Polygamist group issues voter guide

Polygamist group issues voter guide

SALT LAKE CITY – One of Utah’s original voting blocs – polygamists – is attempting to re-establish its political influence after more than a century of largely trying to go unnoticed.

To do so, Communities in Harmonyoffsite, an alliance of representatives from various Utah polygamous groups, has issued a voter guide to assist Utah’s polygamists with election day decision-making.

“We need the candidates to know that they are just as accountable to us as they are to other constituents,” Carlene Cannon, the group’s spokeswoman and a member of the Davis County Cooperative Society, which practices polygamy.

Polygamy and the Birth of Mormon Fundamentalism
Joseph Smith, founder of the Mormon Church, described plural marriage as part of “the most holy and important doctrine ever revealed to man on earth” and taught that a man needed at least three wives to attain the “fullness of exaltation” in the afterlife. He warned that God had explicitly commanded that “all those who have this law revealed unto them must obey the same … and if ye abide not that covenenant, then are ye damned; for no one can reject this covenant and be permitted to enter into my glory.
John Krakauer, Under The Banner of Heaven, Doubleday (July 15, 2003), pages 5, 6.
However, the god of Mormonism — a religion that, theologically, is a cult of Christianity — constantly changes his mind; reason why the doctrines of the Mormon Church often change (interestingly, whenever doing so is convenient to the Mormon Church).
The Mormon Church’s rejection (sort of…) of polygamy directly led to the formatation of various sects of Mormonism. Though the the LDS/Mormon Church disavows them, collectively these sects are referred to as Mormon Fundamentalists.
As a matter of fact, the doctrines and practices of Mormon Fundamentalists are closer to those of the original Mormon Church than are the doctrines and practices of today’s Mormon Church.

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Polygamy is a legacy of the early Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Known commonly as Mormons, the faith brought the practice here in the 1840s, but abandoned it in 1890 as a condition of statehood. Self-described fundamentalist Mormons continue to believe the principle brings glorification in heaven and maintain the practice mostly in secret.

But recent events, including the successful criminal prosecutions of several men, have many fundamentalists placing a renewed focus on participating in the political process. In 2005, the Utah courts took over a polygamous church’s property trust and this year, a highly publicized raid on the same sect’s Eldorado, Texas ranch left more than 400 children in state custody.

The voter guide is the fourth produced. This year the survey questioned political candidates at all levels of state and federal government on political ethics and civil rights.

“Those of us watching at home in disbelief tried to comprehend that here in America; the land of the free, our own people were treated as if they were cattle and hauled off by military force – a picture of hate for a people misunderstood,” a section of the voters guide says. “The iron fist the state of Texas extended was not an accident. Our own public officials bragged about the assistance they gave to Texas officials.”

According to Cannon, an informal survey estimates 37,000 polygamists and their children live in Utah, which has a population of about 2.7 million.

The voter project initially grew out of advocacy work begun about six years ago by polygamous women who sought to forge a better relationship with state officials and agencies.

– Source: Polygamist group issues voter guide, Jennifer Dobner, AP via the San Angelo Standard Times (Texas, USA), Nov. 3, 2008 — Summarized by Religion News Blog
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Religion News Blog posted this on Monday November 3, 2008.
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