“Men never do evil so completely
and cheerfully as when they do it
from religious conviction.”
Picking up where we left off last week, I find it reprehensible that Mormon fundamentalist dogma encourages women to intrude upon already established marriages and families, break them up (as Mother did when she went after Father, who was already married and had nine or ten children at the time — and another soon on the way) — and all in the name of polygamy; i.e., “living a higher law.”
In other words, it encourages adultery in that it allows a woman to go after the man she’s attracted to, though he’s another woman’s husband, and seduce him to have/share as her husband, too, in the name of “plural marriage or celestial marriage.” Glittering generality’s aside, in the end, “celestial marriage” simply opens the door to disorganization, rampant lechery, and lawlessness — not Godliness.
It’s altogether barbaric, ludicrous, deplorable, and inexcusable that a religion could teach doctrines that break up marriages and families, leave the wife broken-hearted and betrayed, her home downtrodden, her life and that of her kids smashed to smithereens, her children to grow up fatherless — and the Jr.-High-age kids to have to quit school and go to work to support the family.
But that’s what happened! I’m not proud my mother had a part in this, even if it was part of her religion to do so. I only know she could never stand it being done to her: She never practiced what she believed and preached, when it came to polygamy. She was too jealous to allow Daddy a plural wife.
And Daddy wasn’t about to add on a second wife unless Mother was in full agreement. He’d already suffered, almost beyond endurance, after losing his first wife and eleven children.
Having learned his lesson the hard way, he wasn’t going to stumble, bumble, and ramble into another briar patch — wasn’t about to gamble again on whether taking a plural wife would or would not work out — womanizer or no womanizer.
In other words, he wasn’t taking a chance on wandering down another poison ivy-bedecked garden path — without his legal wife’s full agreement and encouragement. Even then, he might hesitate.
For Eva had been in agreement, to begin with, when it came to her husband taking a second wife — to fulfill Joseph Smith’s commandment to live plural marriage or be damned. But within six months of Daddy’s having wedded; i.e., bedded Mommy, Eva could bare no more. She packed up kids and all and divorced him.
Though Mother didn’t mind or didn’t know what she was doing, at age twenty-two or twenty-three, when she went after somebody else’s attractive father and husband in order to “live plural marriage” — that is, have the man she wanted — in the end, she herself was unable to share her handsome husband, once Eva had left him.
She never encouraged Father to take another wife — never lived polygamy … Just talked about it. Just as she talked about herself being the most perfect, holy, and righteous woman on earth — the most-Godly example of how to live “the gospel”/ Mormon fundamentalism. But again, it was all talk.
Mother even wrote and disseminated articles on the subject of how to live plural marriage — and the importance of this holy law of matrimony!
Followers follow, so the Mormon fundamentalists she put pressure on and talked into going into plural marriage, never took into account Mama had never lived it, herself, to speak of.
Anyway, Mother had, as the power behind her “punch,” the Prophet Joseph Smith’s commandment to live “the holy law of matrimony” or be damned to hell. So her followers drank the “punch” — and were damned to hell … till death do us part?? I damn well think so!
Even so, Mama had a following … admirers … true-believing people who idolized and lauded her — because she told them she knew she had her “calling and election made sure!”
If asked how she was so sure she was going to the highest degree of glory in heaven, when she died, she invariably vouched: “My Patriarchal Blessing told me so!” … as though she were so much more special than the rest of us?*
(Continued July 7, 2017: “My Memoirs Backstory: Esther LeBaron Spencer de McDonald — Part 17”)
- The following link is a YouTube presentation done by my aunt, Susan Ray Schmidt (formerly Susan Ray LeBaron, one of Uncle Verlan’s wives), wherein she tells the audience how much she had longed to know that she was saved; i.e., had her “calling and election made sure … like Esther LeBaron Spencer:”