For BC - Joseph's Polyandry

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Yoda

For BC - Joseph's Polyandry

Post by Yoda »

This was a topic that BC and I started discussing on another thread. Rather than derail it, I thought I would start a new topic.

I'm 42 years old.....graduated from BYU...went to seminary, etc.

Yes, I knew about Joseph Smith's polygamy. However, I did NOT know about his being married to other men's wives until looking up some information, and coming across it on the Internet a couple of years ago.

This question is for BC and other TBM's----When did you learn about Joseph's polyandry? How did it affect your testimony, if it did?

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Post by moksha »

Was his purpose to be in a co-joint marriage relationship with the other husbands, or was he just wanting to take their wives? This seems to be a crucial distinction in saying someone practiced polyandry, does it not? Perhaps in desiring other men's wives, he merely found himself engaged in a polyandrous entanglement. Such an entanglement would be much more dangerous for one's long term safety than a mutually agreed up practice of polyandry.

To the other part of the question, I have no testimony of polygamy or polyandry. I think they were both harmful to the Church.
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Re: For BC - Joseph's Polyandry

Post by Jason Bourne »

liz3564 wrote:I'm 42 years old.....graduated from BYU...went to seminary, etc.

Yes, I knew about Joseph Smith's polygamy. However, I did NOT know about his being married to other men's wives until looking up some information, and coming across it on the Internet a couple of years ago.

This question is for BC and other TBM's----When did you learn about Joseph's polyandry? How did it affect your testimony, if it did?


I was not aware of polyandry till I was perhaps 40 or so and I denied at first. I had read anti LDS literature since I was a missionary, fancied myself as a bit of a gospel scholar and was a hobby apologist. When I finally explored polyandry more the whole of the shenanigans that came along with polygamy, from its secrecy, to what I believe to be manipulative behavior by Joseph to get some to marry him, to the introduction of the temple ceremony and the Quorum of the Anointed being primarily for those in on the plural marriage secret came to view. These details I did not know.

For me this was the last issue that I tried to just put on the shelf and the shelf broke. All the other things from Adam God, blood atonement, editing history, the power struggle for successions and the apparent politicking and posturing by BY and the 12, the changes to the D&C, the changing view of the Godhead from more traditional to more radical, well all these were not so easy to reconcile any more.

How did this effect my testimony? Well I DO NOT KNOW that Joseph Smith was a prophet anymore. I think God led him to do a great work that can and does benefit many millions and adds to the varying worship of God on the earth. I think he was as much of a prophet as ever any was. But I know there is no such thing as a ONE and ONLY True and living Church anymore. I think Joseph Smith started out well and got carried away due to the power that came with the calling.

Now I may be totally wrong on all of this. He may be the greatest prophet ever save Jesus or the one of the biggest frauds.

But this is what works for me right now.

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Post by truth dancer »

Why is it that some people only have an issue with Joseph Smith marrying lots of girls and women if the girls and women were already married?

As long as women are are the only ones who have to share a spouse there isn't a problem? It is only a problem is guys have to share? :-(

Don't get it.

But to the question... :-)

I heard that many women "sealed" themselves to Joseph Smith after he died and the anti Mormon folks tried to make it out like Joseph Smith was a polygamous. LOL!

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Re: For BC - Joseph's Polyandry

Post by Who Knows »

liz3564 wrote:This question is for BC and other TBM's----When did you learn about Joseph's polyandry? How did it affect your testimony, if it did?


I'm BC, but not TBM, but I'll answer anyways.

I learned about it almost 2 years ago. It played a small role in the 'loss of my testimony', along with numerous other items.
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Re: For BC - Joseph's Polyandry

Post by Runtu »

Who Knows wrote:
liz3564 wrote:This question is for BC and other TBM's----When did you learn about Joseph's polyandry? How did it affect your testimony, if it did?


I'm BC, but not TBM, but I'll answer anyways.

I learned about it almost 2 years ago. It played a small role in the 'loss of my testimony', along with numerous other items.


I learned about polygamy and polyandry when I read Fawn Brodie's book way back when I was at BYU in about 1986. It didn't affect my testimony until years later when it suddenly occurred to me that I was giving Joseph Smith a pass for things I wouldn't accept from anyone else.
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Post by bcspace »

This question is for BC and other TBM's----When did you learn about Joseph's polyandry?


I have yet to learn of it to this day (see below).....However, the claim is fairly old (since at least 1853 I believe).

How did it affect your testimony, if it did?


I understood the difference between worldly marriages and celestial marriages or sealings at that time and that is how I withstood the erroneous claim that such arrangements are polyandry in any worldly sense. In fact, I was pleasantly suprised to see the historian Kathryn M. Daynes in her work More Wives than One: Transformation of the Mormon Marriage System use a similar argument.

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Post by Sethbag »

So, BCSpace, was the "difference" between Celestial sealings and marriage applicable in the case of Fanny Alger, too? I'm curious on our theory behind how Fanny was "sealed" to Joseph Smith at least a year before the sealing power was conferred upon Joseph Smith in Kirtland in 1836. I'm also curious what this "difference" really means practically, seeing as how Emma caught Joseph Smith and Fanny in a compromising position. Apparent Joseph Smith wasn't as up on the "difference" as you are.

Or were you only talking about the polyandrous marriages?

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Post by bcspace »

Or were you only talking about the polyandrous marriages?


The claim of polyandry is the subject is it not?

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Post by Mephitus »

It is in line with the main topic at hand. Its not like a thread on muffins was started only to talk of pizza. Another flavor of muffin is cool.
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Post by bcspace »

It is in line with the main topic at hand. Its not like a thread on muffins was started only to talk of pizza. Another flavor of muffin is cool.


Like Krakauer's mind reading? lol

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Post by Mephitus »

Im sorry, i don't get the referance.

EDIT: oh, nvm, found what you where refering to.
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Post by Yoda »

bcspace wrote:
This question is for BC and other TBM's----When did you learn about Joseph's polyandry?


I have yet to learn of it to this day (see below).....However, the claim is fairly old (since at least 1853 I believe).

How did it affect your testimony, if it did?


I understood the difference between worldly marriages and celestial marriages or sealings at that time and that is how I withstood the erroneous claim that such arrangements are polyandry in any worldly sense. In fact, I was pleasantly suprised to see the historian Kathryn M. Daynes in her work More Wives than One: Transformation of the Mormon Marriage System use a similar argument.


So, your feeling on the matter is similar to that of the RLDS Church. Dale explained to me when I was on FAIR and asked this question that Joseph's polyandrous marriages were part of the Law of Adoption. Joseph was basically trying to seal everyone to him so that they would all be together in the next life. My understanding is that Brigham Young made changes to the practice when he became President of the Church, stating that husbands could be sealed to wives, and families could be sealed to themselves within their own family units as long as the priesthood members were upstanding.

Was this your understanding of the events which took place?

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Post by Rollo Tomasi »

Sethbag wrote:So, BCSpace, was the "difference" between Celestial sealings and marriage applicable in the case of Fanny Alger, too? I'm curious on our theory behind how Fanny was "sealed" to Joseph Smith at least a year before the sealing power was conferred upon Joseph Smith in Kirtland in 1836.

This has always puzzled me, too. How could Joseph be "sealed" to Fanny when the sealing keys had not yet been restored?
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Post by Seven »

bcspace wrote:
This question is for BC and other TBM's----When did you learn about Joseph's polyandry?


I have yet to learn of it to this day (see below).....However, the claim is fairly old (since at least 1853 I believe).

How did it affect your testimony, if it did?


I understood the difference between worldly marriages and celestial marriages or sealings at that time and that is how I withstood the erroneous claim that such arrangements are polyandry in any worldly sense. In fact, I was pleasantly suprised to see the historian Kathryn M. Daynes in her work More Wives than One: Transformation of the Mormon Marriage System use a similar argument.


I am open to the possibility that these women were Law of Adoption sealings but here is the problem. Reading Compton's book, it is clear that the women were taught the PRINCIPLE of PLURAL MARRIAGE. For example. with Zina Jacobs, he pressured her before she was married and then after. She chose to marry Henry Jacobs, but her refusal to Joseph's proposal made him persue her even more. This was often the case with the women who rejected the principle.
This was a teaching the married women struggled with, some rejected and were offended by, and were asked to get a spiritual confirmation.

So my question is, why were these women struggling to accept a principle called "Law of Adoption?" Why were they done with such secrecy and why was it taught to them as plural marriage by Joseph himself????
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Post by harmony »

Seven wrote:
bcspace wrote:
This question is for BC and other TBM's----When did you learn about Joseph's polyandry?


I have yet to learn of it to this day (see below).....However, the claim is fairly old (since at least 1853 I believe).

How did it affect your testimony, if it did?


I understood the difference between worldly marriages and celestial marriages or sealings at that time and that is how I withstood the erroneous claim that such arrangements are polyandry in any worldly sense. In fact, I was pleasantly suprised to see the historian Kathryn M. Daynes in her work More Wives than One: Transformation of the Mormon Marriage System use a similar argument.


I am open to the possibility that these women were Law of Adoption sealings but here is the problem. Reading Compton's book, it is clear that the women were taught the PRINCIPLE of PLURAL MARRIAGE. For example. with Zina Jacobs, he pressured her before she was married and then after. She chose to marry Henry Jacobs, but her refusal to Joseph's proposal made him persue her even more. This was often the case with the women who rejected the principle.
This was a teaching the married women struggled with, some rejected and were offended by, and were asked to get a spiritual confirmation.

So my question is, why were these women struggling to accept a principle called "Law of Adoption?" Why were they done with such secrecy and why was it taught to them as plural marriage by Joseph himself????


What I want to know is, if it was just the Law of Adoption, why did he take it so personally when some of the women rejected him? Vilifying and slandering them publically for rejecting him is just one more low thing to add to his repetoire.

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Post by Runtu »

harmony wrote:What I want to know is, if it was just the Law of Adoption, why did he take it so personally when some of the women rejected him? Vilifying and slandering them publically for rejecting him is just one more low thing to add to his repetoire.


In short, Joseph acted in a way that suggests a high likelihood that it was not the Law of Adoption he was proposing with these women. The reaction of the parties involved, including Joseph, the prospective wives, and Emma, is consistent with the proposals' being of a marital nature. I find it interesting that some apologists find fault with us because we go with the likelier explanation.
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Post by lingsat_tragedy »

I am totally new here. The above topic is a total unknown to me the fact that I was baptized in the LDS when I was 8yr old (1977) through my parents conversion. I attended seminary, serve in the mission, and holds some church callings. I used to defend my position against crictics of the church from friends, relatives etc etc.. that the practiced of plural marriage during the early years of church leaders were just an act of compassion to those who had been victims of mobbery activity. Taking those wives of those who are left behind by murdered men of the church. This information was handed down to us by those oldies in our ward. History about the subject, polygamy alone was limited during that time, my mind recalls that the only available church history material I've seen was the works of William Berret "Brief History of Mormon Church". Very rare to find in church members home an LDS books only those who are fortunate beging from foriegn missionary who came from Utah to leave thier book laggage. Once they are transfered to other area, members will asked of thier books as a sort of sovieners and remembrance from them. If a member holds a book and come to church on sundays, we look at him in respect, admired and invied for having a such book.

To cut short, this topic if not avoided was not fully discussed as to my clear memory during seminary, institute and even slightly open up in sundays school classes.

how does this information affects me? I was shaken, complaint w/ a feeling of somewhat betrayed, why these information keep in those long years. Im speaking only with my observation and experinece alone. When internet was a bit available in our area (getting online in my area is expensive) a few years back there I've come to know a lot of things about polymy alone. Some friends in the church discourages me in engaging myself with those inforamtion because it will affect my membership in the church. But since my interest wants me study those information which I believed it was due to limited reading materials gospel doctrine teachers had avoided this particularly history segment of the church in open knowledge to the members of the church in my place.

I was just talking about polygamy, now here comes polyandry. In my whole life in the church I never heard any of this before, IT SHOCKS ME! really, realy shocks me.

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Post by Runtu »

I was just talking about polygamy, now here comes polyandry. In my whole life in the church I never heard any of this before, IT SHOCKS ME! really, realy shocks me.


Yes, it is natural to find such things shocking. Nothing we were ever taught in church hinted at such practices, whether or not you find them innocent.
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Post by lingsat_tragedy »

Yes, it is natural to find such things shocking. Nothing we were ever taught in church hinted at such practices, whether or not you find them innocent.


Is this an attempt of witholding/hiding church history? I find it that way not unless the pioneer members in my area would really tell me that these things (polygamy, polyandry) were taught to them.

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Post by harmony »

lingsat_tragedy wrote:
Yes, it is natural to find such things shocking. Nothing we were ever taught in church hinted at such practices, whether or not you find them innocent.


Is this an attempt of witholding/hiding church history? I find it that way not unless the pioneer members in my area would really tell me that these things (polygamy, polyandry) were taught to them.


Most likely, the pioneer members in your area don't/didn't know anything about the polyandry; if they even knew anything about the polygamy, I'd be surprised. It's not something the missionaries ever teach to new investigators.

Welcome to the board, lingsat. I'm sorry it's this subject that is trying your faith and rattling your world. Many of us have been there, done that ourselves. The only consolation I can offer is that this board presents both sides of the story. We don't offer faithful history here, because we try to avoid whitewashing anything, but at least for the most part, we try to be evenhanded (well, except for vegas and PP. But we love them anyway).

Joseph may have recieved a revelation (I'm not one of the ones that holds to that, but there are some here who do), and it may be that the way he implemented the revelation was 180 degrees opposite of what the Lord intended or desired, which may have contributed to his loss of the prophetic mantle and eventual death at the hands of the mob. Each person has to come to their own conclusions about all of it. So will you. Again, welcome to the board. We look forward to your participation from the Philippines.

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