March 22, 2009

Fathers and Husbands

In the past two days I have been accused several times of being a bad husband and father because of my decision. I find it peculiar that no one felt this way a week ago. My response to those individuals is simple:

My wife and daughter go to bed every single night knowing that I love them more than anything in this world. Ask them what kind of father and husband I am. They will answer honestly.

In fact, I have not courted and married one woman since my wife. Joseph Smith, Jr. courted and married at least 18 before his first wife had any input (Brodie, 1945; Embry, 2007), or at best before she knew the truth about the function of these unions. He lied to her about his extramonogamous affairs for years. She went to bed every night wondering with whom Joseph was going to bed.

So just how do you define a bad husband?

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

So just being monogamous and saying you love them automatically makes you a good husband/father? I’ll have to let my husband know that I’ve set the bar way too high for him! What about denying your lovely wife and child of direct access to the priesthood in their lives, the blessings of temple covenants, or even access to the Spirit in their home? Your decision to put your own pride ahead of the eternal welfare of your family speaks more than volumes of justification you can put on all the blogs in the world. (If your outline on this blog contains the entirety of your justification, by the way, I find it quite pathetic that such shallow arguments could possibly sway anyone. It’s obvious to me that you have only taken the time to find “evidence” of your original thesis while conveniently discounting anything else.) Eli, your wife and daughter deserve more than this—and I pray that Kira will do what she needs to do for her eternal happiness. Remember, when you post your spiteful attacks against the “believers” on this blog, you are tearing down the faith and hope of people you supposedly love “more than anything in this world.” I am keeping this post anonymous, not because I’m ashamed of my opinion, but because I believe it represents more than just my view alone, and I want to preserve my relationship with Kira.

Eli said...

Response to Anonymous: Them knowing that I love them makes me a good husband and father. If you'd read anything I've written, you'd know that I know the priesthood authority is a myth created by Joseph Smith to lure in his many wives. According to him, Kira already has direct access to the priesthood (see link "Priesthood and Women"). Remaining anonymous to preserve your relationship with Kira only proves that you are attacking the man she loves, but are too afraid to face the consequences of standing up for your beliefs. Grow up and talk to me without your mask.

Eli said...

2nd Response to Anonymous: I find it demeaning and sexist that you or anyone would suggest that God would hear a man's prayers more than a woman's, or that a woman has access to the watchful care of God only through her husband. Think about what you're saying next time.

Anonymous said...

It's obvious that you are quite gifted in being able to twist my words into what you want them to be. Your attacks here on anyone questioning your decision show just how far away from the Spirit you have already moved yourself. I know Kira still has access to God--her role as a mother puts her closer to Heaven than perhaps anyone--but you ARE denying her blessings that are very real (just ask her).

In closing, I want to leave you my testimony...God lives, Jesus Christ is our Savior, and Joseph Smith was his chosen prophet to open this last dispensation. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is led by the Savior himself. Soften your heart, Eli, and feel His love—I know that He loves you.

Don’t bother responding to me—there is a darkness on this blog that I do not wish to bring into my life. I will not be returning here again.

Eli said...

Response to Anonymous: ...with your tail between your legs. As I have said, sometimes the truth is very hard to swallow. I've not twisted your words, I've rattled your shaky framework you've fabricated to hold up your dogma. If you want to talk to me, talk to me. Don't just throw stones behind your fence and tell me how warm and fuzzy you feel about it.

Tim Bishop said...

For all of your talk about not using one-sided sources, you use Fawn Brodie an awful lot. She is perhaps the least respectable historian you could keep bringing up. It is true that her literary style is praised, but she did not get her facts straight.

On a side note, I don't believe you when you say that you have never known that the Church was true and led by a prophet, or you are a better imposter than you believe Joseph Smith to be. I have seen you lit up by the Spirit. We have felt of and seen your joy in doing the work of the Lord. Through it all, I cannot deny that you make the best cookies.

Eli said...

Response to Tim: Thanks for the compliment. I use Brodie a couple of times, true. My main source for polygamy was Todd Compton. You're free to check him out and criticisms of his books. Believing parts of the Church does not mean I believed the whole Church. As I have stated, I have always believed in being moral and charitable, living a Christlike life, etc. Believing those things does not mean I believe polygamy ever was or ever will be okay. Let's not bunch it all into a whole. Joseph Smith was a very different person with very different teachings than was Jesus Christ.

Eli said...

Addendum to response to Tim: If you'll look at my personal reasons for leaving (first link), I cite Brodie only twice. Both times I have backed it up with Embry, a respected active LDS historian.

Sara J said...

I was referred by a friend to your blog and had a hypothetical question for you: If you had to TRY to have a testimony of the gospel and be a faithful member of the Church in order to keep your wife and daughter in your life, WOULD YOU DO IT?

Eli said...

Response to Sara J: I wonder what makes you think I haven't TRIED with all my heart to have a testimony for the past 27 years. I could also try to fit a square peg into a round hole, but it just isn't happening. The question also doesn't apply here, because having my wife and daughter in my life does not depend on a testimony at this point. There is much more to our marriage than Joseph Smith.

Stephanie said...

Hi Eli, was referred to your blog by a friend...you are a in a tough spot right now, but I suspect that if you stay open to the truth you are finding, both you and your family will be just fine. As for your original post, you are definitely a loving father and companion if you are sharing your doubts, fears and concerns with your spouse. You two are partners in this, and whether or not she will stay or leave the church is not the point. You are earnestly making decisions based upon rational thinking, and including your number one friend and partner in the process. That is love my friend. Your kids are feeling your love and devotion to your family every day.

Regardless of the idiotic naysayers who feel you are "robbing" them of false blessings whose only requirement is having a penis, your family is obviously a number one priority. Take care of you properly, and your family prospers too. Continue to keep searching and posting, I look forward to reading...

Anonymous said...

There sure are a lot of comments here from people trying to guilt you into staying in the LDS Church.

I am somewhat sickened to read some of the "Christian" responses here calling you basically a selfish, egotistical man.

Everybody must live their life the way they think is right. Whether or not other people would do the same thing with their life is not really pertinent to your decision.

You sound like a really nice man, a great father, and a good husband. Best wishes to you and your family.

I made a similar decision 30 years ago. I have never regretted it.

Anonymous said...

Eli,

I also am a bit surprised at the guilt that some of the commenters are trying to put on you. Your wife and daughter are very lucky to have you as their husband and father. I'm an active LDS male in the Mormon corridor here in Utah, in a leadership position in our ward. I wouldn't dare say some of the above things to a member of our congregation that is in your position. Belief is definitely a choice and we must respect that. One resource is Elder Holland's interview for PBS' "The Mormons" where he explicitly states that there is room in the Church for varying levels of belief. We all know that the reality in an LDS ward is much different. People don't like to be confronted with facts that contradict their cherished beliefs. I'm just glad you still believe in God and Christ. There is so much in the historical record that is being conveniently ignored. Like Prof. Bushman has stated, we should accept the historical record for what it is and learn to shape our beliefs around it. Some, like him, choose to keep believing. I admit that it takes some backflips around the evidence to make things work out, and I fault no one who comes to the decision to relinquish his mormon beliefs. Personally, I am waiting for the Church to provide explanations, if there are any, for the (apparent? or clear?) incongruities in church history and doctrine. I hope I do not have to wait too long.

My best to you. I am tired of hearing about wives drawing the line for their husbands (or vice versa) when it comes to belief. Marriage is about so much more. I hope that your wife will see through differences in belief and love you for you. Good for you for following your heart and mind in integrity.