Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Mormons and Polygamy

Here is a subject that often raises more than eyebrows.  I have rarely heard more anger, animosity, and accusation on any other religious topic.  Gratefully, there is a very simple answer to what tends to outrage honest, concerned people and also general naysayers.  We must first comprehend that no Christian or Jew ought to be among the ranks of people outraged with the polygamy of Mormonism.  If one can accept Jacob, David, and Solomon as men of God, then why not Brigham Young, who had fewer wives than David and Solomon and no concubines?  If one believes the Bible, one cannot have any logical issue with believing that God would institute it in another dispensation. 

That being said, let's discuss some history.  When Joseph Smith was preaching many of the members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints were being murdered.  Mobs were burning members' homes, destroying their property, torturing their children and slaughtering their people in general.  Logically, what do you think happened?  When in a battle, a man will lose his life protecting women.  You may imagine that many men died in this manner.  So we were left with a great many women who by the laws of the time had no right to vote, hold land, et cetera and certainly were left in many ways unprotected if they were unmarried.  If you were a loving father watching his daughters left destitute, what would you do?  My point exactly.  The women were given as much normalcy and protection as they could possibly have.  Still don't believe me?  After the Saints fled to the Salt Lake Valley and established themselves, talks began between them and the United States government about Utah becoming a state.  The federal government said that they would allow Utah to be a state with normal rights to all things including religion if the Mormon people gave up polygamy.  Our answer?  If we are not going to be met with hostility, we do not need polygamy.  It was immediately revoked.  As we have heard of various groups practicing polygamy in recent years, I would like to make it clear that they are not of the Mormon faith.

Polygamy as used in this case was never meant to belittle women.  Women are revered in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.  They are placed on a pedastal and described as angels.  The international leaders repeatedly remind women how special, precious and capable they are.  Women are part of a sisterhood of faith called the Relief Society which makes it its business to organize itself to aid people in need both within the confines of the church and without.   

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