Visually Illustrating Joseph Smith’s Wives to Provoke Thought and Start Evangelistic Conversations at the Manti Miracle Pageant

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On Friday there were 34 women represented. On Saturday it looks like there were only 27 women represented. For more pictures from evangelism at the 2008 “Manti Miracle Pageant”, scheduled to continue from next Tuesday till Saturday, see here.

For those of you new to the issue, I welcome you to check out the list on WivesOfJosephSmith.org.

Update: This is understandably odd and crazy to some of you folks, especially those who didn’t attend the pageant and see it for yourself. I’d be really careful not to pass quick judgment on the sweet women who put this together, and really careful not to make unfair comparisons from your own experiences from other contexts and venues. These are sweet gals who had patient, loving, delicate conversations with those who came up to them. I remember walking up to one Christian (dressed up as a “wife”) yesterday who had tears in her eyes. I asked her what the matter was and she simply said she was overwhelmed with sorrow over all the Mormon people at the pageant who were deceived by the Mormon religion. All around us were very cordial, very outstanding interactions going on.

Remember, they’re dealing with normal, regular Mormons, many of whom don’t even know Joseph Smith practiced polygamy. Some of them are reaching their friends, neighbors, schoolmates, and coworkers. I didn’t personally hear of complaints of the display being called offensive (although I’m sure I’ll hear them soon enough; it’s not fun for Mormons to have to explain to their fellow members the history represented by this), but I heard stories of Mormons expressing disbelief. For them this was the first time learning that Smith not only married over 30 women, but married over 9 who were simultaneously married to living husbands.

If one wanted to judge the event based off how effectively it educated and started good conversations, it was an extraordinary success. I fully support the women who had the evangelistic fervor and creativity to put this together.

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42 Responses to Visually Illustrating Joseph Smith’s Wives to Provoke Thought and Start Evangelistic Conversations at the Manti Miracle Pageant

  1. winter says:

    Aaron,

    This isn’t an attempt to ‘provoke thought and start evangelistic conversation.’

    This is crass caricature – disrespectful of other’s religion. Intended to shock.

    Unworthy of anyone who would call themselves Christian.

    Shameful.

  2. David says:

    Aaron,

    While I definitely agree that one needs to do things at “Pageant” to wake people up (Mormons there have gotten used to the wild atmosphere), this may appear to be a case of “jumping the shark”. I can hear a conversation years from now starting with something like this, “Hey, remember that time we dressed the girls up like Joseph Smith’s wives.” It is ridiculous but then so was that time in Mormon history.

  3. It might seem crazy online via the pictures, but in the context of the pageant atmosphere (where people expect costumes relating to Mormon history, for one thing) it was pretty tame. Chip Thompson, a Christian ministry leader who has been serving in the area for years, said, “I personally believe this was the single most impacting event in the history of the pageant outreaches (just my opinion). It was powerful.”

  4. falcon says:

    As an instructional strategy hmmmmmmmmmmm……..As a retired educator, but one who’s still involved in consulting work, the questions I always ask about an instructional method or technique are “did it work”, “was it effective”, “did it meet the goal that was established prior to instruction taking place”? We could then add, “were any moral or ethical boundries crossed?” “Was it in good taste”? Because this is really an instructional event. Did it make people angry and defensive? Is that bad? Was the goal to shock and offend? Who know’s about any of this but I’ll tell you what, it took some courage to do it. I’ve watched the people with the huge pictures of the aborted babies… standing on college campuses. It’s really offensive but then so is abortion. So I was talking to one of the guys coordinating the picture event about why he draws a crowd of homosexuals to this event. He said he didn’t know but then it would draw this antihomosexual pastor who, how can I say this delicately, had model representations of……….anyway…..they’d yell at him and he’d yell back and I watched a couple of people in the homosexual crowd crying at being abused so terrably. Seemed like everyone got what they came for.
    So I wasn’t at the pagent but I love to observe human dynamics and behavior so maybe I’ll have to take a field trip next year to Manti……where is Manti? Is it in Minnesota or Iowa?

  5. See my update to the original post.

    PS Manti is in Utah 🙂

  6. jbarrett says:

    winter, if this was a caricature then you seem to be implying that Smith probably didn’t have more than one wife (or maybe more than a few). No one was saying “Mormon’s still believe in polygamy today,” but they were, in a way, restating a part of the context of Joseph Smith’s life that is conveniently forgotten or dismissed. If you consider it disrespectful to portray the history of one’s religion in a way that isn’t false, then I don’t know what to tell you (perhaps you’re easily offended?).

  7. Jeffrey says:

    I’m kind of torn with this. I’m sure there were some very good conversations between these women and some of the LDS people, but I am wondering if the overall feel from the LDS people was as if they were being persecuted. Which in turn gives them the “us against them” complex which makes it really hard to witness to these people.

    Simply asking “Did the pro’s outweigh the con’s?” If so, I think it was a really good idea, if not, there are probably better ways of witnessing… It’s amazing to me, as Aaron pointed out, that many Mormons had no idea about Joseph Smith’s polygamy. It’s just not something that’s mentioned..

    My wife just got me “Rough Stone Rolling” for fathers day which I’m excited to crack into. Also, we ordered “In Sacred Loneliness” which should arrive in a few weeks.

  8. David says:

    Aaron,

    I was wondering. How did the TLC folks handle this? I would imagine a few of them would say something like, “Yeah, that’s right . . . Joseph did have several wives.” I am sure that seeing a group of sister-wives together is not rare in Manti; in Sanpete county, polygamy is far from being a dead issue.

  9. Our mere presence (at pageants, on doorsteps, on the streets, anywhere) brings accusations of “persecution”. If that stopped us, we wouldn’t even show up anywhere to talk to Mormon strangers. That’s a stereotype hard to avoid from the Mormon people, so yeah, it has a lot to do with weighing pro’s and con’s.

    I’ve been to Manti for a few years and I have never seen any TLC sister wives, although I have met some TLC guys.

    Most people who come to the pageant are from out of town, i.e. outside of Sanpete county.

  10. winter says:

    PR stunts like this just end up all over your face.

    PR Definitions –

    courageous: if it works
    stupid: if it doesn’t work

    You’ve lost on scholarship. At this rate, you’re gonna lose on PR, too.

  11. winter, think about it: Who do you think is more embarrassed right now: Those who represented the 30 wives of Joseph Smith, or those who would rather their fellow Mormon neighbors not have a crisis of conscience over Joseph Smith’s questionable character? In any case, a lot of Christians are willing to be “fools” for the sake of exposing truth and helping deceived people see the light.

    Ephesians 5:11 Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them. 12 For it is shameful even to speak of the things that they do in secret. 13 But when anything is exposed by the light, it becomes visible, 14 for anything that becomes visible is light. Therefore it says, “Awake, O sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.”

  12. Some stories from Manti evangelism here.

  13. Arthur Sido says:

    winter,

    What is crass about this? Joseph Smith had multiple wives. This is just a way of getting beyond an academic knowledge of his polygamous behavior and seeing what that many wives might really look like. Smith either had a bunch of wives, including taking other men’s wives, or he didn’t. It is a historically verifiable fact. The only embarrassment here is coming from mormons who cannot defend the man they call the prophet of the restoration.

    I love the “You’ve lost on scholarship” comment in defense of a church that relies on “I have a testimony” as their primary apologetic defense.

  14. falcon says:

    Well from the sounds of it, Joseph Smith is “the man” and a little poke, true as it is, is too much for TBMs. I mean if our buddy Sub got the major delete, I’d say were on to something here.

  15. mobaby says:

    This sounds like an intriguing way to highlight a truth and start conversations. It goes beyond words, illustrating the truth that these were real women & children who followed their prophet into the practice of plural marriage. It takes something that Mormon believers may want to keep in the realm of the theoretical so it can easily be dismissed and makes it tangible – with flesh & bones. Illustrating the lives of real people that were devastated by the practice of polygamy. A 14 year old girl. Women currently married to other men. Reality. A strange reality taught as religious truth.

  16. Megan says:

    I think this was an outstanding idea. Wow! It’s true, many Mormons don’t know that Smith had wives during his lifetime. Instead, they believe scores of women were sealed to him after his death only. While women were sealed to him after he died, many aren’t aware that he was married to women for time (ie, sexual relations) during his life. Even fewer know of polyandrous relationships Smith was involved in. I cringe when I see photos of well-intentioned Christians holding huge signs and shouting at LDS events. That’s why I was so impressed with the pictures of these women representing Smiths’ many wives. I studied their facial expressions, as well as the expressions and body language of the people they were interacting with. The LDS people they were talking to did not look offended (although I’m sure many were). Instead, they looked curious. It is so important when questioning a person’s beliefs and dialoguing with them to have an attitude of respect and great love at all times. It really seems that this was the case at the Pageant.

  17. skc says:

    I was there. It amazed me to find how many mormons, good temple people didn’t know the true history. If the Pageant is the true history then why aren’t wives in it? And what about the scene where JS dies. The guns are on display in the Salt Lake so why isn’t he using them in the Pageant? I guess this is the difference between some one who didn’t grow up in the church and some one who did. Faith is the belief in the unknown or unseen, but this we can know and see. It just seems like they don’t want me to know or research. And for those of you who want to take your toys and go… if you can’t find enough the words in the english language that wouldn’t be offensive to others then maybe you need to go back to grade school.

  18. David says:

    Aaron,

    It looks like this event, and this thread, made it into the tribune (or a blog connected with it). I was linked to it by Rob Sivulka’s http://www.mormoninfo.org . You can read the story here –
    http://blogs.sltrib.com/slcrawler/2008/06/polygamy-pageant-in-manti.htm

  19. Jerry Holt says:

    Aaron,
    I was there too. As soon as the ladies lined up along the fence, three EMTs from the first-aid booth across the street ran over to have their picture taken with their arms around the shoulders of “Joseph Smith’s wives”. They were laughing and joking around. I asked them if they thought this was funny and their response was “oh yes, this is hilarious.” Then I asked them if if it was alright that Joseph married 11 teenagers two who were just 14, sisters, a mother AND her daughter, and women who were still married to other men. One of the EMT’s said he had no problem with it. WOW!

  20. Mark Beesley says:

    I imagine it was an interesting display. Were the women who portrayed the various wives also armed with quotes from each of the wives explaining how they were duped, coereced and tricked into entering into these relationships? Were they able to honestly share with those pageant visitors they encountered the inner-most feelings of the women they were portraying? So far as I am aware, though I could be mistaken, none of the women who are shown to have been sealed to Joseph Smith spoke negatively of the Prophet. Did their 21st Century counterparts do likewise? Or were their comments and attitudes colored by their own 21st Century experience and biases?

    Unless you were there, in the 19th Century, none of you have any right to judge Joseph Smith or any of the women who were sealed to him, whether for time, eternity, or both.

  21. I’ve had it with subgenius. His comments are now deleted and he is no longer welcome on this thread. I know these sweet, loving women who participated in this ministry on the street and I am not going to let this blog be used to let him accuse them of “self-[ag]grandizing and posturing in the name of Jesus”. Subgenius, really, I think you would be comfortable at MormonApologetics.org saying these kinds of things. Also, your whining isn’t welcome here. If you think Mormon comments are the one ones I delete/moderate, you’re wrong. If you have a specific complaint about moderation, e-mail me.

  22. Mark, of course we don’t know the “innermost feelings” of Joseph’s wives. More than anything, we are letting the simple facts speak for themselves. If these facts aren’t alarming, why doesn’t the Mormon Church more actively seek to educate membership about things like Smith’s polyandry?

  23. Mark Beesley says:

    “[W]hy doesn’t the Mormon Church more actively seek to educate membership about things like Smith’s polyandry?”

    Because it is unimportant to our salvation, and because we, more likely than not, are apt to fall into the trap of imposing 21st Century mores, values, practices, and thought on 19th Century folks whose lifestyles are essentially foreign to us. Folks will scoff, but Elder Packer was right when he said that some things that are true are not very useful. It is not, for example,useful to me to spend much time at all on Joseph Smith’s marital practices, particularly in light of my own failings, and more particularly in light of what the Lord has told me directly regarding Joseph Smith.

    Spending time musing about 19th Century events may be invigorating to the historical scholar, but for most of us, there are much more weightier matters with which we need to concern ourselves, like how am I going to afford my next tank of gas. The Church is seeking to help the membership to come to Christ, to develop faith in Him, to live clean lives, to be productive and wholesome contributors to the communities in which they live, to prepare themselves spiritually and physically for the trials that lie ahead.

    No, spotlighting 19th Century practices which we likely misunderstand and misinterpret, while entertaining to a certain degree, does not rank very high on my list of things I need to worry about.

    Take care Aaron.

  24. Michael P says:

    Mark, why does this excersise matter?

    Why would we want to put our faith in something driven by such a flawed and seemingly manipulative individual?

    Especially given that individuals own claims to special knowledge.

    If its true that he manipulated these women, why couldn’t he have manipulated everyone else? Why couldn’t he have fabricated the vision, the BoM, and so many other things?

    His marital practices are indicative of his character, which upon examination is lacking credibility.

  25. Mark Beesley says:

    “Why would we want to put our faith in something driven by such a flawed and seemingly manipulative individual?”
    We wouldn’t. We would want to put our faith in Jesus Christ, and in personal revelation from Heavenly Father. After that, the stumbling blocks that are an obstacle for many become stepping stones.

    Have a nice day Michael.

  26. cinepro says:

    What a fantastically interesting tactic. First, it’s a pageant, so the “drama” is just as appropriate as anything else the audience is going to see. I mean, is anyone really going to argue that the “wives” are twisting history to a greater degree than the Church’s presentation of its own history during the pageant itself?

    It’s also interesting for its visual effectiveness. A preacher with a bullhorn and overwrought sign is easily tuned out and ignored. But I doubt many will forget seeing those women lined up. Even having read “In Sacred Loneliness”, I was a little surprised and disturbed to see a “living” demonstration.

    I have long feared that the [filtered profanity or slur]s would figure out that they don’t have to lie to get people weirded out by the Church. Displays like this show that some might be catching on.

  27. jackg says:

    Mark B.

    What’s sad is that you really believe you put your trust in Jesus Christ. I know you’re sincere, and I bet you are a good person who loves God. Unfortunately, we all have to discern truth from error; you call it being judgmental. You make a bold statement about what the LORD has personally told you about Joseph Smith. You know, there are false spirits bearing false witness. It is necessary for us to judge a prophet by his fruits. JS fruits are a religion that exalts man to being equal with God. His fruits teach that God had a beginning, once lived on an earth and was in need of a savior Himself. JS fruits teach that a man MUST be a polygamist to have eternal life (see D&C 132). JS fruits teach that to enter eternity in the presence of God that a person must know secret handshakes and have a new name, and that a wife is dependent on her husband to remember her new name in order to enter into God’s presence. Gordon B. Hinckley made a curious comment about his relationship with his wife. He said, in effect, that if he were to die first, he would not know how to get along without her and, if she went first, he would hope that she couldn’t get along without him, either. JS fruits are a man-centered religion with Christ on the periphery. His fruits are in direct contrast with Christ-centered gospel. The good news is salvation through Christ for those who believe. JS good news is salvation through your works with God’s grace attached at the end almost as an afterthought. Recognizing such fruits as heresy is indeed important to the salvation of an entire people for whom CHRIST died.

  28. Jesus Christ personally bore his testimony and revealed his will when he said to watch out for false prophets and false teachers, and that we would know them by their fruits.

  29. GSwarthout says:

    > What’s sad is that you really believe you put your
    > trust in Jesus Christ.

    And you believe otherwise. Are you a soothsayer?

    The rest of your message is what we call “begging the question”. It is circular logic.

  30. Jeffrey says:

    Michael P said “Why would we want to put our faith in something driven by such a flawed and seemingly manipulative individual?”

    Then Mark B said “We wouldn’t. We would want to put our faith in Jesus Christ, and in personal revelation from Heavenly Father. After that, the stumbling blocks that are an obstacle for many become stepping stones.”

    You say you put your faith in the person you believe who Jesus truly is. To you, who is that person? It’s the person that Joseph Smith/Brigham Young and all other prophets of the LDS church say he is, right. Is that Jesus the same as Christianity’s Jesus? No, even Gordon B Hinckley said so.

    So, there are two different Jesus. One has been God from all eternity, and one had to work to become a God. One “Knows of no other Gods”, and the other “Knows of many gods”.

    One is a false Jesus, one is the true Jesus.

    So its a gamble for you. You’re putting your faith into the “Jesus” that Joseph Smith described. Is he the true Jesus or the false one? Your putting your faith in the doctrine of a religion that a man created in the 19th century that has shown to be historically/archaeologically innacurate and doctrinally inconsistent.

    Christians put their faith in Jesus Christ, a perfect being, that started His church and declared that the Gates of Hell will not prevail against.

  31. skc says:

    I think it is amazing how smart people can be fooled by a false prophet. Test the prophet, if just one is false or does come thru then he is a false prophet. try d&c 114 did it happen? no what about d&c 84 again no. I am sad for the lost soles who won’t know until it’s too late. These ladies were just giving history. History that the church has left out. They weren’t spinning anything. He had at least 34 wives, some were married to living husbands and some were as young as 14,some where sisters and some were mothers and daughters. Have you read the history? I have, and I wept for these women and children.

  32. falcon says:

    I have been fantasizing about someone wiriting a Broadway musical that could be called “The Wives of Joseph Smith”. I have all sorts of ideas. We could have Joseph Smith sing a song like “It’s Great Being the Prophet”. See, not only does this pious and holy prophet and all around good guy get to have endless sex with a variety of women, It’s not even adultery. The prophet’s subsequent followers deny it, rationalize it, justify it, endorse it, support it, minimize it’s importance and if necessary ignore it and try to suppress the information about it. WOW! It’s great being the prophet! When you’re Joseph Smith you can do anything you want and it’s not even sin. Man, how do you get a gig like that?

  33. germit says:

    Mark Beesely: I’ve only been posting here a short while, but welcome to Mormon Coffee, as I have no idea if you’ve posted here for years or days. Stick around, JLF and Ralph would appreciate the company: the probably feel like Sisyphus in a hail storm.

    You will likely not care for my summary of your arguments, to you these might look more like caricature, but “I ain’t good lookin’ but I ain’t shy” and here goes:

    Why Joseph Smith Having a 19th Cent. Harem is no big deal:

    1.not that bad because his wives didn’t complain publicly (imagine for a second just how difficult a task THAT would have been)
    2. not that big a deal because maybe others in that culture did the same thing or didn’t have the level of disapproval that we have today (polyandry as either commonplace or more accepted in the 1800’s ?? whose history have you been smoking??)
    3. not that bad because , hey, I sin, you sin, we all sin (this argument deserves no rebuttal)
    4. not that bad because it happened long ago and our interpretations will be hopelessly colored and flawed (even with the help of the Holy Spirit, at least as far as helping the LDS make sense of this ?? 1835 AD is not exactly milennia ago)

    I think Cinepro hit the nail on the head:
    “I doubt that many will forget those women lined up” You know, I just bet his comment is pure money, nothing but Celtic net on this one…..there’s something about seeing a real live fresh faced 14 yr old in a gingham bonnet that cuts thru the poor excuses we’d like to give for JS’ unwillingness to control himself.
    2

  34. germit says:

    5. you didn’t have this in your post, but the classic excuse was, and still is, “well, yeah, it’s kind of freaky, but we don’t understand all of God’s ways and HE clearly told the prophet, His chosen instrument, that it was OK for that time…(.or some such mumbling, because Mark you have NO IDEA how hard it is to get the same story out of any group of Mormons (and if none of them are GA”s saying “thus sayeth the Lord” what does it matter anyway?? but I’m starting to get a little too cranky, sorrry) and the irony, well ONE of the ironies in this situation is that ALL this could quickly change with another Manisto, continuing revelation and all that, if only you guys could find some uninhabited land to go to….maybe Uzbekistan???? just a thought
    again: welcome back to MC Germit

  35. jackg says:

    GSwarthout,

    You can do better than that. I’m just revealing truth. Justify section 132 for me. I’m curious to see how well you’re trained in Mormon apologetics.

  36. GSwarthout says:

    > You can do better than that.

    Possibly, though there is no need in this instance; your argument is compromised solely of a logical fallacy. You have yet to show the basis of your assumption that polygamy somehow disqualifies one from being a prophet.

    > I’m just revealing truth.

    This (JS good news is salvation through your works with God’s grace attached at the end almost as an afterthought. Recognizing such fruits as heresy is indeed important to the salvation of an entire people for whom CHRIST died.) isn’t truth. It is opinion.

    > Justify section 132 for me. I’m curious to see
    > how well you’re trained in Mormon apologetics.

    Trained, eh? Don’t you mean brainwashed? Heh.

  37. Mark Beesley says:

    All of your comment are noted. The format of this forum does not really lend itself to extended discussion of the issues you all seem to have. If you would like to engage in serious discussion of these issues, I invite you to join us at MormonApologetics.org. However, you will need reputable references to support any accusations you wish to level against the Prophet. Bomb-throwing is not tolerated.

    Anyway, my primary reason for posting here was to point out that parading women down a street doesn’t begin to tell the whole story. I’m satisfied that Joseph Smith’s life was not an offense to God.

    As for the Jesus Christ in whom I believe, my belief is not dependent on the Bible or the Book of Mormon. My belief in Christ does not rest on doctrines taught by Joseph Smith or Brigham Young.

    I believe in the Jesus Christ who I know personally. He knows my name, and He loves me. He shed His blood for me, personally. I know this because He told me so. So, independent of the witnesses of the Bible, the Book of Mormon, Joseph Smith and Brigham Young, I know of the Christ in whom I believe.

    God’s grace and mercy be upon all of you. May you extend goodwill to all men as you would have God’s goodwill extended to you.

    Adieu.

  38. jackg says:

    GS,

    I don’t know how you can justify the life of Joseph Smith, but, hey, that’s your issue if that’s what you want to spend your life doing. You can say my argument is compromised all you want. You don’t really have an argument. My logic is based on biblical exegesis. What’s your logic based on? You defend Joseph Smith, and I’ll defend the Jesus of the Bible. Reject truth and call it opinion; I’ll speak truth and reveal heresy.

    Beesley,

    One must worship the Jesus Christ of the Bible, so your grand stance on your personal relationship not being dependent on the Bible is curious at best. The question is not if you know the Christ in whom you believe, but if the true Christ, as revealed to us through God’s word and through the power of the Spirit, knows you. You can’t discount the Bible, Beesley. The other book and people you mention can be discounted because they taught that which is clearly opposed to the Jesus and His gospel of the Bible. You can take all the pot shots you want; you can bid us adieu; but, please, don’t try to talk over us with your testimony, which if based on LDS teachings, is truly compromised. Tell me, do you really believe God lived on an earth, sinned, and was in need of salvation? That would make His Son, Jesus, more perfect than He. Where’s the logic in that? What spirit would bear witness to that? Not the Holy Spirit. Beware of following a false spirit. I did that for a while. It makes lies look like truth, and you really “feel” close to God, but you’re not. Test all things against God’s word, Beesley; don’t rely on your feelings and emotions, and definitely look beyond your circumstances–they can be very deceiving. God’s grace and mercy is being extended you. I pray that you will not reject it because you only think you know the LDS church is true. I thought I knew it was true, as well. In reality, I didn’t know anything

  39. GSwarthout says:

    > I don’t know how you can justify the life of
    > Joseph Smith

    I need not.

    > but, hey, that’s your issue if that’s what you
    > want to spend your life doing

    QED

    > You can say my argument is compromised all you
    > want.

    I actually meant to say comprised, as in “made up of”. I apologize for the error.

    > You don’t really have an argument.

    Correct. I was just pointing out that you didn’t either, since your “argument” didn’t stand up to logic.

    > You defend Joseph Smith,

    I do? Please show me where I have done this.

    > and I’ll defend the Jesus of the Bible.

    Aha! Another logical fallacy: the false dichotomy. Defending Joseph Smith wouldn’t preclude the defending of Christ or vice versa.

    > Reject truth and call it opinion;

    I reject no truth, but label a spade a spade.

    > I’ll speak truth and reveal heresy.

    That would be a better approach than what you have heretofore attempted.

  40. Ralph says:

    After reading through most of this page again today all I can say is that you only have one main argument against Joseph Smith out of all of this. All of the other arguments are on an emotional basis only. Lets look at them:
    – Joseph married one or two 14 year old girls. We have established that it is legal today and was most likely legal back then. No need for further argument on this.
    – Joseph had more than one wife. Again that was legal back then. The laws against polygamy came well after the practise of polygamy started. I wonder how many other people lived in polygamy besides the LDS. Just look at the Clint Eastwood movie “paint your wagon” to see an example of how it was possibly acceptable.
    – Some of Joseph’s wives had another husband. Again, this was legal back then.

    So the only argument that you really have which is not emotive is whether or not polygamy was a revelation from God.

    As for how difficult/bad polygamy would have been for the women, we do not have many of their thoughts about this in writing as far as I know. My guess is that some would have liked it and other would not. I do remember reading a couple of years ago in a magazine while waiting for the doctor that there was a man in America who lived with about 8 women, same house, different bedrooms, and they all had children to him. None of them were married to him, but they were all happy to have him as their partner and they were happy to share him with the other women. This is a polygynous relationship, not polygamous, but it is exactly the same circumstance and these women were happy and comfortable with it. And if anyone needs more demographics, they were caucasian, and non-religious. This happened in the past 20 years showing that women can accept a polygamous/amourous lifestyle.

  41. skc says:

    Ralph, have you read the journal entries of these ladies? Many of them this was NOT what they wanted but rather what they were told they had to do. NO WHERE does the Jesus of the Bible teach that you have to be married let alone in a plural marriage in order to have salvation. But yet that is what many of these women were told. Or their parents pretty much sold them into it to insure their salvation. If you think something is ok just because its not illegal then who are you putting your faith in God or laws? Your example of the “family” all that shows is they have the same lack in values as JS did.

  42. Jeffrey says:

    Beesley,

    you said “As for the Jesus Christ in whom I believe, my belief is not dependent on the Bible or the Book of Mormon. My belief in Christ does not rest on doctrines taught by Joseph Smith or Brigham Young.”

    If the “restoration” never happened, do you honestly think you would believe in the same doctrines about God or Jesus, today? Do you really think you would receive revelation that God was once a man who lived on an earth like us? That Christ was not born by the Holy Spirit but by Heavenly Father? That you have to know special handshakes to get into heaven? That there are 3 degrees of heaven? That there was a pre-existence?

    Give me a break, give me a piece of that kit-kat bar..

    Tell me Beesley, because I don’t like to assume how people became converted to the LDS gospel.. Were you born and raised LDS? If not, how did you start “knowing” the church was true? Did you read the BOM and do Moroni’s challenege? Because if you did that, you lied about what you said earlier.. You would have received a testimony that the BOM is true and that Joseph Smith is a true prophet through prayer, and that the doctrine that is taught by him is all true, especially the doctrine on the identity of God and Christ.

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