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Divorce > Marriage?

Emerson Dunne
Greenhorn

Joined: Oct 19, 2000
Posts: 28
Can someone explain to me why it is wrong (infact, illegal) to be happily married to more than woman AT ONE TIME, but not wrong to be unhappily married to 5 woman OVER TIME (i.e. ending in divorce).
http://dailynews.yahoo.com/h/ap/20010519/us/prosecuting_polygamy_19.html
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And when you get done explaining this to me, please address why the 1 man goes to jail and 4 of the 5 women (or all 5 women) don't? Marriage, particularly in this case, does not seem like an action one can do alone... surely more than one must be guilty if anyone is guilty.
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And finally, do you think the Utah guy not be facing jail time if he had just married only one woman and dated the other 4 at the same time? I'm pretty sure the Mayor of New York is married and dating; and no one seems to be bringing charges against him. (except his wife, of course... which makes me wonder how a guy who can't seem to manage his own relationships is going to manage the complexity of one of world's most important cities... ah.. but that's a topic for another thread....)
Greg Harris
Ranch Hand

Joined: Apr 12, 2001
Posts: 1012
you cannot blame the mayor of new york. he is only following the example of our former president...
the article i read in newsweek said this guy from utah married all the girls while they were teenagers, but then divorced them to "stay within the letter of the law..." technically if he is only married to one of them, then i guess he isn't doing anything legally wrong. however, 2 of his (ex)wives are sisters... now there is an interesting twist. there is a picture in my newsweek of him, all 5 wives and 25 children... what is this guy thinking?


what?
Tony Alicea
Desperado
Sheriff

Joined: Jan 30, 2000
Posts: 3222
    
    5
The guy is a child rapist and will be treated as such.


Tony Alicea
Senior Java Web Application Developer, SCPJ2, SCWCD
Matthew Phillips
Ranch Hand

Joined: Mar 09, 2001
Posts: 2676
I don't know the particulars of the case, but I do feel that if a person secretly marries multiple partners then the person should be punished. If several consenting adults decide to have a group marriage then I don't see where it's my business or the governments.
Matthew Phillips


Matthew Phillips
Emerson Dunne
Greenhorn

Joined: Oct 19, 2000
Posts: 28
Tony, if the issue is that this guy is a rapist (child or otherwise), then I agree he belongs in prison. I fully support the State agressively prosecuting rapists.
What I fail to understand is why people, and particularly governments, are so against the idea of non-traditional relationships. If you've got 6 consenting adults who have decided that they find happieness living as a married family then I think we (and governments) should support them in their pursuit of happiness. I think history has proven again and again that societies ills don't come about from happy people; it is when people feel they can't find happiness that problems arise.
If this case is really about trying to figure out how to put a rapist in jail, then I think the Government should try to make their case on that issue alone. If they can't make their case on evidence pertaining purely to the case, then we all should be worried about the manner in which justice is being sought.

Greg Harris
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Joined: Apr 12, 2001
Posts: 1012
interesting point, daniel... not only alimony, but how is he supposed to pay child support for 25+ children?
i am not sure, but i have heard rumors that the legal age (with parental concent) to marry here in georgia was 14 a few years ago. i know it is 14 in alabama right now because there is a local church that sent some of their 14-year-old girls over to alabama to be married... that is just wrong if you ask me.
George Brown
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Joined: Sep 26, 2000
Posts: 919
Originally posted by Greg Harris:
i am not sure, but i have heard rumors that the legal age (with parental concent) to marry here in georgia was 14 a few years ago. i know it is 14 in alabama right now because there is a local church that sent some of their 14-year-old girls over to alabama to be married... that is just wrong if you ask me.

According to a friend in Alabama (who agrees about how it is wrong) you would need parental consent to marry there at 14, and she also said that the law is in the state constitution, which is being changed - a lengthy process because once the laws have been rewritten the whole state has to vote to get them changed. However, she says that in Mississipi you wouldn't need parental consent to marry at 14.
As they say, 'thank god for mississipi'.
Greg Harris
Ranch Hand

Joined: Apr 12, 2001
Posts: 1012
yea, the parental concent thing in alabama is true... this church is in a lot of trouble and all over the news. apparently they spank (beat) their children in front of the congregation, they marry the girls off at a young age (14) and i do not think their living conditions are too good, either.
about 40 children were taken by the department for child services (DFCS, i think) a month or two ago, but the parents will not change because they do not think they are doing anything wrong... i think most of those 40 children belonged to 2 families!
George Brown
Ranch Hand

Joined: Sep 26, 2000
Posts: 919
Sometimes it seems to me that AL is the whipping boy of the States (all of them or maybe just the yankee states - I don't know, I'm just a foreigner who hears AL-baiting in US TV and Film from time to time). I can't believe that 'they' (statewide) have such bad living conditions... or is it just the one church or those two families?
You can find poor living conditions all round the world, and bad parents aren't limited to one area either.
As for polygamy, I would have thought that much of the issue there is the way that certain sects of mormons in utah (and elsewhere?) shamelessly flout the laws of their land, citing religious beliefs as the motivation. I know that the US constitution does all it can to protect diverse religious beliefs and ways of life, but where that protection conflicts with federal and/or state law I would hope and imagine that law is the bottom line.
To try to draw a parallel, would the US legal machine turn a blind eye to the use of ganja by rastas where their religious beliefs consider it to be a sacrament? With the US 'war on drugs' I somehow doubt it.
Greg Harris
Ranch Hand

Joined: Apr 12, 2001
Posts: 1012
oh no, i was not referring to Alabama's living conditions. the families i am talking about live here in Atlanta, Georgia... they are just poor families (probably because they have 10 children each) living off government handouts...
they are sending their daughters to Alabama to be married at age 14. i guess because we changed our law a few years ago, but Alabama still allows it with parental permission.
Anonymous
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Joined: Nov 22, 2008
Posts: 18944
For the record:
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints ( known commonly as Mormons ) does not condone or endorse polygamy in any form. Those that practice it have all been excommunicated from that church and are only members according to themselves. Mormons do not recognize them as members. It would be like Jesse Jackson claiming to be Catholic. The Pope would disagree, I think.
Nathan Pruett
Bartender

Joined: Oct 18, 2000
Posts: 4121

George,

Believe it or not... the use of Peyote (hallucinogen) is legal for use in certain Native American religious cerimonies, yet is considered an illegal drug for all other purposes...

Yet, I really doubt that Rastafarians would be able to legally use "ganja"... I am personally not a Rastafarian, and don't know any personally, so I am not sure whether the use of "ganja" is simply a lifestyle choice that many Rastafarians make, or is prescribed by their religion ( Book of Rasta, 13:11 "Thou shalt hit thy bong no less than twice a fortnight, and no more than the prescribed six times daily." ( Sorry if I offended any Rastafarians out there... ) ), if it is not a tenet of their religion that they must smoke ganja, then there is no chance that the govt. would legalise it for them. Also, with the current attitude ( i.e. the "war on drugs" ) it would be very hard to pass a law legalizing the use of "ganja" under any circumstances... even if it did fall under the "seperation of Church and State" area... Everyone knows that politicians can pick and choose what the Constitution applies to and doesn't apply to...

My $0.02 cents,
-Nate


-Nate
Write once, run anywhere, because there's nowhere to hide! - /. A.C.
Greg Harris
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Joined: Apr 12, 2001
Posts: 1012
haha, when i was in the Navy some people started a Wiccan worship service... i thought that was kind of strange to have on a United States War Ship. i started joking about starting a Rastafarian Worship Service so we could all get high once a month.
needless to say, the chaplain did not find it funny and we never got to have one. but if the Wiccans can worship dirt ( or whatever ), then why can't i worship the holy herb?
sorry if i offended any Wiccans.
Connie Boyd
Ranch Hand

Joined: Feb 22, 2001
Posts: 73
This is way off topic now, but when I was in a high school, a friend of mine got busted for dress code violation for wearing a concert T-shirt that said Farm Road 666. (Basically a black t-shirt, with a white Texas and the black numerals 666. That's what some major road signs look like in TX.)
So, he got busted, but other teens could wear their church T-shirts with graphic representations of the crucified Jesus.
I never really found that to be fair, particularly since there isn't anything inherently evil about the number 666, other than that it is the number of the beast.
Connie Boyd
Ranch Hand

Joined: Feb 22, 2001
Posts: 73
Oh, and on the topic at hand, I don't know much about polygamy, but I think that consenting adults should be able to participate in such relationships if they so desire. Some may argue that you are violating certain values and raising children with a perverted sense of what a family should be, but there are a ton of kids raised in much worse environments.
Dave Vick
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Joined: May 10, 2001
Posts: 3244
Another point on the whole multiple wives thing is that they can say having multiple wives is bad and try to stop people from doing it, but they have nothing to say if you just decide to all love together. Of course then you run into the whole religious issue of cohabitation and not being married so I wont go there.
just my 2 cents
Dave


Dave
Joseph Russell
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jan 08, 2001
Posts: 290

Orginally posted by: Emerson Dunne
it is when people feel they can't find happiness that problems arise.

So, if the only way I can find happiness is through raping women is that okay? Why is it not okay?
America was founded on biblical roots and this is why the only legal recognition of marriage is between one man and one woman (except for a few states).
Who said separation of church and state in the first place? Definitely not our founding fathers. I think you'll find that our beloved supereme court made up that phrase.
George Brown
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Joined: Sep 26, 2000
Posts: 919
I don't know any Mormons personally, but I understand from my reading that they believe that they will take their family into the afterlife with them, and it confers somehow more 'kudos' with the big G if you have a bigger family. So the polygamists are just extending that belief, so their families are bigger than others.
I would love to know where the idea for this sect or cult came from. And I expect some may object to the use of the word 'sect' because most religions believe themselves to be the one true religion (which would make it a cult of course). Has anyone read the book of mormon anyway? didn't the writer claim that it was dictated to him by god?
anyone here a mormon? do correct me if my statements are off the mark. I am foreign (to utah) after all.
[This message has been edited by George Brown (edited May 30, 2001).]
Nathan Pruett
Bartender

Joined: Oct 18, 2000
Posts: 4121

Not trying to start a flame war, but...

I don't know any Mormons personally, but I understand from my reading that they believe that they will take their family into the afterlife with them,


True... I don't know your religious beliefs, but if you believe there is an afterlife... wouldn't it make sense that your family would be there with you?

and it confers somehow more 'kudos' with the big G if you have a bigger family.


Untrue... I don't know of anywhere that this idea is espoused in the Book of Mormon.

I would love to know where the idea for this sect or cult came from.


Ummm... God. At least that's what He told me...

And I expect some may object to the use of the word 'sect' because most religions believe themselves to be the one true religion (which would make it a cult of course).


I don't mind... if you don't mind me calling your religion a cult or a sect...

Has anyone read the book of mormon anyway?


Yes... unfortunately I don't read it as much as I should...

didn't the writer claim that it was dictated to him by god?


God did not dictate the BoM to Joseph Smith per se... the BoM was written by prophets in the past... God helped Joseph Smith find the BoM and gave him the power to translate it. There is another section (called Doctrine & Covenants) that was recieved as revelation from God...

anyone here a mormon?


Obviously, yes... I assume there are some others floating around here as well...

do correct me if my statements are off the mark.


Don't worry... I have...

I am foreign (to utah) after all.


So am I... I live in Massachusetts... Actually, no matter where you live, I would bet that there are Mormons there... the largest concentration of Mormons, of course, are in Utah, but they are all across the United States, and in most foreign countries... If you try to look them up in the phone book under "Mormans" however, you will be out of luck... We prefer to be called "The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints".
Please do not take offense... I did not take any offense at your post... Just trying to clear up any misconceptions...

-Nate
George Brown
Ranch Hand

Joined: Sep 26, 2000
Posts: 919
No offense taken whatsoever.
So... how does the mormon (tcotldsojc is a bit of a mouthful) religion differ from all the other protestant (I use the word protestant to mean all the religions that see christ as the son of god yet do not hold the pope to be the appointed spiritual leader on earth) belief systems? What is the defining difference from the Methodists, Baptists, Episcopalians, Lutherans etc.? Clearly those 4 I mention have defining differences. For tcotldsojc is it only that there is an extra bundle of literature attached to it?
I am genuinely curious.
George Brown
Ranch Hand

Joined: Sep 26, 2000
Posts: 919
One other thing: if all men were polygamous there would be a lot of very jealous and frustrated males about. Could be it's a practical thing that there's a law against it.
Andrew Shafer
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Joined: Jan 19, 2001
Posts: 338

The main difference is the mormon believes in the book of Mormon and the restoration of prophethood to his/her church leaders (which can only be male).
The book of Mormon is purported to be the work of Prophets of a tribe of Israel that left the old world and ended up in the Americas.
Jesus is considered the saviour and is seen as a distinct entity from God the father.
Polygamy was part of the original belief and was encouraged until legal pressure was leveraged by the Federal Government. Polygamy was outlawed as part of the agreements for statehood.
Even though polygamy is discouraged, it is still part of the core belief that men can have multiple partners in the afterlife, while women cannot.


!_I_Know_Kung_Fu_!
Andy Ceponis
Ranch Hand

Joined: Dec 20, 2000
Posts: 782
I went to Jamaica last year for vacation and i found out that weed is illegal on the island except for the Rastafarians. It is part of their religion and so they are the only ones allowed to smoke it.
Andy Ceponis
Ranch Hand

Joined: Dec 20, 2000
Posts: 782
laaaaag
[This message has been edited by Andy Ceponis (edited May 30, 2001).]
Simon Berman
Greenhorn

Joined: Oct 02, 2000
Posts: 15
I heard that it is legal in Missouri to shoot Mormons, but only after dark. I'm not sure if that law has been repealed or not.
There was a time in Illinois, one of the cult's leaders (prophets?) really pissed off the Federal Govt by declaring that all his followers would vote the same way, the way that he told them to. Fairly contrary to our principle of one man one vote where every member of the electorate is supposed to be able to make a reasoned decision, wouldn't you say?
So how about the woman's role in the Mormon religion? It looks as though the religion is geared towards men in all ways. The women are in a subservient position to the men in that religion. Didn't feminism ever reach Utah, the 'promised land'? any female mormons here at javaranch? whaddayareckon?
Then there was that other thing about one of the other leaders (or 'prophets' as you so quaintly write) who had all the dead presidents come to him in a vision telling him that they wanted to be baptised. So all the dead presidents were posthumously baptised. They're all mormons now. Yes, all of them.
That's all true stuff. I'm not joking.
So if I decided to start my own religion, wrote another book in the style of the King James Bible to add to those existing, registered the religion as a non-profit organisation, granting me tax-exempt status, print myself some archbishop cards (or maybe pope cards - why not? you can never have too many popes) - I would then have total power over my followers, and make loads of (non-taxable) money from them. There is obviously one born every minute. It's all perfectly legal, and apparently not unusual.
Yep, I've decided, I'm gonna be a pope.
Angela Poynton
Ranch Hand

Joined: Mar 02, 2000
Posts: 3143
Guys guys, I am beginning to see this discussion take a bad turn so I'm just going to give you all a gentle reminder.
Religion is a tricky subject, there are those who take their faith very very seriously, and those who take theirs less seriously. As such it's never easy to know when you may be offending someone very deeply when you attack their Religion. Let's remember not to attack, discussion is fine, we were doing really well in this thread, but I was just worried about one two posts that seemed to be a little too aggressive.
Let's also remember one other thing, here at Javaranch it doesn't matter if you are Christian, Muslim, Buddist, Jewish, Hindu, Pagan, Atheist or Agnostic or follow variation of these or any other belief system ... we are all joined in our Worship of Java!


Pounding at a thick stone wall won't move it, sometimes, you need to step back to see the way around.
Nathan Pruett
Bartender

Joined: Oct 18, 2000
Posts: 4121

The main difference is the mormon believes in the book of Mormon and the restoration of prophethood to his/her church leaders (which can only be male).


Yep... this is true... though if you look in the bible, I don't think that there were any female prophets in there either... I'm really not saying this to be sexist... please read further down...

The book of Mormon is purported to be the work of Prophets of a tribe of Israel that left the old world and ended up in the Americas.


True...

Jesus is considered the saviour and is seen as a distinct entity from God the father.


True...

Polygamy was part of the original belief and was encouraged until legal pressure was leveraged by the Federal Government. Polygamy was outlawed as part of the agreements for statehood.


True... as an aside... polygamy was practiced in the bible also... read your Old Testament... I personally don't purport to know why God enacted the polygamous period of Mormon history and then ended it... Though my personal opinion ( i.e. this is not church doctrine, so don't take it as such ) is that God does not have a problem with polygamy, but it is not a required part of the religion. ( i.e. - polygamy is not a sin, but it is not required either. ) However, there are several statements in the Bible and the Book of Mormon about being good citizens of whatever country you live in, and following their laws... So I would think ( again... not church doctrine, my personal opinion... ) that God would rather have His followers be good citizens of their country rather than be outlaws... and if God sees polygamy as I described above, then he would tell His followers that they should not follow polygamy since it was against the laws of the country they lived in. I'm sure the outcome would have been different if the problem was with a required part of the religion... for example, if the government had wanted to burn all copies of the Book of Mormon, or not let them build temples, then there would have been no agreement, since that is a required part of the religion. Now, you may ask why God told his followers that polygamy was OK to do in the first place if this was to occur. I personally do not have an answer to that, I just have faith that God has a reason for all that he does... perhaps some great person or people needed to be born, and this could not have come about except through a polygamous marriage.( previous was also, yet again, a personal opinion, and not church doctrine... )

Even though polygamy is discouraged, it is still part of the core belief that men can have multiple partners in the afterlife, while women cannot.


True... they are not breaking any laws if they practice polygamy there so God allows it... once again, if you look in the Old Testement, this was the way polygamy was practiced...

I heard that it is legal in Missouri to shoot Mormons, but only after dark. I'm not sure if that law has been repealed or not.


I almost forgot I was posting in Meaningless Drivel until I read this...

There was a time in Illinois, one of the cult's leaders (prophets?) really pissed off the Federal Govt by declaring that all his followers would vote the same way, the way that he told them to. Fairly contrary to our principle of one man one vote where every member of the electorate is supposed to be able to make a reasoned decision, wouldn't you say?


Probably true... but other churches and religions ( and political parties and unions and cultural groups ) do the same thing... If this is an issue that is important to your religion/political party/union/etc. you need to inform the people that it concerns...

So how about the woman's role in the Mormon religion? It looks as though the religion is geared towards men in all ways. The women are in a subservient position to the men in that religion. Didn't feminism ever reach Utah, the 'promised land'? any female mormons here at javaranch? whaddayareckon?

This is another big disagreement that people have with our religion... Both men and women have roles in the Mormon religion... one of the big arguments is that women cannot hold the priesthood, while all ( worthy ) male members can... However, once again, read your Bible... were there any female priests? Yet, did Jesus only preach to men? Did he only heal men? Does he only save men? No... And the LDS church does not say this either... women can serve God as equally as men in our church... there are both male and female missionaries, and both men and women teach in the church. Women can hold any leadership position in the church that does not require the priesthood... you can argue that may be considered sexist, but we didn't create that rule, God did... All the scriptures that we possess, and all the prophets that we have had, have told us that we should treat our wives as equals... not subservient. And as far as the 'feminism' argument goes... Utah was the first state to allow women to vote...

Then there was that other thing about one of the other leaders (or 'prophets' as you so quaintly write) who had all the dead presidents come to him in a vision telling him that they wanted to be baptised. So all the dead presidents were posthumously baptised. They're all mormons now. Yes, all of them.


True... kinda... we believe in proxy baptism for the deceased ( sometimes refered to as "Baptism for the Dead" ). This is done because 1.) We believe in an afterlife. 2.) Instead of automatically converting them to "Mormons"... we are presenting them with the choice to be baptized into our religion... they still need to repent of any sins they committed and they still have to choose to follow Jesus. I am pretty sure that even Hitler has been given a proxy baptism ( so the former presidents are not too much of a stretch... )... because we think that no matter how bad someone is, they should have to chance to repent and change. In addition, this allows people who couldn't join the church in life due to geographic or chronological contraints to make the decision after death...

That's all true stuff. I'm not joking.


I know...

So if I decided to start my own religion, wrote another book in the style of the King James Bible to add to those existing, registered the religion as a non-profit organisation, granting me tax-exempt status, print myself some archbishop cards (or maybe pope cards - why not? you can never have too many popes) - I would then have total power over my followers, and make loads of (non-taxable) money from them. There is obviously one born every minute. It's all perfectly legal, and apparently not unusual.

Yep, I've decided, I'm gonna be a pope.


Wow! Please! Let me follow you! But really, you are forgetting a few things... 1.) God told Joseph Smith to start the church... you just said that you decided to start your own religion... and, I know, you can say that God told you to start your own religion, but that doesn't make it so... the only problem with this argument is that it basically boils down to a question of faith... and you can't really argue well about faith... 2.) Joseph Smith did not write the Book of Morman, he translated it... but this is another point that boils down to faith, too... 3.) I think the "total power" thing is wishful thinking 4.) The church may make "loads of money" as you are speaking of, but unlike you, they are not keeping it for themselves... they spend it on charitable programs for both members and non-members of the church... and once again... the bible mentions tithing for this purpose...

Also... once you founded this religion... if you and your followers were heavily persecuted... would you be willing to die for your "religion"? Both Jesus and Jospeh Smith did...

-Nate

P.S. - Angela, thanks for being the "voice of reason"... I too, think that this discussion has gotten a little "out of control"... even for Meaningless Drivel... I, personally, am not offended by their arguments, and it hasn't shaken my faith any... if they have an axe to grind with the LDS faith, or with religion in general, they have the right to say it... I am an ardent believer in free speech so, even though I may not agree with what they are saying... I will defend their right to say it... On that note, however, I will make a proclamation as moderator of this forum...

Once again, I emphasize that I support the public airing of opinions and free speech. However, religion is a topic that tends to ignite "flame wars", and I would like to keep the ranch free of those. ( As well as all the other moderators... this isn't a Mormon conspiricy to remove offensive posts... it is a JavaRanch moderator conspiricy to keep the Ranch a frendly place... and to support our plot for world domination! )

This thread will continue as long as the posts are not "inflammitory" in nature... if it does get to that point... I or one of the other moderators will have to shut down this thread...

P.P.S - Really sorry about the length of this post... gosh! I didn't know I could type that much...

P.P.P.S. - I may have to delete this thread anyway! How can I keep my bad boy image if I am known as "The Martyred Mormon Moderator of Meaningless Drivel"
[This message has been edited by Nathan Pruett (edited May 31, 2001).]
Anonymous
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Joined: Nov 22, 2008
Posts: 18944
I typed this post while Nate was busily preparing his lengthy treatise ( which I liked ). But I'm posting it anyway.
In my experience it is counter-productive to debate doctrine with people that have pre-conceived notions. That being said, let me follow in the footsteps of Nate and clear up a few misconceptions.
1) Andrew is correct in stating that polygamy used to be part of the church's accepted practices. It was not, however, encouraged. It was practiced on a very small scale and the only reason ever given for the practice was that God had instituted the practice. After all, if you believe the Bible, you can't believe that many wives is inherently evil. Otherwise you think that all of the men in the Old Testament are going to burn in hell.
2) Simon is incorrect on a number of counts. Firstly, the events you refer to took place in Nauvoo, Illinois but didn't involve voting practices. The citizens of Nauvoo were almost entirely Mormons and the city was larger than Chicago during its heydey. The citizens had won the right to have a "Nauvoo charter" from the governor of Illinois, which entitled them to have their own militia and essentially placed the residents outside the jurisdiction of the local authorities for legal matters. This fact was important because the leaders of the church were routinely arrested on false charges and later released without ever having been convicted. Many spent considerable time in jail without having been convicted of a crime. So this charter meant that if a crime had been commited, the law in Nauvoo had to deal with the matter. The Mormons' neighbors didn't like living next to an entirely Mormon group of people with their own militia and that is where the trouble started. The result was that the Mormons were forced out of the state and many lost their lives. Homes were looted and burned down. Women were raped and many other crimes were commited against the Mormons.
3) No, Mormons are not what I would call traditional feminists. They are also not unique in their espousal of an all-male priesthood. Anyway, the priesthood is believed to be the authority to act in the name of God for the benefit of his other children. As such, holding it is basically a call to serve others. So what's the problem? There is a passage in the Doctrine and Covenants ( a work that Nate mentioned ) that says, "...no authority can or ought to be maintained by virtue of the priesthood..." If a Mormon man thinks he is more important than his wife or sister or daughter, then he needs to reexamine the basic tennets of his religion.
4) Dead presidents I don't know about, but baptism for the dead is in the bible. 1 Cor 15:29 I think. We don't read the details there, but Paul was obviously familiar with the practice, as were the Corinthians.
5) Simon, remind me not to go to your tax-shelter... I mean church.
6) Finally, George, here is an overview of how Mormonism fits in to the rest of Christianity. We believe that Christ is the Son of God and that belief is central to our religion. We believe that God meant what he said when he told us, "I am the same yesterday, today, and forever" and that since he used to call prophets to teach his people, he is still doing that. Consequently, we believe that God has called a prophet on the earth today and that his name is Gordon B. Hinkley. Check him out. Also, since God anciently revealed his will through prohpets' writings, he continued to and continues to do that. That means that he didn't stop speaking at the end of the Bible and there are other works of scripture. They all teach of Christ's divinity and mission. If you interpret the passage in Revelations about "adding to or taking away from" to mean the Bible as a whole, then you have a problem. Revelations wasn't the last book written, chronoligaclly, and so such an interpretation of that passage would literally invalidate parts of the Bible its self.
I hope that I haven't wasted breath here, because nobody can prove their religious beliefs, but I hold mine to be true. I don't get offended by people that don't agree, but like anyone, I don't want things that I hold sacred to be mocked, so be nice.
Ling Wu
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Joined: Jul 19, 2000
Posts: 184
Wow! Most informative thread I have ever read about Mormon religion/beliefs. Although I really don't like the idea that any religion (or God him/herself) allows polygamy, if it is involving consenting and well-informed adults and not harming anyone else, I guess people should be able to do it without having to go to prison for it. The only problem I really have is nowhere have I ever seen or heard polygamy being allowed for women by any religion. What is wrong with this picture? In my opinion, if it should be allowed, then it should be allowed for anyone, gender aside. Otherwise, no one should be doing it. If God is as fair as everybody seems to believe, then he/she should not let it happen this way.
I'm not sure I totally believe that those older wives never feel jealous toward the youger/newer ones. So why should only men be allowed to feel the power of letting his wives fight over him. Why can't women? I have a feeling if that were to happen (one wife vs. multiple husbands), the males in religions where polygamy is allowed will quickly pull a stop to the whole thing.

[This message has been edited by Ling Wu (edited May 31, 2001).]
Andrew Shafer
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Joined: Jan 19, 2001
Posts: 338

Ok, Ok . . .
First, a little background info, check my profile and you will see Salt Lake City.
While I no longer have faith in this church, I am the product of LDS ancestry and usually know more about this religion than the devout, largely due to the depth of my involvment in my early life, natural curiousity and an above average ability to retain information.
I am not particularly anti-LDS or pro-LDS and I appologize if my post was seen as inflamatory.
I tried to provide truthful information to the discussion, which may seem slanted with respect to gender roles in the church, but still true. Certainly if my motivation was to be inflamatory, there are other topics which could tend towards more heated discussions.
Nathan and Bodie,
You seem to be knowledgable about your faith and I respect anyone who lives according to their own convictions.
The only disagreement I have is with:

. . .polygamy used to be part of the church's accepted practices. It was not, however, encouraged.

This statement is false. If you study mormon and Utah state history, there was a period when polygamy was very much encouraged. In this particular period, pre-Utah statehood, the female population out numbered the male, largely due to LDS males volunteering as soldiers. The arrangement of polygamous marriage was encouraged, although it was already practiced before this, as a way to quicken the growth of population in the Wasatch front.
At any rate, polygamy is not encouraged now, for whatever reason and is only practiced by what are considered fringe groups.
One interesting note, 99% of the polygamous also consider Joseph Smith their prophet and deviate from LDS doctrine in only this regard.
Finally, to get back to the original topic. . .
I don't have any problem with polygamy, I find it ludicrous that a man who loves and supports more than one woman is a criminal, while a man who is married to one wife, can take any number of mistresses with legal impunity. (cause he might not be safe from his wife )
Furthermore, I guarantee every single person reading this has numerous female ancestors who were married and pregnant at the age of 14. We like to play self-righteous and project our moderm sense of morality on other people, but the fact is biologically and evolutionarily, 14 is just as valid for marriage and consequently breeding (which is what we are usually talking about when we say marriage) as 28.
One more thing, in defense of most traditional cultures, we like to think our society is all about being progressive and that women in the work place is such a great thing.
Division of labour does not mean that each person does and equal percentage of the same work.
A serious problem was created when we started thinking that money was the source of happiness. Everyone got confused about their ability to contribute. Before that, at least in America, a man and a woman might start a family on a farm, the man works all day, the woman works all day, they both saw each other work, both knew what the other did. Then came industry and with industry, convenience and then disposability. So now the man works all day, and the woman works all day, they never see what the other did, but the man has a check with his name on it.
Run it forward 100 years and where are we at? Woman still get paid a considerable amount less than their male counterparts. This culture sees marriage and spouses as disposable as diapers. Children grow up raised by TV cause both parents work their 40 hours and we wonder why they are all F-ed up on drugs and shooting each other in school.
There are always exceptions, there a good marriages now and there were probably bad marriages all through history (same goes for parenting). I'm just trying to illustrate the trends as I see them.
That's probably enough for now, hope I didn't come across overly abrasive or inflamatory. I hope we can get away from the topic of religion and get back towards the marriage discussion.
Angela Poynton
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Joined: Mar 02, 2000
Posts: 3143
OK ... on the marriage discussion.
Personally I do think that the idea of polygamy is much better than adultery. But only where in the polygamous situation where all parties involved are well informed and consenting ... this includes earlier wives approving of the new wife.
Adultery is a terrible situation filled with deceit. But this is accepted ... not encouraged but accepted as something people do.
I think they should just leave this guy to get on with his life with his family. I don�t really understand why he�s being prosecuted anyway ... surely bigamy is only bigamy if one or more of the other wives don�t know about each other.
Also on the issue of marrying a 14 year old. While the thought does disturb me somewhat, I also realise that not so long ago this wasn�t so unusual. My mother married at 21 and was considered to be marrying late! The reason people are against marriage at such a young age is a product of modern thinking.
I have to wonder one thing though. Do any of this guy�s wives work? I�m a great believer in the philosophy that people shouldn�t have kids if they can�t afford to look after them, obviously if something happens that changes your financial situation after the child is born then that�s different but I object to people taking Government benefit for granted. If they do work, and they are still struggling to survive then they need to stop having kids ... he had three or four wives pregnant at the same time ... can you imagine when those babies are born just how many diapers and clothes they are going to get through in a day!! I�m not sure on his faith�s stance on contraception but ... there does come a point when enough is enough. I do think he has had way to many kids!
Rosie Vogel
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Joined: Jan 31, 2001
Posts: 228
The only problem I really have is nowhere have I ever seen or heard polygamy being allowed for women by any religion. What is wrong with this picture? In my opinion, if it should be allowed, then it should be allowed for anyone, gender aside.

VERY good point.
David Junta
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Joined: Dec 10, 2000
Posts: 86
But really, you are forgetting a few things... 1.) God told Joseph Smith to start the church... you just said that you decided to start your own religion... 2.) Joseph Smith did not write the Book of Morman, he translated it.

So anyone who claims to have heard the voice of God is a prophet? There are numerous books in the psychic/UFO section of any bookstore written by people who claim the same thing, and they also "translate" or channel the "word of God", often through alien races or ancient societies from Atlantis. Are they in the same boat as the Mormons? I don't mean to insult anyone, but to an outsider they really are identical. There's no way to discern a true claim from a sham or somone who is well-intentioned but totally deranged.
Also... once you founded this religion... if you and your followers were heavily persecuted... would you be willing to die for your "religion"? Both Jesus and Jospeh Smith did...

Well, David Koresh in Waco did too. But I hardly think that makes him a prophet. Faith and devotion are not automatically good; many followers of Charles Manson and Jim Jones had great faith in them as well. Again, I don't mean to offend. I think there are some religious leaders out there worthy of devotion, but there are also many who are total scumbags who hurt their followers for their own gain. How is a person on the outside to judge? Perhaps there is no way to explain why the Mormon church or the Buddha or Jesus or whatever sect appeals to one person so strongly yet seems like a magnet for loonies to another. But it seems like there should be some somewhat universal guidelines for assessing any sect or religion. Thoughts, anyone?
Anonymous
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Joined: Nov 22, 2008
Posts: 18944
FAITH, n. Belief without evidence in what is told by one who speaks without knowledge, of things without parallel.
Angela Poynton
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Joined: Mar 02, 2000
Posts: 3143
I thought we were going off the religion topic??
But while we're back I will say this ... there is no way on earth you can regulate people's beliefs!
George Brown
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Joined: Sep 26, 2000
Posts: 919
I think it's fairly difficult to separate the two in this thread - religion is used in this thread to justify the polygamy described in the article, so it seems fairly central to me.
Angela Poynton
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Joined: Mar 02, 2000
Posts: 3143
Ahh but the arguement was swaying towards discussing other aspects of the religion. As long as the discussion refers to the religion in respects to their policy on marriage I'm happy
Nathan Pruett
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Joined: Oct 18, 2000
Posts: 4121

Great post by Andrew on socio-political gender issues... I agree very much with him on why modern society is as messed up as it is...

The only problem I really have is nowhere have I ever seen or heard polygamy being allowed for women by any religion.


Actually... I remember one culture ( I think it was in India... though it wasn't a modern culture... ) that had polyandrous polygamy ( Many men... 1 woman ). I think there may have been some others... but this was awhile ago, and I have forgotten much about it... I seem to remember that there was some sort of cultural reason for this, like the men had to travel around alot hunting/trading and women stayed at home, but had to be protected, so the men took turns taking trips and staying home... this may be wrong... as I said... it was a long time ago that I heard this... just mentioning that culturally polyandry has existed before...

However...

If God is as fair as everybody seems to believe, then he/she should not let it happen this way.


"Fair" is a very relative term... Why doesn't God let men have babies? Obviously, God does see some reason for men and women to be different... I would assume ( again... personal opinion... ) that polygyny ( multiple wives ) is preferred as opposed to polyandry ( multiple husbands ) because God wants people to have an obvious father and mother to care for them... if a women had multiple husbands, there would be no way to tell who the actual father was ( the actual mother is pretty obvious... ) whereas this situation is avoided with polygyny... But really this is all just theory... I have a suspicion that this may have something to do with it, but is not the complete reason... only God really knows for sure...

Arrrggg! Trying to escape the religion discussion... but the pull is too strong!

So anyone who claims to have heard the voice of God is a prophet? There are numerous books in the psychic/UFO section of any bookstore written by people who claim the same thing, and they also "translate" or channel the "word of God", often through alien races or ancient societies from Atlantis. Are they in the same boat as the Mormons? I don't mean to insult anyone, but to an outsider they really are identical. There's no way to discern a true claim from a sham or somone who is well-intentioned but totally deranged.


This claim that is is impossible to disern a true claim from a sham is completely logically true... but it boils down to a question of faith... which doesn't follow logic I can say that I completely know that Joseph Smith heard and saw God because of my faith... but I can't come up with a proof or a logical argument for why I know this... I just do. It's impossible to argue about faith, so I guess I should stop now...

Well, David Koresh in Waco did too. But I hardly think that makes him a prophet. Faith and devotion are not automatically good; many followers of Charles Manson and Jim Jones had great faith in them as well. Again, I don't mean to offend. I think there are some religious leaders out there worthy of devotion, but there are also many who are total scumbags who hurt their followers for their own gain. How is a person on the outside to judge? Perhaps there is no way to explain why the Mormon church or the Buddha or Jesus or whatever sect appeals to one person so strongly yet seems like a magnet for loonies to another. But it seems like there should be some somewhat universal guidelines for assessing any sect or religion. Thoughts, anyone?


Sorry... I was using the "martyr" argument to counter the previous argument about starting your own religion for power and money... I will agree that the fact that someone has faith in a certain cause does not automatically make that cause right. I could say something like, "It depends on the reasons and motives behind it." But, yet again, there is no way to logically prove this. You may be able to draw up some guidelines to assess a religion to some extent ( does it hurt/help it's followers or others, etc. ) but as far as proving a religion "true" or "false"... I don't think you could logically do that...

I agree with your arguments about logic, and try to apply them myself in my life... but they won't work when applied to faith...

-Nate
Ling Wu
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Joined: Jul 19, 2000
Posts: 184
Originally posted by Angela Poynton:

I think they should just leave this guy to get on with his life with his family. I don�t really understand why he�s being prosecuted anyway ... surely bigamy is only bigamy if one or more of the other wives don�t know about each other.

I believe he has also been charged with welfare fraud besides polygamy. Guess being consenting and informed should not be the only criteria for allowing polygamy. If a guy wants multiple wives, he should make sure that he can support a potentially large family (I think this guy has 25 kids).
Simon Berman
Greenhorn

Joined: Oct 02, 2000
Posts: 15
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which
brought plural marriage to Utah and abandoned it as a requirement for
statehood, now excommunicates polygamists.
The state also banned the practice more than 100 years ago. But the
last major prosecution was in 1953, when the federal government raided the
polygamous town of Short Creek, on the Utah-Arizona border. Images of
children being torn away from their parents created a public relations
fiasco, and the government has mostly ignored practitioners.
In recent years, however, reports of frequent child abuse, welfare
fraud and incest in closed polygamous communities have lifted the
veil.

Surely those who defend closed polygamous situations where
people only marry within the one religion, and where birth control is
ignored in favour of a bigger family can see how the gene pool will rapidly
become a gene puddle. How soon before the cousins start marrying each
other? Perhaps that, and worse, has already happened.
I still don't understand why so many mormons do have such huge
families. Is there a good reason for it? Perhaps to increase the number of
mormons in the world, to populate the west, to spread the church by sheer
numbers, or maybe because the males simply feel the need to spread their
seed again and again and again, and the women... well they must be just
as forward-thinking, ignoring all rational implications. This guy Tom
Green has 29 children (with more on the way) and they live in a bunch of
trailers on a patch of land. I've seen a documentary on this guy.
Trailer... umm.. folk. To me, when you have kids, you want to be able to
provide for them the best way you can. And that usually means being able
to provide financially. Living in trailers with your 5 wives giving
birth to more kids every few months seems a tad irresponsible to me. Does
he really care at all?
I'm not suggesting that all mormons live like that, but many mormons do
have very large families. And this thread is about religion, like it or
not, because it is the justification being used for this lifestyle.
The 52-year-old is also fighting child rape charges stemming
from his marriage to his first wife when she was 13.

How can you defend behaviour like that? How can you expect any girl of
13 - or even 14 for that matter - to be able to make a reasoned
decision about the man they will marry? oh yes, I forgot, they don't have any
choice in the matter because their parents and/or religious leaders
make the choice for them. Besides if they move in those kinds of circles
they are bound to have been indoctrinated (aka brainwashed) beyond any
real freedom of choice. Religion has been used as an excuse for many
kinds of conflict and deviant behaviour but don't you believe in progress
in any form? Improving the quality of life through an informed and free
choice perhaps? How can a young girl (not woman) make any informed
decision if she is brought up in such a closed, sheltered environment? I
agree totally with Tony that he should be prosecuted as a child rapist.
The fact that certain forms of behaviour are described in an archaic
Jewish history book - because make no mistake, that is what the bible is
- does not mean that all are exemplary. Neither does it mean that all
are sensible. Christianity in its various forms is simply an updated
form of Judaism, Judaism-for-all if you like. How people can hold up
small snippets of the bible as justification for anything you want to do
is just irresponsible. Argue the case rationally, and when that makes
good sense, it may lead to improvements. Otherwise you're just doing
what you want to do, and using religion as an excuse.
I don't think for a moment that those that hide behind a wall of
faith will agree with what I am writing. After all, your beliefs are so
right, aren't they? I just hope that you believe enough in freedom of
speech to not delete posts. And if this post does worry you, hey, it's
only meaningless drivel so why worry?

[This message has been edited by Angela Poynton (edited June 01, 2001).]
 
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