Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Whose Idea Was This, Anyway?

The Daily Mail had a positive article on polygyny, based on OWN’s Our America. It is about a husband and two sister-wives in Centennial Park, Arizona.

But a new documentary has revealed that it is actually the women instigating polygamous marriage in Mormon communities.

I want to be clear that the largest Mormon church, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, hasn’t taught polygyny (at least for this life) for a long time now. In fact, that’s one of the reason there are so many other Mormon churches (a Mormon church being a church that cites Joseph Smith as a prophet and the Book of Mormon as scripture). When the LDS church gave up polygyny for this life, some members... kept practicing polygyny, and were either forced out or left (or the LDS church left them, depending on how you look at it).

Becca, 20, who has been married to Isaiah, 28, for a year and a half, told how she knew he was the one when she spotted him at church.

She told host Lisa Ling: 'One day I was in church, and I was sitting with my sister Sharon, and I saw him walk through the door.

'I had a feeling just come over me and I turned to Sharon and I said, yeah, that's who I feel like I belong to.'

This was despite the fact that Isaiah had already been married to Marlene, also 28, for eight years already.

Today, Marlene and Becca describe themselves as being married to each other, in the same way that they are married to Isaiah.

Most Mormon sister-wives would not mean that literally; they consider themselves married to the man, not each other.

And for Marlene, who is just weeks from giving birth to her fourth child, she never imagined marriage any other way.

'If Isaiah had told me that he didn't want this before we got married, I probably wouldn't have married him,' she said.

Yes, some women want and enjoy polygyny.

She says that she and Becca, after some initial teething problems, are 'inseparable'.

'I have, right now, my best friend living with me,' she said. 'I can talk to her about any of my problems. She completely understands because she's married to the same guy.'

Becca, who is now mother to a six-week-old daughter, added: 'I talk to her every day - I probably talk to her more than I talk to Isaiah.'

Both plan to have many more children, and raise them together.

Marlene explained: 'We didn't want, "This is my child, this is your child". We wanted all of our kids to be raised together, you know, I'm mom, she's mom...

'I grew up with 25 brothers and sisters, and I loved it, and I want that for my kids.'

Sounds like it is working out great for them.

The show portrays it as driven by the women. They get what they believe to be a divine sign that they are to marry a certain man, and they tell the church authorities, and it goes from there. From what I understand, it doesn’t work that way in all Mormon churches that practice polygyny.
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