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.