagine the life of John Doyle Lee will be added to that list.

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Lorenzo Dow Young

October 19, 1807 – November 21, 1895

Early Mormon PolygamistsIn our ongoing look at the early leaders of Mormonism we’re posting a look at Lorenzo Dow Young, Brigham’s youngest brother.

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Mormon Decisions 10D&C 132:16-17, 37; “Therefore, when they are out of the world they neither marry nor are given in marriage; but are appointed angels in heaven, which angels are ministering servants, to minister for those who are worthy of a far more, and an exceeding, and an eternal weight of glory. 17 For these angels did not abide my law; therefore, they cannot be enlarged, but remain separately and singly, without exaltation, in their saved condition, to all eternity; and from henceforth are not gods, but are angels of God forever and ever. 37 Abraham received concubines, and they bore him children; and it was accounted unto him for righteousness, because they were given unto him, and he abode in my law; as Isaac also and Jacob did none other things than that which they were commanded; and because they did none other things than that which they were commanded, they have entered into their exaltation, according to the promises, and sit upon thrones, and are not angels but are gods.”

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Mormon Decisions 10LDS Manual, Achieving a Celestial Marriage, p.65; “Consider this fact: Your marriage is a laboratory for godhood.”

Jeremiah 14:14; “Then the LORD said unto me, The prophets prophesy lies in my name: I sent them not, neither have I commanded them, neither spake unto them: they prophesy unto you a false vision and divination, and a thing of nought, and the deceit of their heart.”

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Mormon Decisions 10Messages of the First Presidency, October 1942, 6:170-185; “In the great revelation on the three heavenly glories, the Lord said, speaking of those who will inherit the lowest of these, or the telestial glory:

“These are they who are liars, and sorcerers, and adulterers, and whoremongers, and whosoever loves and makes a lie.” — (D&C 76:103.)  The doctrine of this Church is that sexual sin — the illicit sexual relations of men and women — stands, in its enormity, next to murder. The Lord has drawn no essential distinctions between fornication, adultery, and harlotry or prostitution. Each has fallen under His solemn and awful condemnation.” – James R. Clark

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In the latest episode of Breaking the Faith the group traveled to Salt Lake City, UT to stay in house a owned by a Mormon woman who helps the FLDS transition to the outside world. While I think it’s great she wants to help the FLDS girls find their way in this new life outside of their religion I can’t help but think it’s a little odd.

Both religions are cut from the same cloth woven by Joseph Smith. Both hold to up the Book of Mormon as scripture, both believe the practice of polygamy came from God; both believe you must make yourself worthy through obedience to the doctrines of the church and both consider Smith a prophet.

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