Sunday, May 21, 2006

Mormonism as a tribe, Part 9: Polygamy

The chief increases his power and his successful traits are passed on

Polygamy within the tribe serves two major functions: one, it increases the power of the chief by giving him more loyal subjects; two, the traits that the chief has will be passed onto the next chief and future subjects of the tribe.

In order for the chief of the tribe to increase his power, he would have to have an increase in the number of subjects. Quite simply, this is done by the gaining more and more children. As the chief populates his tribe with a blood line tied directly to him, his power and influence increases as he gains more and more loyal sons and daughters. The prophet, and those closest to him in power, would take more wives in order to increase the amount of children they would have, which, in time, would grant them more power and life.

The more children he has, the better chances he has at continuing his rule of power in this life and after this life. His blood line will be tied directly to him and will look to his traditions and rules in order to govern the subjects.

The chief's genetic abilities and traits would be passed onto his children

The chief is the chief because of the demonstration of his ability to lead and make decisions, which means that he can help the tribe survive by his abilities. It makes sense that nature would want more children to come from this man who has the ability to govern than from a simple subject within the tribe. When the chief has more children, it is possible that these traits will be passed on to each of his children, which would increase the chances of the tribe surviving as the successful traits are passed on, and the less successful traits are not.

In Mormonism, there were only a small percentage of the leaders that ever practiced polygamy. In order for the tribe to survive, the successful traits must be past on to the next generation in order for the tribe to grow and remain strong. The chief has demonstrated his abilities and traits (that is why he is the chief and not a subject), and so it is natural for the tribe to want these traits over the traits of a simple subject. If there are a limited number of females within the tribe, you would want to give these females to a chief that has proven his survival ablities, not to a simple subject that has not demonstrated these abilities.

This is very natural. Much like the gorillas in the wild, the dominant male will mate with many females within the tribe; the dominant male will fight off other males who want to rule, and when he has shown his power by either his cunning or physical strength, he then has the privilege to mate with all the females. Then, his traits that have made him dominant will be passed on to the next generation, and if this continues, the group of gorillas will evolve to be stronger and stronger as each new dominate male gains the successful traits of his father, demonstrates his own powerful traits, and then he mates and the process continues. This all leads to the survival of the tribe, as the right traits are passed on and added upon with each new dominant chief of the tribe.

Trouble explaining the purpose of polygamy outside of tribalism

I'm not sure how polygamy makes sense outside of tribalism. I've tried to explain it on my mission to people that asked, but I could only come up with some scriptural references and tell them it's nothing new. But why was it there in the first place? I didn't have a clue. But when I understand that Mormons are a very powerful tribe, then the rights of the chief to carry on his traits threw many mates makes sense.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Priests, Teachers, and Deacons, be active in the discharge of your duties, You are watchmen in your wards, and stand in a similar relation to your Bishops that the Apostles do to the Presidency. Great responsibility rests upon you. Every person in your wards should be known to you, and his business or occupation also. You should not only know the man or the woman and his business, but should likewise know his spirit and be able to weigh it in the balance of truth." -Orson Hyde

classic cult technique, isolate them by limiting contact with people outside the church. Exhauste them with hours-long sermons that break down mental resistance. Scare them by telling them that they were being hunted by religious and government assassins and that they would only survive by banding together.

Knowledge of the outside world is a dangerous thing.

10:07 PM  

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