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'My Five Wives': A new Utah polygamous family on reality TV

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  • redshirt007 tranquility base, 00
    Sept. 16, 2013 8:09 a.m.

    This is why we can't have nice things.

    Many of us LDS have only had one wife, or no wife and still have to suffer the behind the back snarks about Mormons and all "our" wives.

  • Mountanman Hayden, ID
    Sept. 16, 2013 8:19 a.m.

    Now that marriage has been "redefined", who is to say polygamy is wrong? Who is to say pedophilia or bestiality is wrong? Be careful now, you wouldn't want to discriminate would you? The "marriage" door has been broken down completely and now marriage means nothing and families lose.

  • DEW Sandy, UT
    Sept. 16, 2013 8:43 a.m.

    Why is this NEWS? I am surprised!

  • ute alumni paradise, UT
    Sept. 16, 2013 8:52 a.m.

    15 minutes of fame. raising kids in an illegal environment is not child abuse?

  • DN Subscriber 2 SLC, UT
    Sept. 16, 2013 9:25 a.m.

    Marriage is a right for any two, er, three, no- make that four, maybe FIVE loving adults.

    Anyone who dares to criticize or condemn, or even snicker at such a concept is obviously a prejudicial bigot of the worst order and must be sent to the re-education camps until their mind fully embraces the new politically correct definitions.

    So, why discriminate against people who want to marry infants or animals, if they love them?

    The unintended consequences of the rush to embrace something once considered perverse or abhorrent, but now proclaimed as "a RIGHT!" will be slow to unfold. And likely impossible to reverse.

    Celebrate the diverse new world, if you like it, but I will abstain.

    But, this "family" should be free to practice their relationship as long as they are consenting adults.

  • Chris B Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 16, 2013 9:39 a.m.

    Mountainman,

    Some of your analogies have flaws, but more saying polygamy must be acceptable now is a good point. I will add family members being able to marry.

    If gays should be able to marry, there is no reason to discriminate against polygamy or family member being able to marry.

    Sex happens outside of marriage and there are countless marraiges without sex, so using sex as a reason to prohibit family members from marrying doesn't hold.

    Some day these things will be valid, if we're opening it up to homosexuals.

  • Uncle Rico Sandy, UT
    Sept. 16, 2013 9:43 a.m.

    I am not a bigot, plural marriage is illegal. period.

  • USAlover Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 16, 2013 10:15 a.m.

    When applying the same rationale and constitutionality that has successfully worked in legalizing gay marriage, there is NO WAY polygamy will be illegal for very long.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 16, 2013 10:35 a.m.

    @Mountanman
    "Now that marriage has been "redefined", who is to say polygamy is wrong? "

    I dunno, you seem like you consider it to be the case, as do many others who somehow also believe it was okay for a period around 1840-1890, and yet gay marriage advocates are the ones that have to deal with inconsistency?

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 16, 2013 10:36 a.m.

    @DN Subscriber 2
    Infants and animals can't give consent. Don't be silly.

  • Awesomeemmatier Orem , UT
    Sept. 16, 2013 10:53 a.m.

    May I ask, is the "redefinition" of marriage correct and right? And is it bettering our society? If you have an answer please explain, and if possible provide ample proof.

  • trekker Salt Lake, UT
    Sept. 16, 2013 11:04 a.m.

    Why do people get upset with polygamist like the Browns or the Williams were it is consental no abuse going on. At least they try to take care of their wives and kids. Yet people are okay with a guy going out and having affairs and leaving single moms everywhere he goes? I hope the federal judge rules in the Browns and other polygamists favor. If the state is going to prosecute them they need to also prosecute anyone cohabiting or having affairs. Technically they are only legally married to one wife.The rest are spiritual marriages. As long as their is no abuse, the marriage is not forced, no under age garbage going on. I think most people do not care. Time to update Utah's bigamy laws.

  • cjb Bountiful, UT
    Sept. 16, 2013 11:05 a.m.

    He must be quite a guy he has 5 attractive women and some guys can't even find one wife.

    If polygamy got to be too big quite a few men wouldn't be able to find a wife. and that instance the man without would be justified in pursuing the wives of those that have more than one.

  • XelaDave Salem, UT
    Sept. 16, 2013 11:16 a.m.

    Is that a UVU cap? Go Wolverines

  • GZE SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    Sept. 16, 2013 12:25 p.m.

    What kind of man needs 24 children?

  • DHuber Palmyra, NY
    Sept. 16, 2013 12:36 p.m.

    I love that picture of him with his "wives". It looks like they have to prop him up for the photo. The kids from that lifestyle have about the same life opportunities as a kid growing up with a single mom in a trailer park. Its so sad.

  • Brahmabull sandy, ut
    Sept. 16, 2013 12:42 p.m.

    Mountanman

    Big difference between consenting adults and relationships involving animals and children, who can't consent. I don't agree with polygamy from a religious standpoint, but I agree that adults should be able to decide for themselves. They don't need me telling them how to live. If there is abuse, or the children can't be cared for or paid for it is a different story. But I have enough to worry about in my life to worry about what polygamists are doing. And to any mormon stating that it is illegal, and isn't right - be very careful. You are doing the same thing that was done to your church when it started polygamy back in the 1800's. Don't be a hypocrite.

  • Mountanman Hayden, ID
    Sept. 16, 2013 1:35 p.m.

    Brahmabull. No hypocrisy here! Polygamy was not started by the Mormon church. It was practiced by Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and many others in Biblical times. I don't want to be a polygamist but I do think its interesting that the same arguments used to re-define traditional marriage can be used to justify polygamy or any other kind of re-definition of "marriage" and that is very dangerous indeed. Add to that there have been many women who were forced into polygamist marriages. So who is being a hypocrite?

  • Brahmabull sandy, ut
    Sept. 16, 2013 5:27 p.m.

    Mountanman

    I guess you didn't read my comment. I'll repeat "If there is abuse, or the children can't be cared for or paid for it is a different story."

    That includes those FORCED into polygamy, I obviously know and believe that is wrong and should not be tolerated in any way. But as far as consenting adults go - they should have a right to do it. It shouldn't be illegal. You compared polygamy to pedophilia and beastiality, and that is why I am concerned as they aren't in the same realm. Yes some pedophilia happens in polygamy, but I already stated that is not acceptable so I don't get why you are confused.

    All the best.

  • Icarus Dallas, Texas
    Sept. 17, 2013 6:26 a.m.

    For all those commentators who are so certain that "consent" is a impenetrable firewall against other abhorrent (currently) forms of "marriage", let me remind you that marriage was recently redefined to include same sex "marriage". Why can't "consent" or even "consenting adult" be redefined? In fact, many are already making that argument.

    The fact is if those pushing same sex "marriage" were intellectually honest, they would acknowledge there are no limits to how the same arguments that are used to justify same sex "marriage" can justify almost any other type of "marriage".

  • Baron Scarpia Logan, UT
    Sept. 17, 2013 6:34 a.m.

    Dateline ran the Warren Jeffs story the other night, and then to see this program advertised on Sunday was very disturbing. This clearly sheds a negative light onto Utah and its cultural acceptance of such lifestyles, and I know it impacts our ability to attract industry and economic development.

    I was in a recruiting situation recently where one of the candidates we were trying to hire was visibly shaken by her exposure to polygamy in the community during her interview process. This situation was completely out of our control, and I'm sure she'll be telling her colleagues about what she witnessed -- making it harder for us in the future to recruit.

  • The Solution Las Cruces, NM
    Sept. 17, 2013 8:17 a.m.

    Religously speaking, the premise that polygammy is wrong in and of itself is not true. Illegal in the US, sure, but that doesn't mean it is wrong. Same sex marriage is wrong in and of itself, but becoming legal.

    Needless to say, you cannot allow one legally and then turn on the other. Both will become legal if one does, it's just a matter of time.

    Here is how polygammy could work in our legal system:
    1. All parties involved must consent
    2. All parties involved must be of legal age and not a minority
    3. All parties involved cannot be claimed as a depedent
    4. All parties involved must be mentally capable to exercise such a decision (to prevent abuse of those with disabilities)

    Those stipulations should prevent most cases of abuse that have stemmed from polygamous marriages with cults like Warren Jeff's FLDS.

    These same rules should be applied to same sex marriage cases. In the meantime I have enough work, stress, and problems, and joys with my single family. Good luck to you polygamists out there, especially those of you recovering from the FLDS cult!

  • techpubs Sioux City, IA
    Sept. 17, 2013 8:32 a.m.

    We are going to have face reality.
    Marriage has been re-defined to include same-sex couples by arguing that they cannot change who they are attracted to and love. The same argument can be made for plural marriage quite easily and how do you or I prove that between consenting adults this is not allowable. After all, our country is changing to allow same-sex so why not plural? This could even mean 2 or more husbands as well as 2 or more wives and any combination thereof.
    It is only a matter of time until this is challenged legally.

  • Mayfair City, Ut
    Sept. 17, 2013 8:37 a.m.

    Does the company filming this reality show not get challenged legally for aiding, abetting and financially supporting illegal behavior??

  • Swish Riverton, UT
    Sept. 17, 2013 10:58 a.m.

    I have to wonder, would these folks choose this lifestyle if they could do it all over again? These women have all been married to Mr. Williams for over 14 years and all of the relationships began on the basis of religion. Now that they have abandoned those religious beliefs they must justify their current situation to themselves and others on the basis that is "socially acceptable" to live the way they are living. What other choice do they have at this point? Can they back out? They are moral and ethical enough individuals to accept responsibility for their former decisions, and Mr. Williams is man enough to try to take responsibility for his progeny, but to make this a social agenda for what is "right" and "acceptable" is a fa├žade.

  • mpo South Jordan, UT
    Sept. 17, 2013 11:40 a.m.

    "There is nothing wrong with consenting adults living and loving how they choose."

    The above quote reminds me of this neat verse: "...there shall be many who will say, Do this, or do that, and it mattereth not, for the Lord will uphold such at the last day." (Mormon 8:31)

  • Pac_Man Pittsburgh, PA
    Sept. 17, 2013 12:52 p.m.

    If it works for them and it doesn't affect me, I am fine with it.

  • Friend to all Cedar City, UT
    Oct. 8, 2013 5:10 a.m.

    WOW... the world just keeps kicking God and His teachings out of the equation. Do people no longer believe in God's teachings? People say Oh c'mon, get with the times but that's just a cop out for doing what they want to do, whether it's sanctified by God or not and if not I'm the one that's wrong by not going along with them. Sorry... I choose to stick to God's plan and his instruction. When the end finally comes, I don't want my excuse for not obeying all his commandments to be, Well God, I was just trying to keep up with the times.

  • SlopJ30 St Louis, MO
    Oct. 8, 2013 8:58 a.m.

    Icarus, I would strongly reconsider using the phrase "intellectually honest." Of course the age of consent could someday be redefined. We're not that far removed from the days of girls routinely becoming wives in their mid-teens. But when people are throwing around absurdities like "infant marriage" or suggesting that bestiality may someday become legal, we've reached the point where the discussion has ceased to be of any interest to me.

    For anyone to equate these types of things with gay marriage is the antithesis of "intellectually honest." Many believe that the government should have the right to tell two adults of the same gender they can't get married. Many believe polygamy should be legal. No matter your stand on either of those issues, and regardless of whether the age of consent is 16, 17, or 25, the core of the pro argument is that people with the capacity to understand their options and make a decision should be allowed to do so.

    The weird extremes some are bringing up are not supported by a desire to enhance personal freedom, and they are developments only longed for by imaginary boogie men.

  • Tekakaromatagi Dammam, Saudi Arabia
    Oct. 8, 2013 10:16 a.m.

    I have a friend with four wives. I have a couple of others with two. My friend with four wives has 50 children. He talks about teenagers not having the same work ethic as people in the past. I want to say, "Well, maybe you need to have more one-on-one time with EACH of your children? Maybe one night a week you can bring your family together and turn off the TV'S and teach them about values. . . somewhere in an AUDITORIUM."

    Some people think that lots of wives mean lots of intimacy. If you think about it, for even a little bit you realize, "What?! Are you totally NUTS!"

    Fathers have more of a responsibility to their children than passing on their genes.

  • DocHolliday reno, NV
    Oct. 8, 2013 10:17 a.m.

    Are many of the anti-polygamists unaware that adultery is illegal too. You keep saying polygamy is illegal period. So is driving 1 mph over the speed limit, period. So is sleeping with somebody who isn't your spouse, yet we don't see that getting prosecuted, do we?

  • Jordan Lynchburg, VA
    Oct. 8, 2013 12:37 p.m.

    For those saying that Old Testament figures had multiple wives, yes, that is true, however, nowhere in the Bible is that promoted or encouraged. However, the New Testament is very clear in encouraging people to be the husband of one wife. That is an argument on the religious side. I'm not Mormon, so I don't know what their teachings say in their other books of scripture, but as a Christian, I don't think you can make a case that the Bible claims that it is okay.

  • worf Mcallen, TX
    Oct. 8, 2013 6:16 p.m.

    @Brahmabull:

    "children can't be cared for or paid for it is a different story."?

    Most children in this country can't be cared for by their parent/s. Can't discriminate on that bases.

  • Open Minded Mormon Everett, 00
    Oct. 8, 2013 7:15 p.m.

    @Mountanman
    Hayden, ID

    Now that marriage has been "redefined", who is to say polygamy is wrong?
    8:19 a.m. Sept. 16, 2013

    ========

    Ummm, our Mormon Prophets, perhaps?

  • JayTee Sandy, UT
    Oct. 8, 2013 11:00 p.m.

    You gotta love how so many people attempt to justify their choices by saying they're doing something because of their "religious beliefs." That's apparently the ultimate excuse for doing stupid things that just don't add up in a world of reality. And you have to wonder about women who would voluntarily get mixed up in this kind of a deal; they must have ultra-poor self images to think they're not good enough to lay claim to their OWN man, and not have to share him with a harem. And that's consistent with the fact that our society produces many females who have serious self-esteem issues. But once they start being responsible for their own choices, they should realize that those choices can substantially exacerbate the problems they're experiencing.

  • Strider303 Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 9, 2013 9:45 a.m.

    I am curious as to the location (town) of the family. If they are coming out of the shadows, so to speak, why the subterfuge in not naming the little community where they live?

    It seems to me that the author is only telling part of the story. Who in the city government is telling some family, or is it families, to move out of "his" town?

    Why all the secrecy? If we are so "open" to plural marriage why not identify the town(s) where there are significant plural families? Why the cloak and dagger stuff?

  • DUPDaze Bakersfield, CA
    Oct. 9, 2013 10:43 a.m.

    Yes, hypocrisy abounds. And everyone knows it. Utah just remains in a state of constant denial. Polygamy once flourished here, was preached from the rafters and openly practiced. Two of my gg-grandfathers served their prison time rather than abandon their beliefs or their families. They were infuriated at the 1890 reversal, but believed they could only be blessed by obeying their prophets.

    And stop with the Biblical analogy, especially when any successive LDS prophet's revelations can trump it. God gave the standard in the Garden, Abraham and Jacob exceeded God's bounds and paid the price. Isaac never practiced it; David and Solomon abused it. God still chose to bless Abraham's descendants based on His covenant with him. Just because one of the patriarchs did something in his life, did not make it God's will. Abraham and Isaac lied about their wives, Rebecca and Jacob deceived Isaac, David committed adultery, and Solomon confessed his entire life of false pleasure in Ecclesiastes. Which of those ungodly practices would you espouse?

    When man deviates from God's plan, he finds unhappiness. D&C 132 was a huge deviation.

  • happy2bhere clearfield, UT
    Oct. 9, 2013 1:27 p.m.

    Anyway, late as I am to this discussion my only comment without reading all the posts is now the issue of plural marriage can come into the discussion along with the same sex marriage issue. And my opinion is that multiple wives (or husbands for that matter) is no different than bending the rules for the same sex couples. As for myself, I'll stick with traditional marriage.

  • redshirt007 tranquility base, 00
    Oct. 9, 2013 1:27 p.m.

    This is still a form of mostly same gender marriage....Just saying.

  • Shazandra Bakersfield, CA
    Oct. 9, 2013 1:58 p.m.

    So Utahans just sweep 50 years of their heritage and history under the carpet as if it never existed?

    Find me one active member who has not read "Sacred Lonliness", who can tell us the number and ages of Joseph Smith's living wives, not the plethora who sealed themselves to him posthumously. And please cite the Church curriculum or source. You'd think these polygamists came from another planet.

    When you duck and run and never fix the problem you started, expect the Day of Reckoning to arrive. The redefining of marriage in America first came with D&C 132, not in this decade, brethren.

  • atrulson cohoes, NY
    Oct. 9, 2013 2:41 p.m.

    Even though they are no longer religious, their lifestyle has a religious foundation. The question is, will this lifestyle be absorbed and perpetuated in secular society or will this lifestyle dissolve with their children's generation who have no religious upbringing?

  • procuradorfiscal Tooele, UT
    Oct. 10, 2013 9:42 a.m.

    Re: "So Utahans just sweep 50 years of their heritage and history under the carpet as if it never existed?"

    Yeah? You say it like it's a bad thing.

    Modern Utah polygamy is not some cute anachronism, nostalgically connecting Mormons to our real and beloved roots. It's actually the exact opposite.

    Our ancestors lived -- some even came to love -- polygamy, but they did so in submission to God's will. Modern polygamists, on the other hand, live in open rebellion.

    We do, of course, condemn modern polygamy, and assert there's not the slightest hint of hypocrisy in doing so.

    --Live polygamy pursuant to God's commandment? Good.

    --Live polygamy in violation of God's commandment? Bad.

    It's really that simple.

    Some visceral Mormon reactions may be traced to deeper roots, however. Many of us harbor concerns that, once marriage is redefined to legalize all perverse relationships, will God once again require adherence to a more 1840s definition of celestial marriage?

    God needs no advice from me on the subject, of course, but here's hoping His will doesn't change.

  • high school fan Huntington, UT
    Oct. 19, 2013 4:40 a.m.

    Just curious if he ever calls one of his wives by the wrong name?

  • suzyk#1 Mount Pleasant, UT
    Oct. 19, 2013 10:51 a.m.

    To: DN Subscriber 2 - then they should keep it to themselves because there is a majority of people in the world that have no interest in blownup stories of immorality and adultery. I feel sorry for them because the day is going to come and there will be no question as to how the Lord feels about their choices.

  • Miss Piggie Phoenix, AZ
    Oct. 19, 2013 4:58 p.m.

    atl134
    "Infants and animals can't give consent. Don't be silly."

    Who said you can make the rules? Or that the government can? Remember, SCOTUS ruled that DOMA was illegal/unconstitutional. Anybody should be able to marry anyone they are in love with and want to spend their lives with. That would include all arrangements such as so-called pedophilia and incest. Remember, the government is to stay out of defining marriage.

    This Williams guy is one lucky dude. Five wives... I suppose he can get caught up on his rest on Saturdays and Sundays.

  • Mr. Bean Phoenix, AZ
    Oct. 19, 2013 5:12 p.m.

    Of course the government should stay out of defining marriage. But... if polygamy becomes widely accepted and a few men gobble up all the females, what will the rest of the male population do for companions? Marry each other?

    I suppose they could go to war and fight in the name of some sort of religion.

  • RedWings CLEARFIELD, UT
    Oct. 25, 2013 11:36 a.m.

    Let me pose a scenario: A 13 year old girl gets emancipated from her parents by court order. She then wants to marry a 28 year old man. The court says she can give consent, but she is at an age Where statutory rape laws apply.

    There are so many complicated issues with redefining marriage.

    Simple solution: Government oversees civil unions, and marriage returns to the churches where it belongs. Everyone gets the same legal benefits and rights, but there is also protection for diverse opinions. A truly "tolerant" option....

  • Utexmom Flower Mound, TX
    Oct. 25, 2013 11:42 a.m.

    Let's make it clear that these women were never Mormons. There is only one kind of Mormon. As President Hinckley stated in conference, "There is no such thing as a Fundamentalist Mormon" and there has been no polygamy in the Mormon church for the past 123 years.

  • Kimber Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 25, 2013 4:48 p.m.

    There seem to be many that believe that gay marriage compares directly to polygamous marriages, but I don't believe so. Yes, they are both a type of marriage, but the definition of marriage, to me (and most Christians), is between two people. When we get more than that, the situation and the issues within it are quite different..(the inference of 2nd class citizenship of women, welfare fraud, increase of child abuse issues "lost boys" and the list goes on....)
    Also, the impression that Biblical people shows that polygamy can be fine is not true. If examined closely, a person can see that it was never commanded there (was only sometimes an accepted practice as it can still be, mostly in third world countries). The Biblical people always had severe problems because of it and their stories serve to show it to be a sin. It is glorified adultery!