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Suzie

Richard Roswell Lyman

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Richard R. Lyman was born in November 23rd, 1870 in Fillmore, Utah . He married his wife Amy on September 9th, 1896. At the age of 48 (in 1918), he was called as a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. His wife would become years later a Relief Society General President.

Sometime in 1920-1921 Lyman started helping and counseling a woman who had been disfellowshipped from the Church for practicing Plural Marriage. As some of you know, plural marriages performed between 1890 and 1906 were allowed to continue until those involved in such marriages died off.

Three years after this sister (Anna S. Jacobsen Hegsted) was back in full status in the Church (1922) and four years after Lyman was called and set apart as an Apostle, he entered what he would describe as a mutual agreement of “plural marriage” with this woman. Allegedly, they exchanged marriage vows in secrecy (some sources indicate that this “secret” wasn’t really that secret and it was performed in the temple), with Lyman’s wife apparently unaware of what was happening. Both Lyman and Jacobsen Hegsted were in their 50’s.

The First Presidency did not become aware of the situation until after 18 years have passed since this second “marriage” was performed and the people involved were already in their 70’s. Lyman was eventually excommunicated and the very short explanation given by the Church about the excommunication was about an issue with the Law of Chastity but there was no mention of plural marriage.

David O. McKay was a great friend to Lyman and guided him back into the Church, although Lyman continued living with Anna for many years after the secret came out, he eventually returned to Church and was rebaptized in 1954.

He did not obtain the restoration of all his blessings in mortality, but the work has been done for him in the Temple.

I am interested in your thoughts:

1. Did Lyman really enter “plural marriage”?

2. How is it possible that his wife Amy or anyone else for that matter did not know/notice anything unusual for so many years?

3. How influenced was Lyman about past teachings and his own belief that Plural Marriage was necessary for Salvation?

4. Does it shock you/surprise you that an Apostle would keep a secret of this magnitude for such a long time?

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Furthermore, I think the fact that his temple and Priesthood blessings were "restored" posthumously is of no more consequence than the fact that such-and-such-mass-murderer's temple work was done for him posthumously. God will not be mocked. If Richard Lyman truly repented of his adulteries and became a man of integrity and obedience, then I am confident that the restoration of his Priesthood blessings and authority was meaningful. Otherwise, I am confident it was not meaningful. Temple work and Priesthood blessings are not magical talismans the open the back door into heaven.

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1. Did Lyman really enter “plural marriage”?

I'm willing to be charitable and assume that he thought he had. I'm dubious as to the claim that a person can solemnize his own marriage--but as far as I know, we have no record of a third party solemnizing a marriage between Joseph Smith and Fanny Alger, either.

2. How is it possible that his wife Amy or anyone else for that matter did not know/notice anything unusual for so many years?

I can visualize a situation where Lyman was privately admonished about the situation and told to knock it off--perhaps repeatedly--before the excommunication went through. On the one hand--in light of what had happened to other stubbornly polygamous apostles in earlier decades, one would think the 1st Pres. and the Twelve wouldn't be inclined to put up with any more polygamy by a Quorum member. On the other hand--the breakaway polygamous sects were gaining traction during this period; so maybe the Church was willing to turn a semi-blind eye for a little while if it kept him from running off and allying with the Woolleys, Barlows, Mussers, et. al. (Wasn't Presiding Patriarch Joseph Fielding Smith's homosexuality also a headache for Church leaders during this time period?)

As for Sister Lyman: Who knows? I can't get over how horrible it must have been to have your husband, an apostle, excommunicated during your tenure as General Relief Society President.

3. How influenced was Lyman about past teachings and his own belief that Plural Marriage was necessary for Salvation?

I'm in no position to say. I have no information above and beyond what's on Wikipedia and what you've presented here.

4. Does it shock you/surprise you that an Apostle would keep a secret of this magnitude for such a long time?

As you well know--read enough Church history, and nothing will surprise you. ;)

Edited by Just_A_Guy

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I'm dubious as to the claim that a person can solemnize his own marriage--but as far as I know, we have no record of a third party solemnizing a marriage between Joseph Smith and Fanny Alger, either.

That's correct, it is not surprising to me why Cowdery rebelled against Smith and accused him of adultery.

I can visualize a situation where Lyman was privately admonished about the situation and told to knock it off--perhaps repeatedly--before the excommunication went through. On the one hand--in light of what had happened to other stubbornly polygamous apostles in earlier decades, one would think the 1st Pres. and the Twelve wouldn't be inclined to put up with any more polygamy by a Quorum member. On the other hand--the breakaway polygamous sects were gaining traction during this period; so maybe the Church was willing to turn a semi-blind eye for a little while if it kept him from running off and allying with the Woolleys, Barlows, Mussers, etc.

It is alleged that he actually admitted this relationship five years prior to his excommunication and yet from 1925 to 1943 he maintained this affair secretly and after his excommunication, he continued the relationship up to two years prior to his reinstatement to the Church (1954).

McKay loved him and worked very hard to bring him back. As you know, President Grant's health was deteriorating rapidly after he suffered a stroke that left his whole left side of his body completely paralyzed and became incapacitated to perform his duties, on top of that unfortunate situation, McKay also became seriously ill and it was Clark who was the de facto president who was running the whole First Presidency pretty much on his own.

He was the one who started to investigate the allegations against Lyman and even instructed a couple of Apostles to follow him and that's where they started gathering evidence against him. The police even raided the house of Lyman's mistress and he was arrested in the middle of the night. We are talking about a couple who were now in their 70's, imagine that. A few people argue that due to the embarrassment he caused to himself, he should have ended the relationship with his mistress right after the whole secret came out but he did not. I admit, even though he was wrong by all accounts, I can also understand that both of these octogenarians lived with each other for almost 30 years!

(Wasn't Presiding Patriarch Joseph Fielding Smith's homosexuality also a headache for Church leaders during this time period?)

Oh yes (that one deserves a thread all of it's own!) but yes around 1942-1943 when he was called as a Church Patriarch, a lot of our members were in absolute shock and complained to the Brethren about his appointment due to the fact that a lot of people in the University of Utah knew he was gay and some parents said he was involved in alleged relationships with their sons as well as other university students. Quinn argues that an affair with a US navy gay Latter Day Saint was also discovered after his death. Nevertheless, his wife supported him in all these struggles and the Church seem to have been more than willing to help and quite lenient in the way his affairs were handled.

As for Sister Lyman: Who knows? I can't get over how horrible it must have been to have your husband, an apostle, excommunicated during your tenure as General Relief Society President.

She asked to be released, I am actually amazed how she was able to handle the whole affair. It is my belief that they were already separated or living separated lives while legally married.

As you well know--read enough Church history, and nothing will surprise you. ;)

You can say that again! :P

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R

1. Did Lyman really enter “plural marriage”?

2. How is it possible that his wife Amy or anyone else for that matter did not know/notice anything unusual for so many years?

3. How influenced was Lyman about past teachings and his own belief that Plural Marriage was necessary for Salvation?

4. Does it shock you/surprise you that an Apostle would keep a secret of this magnitude for such a long time?

I'm not a church historian, but these are my thoughts.

1. Did Lyman really enter "plural marriage"? No. He may have rationalized that he did, but to me, it was just an affair.

2. Sounds to me like Amy and Richard Lyman were probably living separate lives.

3. Lyman was probably greatly influenced by past teachings. Many believe/d that polygamy is/was the only way to gain exaltation.

4. Does it shock or surprise me? No, but it does sadden me. This is the first time I have heard or read about Richard Lyman. I've never been under the impression that our general authorities are perfect. And I do not judge the truthfulness of the gospel on anyone's behavior.

Why does this sadden me? Because there are many wonderful people who have let their physical attraction to the opposite sex rule them. And they make some questionable choices that not only affect them in this life but may affect their eternal salvation. I also think of King David. He allowed his physical attraction rule him.

Only the Lord knows what is in anyone's heart and if they have truly repented. If they are repentant, then they should have their priesthood blessings restored. I have no qualms about anyone receiving exaltation, even though their sins may have been scarlet, they may become white as snow. I'll let God do the judging.

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So, Suzie, was our beloved historian Richard Lyman Bushman named for said apostle? Or is that just coincidence?

That's correct, they were in fact related. James E. Faust was also Richard R. Lyman's cousin (Faust was the great-great grandson of former apostle, Amasa M. Lyman, the Apostle with the super funny beard and who was Richard R. Lyman's grandfather and was stripped of his apostleship as well, I know sort of ironic eh?). Richard's father was also an Apostle.

We need to create a thread about how all these Church leaders are related to each other ( Hinckley, Monson, Lyman, Ballard, etc). :P

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So what you're saying is . . . the family curse tried to hit Faust, but the worst it could do was turn him into a Democrat? :satan:

No...the family curse tried to hit Faust but the worst it could do was turn him into a lawyer! :eek::satan:

Just kidding JAG...just kidding...:lol:

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