Skip to comments.LDS rebut N.Y. Times Web article
Posted on 05/06/2008 10:18:16 AM PDT by Utah Girl
The historian for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints took issue Monday with a New York Times opinion piece comparing FLDS polygamists in Texas to 19th century Mormons.
In a statement released Monday, church historian Elder Marlin K. Jensen took exception to author Timothy Egan's portrayal in the Times.
"Mr. Egan's cavalier comparison of FLDS polygamy practices with those of 19th century Latter-day Saints is historically unsupported and simply wrong," wrote Elder Jensen, a member of the church's Quorums of Seventy. "By implication, he also unfairly impugns the integrity of all Latter-day Saint marriages and families, the very institutions they hold most dear."
In a piece posted on the Times Web site April 23, Egan called the polygamists in west Texas "1870s Stepford wives" and "men with their low monotones and pious, seeming disregard for the law on child sex." And Egan drew parallels between present-day FLDS members and 1800s Mormons.
In his response, Elder Jensen wrote, "The conditions surrounding the practice of polygamy in Texas today bear little resemblance to the plural marriage practiced by Mormons more than a century ago," he said. "As thoughtful historians know, a serious study of history does not impose contemporary understandings and sensibilities onto an interpretation of earlier time periods."
Elder Jensen also said Egan's tacit claim that 19th century Mormon women were subservient and backward was false. Women played an integral part in LDS culture, held jobs and were politically active, Elder Jensen said.
"For a long time ... the church was at odds with basic American ideals, and not just because old guys sanctioned marital sex with dozens of teenage girls," Egan wrote. "What you see in Texas in small part is a look back at some of the behavior of Mormonism's founding fathers."
"Smith was fortunate enough to find a religious cover for his desire," Egan continued. "His polygamy 'revelation' was put into The Doctrine and Covenants, one of three sacred texts of Mormonism."
In his response, Elder Jensen wrote that men and women often married at a younger age than might be considered acceptable today. A girl marrying at 15 was not uncommon and the common-law marriage age for women was 12, he said. Women were not forced into marriages and divorces were "readily granted," Elder Jensen wrote.
Attempts Monday night to contact Egan for comment were unsuccessful.
• Column by New York Times Op-Extra columnist Timothy Egan (April 23)
• Response by Elder Marlin K. Jensen, Church Historian, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (May 5)
Go ahead and prove me wrong. Find a copy of "History of the Church" and tell me this isn't in there.......
"Come on! ye prosecutors! ye false swearers! All hell, boil over! Ye burning mountains, roll down your lava! for I will come out on top at last. I have more to boast of than ever any man had. I am the only man that has ever been able to keep a whole church together since the days of Adam. A large majority of the whole have stood by me. Neither Paul, John, Peter, nor Jesus ever did it. I boast that no man ever did such a work as I. The followers of Jesus ran away from Him; but the Latter-day Saints never ran away from me yet...When they can get rid of me, the devil will also go."-Joseph Smith (History of the Church, Vol. 6, p. 408, 409)
Come on, Lawyer...."Baloney" doesn't do it in a court of law, and it won't work here either.
Sometimes...you use the best ya got.
Your comment is so full of baloney, it’s not worth the time to slice it.
As I said nothing about what other people are thinking, I fail to see how your response is a response to what I said.
It certainly is an example of a post that does not seek to inform people about anything.
Teach and share, but don't get mad. They are the biggest victims here....
It informed you that I caught you reading other people’s reasons for posting, LOL...but of course, YOU wouldn’t admit to reading their minds. Got a peepstone in your hat?
Maybe it has been shown, but not in the post I was responding to, which covered the 20th century, not the 19th century.
I don’t know what the numbers are for the 19th century, but I can think of reasons the 20th century American numbers would be different than the 19th century numbers.
***They are the biggest victims here....***
Sorry, I don’t buy that for a moment. Perhaps the very young Mormons are the victims of their elders, but fully grown men and women answer for themselves. Nobody forces them to remain; nobody forces them to ignore the mountain of evidence against their religion;....
nobody forces them to remain in self-delusion.
Joseph Smith and Brigham Young said what they said and did what they did. They have sealed their own fate already. There are many watching in silence, some will read and think and get away from the cult of guilt. They call each other brother and sister....Let's do our best to keep them in a receptive moods.
Imagine a cult so controlling, they can operate in plain sight without detection. Think of that movie "The Village" and imagine yourself explaining the truth to a person inside the fence. Don't be mean, or get personal, or name call, or get mad. Teach them with what they accept, THE QUOTES OF THEIR PROPHETS.
It has been shown/documented that the the LDS propagated myth of 19th century marriages being in the teenage years is false.
I'd say they were very similar to the polygamists in TX.
Thank you for the ping ... it is quite revealing of the Momrons on these threads that they attack someone like Sentinel for revealing the truth about Mormonism. Apparently the river in Egypt is a confusion for Mormons ... ‘de nial’.
Don't hate them, teach them. They will make their own choices and pay their own consequences, and will be judged by God, not us.
Polygamy in 19th century Utah was a family affair!!!
Ann Young, Wife #19, Chapter XVII
A real family affair!!!
Ann Young, Wife #19, Chapter XIX
OK, I realise you had no requirement to understand or act upon my fervent desire NOT to get dragged into theological discussions of early Mormon theology.
So I read your post. It appears that in some documents, polygamy is justified by pointing to polygamists in the old testament who were justified by God (certainly we agree that their justification was not based on their bad habit of taking multiple wives).
In other documents they deny church practice of polygamy.
Now that I think I understand your point.
The original poster said that he saw NO DIFFERENCE AT ALL in what the Mormons of the 19th century practices, and the practices of the FLDS in the past few years under their infamous and imprisoned leader.
As the article in question had provided a good deal of argument that there was a difference in both kind and degree between the two, I inquired, in none to kind a manner, by what specific disagreements the poster “saw” this identicality. Did the poster have specific evidence that the Mormons in of the 1800’s were NOT as the article suggested, but in fact were doing the same things.
I even made fun of his use of the word “see”.
In response, rather than telling me what items in the article were false, and giving me some direct reference in opposition, he said I had to ask you, which of course I had no interest in doing, as I was interested in how he formed his opinion.
Nevertheless, I will say that your response here does not seem to refute the author’s claim to dissimilarity. Maybe you don’t believe they are identically evil, or maybe you do and just didn’t feel like expounding on that.
As I’ve never once suggested I had trouble believing that the early Mormon church practiced and encouraged polygamy, I see your evidence of the same to be irrelevant to the matter I was discussing with the other poster.
The other poster I have not pinged. Specifically because he made it clear he had no interest in discussing this, and I should treat you as if you were he.
You don't have to read minds to know that some posts are not meant to be informative. You can simply read the posts.
In this case, your post informed me that you had trouble understanding that concept, so yes, in some weak manner you could pretend you were being informative.
But given that your post pinged a host of your buddies along, I'd say your post was not meant so much to be "informative" (as in to advance a conversation or work toward the truth), but rather "informing", as in trying to tattle to your buddies about something.
Which would be more entertaining if you had something to actually be an "informant" about.
I really wish we had those yellow stars so people wouldn't get confused about who the mormon posters are. Also it would make it easier to round them up later.
I would invite all to come to our church meetings. See for yourself. Don’t take my word for it, don’t take Sentinel’s word for it, see for yourself what happens.