Friday, June 8, 2012

Dragging Us All Down

I was terribly distraught to see this book in Barnes and Noble the other day.  I quickly flipped through the Prologue and, to my increasing horror, found that they lived in Utah and "accept the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as a legitimate church" without mentioning that my Church doesn't accept them as legitimate and if they have not been excommunicated yet, they will be soon.

Unfortunately, this distinction will be lost on many readers/passers by, and this book will serve to proliferate the gross misunderstanding that, although the practice was ended over 120 years ago, polygamy continues within my faith.  I wonder if this was the intention of the author.



  1. They are on TV on a TLC reality show. They do make the differentiation between fundamental and the regular church on the show. I don't know about the book.
    Strange how the show can be a success with polygamy being so disgusting to most Americans. I worry the viewers/readers will group the fundamentalists with our traditional Mormon church by exposure to families like the Browns.

  2. polygamy does continue with our faith. men can be sealed to more than one wife; women can only be sealed to one man.

  3. 120 years ago is not that long. makes for some tangled up family trees also

  4. @ Smiling - that's good to hear. I still think it tarnishes/dilutes the "Mormon" brand - we should figure out a different name than "Mormon" for those that break away - similar to Catholic and Protestant. It's a clear divide and we haven't reached that yet. The "I'm a Mormon" campaign isn't helping any with the confusion - the Church needs some serious PR help if "Mormon" is going to mean anything.

    @ Yvette - doctrinally, yes: my dad, for instance, is "sealed" to my mother and his new wife, whom I adore, even though he is civilly divorced and does not (and is prohibited by church authorities from) live with nor cohabitate with my mom. And who knows how that will work out in the next life. I understand why the doctrine - to ensure my mom doesn't lose any blessings in the next life from being sealed to someone, anyone. This in itself is a difficult concept to explain to those not of our faith.

    @ Jennifer - I was just explaining to someone on the plane today how a stock Mormon joke at family reunions is "What wife do you descend from?" You're right. But I think it important to make the distinction between us and those who are still living the practice. Even though it would be lost on those not within the faith, the removal of divine authority and approval from "the practice" I think leads to a lot of abuse, although from my review of history, it wasn't a perfect "practice" just like monogamous marriages are never perfect now. Complicated, and tricky.

  5. I agree. Where I get more nervous than the Browns is when the word Mormon gets used for Warren Jeffs and his extremists. It would be nice if something more bold was said to differentiate the groups. We can't make them change their names but an ad campaign or website might be a solution.