Ma, Pa, Me,
And Polygamy on Parade
“What the mother sings to the cradleHenry Ward Beecher
goes all the way to the coffin.”
Our habits of perfectionism are deeply harmful: Perfectionism distracts us and keeps us from moving forward, out of a fear of messing up or not being good enough. “Parenting is Political
I got off onto other bunny trails these past few months. But today I’m going back to an earlier blog-post topic about Mother pushin’ ‘n’ peddlin’ polygamy.
I had left off in around blog “Pt 23, Ma, Pa, Me, and Polygamy on Parade,” saying that maybe Mama felt if she got others to live polygamy, she could vindicate her own self for not having lived this dastardly* lifestyle; i.e., not having shared her handy, dandy “Daddy.”
Maybe she thought God would let her into the highest degree of glory without sharing her husband, if she did Him a favor by getting everybody else, instead, to share their husbands by living polygamy, “The celestial law of marriage.”
But that was not being honest with herself nor others. Guess she didn’t see that she was preachin’ one thing, doin’ another. Presumably, she was trying to be “perfect;” despite her imperfections.
It was in her blind spot (as it was mine, for many years) that whether she was a perfect self or not, made no difference. We must revel in ourselves exactly as we are — accepting our good parts along with our bad.
For we ARE “perfect in our imperfectness.” Forget the double standards—the need to make others think we’re something we’re not; and the grandiose idea that rules apply to everyone but ourselves.
Mormon doctrine puts a lot of emphasis on being perfect. Unfortunately, this puts their gifted, extra-conscientious, high-achieving true-believing followers — like my grandparents and their children — Mama, for example — under immense stress, guilt, and pressure to perform, toe the line, and be Mormon-perfect.
This attests to the fact that Mormons have to work their way into “The highest degree of glory”/heaven:
“By their works, they are saved.”
(Jesus did not die for their sins, in other words!
Personally, I think Karma will get us, either way.)
I believe we are here to grow, learn, and develop. So, as I said before, Mother didn’t have to be some great person, let alone perfect, in order to be loved, special, respected … and go to heaven.
She simply had to love and accept herself … as a unique person — a princess, in and of herself … like all of us. Each individual is a caterpillar in metamorphosis on her/his way to becoming a fully-evolved “perfect” Monarch butterfly.
It’s possible my maternal grandparents put a lot of pressure on their children to be perfect — as if the Mormon religion didn’t already put enough perfectionist pressure on its members.
But greatly compounding this whole perfection scenario was growing up in the Mexican-Mormon colonies where the prejudice and marginalization of Momma’s family was a constant.
*To be continued. Thank you for visiting my blog!
~ Stephany Spencer-LeBaron
POLYGAMY REFORM BILL IN THE WORKS:
On Facebook, 8-22-2019, I received the following notice, sent by Mormon Gentle Community Activist and Director of SOUND CHOICES COALITION Angela Kelly:
There’s talk of a polygamy reform bill in the works that could do more harm than good. Please repost and tag anyone you know who may have been harmed by this practice. #polygamymetooRepost across platforms Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn….
For more on this topic, see Angela Kelly’s Facebook site; especially if you could add comments that would help stop the “polygamy reform bill” from going through. The following is a comment I sent to her site:
Hi, Angela Kelly:
Around three years ago, I wrote and posted on my website, StephanySpencer.com, a blog titled “Should Polygamy Be Legalized?”
I’ve also written and posted many blogs on the harm done me and others, thanks to polygamy.
Rather than write another essay pointing out the treacheries of polygamy, I refer you to my blogs. There, I’m in the process of detailing my upbringing; wherein, I was pawned off at 16 to an older polygamist and his wives. It only gets worse from there–till I escaped “there.”
Bottom line: Tell those polygamy manipulators to STOP trying to legalize the barbaric, backward, Bronze-age practice of polygamy; i.e., slavery: “Polygamy and slavery, the twin relics of barbarism,” said Abraham Lincoln–a wise man!
Here’s my daughter’s response to my above comments, and to the polygamy reform bill:
Thank you for sending this. I can’t believe anyone would try to make this legal! Lincoln’s words offer so much sanity and validation!
I have been thinking about the long-term pain caused by cults and polygamy; and one thing that magnifies the treachery is the lack of validation.
Victims need to be heard! Congress even thinking of legalizing polygamy feels like the victims have not been heard! The moral compass of some of these men in charge is fragile.
(Continued August 22, 2019: “Pt 40-A: Ma, Pa, Me, and the Pitfalls of Polygamy”)