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 Post subject: God asks you to practice polygamy – what would you do?
PostPosted: Fri Aug 26, 2011 10:42 am 
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I’m on part 2 of DCP’s interview on mormonstories. He candidly states that polygamy does make Joseph Smith look bad because of the lying and sneaking around and such. He then offers a negation by asking a very thoughtful question: What if an angel asked you to commit polygamy, what would you do?

That’s a very profound question Daniel.

Of course, this all assumes that the angel really came from God and wasn’t Satan deceiving Joseph and assuming Joseph didn’t make it up.

I see a few scenarios:

1) You could protest at first but essentially give in and break a host of other commandments like lying, adultery, breaking the law, etc. This is essentially what Joseph did.

2) You could protest and then say OK, I’ll do what you commanded me to do and all the consequences are yours. But then instead of breaking all the other commandments, do it as honorably as possible. Be bold and tell the congregation that an angel commanded you to practice polygamy. Don’t lie – ever! Follow the D&C to the letter and only take women approved of by your wife. You will be forced to break the law and if they jail you for it, so be it – that’s God’s fault, not yours and you will be held blameless.

Marry the women, but don’t have sex with them, unless God specifically commands it – but I don’t really see God sending an angel to specifically instruct him to have sex with the women. Maybe Joseph could even take the high road and instead of marrying dozens of women, teenage girls and women married to other men, Joseph could instead take one, old, unattractive Old Maid to be his wife. That way, Emma wouldn’t be so jealous and no one is going to accuse him of doing this for selfish reasons.

3) Last choice is to say “FU angel!” Go ahead and destroy me then. I refuse to worship a God that wants me to break the law, set a terrible example to everyone, lie, commit adultery, make my wife cry and cause everyone so much pain and plague the church forever. If it wasn’t for polygamy, the church would probably be so much more accepted by society today as polygamy is still the #1 issue with gentiles.


I think this really has deeper ramifications. I see Abraham also being asked to do something unspeakable in being forced to kill his own son with a knife. What kind of God would do this to anyone? Either God doesn’t exist or these two stories aren’t true or he isn’t the God I want him to be.

If I was Joseph, I would hope I would have had the courage to stand up to his angel with a sword and say, slay me if you must but I will not commit such despicable crimes.

What would you do?


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 Post subject: Re: God asks you to practice polygamy – what would you do?
PostPosted: Fri Aug 26, 2011 11:02 am 
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If I was Joseph, I would hope I would have had the courage to stand up to his angel with a sword and say, slay me if you must but I will not commit such despicable crimes.


This. I would assume that it was an angel of darkness or a test. If it was a test I would go with the Light of Christ which tells me that lying to my spouse in wrong and that using manipulations and coersion to get people in bed is also wrong.

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 Post subject: Re: God asks you to practice polygamy – what would you do?
PostPosted: Fri Aug 26, 2011 3:08 pm 
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I wish God would give me a polyandry test. I would totally pass!

But in seriousness, I don't believe that an angel would command a committed monogamist in a monogamous society to practice polygamy any more than I think an angel would command a man or woman in a free society to purchase and maintain a slave. Slavery and polygamy both existed in biblical times for a variety of reasons (none of which included God randomly imposing them from out of nowhere), and I can even see God providing governing instructions to societies that are already deeply saturated with them. But excepting circumstances where the parties involved are already poorly off, I think both polygamy and slavery are bad for society, bad for the parties that participate, and not part of God's ideal for humanity.

So, if an angel came to me and commanded me to practice polygamy, I'd assume that he was not of God and send him packing. If he handed me a list of three dozen or so names of men that God would like me to marry, I'd really send him packing.

(I haven't listened to Dan's interview, but I thought I'd answer anyways.)

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 Post subject: Re: God asks you to practice polygamy – what would you do?
PostPosted: Fri Aug 26, 2011 4:19 pm 
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LDS truthseeker wrote:
What if an angel asked you to commit polygamy, what would you do?


I'd know the personage wasn't an angel and I'd send him back to whatever hell he came from.

And I'd find another church.

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 Post subject: Re: God asks you to practice polygamy – what would you do?
PostPosted: Fri Aug 26, 2011 8:54 pm 
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Normally, it would depend upon how amenable Jessica Alba and Scarlet Johansson were to such a polygamist union, but I think I might also have to receive some sort of certificate of Alphamaleness from Darrick's former BYU roommate.

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 Post subject: Re: God asks you to practice polygamy – what would you do?
PostPosted: Sat Aug 27, 2011 6:50 am 
harmony wrote:
LDS truthseeker wrote:
What if an angel asked you to commit polygamy, what would you do?


I'd know the personage wasn't an angel and I'd send him back to whatever hell he came from.

And I'd find another church.

As Harmony points out here, I think that this would be "the final straw" for me.

Any type of reinstatement in polygamy would cause me to leave the Church..,as it would thousands. I believe that is why it won't happen.


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 Post subject: Re: God asks you to practice polygamy – what would you do?
PostPosted: Sat Aug 27, 2011 6:59 am 
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If one wants to get a sense in retrospect of what Joseph Smith did and why he did it, one need only look at the FLDS Prophet Warren Jeffs.

No need to postulate an angel with a flaming sword. No need to wonder what you (as a male) would do in Joseph Smith's situation. The swcenrrio plays out perfectly well without a god or angels.

Pretty much every functioning heterosexual male over the age of 20 or so has faced the same "decisions" that Joseph Smith and Warren Jeffs faced, with the same biological drives, motivations, and potential consequences. Luckily for humankind only a relative handful of these men in modern times have behaved in the way that Smith and Jeffs behaved.

With few variations, the story of Warren Jeffs is the story of Joseph Smith - plain and simple.

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 Post subject: Re: God asks you to practice polygamy – what would you do?
PostPosted: Mon Aug 29, 2011 4:59 am 
DrW wrote:
If one wants to get a sense in retrospect of what Joseph Smith did and why he did it, one need only look at the FLDS Prophet Warren Jeffs.

No need to postulate an angel with a flaming sword. No need to wonder what you (as a male) would do in Joseph Smith's situation. The swcenrrio plays out perfectly well without a god or angels.

Pretty much every functioning heterosexual male over the age of 20 or so has faced the same "decisions" that Joseph Smith and Warren Jeffs faced, with the same biological drives, motivations, and potential consequences. Luckily for humankind only a relative handful of these men in modern times have behaved in the way that Smith and Jeffs behaved.

With few variations, the story of Warren Jeffs is the story of Joseph Smith - plain and simple.


I disagree. Joseph Smith was not nearly as depraved and sick as Warren Jeffs. Warren Jeffs encouraged, and held "group instruction" for group sex with his wives, which included 12 year olds..(according to the accounts we have, the youngest wife Joseph took was 14, and we are unclear on whether or not he had sex with her). Warren Jeffs recorded sessions of having sex with his new wives in the temple, in front of other wives, in a ritualistic rape fashion. If Joseph Smith ever did such an act, we have no record of it.

If you have read my posts regarding polygamy, you know that I am the last person to defend Joseph Smith on this one. I absolutely think that section 132's segment on plural marriage, and his counsel to Emma, in particular, were, at worst, made up simply to cover his tracks in having an affair with Fanny Alger, and, at best, a gross misinterpretation of the Lord's instructions and intent.

However, in either case, I don't think that the comparison between Jeffs and Smith is a fair one.

Jeffs is definitely where he belongs....getting raped in prison for eternity.


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 Post subject: Re: God asks you to practice polygamy – what would you do?
PostPosted: Mon Aug 29, 2011 7:27 am 
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I would pass the test and choose to be morally clean instead of a mindlessly obedient automaton.

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 Post subject: Re: God asks you to practice polygamy – what would you do?
PostPosted: Mon Aug 29, 2011 5:35 pm 
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liz3564 wrote:

However, in either case, I don't think that the comparison between Jeffs and Smith is a fair one.



I think it is fair. DrW did say their were some variations. I think we need to consider that Joseph grew up in a monogamous society, and knew better to seek sexual relationship with other women. He lied and broke his own rules he claims God laid down about it. Is it any wonder that we would see someone like WJ who grew up in a polygamous society that Joseph started.

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 Post subject: Re: God asks you to practice polygamy – what would you do?
PostPosted: Mon Aug 29, 2011 8:14 pm 
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just me wrote:
Quote:
If I was Joseph, I would hope I would have had the courage to stand up to his angel with a sword and say, slay me if you must but I will not commit such despicable crimes.


This. I would assume that it was an angel of darkness or a test. If it was a test I would go with the Light of Christ which tells me that lying to my spouse in wrong and that using manipulations and coersion to get people in bed is also wrong.


Is it possible that your understanding of the purpose of polygamy (get people in bed) is lacking? No one said you had to lie about it or use manipulations and coercion to accomplish polygamy.

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 Post subject: Re: God asks you to practice polygamy – what would you do?
PostPosted: Mon Aug 29, 2011 8:51 pm 
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GR33N wrote:

Is it possible that your understanding of the purpose of polygamy (get people in bed) is lacking? No one said you had to lie about it or use manipulations and coercion to accomplish polygamy.


but Joseph did, and he needed to as well. Any time a religious leader wants sexual access to followers, they need to convince them that it is of God. This is an old story. Polygamy was just a way to justify it, and involve more people, which means more access for Joseph. I also think he convince himself, which is also common for people to do.

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 Post subject: Re: God asks you to practice polygamy – what would you do?
PostPosted: Mon Aug 29, 2011 10:45 pm 
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LDS truthseeker wrote:
I’m on part 2 of DCP’s interview on mormonstories. He candidly states that polygamy does make Joseph Smith look bad because of the lying and sneaking around and such. He then offers a negation by asking a very thoughtful question: What if an angel asked you to commit polygamy, what would you do?



I think a more appropriate question, one that Dan Witherspoon should have asked, is if Dan actually believes that an angel with a flaming sword commanded Joseph Smith to practice polygamy.
Deep down Dan has to know that it's BS...right?

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 Post subject: Re: God asks you to practice polygamy – what would you do?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 30, 2011 5:10 am 
Themis wrote:
liz3564 wrote:

However, in either case, I don't think that the comparison between Jeffs and Smith is a fair one.



I think it is fair. DrW did say their were some variations. I think we need to consider that Joseph grew up in a monogamous society, and knew better to seek sexual relationship with other women. He lied and broke his own rules he claims God laid down about it. Is it any wonder that we would see someone like WJ who grew up in a polygamous society that Joseph started.

Based on my previous post, due to the horrifying nature of Jeff's actions, I think that the variations are different enough that the comparison is unfair. Please re-read my entire post, paying close attention to the horrifying acts Jeff committed.

If, after imagining that it could be your daughter in those circumstances, you can honestly compare that to what we have record of that Joseph actually did, I suppose we will have to simply agree to disagree. And, keep in mind that I am VERY opposed to polygamy.


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 Post subject: Re: God asks you to practice polygamy – what would you do?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 30, 2011 5:34 am 
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liz3564 wrote:
If, after imagining that it could be your daughter in those circumstances, you can honestly compare that to what we have record of that Joseph actually did, I suppose we will have to simply agree to disagree. And, keep in mind that I am VERY opposed to polygamy.

I see your point of view on this and have no problem with what you have said on the subject. I still believe that the two of them had many of the same problems with ethics, morality and self-control. And I would not want to find either of them within a country mile of any of my daughters.

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 Post subject: Re: God asks you to practice polygamy – what would you do?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 30, 2011 5:37 am 
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Willy Law wrote:
LDS truthseeker wrote:
I’m on part 2 of DCP’s interview on mormonstories. He candidly states that polygamy does make Joseph Smith look bad because of the lying and sneaking around and such. He then offers a negation by asking a very thoughtful question: What if an angel asked you to commit polygamy, what would you do?



I think a more appropriate question, one that Dan Witherspoon should have asked, is if Dan actually believes that an angel with a flaming sword commanded Joseph Smith to practice polygamy.
Deep down Dan has to know that it's BS...right?

Why not ask Dr. Peterson that very question right now?

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 Post subject: Re: God asks you to practice polygamy – what would you do?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 30, 2011 8:43 am 
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liz3564 wrote:
Based on my previous post, due to the horrifying nature of Jeff's actions, I think that the variations are different enough that the comparison is unfair. Please re-read my entire post, paying close attention to the horrifying acts Jeff committed.

If, after imagining that it could be your daughter in those circumstances, you can honestly compare that to what we have record of that Joseph actually did, I suppose we will have to simply agree to disagree. And, keep in mind that I am VERY opposed to polygamy.


I have read your post, and even though Jeffs did some things that are worse then Joseph is known to do, their are still many fair comparisons to be made. I also recognize that Joseph created this environment which Jeffs grew up in and was brought up to eventually lead. I think DrW last response to you sums it up fairly well. I wouldn't want any of my daughters close to either one of them.

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 Post subject: Re: God asks you to practice polygamy – what would you do?
PostPosted: Wed Aug 31, 2011 6:55 am 
Themis wrote:
I wouldn't want any of my daughters close to either one of them.


Neither would I.

However, I think that the extremity in differences of their acts is worth noting.

Based on those extremities, i still find it impossible to view a straight-across comparison. Again, I suppose we will have to agree to disagree.


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 Post subject: Re: God asks you to practice polygamy – what would you do?
PostPosted: Wed Aug 31, 2011 10:38 am 
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liz3564 wrote:

Based on those extremities, i still find it impossible to view a straight-across comparison. Again, I suppose we will have to agree to disagree.


I think we have already agreed that there are variations, but that does not mean we can't make many good comparisons between the two.

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 Post subject: Re: God asks you to practice polygamy – what would you do?
PostPosted: Wed Aug 31, 2011 11:04 am 
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GR33N wrote:
Is it possible that your understanding of the purpose of polygamy (get people in bed) is lacking?


Just saw this. No. Even if the purpose is to chain all of humanity together in an eternal bind what happened is not okay.

Quote:
No one said you had to lie about it or use manipulations and coercion to accomplish polygamy.


But that is what happened. Also, D&C 132 is abusive. If that was some random dude saying those things we would call it an abusive relationship and try to get the woman free of him.

Joseph lied about it. That is a fact that cannot be ignored.

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 Post subject: Re: God asks you to practice polygamy – what would you do?
PostPosted: Wed Aug 31, 2011 11:41 am 
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Here are some of the reasons I became very skeptical that God really told Joseph Smith to do polygamy:

1: Fanny Alger-as far as we know there was no sealing power at this time restores to the earth or if you do not believe the restored issue it was not part of the LDS doctrine. Fanny was a young attractive girls that it seems Joseph had an affair with and when he got caught then used polygamy as a cover. It all just seems to convenient.

2: Joseph used his position of power to influence many women to marry him. This put them under great duress. Promising to young girl her families exaltation, telling others they were predestined as his, promising them eternal rewards and placing a time limit on their decision, all this from a man they viewed as God's prophet would create great duress and pressure on the women to accept.

3: It seems that Joseph Smith tries to tarnish the reputation of some women who even under duress were able to refuse.

4: Polyandry. Need I really say more? Did Joseph Smith really need to marry Zina? She had a faithful spouse that could marry her in the temple and she had children with the man as well. This in my view was a despicable thing by Joseph and Brigham. Zina as well and Henry Jacob for not beating the hell out of Joseph and Brigham for taking his wife.

Which by the way is what I would have done had they asked for my wide. Yes Heber I would have failed that nonsensical test.

5: I understand some of the secrecy from the general public. So if God did command it, it would really be a problem in the society in which they lived. But lying to his wife about and committing subterfuge as well as an alleged revelation that threatens her and other women with destruction if they do not accept? Well if the God I have always had faith in exists he would not do such a thing.

To sum up, heck no I would not practice polygamy. I see little different between Joseph Smith and other cult/religious leaders who says God is telling them to take more than one women.

Joseph Smith may have believed God was telling him to do so, he may have had motives that were dynastic and he may have had a plan to tie families together. But the way he did it just smells really bad.


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