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Politics for Mormons
'cause we all have an opinion
CNN Report 
12th-May-2006 05:38 pm
I've been quiet for too long. Howbout a nice rant?

FIRST OF ALL, IT'S POLYGYNY! Can we say, dictionary?

CNN ran a report a couple of nights ago (see: http://www.cnn.com/CNN/Programs/anderson.cooper.360/blog/ for more info) that seemed to spark an interesting discussion on their blog. I'm not entirely sure who their censors are, but nothing is more frustrating than taking the time to type several paragraphs (yes, I was succinct) and never have them show up . . . . yea, I know, that's what my personal blog is for *sigh*.

While overall it was a decent report, I did find that CNN spent too much energy attempting to differentiate the FLDS group from the main LDS church, when they should have been explaining that both religions share a common history and they diverged in 1890 with the FLDS group maintaining the doctrines from the original church leaders and the larger LDS church revising their dogma and becoming an offshoot from the original beliefs. Instead, they seemed to keep repeating that mainstream mormons do not believe in polygyny all the while vilifying the FLDS as some sort of splinter group when in reality they COULD be praised for holding on to the convictions of their forefathers despited government retribution.

Now having said that, am I a supporter of this child-molesting, brain-washing cult? Of course not, the perpetrators of these crimes against children should be dragged by horseback down the mainstreet of town then have their entrails removed with a spoon. (ask me how I really feel) My point is, let's focus on what they are doing that is criminal and harmful and is a drain on society as a whole.

Seriously, the only reason this issue is getting any publicity at all is because anytime John Q. Public hears anything with the prefix POLY, all that jumps to mind is SEXXXXX! WHOOHOO!!! And as we know, sex gets ratings. Face it, the typical male things, YEA, LOTS OF WOMEN!!! What they don't comprehend is the REALITY of multipartner marriage. Take EVERYTHING about marriage, good and bad, then multiply it times seven (or however brave you think you are). That's reality.

I'm sorry, but polygyny as it is practiced in the FLDS closed community is not right for the same reason that I am against religions like the mainstream LDS church. They take people raised from birth to think and believe one way, give them a "plan" of how their life is going to be, and by the time they've reached an age where they can think for themselves, they are trapped and any actions the would take to change their lives for the better would profoundly impact their own children and family members. Family is wielded as a weapon to enforce the desired behavior. I mean what parent is going to choose to speak out, knowing that if they do, that their children would be removed from them or that you would be 'put out' of the community, or physically punished, etc, etc? Can we say cultural conditioning?

Several bloggers on CNN's site were annoyed with the fact that the reported chose to use the Salt Lake LDS temple as the backdrop for his report. Yes, it was a sleazy attempt to connect the mainstream branch of the LDS church with modern day enforced polygynous groups. The only real connection between these two groups anymore is their mutual history. However what COULD they have used as an impressive backdrop? I was thinking something like the Berlin Wall would have been appropriate.

Many of the pro-LDS bloggers vehemently denied the mainstream branch has any connection to polygyny. Unfortunately the the doctrines of plural marriage are intimately intertwined with the basics of the dogma. The plan salvation including eventual celestialization and exaltation require plural marriage to exist, however as current earthly political climate is not accepting, it has been taken away from the LDS. Make no mistake It is STILL an accepted LDS doctrine regardless of what the majority of the church members think.

I am simply amazed at how many of the pro-LDS posters feel that the FLDS "broke-away" from their church. They just don't seem to be able grasp that back in the late 1800's, many good church members we're living their lives, then suddenly the rules changes. Many true believing church members must have realized that at the core of the TRUE church's doctrines, plural marriage was an everlasting, unchanging principle. I mean read some of the prophet's writings on the subject, those of Joseph Smith, Heber C. Kimball, & Brigham Young. These are the great leaders that the members of this time period looked to as spiritual giants. So when the rules changed, regardless of the reasoning, it should be easy to understand that those who held fast to the words of the prophet were the truly the most faithful church members. And yet . . . . . THEY are viewed as the apostates.

13th-May-2006 12:40 pm (UTC)
I suppose it's a matter of perception. I don't see it as an issue of numbers, the quantity of church members is not what defined what the church was and what it was not, it was the doctrines that defined the church. To me, the trunk were those who were defined by the original beliefs, the branch is created when a change in doctrines occur. It sounds to me as if you feel that whoever has the greatest number of followers define the religion as a whole, not who is following a specific set of precepts.

Hearing that makes it easier for me to understand why the majority of church members can say and believe that the FLDS is the branch and not the trunk, however I certainly can't agree with that kind of reasoning.

Personally, to me, beliefs and ideas are more important than majority rule. If I believe in an idea, I'm not going to change that belief just because most other people do so. I guess that's why I have a little bit of respect for the flds as they had firm enough faith in their beliefs to follow them regardless of popular opinion.

Ok, and this is another subject I've been wanting to discuss - People are concerned with this blowing up into another Waco-type event. I realize at the core of both branches of the LDS church is the idea (culturally ingrained) that martyrdom=exaltation. Don't ask me to provide scriptural proof or anything like that because that's not what I'm talking about, I'm talking about the fact that most all members subconsciously connect the dots that (A)Joseph Smith=(B)martyred=(C)exalted - then A=C. Therefore in the FLDS community where they've isolated themselves even more than members of the LDS church do, has this really been taken to the extreme? Have they really given up enough of their self-identities to just say it's god's will and die? I would hate for that to happen, it would be tragic.
13th-May-2006 02:17 pm (UTC)
Yes, it's a matter of perspective, so the LDS position is not wrong. Especially considering that one of the core beliefs of the Utah church is continuing divine revelation. The prophet of these respective groups could trump any prior beliefs (as critics often claim Mormons do with the Bible).

Thus, the only question is whether or not Wilford Woodruff is a true prophet in the spirit of Joseph Smith. The LDS say yes (meaning that he's fully capable of articulating new practices revealed by God), whereas FLDS say he was the first apostate president.

Both organizations could therefore claim to be the legitimate heirs of Mormonism.
13th-May-2006 02:29 pm (UTC)
I suppose in that situation, members during that time could have picked which position suited them better as individuals and followed that path, maintaining that they were still with the true church.

I don't know, I realize that from inside any organization it's difficult to maintain objectivity, but over the course of the last 100 years, couldn't they (the FLDS) see that the were being pulled TOO far from mainstream society? I mean once you reach a point where you are SO cutoff from the rest of the country, you can't HELP but fall under whatever localized dictator is available.

Mind you, I'm no scholar on the FLDS, I was mainly commenting on the recent CNN reports. Does/did their organization have a council of 12 supporting their prophet? It seems to me that a check and balance system failed. I'm just trying to figure out how that sect ended up running so completely amuck in contrast to the LDS.
13th-May-2006 02:51 pm (UTC)
Actually, there are many polygamist groups, and this one just happens to be the most problematic. Only them and the Kingston clan regularly sanction underaged marriages. In contrast, the the "Allred group" {Apostolic United Brethren) doesn't condone such marriages. The AUB and FLDS actually fractured in the 1950's over the disagreements with the then-president's pick of Rulon C. Allred to the priesthood council (which has a kinda similar function to the LDS Quorum of the Twelve). Allred opposed arranged marriages which were common in Hilldale/Colorado City. The FLDS pulled out of the church Allred would come to lead.

The FLD was probably once the biggest, but Warren Jeff's leadership has kinda expelled a lot of former members. My understanding is that Jeffs has almost a monopoly of power in his church—others aren't even allowed to perform plural marriages.
13th-May-2006 02:55 pm (UTC)
Arranged marriages are still common there. What I'm writing is nigh unreadable. I need more sleep.
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