Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Twisted Thinking

I was looking for Mormon symbols that could be twisted into an interesting exmo tatoo or patch or logo or something and stumbled across Jeff Lindsay's apologetic web site. I amused myself by reading through his FAQ and was especially entertained by his defense of Joseph Smith's polygamy despite his own dislike for polygamy. Many of his answers were pretty reasonable (mostly because he didn't tackle any substantial questions) but on polygamy he was clearly grasping at straws. He refers to Todd Compton's "claims" that Joseph practiced polyandry despite the fact that those unions are well documented and not contested by even faithful historians such as Bushman.

His defense, like many apologists, seems to be that many of the marriages (or "sealings" as he refers to them) were not marriages in the sense that they involved sex. He repeats the completely non-doctrinal theory that perhaps many of these marriages were dynastic in nature. I understand why this explanation seems appealing since any explanation that involves sex would make Joseph Smith a very unsavory character since it would mean that he was nailing his maids, his wife's best friends, his closest friends' and associates' wives and daughters, his foster daughters, etc.

The problem is that there is no official statement by any church authority or church canon to support. It's only basis is the desire to remove sex as a motivation for the institution of plural marriage and to put a more noble and spiritual in place of the more common and carnal explanation. But, read D&C 132 which is the official revelation on plural marriage. It's all about sex. Read the Book of Mormon where polygamy is prohibited unless God needs to raise up seed. It all involves sex. The whole scriptural justification is sex and having children. Frankly, given the ample scriptural and doctrinal foundation that the plural marriages were based on sex along with the legal affidavits from some of the wives that the marriages were sexual in nature, the burden rests on the apologists to provide comparable evidence from primary sources that ANY of the marriages were NOT consumated. To my knowledge there is no evidence that Joseph Smith didn't have sex. If the marriages were dynastic, non-sexual unions, then there would have been no need for secrecy, no need to for public denials, and no need to go down the road to Carthage.

It just doesn't add up and it is troubling that Mormons that know the facts still choose to defend what should be indefensible.

But in the end, if you believe that Joseph Smith was a prophet and that he spoke for God, then anything that God revealed to him was, by definition, right and correct.

But that thinking brought honorable men to surrender their wives and daughters to a sexual predator.

It compelled otherwise good men to murder and rob innocent men, women, and children.

It led to blatant disobedience of the laws of the land and the continued illegal practice of polygamy for 14 years after the practice officially ceased.

It leads to an organization that continues to lie and deceive in order to preserve its existence.

It leads to good people devoting their lives to a collection of pretty lies that provide a facade of happiness.


Rebecca said...

I don't know if there's any documentation that shows JS had sex with ALL his wives, but I'm almost positive there's plenty that shows he had sex with at least SOME of them. Unless there's some other way babies get here.

I've never done any reading about it, but my playwriting professor at BYU has read TONS about it (both church-approved stuff and non), and when I asked he assured me that there is PLENTY of documentation showing children from JS and plural wives.

Joseph's Left One said...

The thing about Jeff Lindsay is that he's so serious even when spouting absurdist nonsense. I read his stuff when I want to remember why it is I left.

Anonymous said...

For you tat, how about a crumbling beehive? Maybe a little girly for you Bull. Will work on other ideas.

Bishop Rick said...

I hang out on Jeff's blog quite a bit. I like to shake things up there. I am either hated by his loyal posters, or I am considered a project (someone searching for truth) and they are helping me find it.

The whole raising up seed argument for polygamy doesn't hold any water.

If there are 10 men and 10 women, how does 1 man married to 10 women produce more seed than 10 men married to 10 doesn't.


Anonymous said...

It blows me away that the church refuses to admit that js asked god if he could practice polygamy; it was not a huge sacrifice for him like they make it sound. The wording is clear as day in D&C. J.S was a pussy hound. (and as a feminist, I hate using the "P" word...but it just fits here)

Equality said...

And why would Emma be so opposed to polygamy if it didn't involve Joseph having sex with younger attractive women (and girls)? Why would he have to marry young single women if it is just "dynastic." Why not limit it to widows? Makes no sense. Oh, and I don't think what Joseph and Fanny were doing in the hayloft was "dynastic." "Hedonistic" maybe. Dyanstic, not so much.

Bull said...

Actually, I know of no evidence of offspring of JS's polygamous relationships. One polyandrous wife claimed that a daughter was from Joseph. I believe that some DNA testing has been done, but I think it has come up negative so far.

It really doesn't matter. There is unquestionable evidence (legal affidavits by some of the wives) that he had sex with them. There is ZERO evidence to suggest that sex wasn't an actual or intended part of every single polygamous marriage that he entered. You wouldn't expect there to be evidence of sex in even any significant percentage since it is private and in this case also embarrassing. But, the church collected evidence of actual sex because the RLDS church was claiming that if JS did practice polygamy it didn't involve sex. In other words, in the 1800s the church was scrambling to prove exactly the opposite point that apologists are trying to claim today. Given that the GAs of that error personally knew JS and were intimately involved in the institution of polygamy I'll believe them rather than apologists who are embarrassed by the facts of the JS's life.