Is Polygamy a Choice or Not a Choice? Interview With Rebecca Kimbel

The remarks I made in this interview are poignant.

They come directly from my heart, and are sent with

love to those who are still held in bondage.


14 thoughts on “Is Polygamy a Choice or Not a Choice? Interview With Rebecca Kimbel”

  1. I see that on this blog that you focus on the aspect that women down’t have a choice, and that they are coerced into living polygamy. You leave out the aspect of religion and/or what the Bible teaches about polygamy altogether. I have talked with many people who leave polygamy who also come to the same place. They don’t want to address religion and what they now believe about it. Not all people of course take this position. People like Doris Hanson make it clear what their position is regarding their beliefs about Christianity. I was curious about what you now believe about Christianity. Are you now a professed Christian, also known as born again Christian? Do you now believe in the Bible? If so, what do you believe it says about polygamy? I know that this is a controversial issue in our society, and that may be why many people choose not to focus on their beliefs about religion, and instead argue why it should not be accepted in society in terms that are not based on religion or a person’s faith, as you are doing. I have heard what professed Christians say about polygamy, and I find it interesting that for the most part, they don’t give a true picture of how and why polygamy was lived in the Bible, that it was not at all like the Mormon based groups live it. The truth is that the Jewish culture endorsed a one wife model for marriage. Polygamy was the exception not the rule. When it was lived it was only done as a surrogate mother system, when a woman was not able to bear children she obtained her children through allowing her husband to lie with her slave, and the children born belonged to the legitimate wife, not the concubine slave who was really only a surrogate mother for the one legitimate wife, as was the case with Sarah and Hagar. God didn’t command or condone this surrogate mother system either, nor did He command or condone slavery. To be consistent with why and how polygamy was lived in the Bible would require that only the first wife is the legitimate wife, and all of the other women are only concubines, whose purpose is to bear children for the legitimate first wife. The concubines had no inheritance rights. They were not considered to be legitimate heirs. Only the first wife was considered legitimate. A concubine is a woman who cohabits with a man who is not legally married. A correct understanding of this supports the Jewish custom of a one wife model as God established in Genesis. I did a study on this issue once.

    1. Thanks for your comments and questions. You are right. I definitely believe fundamental Mormon Polygamy does not offer a “choice.” As I’ve stated, it’s do it or you’ll be damned. The major doctrine being: the 132 Sect. of the LDS Doctrine and Covenants. I talk about or focus on what the Bible teachers, as Doris does, because that is not my mission in this life. I’ll leave that to the Bible scholars and those who have studied it and know way more than I do about what it says and doesn’t say. I agree that the Bible God never commandment polygamy as LDS Doctrine teaches. I learned from Doris’s show and a few other Christian friends who study the Bible, that Polygamy in the Bible was lived because of men’s lust and greed and or of Hagar’s impatience with God to provide her with the son she was promised. Just a few examples of polygamy that inevitably led to tragic and heartaches. . .
      I’d sure hate to be the concubine! I feel so sorry for those who are!

      Please go to to listen to many of our archived “Conversations With Kristyn Decker @ Polygamy Uncensored.” There’s one with Lisa Seville, who talks about the Bible and Polygamy. It’s really good.  PU is live each Wednesday a.m. at 10:00. Best wishes always.


  2. Dear Kristyn, I read your book and I’m so glad that you have been able to build the life you want since leaving plural marriage. I wanted to ask you about the biblical teachings upon which plural marriage might be based.
    The FLDS and other plural marriage groups seem to cite some of the ancient biblical fathers who had more than one wife as the justification for their practice of plural marriage. Do they never discuss the turmoil associated with those relationships in the Bible? Abraham had two wives, but their ongoing competition and hostility toward each other continues today in the animosity between Jews (the descendents of Isaac) and Muslims (the descendents of Ishmael). Jacob had two wives, but the turmoil between their respective sons led to Joseph being sold into slavery by his brothers. Solomon had many wives and so did David, and both of their families experienced tremendous inter-familial conflict, including fratricide. How do the leaders of the various polygamous communities reconcile their “commandment” to live plural marriage because it is a blessing with the stories of human suffering often engendered within the plural marriages chronicled in the Bible?

    1. Thanks for your question and comments. We grew up with the teachings that say “We believe in the Bible, so long as it is translated correctly.” That let the fundamentalists off the hook about what the Bible really said. But most, like me, had no idea that the original Bible didn’t condone or command polygamy. That’s GREAT to know.

    2. I agree with the Bible’s take on polygamy. Most p never study the Bible. We only go by what we were taught or told about Joseph Smith’s teachings and that the Bible was not translated correctly, so they justify polygamy using the Bible also.

  3. The panel came from crazy clans steed from the jeffs that’s a no brainer why he left then one from the incestous clan no wonder she left one from a fake prophet Jezze people get a clue sure they left don’t blame them a bit

  4. God made Eve out of the rib of Adam to be by his side not from his butt or feet to be behind or under his feet but to be an equal partner in the world

  5. And I want to add- that in all christian religions, women are the submissive ones. They are their husbands compliment. They are there to be supportive, and yes- they ought to be listened to – the head of the house is the husband and in the end, his say so stands. That is what the bible says – paraphrased.

    1. Poetic,

      While it may be true that all Christian religions teach women to be ‘submissive’, that doesn’t mean it’s right or what Christ taught. Christ taught total equality, not only in marriage, but in all things, by his teaching of the Golden Rule and his teachings on love. Inequality in any way is not love. And what man would want done to him what he does or expects of his wife? Especially in something like polygamy. I surely don’t know any men who would want it, let alone put up with it.

      And what man would want to be told that he should be ‘submissive’ to the woman and let her make all the decisions and he should just be there to support her. The Golden Rule proves how false that teaching is.

      The idea that women should be submissive to the man but not the other way around, is just a teaching of men, promoted for 6000 years. Even some of the writers in the New Testament, like Paul, taught this falsehood, because that it was so ingrained in the society of their day. I was common for almost all me to abuse their wives to some degree in those days, either by expecting them to be submissive or by things like polygamy or divorce. They didn’t understand Christ’s teachings or his Golden Rule or what Christlike love was really like.

      It has always been very rare to find a man or church who really follows Christ and teaches his true Gospel without the falsehoods of men mingled in.

      I don’t know of any Christian Church today that really teaches Christ’s pure & correct Gospel. For if they did who would attend? And who would lead it for free? For it doesn’t allow for payment for preaching or serving. Christ’s Gospel is not easy nor pleasing to the carnal man, so it’s very rare for anyone to be willing to live or preach it.

  6. I am not a polygamist. I have not been one. I am just listening to your reasons against it, and in all reality – all religion, including mainstream christianity – which I am a christian – uses fear of heaven and hell too, when it comes to causing congregation members to adhere. Also- you said some polygamist families ‘make it work’ and then you went on how it shouldnt have to be made to work. Well.. all successful marriages are made to work. Marriage is work. If you choose to be a sister wife in a plural marriage – you have things that you know that you will have to work on to get over feelings. But you made the choice- so you try. Just like any marriage. If you say I do… then you work on it. You do the most you can to make it work. You dont just walk away when it gets rough. I am not a polygamist, but I have been married- and our marriage has been work.We had to get to know eachother, work through issues. Pick and choose our battles. I have watched sister wives on netflix, and they may have added struggles to overcome – but they are trying. I actually have a friend who is not religious and chose to accept her friends offer to join her marriage. So far they seem okay, without the threat of heaven or hell. In life you will find religious leaders, and community leaders that have abused their positions. The football coach on Pennsylvania- not any better than Warren Jeffs. But people do not blame all football and all colleges. Abuse happens every where, and by the ‘best’ people and to the ‘best’ people. Yes, I admit – for me – polygamy is against the bible and God’s will. But to others it is not. If they are adults and their children are not abused. Then it’s not our place to judge them – God judges. Also – again – you said its not a kids choice = that it is taught to them, and they will lose their family and go to hell for not listening. Well – all christian religions have the same tactics. Again, i am a christian – but lets be honest

    1. Hello Poetic V. Thanks for your comments. I do agree with you that to “choose” to live polygamy would be okay for consenting adults if they can leave w/o feeling or believing they will go to hell. But for MOST – including the “Sister Wives” it was ingrained in them from birth. I also agree that marriages should be worked with – but not “made to work” to the point of abuse and unhappiness. That is what I was referring to when it should be “made” for forced to work. My first p marriage lasted nearly 33 years. However I like the idea of a total partnership in a monogamous marriage as I am so grateful to be in now. My husband and I share in the decision making and love to please each other.

  7. Hi Sarah S,
    You are so right. That was exactly the point I was trying to make on the panel. They had read my book and blogs and chose to focus their rebuttals about choice to counter things I have said and yet, like you recognize, it is not free will choice when they believe living polygamy is contingent on their salvation or going to hell w/o their family and children.

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