Back in the early days of the LDS church, yes, polygamy was practiced. It started because many men were killed in massacres and fighting and the women and children left behind needed care. Then it continued on, and was declared official in Utah in 1852 by Brigham Young. Years later, when Utah was trying to become a state, the US government said, basically, “You can become a state, but the polygamy has to go.” In 1890, under Wilford Woodruff, Utah agreed to ban polygamy. When Joseph Smith was alive, he wrote the Articles of Faith….13 short statements of what we believe. One of those articles is to obey the laws and follow the rules of the government. And the church was willing to follow the laws of the government. Utah became a state 6 years later. (There was a lot of controversy and tension between the Utah territory and the government between 1852 and 1890, so I’m just giving a quick overview.)
Many in Utah felt that the government had no right to tell them how to practice their religion; they felt that if a commandment came from God, it couldn’t be revoked by man. So they splintered off the mainstream group and continued polygamy. (One thing I don’t understand is if the group still believed in Joseph Smith and the Articles of Faith he wrote, how they could not follow the one about following the laws of the government.) They were (are) called the Fundamentalists, which group still continues today. This group is not associated with the mainstream LDS church in any way. If someone in the church is found practicing polygamy, they are quickly excommunicated.
Sometimes we (me, Paul, my family, many “Mormons”) often joke about polygamy. I’m writing this because there are so many lies and distortions about the church floating around. It amazes me that people still think this is something we do. Which is why I’m putting it out there, as many others have. If Paul ever came to me and said he had a revelation that he should have more than one wife, I would tell him that it was fine with me. But not to include me in that number! Besides, I think if he had 2 of me, he would change his mind pretty quickly. 🙂
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I heard a very interesting talk in church yesterday. Probably one of the best I’ve heard in awhile.
This older man spoke of when he was young and had bought a lifetime supply of his favorite shaving cream when it was on sale once. He knew he wanted it to last as long as possible, so he was very careful as to how much he used every day.
Then he spoke of life. He said there’s many things we can do to use up the supply of life God’s given us. If we smoke, we could die young. If we’re fortunate to live, our quality won’t be as good. Same for illegal drugs. Or even the strong legal ones. He reminded us of how important forgiveness is (7 times 70) and that, as well, can dampen the quality of life. Every dangerous thing we do can diminish our supply.
He said his shaving cream is now gone, at age 72, but his life is still going strong. He never bargained for raising boys who would use his shaving cream or girls who would use it for their legs. But for his children, it was worth giving his cream to.
He told us to be careful with life and to use it wisely, to not waste what we’ve got.
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I’ve always been one to think about mortality. I think this was ingrained into me by Grandpa R. He always said, “Life is just too short.” “See that picture of me there? I was young then. Now I’m an old fart.” “It’s hard getting old. I don’t feel older; I just look it.” “Getting old is a terrible thing.”
Yikes. Great things to tell a growing kid! 😀 So since I was a teenager I’ve dreaded getting older. Every birthday is a challenge; some have been downright depressing where I’ve spent the day in tears. It’s so hard to see time go by so fast. I see it in my children and am reminded I’m getting older with them. One of these nights I’ll go to bed and wake up a 70 year old woman with grandkids. I’ll be dying my hair blue and taking casseroles to young women who’ve just had a baby. I’ll tell them stories of when my babies were born. I know there are many positive things about getting older. Hopefully Paul and I will be able to build a good retirement fund and travel some. Ok, so that’s the only positive one I can think about right now…
I believe in life after death…it’s the death part that concerns me. I enjoy this phase of life too much to see it pass to the next.
So it’s up to me to make the best of every day I have NOW. I have to enjoy my children at the ages they are now and not wish for when they’re older and out of a difficult temporary phase. I have to look in the mirror and see me for who I am now, and not fear what I will see in the future. I would hate to look back when I’m 70 years old, and wish I didn’t spend so much time fearing old age so much.
If life is too short, as my Grandpa said, I better live it to the fullest now.
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