Reading Group Topics
- What do you believe are the most common abuses of polygamy?
- What are the most common benefits?
- Can polygamous relationships survive in today's general society?
- Does a man's practice of polygamy or belief in it affect his ability to serve his community or country?
- Is polygamy a political issue only because Mitt Romney is running for president?
- Why do stories about polygamists always appear on the national news?
- What personal attitudes would need to be changed to be friends with a polygamist family?
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Keith Howick welcomes opportunities to participate with reading groups. Click here to invite Keith to call during your next event to answer questions and offer insights about the social and political consequences of polygamy.
- Should Christians use the Biblical practice of polygamy to justify its practice today? (pg 12)
- Why might Emma Smith have steadfastly denied her husband's marriages to other women? (pg 21)
- When considering any church that professes modern prophecy, do the three principles of revelation gleaned from Hyrum Smith's remarks justify the public denial of any revealed doctrine? (pg 34)
- How much tolerance should the general public have for individual or group religious practice? (pgs 44–45)
- Marriage in the early Mormon church hinged on four principles: authority, timelessness, exaltation, and polygamy. Most people see the value of timeless (eternal) marriage, but refuse the other principles with varying degrees of vigor. Why? (pgs 48–65)
- Presuming polygamy becomes legalized or decriminalized, what rules of moral conduct (e.g. adultery) should exist? (pgs 48–65)
- Of all the controversy surrounding Mormon polygamy perhaps none is more controversial than the Law of Sarah. From the perspective of a divine commandment, what relationship should exist between a husband and his first wife? (pgs 66–70)
- Despite freedoms protected in the U.S. Constitution's First Amendment and other federal laws, the Edmunds-Tucker act violated spousal privilege, invaded rights of inheritorship, revoked women's right to vote, controlled public education, and disincorporated a legally organized religious group. What authority should any national government have over the religious practices of individuals or groups? What kinds of behavior should be protected, tolerated, or prohibited? (pgs 89–92)
- The Mormon manifestos prohibiting the practice of polygamy did not prohibit the church's belief in polygamy. What are the church's potential reactions to the nearly inevitable decriminalization or legalization of polygamy in Canada and the U.S.? (pgs 98–103)
- Does your personal opinion of polygamy reflect your opinion of the Mormon Church, or does it reflect the fact that many people other than Mormons have and do practice polygamy? (pgs 125–127)
- For some years, heterosexual parents have been debating the moral questions surrounding homosexual teachers in public schools. How would you react to polygamous parents teaching in public schools or serving in public office? What options are available to parents raising children in a community where traditional western European marriage is less and less the norm? (pgs 127–129)
- Professor Jonathan Turley explained that denying the practice of polygamy was "contrary to the spirit of Christianity" and that its practice is "one of the common threads between Christians, Jews, and Muslims." Concluding that since "78% of the world's cultures" practice polygamy, "if we yield to our impulse and single out one hated minority, the First Amendment becomes little more than hope and we become little more than hypocrites." Does Professor Turley's tolerance toward polygamy (despite his personal disapproval of it) reflect an enlightened belief toward religious tolerance? (pgs 140–142)
- The Mormon Church no longer practices polygamous cohabitation, but it still practices the basic concepts of polygamous marriage through its temple marriages. This has led some people to wonder about polygamy in the afterlife. How could people live polygamously into the eternities? (pgs 149–151)