Friday, April 20, 2012

More Nonsense

My god. Morning just happens every day. Have you noticed that?
So far.
One day it won't. For me, at least.
I wonder what happens when you die. I'm not obsessed with knowing but it's a curious thing to contemplate. Frankly, I'm hoping it's like sleep only unlike sleep, you don't have bad dreams or any dreams at all. I mean, I get pretty worn out and call me crazy but I think one unit of life is probably enough for me. I have no desire to wear any golden slippers OR meet god OR greet former loved ones. I mean, really? Why would I want to see my father?

I'm reading a book (with my ears) which is absolutely one of the most ambitious books I've ever read. It's called The Nineteenth Wife and it was written by David Ebershoff. It's got entwined narratives about polygamy and Mormonism in the old days and in the now-days. The nineteenth wife refers to one of Brigham Young's wives, a woman named Ann Eliza Young who was, in fact, a real historical person who actually lived and who married Brigham Young (she may have been his 19th wife or she may have been his 57th wife, it's impossible to tell) but she got sick and damn tired of polygamy and she left the church and she wrote a book and she went on a lecture tour across the US, ending up in Washington, DC where she spoke before Congress and helped get the anti-polygamy laws established. It was after these laws came into effect that the Mormon church got a new revelation from their god telling them that it was no longer cool to marry more than one woman.

Anyway, the funny thing to me is that Brigham convinced his followers that celestial marriage (which is what they called the polygamous marriage) was god's real true desire and unless you were part of one, you would not go to heaven. The celestial kingdom, as it were.

And yes, people believed this crap.

And cared about it too.

So there were men who had many, many wives and god knows how many children and of course, as we know, there are still fundamentalist groups practicing this celestial marriage stuff out in the desert and when the boys get old enough to start being a threat to the old men they toss them out on the street of St. George, Utah, or whatever the biggest nearby city is because the old men want ALL the women, especially the young pretty ones.
And women allow this to happen. They allow themselves to be taken into "marriage" with these old prophets and dudes and they allow their sons to be taken from them and quite literally thrown away.


See, this is the problem with religion to me. You do things that make no sense because of a vague promise of eternal...something.

And yes, I am aware that people do really fine, loving things in the name of religion too but if you do something for eternal reward, is that better than just doing it because it's the right thing to do?

But the book is interesting and the author does a good job of maintaining the story lines and characters and some of his characters are devout Mormons who are dedicated to service and truth (as they see it) and some are street-kids who got tossed out of a sect and some are non-believers and I'm enjoying listening to it as I clean and garden and walk and so forth.

I'll be sort of sad for it to end.

When I was a young'un, I had a Mormon friend. I knew nothing about Mormonism at all but someone told me that Mormons used to have lots of wives (the men, that is) and so I asked my friend about that and she told me that it had been necessary back in the olden days because so many of the men had been killed by Indians when they went west to establish their kingdom.
There just weren't enough men to go around and so they had to marry lots of women so they could take care of them. It was a sacrifice which they made in order to protect the women and ensure the population.


I didn't really buy that explanation then as a child but my friend seemed to. She didn't wear holy underwear. She just wore regular underpants and bras and half slips. I wonder how they got away with that. She also had a lavender bedroom. I mean everything in it was lavender. They were a nice family, though. I especially liked the daddy. He seemed gentle and funny and hardworking. He wasn't born a Mormon but had become one when he married his wife.
I wonder what happened to Linda Sue. I think she went to Brigham Young University and became a nurse and got married in the Temple and so forth. She's probably still a Mormon and has lovely grandchildren, just like me, and probably still believes quite fervently that she shall be entering the Celestial Kingdom when she dies.

Hey Linda Sue!

Well, good morning. Not sure what I'm doing today but the chickens need putting outside so I guess I'll go load up my shopping bag and take them out there and make sure they have water and food and shade and so forth. I need to go for a walk and then maybe I'll get my Owen boy.

It's a beautiful morning. I can't even really imagine a Celestial Kingdom being much better. Maybe I just don't have a good enough imagination.

Happy Friday, y'all.

Love...Ms. Moon


  1. Hmmm, Polygamy. In principle I am against it when it concerns people who do not really want it. But when I look at Sisterwives (coming from American tele) I think that they have such a wonderful thing going on. I often wondered if I would like to have Sister wives? Maybe... Maybe not... I guess it depends on how jealous your character is, and how good the man is to share himself with 4 wives and 15 kids...
    When I read about that sekt in Arizona (which is a sekt, not a true polygamist - with a lot of abuse and old men getting married to young kids) - my skin crawls... I need to read that book Ms Moon. Thanks for sharing the title!

  2. I can see that one male fertilizing many females just as in the crab and shrimp world. I think polygamy exists in other societies as well so there must be a sociological reason for it. Do Mormons use Viagra? Those old dudes must be keeping big pharma going.

  3. My niece converted to Mormonism. the first thing they do is separate you from your family if your family isn't Mormon. Her 2nd and 3rd husbands were Mormon. the 2nd turned out to be a drug addict and the 3rd turned out to have anger issues and was verbally and emotionally abusive. She finally left the church, said converts were never really truly accepted as one of them no matter the lip service.

    I've often wondered how those Mormon men support all those wives and children.

  4. Mormonistm is a fascinating mystery to a lot of religions.

    I grew up with a lot of Mormon kids. My favorite was a passel of a dozen or something boys whose last name was Buffington. They had lost their father, and their mom worked her tail off to raise those kids. She was neat. They lived in a big old house right across the street from their town's one strip club, which was called "Lookin' Cool". The sign had an electronic eye that winked.

    They all turned out all right. One of them is big in the Democrats in Washington. Not sure if he's still Mormon.

    Have you read Krakauer's Under the Banner of Heaven? Oooooh, it's good.

  5. There are so many things in life that we take for granted because that is how we have been told is the way it should be. If it works for us or even if we only think it does, we don't question it.

    I think death should be pretty simple and easy because everything that lives goes there. I would not concern yourself with having to see your father - seeing loved ones implies that you really loved them. Maybe we end up in the best dream we can imagine.

  6. I've read that book! I got it when I was in Salt Lake City, in the airport, and I figured well...when in Rome.

    It's a good one. It's got a twist ending!

  7. Shout out from S.L.C.! (Salt Lake City, Utah)

    Hey- I was raised by a liberal San Francisco hippy in the monochromatic world of Utah. It's freakier when you're behind the Zion curtain because people think it's NORMAL. Also, the politics here suck ass.


    Oh! I was great friends with a Fundamentalist Mormon (polygamist) girl. Her family was paranoid, but self-sufficient. All home schooled with "science" books that told them dinosaur bones fell off another planet and onto earth. *sigh*

  8. @Kate, I want to hear more about these alien dinosaur bones.

  9. There IS more nonsense every day, we have our very own brand of it with a politician from the West named Michele Mulherin, who has helped to vote out the possibility of women whose lives are endangered by their pregnancy being allowed to have abortions in Ireland. She says that most unwanted pregnancies are a result of 'fornication' and calls for a return to abstinence to solve the problem.

    The Mormon thing is more incomprehensible, I suppose, but at least it's entertaining.

  10. I read that book a while back and really enjoyed it. I'm fascinated by Mormons, as you know. There's a funny article that someone wrote that explains the fascination of the Mormon wife blogger. It's wild and nutty. I feel like most of my knowledge, though, comes from Big Love, so I can't be counted on to be an authority on the subject!

  11. I tend to believe that group marriages can only work if everyone is into everyone, not 4 or 5 people into one person.

  12. Well, if there is a heaven, no one who behaved to children as your father did will be in it.

    A former Mormon friend of mine explained a lot of this to me, and she is scared to death of any Mormon running for higher office.

  13. I gobbled this post up like crazy. Hey Linda Sue.
    You're a good writer, you tell a great story and I loved how it ended with a foray out into chicken world.
    One rooster, lotta hens.
    Sometimes i think one husband is more than one wife cn handle though.

    love d


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