Thursday, August 28, 2008
It is interesting to me how different views about a topic germinate, and how well founded most peoples opinions are to themselves. Many factors are responsible for our individual world view, such as our parents and families opinions and our own actions. But none have the power to persuade us like our DESIRE does. In fact never will we change or widen our prospective unless we first WANT to. People will always defend their world view with all the facts they know, and ignore relevant truths that may disprove their beliefs. To overcome myopia ALL virtuous truth is included. To truly discern, the good traits are more revealing.
Many people read some of what I write in comment areas and they instantly think that I am very angry. But if they knew me and could see right into my heart they would know that I do not even know what angry is. Yes, sometimes I do lash out when I see people insulting those I love, and quite often I regret it faster than it took to do it. But it is not because I am mad; it is because I am so very sad. I am very defensive because I truly do pity those people who slander the FLDS people and leaders. I will defend those I know as innocent, but I do not want to get angry. Angry folks really only hurt themselves in the long run. Hate comes from fear and creates fear, and I fear no one. I apologize to anyone who I have personally offended, even though some of what you say is intended to offend me.
Most people that I deal with daily have no idea who I am or where I come from, let alone that I have a blog that gets 400-500 hits per day, and lawyers, government officials, and reporters documenting what I say. My own boss and all but one of my coworkers think I am but a shy mainstream Mormon. Yet most every one I converse with for very long want to be my personal friend, with very few exceptions. I would not doubt for a moment that if any of the anti-FLDS who did not know who I was met me in the street, they would think rather highly of me. I was employee of the year for this company of over a hundred my first year here, (I told my boss that was a rather sad commentary). I am often told by my superiors that I am the easiest to give work to. The coworker who knows about this blog considers me his good friend, and he hated Mormonism before he met me. I listen way more than I speak, but when I speak most listen. A black fellow from Vanuatu wanted to move to America and be my son, and I have actually had two different people tell me that if they died, they would want me to have their children. That is something humbling.
I seek to help in every way I can, and try to smile no matter how I feel inside. It is no big deal to insult me, I knew it would happen an expected it when I wrote this blog. But I continue on knowing I have sacrificed all, including my own good name, honor and applause, to defend the innocent. My heart is bigger than Texas, and I owe it all to how much my heart aches. I care so much it hurts.
I admit I have a fairly low self esteem, but it is in my own ability, not my desire. I have very high confidence in what I have been taught, and in the testimony I have of the religion of my heritage and my God; high enough to see great things in other peoples beliefs even when they call me a brainwashed slave. But I do get discouraged easily, and feel frustrated that I am not making the personal progress that I wish I would. I try to think of what I have accomplished, and all I see are my mistakes. When I see others mistakes, I first try to think of how I can help them see those mistakes, but I want to forgive. I will never talk about someone behind their back anything I wouldn’t say directly to them. But that isn’t saying much either. Criticizing is never constructive, and correction can only come from those who have the authority. I am guilty, the FLDS are not. I have probably caused many anti-FLDS to become MORE spiteful because of my words, practically defeating my purpose here. That I do regret.
The desire to have faith, and to believe in a particular religion and religious leader is myopic in a sense, because those who don’t have that same faith are just as credible in their belief that it is wrong, and can “see” all what is wrong about it. But there are no more small minded or pitiful people than those who hate. I have used the term “bigot” more loosely than I should, but it so very accurately describes those who think they or the state should run other peoples EXERCISE of peaceful religion, association, or speech. THAT is myopia.
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
Most people cannot figure out how it is that a man such as I could love Warren Jeffs after what he “did” to me. That is only because they do not know what he did FOR me. And perhaps a few in the FLDS wonder if I love him at all. If I wrote the whole truth, it would be a sound bite and a quote on all of the anti-FLDS blogs and a central topic for them ad nauseam. What I already personally have said FLDS101 and others have quoted as at least three different men, all with an indignant, evil, spin. And then they wonder why the FLDS people “answer them nothing”?
Warren Jeffs changed absolutely nothing about the FLDS religion or life. He did not change the rules, the laws, or anything of the kind. No, he only did exactly what he believed was right. Few people know what that man has done to increase the peace and virtue of the FLDS Church as a whole. He did only what his father wanted done. I have known that man for a long time, and was acquainted with him personally every day for six years when I went to Alta Academy, and the year that I went back and volunteered to teach six years later. I have listened to him for more hours than most people hear their own father, and I have never once heard him speak about himself, except in introspection and a desire to do better. Not even once. In all of the Anti-FLDS quotes that have been lifted from his school teaching courses, the ones that mention prophet, obedience, submission, or revelation to one man, he was not speaking of himself; not one time.
I will tell you all, if you can breathe through your own fear and bigotry, that Warren Jeffs had absolutely no desire to be the Prophet leader, and because of that humility, and his daily, tireless, continuous, anxious obedience to his father and the gospel of Jesus Christ, he was most qualified for the position God, and the FLDS people put him in. They have not followed blindly, but they have sought to follow and obey because they are not blind. They each and all have perfect free will to change their minds and walk away at any time, but because they have their eyes wide open, most don’t. Many Anti-FLDS constantly repeat, “Just say “I hate Warren Jeffs” we will celebrate and leave you alone”
They can’t even see how ridiculous and absurd that sounds.
And even if the powers that be, and all the devils who desire his death, got their wish and killed him, it would change nothing about the FLDS Church. He had taken upon himself the responsibility of the virtue of the people as a group, and because of that, and the very real need for a people that can live as Zion (the holiest pure people) in Zion (the City of the Saviors return) here and now, have his actions been rushed and seemingly impatient with doe-heads and slow pokes like me. I know what he has been through because of me. I know that mans heart, and I know what my actions have done to hurt him and those we both love. I know he has suffered because of me. He cares, and perhaps like me he may have made mistakes, but his mistakes are not mine or my business, for it was not for any other reason except his desire to follow the Gospel of his father and bless those who seek and love to obey the gospel. God does not make mistakes, He gives us tests. At times those tests are from our mistakes, and at times those tests come from others. A curse is a test. This whole life is but a test.
If you would kneel before your God, a being who is your FATHER, and realize without a doubt that He does hear you, and knows you, and cares very deeply about you, and you pray with all the energy of your heart, and sacrifice to Him all your feelings, cares and worries for an hour. And then use your conscious mind throughout the rest of the day to speak to God about everything, having nothing else in mind; to literally think through prayer. No entertainment except revelation through the scriptures and what you can make yourself with children or uplifting friends in peace. No worldly drum filled music but music of prayer, no Television or video but real life, no associations except what is needed for your responsibilities, no idle time except in the peace of talking to God, and knowing you are doing His will to the best of your ability. Remove all selfishness, and pride, and the need to justify yourself. Complain to no one, except God. Remove all malice and forgive every single human being without exception. And do these things all the rest of your life; in essence do exactly what Warren Jeffs has done since I ever knew him, you will understand eventually.
In the early 1880’s our Church was being hounded severely by the government; men and women were disenfranchised for their beliefs, men were put in prison and there were none in government who would allow them to live the tenets of their faith, not even the Supreme Court. From those times very similar to today, I copy these words:
George Q Cannon
August 12, 1883 JD 24:276
“Now, this is the great point. I look upon it as one of the most vital points connected with our existence in these mountains. I look upon it as a test. It may be said that it will test the Latter-Day Saints as they never have been tested -- this vital doctrine of obedience to the Priesthood of the Son of God.
“There is no point today against which so many assaults are directed by the wicked. They make it the main object of their attacks. They would like to destroy confidence in your hearts in the Priesthood of the Son of God. If they could weaken your confidence; if they could undermine your faith; if they could by any power or means in their possession wean you from the Church, and sow the seeds of distrust and suspicion in your minds concerning the Priesthood, or those who bear it, they would obtain the object of their view.
“The man who holds the keys is always the object of assault. His life is the life that is most sought after. He is the man they would strike down if they had the power. They seek to weaken the confidence of the people in him, by all manner of slanders, and every sort of falsification. It is the main object of our enemies to sow the seeds of distrust and suspicion in the midst of the Latter-Day Saints, and to accomplish this they relate all manner of falsehoods concerning those who bear the Priesthood of the Son of God. They contort every act. They misrepresent every word and every council that is given. They endeavor to put everything in a false light. And those who read those things continually begin to believe by degrees, that there is foundation for them, that there is something wrong, that this man or the other man is not to be trusted, and that they are doing wrong in yielding obedience to the counsels of the Priesthood, and in submitting to its control. You are aware these attacks are constantly directed against the Priesthood, and it is, as I say, the vital point today.”
Sunday, August 24, 2008
All she wanted was to have fun for crying out loud, and her mother recently got her in trouble for underage drinking and being out way into the night, and finally after only a couple times caught at the bachelor "lost boy" party house in Hurricane Utah, called the police. The police caught her in a car in the middle of the night and gave this girl a ticket. Before the Moccasin, Arizona judge the mother swore out a restraining order against the brother to keep him from driving the twenty miles to Short Creek and picking up his sister to take her to his all male party house as was done several times before.
So what did the poor brother and sister do? This girl was given the phone number to the all knowing savior Flora Jessop. Flora had one of her cronies from Hurricane Utah contact the girl and her sidekick with the same name, and pick them up late in the evening in January 2004. When her daughter went missing way into the night this girls mother was frantic.
Meanwhile, toting two news crews along with her, Flora Jessop drove up from Phoenix, Arizona and picked up these two girls. “Smile big for the camera and tell them you are fleeing a forced marriage, I will do the rest” she reassured them. “I don’t want to marry an old man… or something like that” her friend said to the television camera and the stupefied audience.
“Then they loaded up the truck and moved to Beverly’s”
“Hills that is, swimming pools, movie stars”
Mike Watkiss, the hero.
When the girls mother was completely beside herself the next morning, the brother at the party house said he knew nothing, and actually, he didn’t. O where would this mother find her “party girl”? She phoned everyone and everywhere, including her eldest son who had left the church years before and had been somewhat close to the family when they lived in Salt Lake before 2001. He did see her, ON TV!
Meanwhile, back at the ranch in her new “safe house” in Phoenix, you know the buddy of Flora’s house who only had one sixteen-year-old boy living with her. Flora then explained to the girls that they HAD to tell Arizona CPS that their fathers molested them, beat them, and were going to force them into a marriage with old men. She told them that they faced being murdered by their families if they were ever caught. This they told CPS down to the letter, and when CPS asked the girl how she know this, she said “Flora told me” (Only that part didn’t make the affidavit the judge saw) "All is cool young ladies, you are now free to paaartteeeee! Woo! woo!"
In the next few days, with nerves frazzled, the girls mother was beside herself with what to do, this was her baby girl, her last one at home. Her son from Salt Lake promised to “help” all he could and so he and his wife Joni drove to Phoenix. The next thing this mother who ate, drank, and slept by the phone received was what shocked her the most; charges by the state of Arizona against her and her husband for child abuse. Her father was charges with sexually assaulting her, and physically dragging her across the room, and the "immanent threat" of marriage. And her mother was charged with accessory. The “helpful” brother Carl John Holm had signed the papers agreeing with the allegations.
It took several months and many 300 mile trips by the girls parents before they were exonerated. And when the judge signed that, she also signed a motion for FLORA JESSOP to have NO FURTHER CONTACT with the girl.
O that was easy, Flora knew, give the girls who had now joined up with Joni Holm’s daughter Megan, a car, cell phone, and a couple hundred bucks. AND THEN HOLD A PRESS CONFERENCE. “We don’t know where they are” said Flora and Joni each in front of the capital building in Phoenix. “The state of Arizona has failed to protect these kids, and they have run away again” CPS in Arizona still had temporary custody of the girls, but because they were at Flora’s “safe house” they had run away. CPS “tried” to find them.
And thankfully, said the entire United States press corp. they turned up at Carl and Joni Holm’s house in Sandy Utah a few weeks later. “Safe at last” CPS in Arizona had temporary custody, and never closed the case until she turned 18.
Although the girls’ mother refused to sign over custody to her son and his wife, she [edit WAS NOT ALLOWED TO STOP THE GIRL FROM STAYING] in Salt Lake, although in open rebellion to the rules of the “new” mother for a year and a half, when she turned 18. Finally in June of 2005 she was able to join her party brother and get drunk and have the boy she “loved” dump her after a one night stand, and another boy getting her drunk at a party and taking advantage of her. Joni told the tabloids “She fled back to Polygamy”
FREE AT LAST, now she was a true American girl. My sister, Fawn Holm
On a side note, our sister who is just younger than Fawn and was constantly berated by her and the boys of the neighborhood (who all ended up "lost"), wrote a letter to the prophet, and was praying night and day to her God to bless her and her sister. While Fawn is in Boston today, rescued from the "brainwashing" by Dr Phil, and safe shacking up with her boyfriend and living hand to mouth; this sister is a mother of the most beautiful baby you will never see. She is married to a young man whose honor and virtue and work ethic are unmatched anywhere on earth.
So who escaped what? Who is saved from what?
Saturday, August 23, 2008
By their FRUITS you shall know them:
From "What are you thinking Carolyn?"
By Maggie Jessop
"Think about this. What if I were to go on a big campaign all over the United States and say a lot of things and make a horrendous stir, maybe even write a book about all the evils and corruption in the world today? I know there is much evil in the world, so I make it my crusade to save everybody from themselves and protect the women and children from those evils. How do you think that would go over? Okay, so Carolyn goes on a campaign to expose the evils that she has decided are present in the FLDS lifestyle. She was miserable, so every other woman must be miserable, right? Wrong. Does she have the right to represent us? Does she have the right to claim we are abused when we claim we are not? Carolyn says it took her a year after her escape to be able to think of herself as a person, not an object. That’s interesting. I do not feel like an object. I am a person, and I feel good about myself and all others. I’m telling you, it is all in the perspective.
"The women in our society are all controlled by the men, you say? Hardly. I know hundreds of fine men, young and old, honest men who treat me with kindness and respect, and they look out for my best interest, just as I do theirs. The media image of tyrannical FLDS men who lord it over the women, forcing them to obey, is not part of my religion. The women just don’t dare speak up, you say? Well, what am I doing right now? Am I just an exception? No, I am not an exception. I have hundreds of friends. I know hundreds of very bright, intelligent, well-balanced, beautiful, happy, spunky women. You have to have a deep love for truth to live the way we do. You have to be willing to continually humble yourself before the Lord, and truly desire for Him to bring about the experiences you need in your life to see yourself and improve step by step. You have to have a lot of backbone; yes, even the nerves of steel to endure the mockery of the world.
"Carolyn claims she has had a horrible life. Have I had a horrible life? No, but if I had, it would be my own fault. Have I had hard times? Yes. Have I had humbling experiences? Tons. Have I known hardship and want? Of course I have. Jesus was treated very badly. Did He run out and tell everyone? Did He write a book about all those mean and wicked people who mocked Him and even killed Him? Did He start up a campaign of talk shows and media exploitation so He could make a million dollars to pay for the abuses He had endured? There has been a book written. It is called the Holy Bible, and therein, He gives the recipe for success: forgive, forgive, forgive, and then do it some more."
Read the REST: http://www.truthwillprevail.org/index.php?parentid=1&index=122
Other required reading:
Marie Musser, mother who's broken promise to her children was torture to her soul:
"We have been a persecuted and driven people. We are not popular with the world, so our reaction was to gather all the children into the house, close our blinds, and lock our doors. We finished the day in normal routine. Why are we not accepted by the world? Because we are different, and that scares the world."
From the sweet grandmother and College teacher "Aunt" Dorothy Emma:
"My story as an FLDS member is a little different from many others in that I am a convert to this Faith. I lived for sixteen years “out there” just like most of you. I saw the trends of the day in society in general that pointed to a marked decline in morals and good old honesty. You know it as well as I do. Your mothers and fathers and grandparents were heard to say, as mine were, “Decency just isn’t what it used to be. Why, I was taught that it was criminal to treat your partner dishonestly, whether in marriage or in business.”
From eighty-year-old patriarch dear "Uncle" Sam Roundy:
"Anyone who does not have the character to endure the Gospel of Jesus Christ, which is our purpose, is and always has been free to use their agency to come and go as they please. And if they make known their desire to leave, we would supply them with transportation and money to help them. It is against our creed and belief to force any person against his or her will. Such characters who do leave us feel that they have escaped because they did not have the character to live up to the high standards of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and so their escape is the feeling they have from having laid off the burden of the principles of the Gospel of Jesus Christ."
Maggie Jessop, mother who just had her children stolen from her and still said this:
Hello America! So you want to hear from the FLDS women huh?
Friday, August 22, 2008
Without the Noblest FATHERS you can't get THIS KIND OF Sweetness:
But To fix the terrors of love, and virtue, and sweetness, the horrid feminist Judge ordered this:
The SAVING of Merrianne
I have made many friends since starting this blog, who could see the obvious injustice from the government in Texas and the San Angelo witch trial Judge. Several of whom I have made a commitment to meet with, and some I want to meet but haven’t committed to. I can honestly say I love each and every one of you. (Even you John Lester, despite your "self-proclaimed" nuttiness.)
I want to tell everyone about the two who I have met; who are probably the dearest to me. Not just because of their kindness personally to me, but also their anxiousness and desire to defend those I love. They were among the earliest to help, and most vocal.
Maayan in Monterrey
Even before I started this blog I was fairly active in comment sections of news websites and Youtube videos. Maayan saw a comment on one and sent me a message “Who is the leader of the FLDS?” To which I replied “Why, are you looking for someone to sue?” It makes me laugh now, as she has been a great friend to me ever since. She is the author of the FLDS News in Spanish blog that is linked here.
A few weeks ago I was in Laredo TX and I decided to take her up on the invite to visit. I rented a car and jumped the border, which was easy enough until I tried to get a permit to drive the 70 miles to her house. I had to pay a fellow $5 just to guide me around the block to the permit building, and then I stood in two wrong lines for an hour because I couldn’t read the signs. Then I got lost in the HUGE city of Monterrey and had to get a motel clerk to get a cab driver to guide me to their humble home. But the trip was definitely worth the trouble.
Maayan’s gorgeous little ones didn’t know any English, but I sure enjoyed playing with them. I don’t get the chance to hold a child in my arms often, and her baby girl is absolutely adorable.
Her noble and highly respected husband is a hard working periodontist and entrepreneur, and he took me on a tour of Mexico’s second largest city. The amount of culture and industry and architecture there in that town of six million, along with the well known work ethic, had me puzzled at the illegal immigration problem the USA has. But that is for another blog.
Maayan, who fled Colombian mob threats and a previous abusive husband that kidnapped her child, could write a book about her life that would make “Escape” look like the pouty novel that it really is.
“Uncle” Bill Medvecky
Where do I begin? Few realize how incredible that man is. It is amazing to me that a non religious liberal would ever come so passionately to the aid of such an unpopular conservative group; until he told me. The man knows what it is like to suffer at the hands of tyranny and Child “Pilfering” Services. Indeed he knows first hand.
Seeing http://www.flds.ws/ become a central area for the defense of the FLDS children and the fight against the tyranny of the Texas “official” mob, and the fear that this man put in the faces of the cowardly judge and sheriff was something that was a wonder to me. He, along with a very few others, stood up for strangers. O that we had one million Bill Medvecky’s!
I know that I make a lot of you jealous because I was able to meet this giant hearted man, but it may be harder for you to realize that he is greater in person. I also met his stalwart and brilliant wife and some of his children and grandchildren. It was very enjoyable to spend some time with them, (not to mention the steak dinner et "hic"cetera). He lives in an area that is quite beautiful, and I took a couple of pictures along the way. He has been getting a little wet from a certain storm lately, and we all hope he is keeping dry and safe!
God bless you Uncle Bill!
Sunday, August 17, 2008
[National Review Online, September 20, 2002]
"True Love Waits. Wait Training. Worth Waiting For. The slogans of teen abstinence programs reveal a basic fact of human nature: teens, sex, and waiting aren’t a natural combination.
"Over the last fifty years the wait has gotten longer. In 1950, the average first-time bride was just over 20; in 1998 she was five years older, and her husband was pushing 27. If that June groom had launched into puberty at 12, he’d been waiting more than half his life.
"If he *had* been waiting, that is. Sex is the sugar coating on the drive to reproduce, and that drive is nearly overwhelming. It’s supposed to be; it’s the survival engine of the human race. Fighting it means fighting a basic bodily instinct, akin to fighting thirst.
"Yet despite the conflict between liberals and conservatives on nearly every topic available, this is one point on which they firmly agree: young people absolutely must not have children. Though they disagree on means-conservatives advocate abstinence, liberals favor contraception—they shake hands on that common goal. The younger generation must not produce a younger generation.
"But teen pregnancy, in itself, is not such a bad thing. By the age of 18, a young woman’s body is well prepared for childbearing. Young men are equally qualified to do their part. Both may have better success at the enterprise than they would in later years, as some health risks—Cesarean section and Down syndrome, for example— increase with passing years. (The dangers we associate with teen pregnancy, on the other hand, are behavioral, not biological: drug use, STD’s, prior abortion, extreme youth, and lack of prenatal care.) A woman’s fertility has already begun to decline at 25 -one reason the population-control crowd promotes delayed childbearing. Early childbearing also rewards a woman’s health with added protection against breast cancer.
"Younger moms and dads are likely be more nimble at child-rearing as well, less apt to be exhausted by toddlers’ perpetual motion, less creaky-in-the-joints when it’s time to swing from the monkey bars. I suspect that younger parents will also be more patient with boys-will-be-boys rambunction, and less likely than weary 40-somethings to beg pediatricians for drugs to control supposed pathology. Humans are designed to reproduce in their teens, and they’re potentially very good at it. That’s why they want to so much.
"Teen pregnancy is not the problem *Unwed* teen pregnancy is the problem. It’s childbearing outside marriage that causes all the trouble. Restore an environment that supports younger marriage, and you won’t have to fight biology for a decade or more."
"Most of us blanch at the thought of our children marrying under the age of 25, much less under 20. The immediate reaction is: "They’re too immature." We expect teenagers to be self-centered and impulsive, incapable of shouldering the responsibilities of adulthood. But it wasn’t always that way; through much of history, teen marriage and childbearing was the norm. Most of us would find our family trees dotted with many teen marriages.
"Of course, those were the days when grown teens were presumed to be truly "young adults." It’s hard for us to imagine such a thing today. It’s not that young people are inherently incapable of responsibility-history disproves that-but that we no longer expect it. Only a few decades ago a high school diploma was taken as proof of adulthood, or at least as a promise that the skinny kid holding it was ready to start acting like one. Many a boy went from graduation to a world of daily labor that he would not leave until he was gray; many a girl began turning a corner of a small apartment into a nursery. Expectations may have been humble, but they were achievable, and many good families were formed this way.
"Hidden in that scenario is an unstated presumption, that a young adult can earn enough to support a family. Over the course of history, the age of marriage has generally been bounded by puberty on the one hand, and the ability to support a family on the other. In good times, folks marry young; when prospects are poor, couples struggle and save toward their wedding day. A culture where men don’t marry until 27 would normally feature elements like repeated crop failures or economic depression.
"That’s not the case in America today. Instead we have an *artificial* situation which causes marriage to be delayed. The age that a man, or woman, can earn a reasonable income has been steadily increasing as education has been dumbed down. The condition of basic employability that used to be demonstrated by a high school diploma now requires a Bachelor’s degree, and professional careers that used to be accessible with a Bachelor’s now require a Master’s degree or more. Years keep passing while kids keep trying to attain the credentials that adult earning requires.
"Financial ability isn’t our only concern, however; we’re convinced that young people are simply incapable of adult responsibility. We expect that they will have poor control of their impulses, be self-centered and emotional, and be incapable of visualizing consequences. (It’s odd that kids thought to be too irresponsible for marriage are expected instead to practice heroic abstinence or diligent contraception.) The assumption of teen irresponsibility has broader roots that just our estimation of the nature of adolescence; it involves our very idea of the purpose of childhood.
"Until a century or so ago, it was presumed that children were in training to be adults. From early years children helped keep the house or tend the family business or farm, assuming more responsibility each day. By late teens, children were ready to graduate to full adulthood, a status they received as an honor. How early this transition might begin is indicated by the number of traditional religious and social coming-of-age ceremonies that are administered at ages as young as 12 or 13.
"But we no longer think of children as adults-in-progress. Childhood is no longer a training ground but a playground, and because we love our children and feel nostalgia for our own childhoods, we want them to be able to linger there as long as possible. We cultivate the idea of idyllic, carefree childhood, and as the years for education have stretched so have the bounds of that playground, so that we expect even "kids" in their mid-to-late twenties to avoid settling down. Again, it’s not that people that age *couldn’t* be responsible; their ancestors were. It’s that anyone, offered a chance to kick back and play, will generally seize the opportunity. If our culture assumed that 50-year-olds would take a year-long break from responsibility, have all their expenses paid by someone else, spend their time having fun and making forgivable mistakes, our malls would be overrun by middle-aged delinquents.
"But don’t young marriages tend to end in divorce? If we communicate to young people that we think they’re inherently incompetent that will become a self-fulfilling prophecy, but it was not always the case. In fact, in the days when people married younger, divorce was much rarer. During the last half of the 20th century, as brides’ age rose from 20 to 25, the divorce rate doubled. The trend toward older, and presumptively more mature, couples didn’t result in stronger marriages. Marital durability has more to do with the expectations and support of surrounding society than with the partners’ age.
"A pattern of late marriage may actually *increase* the rate of divorce. During that initial decade of physical adulthood, young people may not be getting married, but they’re still falling in love. They fall in love, and break up, and undergo terrible pain, but find that with time they get over it. They may do this many times. Gradually, they get used to it; they learn that they can give their hearts away, and take them back again; they learn to shield their hearts from access in the first place. They learn to approach a relationship with the goal of getting what they want, and keep their bags packed by the door. By the time they marry they may have had many opportunities to learn how to walk away from a promise. They’ve been training for divorce.
"As we know too well, a social pattern of delayed marriage doesn’t mean delayed sex. In 1950, there were 14 births per thousand unmarried women; in 1998, the rate had leapt to 44. Even that astounding increase doesn’t tell the whole story. In 1950 the numbers of births generally corresponded to the numbers of pregnancies, but by 1998 we must add in many more unwed pregnancies that didn’t come to birth, but ended in abortion, as roughly one in four of all pregnancies do. My home city of Baltimore wins the blue ribbon for out-of-wedlock childbearing: in 2001, 77% of all births were to unwed mothers.
"There are a number of interlocking reasons for this rise in unwed childbearing, but one factor must surely be that when the requirements presumed necessary for marriage rise too high, some people simply parachute out. It’s one thing to ask fidgety kids to abstain until they finish high school at 18. When the expectation instead is to wait until 25 or 27, many will decline to wait at all. We’re saddened, but no longer surprised, at girls having babies at the age of 12 or 13. Between 1940 and 1998, the rate at which girls 10-14 had their first babies almost doubled. These young moms’ sexual experiences are usually classified as "non-voluntary" or "not wanted." Asking boys to wait until marriage is one way a healthy culture protects young girls.
"The idea of returning to an era of young marriage still seems daunting, for good reason. It is not just a matter of tying the knot between dreamy-eyed 18-year-olds and tossing them out into world. Our ancestors were able to marry young because they were surrounded by a network of support enabling that step. Young people are not intrinsically incompetent, but they do still have lots of learning to do, just like newly-weds of any age. In generations past a young couple would be surrounded by family and friends who could guide and support them, not just in navigating the shoals of new marriage, but also in the practical skills of making a family work, keeping a budget, repairing a leaky roof, changing a leaky diaper.
"It is not good for man to be alone; it’s not good for a young couple to be isolated, either. In this era of extended education, couples who marry young will likely do so before finishing college, and that will require some sacrifices. They can’t expect to "have it all." Of the three factors—living on their own, having babies, and both partners going to school full-time—something is going to have to give. But young marriage can succeed, as it always has, with the support of family and friends.
"I got married a week after college graduation, and both my husband and I immediately went to graduate school. We made ends meet by working as janitors in the evenings, mopping floors and cleaning toilets. We were far from home, but our church was our home, and through the kindness of more-experienced families we had many kinds of support-in fact, all that we needed. When our first child was born we were so flooded with diapers, clothes, and gifts that our only expense was the hospital bill.Our daughter and older son also married and started families young. Things don’t come easy for those who buck the norm, but with the help of family, church, and creative college-to-work programs, both young families are making their way. Early marriage can’t happen in a vacuum; it requires support from many directions, and it would be foolish to pretend the costs aren’t high.
"The rewards are high as well. It is wonderful to see our son and daughter blooming in strong, joyful marriages, and an unexpected joy to count a new daughter and son in our family circle. Our cup overflows with grandchildren as well: as of July we have four grandbabies, though the oldest is barely two. I’m 49.
"It’s interesting to think about the future. What if the oldest grandbaby also marries young, and has his first child at the age of 20? I would hold my great-grandchild at 67. There could even follow a great-great-grand at 87. I will go into old age far from lonely. My children and their children would be grown up then too, and available to surround the younger generations with many resourceful minds and loving hearts. Even more outrageous things are possible: I come from a long-lived family, some of whom went on past the age of 100. How large a family might I live to see?
"Such speculation becomes dizzying-yet these daydreams are not impossible, and surely not unprecedented. Closely-looped, mutually supporting generations must have been a common sight, in older days when young marriage was affirmed, and young people were allowed to do what comes naturally."
The Ideal Home
by Joseph F. Smith
What then is an ideal home – model home, such as it should be the ambition of the Latter-day Saints to build; such as a young man starting out in life should wish to erect for himself? And the answer came to me: It is one in which all worldly considerations are secondary. One in which the Father is devoted to the family with which God has blessed him, counting them of first importance, and in which they in turn permit him to live in their hearts. One in which there is confidence, union, love, sacred devotion between Father and Mother and children and parents. One in which the Mother takes every pleasure in her children, supported by the Father – all being moral, pure, God-fearing.
As the tree is judged by its fruit, so also do we judge the home by the children. In the ideal home true parents rear loving, thoughtful children, loyal to the death, to Father and Mother and home! In it there is the religious spirit, for both parents and children have faith in God, and their practices are in conformity with that faith; the members are free from the vices and contaminations of the world, are pure in morals, having upright hearts beyond bribes and temptations, ranging high in the exalted standards of manhood and womanhood. Peace, order, and contentment reign in the hearts of the inmates – let them be rich or poor, in things material.
There are no vain regrets; no expressions of discontent against Father, from the boys and girls, in which they complain: “If we only had this or that, or were like this family or that, or could do like so and so!” – complaints that have caused Fathers many uncertain steps, dim eyes, restless nights, and untold anxiety. In their place is the loving thoughtfulness to Mother and Father by which the boys and girls work with a will and a determination to carry some of the burden that the parents have staggered under these many years. There is the kiss for Mother, the caress for Father, the thought that they have sacrificed their own hopes and ambitions, their strength, even life itself to their children – there is gratitude in payment for all that has been given them!
In the ideal home the soul is not starved, neither are the growth and expansion of the finer sentiments paralyzed for the coarse and sensual pleasures. The main aim is not to heap up material wealth, which generally draws further and further from the true, the ideal, the spiritual life; but it is rather to create soul-wealth, consciousness of noble achievement, an outflow of love and helpfulness.It is not costly paintings, tapestries, priceless bric-a-brac, various ornaments, costly furniture, fields, herds, houses and lands which constitute the ideal home, nor yet the social enjoyments and ease so tenaciously sought by many; but it is rather beauty of soul, cultivated, loving, faithful, true spirits; hands that help and hearts that sympathize; love that seeks not its own, thoughts and acts that touch our lives to finer issues – these lie at the foundation of the ideal home.
Gospel Doctrine p. 302, Joseph F. Smith, Improvement Era, Vol. 8, 1904-05, pp. 385-388
Saturday, August 16, 2008
“When in the course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the Earth, a separate but equal station to which the laws of nature, and natures God entitle them…”
“I decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they declare the causes that impel them to the separation.”
In the experiences of writing this blog in this day and time I often feel very alone, I know there are hundreds of men more qualified and more able to defend the way we were brought up and the wonderful teachings of peace and love that truly embody the FLDS Church. From reading the newspapers about Flora and her disturbing accusations, and then seeing a smiling and happy Ruby the same day; to going to a funeral of my little nephew who died in a tragic accident and then reading and hearing stories of a cult involved in sacrificing children. I would often wonder why we as a people did not “answer them something”
For years we have been taught that the persecutions were going to come again, that the raid of 53 was not the end, and the bitter lawsuits of the eighties and nineties were not the end. Truly the prophet would often say that the Lord needs a pure people to be able to withstand what is going to come. Those words cut me to the bone as I write them.
In recent days those outsiders who have been in the forefront of defending the innocent women and children who were victimized by Texas perpetrators of the law have been tested as well. They have been loud and outspoken in every way they possibly can, and yet they see the FLDS people laying low and avoiding the conflict. Now the conflict is almost un fightable for them because of the accusations and charges that have become public. Truly they are being tested as well.
I personally am in a quandary very often. For no one asked me to write this blog, no one approved of it, no one helped me write what I have written. Who am I to write these things? What qualifications do I have? None. I feel like a rebel without a home or a cause. Fighting for those who often do not want me to fight for them, against people who do not want me fight against them. Butting my nose where it seems not welcome or does not belong. There is only one place that steels me, only one. Now don’t get me wrong, I am not steel, I am jelly and powder. I am rebellious and slow. But I care. That is the only thing that keeps me writing this blog. I care. Do not let it be said of me that I did nothing for my fellow man! I had a younger brother come to me as he was leaving the church several years ago, and he said he knew that none of his brothers cared what he did. I wept when he said that to me. That memory haunts me. I was so caught up with my personal life that I could not argue with him, although I tried. I write this blog for those who WANT to believe the truth about the FLDS. Not for the FLDS, or for the enemies of the FLDS.
I find that in many cases the truth is so far away from what the general population WANTS to believe, my efforts oftentimes feel useless and takes away from my personal effort to get closer to my Father in heaven and turn the other cheek. But I continue not for me, my purpose is to help outsiders who do want to believe the truth, no matter what happens. I do miss me.
For those who wonder why the FLDS do not fight, let me tell you. The answer is very simple and not what you may think. The answer is not just turning the other cheek; the answer is there is no legal leg to stand on except the Constitution of the United States. Not once has the religious rights of the FLDS people been upheld. Not even once in all the history of the Mormon Church and that is since 1830, a hundred and seventy years ago. We have been driven and assaulted ever since in every way. The only time it ever stopped was after those who were doing the attacking tired, or after the people capitulated to their enemies at least in public.
Not from the time that plural marriage was made public as a doctrine of the Priesthood and a requirement of the highest heavens has any group of judges or lawmakers given this law of my birthright the shadow of respect that it deserves. And every time a government or a group of apostates attacked any of the institutions of the FLDS, they could always excuse it away to the public because of the illegality of the Celestial law of marriage. All insults were excused away every time; at the end of the day we still had no rights. The fights often were long and ridiculous in their worthless cause, but the effect was always the same. “We don’t like you, and we could stop you, but we won’t for now.” Pretending we had Constitutional God given rights merely because they let us.
In 1956 the state of Utah stole the children of Vera Black for the second time, decimating the life of little Wilford. And the fight went to the Supreme Court. Poor Aunt Vera was forced to sign a paper pledging to not teach her children about the law that she held most sacred because secular and mainstream Mormon society did not approve and called it “abuse”. She signed it just to get her poor devastated children back into her arms again. What other choice did she have? In effect, that law that took her children is still good law and has never changed.
Since that time the persecution slowed to almost nothing, and a general ignorant stand had been taken until the turn of the century. The persecution changed shape when apostate women, besides apostate men, became outspoken. The gripe that stuck, of all the gripes, was the age of marriage. They could never say with accuracy that anyone was forced to marry, or anyone was abused in any way by the church, or that fraud was widespread among or sanctioned by the Church, despite these continuous complaints and their common belief among the general population.
What they could prove was some girls were getting married as teenagers. Ah Ha! Polygyny AND teenage marriage! Now there is a CRIME! Of course we can’t compare responsible lifelong committed marriage with a teenager to non married sex between adults and teenagers, or compare percentages of sexually active teenage girls in and out of the FLDS, or even compare polygyny in the FLDS with polyamory among teenagers everywhere else, why? Because that would condemn the society that was being held out as the greater of the two.
So laws were changed to try to fight this “problem” specific to the FLDS culture. The problems with these laws are obvious, marriage and family advocates who fight for them are shooting themselves in the foot. But they always have that history of persecution to stand on to defend the persecutions today. It does not matter what statements get made by the FLDS leaders, they are criminals because their religion requires that a “crime” be committed at some point. You have no right to make a commitment to two women at the same time! (Sex on the other hand, just don’t tell anyone and you can be President!)
Recently a statement was read declaring what seemed like a big deal to the outside world but was in the FLDS world a non issue in reality. Girls will not be married in the FLDS church under the age that society decides of consent to marry. Big deal. There is nothing about the religion that requires girls to get married young anyway. There is nothing in the religion that requires a lady to even be intimate with her husband after they are married. The only requirement is that they get married FIRST. There is a requirement of the men to never force, but that doesn’t seem to matter.
Sure, making girls stay single may be difficult for them personally, but timing means very little to the eternal progress of families that God expects. To wait a couple of years is quite unsubstantial. This is not even close to the same thing as declaring to stop polygyny. It’s who you marry, and how you marry, not when you marry, that is important. Maturity and age are relative anyway, but for some reason society has picked an age for girls to be irresponsible one day, and completely dumped on their heads with no protection the next. And that age is different depending on whether or not they are FLDS.
Now that we got that major “problem” out of the way, we need a trade off to fight the very dangerous belief system of people outside of the FLDS church. It is now a pandemic.
They force their little girls to run around naked or with very little clothes on. They use very sharp metal instruments and cut bloody holes in their little girls ears and often noses when they are very young. Their children are forced to believe that a fat man with a red coat and a big beard is breaking into their home in the middle of the night, bringing them toys so that is “ok”. Their children are forced to believe that animals can talk. They are forced into a culture that destroys millions of trees to put in their houses for a few weeks a year. They are forced to believe that man came from monkeys and prayer in school is evil. The children are forced into watching horrible indoctrination of sexually explicit movies and television for years, and force them into listening to sexually explicit music. The girls are forced to paint their faces and destroy their hair to sexually seduce men. Girls are forced to walk around baring their legs and stomach, and this is “ok”. Children are being forced into drug use and physical abuse at school. They are forced into a culture that promotes premarital sex and force them to murder their children or forced into a belief system that murder is “ok”. They are forced into a culture where girls are taught that it is “important” to have sex at a young age with as many men as they can before they commit to anyone. And they are forced into a culture where fidelity is frowned upon and sin is excused away. They are forced to believe that it is “ok” to attack a non agressive sovereign country and kill thousands of their citizens because some of them believe a certain religion. Girls are forced to hate marriage because if they get married abuse must be tolerated until they die. Boys are forced to hate marriage because it will end in divorce if they are not obedient to their wife.
I know this is all true about all of you non-FLDS because I saw it on Maury Povich and Jerry Springer. There is way to much secular data to give you any benefit of the doubt. If you don’t give up your beliefs, we should take your children and put them in good FLDS homes.
A great trade off, if you ask me.
I sent everyone in my email list an email about signing that petition to the governor. I mistakenly thought I could send it to John Lester, the Melaleuca Genius. He decided that pilfering everyone's email address was a great thing to do, and several people emailed me with a complaint that he was spamming them. I, the all powerful pliggy, scared him enough to call the FBI!
He graciously sent me an email telling me what he sent to the FBI:
>>>Al Holm, aka as "Pliggy" online, states online that he likes to "fight." Though it's but a rumor, the FLDS is claimed to believe in "blood atonement," which is, of course, basically killing someone for their own good. I personally don't trust the mental stability of Mr. Holm from what little that I know about him and so I take any threats that he makes even online seriously enough to report it to law enforcement. Here are the two emails that he sent me, and, as you can plainly see, Mr. Holm thinks that HE is law enforcement and that it's incumbent upon HIM to see that the "law" is enforced. Since I'm not aware that I have broken any laws, I am reporting all of this to you. Here's the two emails:
# 1 from Plig Child <firstname.lastname@example.org>to email@example.com date Fri, Aug 15, 2008 at 10:23 PM
subject Stealing email addresses hide details 10:23 PM (8 hours ago)
Please remove *** from your spam sending list. As well as everyone else you got from my email. If you don't do it quick, the little pliggy is gonna give you some email problems of your own.
I don't like to threaten you again Mr Lester at firstname.lastname@example.org, but these people are not interested in your spam.
# 2 This is your final warning
Plig Child to gemsmaker show details 10:25 PM (8 hours ago) Reply from Plig Child <email@example.com>to firstname.lastname@example.org Fri, Aug 15, 2008 at 10:25
PMsubject This is your final warning
Stop sending *** emails from your google group!
>>>>Now, while his threats are only in the form of some type of cyber-retaliation, with this guy, given his background, one never knows where he might take this. I would appreciate someone contacting him if only by email for him to know that this report was taken seriously enough for someone to warn him to take any disputes with me thru civil means. Thank you, John Lester
PS I can be contacted at the contact information that I have provided. PPS Also, I don't know for sure that he lives in Hildale, Utah, although I know that, at one time, he lived in or around the FLDS "twin cities" area of Hilldale, Utah and Colorado City, Arizona. Where he lives today, I do not know, but in those cities or areas would be most likely still.
Well now that I got a good belly laugh, I do hope Mr Lester can sleep well at night. But for a little while at least anytime someone sends you spam to your inbox, reply with one of Mr Lesters two email addresses. That is until he apologizes for being a nut. It's for your own good Lester.
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
18 I am encompassed about, because of the temptations and the sins which do so easily beset me.
19 And when I desire to rejoice, my heart groaneth because of my sins; nevertheless, I know in whom I have trusted.
20 My God hath been my support; he hath led me through mine afflictions in the wilderness; and he hath preserved me upon the waters of the great deep.
21 He hath filled me with his love, even unto the consuming of my flesh.
22 He hath confounded mine enemies, unto the causing of them to quake before me.
23 Behold, he hath heard my cry by day, and he hath given me knowledge by visions in the night-time.
24 And by day have I waxed bold in mighty prayer before him; yea, my voice have I sent up on high; and angels came down and ministered unto me.
25 And upon the wings of his Spirit hath my body been carried away upon exceedingly high mountains. And mine eyes have beheld great things, yea, even too great for man; therefore I was bidden that I should not write them.
26 O then, if I have seen so great things, if the Lord in his condescension unto the children of men hath visited men in so much mercy, why should my heart weep and my soul linger in the valley of sorrow, and my flesh waste away, and my strength slacken, because of mine afflictions?
27 And why should I yield to sin, because of my flesh? Yea, why should I give way to temptations, that the evil one have place in my heart to destroy my peace and afflict my soul? Why am I angry because of mine enemy?
28 Awake, my soul! No longer droop in sin. Rejoice, O my heart, and give place no more for the enemy of my soul.
29 Do not anger again because of mine enemies. Do not slacken my strength because of mine afflictions.
30 Rejoice, O my heart, and cry unto the Lord, and say: O Lord, I will praise thee forever; yea, my soul will rejoice in thee, my God, and the rock of my salvation.
31 O Lord, wilt thou redeem my soul? Wilt thou deliver me out of the hands of mine enemies? Wilt thou make me that I may shake at the appearance of sin?
32 May the gates of hell be shut continually before me, because that my heart is broken and my spirit is contrite! O Lord, wilt thou not shut the gates of thy righteousness before me, that I may walk in the path of the low valley, that I may be strict in the plain road!
33 O Lord, wilt thou encircle me around in the robe of thy righteousness! O Lord, wilt thou make a way for mine escape before mine enemies! Wilt thou make my path straight before me! Wilt thou not place a stumbling block in my way—but that thou wouldst clear my way before me, and hedge not up my way, but the ways of mine enemy.
34 O Lord, I have trusted in thee, and I will trust in thee forever. I will not put my trust in the arm of flesh; for I know that cursed is he that putteth his trust in the arm of flesh. Yea, cursed is he that putteth his trust in man or maketh flesh his arm.
35 Yea, I know that God will give liberally to him that asketh. Yea, my God will give me, if I ask not amiss; therefore I will lift up my voice unto thee; yea, I will cry unto thee, my God, the rock of my righteousness. Behold, my voice shall forever ascend up unto thee, my rock and mine everlasting God. Amen.
Monday, August 11, 2008
Where are you going my baby, my own?
Turn around and you’re two, turn around and you’re four,
Turn around and you’re a young girl going out of the door
Turn around, turn around, turn around
And you’re a young girl going out of the door
Where are you going my little one, little one?
Little pigtails and petticoats where have they gone?
Turn around and you’re tiny turn around and you’re grown,
Turn around and you’re a young wife with babes of your own
Turn around, turn around, turn around
And you’re a young wife with babes of your own
Where have they gone my little ones, little ones?
Where have they gone my babies, my own?
Turn around and they’re young, turn around and they’re old,
Turn around and they’re gone and we’ve no one to hold
Turn around, turn around, turn around
And they’re gone and we’ve no one to hold
Saturday, August 9, 2008
To write a letter to the governor of Texas, as well as the Congress of Texas protesting the rediculous attempt to take children from thier mothers again. The Texas CPS is saying that if the mothers do not sign a piece of paper that is useless except to make them guilty before the public, they are abusing thier children. The paper is an order to be signed by the mothers that is an acceptance of guilt.
Tell the governor that you think it was wrong for Barbra Walther to have an "ex parte" meeting with Mr. Childress, head of the CPS investigations. Tell the governor that it was wrong for them to conspire on a motion to "stay discovery" of the parents against the state, when the state has full discovery against the parents. Say this ten times! Full discovery is required by law and she has taken it away from the mothers. Tell the governor it is wrong for a piece of paper to be interpreted as "child abuse".
The mothers are verbally and physically acting upon the requests by the state CPS, they refuse to sign because of the trap that CPS and law enforcement are trying to spring on the parents, with this order to keep children away from men that are not a real threat to them in any way. All that the state and CPS has at this point are allegations of mis-conduct. They have to prove it by clear and convincing and/or a preponderance of the evidence. The trial has been moved up by over a month and the mothers are without ability to see what the charges are, or the evidence that the state has against them because of the "stay of discovery" motion. The Walther court is nothing but a NAZI tribunal. The CPS has not given the mothers any evidence at all that the fathers actually do present a danger, it is just the hysteria of CPS mavens driving the case!
The JUDGE HAS ALREADY DECIDED; just like she did previous to the fourteen day hearing after the first roundup and torture. THIS IS ONLY GOING TO BE A SHOW TRIAL AGAIN.
Friday, August 8, 2008
The Gilder Leherman Institute of American History
Two thousand Mormon women gathered at the Salt Lake Theatre on Saturday, March 6, 1886, to protest the “indignities and insults heaped upon them as wives and daughters of Mormons” in Utah district courts. Under the direction of Mary Isabella Horne, elected president of the protest meeting, 33 women presented personal statements reacting to the legal and political ramifications of the pending Edmunds-Tucker Bill then before Congress, which included the loss of voting privileges and self-government. These women, motivated by restricted religious rights, were prompted to political action.
Following the March 1886 mass meeting, the women compiled the proceedings into a 91-page pamphlet, “Mormon” Women’s Protest: An Appeal for Freedom, Justice and Equal Rights, to distribute in Washington and elsewhere. Originally printed in the local newspaper and then published in pamphlet form, the text includes the news notices prior to the event, transcripts of speeches, resolutions, and poems composed for the occasion, and undelivered speeches and letters written for the event. Women involved included female doctors, teachers, authors and poets, women’s rights advocates, religious and community leaders, and mothers.
Political and social leaders outside Utah were concerned with the Mormon religious practice of polygamy. Plural marriage was adopted in the LDS Church from 1852 to 1890 in an effort to restore biblical practice and encourage family support. Studies suggest that twenty to twenty-five percent of LDS adults were members of polygamous households during this era. Federal injunctions followed within a decade of the public announcement of plural marriage as an official tenet of Mormon faith in 1852. In 1856 the Republican platform shouldered responsibility for ending "those twin relics of barbarism—polygamy and slavery". Republican politicians sited Utah as an example of what happened when territorial citizens governed themselves. The 1862 Morrill Anti-Bigamy Act aimed to prosecute polygamists but proved to be impossible to enforce.
Various legislative actions occurred over the next two decades as Congress restricted political and legal rights based on LDS religious practice, suggesting that Utah Territory be prevented from becoming a state until plural marriage was abandoned. The Cragin Bill in 1868 and the Cullom Bill of 1869-70 were passed to remedy the deficiencies of the Morrill Act. Republicans worked to revoke the voting rights of anyone who believed in plural marriage. Women were compelled to testify against their husbands, and all involved were convicted of "concubinage," fined, and sentenced to prison. The 1882 Edmunds Act removed polygamists from jury and public office, and Congress established a Utah commission modeled after post-Civil War reconstruction government to run territorial affairs.
Mormon women responded en masse. While the Latter-day Saints respected the Constitution, promising to honor civic leaders and obey the law of the land, they felt that these congressional acts violated freedom of religion. The 1886 protest meeting ironically prompted patriotism, where Mrs. H.C. Brown stated:
"We are here, not as Latter-day Saints, but as American citizens—members of that
great commonwealth which our noble grandsires fought and bled to establish—legal heirs to those rights and privileges bequeathed to that heaven-inspired document—the Constitution of the United States. Yes, legal heirs, yet illegally, unconstitutionally deprived of that dearest, most cherished of all."
The public political action of Latter-day Saint women had its roots in the inception of their religious female association, the Relief Society, in 1842. Members delivered petitions to Illinois governor Thomas Carlin in defense of Joseph Smith and his illegal imprisonment. Thirty years later in Utah women reacted to antipolygamy legislation with similar activity. They wrote letters, sent memorials, and urged people to testify before Congress. To show their solidarity and commitment to their beliefs, three thousand women gathered at a "Great Indignation Meeting" in Salt Lake City in January 1870. Throughout the month, the structure of that meeting was repeated in over fifty Utah settlements in their various Relief Society organizations, where countless LDS women publicly defended their right to practice their religion. This public effort led to the pursuit of the vote for women, particularly in conjunction with a popular belief outside the territory that women would then vote to remove polygamy. By February of 1870 acting territorial governor S.A. Mann granted Utah women suffrage, second only to Wyoming. This movement precipitated an 1871 visit of Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton to Utah and created bridges with national women’s organizations.
Meanwhile Utah women of other faiths opposing plural marriage prepared counter memorials to Congress and the President under the auspices of the Utah-based Anti-Polygamy Society, founded in 1878. In 1886 Angie Newman, with the Methodist Episcopal Home Missionary Society and congressional support, built a Salt Lake City home for disenchanted plural wives and their children. They believed their benevolent efforts would arouse sympathy and rescue victimized women. However, the number of applicants seldom reached twenty in any given year, and by 1893 the refuge closed. The eventual passage of the Edmunds-Tucker Act nullified already operative civil rights and duties, including woman suffrage. More than 12,000 Mormons in Utah were disfranchised. In 1890 Church president Wilford Woodruff [only publicly, not privately] abolished new plural marriages, and Utah was admitted as a state in 1896, when once again Utah women gained the vote.
Some historians suggest that the principle of plural marriage had unexpected benefits in politicizing Mormon women. Due to shared domestic responsibilities and the combined efforts of "sister wives," women built and managed cooperative stores and a local silk industry, maintained a grain storage program, established welfare and home industry, edited a major women’s newspaper, attended medical school and developed a women’s hospital with community nurse and midwife training, led women’s suffrage efforts, and participated in public education and higher education. Liberal divorce laws in Utah gave women legal rights; property laws allowed women to own land and maintain their own households. Latter-day Saint women found common cause and gained political experience in pursuing their religious freedoms.
Thursday, August 7, 2008
Wednesday, August 6, 2008
passed in the Assembly of Virginia in the beginning of the year 1786.
Well aware that Almighty God hath created the mind free; that all attempts to influence it by temporal punishments or burdens, or by civil incapacitations, tend only to beget habits of hypocrisy and meanness, and are a departure from the plan of the Holy Author of our religion, who being Lord both of body and mind, yet chose not to propagate it by coercions on either, as was in his Almighty power to do; that the impious presumption of legislators and rulers, civil as well as ecclesiastical, who, being themselves but fallible and uninspired men have assumed dominion over the faith of others, setting up their own opinions and modes of thinking as the only true and infallible, and as such endeavoring to impose them on others, hath established and maintained false religions over the greatest part of the world, and through all time; that to compel a man to furnish contributions of money for the propagation of opinions which he disbelieves, is sinful and tyrannical; that even the forcing him to support this or that teacher of his own religious persuasion, is depriving him of the comfortable liberty of giving his contributions to the particular pastor whose morals he would make his pattern, and whose powers he feels most persuasive to righteousness, and is withdrawing from the ministry those temporal rewards, which proceeding from an approbation of their personal conduct, are an additional incitement to earnest and unremitting labors for the instruction of mankind ; that our civil rights have no dependence on our religious opinions, more than our opinions in physics or geometry; that, therefore, the proscribing any citizen as unworthy the public confidence by laying upon him an incapacity of being called to the offices of trust and emolument, unless he profess or renounce this or that religious opinion, is depriving him injuriously of those privileges and advantages to which in common with his fellow citizens he has a natural right; that it tends also to corrupt the principles of that very religion it is meant to encourage, by bribing, with a monopoly of worldly honors and emoluments, those who will externally profess and conform to it; that though indeed these are criminal who do not withstand such temptation, yet neither are those innocent who lay the bait in their way; that to suffer the civil magistrate to intrude his powers into the field of opinion and to restrain the profession or propagation of principles, on the supposition of their ill tendency, is a dangerous fallacy, which at once destroys all religious liberty, because he being of course judge of that tendency, will make his opinions the rule of judgment, and approve or condemn the sentiments of others only as they shall square with or differ from his own; that it is time enough for the rightful purposes of civil government, for its offices to interfere when principles break out into overt acts against peace and good order; and finally, that truth is great and will prevail if left to herself, that she is the proper and sufficient antagonist to error, and has nothing to fear from the conflict, unless by human interposition disarmed of her natural weapons, free argument and debate, errors ceasing to be dangerous when it is permitted freely to contradict them.
Be it therefore enacted by the General Assembly, That no man shall be compelled to frequent or support any religious worship, place or ministry whatsoever, nor shall be enforced, restrained, molested, or burdened in his body or goods, nor shall otherwise suffer on account of his religious opinions or belief; but that all men shall be free to profess, and by argument to maintain, their opinions in matters of religion, and that the same shall in nowise diminish, enlarge, or affect their civil capacities. And though we well know this Assembly, elected by the people for the ordinary purposes of legislation only, have no power to restrain the acts of succeeding assemblies, constituted with the powers equal to our own, and that therefore to declare this act irrevocable, would be of no effect in law, yet we are free to declare, and do declare, that the rights hereby asserted are of the natural rights of mankind, and that if any act shall be hereafter passed to repeal the present or to narrow its operation, such act will be an infringement of natural right.
Saturday, August 2, 2008
I had an email conversation with a black Mormon man who was looking to the FLDS so he could live polygyny in a religiously sanctioned way, as his wife was unable to have children. We parted on good terms and mutual understanding, although I could not answer all of his questions. For the past few weeks I have been having a really friendly chat with a fellow from Vanuatu, he is a struggling college student who is black as well, I sent him some funds to help him get a camera or cell phone. When I grew up in Salt Lake one of my best friends in grade school, one who came over to play as much as any other, was a black fellow named Michael Scott. I have not a bigoted bone in my body. But I, like those in the black community, understand and accept racial identity and I am glad for my heritage.
The FLDS people believe that we are LITERALLY descendants of Ephraim, the son of Joseph who was sold into Egypt. As a Israelite, you cannot mix with other races and still be an Ephraimite. It is Biblical to marry within your heritage. In the Old Testament only the sons of Levi could be Priests, and since the restoration of the Church of Jesus Christ, Only Ephraimites can be priests.
We believe that God made different races for a reason. There is a reason a black man is black a white man is white and a brown man is brown. Although we don't believe in anything but equal rights for all humanity, and even all races can be members of the FLDS church, only Ephraimites can be Priests, Elders, or Apostles.
We believe that the dark skin is a "curse" upon a certain family, but we believe that all people since the time of Adam have "curses" placed upon them. A curse is an obstacle that must be overcome. To us it is equivalent to being born with a disability in some way. God loves all of His children equally, but some are born into the world blind, or deaf, or otherwise handicapped. The black man was cursed as a community because of what their ancient forefathers did. They must live with the curse throughout this life, and can overcome the uncivilized nature of their curse, and be blessed in the next life with all the same blessings that any other child of our Heavenly Father can, including Ephraimites.
Joseph Smith was a strong anti slavery advocate and believed in absolute freedom for all; that was part of the reason he was so hated in Missouri. He even ran for President of the United States in 1844, the year he was murdered; and part of his platform was to free the slaves and give land to them. There were many black people who were members of the church at that time and none can be found who were ordained to the Priesthood. Except perhaps Elijah Abel.
Joseph Smith is widely known to have said that black slaves could be baptized, but not ordained to the Priesthood. Although there is no directly recorded quotation from the Prophet Joseph Smith that he meant ALL of the black descendants of Ham could not hold the Priesthood; we have confirmations from 7 men (four of them Apostles) who said that Joseph Smith told them personally that Negroes could not be given the Priesthood. One of these men is Brigham Young.
Yet according to some historians Elijah Abel was a black man who was ordained to the priesthood by Joseph Smith. I believe that there were two Elijah Abel's and one was black while the other was not. They were both members of the church and left little or no posterity. Joseph Smith translated and wrote the Book of Abraham recorded in the Pearl of Great Price:
25 Now the first government of Egypt was established by Pharaoh, the eldest son of Egyptus, the daughter of Ham, and it was after the manner of the government of Ham, which was patriarchal.
26 Pharaoh, being a righteous man, established his kingdom and judged his people wisely and justly all his days, seeking earnestly to imitate that order established by the fathers in the first generations, in the days of the first patriarchal reign, even in the reign of Adam, and also of Noah, his father, who blessed him with the blessings of the earth, and with the blessings of wisdom, but cursed him as pertaining to the Priesthood.
27 Now, Pharaoh being of that lineage by which he could not have the right of Priesthood, notwithstanding the Pharaohs would fain claim it from Noah, through Ham, therefore my father was led away by their idolatry;
This is a quote from Joseph Smith:
“Elder Hyde inquired the situation of the negro. I replied, they came into the world slaves, mentally and physically. Change their situation with the whites, and they would be like them. They have souls, and are subjects of salvation. Go into Cincinnati or any city, and find an educated Negro, who rides in his carriage, and you will see a man who has risen by the powers of his own mind to his exalted state of respectability. The slaves in Washington are more refined than many in high places, and the black boys will take the shine off many of those they brush and wait on" (History of the Church 5:217) (Read by Warren Jeffs in the very same History Class)
These are quotes of Brigham Young:
"Negroes should be treated like human beings, and not worse than dumb brutes. For their abuse of that race, the whites shall be cursed, unless they repent." (Journal of Discourses 10:111)
"Men will be called to Judgment for the way they have treated the Negro." (J.D. 10:250)
We believe in freedom for all, but we also believe that only the blood of Ephraim can be high priests in this day. In ancient Judea only the Levites were allowed to be priests of the Levitical Priesthood, and since the restoration in this day only the Ephraimites are given the Melchizadek priesthood (which can give the Levitical Priesthood). There is a third Patriarchal priesthood that perhaps can be held by the other races, I do not know. In the resurrection all will be blessed according to the faithfulness and virtue they lived up to in this life, and many will be given the High Priesthood. But in this life we are all cursed in one way or another, the black skin is a sign of a curse. We must all overcome our curses and obstacles, to pass the test of life.
"And what it seems to me was being said [by you] is not that African Americans, or other black and brown folks are bad. What is being said is there is only one group that can have a certain role in this life on earth; that other peoples have different roles; that everyone is loved by God, that every role, although different, is important, and that all roles will change and move forward as we move through our spiritual lives. Am I correct?"
That is exactly right; God has a plan for each of us individually, and each and all are important to Him. The only exception I take with it is the term “African” American because most black people have been full blooded Americans longer than I have. To me the term Negro (Spanish for black), or Black American is less belittling their contributions to this country, and any who do not like those terms have an inferiority complex.
We believe that the Native American people are descendants of a man named Lehi, who left Jerusalem with his family around 600 B.C. They are descendants of Manasseh, the brother of Ephraim, and were later cursed with a dark skin because they apostatized from the gospel. They were cursed with a brown skin because of what their forefathers did. My son has been cursed for what I have done, and must overcome me. My family has been cursed to have a higher obedience requirement because of what my great grandfather did (he joined the church)
There is actually a greater punishment for not obeying the religion if you are baptized FLDS, than if you aren’t. There is a greater punishment in the next life if you are a Priest who apostatizes than if you were never a Priest. The more you are taught, the more is required of you by God to obey what you are taught. In some ways I ENVY the ignorant masses sometimes. A black man will not be punished as much as an Ephraimite for the same sin. A FLDS woman will not be punished as much as a FLDS Priest for the same sin. Women cannot be Priests either.