person0

I keep finding advantages to plural marriage

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I just feel like this needs to be posted here:

"For the natural man is an enemy to God, and has been from the fall of Adam, and will be, forever and ever, unless he yields to the enticings of the Holy Spirit, and putteth off the natural man and becometh a saint through the atonement of Christ the Lord, and becometh as a child, submissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love, willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon him, even as a child doth submit to his father." Mosiah 3:19 (emphasis mine)

We live in a time when we don't have to worry about polygamy being inflicted upon us. But being unwilling even if the Lord sees fit to inflict it upon us?

Are we enemies to God or are we not?

Edited by The Folk Prophet

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On 10/21/2018 at 10:21 PM, person0 said:

While I recognize there are disadvantages as well, now that I have seven children, I keep finding advantages to plural marriage, especially in specific every day situations.  My wife and I discuss them and laugh about it, but jointly acknowledge their merit.

 I stopped reading after this (I actually did read the entire post)  7 KIDS!!!! You have the right to complain about NOTHING. 

Honestly, I respect the fact that you are providing a loving home and environment to children who would not otherwise have it. It is Christ like and fantastic that anyone would have such an open heart for that I applaud you. You made this bed, now you get to lay in it for 18 years. So no complaining, no whining.

 

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10 minutes ago, omegaseamaster75 said:

 I stopped reading after this (I actually did read the entire post)  7 KIDS!!!! You have the right to complain about NOTHING. 

Honestly, I respect the fact that you are providing a loving home and environment to children who would not otherwise have it. It is Christ like and fantastic that anyone would have such an open heart for that I applaud you. You made this bed, now you get to lay in it for 18 years. So no complaining, no whining.

 

I have a friend who has 11 kids.  They have one of those mini-school buses.

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My thoughts were along the lines of LadyGunnar's -- most of these advantages are a result of how polygamy creates a larger family/community. If we were less "isolationist" and better at building communities around our families, these larger communities would fill many of these needs. I am thinking of those times/places when/where extended families lived closer to each other and could provide many of these helps. Perhaps some of what the Church is trying to do with ministering is to do better at building our church communities so we become better at helping each other. To bring in a touch of evolution, like Wenglund did, this is one of the common hypotheses for why women outlive their fertility -- the grandmother hypothesis. Perhaps biology intended us to rely on grandparents (and extended family) to help with child-rearing and homemaking? I guess it depends on how important you feel the marriage part of the relationship is to being able to build the needed community.

Thought on example 6 -- surrogacy: An intriguing example, consistent with the example of Abraham. I think it might depend on how the jealousies worked out -- would the infertile wife be jealous of the other fertile wives, or would she be able to see past her own barrenness?

Thought on example 7 -- increasing singlehood: Assuming polygyny only, this would be an advantage for the single women among us, but a disadvantage for the single men. This would only be a universal advantage if we did as Suzie said and opened it up to both polygyny and polyandry. This seems to be a frequent dynamic that gets discussed regarding current polygamous/polygynous groups.

Just a few thoughts. I can see how these are advantages to having a larger family network that polygamy would bring about. Other than "it was never done before in or out of scripture", I don't know why it should be limited to polygny. I also don't see why the same advantages could not be achieved by building other support networks, though perhaps the marriage covenant is really needed to make the network last.

 

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On 10/21/2018 at 11:23 PM, lostinwater said:

If someone wants to break the law by practicing polygamy, that is their business.  It's illegal, but at least it's them making the choice.  

But polygamy, when controlled and imposed upon people by religious leaders under the pretext of it being God-ordained, has a remarkably consistent record.  It leaves a wake of pain, suffering, abuse, jealousy, and manipulative favoritism a mile wide.  Pretty close to 100% of the time.  

Recommended Reading (note the titles)

Breaking Free by Rachel Jeffs

The Polygamist's Daughter by Anna LeBaron

Escape by Ann Marie Lee

The Witness Wore Red by Rebecca Musser

Those books are about the FLDS, but you pick up on a lot of the dynamics in polygamist relationships in them.  i'd share ones about early Church polygamist experiences, but i those would not be  approved sources, so i will refrain.

I have probably at least a dozen polygamous ancestors, maybe closer to two dozen, from many of my ancestral lines, both paternal and maternal. They left a lot of written information about their polygamous relationships, and include accounts of sacrifice, pain, and yes, jealousy and fighting.

But "a wake of pain, suffering, abuse, jealousy, and manipulative favoritism a mile wide"? No way. That is simply not true. Citing various accounts of the LeBaron and Jeffs clan doesn't establish any of this as generally true. My own ancestral accounts, painful though they are in many cases, demonstrate this charge to be untrue.

I am no apologist for plural marriage, except to the extent that I firmly maintain that it was a divinely established and sanctioned practice in the Church from the 1830s until around 1890. But by the same token, I won't jump aboard the anti-polygamy bandwagon and declare it a pernicious evil.

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59 minutes ago, MrShorty said:

Thought on example 6 -- surrogacy: An intriguing example, consistent with the example of Abraham. I think it might depend on how the jealousies worked out -- would the infertile wife be jealous of the other fertile wives, or would she be able to see past her own barrenness?

 

 

I can say as someone who struggled to have babies, It would have drove me insane if dh had another wife having babies right and left.  I had a hard enough time dealing with it and feelings like a failure. Another woman having his babies, who have finished me off. 

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25 minutes ago, Vort said:

I firmly maintain that it was a divinely established and sanctioned practice in the Church from the 1830s until around 1890

I had never really thought about this topic in the following terms, but it occurred to me that plural marriage was practiced in the Church for a period of only about 55 or so years, or about two generations -- less than that if we're talking about publicly acknowledged plural marriage. We have literally lived more than twice as long without plural marriage in the Church than we have with. Yet "polygamy" still manages to be a defining feature of our religion. Kind of strange, when thought about in those terms. But of course those two generations were the founding generations of the Church, and plural marriage is baked into our scriptural canon (especially the Doctrine and Covenants), so the issue can never fully die. But it's entirely possible that my lifetime could encompass the time when the Church has been non-polygamous for over 75% of its existence.

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1 hour ago, Vort said:

I had never really thought about this topic in the following terms, but it occurred to me that plural marriage was practiced in the Church for a period of only about 55 or so years, or about two generations -- less than that if we're talking about publicly acknowledged plural marriage. We have literally lived more than twice as long without plural marriage in the Church than we have with. Yet "polygamy" still manages to be a defining feature of our religion. Kind of strange, when thought about in those terms. But of course those two generations were the founding generations of the Church, and plural marriage is baked into our scriptural canon (especially the Doctrine and Covenants), so the issue can never fully die. But it's entirely possible that my lifetime could encompass the time when the Church has been non-polygamous for over 75% of its existence.

Antigonish
by Hughes Mearns

Yesterday, upon the stair,
I met a man who wasn’t there
He wasn’t there again today
I wish, I wish he’d go away...

When I came home last night at three
The man was waiting there for me
But when I looked around the hall
I couldn’t see him there at all!
Go away, go away, don’t you come back any more!
Go away, go away, and please don’t slam the door... (slam!)

Last night I saw upon the stair
A little man who wasn’t there
He wasn’t there again today
Oh, how I wish he’d go away...

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20 minutes ago, Vort said:

 But "a wake of pain, suffering, abuse, jealousy, and manipulative favoritism a mile wide"? No way. That is simply not true. Citing various accounts of the LeBaron and Jeffs clan doesn't establish any of this as generally true. My own ancestral accounts, painful though they are in many cases, demonstrate this charge to be untrue.

Thank-you.

So my hands are largely tied when it comes to posting sources outside of the ones i did.  If anyone wants to message me for recommended reading material about experiences inside the mainstream membership, feel free to.  

But how anyone could read most accounts and say it didn't hurt, damage, and destroy just about everyone it touched is difficult for me to comprehend.  That is, however, just my opinion.  

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" I am not sure Ms. Anddenex would look at herself as a free maid or babysitter, and she might take a minute amount of offense for a person emphasizing what she does everyday as maid service and babysitting (as the examples given were in light of what first wife is already handling everyday). "

Anddenex, of all posters I thought you would realize I was just joking.

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"The way I understood Suzie's comment was not that she was calling Mrs. Person) a free maid or babysitter, but implying that a free maid and babysitter appears to be Person0"s reason for polygamy.    That is how I interpreted his comments as well.  @classylady seems to have been thinking along the same lines when she said: "You don’t need another wife, you need a live-in maid/housekeeper, like Alice from the “Brady Bunch.” 

@Anddenex

Thanks, this is exactly what I meant @LiterateParakeet

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19 hours ago, person0 said:

In some relatively recent psychological survey-studies, they found that most women in mainstream society oppose polygamy because they imagine their own 'run of the mill' husband as being the one they would have to share; when they are presented with the idea that they would instead have the opportunity to marry a man that they truly admire, or that is of a much higher social status, they excitedly would accept the proposition.

I have recently been exposed to the MGTOW philosophy, which is the idea that men get the short end of the stick in almost all societal interactions and are better off swearing off marriage and intimate emotional relationships with women. I find the movement (or philosophy, or whatever you want to call it) to be destructive to families and individuals, yet it encompasses some basic truths. In this, it is a male counterpart to feminism. If widely accepted, it will have equally damaging results.

Statements like those above tend strongly to support the MGTOW followers. I believe the above statement is probably true; furthermore, I don't think it necessarily demonstrates a weakness or evil in the female psyche. I think it's a stark reality of the natural (wo)man that we would do well to realize as adults, to recognize in ourselves or in the women close to us, and that we ought to learn to deal with in a rational and loving manner. Yes, it will require women to see this in themselves and either overcome it or figure out how to make it work in favor of themselves and their husbands.

It is a frightening reality to many modern men that women are attracted to men based on their status and money -- frightening because we men are taught (especially in the Church) that women care about a man being nice and good and gentle and Christlike and compassionate and loving and so forth. Women do, in fact, care about those things to some extent. But the "natural" traits of money and power overshadow those. And it's not just a matter of "all other things being equal"; given a choice between a handsome, virile, dashing, rich man who is emotionally distant and tends to philandering vs. a pudgy, plain man of little ambition and average income and social outlook, but who is sweet, protective, and faithful, many women -- perhaps a majority? -- will pick the former.

Some will be appalled at this assertion. Others will roll their eyes and say, "Well, duh, thanks, Sherlock." This trait is well-recognized among men, but for some reason many find it controversial when applied to women. It should not be controversial. It's obvious. I'm not at all surprised to hear that many modern women would happily enter into polygamy if it meant increasing their social status and having a more desirable (= enviable) husband, even if he has other wives (and even if he is not faithful to the wives he has). I would be much more surprised to find that this was not commonly the case.

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7 hours ago, LiterateParakeet said:

The way I understood Suzie's comment was not that she was calling Mrs. Person) a free maid or babysitter, but implying that a free maid and babysitter appears to be Person0"s reason for polygamy.    That is how I interpreted his comments as well.  @classylady seems to have been thinking along the same lines when she said: "You don’t need another wife, you need a live-in maid/housekeeper, like Alice from the “Brady Bunch.” 

The issue is that we agree with you, that we are more than simply maids and babysitters.  And polygamy would be about more than that as well.

I agree with what you have written, but you haven't followed this line of thinking out far enough. The point of plural marriage is not sex, nor is it babysitting. It's a social dynamic, perhaps comparable to having many children instead of just one. Are children jealous of their siblings? Well, yes. Do they think that Mom loves Suzie better? Probably. Are there all sorts of complications, personal issues, and heartbreaks involved in being one of several siblings? You bet.

Does it therefore follow that coming from a family of many children is categorically worse than coming from a single-child household? Many people would disagree with that statement, and many of those who disagree might argue exactly the opposite. (As do I.) For all of the obvious drawbacks of having siblings, the benefits can outweigh the disadvantages, even by many orders of magnitude. I am sooooooooooooo glad that I have brotherS and sisterS, and that I am not my parents' only child. Despite the ongoing problems and heartbreaks associated with siblings, I would never, ever trade my family growing up for one in which I would be the only child. I feel the same about my own children.

Now obviously, the marital dynamic is not the same as the parent-child dynamic. But in some cases, plural wives did in fact develop a camaraderie and love for their "sister wives". They were no more jealous of their husbands having an emotional (and physical) bond with the other wives than you would be jealous of your parents having a loving relationship with your brother or sister. You would want such a thing. This seems strange to us, but only because it's not something we are used to. It seems foreign because it is foreign. But I can imagine a society where plural marriage is accepted as normal and jealousy between a man's wives is not at all a given.

Sadly, I feel compelled to include the following disclaimer as an addendum: I am not advocating for plural marriage. Unless and until we are commanded, I think it is a forbidden and therefore evil path to tread. I am arguing that as a principle, plural marriage is not obviously or uniformly horrific.

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On 10/23/2018 at 9:00 AM, zil said:

I have always understood that she will be sealed to one and only one of these in eternity and that this is done because no one is sure which of the husbands is the right husband and thus we're covering all potential bases.  I have never ever heard or seen anything anywhere to suggest that any woman will have more than one husband in eternity, whereas I have seen nothing but the idea that she will have only one.

(Not commenting here on personal preference or belief, just what I have learned in my lifetime in the Church.)

I agree; that is what I have been taught as well, however, I know of no official Church resource that clearly indicates such a principle, therefore I mentioned that this was the case only until further light and knowledge is officially received.  I assume the same as you, but I have no official resource to back up that assumption.  It is always interesting to learn what things I never realized might actually be speculation.  I hadn't even considered it to that extent until @Suzie made that statement.

Edited by person0

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9 hours ago, omegaseamaster75 said:

7 KIDS!!!! You have the right to complain about NOTHING.

I really don't equate discussing the potential merits of polygamy to complaining; that is like saying that discussing the advantage of having an SUV is the same as complaining that you only have a compact car.  I don't see my post as a complaint; at least three of the examples were not even about me.

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7 hours ago, LadyGunnar said:

I can say as someone who struggled to have babies, It would have drove me insane if dh had another wife having babies right and left.  I had a hard enough time dealing with it and feelings like a failure. Another woman having his babies, who have finished me off. 

I agree with the sentiment, my wife would likely experience similar thoughts and feelings, but isn't that exactly what happened with Jacob (Israel) and his two wives Rachel and Leah?  Were not their marriages holy and ordained?

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