Tea, er, Postum and sympathy…

The recent raid on the FLDS enclave in Eldorado, Texas, and the subsequent removal of more than 400 children, is garnering some sympathy from a myriad of groups. There is no huge outcry, except from the polygamists themselves, but there is a quiet force of concern and empathy for this group that so many do not understand.

My sympathy goes out to the children, who are surely terrified. They have had no other experience, no other life, other than what they have been raised with. They have been taught, as surely and firmly as many other children of extremists are taught, that this is the ONLY TRUE THING, and everyone else is wrong. Those evil “wrong” people include the authorities who stepped in to save them. Undoubtedly, the majority do not consider themselves saved.

But this is a society where young girls are chattel, and young boys are carrion, circling the remains and scooping up the only salvageable parts. Middle-aged men rule this perverse kingdom, with an iron fist, and love is doled out in terms of sexual abuse, forced pregnancy, and eternal damnation should one choose to stray.

It is, to be sure, an extreme belief system, and an extreme lifestyle. And where did it all start?

(For your reading pleasure, this snippet begins in the D&C, Section 132, 54, where God let that haughty Emma, wife of Joseph Smith, know she better start listening and stop arguing. Polygamy=good. Really. Just ask Joseph Smith Jr.)

54 And I command mine handmaid, Emma Smith, to abide and cleave unto my servant Joseph, and to none else. But if she will not abide this commandment she shall be destroyed, saith the Lord; for I am the Lord thy God, and will destroy her if she abide not in my law.
55 But if she will not abide this commandment, then shall my servant Joseph do all things for her, even as he hath said; and I will bless him and multiply him and give unto him an hundredfold in this world, of fathers and mothers, brothers and sisters, houses and lands, wives and children, and crowns of eternal lives in the eternal worlds.
56 And again, verily I say, let mine handmaid forgive my servant Joseph his trespasses; and then shall she be forgiven her trespasses, wherein she has trespassed against me; and I, the Lord thy God, will bless her, and multiply her, and make her heart to rejoice.
57 And again, I say, let not my servant Joseph put his property out of his hands, lest an enemy come and destroy him; for Satan seeketh to destroy; for I am the Lord thy God, and he is my servant; and behold, and lo, I am with him, as I was with Abraham, thy father, even unto his exaltation and glory.
58 Now, as touching the law of the priesthood, there are many things pertaining thereunto.
59 Verily, if a man be called of my Father, as was Aaron, by mine own voice, and by the voice of him that sent me, and I have endowed him with the keys of the power of this priesthood, if he do anything in my name, and according to my law and by my word, he will not commit sin, and I will justify him.
60 Let no one, therefore, set on my servant Joseph; for I will justify him; for he shall do the sacrifice which I require at his hands for his transgressions, saith the Lord your God.
61 And again, as pertaining to the law of the priesthood-if any man espouse a virgin, and desire to espouse another, and the first give her consent, and if he espouse the second, and they are virgins, and have vowed to no other man, then is he justified; he cannot commit adultery for they are given unto him; for he cannot commit adultery with that that belongeth unto him and to no one else.
62 And if he have ten virgins given unto him by this law, he cannot commit adultery, for they belong to him, and they are given unto him; therefore is he justified.
63 But if one or either of the ten virgins, after she is espoused, shall be with another man, she has committed adultery, and shall be destroyed; for they are given unto him to multiply and replenish the earth, according to my commandment, and to fulfil the promise which was given by my Father before the foundation of the world, and for their exaltation in the eternal worlds, that they may bear the souls of men; for herein is the work of my Father continued, that he may be glorified.
64 And again, verily, verily, I say unto you, if any man have a wife, who holds the keys of this power, and he teaches unto her the law of my priesthood, as pertaining to these things, then shall she believe and administer unto him, or she shall be destroyed, saith the Lord your God; for I will destroy her; for I will magnify my name upon all those who receive and abide in my law.
65 Therefore, it shall be lawful in me, if she receive not this law, for him to receive all things whatsoever I, the Lord his God, will give unto him, because she did not believe and administer unto him according to my word; and she then becomes the transgressor; and he is exempt from the law of Sarah, who administered unto Abraham according to the law when I commanded Abraham to take Hagar to wife.
66 And now, as pertaining to this law, verily, verily, I say unto you, I will reveal more unto you, hereafter; therefore, let this suffice for the present. Behold, I am Alpha and Omega. Amen.

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About Natalie R. Collins

Natalie has more than 30 years writing, editing, proofreading and design experience. She has written 20 books (and counting), has worked for the Sundance Film Festival, and as an investigative journalist, editor, and proofreader. She embraces her gypsy-heart and is following her new free-thinking journey through life. Follow her as she starts over and learns a bunch of life's lessons--some the hard way.
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16 Responses to Tea, er, Postum and sympathy…

  1. Renee says:

    Wow. Obviously had never read this…and never want to read any more. Holy Cow.

    Like

  2. redroach says:

    I think Texas (I live here) has been watching the El Dorado situation closely and waited till they could move quickly and with success.

    There has been a great deal of concern about the children and we all hope it turns out well for them.

    I also hope that the State is careful how it handles all of this. We don’t need it to be botched in any way.

    TV

    Like

  3. Elaine says:

    The thing that interests me about the people who are defending the FLDS is that they keep talking about how the constitutional rights of the members of the group to worship as they wish. But somehow none of them seem too concerned with human rights of the girls not to be given…yes, given, as if they are chattel – to men twice or more their age and then expected to produce child after child after child so the whole thing can start over again. Nor do they seem to be concerned with the rights of the women who are “reassigned” to another man if the one they are married to somehow offends the leadership, but who cannot get out of the marriage if she wants to.

    Oh, and then there was the comment I read on another blog, where someone was wondering why people were so upset about some girls getting married young to men who have more than one wife. That commenter couldn’t see the deal, because she thinks that if gays can get married, then “anything goes, right?” Grrrrrr.

    Frankly, the whole thing is pissing me off really badly. Somebody needs to just step up to the plate and explain that the First Amendment Free Exercise clause does not mean that rape and pedophilia are okay so long as someone says it’s in their religion.

    Like

  4. Moon says:

    just a comment Natalie, you have the snippet repeated. if this is for emphasis, then ignore me. If not, then feel free to delete this comment.

    Like

  5. Kitty says:

    What is interesting about this so called scripture is that nobody in Smith’s day followed it in the supposed spirit that it was meant or so unclearly stated. That is why there are stores in early diaries of young men being castrated when some older geezer, obviously more deserving, wanted their sweetheart. What is really annoying about Mormon “scripture” is the way they present God speaking. It makes me want to scream, WHAT? We humans, can be programmed to believe and accept, ANYTHING , especially if conditioned since birth. The 99.9% of these FLDS do not believe that they have been saved. They, like their early Mormon counterparts, are just being targeted and persecuted by the evil gentiles, led by Satan. The whole world is wrong. Only they are right. Big time, rolling my eyes.

    Like

  6. Kitty says:

    stories, not stores.

    Like

  7. WendyP says:

    Joseph Smith’s true legacy is the polygamist compound. Yuck.

    Like

  8. Natalie says:

    Moon, thanks! I wondered why it was so freaking long!

    Like

  9. Natalie says:

    Kitty, that’s what happens to the boys in the FLDS sect. They are nothing but throwaways, garbage, or as someone so aptly put it, LOST BOYS. Sad.

    Like

  10. azteclady says:

    The irony, oh lordy, the irony! Of having the LDS and FLDS invoke their constitutional rights, and protection from these “abuses” of the authorities. While, the rest of the time, the thumb their noses to any earthly authority whatsoever, and preach and teach that those selfsame ‘outside’ authorities are evil, and wrong, and out to get them.

    Like

  11. Moon says:

    You’re welcome Natalie, and mormon scripture is notoriously long and self-centered. As Mark Twain put it: “Chloroform in print.”

    Like

  12. MLBower says:

    How can htose be the word of God when they keep repeating. How many different ways can they say ‘argue with Joseph and die’.

    I really like how they added that a man can take a new virginal wife if the first wife approves, yet Emma Smith was just supposed to shut up and do what Joseph said.

    This is probably the reason that I never read the D&C.

    Like

  13. tex841 says:

    As an expat Texan I can say with some confidence that the state of Texas will come down on these men in a manner that will give them a close approximation of the wrath of God. They will long regret the choice to move to Texas.

    Like

  14. Natalie says:

    Tex, LONG live Texas!

    Like

  15. azteclady says:

    I saw this earlier (from AP at yahoo.com news):
    “It’s been all through history, ” said Brenda, the mother of two. “We were just here trying to live a peaceful, happy, sweet life. We don’t understand why we can’t do this freely.”

    Peaceful, happy, sweet. Huh huh.

    Personally, I have no problem if ten or fifty adult women are happy sharing one man between them. The same that I have no problem if a dozen adult men are happy sharing one woman between them. Or three adult people of whichever gender.

    Adults, consenting, of their own free will? Bring it on, and be happy.

    My problem is the abuse of all those children who don’t even know how many siblings they have, and those girls who are brought up to believe that their only worth is as brood mares for men who could easily be their own grandfathers, and those boys who may end up kicked out of the sect once they reach puberty, because they are competition for the elders.

    Like

  16. Jen says:

    you know, reading that exerpt, I finally remember what Jo Smith’s ramblings remind me of.

    Anyone else remember the part in Monty Python and the Holy Grail where they’re going on and on and on with holy scripture about the exact way to throw the holy hand grenade?

    And the Lord spake, saying, “First shalt thou take out the Holy Pin. Then shalt thou count to three, no more, no less. Three shall be the number thou shalt count, and the number of the counting shall be three. Four shalt thou not count, neither count thou two, excepting that thou then proceed to three. Five is right out. Once the number three, being the third number, be reached, then lobbest thou thy Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch towards thy foe, who, being naughty in my sight, shall snuff it.

    Is that just me?

    Like

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