September 12, 2009

Deal Breaker

It's no secret that the final straw in my decision to leave the LDS church was the doctrine of plural marriage (most of my posts surround it in some way). More specifically, it was the exact form of plural marriage as practiced by Joseph Smith that broke the back of the camel that was my trust in the Church and its leaders. Of all of the reasons to leave a religion, particularly the LDS church, many have wondered why that was the deal breaker.

The answer is that family is the most important thing in the world to me. My ultimate goal in this life is to raise a happy, healthy family, where my children grow up surrounded by love, my wife remains my best friend and I hers, and my children eventually grow to be productive, content members of society whose existence has benefited those around them.

Anything that hinders me from this goal is to be overcome. Plural marriage, especially as practiced by Joseph Smith, not only obstructs my goal, but stands in direct conflict with it. I cannot allow polygamy to have any place in my life, even the afterlife, if it directly contradicts what I hold most sacred. Hence, I am compelled to fully reject it and anything that advocates its practice and calls it righteous.

I cannot reconcile the practices of Smith, Young, Kimball, and others with what I feel and want for my wife and daughter. I refuse to let my daughter grow up believing that she does not have the God-given right to complete emotional and physical fidelity from her husband. I refuse to let her believe that she would not be entitled to the joy that comes from equal partnership between a husband and wife when both are fully dedicated to each other and the family above all else. I refuse to let her believe that God would frown upon her for defending her virtue (see D&C 132:54; and this example of "God" threatening a young girl and her entire family if she refused to marry Smith).

If God cannot look upon sin with the least degree of allowance (Alma 45:16; D&C 1:31), maybe the LDS church needs to stop trying to justify the evil doctrines and practices of its leaders. Either (a) the family is the central unit in God's plan (source), or (b) polygamy is an eternal principle, marrying other men's wives is righteousness, and coercing 14-year-olds into marriage with men 3 times their age is justifiable. As far as I can tell, these two are incompatible.

And I have chosen my family.

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