<== Site Review (2016-03-06) ==>
FLDS and Mormons
Occasionally one encounters Christian evangelists who make bold affirmative statements that Mormons are not Christian as Mormons have a scripture with some fundamental differences than the Bible.
Mormon theology, of course, holds that traditional Christian churches were perverted by popes and others and that the Mormon church has a reformed scripture.
The site FLDS and Mormons makes a bold declarative statement that members of the FLDS community are not really Mormon because they broke away from the mainstream LDS Church after Wilford Woodruff issued a manifesto against polygamy.
The FLDS claims the manifesto against polygamy was a political compromise and not divine law. The polygamy page on LDS.org says that Woodruff's revelation was that the LDS Church would suffer if it did not renounce polygamy:
On September 25, 1890, President Woodruff wrote in his journal that he was â€œunder the necessity of acting for the Temporal Salvation of the Church.â€
[ ... ]
â€œThe Lord showed me by vision and revelation,â€ he later said, â€œexactly what would take place if we did not stop this practice,â€ referring to plural marriage. â€œAll the temples [would] go out of our hands.â€ God â€œhas told me exactly what to do, and what the result would be if we did not do it.â€
There is wiggle room here, so the FLDS can claim that the manifesto was driven by political expediency is not a divine commandment.
The nature of the manifesto not only gives the FLDS wiggle room to claim that they are Mormon. The claims that manifesto was issued for political reason for fundamentalists to claim that, not only are they LDS, they are the true followers in the tradition of Joseph Smith and Brigham Young.
Fundamentalists on the Fringe
Because Mormon Fundamentalists engage in the illegal activity (plural marriage), members of the FLDS Church tend to lead an extra legal life on the fringe of society.
As plural marriage it not recognized by the state, plural wives show up on the books as single parents and often qualify for welfare benefits.
As FLDS members feel themselves persecuted by the state, many feel justified to use welfare benefits to the fullest extent.
Anti-polygamist groups routinely report about wide scale welfare abuse. The link claims that a polygamist in Hillsdale had 15 wives on welfare.
Cracking Down and Hunger
According to Good for Utah reports that attempts by the state to crack down on welfare abuse this last year have led to many large families to be without food.
Food banks, such as the Rescue Mission of Apple Valley have been making pleas for assistance.
My take is that the hunger is real. The root of the problem is a culture that encourages people to have huge families that they unable to feed.
Problems Are Difficult
The polygamy issue has created a huge social problem for Utah. There is no easy solution to the problem.
The unfortunate truth is that social experiments like the Mormon experiment with polygamy end up playing out in the empty stomachs of children.
Hunger is a real problem. It is solved by figuring out how to get food to the excessively large families in polygamist sects while encouraging smaller family size.
Encouraging smaller family size is best done by encouraging women to go to college instead of having kids in their teens.
The problem is not solved by name-games like the absurd game of pretending that the FLDS are not Mormon. Fundamentalists are not only Mormon, the fundamentalists are what Mormonism is fundamentally. They are the ones by following the path laid out by Joseph Smith and Brigham Young.
Marginalizing a segment of the community does not solve social issues. Disparaging people and casting them out tends to make social issues worse.