Saturday, May 10, 2008

FLDS vs Forced Marriage

Here is the central theme to the FLDS marriage system, mind you this is from a revelation from our Father in Heaven to the Prophet Joseph Smith, This is our Lord speaking:

"All covenants, contracts, bonds, obligations, oaths, vows, performances, connections, associations, or expectations, that are not made and entered into and sealed by the Holy Spirit of promise of him who is anointed, both as well for time and for all eternity, and that too most holy, by revelation and commandment through the medium of mine anointed, whom I have appointed on the earth to hold this power…are of no efficacy, virtue, or force in and after the resurrection from the dead; for all contracts that are not made unto this end have an end when men are dead" (D&C 132:7)

"And again, verily I say unto you, if a man marry a wife by my word,… by him who is anointed, unto whom I have appointed this power and the keys of this priesthood…it shall be done unto them, in time, and through all eternity; and shall be of full force when they are out of the world" (D&C132:19)

"Gave instructions to try those persons who were preaching, teaching, or practicing the doctrine of plurality of wives; for, according to the law, I hold the keys of this power in the last days; for there is never but one on the earth at a time on whom the power and its keys are conferred; and I have constantly said no man shall have but one wife at a time, unless the Lord directs otherwise" (Joseph Smith DHC 6:46)

"Everything the GOD gives us is lawful and right; and it is proper that we should enjoy His gifts and blessings whenever and wherever He is disposed to bestow; but if we should seize upon those same blessings and enjoyments without law, without revelation, without commandment, those blessings and enjoyments would prove cursing's and vexations in the end, and we should have to lie down in sorrow and wailings of everlasting regret." (Joseph Smith DHC 5:135)

The FLDS marriage system is really quite awesome to us. It is exactly opposite of what you would expect by watching the news. All of my married sisters would tell you as they often did me, that they would never want to get married any other way. I definitely would never have it any other way. Imagine, not even having to worry about finding a good mate, but just trusting in the power of Prayer, and inspiration from God; at times revealed to us directly, but always through the Prophet’s direction and authority. How can you make a mistake if God does it?

There is no trial and error in the FLDS. I never dated, I only went to a few dances, and the only girls I really associated with after high school were my sisters. My first kiss was at my wedding ceremony, and it was awesome!

In the FLDS, the men are not to solicit for wives, or court (unless by direction or permission), and the girls are not to respond to the advances of boys or men, but all are to be anxious to do their duty, and remember to pray always. I have sisters and brothers who were directly inspired about their marriages. The rest of us just put ourselves in the hands of the Prophet and prayed that God would direct him in our behalf. There is no greater joy than to have God speak in your behalf.

The men are officially turned in for marriage when they are ordained as Elders, and stay turned in through purity, kindness, loyalty, and obedience. If a man leaves, or loses his Priesthood through sin, his wife or wives do not have to go with him. If they are married by the Priesthood, and they lose the Priesthood, then the marriage is void. That is the truth, and you can see the bitter ex members spin it all sorts of different ways.

The bitter people who leave say that the FLDS people live in fear of the tyrannical renegade prophet. Honestly the only people who live in fear are those who secretly do wrong and are trying to hide it, or those who do not want to be there anyway. The rest of the people are trying to mind their own business and work out their own salvation. Many of the people who "escape" (leave) get really mad because those who stay have no desire to "escape" with them and hate the leader as they do. So they heave all their fury at the government, to "do something" to stop this "terrible mad man". It is the same accusation made many times before, all the way back to Joseph Smith.

I just want to tell you, Warren Jeffs is the most humble man I have ever met who is still alive. He has been the leader only since late 2002; but the FLDS marriage system is much older. My grandparents were married this way in the early 40's, and even Joseph Smith, Brigham Young, John Taylor, and John Woolly directed many marriage arrangements. Everything Warren Jeffs does, he does to help and improve the people. Even I who have been sent out, it was done to improve me, and the people I left behind. Although it definitely has been painful, I feel it was the best thing to happen to help me, if not to my family. Everything is a growing experience. I know it hurt him to need to do it, and I take full responsibility for it.

The stories of forced marriage have been in the news since the beginning of time. Just read the New York Times archives back in the 1870's. People assume that the ladies have to be forced, for as they would say, "What girl that is not forced would ever want to be a plural wife?" I know a few. No one is forced to marry at any age in the FLDS. The girls go to their good fathers when THEY want to get married. If he and their mother approve, then they would go see the Prophet. Even after they seek the prophets council they have the option to say who they want to marry, or they can say yes or no to the man the prophet suggests without any recourse whatsoever. I saw it many times. The FLDS people seek to be inspired from heaven in all things, and most especially when it comes to this, the most important act in life. In heaven there is only peace. There is never force, ever. It is the opposite of the FLDS religion to force. We were taught that the devil was cast out of heaven because he wanted to force us to be good.

An few hours before our wedding, my fiance and I went for a drive together, and she talked while I listened. Finally I got up the courage to ask her, "Will you marry me?" I realized by the look on her face that it was a strange question. "Of course", she said, smiled wide, and went back to talking.

This is the free will in the FLDS church. It makes it much more comfortable around others. Little of this "what if" happens. We believe God is doing it, sometimes by revelation to ourselves, but always through the inspired Priesthood. We either believe, or don’t.


Anonymous said...

I am finding this site interesting and informative. I am not flds but am of the Mormon faith. I am furious in regards to what has happened in texas. On one hand I cannot believe it but on the other it is texas.

Now I see another book has come out. Great timing and on the Oprah show! Can you give the facts on this individual?


Pligchild said...

Elissa Wall
See post and comments on
"The case against the Prophet"