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Salvation Through Sin

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Salvation Through Sin

Nancie Petratos

Mormonism and Polygamy are two deeply entangled practices; one may say that Mormonism gave birth to polygamous communities in North-America. The most reprehensible and vile side of Mormon-based polygamy is the custom of underage girls being taken as polygamous wives. There are at least 30,000 people in the mid-western United States who practice Mormon-based polygamy in very private and guarded communities. Polygamous unions, one man with plural wives, take place on a daily basis in these communities; the brides are often underage and are commonly married to men much older than them. Parents of females are compelled to offer their daughters willingly into these unions as they believe it will lead them to God in their afterlife. Young girls are brainwashed at an early age to believe in plural marriage and the salvation the community believes it will bring. A man with three or more wives is believed to hold a higher ranking in the eyes of God, leading to a higher place in heaven when they reach their afterlife. The highest Priesthood leaders receive first pick of the brides, whether it be for themselves or as a gift/reward to another man in the brotherhood . The practice of marrying underage girls in Polygamist communities can only be stopped by The Church of Latter-Day Saints and other high ranking Mormon officials.

Although polygamy is practiced within Mormon based communities, The Official Mormon Church of Jesus Chris of the Latter-Day Saints (L.D.S) does not condone nor take part in such customs. There are many Mormon based groups in the United States practicing polygamy, however, the largest and most dominant is the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter-Day Saints (known as the F.L.D.S.). The community sits on the boarder of Colorado City, Arizona and Hilldale, Utah; A secluded mountainous land where the fathers of Mormon-based polygamy settled their followers and built their private niche. One may ask where the ideology of plural marriage came from? Unfortunately, the founder of Mormonism, Joseph Smith Jr., started this behavior. Joseph Smith himself married several underage girls. The youngest of his brides was only fourteen years of age, Miss Helen Mar Kimball. Helen's father gave his daughter to Joseph Smith as a symbol of love and devotion in hopes of securing the salvation of the Kimball Family. Joseph Smith used psychological manipulation, a very destructive and effective weapon, to lure the Kimball family into giving him their daughter. Psychological manipulation is still used by Mormon-based polygamous groups to ensure that their communities stay concealed and faithful to their ideologies and values.

In this day and age modern day Mormon's deny that polygamy ever existed within their church. High ranking members and church leaders preach a very different gospel than one that history has shown us. Educational pamphlets praising Smith and other early presidents of the church as monogamous men are given to members and non members of the church to help conceal the truth. The Mormon Church of Latter-Day Saints discontinued polygamous practice in 1890 to help establish the statehood of Utah. Although polygamy was abolished within the church, the doctrine condoning it is still in existence today and is seen as sacred religious scripture among L.D.S. followers . The L.D.S. church will not denounce this doctrine even though it weakens their claim of Joseph Smith's divinity and reveals his pedophilic ways. Continuing to hold this doctrine as sacred religious scripture allows this atrocious behavior to survive and spread through Mormon communities. This doctrine has not only led those practicing plural marriage to persist but has caused much confusion among L.D.S. followers who are monogamous. The L.D.S. may have kept the doctrine in place; however, devout members of the church are not allowed to question or look further into the document without repercussions. Any members expressing belief in the doctrine face excommunication where they are banished from their religious community. After being turned away not only by the church they knew and loved, but the community in which they lived, many Mormons join the F.L.D.S., who still practice polygamy, to reclaim their sense of belonging. Therefore, excommunications by the L.D.S. attribute to the growing number of individuals residing in Mormon-based polygamous communities resulting in more child brides.

Within the communities of Colorado City, Arizona and Hilldale, Utah women and children face many injustices such as mental, emotional and physical abuse at the hands of the men that are supposed to be



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