Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Spring Is In The Air

After being treated so kindly by the polygamists, it did not take long for me to realize that I really enjoyed their company, and felt as though I had finally found a home.

One day I was on my way to my cousin's wedding, and I drifted off to sleep for just a few minutes (I was not driving). In my dream I saw a beautiful face. The face of an angel. She turned, smiled at me and said hello. And I woke. The thing with this dream was that I could not get that beautiful smile out of my mind. Every time I closed my eyes, I could see that smile. It never faded like other dreams.

Then a few hours later while at the wedding, I held the door open for a few people who were headed outside. One of the girls stopped in the doorway, turned, smiled at me, and said hello. I was stunned. It was the same beautiful face I saw in my dream, with that same gorgeous smile. So I thought I would put my foot in my mouth. All I could think of to say was, "I saw you in a dream." And the response was, "I've heard that one before."

That was the very first time that my wife and I met. And the very first time that we had ever seen each other in this lifetime.

With a little time and a few more miracles, she consented to spend the rest of her life hanging around with me. It is pretty hard on a fella's confidence to know that he was not much of a catch and needed so many miracles to win a girl's heart, and yet at the same time how could I not feel blessed that the Lord would help me out so much. [Sometimes my dog won't play with me either, unless I have a bone for him. As a child, I loved that ugly duckling story, and I am still waiting for my metamorphosis.]

Married life began as quite the challenge. There were many obstacles to overcome. My own baggage was bad enough, but my beloved had her full share of challenges too. She was raised in a "monogamous" family, who belonged to a mainstream christian elitist religion. There were many terrible things that she had to endure as a child, and out of respect for her I will only mention a small example just to illustrate the difficulties. Her "monogamous" parents did not pay much attention to their children and would ship them out to whoever. Her brother used to bring one of his friends home to ... do terrible things to her. It was so prevalent that her dad would watch TV in the same room and just let it go on. Terrible things were experienced in her own house and even in her own church by too many different people. An elitist church that claims to have the only power on earth to save souls, and yet supports such activity???

With time and a lot of patience on both sides, we overcame a host of challenges and life was moving along wonderfully. At one time I had a 45 minute commute to work, and I always rushed home to see my family. One day, I couldn't wait to get home to talk about a great idea I had, and as I entered the house I saw my wife wiping the tears from her eyes and instantly my heart sank. I asked my beloved bride what was wrong, and quickly looked around the room for the children. They were fine and came bounding across the room to greet me. Again I asked what the matter was, but still got no answer. How could I go on, knowing that something was so terribly wrong, and not be able to help. I persisted, and as her eyes filled with tears once again, my love told me of the cause of her sadness. She said that she was crying because I had only one wife and that she wanted me to enter plural marriage. What could I do? Once again I was caught completely off guard.

I was astonished that she wanted to enter into such a challenging marriage situation. I mean, I loved the polygamists. I loved their kindness, their compassion, their love of their children, and their faith, but I never thought that my wife, who had grown up in a "monogamous" house hold, in a "monogamous" church, and had lived through so much, would have the strength, or even the desire to pursue such a lofty principle.

It takes a noble woman to overcome the covetous nature of the world, all the jealousies and pettiness, that plague the self-centred american culture. In today's culture, most "monogamous" marriages end in divorce, the spouses being so selfish and self centred, cannot even live up to the least of the virtues. And yet, in the midst of that turmoil, there are a precious few wonderful women who strive for the holier aspects and seek the higher virtues. There is no doubt, some of the women who enter into plural marriages are among the most noble of spirits.

Face to Face with the Polygamous Beast

I don't know if there is something in the water, or what the reason is, but the mountains certainly seem to attract a great variety of philosophical extremes in the people there.

I met so many different people, with so many different philosophies, and that certainly included many different beliefs about marriage. I met some people who believed that marriage was no business of the government, and they followed an aboriginal custom of the Paux (spelling?). It is a simple custom: The two in love would decide if they wanted to marry and would make their covenants to each other and announce their marriage at a community function, or to their families.

A woman that I worked with had two husbands. The marriage seemed to work for them and they were normal people. They had a unique arrangement, one husband worked in a mine and was on a two week in - two week out schedule for work. During the two weeks that he was home, the other husband moved out to a different house, then during the two weeks that he was in the mine, the other husband moved in to the wife's house. It was an interesting arrangement.

There were lots of free love spirits (the spirit of the 60's is still strong in the mountains) who did not believe in any formal type of marriage, just a whole lot of free love. These people reminded me most of the "monogamous" families from my childhood. They would speak of freedom to do as they wanted, and that no one should interfere with them, but in the next breath put down another's point of view. Blatantly hypocritical, but still there were a few nice people among them.

Then came the time that I met a mormon polygamous family. I was prepared for the worse. Surely they would immediately strive to kidnap me, then brain wash me, and then turn me into one of their drones, stealing my individuality and turning me into a monster. I waited. And waited. And they did not kidnap me. I watched them closely. Surely they were just biding their time and trying to gain my confidence and then they would pounce. But no matter how long I waited, they did not molest me. The monogamists that raised me were wrong!

I waited patiently to see all the classical signs of abuse, but never saw any. I could not believe it. I was told by my "monogamous" parents and "monogamous" church that these polygamists were devils, demons disguised as people. But where were the abused children? Where were the cigarette burns on their hands? Why could they sit down without wincing in pain from being whipped? I did not believe that they were acting normal. Perhaps they were just faking everything while I was around. Of course I don't know how they could have healed the bruises and black eyes instantly. Perhaps because it was all a lie. Perhaps my monogamous family, and monogamous churches were wrong.

Well, if I could not find the signs of abuse in the children, surely it would show among the women. Those chattel who were traded back and forth between men. There was no way that they could hide the abuse and the mental damage that the media swore up and down was being committed. After all, according to the "monogamous" media, each polygamous man had a grand elevated gold plated throne in his house that he sat in, while his harem of women mulled about his feet, fulfilling his every whim. And if one of his wives batted an eyelash, then according to the stories that the "monogamous" told, the man would have his wife stripped naked and beat, then sold or traded to another man, only to start the entire proceedure all over again.

Being raised in a red-neck society, I was certainly familiar with the sight of abused women, and I was looking. But the problem was that not all polygamous families were actually polygamous. They believed in the doctrine, but not all of them practiced that principle. There were many families with perhaps two wives, sometimes three, but that was it. There were stories of men who had many more wives than that, but I have not met them in person. So maybe they are the ones with the throne rooms??? Anyway, there were many different types of women and they each had their own personalities, just like in "monogamous" society. There were many different body shapes and sizes, and different hair styles, different makeup, different shoes, and all the sorts of things that women like. The women even had straight teeth and fillings, and some even wore glasses. Now I could not figure out how they were so oppressed and never allowed to have anything, if they were free to go to the dentist and the optometrist. Another "monogamous" lie.

On the internet, I searched and found different blogs, and message boards, and chat rooms that polygamous families inhabited, and I joined some of them. Which is ironic in itself, since the "monogamous" media likes to point out how the mormon polygamous women are not allowed to watch TV, use the internet, have cell phones, etc. I can only ask, how are they on the internet if they are not allowed to use the internet? How do they know what happened on a TV show if they are not allowed to watch TV? How do we talk on the phone in the car, if they are not allowed to have cell phones?

The cell phone one is quite ironic. During the raid in Texas, where the government invaded a mormon polygamous community, and abducted hundreds of children at gun point, even the cops believed the media that polygamists were so oppressed that they did not understand cell phones and computers. They believed it so much that they did not think to thoroughly search their victims for and take away the cell phones of the teenage girls (whom they think are oppressed and uneducated and not allowed to use cell phones). And it was from those teenagers that we now have pictures of the inside of their prisons. The girls took the pictures with their cell phones and emailed them to the outside. They sent text messages to people on the outside, telling us what was happening to them. (Which pictures also helped fight against the lies that the government people were telling the media, concerning the treatment of the abducted children.) It is amazing how well, the girls knew how to use a cell phone, and take pictures, and text messages, since the "monogamous" media has been brain washing the american public into believing that the women in polygamy were oppressed and were forbidden to use technology.

There are unhappy women though. There are women in polygamous marriages who are just not happy with their situation and want out. And some get out. There are women in monogamous marriages who are just not happy with their situation and want out. And some get out. There are some women in polygamous marriages who perhaps should not be there. Just like there are some women in monogamous marriages who perhaps should not be there. There may even be women in polygamous marriages who are mean, spiteful, jealous, covetous, and even self serving, just like the women in monogamous marriages. And when they don't get their way, they throw their temper tantrum, divorce their husbands, and then try to hurt them where ever they can do the most damage. Not much different from monogamous society. In fact, exactly the same.

If I can just digress for a moment. If there is any abuse, whether it is in a polygamous family, a monogamous family, or even a "monogamous" family, then help should be offered. No one, no matter what the marital situation, or religious situation, should have to live with abuse.

Yet, much to my surprize, I could not find the abuse that I was brainwashed into believing was there. I was raised in a very low class neighbourhood, and I saw the psychological damage that occured from abuse, but I have never seen that damage among the polygamists. Now I do not want to downplay anyone's suffering. There are good and bad in all cultures, and I will not say that there have not been cases of abuse among polygamous cultures, but I do stand by my conviction that there is not the level of abuse present that the "monogamous" cultures claim there is among the polygamous.

The polygamous women are the same as any other women. They have the same freedoms as any one. They can come and go, drive cars, have careers, and get educations, and run for political office if they want. They do not spend all their time dressed in harem gowns and dancing in circles in front of their husbands. By now, you can imagine that I was losing faith in my "monogamous" upbringing and the elitist mentality of the churches that I had belonged to.

Surely the men would be no different than those I had grown up with. My own dad was abusive and lazy and indolent, as well as an alcoholic and smoker. He would womanize and spend his time and money in taverns, leaving his children with very little to eat. But at least he was a "monogamist", and not as evil as a polygamist.

If you can imagine how much an honourable "monogamous" man has to work to provide for one wife and a few children, you can imagine how much a polygamous man has to work to provide for two or three wives and a dozen children. If you can imagine struggling to deal with the emotional needs of one wife, then try to imagine caring for the emotional needs of two. To find the time to have quality time with each of your children is often a challenge in the "monogamous" world, now do I really have to continue this sentence? Anyone who thinks polygamous men are in it for the sex, or to be waited on hand and foot, has absolutely no idea that the earth revolves around the sun.

In fact, another disturbing fact is that there are men in polygamous marriages that are being abused by their wives. It happens just like in the monogamous side of society. Some women are controlling, and abusive, always manipulating to get their way above all others. Just imagine dealing with the temper tantrums, fits, and manipulations of just one wife, then multiply it. It is quite obvious, as you can imagine, the level of abuse that one man has to live with when both his wives join forces and abuse him without mercy. Picking on him so much that he has absolutely no freedom or choice in his life. He becomes nothing more than a slave. If he leaves, he is ostracized and loses his family, and loses his salvation. No matter what, abuse is wrong, whether it happens to a woman, or to a man.

This is another long post, and I need to take a break, so to wind it down, I would just like to say that certainly there may be some situations in polygamous lifestyles that may not be for everyone, but that is why the good Lord gave us our freedom to choose our own paths. The scriptures tell us of the war in heaven and how satan tried to take away our freedom to choose. The question seems to be, which side will I be on? The side that allows for free choice, or the side that seeks to take freedom away by every means possible, including politically? I may not agree with everything that the polygamists, or even the "monogamists" do, but I will stand up for the freedom of all.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Heading West

As I struggled with my decision to pursue a relationship with God, I at times felt guilty as if I were rebelling against the mormon church, and most certainly I was. The mormon church likes to tell it's members to draw near to God, to pray and establish a relationship with Him, but what ever a person does, never, never tell them that God answered any prayers. Unless of course if you tell the church leaders that God said to worship the leaders, then they may allow it. Anyway, I was young and foolish, and I let it slip a couple of times that I was praying and getting answers. Nothing dramatic. I was not seeing angels, or parting the ocean, or raising the dead, but I did begin to experience simple answers. Like for example, one time I borrowed a dog from my granddad to bring home to play with. Well, we were out in the field playing and all of a sudden, my granddad's dog ran off. I tried calling it and pleading with it to come back, but it had different ideas. I was terrified that I would lose my granddad's dog and hated the thought of having to tell him that I lost his dog. So I did the only thing I could think of, I got down on my knees, and with tears in my eyes, I prayed for help. And a little miracle happened, when I openned my eyes, there was the dog licking my face. I have no idea how the dog got back so fast, it had been so far away, but here it was. I know it was not a miracle to change the world, but it was wonderful to me. But even though this answer and other answers were very special to me, I was not treated well for speaking of them to mormons. I can only guess that perhaps people only liked to believe in a form of godliness, and really did not want to actually have God interfere with their lives. Because if He could actually answer some of the prayers of a boy from a red-neck upbringing, and not be giving them the same kind of answers, then they could no longer believe that they were special, or God's chosen people, or perhaps they would have to think that they were not as good as they thought they were. Anyway, my foolishness attracted a great deal of negative attention.

I had many such answers to my prayers and even some answers to phylisophical prayers. Like asking for direction in my life and then openning the scriptures, and almost having them fall open, and finding an amazing word for word direction to answer my questions. I continued to develop listening for answers and the promptings of the spirit of God, and then one day after praying, I began to make arrangements to head west. I was not certain where I would go, just west to the mountains.

I did not have much money at the time, so I had to work a bit and hitch-hike a bit and try to negotiate my way west. It was an interesting experience. There were many times when I was tired of walking and prayed for a ride, and almost immediately someone was there to help. There was another time when I was tired of eating the dried camp food that I had in my bag and so I asked for something better, and wouldn't you know it someone showed up at my little campsite and invited me over to supper, and another person brought me some leftovers, and I ended up with far more than I could eat. That trip west was a faith building experience, of which I am always greatful. Now that is not to say that I did not have challenges on that trip. There were many challenges, and I had to deal with many unfortunate experiences, and many bad people. I met some very nice people on that trip too. People who, even though were a different religion than I was, were very kind to me, and obviously had a great relationship with God too. That was when I began to understand that it is not the religion that a person belongs to, but the individual's relationship with the Lord. After all, if God could prompt them to answer my prayer, and they follow His directions, how could I possibly say that their religion is wrong? If they could listen to direction from God to offer me support or kindness, then certainly they could follow His advice to join a different religion, if that was what He wanted. So that certainly puts a damper on those "chosen people" mentality religions. In the New Testament, Christ had to put up with elitists too, and He told them straight out, that whoever does the will of the Father is the ones who are his children. But I am certain that there are many who will disagree with Christ, and say that their religion is the only way.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Hated, by Mormons and Non-Mormons Alike

No doubt, there will be many mormon, and anti-mormon people who will disagree with my take on things. I have often been ostracized and hated by mormons and non-mormons alike. The non-mormons express their dislike for me because of my mormon beliefs, and the mormons express their dislike for me because of my lofty ideals, they think I am too mormon.

Well, let's get this out in the open, so that everyone will know where I stand. I espouse the loftier ideals that were presented to the inner church by Joseph Smith Jr, and similar ideals that are espoused by the various nazarite communities around the world. Only when a person gives up all worldly attachments and seeks after the welfare of others, is that person then free. Yet, everytime I look in the mirror, I see a person who is not even close to reaching those ideals.

In other words, one of the reasons the mormons hate me is because I do not accept their adultery (they call it fornication and 'serial monogamy'). I believe in the law of chastity, that sexual relations should be kept for marriage, and that marriage is intended by God to be an unbreakable covenant. And chastity in a plural marriage situation should also be lived to the highest degree.

I mention these things because there is so much written on the immorality of plural marriage, when it is really the opposite. Those entering a plural marriage covenant must be willing to live to an extremely high moral standard, or the marriage will fail.

I also feel the same way toward other laws of God, such as not killing, not stealing, not bearing false witness, honouring mother and father, etc.

Well, that should attract a disgruntled remark or two.

Leaving Home - Continued

Well, I moved around for a bit from one relative to another, then moved in with cousins that were mormon. Well I went to some of their meetings and read a bit and liked the philosophy of their teachings and started to attend their church more regularly.

Interestingly enough, they were "monogamous". So many anti-mormon groups say that the mormons are still polygamous and just pretend to be monogamous, but in all my time around the mormons, and making some very close friends among them, I have never seen any polygamy among them. Other than the monogamous polygamy that is rampant here on the North American continent. You know the type, people switching partners more often than switching long distance carriers. Of course the "monogamous" people do not refer to moving from one partner to the next, or having more than one partner at a time as polygamous, unless of course the "M" word is mentioned. In fact, the main thing that I have noticed with the "monogamous" is that they are perfectly content to allow polygamy, as long as everyone involved is "monogamous". Or at least committing adultery, or moving from partner to partner on a regular basis. Then they are happy. An interesting, though shallow, psychological phenomena.

Anyway, I showed an interest in the phylisophical ideologies of mormonism and stuck my nose into every book that I could find. I read everything that I could, including anti-mormon material. Well, after four months or so, I was hooked. It was a great phylosophy, and I decided to join.

A small note worth mentioning, is that I was very crass in my speach, dress, and deportment, and several mormons made it quite clear that I was an evil person. I was often harrassed and made fun of in church, but I stuck to my convictions that the underlying phylosophy of mormonism was good and that I would struggle through anyway.

The constant harassment did not end after baptism. In fact, my baptism was not a completely happy occassion. I was young, and a little unrestrained, and very excited to be getting baptized and allowed myself to speak happily and loudly. (Sometimes I do have trouble controlling my voice, due to a hearing disorder, perhaps largely on account of the abuse suffered as a child.) But that is no excuse for my behaviour. I was excited about baptism and did not keep my voice in check and as a result was chastised for speaking loudly. My topic was of course my impending baptism and joining of the church, I was just too loud.

I realize that I am being vague in my descriptions, but I do not feel that all the details are necessary to convey the fact that the "monogamous" mentality and people were not God's chosen people just for the sake of being monogamous.

I did find friends among the mormons, but it was difficult negotiating all the lies. I say lies, because that is how I saw that type of behaviour. The mormon culture is really a unique culture in and of itself and a person would do much better among them being aware of how they interact with each other. They are often not outright honest when dealing with each other. They like to play a game. To talk between the lines. They justify themselves with 'everyone knows what I mean' and things like that, this way they feel like they are being honest. Needless to say, I did not fit in. I had a bad habit of telling the truth and saying what I meant, and therefore had very little success among them.

The simple bottom line was that the mormon ideal was great, but several of the mormon people were not quite willing to live up to that standard. Leaving the red-neck society in which I was raised, and moving to the mormon culture, most mormons could not accept that I was progressing. They only saw all the low brow behaviours that I was desparately trying to leave behind. With a lack of funds, I was often ridiculed for my lack of proper church attire. For my learning disability, I was often ridiculed for my inability to function in a conversation or in a sunday school class. At one time, I was playing basketball with my cousins, who were instrumental in bringing me into the church, and I was losing badly, but a member of the Bishopric (church leaders) came onto the court and started yelling at me and shoved me. Instictively, and much to my shame, instantly I was back in my abusive childhood and defensively I shoved back. The church leader was caught off balance and fell to the floor. I just stood there, wondering what went wrong. Why would a church leader become violent with me? It was a question that would plague me for years. Well right then and there I became terrified. I may have been struggling to leave behind my red-neck upbringing, and move into a new class. What I had originally thought was a better class. But it was a joke. They looked more acceptable to society, they spoke better, and had better jobs, but they were still the same. I was looking in the wrong place. The gospel was not to be found in class distinctions.

As time went on I found that there was a lot of animosity displayed toward me, and others. It was rampant in that church. No matter where I looked it was there. People were always out to hurt each other and to get ahead. Men were controlling, women were manipulative. The mormon women were some of the most accomplished manipulators that I have ever seen. They could manipulate their men into doing anything, then making the men feel as if it were entirely their fault and that the women were oppressed. I befriended a woman who let slip a few things and I learned that the women even held classes on how to manipulate. That was a revelation!

There was all the usual shenanigans that went on in "monogamous" society. Adultery, was rampant, child abuse was very prevalent, manipulation and abuse between the spouses, lying, deceiving, farming out children, leaching off the system, thieving, and the ever persistent struggle to get to the top, all and more were there. It was really no different than any other place in "monogamous" society. And of course, the mormons had nothing good to say about those who still practiced polygamy.

Early in mormon history, their founding prophet began a church and brought forth a book of scripture, written by prophets on the american continent. The story is that there were people here on the American continents at the same time that there were people in the mediterranian. The ancestors to the american aboriginals, we were told. Well, since God loves all his children, He spoke to a few people on the American continents and those prophets taught their people the same gospel that was taught in the old world. An interesting idea is that since the Bible had been translated numerous times, into several different languages and much of the gospel had been perverted by the translators, that now there was a second book that also taught the same gospel but had only been translated once. This would certainly help undo a lot of the mistranslations that had occurred in the Bible. But I digress. I began this paragraph to say that the first mormon prophet had set up a church for those who were searching for the gospel of Christ. Then he had also set up another organization, one that was based on the higher moral standards of the gospel, similar to the nazarites of the old testament. Those nazarites lived in small communities where they had everything in common and dedicating themselves to God, tried to live the gospel to a much higher standard. They shared everything, and forsook the treasures and comforts of the world to spend their time in the service of God. Joseph Smith Jr. tried to set up a similar organization among some of the more pious members of his early church. In that organization, they struggled to live lofty ideals of laws of consecration and chastity and morality. It is my opinion that if anything, the mormon prophet should be commended for his struggle to live to a rediculously high standard, and not have bad things said about him. Anyway to continue, both organizations were established, the main church, and the inner church. Comparatively, few members of the main church were also members of the inner church which lived the laws of consecration, plural marriage, etc. Of course these days, both histories are intermingled and only the studious historian will see the obvious. So now even most mormons believe that those histories were one and the same.

After the mormon prophet Joseph and his brother Hyrum were murdered, there was a coup in the leadership of the church and eventually after several years it was established that Brigham Young would be the next church leader. It was Brigham Young who took the mormons the rest of the way west to the mexican territory of Utah. He led his people out of the United States to try and find some reprieve from the persecutions that had abounded, from those who had fallen away from the inner church, and some of those who had fallen away from the main body of the church. Anyway, it was Brigham that combined much of the inner and outer church and made them into one. And to do so there had to be many, many compromises in the gospel. It was a difficult time for many people. From my own study, I would suggest that each of the following 'prophets' of the mormon church gave up a piece of the gospel that was established by the first mormon prophet Joseph. Until, now at this present time, the mormon church is very similar to any other Christian religion, with a few isolated exceptions.

I suppose I should get to the point with the last couple of paragraphs, and it is this. The marriage laws that were established in that inner church were quite lofty. To share all a person has is difficult, but to share a spouse takes the greatest of self sacrifice and the pursuit of the most noble and godlike of qualities. It is a shame that the focus of plural marriage is now focused on polygyny, as if the men were the only ones in control and that the women were just subservient. Yet it is not a hidden fact that they also cross married. In order for a man to have more than one wife, a woman would also have more than one husband, and there are many evidences to support this fact which has been highly written about in anti-mormon literature. Well, just the amount of self control to live in a situation where there were many husbands and many wives in the same family is astounding. I often wonder if I could live up to such a standard. Anyway it is looked at, the modern mormons do not espouse plural marriage as a currently acceptable method of marriage. In fact they are quite vocal, and venhemently opposed to such a thing. Which I find ironic. It is a great irony that their own books say that they must live to the lofty ideal of plural marriage to enter into the highest heaven, and that if they should ever depart from that ideal and the Lord remove that law, then they shall not reach the highest heaven. If they want to reach the highest heaven, they must follow the laws for that level of heaven. And here they are now saying that they will still get to that level of heaven without living according to the laws of that heaven. Such a parallel to the children of isreal thinking that they would be saved to the highest heaven, even though they would not abide the higher law that was brought down from the mount by Moses. So the Lord having compassion, gave them a lower law, one that the people were willing to follow. As with all things, the Lord is willing to have compassion on people, and even warns them that if they give up the higher law, they also give up the rewards of living the higher law, namely the higher heaven. Anyway, enough with irony.

So there I was, struggling to keep the higher ideals of the gospel, while at the same time, being put down by those who should have been helping me. Well, I just could not take it any longer. I decided to pursue my own relationship with God and not let a church or church leader dictate to me, what ultimately is my responsibility.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Leaving Home

I was terrified to be disowned. My dad's side of the family were rejecting me because of my dad disowning me and also because my mother went back to the mormon church. My mother's side of the family were rejecting me because I was of my dad's genes. But I was able to move around with different cousins and almost always had a place to sleep.

I am getting tired tonight and will have to finish this thought later.

Have a good night.

In The Beginning

I was raised in a "monogamous" family. We were supposedly Christians, belonging to a common Christian religion that had never espoused polygamy. Although, the only time we went to church was when there was a wedding or a funeral, and sometimes at a baptism or christening. We did not even go at Christmas or Easter, as far as I can remember.

Anyway, as far as I knew, we were just an ordinary family. My dad was full of cruelty, hatred, and even a little violent at times. I was in my late teens before the last of my scars (from cigarette burns) healed. My mother spent most of her time off in her own little world, but was still outgoing in a manipulative way (and very good at it), with a bit of a bully streak mixed in.

I spent most of my childhood trying to escape my childhood. I really did not know any different though, most of my relatives and other children my age were in the same situation that I was in. I did attend school, but did not get good grades. I was like a hand-shy dog, that was afraid of it's own shadow, from being beat too much, which expressed itself in every aspect of my life, especially the social aspect.

I was dutifully taught all sorts of prejudices against all sorts of people, races, and religions. One of the prejudices that my dad held was against any type of Mormon religion. It was during my teenage years when I found out that my mother was a Mormon before marrying my dad. That certainly helped to explain some of the prejudices, but not all.

For being so prejudice against all others, and pointing out all their shortcomings, rational thought would suggest that our family/religion would be of the highest morals. This was my way of thinking anyway. I knew my family was terrible, but I was terrified that my dad would follow up on the threat of sending me out to live in a foster home or group home run by those people, who I had been taught were so bad. I was terrified of being kicked out of the family. Ironically, I was disowned at 16. My dad did not enjoy my company. He was always angry at me for not stealing, lying, fornicating, and fighting, and he expressed himself often on those points. At one point, I was so upset for not having his love, that I actually tried to steal and lie, but failed miserably, which did not impress him. He did not even offer me a hint of hope that some day in the future, if I tried really hard and became good at those things, that he would accept me.

I do realize that there are many, many people who have lived through far worse things than I ever had to, and I will not make light of their suffering. My intent is not to belittle the suffering of others, but only to show that I had some difficulty and challenges that I had to work through. The main one being, how was I going to deal with life outside of the family? I would not be able to live with those people (as I was taught) who were so much more nasty than the family that I was raised in. Especially those of other religions. I could not imagine living among other religions, especially polygamist religions who, as I was taught, were liars, thieves, adulterers, and murderers. Oh, and don't forget child molesters.

All forms of child abuse were rampant when I was growing up. It was terrifying! My dad was quite keen on kissing at least one of his sons, but not on the cheek or forehead, but on the lips and often after the french manner. Of course some of my relatives were having worse things happen to them and I kept my mouth shut for fear that those things were going to happen to me too.

First Post

This being my very first post on this, my very first blog, I have no idea what to write, so I will just try and share a bit about myself.

First, I am not very computer literate, and I do not spend all my waking hours on the internet. Most times I do get on the internet at least once or twice a week, sometimes more depending on the seasons. This means that my posts and replies may be too erratic for some viewers' preferences.

Second, this is my story. I am not trying to make any grand philosophical or political statements, though I do have opinions, which I will attempt to share in my posts. My basic ideal is just to share my story, those things that have happened in my life. It is not my intent to offend anyone, but certainly some will take offence. To those who do take offence to my story or opinions, I can only say, there are many blogs on the internet and I am certain that you will find a blog that you enjoy.

Third, I have decided to start a blog at this time because I have been reading several blogs that seem to show much of the negative side of polygamy, and I would like to share my experiences. Some of the things I write may not be all flowers, but will contain some sad situations, though I will try to keep the stories of abuse written generally and not delve into too much detail.