Sunday, February 24, 2008

I'm Related to Joseph Smith, How About You?

Joseph Smith apparently had over 100 wives. While many of them were 'sealed' to him after death in a sort of spiritual wedding ceremony that had no legal standing, some number, like 35 or 40 were bound to him legally. Apparently, if you are town mayor, as Joseph Smith was, you can influence the local laws to accomodate plural wives.

While I was at church today, the Elder's quorum met in the family history center. We used a geneology/temple work software program to help remove the duplicate entries in our personal family history. This software allows the user to research their own ancestry as far as it has been entered in and remove all of the duplicates found there in. This would remove the duplicated work.

I went back several generations. I saw my ancestors on the Fisher side immigrating from England to New York. I arrived at one of my great grandmothers (whose name slips my mind right now). I was surprised to see her husbands name. Her husband was Joseph Smith Jr., the founder of the church. I confirmed it to be the right Joseph Smith because his parents were Joseph Smith Sr. and Lucy Mack.

As I investigated further, I discovered that she had another husband as well.

I can't quite reconcile how I feel about this. I'm not sure if this means that Joseph Smith not only married other single women, but he also married other married women as well.

Section 132 of the Doctrine and Covenants promises couples that they will be together forever. It also requires that members enter into this covenant of plural marriage for it to work out. The church doesn't follow that doctrine anymore because it is against the law. The church did not stop the practice until external pressures required them to adopt a doctrine that wouldn't put them into jail. The question that I have to answer is: would God want that? Would A loving God allow the lusts of one man, albeit the chosen prophet, to outweigh the heartbreak of caring, sometime emotionally fragile women?

4 comments:

larksong39 said...

I feel the same as you do about plural marriage in that I do not believe that God would sanction a man's taking more than one wife and breaking his wife's heart; nor do I believe that God ever did sanction such a thing. I believe that men (and this includes the Old Testament prophets who were just men) thought up the idea, and wanted it to be acceptable, and so they said they were acting in the name of God. What a tightly woven web they weave--and it all works because many people are gullible and, in my opinion, a fantasy that most men entertain is having more than one woman. Once polygamy is enacted, it is extremely difficult to put a stop to it. From history, one can see how tightly men held on to this belief and practice. The Mormon Church still believes very much in polygamy or plural marriage. Until it's taken out of the D&C sec. 132, and until it's removed from the temple marriage ceremony, and until men are not allowed to have another wife sealed to them in the temple after losing their first wife who was sealed to them--then it's still a part of Mormon belief. I have a sister who is sealed to a husband who already had his first wife sealed to him. She believes in polygamy and hopes to live it in the next life; I also have a cousin who wants to live polygamy in the next life believing that she can be sealed to a very righteous man and in that way be in the Celestial kingdom. One has to ask the question: What's the payoff?

Etta said...

You write very well.

Sobre Lu, el Socialismos y otros temas said...

Hi, I just found this blog! I'm doing some research about the LDS church. I've reading read The Book Of Mormon one chapter each night. I'm an History student at college and my field is history of ideas, mentalities and religion. If could help me a little bit I would be great.
Amazing blog this one.
Bye

Brent said...

Thanks for your comment. I wish you luck in your studies. If you have a question for me, you are welcome to ask it.