My Memoir,
Part 19-D:

Esther LeBaron Spencer, Me,
And More Perils of Polygamy

Circa 1961: 15-year-old me (Beulah/Stephany Spencer-LeBaron) perched outside our adobe schoolhouse in Colonia LeBaron (you can see it in the background) doing some after-school reading to a couple of my students, first cousins Verlan M — and was it Joel, Ivan, or Nathan LeBaron?

“The successful leader
is the one who makes the right move
at the right moment with the right motive.”
John Maxwell 

Continuing where we left off in
my memoir backstory:
“Esther LeBaron Spencer, Me,
And More Perils of Polygamy,
Part 19-C”

Heck! Here I am, barely sixteen, alone in the dark, parked in a car with a middle-aged Mormon stranger in an arranged marriage situation … my first time ever to be alone with a man! Someone should have their brain examined -– but it’s too late now! The damage has already been done! And the perpetrator’s deceased.

 To think it had to be in this bizarre, coerced, traumatic setting; not romantic, 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 cousin and “amigo,” Homer Babbitt.

When inhibited and bashful Babbitt
attempted to make conversation
with timid, discombobulated me,
from habit,
the cat got our tongues
before we could grab it!
So Babbitt was barely able to
bashfully babble:

“The Prophet Ervil said God revealed to him we’re supposed to get married in a couple of days. I’m to give him a piece of land in exchange for you as my second wife … so I can further build the work of God. Now I want to know, do you agree to be my plural wife so I can enter into the principle of celestial marriage so I can better serve God?”

I shyly replied, “I agree to marry you ’cause Uncle Ervil prophesied it was what God wanted me to do to help build up the kingdom of God on earth.”

That off-the-wall secret rendezvous and proposal/marriage vows was so unmemorable, I only recall that Homer then drove me back to the outskirts of my home, gave me a parting peck on the lips to cement or vows, and dropped me off where nobody would see nor hear his car coming nor going.

I don’t remember anything else about that disconcerting evening with homely Homer–except I didn’t feel good about it! The whole event was a bummer. It left me off-balance with a distraught mind and queasy sensation in the pit of my belly. Some date, right? 

I didn’t understand what was coming off nor going on with this sudden and off-the-wall marriage my E-Vile uncle Ervil had secretly and suddenly arranged—behind my parents’ back … on the spur of the moment, in the dead of day, in the name of God—at my expense. It made me wonder, again, whether there was really a God. As something just didn’t seem right!

For one thing, this prenuptial agreement wasn’t at all like what I had fantasized about for years. It wasn’t the way I had romanticized matrimony and meeting my future husband would be. Instead, I didn’t look forward to being Homer Babbitt’s plural wife.

Why did God want me to do something that seemed so strange and unromantic is what I would’ve asked my naive, adolescent self, if I’d understood and knew enough about what was going on to ask questions.

All I sensed is that, despite the second-grand-head Ervil’s revelation that I was supposed to marry Babbitt, as my wedding day approached, missing and found wanting was the passion, anticipation, and joy I’d expected there would be when it came to my marriage. Instead, I felt unhappy, discombobulated, and confused as to how it was all coming down:

Although I surely wanted to do
what God wanted me to do,
I secretly wished something would transpire, too,
so this seemingly malfeasant marriage
wouldn’t go through.

Continued in:
My Memoir:
“Esther LeBaron Spencer, Me, 
And More Perils of Polygamy,
Part 19-E”

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