Friday, January 22, 2010

FLDS and Polygamy

So, this week's post I kind of stumbled across in the form of the National Geographic that comes to my house every month. MS, the woman I work for, is always pointing out interesting articles and television programs that I might want to watch on public television, in the newspapers, and in magazines. I don't often take her up on the idea because I'm not to keen on politics (what she is normally interested in), or I don't have time, considering my homework load. Well, we were eating dinner when she brought this article to my attention, and I was interested and had to stay until she was finished anyway (she eats really slow, but I suppose I've gotten used to it). Anyway, I was reading this article and was fascinated by the responses of the wives. Apparently the men have to be sanctioned by the LDS (Mormon) leaders and declared holy before they can marry plural wives. First of all, the feminist in me noticed that only men are allowed plural marriages, but then I thought about the purpose of it: supposedly, they are building up God's kingdom. The sole purpose of a plural marriage is to procreate above and beyond the call of duty. Must be nice for the guys. All the sex they want! Anyway, the second thought I had was about how the wives respond. There were the typical responses (like depression in the first wife of one man. Apparently she rarely came out of her room, except for meals, to do laundry, and to watch Shirley Temple shows on television. Talk about a sucky situation). Some wives left. But then there were other, more unusual responses, such as happiness and rejoice that you have sister-wives. Some of the wives become best friends. They care for the children, help with all the work, basically all the things a woman does in a traditional marriage. One of the women had a sister who was marrying the same man because he was "a good man and I just wanted her to know the same kind of happiness I had known." One of the women confessed that she wasn't sure that all the wives were happy about plural marriage, but they regard it as "God's Law". She said that overcoming the jealousy that one feels is part of the test of plural marriage, and another way for her to overcome a challenge that God had sent her way. When I read this, I thought, wow, this woman has the right idea. By thinking about something she is unhappy about, she views it as just another test that God has sent her way, and because of this, she overcomes. Now, I am opposed to polygamy because I follow a different religion, however, I think that this can be carried over to other parts of life. For example, the escapade with MZ and AK: I can look at that as a "they ruined my life" kind of thing, or I can look at it as a challenge of forgiveness (which I have, it's just an example). Aside from that, the thing that surprised me most was the joy that some expressed about having sister wives. I know I couldn't do it.