52 girls removed from FLDS compound in Texas
Posted by coventryrm on Wednesday, April 9, 2008
In light of the recent raid on the FLDS compound in Texas I felt this would be an appropriate time to post the following.
Joseph Smith and early LDS church leaders created this mess. In fact, these polygamous compounds closely resemble exactly what Joseph and Brigham set up in Nauvoo and Salt Lake City. In fact, it was communities like the one in Texas that were organized in places like Canada, Mexico, and the most desolate spots in the Western United States in an effort to continue the practice of polygamy even after the U.S. government began pursuing and prosecuting polygamists. There is no doubt that the LDS Church actively fought the United States Congress as it passed legislation forbidding the practice of taking plural wives.
Although I began questioning the basic tenets of basic Mormon beliefs over 10 years ago, I would still defend mainstream Mormons as a group that no longer practiced polygamy. Such a defense seemed necessary because quite often, when someone thought of “Mormon” they also thought, “Polygamist.” So, I would correct these individuals, and explain to them that the fundamentalist Mormon polygamist groups were offshoots and that you could not judge mainstream Mormonism by their practices.
It wasn’t until I started reading what Joseph Smith, and especially Brigham Young, had to say regarding polygamy that I began to question my former inclination to regard mainstream Mormons, who still revere these men, as completely unaffiliated with polygamous off-shoots such as the one in Texas.
In fact, one only has to read the Journal of Discourses to see the true irony of condemning groups for practicing precisely what is written in them.
Yet the average mainstream Mormon is disgusted and outraged by the acts of the polygamists in Texas. The LDS church leaders are quick to remind the public that the current Mormon Church has no affiliation with these groups. Warren Jeffs is called sick and deranged and the disgust from LDS church members is fierce and palpable towards him. But where is the disgust for Joseph Smith and Brigham Young, the founders of this practice? Mormons will often go to great lengths to defend these men, each who had several wives, some of whom were girls under the age of 16. If you mention certain recorded facts, such as the young age of some of Brigham’s or Joseph’s wives, or the fact that Joseph married women that were already married to other men, then you are called an “anti=Mormon.”
You can’t have it both ways. If the acts of Warren Jeffs are similar to the acts of Joseph Smith then you must condemn them both.