Historical Mormon Smackdown: Polygamist Edition!

Well folks, it turns out that Joseph F. Smith must have more modern influence. I wonder why more people don’t read his books…

Anyhoo, here is this week’s morsel for your comsumption, inspired by though not quite stolen from, Ronan’s post at BCC.

Who is the more troubling polygamist: Joseph Smith, Jr. or Warren Jeffs?

Joseph Smith, Jr. : First (modern) prophet of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, seems to have begun practicing plural marriage secretly and, as a result, all we know about the practice is shrouded in rumor and innuendo.

Warren Jeffs: Current prophet of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, seems to have been practicing plural marriage openly and, as a result, all we know about the practice is shrouded in rumor and innuendo.

Okay brothers and sister(-wives), get with the voting!

  • J. Watkins

    I suppose that if you find polygamy troubling it would have to be Joseph Smith since he started it. Although I guess the idea that nayone still practices it could be just as troubling. Me, I find those who practice polygamy without caring whether it is permissible to God or not to be troubling but I can’t say I know enough about Warren Jeffs to know why he’s practicing.

  • http://faithprorumor.weblogs.us John C.

    JW,
    One thing Joseph Smith didn’t do was originate polygamy. Perhaps just the LDS version (although even that is debatable).

    All the people who are voting for Jeffs, why? Are you just giving the benefit of the doubt to Joseph? I would also like to direct this question to the Joseph voters: why?

  • http://ldsliberationfront.blogs.com RoastedTomatoes

    In answer to John C.’s question, Warren Jeffs doesn’t trouble me very much at all. I don’t think of him as a prophet, just a crazy uncle in our attic.

    Joseph as a polygamist, on the other hand, is pretty troubling to me. I do think he was a prophet, but as the man said, he was only a prophet sometimes. My suspicion is that he wasn’t a prophet at all with respect to polygamy. To me one of the kickers is the evidence that he married a number of women who were married to other men at the time.

    I know that one of the things that bothers people about Jeffs and the modern Mormon Fundamentalists is that the men marry young girls. Well, that’s also a tradition that seems to date back within Mormonism to Joseph Smith; there’s some evidence that he married girls who were as young as 14.

  • FaithHopeLove

    I voted for JFS because it is more troubling to have someone that WE believe was a prophet doing it, as opposed to Some Guy over there doing it. Well, in truth, the whole practice of polygamy is troubling to me (and my wife – my ONE wife)

    That was some interesting reading on BCC. I was pretty sure I had heard about JS practicing polygamy, even in the backwoods of FL. I don’t recall it bothering me any more or less than other early leaders who practiced it.

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