Thursday, November 20, 2014

Are there lines to be drawn between Homosexuality and Polygamy?

In 1986 I was on my mission in a very poor area of Central America.  I didn't entertain a lot of sophisticated questions. 

I did answer preguntas like "are you part of the CIA". "How many TVs does your family have?" "What shampoo do you use?" (because my hair became increasingly blond throughout my mission) and "How many girlfriends do you have?" which, in retrospect, may have been a prequel to "how many wives do you have?"

This was the closest I came to having to answer the polygamy question.

After my mission I did have chances to explain our position on polygamy -- mostly to fellow Mormons.  I was always amazed at how many of my contemporaries didn't know about polygamy, had chosen to ignore it completely, or used it as the reason to not commit to the Church. 

As a youth, a very gay youth, I had been fascinated with church history from a young age and read what I could find in the pre-Internet world -- which included some anti-Mormon literature I'm afraid.
There was always a part of polygamy that I didn't not understand -- kind of like a chapter that was missing from the information available.

However, and this is a big deal to me, I never doubted the LDS church or its teachings, or the Gospel, because there was a chapter missing.  I knew that someday I would find it and I could read all about it and have my questions answered.

From what I had read, polygamy happened.  It had been a Mormon thing. Some in the early church were called, or asked, to participate, and others were not.  Some found out about polygamy and tried to exploit it. Everyone knew what was happening, but they didn't know the why.

My understanding, again as a youth at the time, was that polygamy existed to care for many of the woman. With my current understanding, the caring for women may have been a result but was not the impetus of the decision.

 I do not know details of the impetus. I do believe that Joseph Smith moved in holy circles which were part of his very human existence, and I believe that he received revelation.  I believe that Joseph god fearing man would not have taken such a thing lightly. Therefore:

  "It's a good day to be a Mormon moment"

Don't you just love a timely press release?

The good news is that there is acknowledgement and information on the subject.  More good news is that conversations may now happen on the subject without people feeling that they are somehow subversive. We are now, if we actually weren't before, free to ask questions in a way that has never before been done.  About.  Anything.

Do you see where this is going?

Like I said... good day to be a Mormon.



  1. At the end of the day, either Joseph Smith was a prophet of God, or he was not. And either you believe he was, or you do not. Honesty and openess is a good thing, and I applaud the Church for finally officially admitting that Joseph had plural wives as young as 14, and that he married other men's wives. I myself found this out in the 1980s when I read "Mormon Enigma", a biography about Emma Smith. I can certainly understand how this might be shocking for some active Mormon's whose only source of information has been approved Church manuals and books that have glossed over these facts. And I think that, at least for some of them, it might not be a good day to be a Mormon. It might be a day when they struggle with the fact that the founder of their religion did things similar to what Warren Jeffs has been sent to jail for. If you had a teenage daughter come to you and say she had discovered this great new religion where the head of the Church married 14-year old girls, and women who already had husbands, would that not give you pause?

    1. Thank you for the comment, and I understand you completely. I know people who have said that had they been in the same situation they would have obeyed gladly simply because they knew assuredly that JS was a prophet. I don't think I can say the same thing. It would be incredibly difficult for me to understand -- I still don't think I understand. I do not think that there are Many active LDS that are surprised by this announcement. There has been information concerning Polygamy and the Mormons available for anyone who cared to look . The "good day to be a Mormon" is a day when we can talk about things openly and with respect. For me, these are good days indeed. Thanks again for reading and caring enough to say something. -Cal