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 Post subject: Plural Marriage or Polygamy?
PostPosted: Thu Apr 24, 2008 12:17 pm 
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I've noticed many believers refer to the practice of polygamy as "plural marriage," almost as if this is a more respectable term.

While the word "polygamy" conjures up images of male power, submissive women, and King Solomon type of guys, plural marriage brings images of the FLDS which, IMO, are much more creepy.

Personally, the harem lifestyle (as we can see) has nothing to do with the common understanding of what is a marriage so I think it is quite a misnomer to even use the word marriage in a description of this practice.

I'm wondering if after all the media coverage of "plural marriage" if the Salt Lake City LDS church is going to come up with another word?

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 24, 2008 12:23 pm 
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This reminds me of the instance of many beginning any discussion with the statement "technically speaking it's not polygamy it's polygyny, which is the marriage of a single man to more than one woman." Why so many insist on making this egghead and irrelevant distinction is beyond me. Maybe they think it gives them instant street cred since they obviously have thought very deeply about the issue--as shown by their exactness in linguistic parsing? No one is confused as to what we are talking about.

I would guess that polygamy is kind of technical and plural marriage sounds kind of like celestial marriage.

Me, I like to be historically accurate and just call 'em co-habs.

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Last edited by John Larsen on Thu Apr 24, 2008 12:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 24, 2008 12:35 pm 
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I believe the original distinction comes from Joseph Smith. He always called it plural marriage. Polygamy is an incorrect term. Polygyny better describes what Joseph instituted. However, even that is slightly incorrect as polygyny does not necessarily mean that all the women are married to the man.

Hence, plural marriage.

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 24, 2008 12:36 pm 
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This touches on another way certain apologists (I'm looking at you, Daniel C. Peterson) try to manipulate language to lessen the stigma of polygamy. He (and others) have been using the term "serial polygamy" to refer to those who have a succession of marriages or relationships, ostensibly to demonstrate that "mainstream" society has certain tendencies (to show that having multiple wives at once is not so different than having them spaced throughout a lifetime, perhaps?).

My problem with this is twofold: First, it completely disregards the meaning of the word "polygamy" - which is to have more than one spouse concurrently. So if you move from one spouse to the next, after severing the relationship with the first, there is no concurrent marriage (or relationship), and therefor no polygamy. So it is idiotic on its face. Second, I believe that the use of the phrase is purposely intended to inoculate the reader or audience to the word, and to make it appear less freakish. There's a very subversive element to it.

At any rate, I wish that these folks would quit using the moronic phrase.

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 24, 2008 12:42 pm 
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John Larsen wrote:
"technically speaking it's not polygamy it's polygamy, which is the marriage of a single man to more than one woman."


Did you realize you said this twice?

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 24, 2008 12:45 pm 
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Scottie wrote:
John Larsen wrote:
"technically speaking it's not polygamy it's polygamy, which is the marriage of a single man to more than one woman."


Did you realize you said this twice?


Oops. Fixed it. Thanks.

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 24, 2008 12:47 pm 
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John Larsen wrote:
Scottie wrote:
John Larsen wrote:
"technically speaking it's not polygamy it's polygamy, which is the marriage of a single man to more than one woman."


Did you realize you said this twice?


Oops. Fixed it. Thanks.


Crap! Now I'm making eggheaded and irrelevant distinctions. Either that or being more accurate with my use of language to avoid being misunderstood....one of the two.

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 24, 2008 12:50 pm 
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The Nehor wrote:
I believe the original distinction comes from Joseph Smith. He always called it plural marriage. Polygamy is an incorrect term. Polygyny better describes what Joseph instituted. However, even that is slightly incorrect as polygyny does not necessarily mean that all the women are married to the man.

Hence, plural marriage.


He did? Where did he call in plural marriage? The only reference I know by Joseph Smith to plural marriage or polygamy is D&C 132. In all the other references that we have related to him he denies practicing having more than one wife.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 24, 2008 12:52 pm 
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The Nehor wrote:
John Larsen wrote:
Scottie wrote:
John Larsen wrote:
"technically speaking it's not polygamy it's polygamy, which is the marriage of a single man to more than one woman."


Did you realize you said this twice?


Oops. Fixed it. Thanks.


Crap! Now I'm making eggheaded and irrelevant distinctions. Either that or being more accurate with my use of language to avoid being misunderstood....one of the two.


It's just irrelevant parsing. Does anyone really misunderstand? In what way do you think they are going to misunderstand it? It is something like this:

Ed: Let's take your car to the park
Fred: Technically speaking, it's not a car it's a sedan.
Ed: Fine. Whatever.

Technically speaking polygyny is a subset of polygamy so every instance of plygyny is, in fact, an instance of polygamy. Point this difference out is completely meaningless.

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 24, 2008 12:55 pm 
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Jason Bourne wrote:
The Nehor wrote:
I believe the original distinction comes from Joseph Smith. He always called it plural marriage. Polygamy is an incorrect term. Polygyny better describes what Joseph instituted. However, even that is slightly incorrect as polygyny does not necessarily mean that all the women are married to the man.

Hence, plural marriage.


He did? Where did he call in plural marriage? The only reference I know by Joseph Smith to plural marriage or polygamy is D&C 132. In all the other references that we have related to him he denies practicing having more than one wife.


"The same God that has thus far dictated me and directed me and strengthened me in this work, gave me this revelation and commandment on celestial and plural marriage, and the same God commanded me to obey it. He said to me that unless I accepted it, and introduced it, and practiced it, I, together with my people would be damned and cut off from this time henceforth. We have got to observe it. It is an eternal principle and was given by way of commandment and not by way of instruction." -Joseph Smith

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Apr 24, 2008 1:00 pm 
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John Larsen wrote:
It's just irrelevant parsing. Does anyone really misunderstand? In what way do you think they are going to misunderstand it? It is something like this:

Ed: Let's take your car to the park
Fred: Technically speaking, it's not a car it's a sedan.
Ed: Fine. Whatever.

Technically speaking polygyny is a subset of polygamy so every instance of plygyny is, in fact, an instance of polygamy. Point this difference out is completely meaningless.


When I initiate a conversation or enter one regarding the practice, I call it Plural marriage as I consider it the most accurate term. Unless I'm discussing the distinctions between the words (such as in this thread) I wouldn't bother with correcting someone using a different term.

To me it is as annoying as the guy who in every Priesthood meeting about wealth or finances always chimes in a defensive and weaselly voice to point out that it is, 'the love of money that is the root of all evil, not money itself.' That you feel the need to point it out endlessly makes you a pedantic git or someone who feels VERY guilty about something in their financial life.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Apr 24, 2008 1:24 pm 
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The Nehor wrote:
John Larsen wrote:
It's just irrelevant parsing. Does anyone really misunderstand? In what way do you think they are going to misunderstand it? It is something like this:

Ed: Let's take your car to the park
Fred: Technically speaking, it's not a car it's a sedan.
Ed: Fine. Whatever.

Technically speaking polygyny is a subset of polygamy so every instance of plygyny is, in fact, an instance of polygamy. Point this difference out is completely meaningless.


When I initiate a conversation or enter one regarding the practice, I call it Plural marriage as I consider it the most accurate term. Unless I'm discussing the distinctions between the words (such as in this thread) I wouldn't bother with correcting someone using a different term.

To me it is as annoying as the guy who in every Priesthood meeting about wealth or finances always chimes in a defensive and weaselly voice to point out that it is, 'the love of money that is the root of all evil, not money itself.' That you feel the need to point it out endlessly makes you a pedantic git or someone who feels VERY guilty about something in their financial life.

Agreed. That guy is always there, isn't he?

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 24, 2008 1:27 pm 
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The Nehor wrote:
To me it is as annoying as the guy who in every Priesthood meeting about wealth or finances always chimes in a defensive and weaselly voice to point out that it is, 'the love of money that is the root of all evil, not money itself.' That you feel the need to point it out endlessly makes you a pedantic git or someone who feels VERY guilty about something in their financial life.


Or, like the young woman that points out that you are NOT a licked cupcake, you are a human being, and the atonement covers you completely.

Nothing like those annoying gits that make sure that no undue guilt is placed on the members. Bastards.

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Last edited by Scottie on Thu Apr 24, 2008 1:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Apr 24, 2008 1:30 pm 
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I think polygamy is the correct term to be used when discussing this issue. Polygamy = polygyny and polyandry. Joseph Smith was sealed to other men's wives. These women, therefore, were in a polyandrous relationship.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 24, 2008 1:36 pm 
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silentkid wrote:
I think polygamy is the correct term to be used when discussing this issue. Polygamy = polygyny and polyandry. Joseph Smith was sealed to other men's wives. These women, therefore, were in a polyandrous relationship.


You are right.

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 24, 2008 1:44 pm 
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Scottie wrote:
Or, like the young woman that points out that you are NOT a licked cupcake, you are a human being, and the atonement covers you completely.

Nothing like those annoying gits that make sure that no undue guilt is placed on the members. Bastards.


Never heard that one except here. However I'm not a germaphobe and would probably eat a licked cupcake.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Apr 24, 2008 2:16 pm 
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The Nehor wrote:
Jason Bourne wrote:
The Nehor wrote:
I believe the original distinction comes from Joseph Smith. He always called it plural marriage. Polygamy is an incorrect term. Polygyny better describes what Joseph instituted. However, even that is slightly incorrect as polygyny does not necessarily mean that all the women are married to the man.

Hence, plural marriage.


He did? Where did he call in plural marriage? The only reference I know by Joseph Smith to plural marriage or polygamy is D&C 132. In all the other references that we have related to him he denies practicing having more than one wife.


"The same God that has thus far dictated me and directed me and strengthened me in this work, gave me this revelation and commandment on celestial and plural marriage, and the same God commanded me to obey it. He said to me that unless I accepted it, and introduced it, and practiced it, I, together with my people would be damned and cut off from this time henceforth. We have got to observe it. It is an eternal principle and was given by way of commandment and not by way of instruction." -Joseph Smith


Can you give me the source for this?


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 24, 2008 2:23 pm 
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Jason Bourne wrote:
Can you give me the source for this?


"The same God that has thus far dictated me and directed me and strengthened me in this work, gave me this revelation and commandment on celestial and plural marriage, and the same God commanded me to obey it. He said to me that unless I accepted it, and introduced it, and practiced it, I, together with my people would be damned and cut off from this time henceforth. We have got to observe it. It is an eternal principle and was given by way of commandment and not by way of instruction."
- Prophet Joseph Smith, Contributor, Vol. 5, p. 259

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Apr 24, 2008 2:32 pm 
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The Nehor wrote:
Jason Bourne wrote:
Can you give me the source for this?


"The same God that has thus far dictated me and directed me and strengthened me in this work, gave me this revelation and commandment on celestial and plural marriage, and the same God commanded me to obey it. He said to me that unless I accepted it, and introduced it, and practiced it, I, together with my people would be damned and cut off from this time henceforth. We have got to observe it. It is an eternal principle and was given by way of commandment and not by way of instruction."
- Prophet Joseph Smith, Contributor, Vol. 5, p. 259


So you got this from another website. You realize that the Contributor was not published during Smith's lifetime, yes? See our friend Wikipedia:

Quote:
The Contributor was an independent publication associated with the The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) between 1879 and 1896. It was a monthly periodical and sought to represent the Young Men's and Young Ladies' Mutual Improvement Associations, the youth organizations of the LDS Church at the time. It was founded by Junius F. Wells, the inaugural head of the YMMIA.


So what is the actual source of the quote? When, where and to whom was this said? You have a second hand source of a second hand quote.

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 24, 2008 2:45 pm 
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Quote:
I've noticed many believers refer to the practice of polygamy as "plural marriage," almost as if this is a more respectable term.


I've noticed many disbelievers refer to the practice of plural marriage as "polygamy," almost as if this is a more disrespectable term.

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 24, 2008 2:59 pm 
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Quote:
I've noticed many disbelievers refer to the practice of plural marriage as "polygamy," almost as if this is a more disrespectable term.


Speaking for myself, not at all. There are NO words that make this practice even remotely respectable.

"Plural marriage" sounds like some made up term. Does anyone even recognize this as a real description of a form of marriage other than the LDS and FLDS communities? I have never heard anyone ever use such a term outside the Mormon community.

Plural marriage just doesn't make any sense to me as a descriptor of his practice.

But more to the point... do Mormons believe "plural marriage" sounds better than polygamy?

Do folks on the board think so?

~dancer~

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