My Memoir, Part 19-D: Esther LeBaron McDonald de Spencer —
And More Perils of Polygamy
“The successful leader
is the one who makes the right move
at the right moment with the right motive.”
Continuing where we left off in “My Memoir Backstory: Esther LeBaron McDonald de Spencer — And More Perils of Polygamy — Part 19-C:
Heck! Here I am alone in the dark in a car with a middle-aged male Mormon stranger in an arranged marriage situation and this was the first time I’d ever been alone with a man! To think it had to be in this bizarre, coerced, traumatic, unnatural setting — not romantic at all, despite the moonlit night. Fortunately and unfortunately, as it turns out, it was to be my first and final meeting with Ervil’s well-meaning but badly misused and abused “amigo,” Homer Babbitt.
When inhibited and bashful Babbitt attempted to make conversation with timid, discombobulated me, out of habit, he and I were so shy the cat got our tongues before we could grab it! So he was barely able to bashfully babble:
“The Prophet Ervil said the Lord revealed to him we are supposed to be married in a couple of days. I’m to give him a piece of land because he got me you for my second wife so I can further build the work of God. So I want to know, do you agree to be my plural wife so I can enter into ‘the principle of celestial marriage’ to better serve God?”
I replied, “I agree to marry you because Uncle Ervil prophesied it was what God wanted me to do to help build up the kingdom of God on earth.”
After that “proposal,” so unmemorable for me was that secret evening rendezvous that all I pretty much recall is he then drove me back to the outskirts of my home and dropped me off where nobody would see nor hear his car coming and going.
I don’t remember anything else about that time with homely Homer, except that I didn’t feel good about it! The whole event was a bummer for me. It left me off-balance and with a feeling of nervous nausea in the pit of my troubled mind and nervous stomach. Some date, right?
I didn’t understand what was coming off nor going on with this marriage Uncle Ervil had suddenly arranged — and all behind my parents’ back, on the spur of the moment, in the dead of day, in the name of God. It made me question whether there could really be a God.
For one thing, it wasn’t at all like I had fantasized — not at all how I had romanticized matrimony and meeting my future husband would be. Instead, I didn’t look forward to being Homer Babbitt’s wife/ plural wife. “Why did God want me to do something that seemed so unnatural,” is what I would have asked myself if I knew enough to ask questions.
Missing was the passion I’d expected there would be as my wedding day approached. I was sad and out of sorts about how it was all coming down. And though I surely wanted to do what God wanted me to do, I surely wished something would happen, too, so this marriage wouldn’t happen … wouldn’t go through.
(Continued September 27, 2017: “My Memoir: Esther LeBaron McDonald de Spencer — And More Perils of Polygamy — Part 19-E”)