What madness didn’t TLC reveal about the Brown and Darger trip with 50 people? It looked like the huge polygamous families seemed to have pulled the group excursion off pretty well.
I have to say that I was somewhat impressed with both household patriarchs. Though the Brown family is consistently in “a state of shear chaos” and “not as organized as the Dargers,” Kody is not quite as controlling as gestapo Joe. He’s big, bald and intimidating,” and “knows the most in every situation,” just like his tough is polygamous father was. But Kody sticks to his guns. After too many abusive situations in the kitchen; that his family “may never heal from,” Kody allows his wives their “distinct personality differences. He won’t require them to “sacrifice their identities” for one large cooperative kitchen that won’t make them “better off as a family.”
The Darger/Brown “Plyg-cation,” (as Mary called it,) to Ocean Side made me think of the innumerable trips those two families have separately experienced over the past many years. I am happy for them, and for their children. Yet my heart felt heavy with envy for their relatives, friends, neighbors, and other polygamous families whom, in the past and today, can barely put bread on their tables without government assistance; let alone take their families on expensive vacations.
My mother is on the far right holding one of her nieces.
Last week on Sister Wives, Christine said her grandfather spent time in prison and “never did get his family back.” Not so. In 1945 Christine’s grandfather—my Uncle Rulon Allred, did spend time in the Utah State Penitentiary for living polygamy. To procure an early release, he and several polygamous men who’d been arrested, signed a legal contract swearing to never go back to their plural wives. Sanctioned by the fundamentalist proclamation that “God’s laws are higher than the laws of the land,” those men gathered their plural wives and children back together and started pro-creating once again.
My Uncle Rulon continued to take more wives and have more children. His first wife divorced him because he was too inundated with his religious/plural beliefs and duties. In the early 50s the men who spent time in prison together severed their religious brotherhood and started the AUB and the FLDS groups. It was during that time, that another wife left him to adhere to her FLDS father and prophet’s dogmas.
Joseph Darger and his wives grandfathers also spent time in prison for the same “cause.” The “government will separate us,” we were constantly threatened by our parents. Those relentless threats kept polygamists feeling “persecuted for righteousness sake,” and served a wondrous purpose–to keep a strong-hold on our beliefs. In at least 56 years, no one (that I know of,) has been arrested for living polygamy – only.
Mary, Christine and Robin Brown, Joe, Valerie, Vicki and Alena Darger, all grew up with the polygamous convictions of their parents and grandparents. All of them were taught, as I was, that Joseph Smith received a revelation from God, (Sect 132 LDS Church Doctrine and Covenants,) stating that polygamy must be lived.
4 For behold, I reveal unto you a new and an everlasting covenant; and if ye abide not that covenant, then ye are damned; for no one can reject this covenant and be permitted to enter into my glory.
“We don’t look at relationships like everyone else.” Joe Darger stated. “This is an eternal commitment—eternal. This isn’t just for a little while here on earth. This is like what we’re doing for ever…”
I’ve heard it said, “You are as free as your choices.” Is do it—abide the covenant or else—be damned really a choice?
Today, yesterday and forever more, I am more grateful than I have words to express, that “I no longer hold to any religion or ideology where belief systems require and assume that our highest aspirations – happiness, fulfillment and liberations lie in the future, and therefore justify present enslavement, dominance, suppression and suffering.”
Thanks to Eckhart Tolle, I have the words to express the truth. I pray for the day others will find it as well.