If Mormons are Christian…

If Mormons are Christian, then FLDS polygamists are Mormon.

That’s really all the longer this article needs to be. But I’m pretty sure it’s guaranteed to cause the typical LDS member stress and elicit denials. How do I know this? Because I have made such a statement many times after hearing a member of the largest branch of believers in Joseph and his book insist that they are Christian.

Why do such denials occur? I think its because members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints would rather distance themselves from the likes of Warren Jeff’s. The typical LDS believer will declare their belief is most definitely not at all like the FLDS polygamist variant and they are prepared to detail all the reasons that off shoot doesn’t represent real Mormonism.

But ask what it is that makes them Christian. The answer? Because the church is focused on Jesus Christ, heck its even in the name right? Kind of like how it’s in the name of The Church of Jesus Christ of Fundamentalist Latter-day Saints?

You see it’s all in definition. Much like Christianity can represent a bunch of people that generally accept most or some of the Bible and the divinity of Jesus. It’s pretty easy to see that Mormonism can equally represent a group of people that believe in the divine mission of Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon he produced.

If you are not gonna allow the Christian to say you aren’t really Christian because of differences in doctrinal assertions and beliefs other than those two basic reasons. Then if you are playing fair, rejecting Warren Jeff’s Mormonism on the same premise, well… isn’t fair.

So to you all the mainstream LDS believers out there that don’t like to be associated with other branches of the religion that Joseph Smith started. Maybe next time you hear an Evangelical  Christian say you aren’t Christian like them…

Maybe you should think for a minute about just how Mormon Warren Jeff’s is before you reply.

 

But Polygamy was a Commandment!

Last post we discussed the normality of young brides and polygamous unions in the 19th century. Once the difficulty of lying about it is pointed out to the Mormon faithful most will retreat to the final bastion of all religious when pressed with assessing their faiths morality. They will say something like, ‘it was a commandment’ justifying it because God said so.

In fact apologists are fond of pointing out this quote from Joe the prophet himself implying this defense:

That which is wrong under one circumstance, may be, and often is, right under another. God said, ‘Thou shalt not kill’; at another time He said, ‘Thou shalt utterly destroy.’ This is the principle on which the government of heaven is conducted—by revelation adapted to the circumstances in which the children of the kingdom are placed. Whatever God requires is right, no matter what it is, although we may not see the reason thereof till long after the events transpire. – Official History of the Church, Vol. 5, p.134-136

When you think of Abraham and Issac or and how God flooded the whole planet killing babies, this sort of makes sense. The believer tells himself, ‘sometimes God does stuff I’m just too stupid to understand.’ And that makes it ok to shelve the thoughts that are causing cognitive dissonance.

In fact when your own spiritual feelings are screaming wrong, wrong, wrong to you, what is the counsel of LDS leaders? Just shelve it. 1

Wait a minute! Wut? Aren’t those very feelings the ones we are supposed to use to find truth? Apparently not if they are telling you the LDS church isn’t the #onetruechurchonthefaceoftheearth

Convenient isn’t it?

But moving on. I think there is some merit to revealing exactly the situation in which Joseph Smith said these words.


You see Joe was trying to get Nancy Rigdon to be yet another of his wives and she was not at all interested in the idea. In fact it lead to a blow up over the whole situation where Nancy said:

“if she ever got married she would marry a single man or none at all.” Grabbing her bonnet, she ordered the door opened or she would “raise the neighbors.” She then stormed out of the Hyde-Richards residence. (Sidney Rigdon Biography by Richard S. Van Wagoner, p.295)

So did you know that it was specifically to get under the skirts of a reluctant woman in Nauvoo that the idea of God commanded, it so it must be ok was such a core teaching?

Eh, maybe now that I think about it that is the underlying assumption right? So what is different between Joe and Warren then?

  • They both pushed young girls into doing things that are abhorrent to most people then and now.
  • They both assured their victims or faithful (depending on your perspective of the whole deal) that God said to do it and that was why these young teen girls should submit to their leaders and do as they were told.

Imagine for a minute that you were a bride of Warren Jeffs. Imagine if your family and church leaders all pressured you to do this thing that felt so wrong. Imagine then if you were told not to doubt the leadership of Warren the prophet. To stay in the boat. That if you bail on this religion that you are risking eternity with your family and that you’d never see them again. That if you stood up and said no, this isn’t right you were a taffy puller and not capable of commitment.

Can you see how hard it would be to leave the FLDS faith? Can you see how even today there are followers that are so sure they are doing what God wants (even if in their heart they find it abhorrent) that they still comply?

If so you can see exactly how religion can mislead you. It promises amazing things for compliance and terrible consequences for not doing EXACTLY what you are told no matter how bad it feels.

The hardest question to ask though is this:  What if is has already happened to me?

  1. Did you catch that even GA Turley tried to claim it was ‘normal’ for a 14 year old to get married implying a poly marriage to a 37 year old man was ‘you know what they did back then’ and one of the swedes called him out on that poor comparison?