Letter: Churches have different views on polygamy

Published 1:53 pm Saturday, July 26, 2008

A comment was made last month that it was my misunderstanding to conclude the FLDS continue their polygamy “because of a maze of confusion” in the LDS scriptures. It’s easy for the writer to accuse me of misunderstanding, but he’s not made a good case for that charge. For instance, specifically what have I misunderstood in sharing forthrightly the varying passages? The writer never actually takes issue with the points I made. Instead he diverts the issue away from polygamy into an argument for living prophets. He states the importance of listening to and following the living prophet who receives direction from God. A legitimate question then is this: If his living prophet decreed it was once again a requirement for Mormons to practice polygamy to gain a higher level in the afterlife, would he comply? The LDS believe they have a living prophet telling them the FLDS are apostate for continuing polygamy. The FLDS believe they have a living prophet te lling them the LDS are apostate for rejecting polygamy, hence the maze of confusion. Neither the LDS nor the FLDS feel confused because each believes and obeys the pronouncements of their living prophets. Nevertheless, the conflicting scriptures and prophetic utterances indeed continue to “fan the flames” in this convoluted polygamous system. It’s resulted in two churches, both believing in Joseph Smith, the Book of Mormon, and latter-day revelation, but having totally disparate views of 21st century polygamy. That’s their legacy.

B. Kent Larson

Stewartville, Minn.

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