Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Mormon Church Finally Admits Founder Married 40 Wives, One of Them 14 Years Old



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The Mormon Church or the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, has posted an essay on its website acknowledging that their founder Joseph Smith was a polygamist and not the husband of one wife as is more commonly portrayed.

The essay says polygamy was commanded by God because he allowed Abraham and other Old Testament patriarchs to have many wives, and Joseph Smith had preached that his church was living in the latter-day times of the "ancient principles".

Latter-day Saints understood that they were living in the latter days, in what the revelations called the “dispensation of the fulness of times.” Ancient principles—such as prophets, priesthood, and temples—would be restored to the earth. Plural marriage was one of those ancient principles.

Polygamy had been permitted for millennia in many cultures and religions, but, with few exceptions, was rejected in Western cultures. In Joseph Smith’s time, monogamy was the only legal form of marriage in the United States. Joseph knew the practice of plural marriage would stir up public ire. After receiving the commandment, he taught a few associates about it, but he did not spread this teaching widely in the 1830s.

When God commands a difficult task, He sometimes sends additional messengers to encourage His people to obey. Consistent with this pattern, Joseph told associates that an angel appeared to him three times between 1834 and 1842 and commanded him to proceed with plural marriage when he hesitated to move forward. During the third and final appearance, the angel came with a drawn sword, threatening Joseph with destruction unless he went forward and obeyed the commandment fully.

The church says Smith was unlikely to have had sexual relations with all of his wives, as some were 'sealed' to him for the next life. But the multi-marriages were said to be 'an excruciating ordeal', for his wife. According to Mailonline,

Most of Smith's wives were between the ages of 20 and 40, but he married Helen Mar Kimball, a daughter of two close friends, 'several months before her 15th birthday.' According to 'careful estimates', the church said Smith had 30 to 40 wives. Smith also wed women who were already married, some to men who were his friends and followers.

On why the Mormon Church is only just coming out plainly with this information, Elder Steven E. Snow, the church historian and a member of its senior leadership, told NYTimes,

There is so much out there on the Internet that we felt we owed our members a safe place where they could go to get reliable, faith-promoting information that was true about some of these more difficult aspects of our history. We need to be truthful, and we need to understand our history. I believe our history is full of stories of faith and devotion and sacrifice, but these people weren't perfect.

Photo Credit - Romance Meets Life






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