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Essay on Polygamy


❶Besides the practice of polygamy, several things set apart Mormonism from other Christian faiths. This is information that could and should…… [Read More].

Essays on Polygamy

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This understanding is rooted in scriptural and prophetic teachings about the nature of God, our relationship to Deity, and the godly potential of men and women.

The doctrine of a Heavenly Mother is a cherished and distinctive belief among Latter-day Saints. During the 19th century, women frequently blessed the sick by the prayer of faith, and many women received priesthood blessings promising that they would have the gift of healing. In reference to these healing blessings, Relief Society general president Eliza R. The end of plural marriage required great faith and sometimes complicated, painful—and intensely personal—decisions on the part of individual members and Church leaders.

Like the beginning of plural marriage in the Church, the end of the practice was a process rather than a single event. When God commands a difficult task, He sometimes sends additional messengers to encourage His people to obey. Consistent with this pattern, Joseph told associates that an angel appeared to him three times between and and commanded him to proceed with plural marriage when he hesitated to move forward. During the third and final appearance, the angel came with a drawn sword, threatening Joseph with destruction unless he went forward and obeyed the commandment fully.

Rather, the physical artifacts provided an occasion for meditation, reflection, and revelation. They catalyzed a process whereby God gave to Joseph Smith a revelation about the life of Abraham, even if that revelation did not directly correlate to the characters on the papyri. And, tragically, at some points in the 19th century, most notably in the Mountain Meadows Massacre, some Church members participated in deplorable violence against people they perceived to be their enemies.

A larger family was symbolic of strength and unity. It was also seen as a way to maintain happiness and add meaning to life. Having many wives was also a route of keeping the man from being amorous.

The reason was that most wives denied their husbands conjugal rights after childbirth for up to two years.

Hence, having an additional wife meant the husband would not be unfaithful Jencks and Milton, For the husband, having many wives meant he would get many daughters from them. In most traditional African societies, it was considered a vice for a woman to lack children especially in marriage Jencks and Milton, It was for this reason that most African women preferred to have a co-wife than remain single in ridicule. As such, polygamy solved the problem of single parenthood.

It also offered women the security and dignity required for self-realization. Finally yet importantly, polygamy resulted through the ancient tradition of wife inheritance. The death of a husband whose wife had not passed childbearing age qualified for wife inheritance.

All the above reasons applied in traditional African societies. However, in the contemporary world today, most of these practices have been overtaken by time and can no longer be practicable. Effects on women in polygamous marriages. In my view, polygamy is a way of life that should not be allowed in society due to its negative implications.

Primarily, it creates male dominated marriages where the woman is left voiceless in the whole setup. Secondly, it forces women into subordinate roles and results in unworkable families full of strife, abuse and incest Ward, Polygamous families usually live in isolated communities that are totally unaffected by the outside world. The seclusion of these towns raises eyebrows concerning security, safety and health of the town dwellers, state law enforcers, federal laws and the country at large Beaman and Calder, It can therefore be argued women face greater risks in polygamous marriages.

The standard argument remains that polygamy subordinates women and fails to treat the latter as equals with men. Some scholars argue that the state should not take interest in voluntary family arrangements McMahon, The reason behind it being that it would illegitimately endorse one comprehensive doctrine over others.

To them, an unjust family arrangement is one that undermines the equality of women and fails to recognize that wives are equal citizens with their husbands. As such, polygamy is a structural inegalitarian practice that subjects women to higher risks of harmful effects compared to men McMahon, It is for this reason that polygamy should be forbidden since it denies women the liberty, rights and opportunities available to men.

In essence, polygamy represents an unjustified asymmetry of power between men and women and in my opinion should therefore be banned. By exposing almost all women to early and prolonged dangers of pregnancy, polygamy results in high fertility rates of between seven and nine children in these countries. The introduction of low-priced and effective healthcare and sanitary technology from developed countries is also a contributing factor McMahon, The control of sexually transmitted infections becomes overly difficult in the practice of polygamy Beaman and Calder, Take for instance a man who has five wives under his wing.

He will engage in sexual relations with all of them and since he is married to all, using protection becomes inconsequential. If either the man or one of the wives is suffering from a sexually transmitted disease, every other participant in the fold is at risk of contracting it.

In a study conducted in Nigeria, West Africa, it was found that those men in the survey had more than three or more wives Beaman and Calder, This meant that they were more likely to engage in extra-marital sex and were at higher risk of contacting sexually transmitted diseases and infecting their wives.

This proves women were at higher risk from men with three or more wives both as their wives and as extramarital sex partners. As a form of behavior, Christian missionaries and Eurasian societies consider polygamy morally wrong. Well-read Christian-African elites in sub Saharan Africa believe polygamy is backward, bush and barbaric behavior Jencks and Milton, To outsiders, polygamy is a highly undetestable social system whose origin is traced back to pre-colonial times.

In addition, polygamy often coincides with crimes that target women and children such as incest, sexual assault, statutory rape and failure to pay child support Jencks and Milton, Another argument against polygamy is that more often than not, it is likely to present harmful effects especially towards the women and children.

Women in polygamous marriages are at higher risk of having low esteem issues, depression and constant worry compared to women in monogamous relationships. Studies have also revealed these women enjoy less marital satisfaction and more problematic mother-child relationships Bennion, Additionally, women in polygamous marriages are prone to depression when they become pregnant since their husbands divert their sexual attention to the other wives.

These women are typically subservient to their husbands who only value them for the childbearing role. Consequently, polygamous women are left devoid of any powers to exercise any control of the marriage.

This buds into feelings of powerlessness and emotional turmoil Bennion, Several studies also show that only a small fraction of women in polygamous marriages work outside the home Ward, Most of them lack the mandate or ability to seek employment.

Research on polygamy amongst the Arabs revealed that first wives are inferior to junior and subsequent wives. They experienced more economic hardships and less satisfactory relationships with their husbands. Some scholars also noted that polygamous marriages caused harmful psychological effects on a number of first wives Ward, This caused most of them to seek mental health treatment and psychiatric outpatient services.

Several of these psychological disorders seen widely among first wives included anxiety, depression and somaticized symptoms Ward, It has also been shown that first wives and teachers described relationships with husbands and fathers as neglectful. This showed a lack of interest and minimal interaction with them and their children. This caused them to suffer adverse effects from the polygamous union.

On the contrary, junior wives were highly favored by their husbands. They were allowed to obtain more economic resources and support. Effects on children from polygamous familiesResearch indicates that children from polygamous families are at heightened risks of developing harmful effects.

There is considerable evidence that points to these children experiencing higher incidence of marital conflicts, family violence and disruptions than do children of monogamous families Jacobson and Burton, Moreover, children from polygamous backgrounds are more likely to develop behavioral and socializing problems.

The same problems are also reflected in their performance in school. Most teachers unanimously agreed that problems faced by polygamous children are somewhat similar Jacobson and Burton, These include disobedience, hyperactivity, repeated lying to a teacher or person in authority, sibling fights, enuresis and stuttering.

Their levels of academic achievement were also below average. Polygamous children displayed inability to concentrate in class, had low attendance, incompletion of homework, maladjustment to classroom procedures, peer and teacher relational problems Jacobson and Burton, On the other hand, situational problems are likely to arise such as higher number of siblings, higher number of parental figures, absence of the father figure, competition and jealousy of family members over resources and emotional relationships with the father Bennion, In addition, living areas were often crowded and economic resources taxed to the limit due to the high number of dependants.

These children do not grow up to experience the parental love that is overflowing in monogamous systems Bennion, Such children will be tempted to resort to other avenues to compensate the missing love. It is then that they find themselves trapped in the world of crime, adultery and other social vices.

Children from polygamous marriages are more susceptible to drug abuse Bennion, Adolescent males in these unions were found to fair much worse than those from monogamous marriages. This was attributed to exposure to a chaotic life where the child is responsible for protecting his mother and sisters from dysfunctional stressors of living in a polygamous household Ward, Children often become defensive of their own families and display resentment and anger towards the other sub-family.

The reason for this is obvious; loyalty to their mothers, half-sibling rivalry and jealousy in equal measure. However, the father and his tribe have expectations that they would side with. As the girl was not married, and the master, because he disliked her, would not even betroth her, the duty of marriage was impossible.

Any sexual duty, rendered in those circumstances, must have been the duty of illicit intercourse. No derivation of the word, as well as no use of the word, or of any cognate word in any other case, will associate with it the idea of lawful intercourse by marriage: The other rendering, viz.

And if a man sell his daughter to be a maidservant, she shall not go out as the men-servants do. If she please not her master, so that he does not betroth her to himself, then he shall suffer her to be redeemed: And if he betroth her to his son, he shall deal with her after the manner of daughters. If he marry another person, he shall furnish her with food, clothing, and lodging, or tht necessaries of life. And if he do not furnish those three, he shall let her go out free, without money.

The master by paying it to the father, had a right to the services of the daughter as a maid-servant, and if he were a single man, to marry her: If the master was married, or chose not to marry her himself, he had a right, if she was of the proper age, to betroth her to his son, without paying an additional portion.

If neither of these were done, her friends, by paying back the portion received, had a right to redeem her, and to marry her to another man. This passage, therefore, contains no sanction of Polygamy, and no permission of the gross immorality and cruelty apparently authorized by the English translation. The second passage, which has been supposed to authorize Polygamy, is found in Deuteronomy xxi.

But he shall acknowledge the son of the hated for the first-born, by giving him a double portion of all that he hath: The argument here used is this: But he could not lawfully legislate upon that which might not lawfully exist: To have two wives at the same time, was therefore lawful. For a moment we will admit, for the sake of argument, the major of the syllogism, viz. Let us then test the minor by a parallel case.

But he could not legislate upon that which might not lawfully exist: To be a harlot and earn the wages of prostitution, were therefore lawful. This conclusion sounds oddly, when we read the remainder of the verse, " For this is an abomination unto the Lord;" or the preceding verse, " There shall be no harlot of the daughters of Israel. Let us test this principle by another case.

But if, after the father's death, the older son, who is styled bastard-eignS, enters on the estate, and enjoys it till his death, and dies seized thereof leaving issue male, that issue shall inherit the estate; and the legitimate son and his heirs are forever barred of their right to it.

The reasoning of the schoolmen, applied to this case, would be as follows: But the question now presents itself, does Moses here legislate upon the case of a man who has two wives at the same time? That our translators themselves thought otherwise, and that they actually wrote "If a man have had," and not, " If a man have," and that the word had was omitted by some mistake, is highly probable from the fact, that they say in the same verse,—" and the first-born be hers that was hated," not, " hers that is hated: Cum fuerint viro duae uxores, et pepererint filios: Si fuerint viro duas uxores, et pepererint ei filios.

I will only add, that the words rendered have had, and have borne, both in the original and in all the translations, are in the same tense, and refer to events that have already taken place.

Moses, therefore, does not here legislate upon the case of a man, who has two wives at the same lime, but upon the case of a man who has had two wives in succession, the second after the decease of the first. The third passage which has been supposed to sanction Polygamy, is a part of the message from God, delivered by Nathan to David, after his conduct to Uriah, in 2 Sam.

The only wives which Saul is said to have had, were Ahinoam, the mother of Michal David's wife, and Rizpah, the daughter of Aiah, who was his concubine.

According to this supposition, God authorized Pavid to marry his wife's mother, a species of incest expressly threatened by the Levitical Law with burning alive. David also married Michal, the daughter of Ahinoam, when he was quite young. Her very age, therefore, precludes the supposition that he afterwards married the mother. Though David's wives are repeatedly enumerated, after the death of Saul, yet there is no intimation that the wives of Saul were among them, or that he had married them.

David delivered the two sons of Rizpah to the Gibeonites, to be hung up at Gibeah, an event not very likely to have taken place, if he had made her his wife.

The phraseology, " I gave thee thy master's house family and thy master's wives into thy bosom," obviously means nothing more than that God, in his providence, gave David, as King of Israel, the possession of every thing that was Saul's,—his wives and all that he had: The history itself furnishes conclusive evidence that David never was actually married to the wives of Saul. The Levitical code, therefore contained no express repeal of that part of the Great Original Law of Marriage, which prohibited Polygamy, unless it is contained in the disputed passage of Leviticus xviii.

That passage will be examined on its own merits hereafter. We shall now inquire, whether the Practice of the Israelites proves that Polygamy was permitted by the Levitical Code; or, in other words, that the Original Law of Marriage had been repealed. As the conduct of the best men falls far below the perfect standard of the Divine Law; it is obvious that it must be an unsafe criterion, from which to determine what the Law of God is.

Especially unsafe must it be, to determine this from the conduct of licentious and profligate men; much more, if these men, live in an irregular, unsettled state of society, and are amenable to no human laws; still more, if they are possessed of absolute power; and most unsafe of all must it be, to argue from the conduct of such men, in such circumstances,— not what the Law of God is, in a case otherwise unknown, but—that an Express and Universal law, standing on the pages of the Divine statute-book, to bind the Human Race, has been repealed.

With these things in view, we will examine the actual Practice of the Israelites. Gideon, the third Judge of Israel, and a military. Jair, the fifth Judge of Israel, had thirty children. This is not conclusive evidence that he had more than one wife; and much less that he had more than one at a time. A citizen of North Carolina, a few years since, petitioned the Legislature of that state for exemption from taxes, because his wife, then living, had borne him twenty-nine children, most of whom he had educated.

One other case has been reported to me in this country, in which the same married pair had thirty children. That Jair should have had as many, by two successive wives, would have been in no respect surprising.

Ibzan, the seventh of the Judges, had thirty sons and thirty daughters. This was unquestionably a case of polygamy. Samson, the tenth Judge of Israel, after his lawful wife at Timnath had been given to another, associated with a harlot at Gaza, and afterwards with another in the valley of Sorek.

But this was not polygamy. Elkanah, a man in private life, and a good man, had two wives. We are told however that he lived "in those days when there was no king in Israel, and every man did that which was right in his own eyes.

It is said of the children or descendents of Uzzi, the grandson of Issachar, that they practised polygamy. They also lived, when " every man did that which was right in his own eyes. It was of course singular, and did not prevail generally, either in Issachar, or in Israel. Saul, the first king of Israel, had a wife and a concubine.

He was judicially cut off for his wickedness. David, the second king of Israel, had eight wives and numerous concubines. In this conduct he transgressed an express law, which forbad the king of Israel, to multiply wives unto himself. He was a good man, yet his life was deformed by various crimes of a very gross character. It is said, however, that he is styled the man after God's own heart, and that his conduct is declared to have been acceptable to God, except in the case of Uriah.

Solomon, the third king of Israel, had seven hundred wives and three hundred concubines. This was an outrageous violation of the same express law against the multiplication of wives. Rehoboam, the fourth king of Israel and the first king of Judah, had eighteen wives and sixty concubines; " and he forsook the law of the Lord, and all Israel with him.

Abijah, the second king of Judah, had fourteen wives; " and he walked in all the sins of his father, which he had done before him. Ahab, the eleventh king of Israel, had numerous wives, and seventy sons: Jehoram, the fifth king of Judah, and the son-in-law of Ahab, had several wives; " And he walked in the way of the kings of Israel, like as did the house of Ahab, and he wrought evil in the eyes of the Lord.

And he caused the inhabitants of Jerusalem to commit fornication, and he compelled Judah thereto. It is alleged that Joash, the seventh king of Judah, and the grand-son of Athaliah, had two wives at the same time; and that the account given of this fact in 2 Chron.

And Jehoiada took for him iJD, two wives; and he begat sons and daughters. The Rabbins render the passage, " And Jehoiada took unto himself i. This, if the passage refers to Jehoiada, is probable; for the language implies nothing more, than that he had two wives, without specifying when; and there is no instance on record of polygamy in a priest. If we suppose that Jehoiada took two wives for Joash, and both at the same time; still the language here used will not prove polygamy to have been sanctioned by the law of God.

It does not follow from the declaration, that " Joash did that which was right in the sight of the Lord, all the days of Jehoiada;" for, in the parallel passage in Kings, we are told, that Joash refused to abolish idolatry, during the days of Jehoiada. Of the better class of the kings of Judah, it is also said, that they did that which was right in the sight of lite Lord, during their reigns; and yet the prophets have recorded their numerous sins.

The phrase, therefore, means only, that their conduct was generally acceptable to God; but furnishes no evidence of the lawfulness of any one specific act. The fact too that Jehoiada took two wives for Joash, if it was a fact, does not prove this point. Athaliah and her son Amaziah had introduced a universal corruption of morals into Judah, and had made idolatry the religion of the court and of the nation.

That, in such a state of things, he should have yielded, in this point, to the king's wishes, when he was forced to yield in points of so much more consequence, will excite no surprise, and can furnish no evidence that polygamy had been sanctioned by the law of God. Zedekiah, the last king of Judahj had several wives. These, if I mistake not, are all the instances of polygamy on record among the Israelites.

They amount, if we include Joash, to only thirteen single instances, beside that of the children Uzzi, in a period of more than twelve hundred years. That these cases prove that the law of God permitted polygamy, is argued on four different grounds, which we will now examine.

From the number of those who practised polygamy. The actual number on record, we have seen, is thirteen single instances, beside that of the children of Uzzi, in a period of more than twelve hundred years. Were the reasoning, thus applied to the Hebrew history, to be adopted in any other case, it would lead to singular results.

The nations of Europe, during the last twelve hundred years and upwards, have professed to be Christians, and to respect the Laws of God. Yet, were a prophet of God to write the history of any one of them during that period, not excepting that of Rome itself, of its popes, cardinals, and bishops, he would detail —not thirteen, but—thirteen hundred instances of open, acknowledged, long-continued, multifarious, and yet unpunished adultery.

Yet this does not prove, that the Law of God forbidding adultery has been repealed, nor even that it is authorized by the laws of those countries. Nay, were a prophet honestly to detail the occurrences of the last thirty winters at our own capital, i.

From the Character of those who practised polygamy. It will hardly be insisted that Saul, Rehoboam, Abijah, Ahab, Jehoram, Joash, and Zedekiah had sufficient weight of character, to prove all that they did to be justifiable. Gideon's setting up and maintaining an idol at Ophrah, and seducing the Israelites to Idolatry, is at least a suspicious circumstance in his case. The fact, that Solomon's wives turned his heart from God, and led him to erect high places to idols, is no very strong circumstance in his favour, or in favour of polygamy.

We know of Ibzan and of Abdon, only that they were Judges possessed of absolute power, and that they practised polygamy. We know also of the children of Uzzi merely that they practised polygamy, just as we know of the children of Dan merely that they practised idolatry.

The character of David did not justify his conduct with Ahimelech or Achish, with Bathsheba or Uriah. Elkanah was a good man, yet not a better man than Abraham. Yet the character of Abraham does not prove his falsehoods to Abimelech and Pharaoh to be in accordance with the Law of God; neither, therefore, does the character of Elkanah prove his polygamy to be in accordance with that Law. Nhie of the thirteen single instances were instances of Absolute Monarchs, whom no earthly tribunal could call to an account, or punish, for their conduct; and three of the remaining four were those of Judges, or Military Chieftains—men equally absolute with the Monarchs of Israel.

That of Elkanah, and those of the children of Uzzi, occurred, as we have seen, in times when " every man did that which was right in his own eyes," or, in other words, had no one to call him to an account.

In each of the instances, therefore, punishment was wholly out of the question. Other crimes, however, not less heinous than this, and expressly forbidden, also escaped punishment. Yet surely this fact furnishes no evidence that murder, adultery, rape, and idolatry, were permitted, either by the laws of Israel, or the law of God. From the fact, that no Censure is pronounced on those who practised Polygamy by the scriptural writers.

We have already seen that the Original Law of Marriage universally forbad it; that Malachi severely censures the conduct, and declares that God forbad it to Man because of its demoralizing efficacy, and that Christ pronounces every one, who practises it, an adulterer.

In the instances of Jacob and Elkanah, it is exhibited as one of the principal causes of the misfortunes of their lives. Of the wives and concubines of Solomon, it is expressly said, that they turned his heart away from God. And in the cases of Saul, Rehoboam, Abijah, and Ahab, the general character of each is described as dreadfully wicked, and their polygamy is mentioned as one of the incidents of their lives.

The supposition, that those, who practised polygamy, are not censured for it, in the Scriptures, is therefore an entire mistake.

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More Essays: polygamy. Polygamy is the practice of a man taking more than one wife at the same time. Polyandry is when a woman takes more that one husband at the same time. Polyandry is rare compared to polygamy, because it is only known to be inexistence in two parts of the world.

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Polygamy in America - Polygamy is defined as “a marriage that includes more than two partners.” There are different types of polygamy, these include: polygyny, where a man has multiple wives, polyandry, in which a woman has multiple husbands, and group marriage, where a family consists of multiple husbands and wives.

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Free Essays from Bartleby | African Polygamy Of the five recognized forms of marriage in Kenyan law, three are monogamous - Christian, civil, and Hindu. Writing sample of essay on a given topic "The Disadvantages Of Polygamy".

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Jun 25,  · View and download polygamy essays examples. Also discover topics, titles, outlines, thesis statements, and conclusions for your polygamy essay. This essay primarily addresses plural marriage as practiced by the Latter-day Saints between and , following their exodus to .