The past two Wednesdays, our church has been continuing the videos on Mormonism, this time a two-part production on polygamy in fundamentalist Mormon groups. Needless to say, this one made me even more sick. The stories from ex-fundy Mormons were just heartbreaking and terrible. They spoke of abuse, loneliness, jealousy and stress...lots of stress. Stress from being forced to marry a man they hardly knew, stress from trying to compete with other wives for their husbands attention, stress from trying to become good enough to go to heaven (or wherever they go after they die) and being told that if they try to leave or change their lifestyle, they will go to hell.
Passionate and saddening stories aside, the thing that really struck my intellectual side was the complete illogicality (is that even a word?) of polygamy. When you think about it even on a surface level, it's so obvious that it just isn't the way God meant it to be. One of the many beautiful thing about Christianity is that it actually makes sense and works when applied in one's life. When biblical principles are put in place, the family functions smoothly, people are satisfied, and society as a whole thrives. In other words, pretty much everything plays out as if were designed that way. Not so with Mormon fundamentalist and polygamy.
First of all, you've got the problem of more than one wife per husband. There is a reason that God made humans reproduce in an exactly equal ratio between the sexes. It's because only one girl is meant for every guy! Suppose that polygamy was practiced on a worldwide scale. There would millions, nay, probably billions of men that wouldn't have wives because there simply wouldn't be enough women around.
Secondly, polygamy is no conducive to a well-functioning society at any level. With so many wives, it is virtually impossible for a man to develop any strong relations with them whatsoever. This naturally leads to loneliness, depression, and dissatisfaction, while the whole time these wives are told that if they will go to hell if they resist or change. That's not even to mention the tens of kids that the husband has. They will miss out on crucial father-son time and never develop as well as they could. In fact, they hardly even know their father at all, if any of the film's stories are true. I may not have as strong a relationship with my dad as I should, but at least he takes me out for cokes once in a while!
Thirdly, it is horribly abusive and unfair to the women. We Christians take a lot of heat for not allowing women to hold positions of authority within the church, but we do hold than men and women are spiritually equal before God. In the case of Mormon fundamentalist sects, women are terribly demoted and almost treated as lesser beings than men. I don't know this for a fact,but I'm guessing that most of them are not content with the way they are living, yet they are indoctrinated with the idea that they will go to hell if they change their ways. So essentially they are trapped in this system with no chance of earthly escape and no guarantee of heavenly escape at death.
What's the bottom line here? Well, if you examine everything Joseph Smith did and taught, it's pretty clear to me that he was nothing but a selfish, perverted, deceptive, false prophet. Once again, we are reminded that God's Word as revealed in Scripture is the only unchanging, perfect, and sufficient source of truth and guidance.
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