Friday, April 15, 2011

No More

A couple of weeks ago someone close to me started talking about Joseph Smith's history not just with polygamy, but polyandry.  Normally when anyone started questioning anything about the mormon church I would figuratively stick my fingers in my ears and sing la-la-la-la.  So why did I listen this time? I think it was because the person was so upset about it, and wouldn't shut up.  So I hit the internet.

Google is my friend.

Yes, Joseph Smith had a lot of wives, some of whom were concurrently married to other men.  That I had never known, and it really bothered me. I kept looking and looking and looking, and the more I looked, the more bothered I got about it all.  A 38-year-old man and a 14-year-old girl? Not liking that.

As I continued searching for answers, I kept coming up with more questions, and then there was just this moment when I knew. It's not true. It's not real. It's falsehood erected on top of falsehood. And I don't believe it anymore.

The person who started this is now fretting over the state of my faith. Ironically, my faith in God and in Jesus are actually stronger than they have been since I was a kid, long before my 30 years of mormon indoctrination. I no longer spend my days worrying that no matter how hard I'll try, I'll never be worthy of the celestial kingdom. And I no longer worry about that niggling little voice that tells me I don't want the celestial kingdom anyway. I can sleep at night. I'm not sure how things are going to work out, but I don't ever want to go back.

On the subject of Smith marrying women who were already married to other men, claiming that it was all God's will, I found this in the book of Genesis (you know, the flawed Bible that's only the word of God if it's translated correctly):  Abram and Sarai were in Egypt. Sarai was a hot chick, and Abram didn't want to be killed so that some Egyptian dude could marry her, so he said she was his sister. The Pharaoh had the hots for her, and was planning to take her, but God smote his house with plagues because of Sarai. Why didn't you tell me she was your wife? he said. And Abram and Sarai left Egypt and went on their merry way.

See? God didn't want the Pharaoh to marry Sarai because, gee, she was already married. But wait--there's more:

They were traveling once again, and since saying Sarai (now Sarah) was his sister had worked before Abram (now Abraham), tried it again. And despite being up in years, Sarah was still gorgeous, so the king took her. And then God came to the king at night and said he was a dead man, because he took another man's wife. (Note that he took her, but he had not yet known her, if you know what I mean.)  So the king protested his innocence to God, who said he was letting him off the hook because he knew that the king didn't know, and then the king sent Abraham and Sarah on their way.

When I found that, it seemed to me very clear. God would not have protected Sarah two different times from being taken in marriage when she was already married, and then told Smith it was okay for him to marry anyone he wanted to, whether she was married or not. If God is the same yesterday, today, and forever, I don't somehow see him changing his mind on this issue.

That's just one of many questions I've had, but I figure that's enough to be getting on with.

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