Comments about ‘Is LDS polygamy history relevant to 2012 campaign?’

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Published: Wednesday, Jan. 18 2012 1:00 p.m. MST

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John Pack Lambert of Michigan
Ypsilanti, MI

Gordon B. Hinckley clearly stated that practicing polygamy in our day and time is wrong. A reading of Jacob 3 clearly says that polygamy is immoral and repulsive in the sight of the Lord except when he specifically allows this practice.

Obama has more recent ancestors who belong to religious groups that clearly accepted polygamy than does Romney.

John Pack Lambert of Michigan
Ypsilanti, MI

"quite a large group" is an extreme exageration. If you count all the people who accept that Polygamy is a permissible practice (among whom only about half the adult males ever actually have multiple wives) in British Columbia, Montana, Idaho, Utah, Arizona, Colorado, South Dakota, Chihuahua and Morelos states in Mexico, and a few people largely living isolatedly in Wyoming and California and maybe even a few other states, the largest estimate of that population is 40,000. The number of Muslims in New York City who would at least affirm polygamy is a permissible practice may well rival this number, and the number of actual Muslim or Hmong polygamists in the United States probably exceeds the number of polygamists who claim to follow the teachings of Joseph Smith.

The number of Evangelical Christian polygamists is significantly higher than people have admitted. It would not surprise me if Chicago has a higher percentage of polygamists than Salt Lake City, and Massachusetts than Utah.

John Pack Lambert of Michigan
Ypsilanti, MI

Way more males than females die before the age of 8. This means it is very likely that more men than women will be in the celestial kingdom. How will God work this out. I don;t know, but claims to know how it will happen are odd. Decesed women can be sealed to multiple husbands. My great-grandmother has been sealed to at least three different men.

The Bible dictionary makes no statements regarding plural marriage. The article about marriage does mention that marriages performed by the sealing power can last beyond this life, but makes no mention of mutiple spouses at a given time period.

Bruce R. McConkie's "Mormon Doctrine" was never endorsed by the body of the Church in conference assembled as doctrinal. It was based on his opinions gained from reading the scriptures and other resources as well as considering issues in his own mind. Beyond this the Bible Dictionary says of itsefl "It is not intended as an official or revealed endorsement by the Church of the doctrinal ... maters sent forth". The part I skipped delineated other types of matters not endorsed.

Many statements made by BRC were wrong.

John Pack Lambert of Michigan
Ypsilanti, MI

I wish people would avoid going to far when defending the Church.

It is very hard to say what percentage of members "practiced polygamy". The 2% figure cited by Bill is generally considered a far to low figure. Of course it depends on how you count. 1-who is practicing polygamy. 2-how are you counting it? 3-who do you count as members (such as do you look at Utah, or the Church as a whole) 3-what of men on missions who have multiple wives at home?

If you take the number of men at any given time who have multiple wives at that time and compare it to the total membership of the Church, you will get a much lower number as a percentage than if you take a longer range sample of men and look at if they ever have multiple wives at the same time and only compare them to the total adult male population in the Church.

More relevant to this discussion Romney never knew his polygamists great-grandfathers since they died before his birth.

Salt Lake City, UT

@what in tucket?
"The demographics of the time the Church was in its early phase required polygamy."

Utah was majority male until 1950.

Bluffdale, UT

President Gordon B. Hinkley's response to polygamy on 60 minutes is; "It's behind us."

So, why do some members want to bring the discussion back, especially online, as if they know more than the rest of us, even though it is contrary to any mission discussion?

"When any Elder of the Church has used language which appeared to convey any such teaching, he has been promptly reproved." Willford Woodruff 1890

Gregg Weber

The only way polygamy can come into the debate is by linking it with gay marriage. But the discussion of polygamy is further away from modern events than is gay marriage. These candidates had no direct effect on the 1890 polygamy debate but can influence the gay marriage debate. Therefore that link is tenuous.
If I was running and was asked about polygamy then that questioned would be answered by another question; "What does the President of the Church say?"

Salt Lake City, UT

So, Mitt Romney's great grandfather was polygamous and supported his wives and children. Barack Obama's father was polygamous and abandoned his wives and children. Which is more meritorious?

Stephen Kent Ehat
Lindon, UT

The issue of polygamy being practiced by ancestors of Mitt Romney is about as relevant as was the issue of slave holding practiced both by President Obama's Luo ancestors in Africa and by George Washington Overall, his fourth great grandfather, and Mary Duvall, his fifth great grandmother, both on his white mother's side. Not relevant.

Layton, UT

Polygamy wasn't about necessity of the species, it was about a true test of obedience... the real question facing the early church, as splinters of apostate groups threatened to pull it apart at the seams, was whether one truly believed in the prophetic Restoration enough to abandon society altogether for God. Most of the men who initially practiced it, loathed it, but were committed to the cause of Zion.

The prophet was the only man authorized by God to institutionalize it, and likewise the prophet abolished it. While it was practiced in the church it was a HUGE challenge, causing great stresses to the families it created--especially among the women who struggled to balance their commitment to God with the natural feelings of their hearts, loneliness, envy, and all that comes with sharing the love of your life.

Likewise, when Polygamy was abolished, those most faithful to the cause of Zion, abandoned it posthaste, while those who were converted to something other than God and His Prophet refused to obey, and were cut off. God continues this process today, though not nearly as radical, he asks his saints to serve missions, do hometeaching, abstain from worldly influence... etc...

Cowboy Dude

While were at it let's make candidates with ancestors that had slaves or fought for the South relevant to the campaign.

Mike in Cedar City
Cedar City, Utah

The Book of Mormon and the Doctrine & Covenants are in conflict regarding the historical morality of Polygamy as regards David and his wives. But the 132nd Section makes it clear that as a doctrine (not a practice)polygamy is still an eternal principal that cannot be denied. Because of this, whether Mormons like it or not, it remains an issue for discussion and condemnation.

Joseph Smith said that some revelations were of God, some of Satan, and some of men.

Mike in Cedar City
Cedar City, Utah

One problem is that the Romney family is tied to Polygamy in ways that most LDS members are not. When polygamy became illegal it was Mitt's great grandfather that moved to Mexico (where there was no law or enforcement) to continue the practice. There are still many Romney's that still live in Mexico. This fact alone will make it easy fodder for critical public review and late night TV

Provo, UT

Thinkman: d&c 132 talks of polygamy and no the church does not practice it now. Religion shouldn't matter anyway.

Phoenix, AZ

Perhaps this polygmy thing is being given a bad wrap, maybe it would be a good thing to have thirty two first ladies.

layton, UT

John Pack Lambert 8:13 The number of Evangelical Christian polygamists is significantly higher than people have admitted??

Then they would not be Bible beleiving Christians(followers of Christ)and His Apostles and would be living in sin.

And(Jesus) said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife(not wives): and they twain shall be one flesh?( MT: 19:5)

ordain Elders in every city, as I had appointed thee: If any be blameless, the husband of ONE wife(not wives), having faithful children not accused of riot or unruly. (Titus 1:5,6). Disqualifies young LDS missionaries as well.

But those who obey Gods WORD truly show how completely they love him. That is how we know we are living in him.(1 John 2:5 NLT).

Utes Fan
Salt Lake City, UT


"Doctrine and Covenants section 132. Go read it and tell me the LDS Church doesn't still adhere to the principle of polygamy."

Go to the Old Testament book of Genesis and read about circumcision and tell me that Christianity doesn't still adhere to the principle of circumcision.

Anybody who thinks the LDS Church still adheres to polygamy can teach it in his/her next Sacrament meeting talk. Then that person can wait for a church court soon after.

Captain Green
Heber City, UT

Any Christian church who uses the Bible as its basis for their faith also had polygamy in their past. There were several highly revered Old Testament prophets who practiced it. That should end ANY criticism of the LDS Church on the topic.

Cedar Hills, UT

Wait - I thought Romney had 15 wives? You mean he only has one?? Somebody better tell MSNBC.

LR Whitney

The key word of course is "practice." Plural marriage continues to be a correct Biblical principle of course, it's just that Utah in particular has incorporated serious anti-plural marriage statutes as well as constitutional clauses into the state's legal system, so that of all places in the world it is the most anti-"polygamy." The catch however, is that all the "Christian and civilized society" rationale used by the US Supreme Court in Reynolds V US to uphold these crippling laws have been utterly undermined. Santorum it correct. You will have gay marriage in all or most of the US states. And yes, tossing the Christian-biased court rulings aside, if you have that there is indeed no Constitutional validity in restricting plural marriage. So no, Mormons don't "practice" plural marriage. That's what Newt Gingrich does. In serial form. But for the LDS church to even state that plural marriage is a correct principle, even though conceding to obey prevailing legal regulations in the matter, is a "thought crime" also upheld by the Supreme Court, that puts the church in jeapardy of being dissolved and confiscated by the Federal Government...again.

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