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Archive for November, 2008

The “Forbiddin Love” polygamy show with Dawn Porter aired in the USA. Very interesting indeed, since we were told that this show would only show in the UK. However after alot of venting, I have decided to be at peace with whatever message was supposed to go out.

 

It is true, Dawn Porter came at a very heated time, the week after the raid in Texas. All of us were feeling oppressed with dark clouds following us everywhere. Even though we are not part of the FLDS, the blow to these people were deeply felt. Heartsick, we watched the atrocities and civil right violations played out in a disgusting inhumane way. The helplessness that we felt intensified. Tabloided and scandalous remarks were made by irresponsible media, making the damage irreparable. Taking all of this into consideration, canceling the Dawn Porter interview was our first knee jerk reaction. Instead, we decided it might help demystify and normalize our lifestyle. It was a gamble, but we went for it.

 

There are many lessons to be learned when participating  with media. We are too trusting and are usually disappointed with the end product. Nevertheless there were enlightening conversations and debates that took place. My children loved participating in these conversations and became fond of Dawn and her film crew. We may have challenges and interesting complexities, but the unique fabric of our family is what makes our life so great! My family is not perfect, but at the end of the day, I am grateful for each one of them. I don’t call this “forbiddin love”, I call this true love.

 

-Ruth

 

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images1imagesThe Masada Charter School Junior High celebrated high achieving students today with an activity that included sidewalk art, hot chocolate, and caramel apples.

 

In order to get on the honor roll at Masada, students cannot have any grades below an A-. Thirty-five of the 98 students achieved this goal for the first trimester.

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 Ms. Mary Hammon, The mass media instructor, was kind enough to allow e to interview her Mass Media class at Colorado City Academy, November 17, 2008.  I was interested in the students’ perspectives on the 25th annual Jefferson B. Fordham Debate held at the University Of Utah College Of Law on October 22nd.  The participants in the debate were Marci Hamilton, Law Professor at the Cardozo School of Law in New York City and author of God vs. Gavel and Justice Denied, along with Kirk Torgensen, chief deputy of the Utah Attorney General’s Office.

                The question being debated was “should the state prosecute polygamous parents and remove children from their homes?” Brooke Adams reported from Ms. Hamilton “failure to prosecute polygamists has created dangerous cults like the FLDS”, (“a failure she attributes to authorities be ‘timid in the face of specious claims of religious liberty’”

Question: I asked the students how they felt about the debate generally:

Jackie: The debate was not formally structured.  They both went off emotions and assumptions.

Joanna:  It seemed like they went of emotions. 

Marie:  Torgensen was getting so angry.  He said at the beginning that he wasn’t speaking for the Attorney General’s office; He could only speak from his own point of view. 

Question:  After reading the quote from Marci Hamilton that it is “undeniably true that not every case of polygamy includes sexual or physical abuse, the tendency is enough to make the assumption that a polygamous home is not a fit home for a child”, I asked the students to respond:

Joanna: She was totally going from her own assumptions.

Jackie: She has painted with a broad brush just like Torgensen said.  He said you couldn’t prosecute polygamists based on the assumption that every home is abusive.

Marie agreed, saying Torgensen was in a bad position because he couldn’t defend an illegal action.  He said it would be unconstitutional to prosecute on the basis of assumptions.

Question: I asked if they believed Torgensen was actually worried about defending our constitutional rights, or defending the actions of the office of the Attorney General.

They all agreed on the latter, saying it was against his oath of law to defend those who disobey the law.  He was being accused of being too lenient.

Question:  What interest does a law professor from the state of New York have in pressuring the state of Utah to prosecute polygamy?

Marie:  Other states were challenging the state of Texas to take action against polygamy.  It is Torgensen’s responsibility to prosecute illegal activity.  Utah and Arizona had to defend why they have not prosecuted polygamy.

 

(Someone interjected:  They got embarrassed in Texas.)

Jackie: The polygamy issue does affect what goes on in other states.  We discussed the fact that once a marriage is recognized by one state, other states that are in a compact agreement with the state are bound to recognize that marriage as well, which is the reason many states have an issue with the state of California legalizing gay marriages. 

Question:  What is your responsibility as a U.S. citizen regarding your practice of religion?

Marie: Be vocal and participate.  Respond to their actions ( when their actions aren’t constitutional).

Jackie: Fight for what we want.

Question:  How do we do that?

Jackie: Change the laws.  We go to the legislature and ask them to put it on a bill.

Question: How do we get someone to be sympathetic enough to our needs to have it put into a bill?

Joanna: We need to show them that we are educated, that children can choose whether they want this lifestyle, show them that we’re not abused. 

Question: Are we protected under the Constitution of the United States:

All replied: “Yes, We are”

Jackie: It’s illegal in the state of Utah and Arizona.

Question: How do you feel about Marci Hamilton’s position?

Marie:  She made broad claims; she used her own credibility

Ms. Hammon: She’s trying to sell her book.  Many people were in agreement with her. Many of the law students agreed with her.  Kirk Torgensen was put in an unfair position.

 

Question: I read a quote from the Prophet Joseph Smith regarding holding elected officials accountable, and asked how can we hold our elected officials accountable?

Jackie: Use the process of the election

Ms. Hammon: We trust these people to be objective and fair, and not bow to pressure beyond the scope of their job.  We trust them to act ethically.    

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Plural Life

missionary-lunch-21                After reading the article on plural marriage and the family experience that was expressed, I was reminded how blessed I am in being able to be a part of a large and wonderful family.  I would like to take the opportunity to express the fullness of my heart in this.

                I came from a family of five children.  But it wasn’t until I was married and found myself in the midst of one of the largest families in the Work, that I felt like I had died and gone to heaven!  There are not words created that can articulate the blessings I have had during my life within this family.  All of our family get-togethers have been so full and wonderful. I don’t know how I ever survived before!

                I have found myself called “Mother” by many.  Those from within our family and those that come from our community, I have hundreds of “family” members whom I love very much!!  This week I will have two Thanksgiving dinners. 

Try to picture 25-30 young men gathered into my home for one of the many lunches that our people willingly serve to these faithful young men.  These young men contribute to the projects and the needs of our community and so a number of us take our turns providing them with a well-earned meal.  For me this gathering happens once a month.  And fills my heart beyond any containment of emotion, so my turn to serve them has come up this week and I am planning a full Thanksgiving Dinner for them.  And then on Friday I will be doing another Thanksgiving Dinner just for my immediate family of 20-27 people, if they all come.  Some can and some can’t, but it is always a full day for us.

                My life is very full now and has been for the 47 years since coming into this Work.  I do not want to be anywhere else and wouldn’t trade places with anyone outside this Work for any price.  Plural Marriage is a large part of my life.  The lord’s blessings to me are so many that it is absolutely impossible for me to count them all. ~A Plural Wife~

 

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Thanksgiving

turkey-bowl-009O.K., So I had a hard time coming up with the Thanksgiving Picture. I would have had to put together a full blown scrapbook…and that would’ve been just for the table settings.   I couldn’t find the aerial shot it would have taken to cover it all. While in our house the planning, the shopping, the decorating and the cooking may be going on all week, it’s the Turkey Bowl that starts the day off right if you know what I mean. Thus the snapshot of the Turkey Bowl… doesn’t our son look great?

I’ve been out of the loop on this because of the planning, the shopping, the decorating, the cooking and I’ll have to own up to the enjoyment of the sheer quiet that exists in our house for the first few hours of the day. And I didn’t even have to get up ridiculously early to achieve this.

The Turkey Bowl is a highly anticipated activity by our family.  It’s an event put together by members of our community to come together and have some rivalry fun.  In years past it’s been The Unmarried vs. The Married.  But as the Unmarried grew older and evolved into the Married the team grouping became less defined. So because of being out of that loopy thing I don’t know how the lines are drawn this time around and I may have to find myself vicariously cheering on both teams.  Ah, the burden of motherhood.

Meanwhile back at the stoves and the ovens and the countertops in our sublime silence we, “The at Home” are cooking up around 60 pounds of turkey, probably around 30 pounds of potatoes, yams that multiply when not looking, dressing, gravy, goodies, goodies and goodies.  The pies that weren’t done ahead of time will be done when the pie maker gets home from the Turkey Bowl. Cupboards and table tops cleared over as our extended family bring in the food, drink, and goodies and goodies that they are bearing.

Then the cacophony of ruddy face and hyper spirit as the family makes their way in the doors at the ending of said Bowl.  But this very soon turns to the rhythm and symphony of clinking forks, scraping knives, laughter and love.

Thanksgiving, it is such a beautiful term pregnant with so much meaning, and what a beautiful idea to have a day to bring our loved ones around to savor this with.  We sincerely wish a Happy Thanksgiving from our house to yours. ~ A Women’s Place~

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Our Mission

CPAC’s mission as a committee

of volunteer citizens from the

polygamous community of Centennial

Park, Arizona, is to deliver

to the public a correct view of the

polygamous lifestyle as practiced

in Centennial Park with the

objectives of dispelling popular

stereotypes commonly held by

people at large, of defeating unjust

laws which currently exist aimed

at the polygamous minority, to

overturn, eventually, the Supreme

Court decision in Reynolds vs. The

United States, and to promote

more amicable relations with local

agencies which have to deal with

families. In doing this, the Committee

seeks to achieve a political

and social environment within

which both polygamous and non-polygamous

cultures may comfortably

fit into an integrated

society.

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Working Together

february-2008-065          Sunday morning I woke to a moody sky. The kind that dresses in pussy willow grey, dusted with pink from the sunrise.  I quite like that kind of sky especially on a morning when I can afford to luxuriate under my down comforter.  Did I mention I have a large, southern window; I get to lie in bed and watch the happenings going on in the sky above the cliffs east of us.  I do my best contemplating in that cocoon.

                That particular morning I was musing around at what would it be like for people to get a glimpse into my life.  If they were a fly on the wall what would they see?  Then my mind went to an incident my daughter had told me a bout a few years ago.

                During that swatch of time things were not going that well for me.  You know how it can get, being so tired all the time, feeling like no matter what I did my health decided to betray me. It just felt like everything I touched turned to stone.  My feet were clay and my hands were worse.

                I had been airing some of my discouragement to one of my older daughters when she stopped me.  She turned to me and said “Mama, I want to tell you something I saw a few months ago.”

                She reminded me of the time one of her mothers had had an accident at work.  It was pretty bad.  There were several surgeries involved, trips to the doctor, trips to the hospital, and trips to the University of Utah Hospital some three hundred miles away.  This mother was in pain, facing some lifestyle changes and in need of comfort.

                It was an early spring night, still cold out, still reaching freezing temperatures.  This lady was home after a trip to Salt Lake for one of her surgeries.  We were waiting for one of our other ladies to get home from work; she’s a nurse who works in critical care at the hospital 50 minutes away.  The dressing on the wound needed changed and checked before this lady could settle in for the night.  She was in some pretty healthy pain and wanted to take her medication and just go to sleep.  So I decided to move ahead and start changing the dressing while we waited for the other one’s arrival.  When I went into the other room to get the supplies I realized we were out of saline solution to clean the wound.  A sister wife offered to go and get some for us even though it was late at night.  This sister wife bumped in to my daughter who was coming off her shift at our community’s clinic.  Upon hearing of our situation at our house she decided to come over on her way home and check on “things at Daddy’s”.

                When she got to the house she walked on in and came over to the bedroom door, quietly stepped inside and observed.  By that time our nurse had arrived home and we were in full swing of doing what needed to be done.  What she was witnessing is what moved her heart.  Here was a person in pain and in need, there were two ladies aiding and addressing the injury, carefully removing the packing and the gauze from surgery sites, gently washing the areas with the saline solution retrieved by the sister wife.  Another wife was hovering about the perimeter of the room, quietly taking care of the necessary items left from dinner, from liquids and from convalescence.  It was a family at work, women doing what comes naturally, nurturing, caring for each other. It was home.

                My daughter spoke with true emotion in her voice, “Mama, here were four ladies coming together seeing to the needs of one of their own. It didn’t matter about idiosyncrasies, or personalities, these things just didn’t exist.  It was love and service.  It was plural marriage at work. You may have been too busy to notice the spirit that was in that room…but I did.  It reaffirmed to me why I want this in my life.”

Not every day is taken up with such vivid needs, but every day gives us the opportunity and ability to extend and to enjoy the warmth of each other’s association.  There is so much I am grateful for in the little things of life.  Small things like the whisper of slippers on the tile, the aroma of tea on the stove, or the heavenly scent of fresh bread baking in our ovens, regular as clock work on Wednesdays and Saturdays, each batch by a different mother.  It is the little things in life that make a family a family and as they say… “God is in the details.”

                I hope that some of these sentiments come through my postings on this blog.  This is the side of life I want to share.  Thank you for reading. ~A Women’s Place~

 

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