“A …good understanding… made me less angry”

Impact:  A very good understanding of the overall polygamy dynamics during [Joseph’s] time… actually made me less angry about polygamy surprisingly. It gave me an insight to his actions and why he did what he did, but there were times that I was still angered by his behavior, especially his secrecy with Emma. I was surprised by the secrecy that went on among Emma’s close friends as well. Many of them were married to Joseph and hid it from her. Joseph lied. Emma’s friends lied to her regularly. [I learned] the intricate dynamics and weird triangles of people involved in lying to keep polygamy secret and hidden. There is no way a prophet could pull off today what Joseph did. I …especially [found fascinating] the practice of the dynastic celestial sealings. I still have a lot of unanswered questions, but I ultimately have a better understanding. The reason why I was so fascinated with polygamy was because my ancestors are all Mormon pioneers who came across the plains and settled in Utah. I have a ton of polygamy in my ancestry on both sides of my family. I wanted to understand what my ancestors went through in practicing polygamy. I became obsessed with studying it for a while last year. I was shocked to discover that it was not true that there was a surplus of women which was the reason I was told polygamy was practiced. But I shouldn’t have been that surprised considering all the other stuff I didn’t know:) I think when [one is] studying subjects as complicated as polygamy, it’s important to read as much as you possibly can. I found out really quick when I started on my faith crisis that having little information was dangerous. I was reading a little bit here and a little bit there which sent me over the edge without knowing how to process it. Not saying that I still know how to process it all now, but it’s been much easier to process and understand things by immersing myself in studying the history.

Name: Alyson

Date: 24 July 2014

Impact Topic: Polygamy

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