A Second Wife's Tale

A woman who spent 33 years in a plural marriage describes why she supports polygamy but opposes the sect leader Warren Jeffs.


01/01/2012 09:40:31 PM

A few have recognized that God allowed plural marriage in the Old Testament. God told David thru his prophet, Nathan, that he had given him his wives. There is also a law of inheritance if a man have two wives. God's standard is very high tho and it is easy to go astray in plural marriage apparently. The Lord was unhappy with David's choice to choose many wives, and in turning his heart from the Lord. In the Book of Mormon, the Lord was displeased with the way in which the men were living plural marriage, and forbade all future plural marriage. I find myself in disagreement with even Joseph Smith on this issue - or at least what is interpreted as his belief that we reach exaltation thru plural marriage. I find no scriptural support for such a belief. The only requirement is to enter the covenant of marriage. I find no scriptural support for a belief that plural marriage is necessary to be exalted, or that it will exalt us. So I am in disagreement with the groups which have splintered off from the LDS church because they believe they are somehow living the higher law of plural marriage which is necessary to exalt them - I say poppycock. However, I personally see nothing wrong with consensual plural marriage of more than one wife - except that it is currently illegal in the United States and disallowed by the LDS church. Otherwise, the scriptures say do indeed say that if a man desire more than one wife, and the first consent, he cannot sin. One person mentioned that the New Testament does say that a bishop should be the husband of one wife. Funny how there is a certain church which no longer recognizes this admonition. "And in latter times, some shall depart from the faith, forbidding to marry...."


03/06/2007 05:58:34 PM

for any guy who has been married long enough.,...seriously...sex aside...yeah men will math with the sexual encounters...but with that..comes the several PMS weeks, several children with several diapers that you KNOW he is NOT changing, etc etc etc.. so if you aren't helping with your several kids and have to deal with multiple concurrent pregnancies and emotional breakdowns etc etc etc.. could you really handle their nagging times 2 or 4 or 8? 1 is plenty...


12/11/2006 03:26:11 PM

I resent that these people use the term "Non-Mormon Latter-day Saints" as Prophet and President of the "Mainstream" Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints has asked all of us members to refer to ourselves as "Latter Day Saints" instead of "Mormons". Makes it kinda hard when you've got the offshoots out there.


09/24/2006 09:28:10 PM

I suppose that is a good question, Mary, why did God allow the old testament saints to have more than one wife, yet he no longer allows this. I suppose He had a reason for it, but He does make it evident in the books of the New Testament and even in the Old that He never intended for it to be this way. Remember, He only created ONE wife for Adam, and the qualifications of a Bishop in the New Testament are that they be the 'husband of ONE wife', etc...I suppose He'll answer this question in His own due time, til then, we must obey the law of the land and do the best we can to follow Him. In Christian Love, Eric


09/13/2006 06:59:45 AM

King David had hundreds of wives and God loved him more than any other man on earth. Having more than one wife was not a sin in God's eyes until he stole Bathsheba from her husband. God not only approved of King David's life style, he blessed King David with the riches of the world and great political power. So if God is an unchanging God, why does he now disaprove of polygamy? Why is it okay sometimes and now not okay? Maybe it's because of the laws of the land, and whatever they are you have to live by them.


09/09/2006 03:40:03 PM

I think one of the most fasinating accounts of polygamy has just been written and recently released. I couldn't put the book down once I started reading it and others that read the book said the same thing. It is called His Favorite Wife Trapped in Polygamy: A True story of violent fanaticism by Susan Ray Schmidt. It is about the LeBaron sect. I taught some of the children of Dr. Allred that was killed by Ervil LaBaron. Because of this I was drawn to the book. They were children in public schools. I bought the book at Barns and Noble where she was signing her new release. I would recommend reading this male or female if you really want to know how it affects some people and their children. It is the most unbiased book written on a sensitive subject.


09/09/2006 01:22:18 PM

BT4H: Who should we drop into a hole?


09/09/2006 01:19:05 PM

hootie1fan: According to Genesis 19:30-36, Lot's daughters got their father drunk and laid with him and he was not aware of their actions at the time. The oldest daughter's reasoning was "Our father is old, and there is no man around here to lie with us, as is the custom all over the earth.Let's get our father to drink wine and then lie with him and preserve our family line through our father." Technically, one cannot blame Lot since he was oblivious to what his daughters were doing at the time.


09/06/2006 12:06:07 PM

Oh, I forgot to mention the extortion from Warren Jeffs, as he lives a life of luxury, not to mention the brainwashing...Remember what the bible says--BEWARE OF FALSE PROPHETS. I really do not have much to say about the "people" who followed him, and dare call him GOD! Lord knows I tell it like it is! How dare any of these people compare him to GOD....He is a shameful excuse for a "so-called" man of GOD.


09/06/2006 10:46:35 AM

If one is to live as the Bible says to live, then it is on wife or one husband.


09/05/2006 11:23:12 PM

How come it's OK for a man to have more than one wife and not OK for a woman to have more than one husband? There seems to be an inequity here.


09/04/2006 02:54:03 PM

i am bisexual and i have lived in polyamorous relationships of my own wanting. i wanted a female and a male. iwas married and had a girlfriend. on two relationships we shared the girlfriend. others he had nothing to do with my girlfriend. we are not together now, my exhusband and i, due to issues other than the polyamory. at the time it worked for us. however it's not for everyone. i am not christian, i am a pagan. and as for a post earlier, paganism doesn't judge against polyandry. i have met some pagan women who have more than one husband. not a bunch though 2 or 3. and they may not always live in the same house. however they are commmited relationships over a long period of time. email me if you want to talk bout it with me.celestiamoon@yahoo.com


09/03/2006 11:07:37 PM

I don't like the poll options. I DO think that polygamy is immoral, but that doesn't mean that sciety can't make it legal. There are plenty of things in our society which are legal, but not all of them are moral. The idea of equating morality with legality is ludicrous. I should hope that as individuals we would have higher ethical standards than simply what is permissable under the law.


09/03/2006 01:08:36 AM

I think it is funny that people think just because man has decided Polygyny should be out lawed it is a bad thing... Polygyny is great if every one is of age and of sound mind... But to all of the so called christians who throw stones... So you are saying Polygyny is wrong because it is illegal, then does the law make it ok with God that gays can marry??? Just a thaught ... If Polygyny was never outlawed none would have been the wiser.... People would have never thaught about it... The bible does speak highly of Polygyny... But but talks against gays ... Now hmmm as a christian I wander witch laws I will not follow... Just because it's the law doesn't mean if you follow it you won't go to hell... Some laws will send you straight there...


09/02/2006 01:54:51 PM

The first sentence should read: I believe the current laws against polygamy & polyandry violate our 1st ammendment right to freedom of religion.


09/02/2006 01:49:27 PM

I believe the current laws against polygamy & polyandry are 1st ammendment right to freedom of religion. But, I do think, as the author does, that all types of marriage should be restricted to adults. I'm not a fundamentalist of any kind, I'm not even a Christian. I believe that no woman - much less a girl - should be forced to marry a man whether he has 1 wife or many. I've been widowed close to 20 years, & I'm not sure I even want a husband. But, I think as long as I had my own home, sharing a husband with several women would be easier than living with a man 365 days a year! Marriage is difficult. But unless someone is being abused or their civil rights violated, it is none of the government's business! Likewise, it is none of the fundamentalist Christians business if 2 gays want to marry! I don't like having mainstream Christianity shoved down my throat by the political right.


09/02/2006 11:26:05 AM

As long as the parties are consenting, informed adults, and there's no abuse, that's their business. But it's interesting that all these cases have been one man with many wives, not one woman with many husbands. If you're really for polygamy, you're for both forms! What's good for the gander is good for the goose! Personally, if I could have more than one husband, I wouldn't want more than two. More than that would make me feel too emotionally drained.


09/01/2006 11:15:58 AM

By the way, If you think the Church (universal, not denominational) practices what it preaches, consider any congregation with a pastoral staff. That is the very experience of polygamy, or Big Love (thanks, HBO). Working from the assumpton that calling a minister is like getting married, this model makes sense. As a career associate minister, I know what it's like to be the second or other spouse, with all the joys and frustrations. I have watched a few episodes of the HBO series and was quite surprised at how parallel (metaphorically speaking) this has been to my experience. Even in terms of the elder/younger relationships that Jeff's of which has been accused of fostering have their parallel in multi-staff ministry. Consider the Older pastor and the recent seminary grad staffing, and how that relationship functions. This has certainly broadened my appreciation for the complexities of this issue, Jeff's situation aside.


09/01/2006 09:37:43 AM

Bette-the-Red I liked your posting - the Latinization of the various relationships gives each its own dignity (O' those rascally Latins could make even the oddest things sound so good). One more to add to the mix is polyamorous - relationships of many loves without designating specific genders. I assume these are unofficial, undocumented, and unrecognized by institutions relationships. As an earlier posting mentioned, this could define those one spouse, many lovers kind of deals.


09/01/2006 09:33:12 AM

to mate107 In Genesis 2:24 God said, therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife; and they shall be one flesh. One flesh, not many. I am not sure of other faiths, but they really all feed into one another when it comes to human spirits and hearts. That is truly the essence of mankind. I really choose not to meander when I speak. I only hope to find direction on love for all mankind through prayer and study. Not to condemn any. It is all of love and peace as we find our way. As I stated, you have a choice.


09/01/2006 09:04:16 AM

What we're defining as polygamy here is, more accurately, polygyny. I don't know of a religion that endorses polyandry (a woman having more than one male mate).


09/01/2006 05:13:09 AM

Who would have ever thought that gays and Mormons would be on the same side of an issue? Churches may do what they want about it, I don't care. Governments, however, are beholding to the People and the People really have no business making personal decisions around marriage. They only limit it because they don't know how to approach it. Polygamy, multiple sex partners, children out of wedlock are not really something we need laws about but are more something we need spiritual guidance about. That cannot be legislated. If a man wants 5 wives, no skin off my teeth.


09/01/2006 04:40:48 AM

I think any adult relationship that has the full consent of adults of sound mind is acceptable...no matter how many people or genders are involved. Using religion to oppress women is utterly wrong however...I wonder how many women in these polygamous marriages were consenting adults?


09/01/2006 12:27:16 AM

I agree that poligamy was the order of things in the old testament, but where do you see it in the new? The only mention of this I can find in the new is in these verses telling about who should be bishops and other leaders in the church. 1Ti 3:2 A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach; ------------------------------------ 1Ti 3:12 Let the deacons be the husbands of one wife, ruling their children and their own houses well. ------------------------------------ Tts 1:6 If any be blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful children not accused of riot or unruly. If God wants the leaders of his church to be monagomous, then it follws that he wants the rest of us to be so to. For leaders are suppose to be an example to the others.


08/31/2006 10:28:42 PM

To me, it's all about informed consent. Informed consent happens with a relationship between equals. In a situation where one group (males) has power over another group (females) how can informed consent be possible? These women are taught – yes, brainwashed -- from childhood that they are less valuable, less entitled and less perfect to their god. Those people cannot give informed consent, any more than a child can give informed consent to an adult, because the adult is in a position of physical (size, strength) or situational (teacher, coach, priest) power. If the rules were equal in these sects -- women could have multiple husbands as well as the other way around, people chose their own mates, people were brought up with the self-respect to make a decision without coersion -- then I see no reason why people cannot be polygamous if they choose to do so and find that situation works for them. That is something I just don't see in those cultish sects like the "fundamentalist" Mormon offshoots.


08/31/2006 10:13:21 PM

I'm currently reading "Under The Banner of Heaven A Story of Violent Faith" by Jon Krakauer. It discusses this very subject and the fundamentalist Mormons in Utah, AZ and Canada. He also gives a very thorough background on Joseph Smith and how this so called religion began. Very well written and informative.


08/31/2006 08:25:16 PM

I posted earlier that the original Biblical model of marriage is shown to be one man, one woman. This was confirmed by Christ. I also mentioned that an important qualification for leadership in the early Christian church was to be husband of one wife. (continued)


08/31/2006 08:24:59 PM

Another point I'd like to bring out is that Jesus explained that if a man divorces his wife and marries another, (except on the grounds of her sexual misconduct) he is guilty of adultery. (Matthew 19:9) Why is he guilty? It's because in God's eyes, the man is still married to his first wife. (See Malachi 3:13-14,16) Therefore, with two marriages, the man has committed adultery. Scripturally, there is no room in Christianity for multiple marriages or even serial marriages, for that matter. (See Matthew 5:32) (Please see also 1 Corinthians 6:9-11) [It is also evident from the above scriptures that there is no room in Christianity for having sex without marriage, but that is another discussion.] While I realize I am presenting perhaps an unpopular view, the various scriptures on the matter are clear.


08/31/2006 07:08:26 PM

Jacknky asks, "Does anyone know if Fundamentalist Mormons always practice polygamy with one man and many women or can it be one woman and many men?" Strictly one man and multiple wives. That's the biblical model that was the basis for Joseph Smith's teaching that polygamy was religiously valid.


08/31/2006 05:23:36 PM

Rich men/rock stars practice the Colorado City style of polygamy (officially marry one, live with the rest) all the time (manybe one wife plus lots of concubines), and we're probably wise not to attack them as long as they pay their child support and sow their seeds far and wide so inbreeding does not occur. But something needs to be done about statutory rape, destruction of lives through inbreeding, welfare fraud, etc. We must realize, however, that we are attacking religion. The FLDS actually practice what the Mormon Church (LDS) preaches!


08/31/2006 03:37:52 PM

As long as all are consenting adults, what difference does it make to the grand scheme of things if a man has more than one wife, or even if a woman has more than one husband? Original marriage traditions are based on a man OWNING a woman as chattel. I for one have not ever been one to consider myself chattel! Let's face it, a whole lot of the "perfect marriages" that people commit to end in divorce. Wouldn't it be better all around if more options were available to those who don't fit into the prescribed pegs? Heterosexual, homosexual and polygamist legal arrangements are based on ancient ideas. Society needs to stop trying to legislate personal relationships and learn that we are all different in as many ways as we are all the same. I think we need a new Ammendment that allows ALL loving relationship between consenting adults to be decided by the consenting adults.


08/31/2006 03:36:02 PM

I think this interview was more on the lines of polygamy vs the nature of Warren Jeffs. I could be wrong of course, but that just seemed to be the focus. My personal view on this is let consenting adults be consenting adults. I would have been thrilled if my hubby and I could have married our roommate several years ago, it was a situation where 3 people just worked together very well. I dont see any reason why people who want get married shouldnt be married. No matter how many of them there are. But thats just me and my opinion.


08/31/2006 02:17:47 PM

katdm7, you didn't even quote any Scripture to support your meandering statement. you do realize that the only holy book that condemns polygamy is the Book of Mormon, don't you?


08/31/2006 02:00:41 PM

Does anyone know if Fundamentalist Mormons always practice polygamy with one man and many women or can it be one woman and many men? I would think the latter would work better as we men are limited sexually and having one woman with many men would reduce over-population. Didn't I read this guy has something like 28 children? That's ridiculous.


08/31/2006 01:18:00 PM

Hey. I've been in an open, responsible polyamorous network of relationships for a year and a half now with my main partner, and thinks are fine with all of us. Better than fine. The freedom and love and strong bonds resulting from this kind of relationship, if you do it right, are amazing. I realize your viewpoints may be on an entirely different level than mine, but we can understand each other and be okay with our unique lifestyles. Please try to understand my lifestyle before making a judgment.


08/31/2006 12:04:27 PM

I agree that the problem with polygamy is the age of consent. In most states the age of consent can be over ruled by the consent of the parents. These laws need to be changed to age 18 NO MATTER WHAT. Just because parents give a ten year old girl the "consent" to marry does not make it right. The protection of children should always over rule the right of freedom of religion.


08/31/2006 12:03:05 PM

What this woman is describing is not a "marriage", it is a casual sexual relationship with a man who happened to have also impregnanted her. She is no different from the many women out there who are supporting and caring for children they have from men they never married. Wake up, lady. You were sold a bum bill of goods. Maybe there is still time for you to experience a real marriage --- one in which the partners are 100% devoted to each other and actually build a life, family and home together. So called "Plural marriage" is just a way for perverted men to defend their sexual proclivities.


08/31/2006 11:51:48 AM

Many states have the age of consent for women at 16. This may or may not be a good idea, but I think we should have one standard age for marriage for both men and women of 18. If you are underage at 16 in Utah, why are you of age at 16 in say Kentucky. The real problem with polygamy is that, if some men have more than 1 wife, that leaves NO women for some other men. Jeffs found that, and so you have to exile the extra men. This gives the person who makes these decisions a great deal of communal power.


08/31/2006 09:39:21 AM

Speaking of supporting one wife and children, some men married to just one wife can't seem to do that; some of it because of lack of good paying job, some because of spending their money on booze and cigarettes or illegal drugs, and some because they just don't want to support the wife and kiddos. This last two groups shouldn't even be married and have kids.


08/31/2006 09:35:55 AM

I believe the Bible. If you don't stand for something, you will fall for anything. God gave us the word so we would know the way. He also gave us a choice. In my younger life, I always wanted to try to make people see the way the Bible speaks. But as I have gotten older, I realize God gave us a choice, we are free to choose. Also, we are free to suffer the consequences. We do not always see the consequences of the choices others make, because they are mostly spiritual consequences. We are all spiritual beings, covered by flesh. God speaks against mutiple partners. Our rebellious natures always wants to have and do what is against God's will.


08/31/2006 01:10:37 AM

Women were to be loved, cherished, and honored by men, as are men by women. Women were not designed to be baby machines, or try to act like what they think a man is supposed to be like, either. Anyway, it's totally disgusting for women to act like that, and God did make a provision for men to procreate when necessary.


08/31/2006 12:51:15 AM

Someone at the church I go to did a study on the subject of marriage, and they traced it back to Cain. It is not called a sin in the Bible, but it is not God's best. Anyway, wouldn't you agree that one woman is enough for any man, and the same is very true for one man being enough for any woman? I don't think it's a sin, but it's against the law almost everywhere, and I've only learned about 'God's best'. Smile


08/31/2006 12:41:28 AM

Although the Bible contains accounts of many plural marriages in the OT, it is evident that polygamy was not God's intention from the beginning. When Adam was given Eve, he was given only one wife. It says at Genesis 2:24: "That is why a man will leave his father and his mother and he must stick to his wife (not "wives") and they must become one flesh. Centuries later, at Matthew 19:5-6 Jesus repeated those words and elucidated : "the TWO will be one flesh." He added "so that they are no longer TWO, but one flesh." It is important to note that one major qualification for leadership in the early Christian church was monogamy. (1 Timothy 3:2) Polygamy started very early among fallen mankind with Lamech, of whom the Bible says "went taking two wives for himself." (Genesis 4:19). But with the Christian congregation, the standard of one wife was upheld.


08/30/2006 08:21:48 PM

Warren Jeffs is NOT about polygamy. He is being tried for the statutory rape of more than one young girl. That is a sin in any interpretation of any bible. Any attempt to deny the evil inherent in either forcing a young girl to marry against her will or coercing a woman to be engaged in a plural marriage is an evil so profound the perpetrators should be hounded from our midst, like any other child molester.


08/30/2006 04:24:41 PM

Drop him in a hole.


08/30/2006 02:41:04 PM

I think the rule is that we pick and choose which parts of the bible we want to take literally and adopt into our lives. That's just what i've been able to figure out from observation.


08/30/2006 01:32:33 PM

And Lot had sex with his daughters. That doesn't mean that we find it acceptable for our society. Aren't non-monogomous relationship dealt with in more historic terms anyways?


08/30/2006 01:09:07 PM

And I have never figured out how people assume that the Bible prefers monogamy. King David, King Solomon, Abraham, basically most of the patriarchs were polygamous.


08/30/2006 01:07:01 PM

I think that responsible polygamy should be legalized. That would involve consent of all partners, marriage after age 18 and no more family than you can support. That would be better than serial monogamy. We now have fathers away from their children and lack of financial or emotional support. After all a plural wife would then be able to divorce if she wanted to be involved in a 1 on 1 relationship, so it would remain consensual.


08/30/2006 10:09:14 AM

Most men I know have problems supporting the 2 or 3 children they have. I just don't see most men being able to support a dozen or more. In some cases a few dozen.


08/30/2006 10:06:48 AM

While I oppose polygamy on moral grounds, as long as these people are consenting adults and don't get the government involved, I think it is their own business. The reality for many of these groups is that the "marriages" often involve minor girls and much older men. Many of the women and children receive some sort of government assistance and many of the wives have to work outside of the home.


08/30/2006 10:01:03 AM

I wonder if the opposite would work, I mean one wife with multiple husbands. Men seem to be more territorial, so I'm not sure that it would work out. Just the thought of sharing my wife makes me sick to my stomach.


08/30/2006 04:47:59 AM

I don’t think polygamy is on trial in this case. There are entire towns in the US that are comprised of polygamists. The Warren Jeff epic is about addressing the fact that fundamentalist sects implement blatantly illegal practices under the guise of ‘religion.’ Ie; marrying off underage girls, abandoning underage boys to fend for themselves so there will be more girls for the old men, tax evasion and welfare fraud, extortion and intimidation of members who want to leave the ‘sect,’ mental and (in some cases) physical abuse, etc. As for true polygamy, well, I don’t really care what two (or more) free, consenting adults choose to do with their lives. If they want to live as one big family, good for them. (As long as they can fully support themselves and nobody is neglected! Society should not be called to pick up the tab.) I am monogamous, but I won’t try to force my way of life on anybody else.


08/30/2006 01:04:56 AM

Having a woman marrying multipule men defeats the purpose of polygamy. Men can have many women pregnant at the same time in order to have more children. No matter how many men a woman marries they can only have one child at a time.


08/29/2006 10:23:47 PM

the advantage of children by multiple males is it diversifies the gene pool making a healthier group. the advantage of one male having children by many females is he gets to spread his genes around by the hundreds, if he wants to. and the women who are into shopping, partying and having childcare get it. the advantage of monogamy for a lifetime is an incredible bond that one can only experience by going the distance and with a lot of grace thrown in. lucky the people who get this.


08/29/2006 10:20:46 PM

i will attempt to restate my comment incase i was not the offender. if it is a legalistic issue and men can have more than one spouse, then women must be allowed to have more than one spouse, too. my heart believes there is something very sacred about a man and a woman, two opposites, coming together as one. that this lifetime is enough for just one partner. but my heart is often wrong these days. what other people do is not my business as long as they are loving and creating loving people.


08/29/2006 10:07:55 PM

If the Religious "Right" get their way, and implement true "biblical" traditional marriage, this is what it will look like. The Bible has more mention of polygamy than any other family form dating all the way back to Abraham.