I was born and raised in the Kingston Polygamous Group - the one that has recently made headline news around the world. What the news has reported is only the scum off the top of the barrel of their ugly lifestyle and practices and the heretical teachings of that group. Those who claim polygamy should be legalized do not understand the brainwashing techniques they use to keep the people captive to their way of thinking. They speak from opinion but certainly not an educated or experiential opinion.
In this group (and other polygamous groups) disgusting and demeaning things are perpetrated on people all the time. Girls, yes, young girls and women are mere property for sexual use and abuse. They are not loved and protected, which was truly God's original design for them. These polygamous men take their own daughters and sisters in sex, because they believe that when they take the virginity of a girl, she will become his wife in heaven. People become like the god they serve, and their god after all, came down from heaven and had sex with Mary, his own daughter, in order to produce Jesus. This is blasphemy of the worst kind, but is exactly what they believe.
Before anyone can be a member in good standing, all personal property must be signed over to the group - and the Kingstons own EVERYTHING. They even demanded an accounting of personal items such as how much paper and how many pencils were in their homes. The news reported that the Kingston clan is worth about $150 million. They are worth much, much more than that!! Yet, there are those in the group who will scrounge through garbage cans, and dumpsters to find food so that the "kingdom of god" will save more money.
The leader of the group, Paul Kingston, has about 30 wives (the latest report). Many of his wives were taken by him at the age of 13/14 years old. One had been so afraid on her "wedding night" that she locked herself in a closet from fear. But he kicked the door in and raped her - and they call themselves the Kingdom of God?? Yes, they call themselves the Kingdom of God, and that they are the ONLY ones on earth who please God and who will get into the highest heaven.
The victims of this lifestyle who do get out, go through years of emotional trauma before healing takes place. These people, even though they have so much economically, require the members to live in abject poverty. They practice incest, rape, child abuse, spouse abuse, emotional and spiritual abuse. The horrors continue. This is truly Utah's "dirty little secret".
There are many people in these polygamous groups that would leave if they were educated in the TRUTHS of the Bible. They live this way because they believe Joseph Smith actually received a revelation from God to do it. They also quote many lifestyles of the Old Testament to "prove" God's design was for polygamous marriages. If they could be taught that this is not true, they may well leave and the groups would eventually fall apart. This is much better than legalizing polygamy. If the women didn't fall for this brainwashing, thinking it is God's will, the men couldn't continue in the practice.
Therefore, I have done much study in the Old Testament regarding polygamy and the practice of it as regards God's design for marriage. If anyone would look into this information and study the facts for themselves, objectively and not subjectively, they will clearly see that polygamy was never EVER God's design nor command. The following attachment contains the information I compiled regarding Old Testament polygamy practice and following that is my personal testimony of how I found spiritual healing after my own upbringing in a polygamous family.POLYGAMY: WAS IT GOD'S ORIGINAL DESIGN?The Old Testament
When God created mankind, He created Adam and Eve... "and they shall become one" (Genesis 2:24)
They were both without clothing... and both means two. The man and his wife... wife means one not multiple.... (Genesis 2:25)
If God's original design for marriage had been for one man to have many wives, the first marriage would have reflected God's desire and plan - His prototype.
God did not take many ribs from Adam to make him many wives: One rib, to create One wife, for One man.
More than one wife per man is not even seen as a lifestyle in the Bible nor mentioned as a practice until Genesis 4:19 when Lamech married two women. Lamech was Cain's great, great, great grandson -- and Cain had been cursed by God!
In reading Chapter four of Genesis, it says that Cain went out from the presence of the Lord. His family was reared away from the presence of God and polygamy became part of their lifestyle. It was not commanded by God.
Next, in Genesis 6:1-2 we see earth's population growing and men of God began to lust after all the beautiful women.... "they took them WIVES of ALL they chose..." There is certainly indication that these verses are referring to polygamy and that the practice had become common and God is so grieved with sinful, corrupt and violent men that He flooded the earth. See verses 5,11,12,13. There are Biblical scholars who think that it was during this period of time that harems became part of the culture. God was obviously displeased.
Only eight people were saved out of the world's population of at least 250 million people. Four men and four women. One wife per man! Noah and his three sons, one wife each, were from the line of Seth - Cain's cursed line where polygamy first began, was destroyed in the flood.
God's plan was to choose and create a special people for Himself through whom He would bring forth the Messiah, the Savior of the world. The One who would save the people from their sins. This group of people would be called: Hebrews. Israel. Jews.
Abraham was the father of the Jewish nation which God would create for His redemptive purpose. God promised Abraham and his wife Sarai a son, one born supernaturally, in their old age, proving that it was God at work in the plan - not man. God did not command Abraham to take another wife besides Sarah. When God's promise wasn't fulfilled, it was Sarah who pushed Hagar onto Abraham, God had nothing to do with this faithless scheme. Genesis 16:1-4
However, when Hagar got pregnant and lorded it over Sarah, she ran Hagar off and God sent Hagar back to SARAI to submit to HER... God sent Hagar back to Sarai, not to Abraham. He did this because of His care and concern for a helpless, pregnant victim of a faithless woman (Sarai) and Abraham who did as Sarai said to do rather than trust God and His promise. Later, when Hagar and her son Ishmael were older and able to care for themselves, God told Abraham to send Hagar and her son away!! Genesis 21:8-14
Hagar had no other children than Ishmael and she is never referred to as Abraham's wife, but always as the bondwoman (maidservant) of Sarah. God NEVER in the Biblical record recognizes Hagar as a legitimate wife of Abraham! Abraham did not take another wife again until after Sarah died.
God frequently uses the New Testament as a commentary on the Old Testament and in Galatians 4:28-31, Hagar and Sarah are compared. Hagar is referred to as a slave and Sarah as a freewoman, in fact verse 30 says: "Get rid of the bondwoman". If a man has more than one wife, God therefore says: Get rid of her! Sorry, but the argument of Abraham and Sarah and Hagar fails.
We see so far, that God has never commanded multiple wives in a marriage. He did however, tolerate sinners
and we are ALL in that category - Romans 3:23.
Isaac, Abraham's son, did not have more than his one wife, Rebekah. But Jacob, Isaac's son, is a different sort altogether.
Just because the Bible mentions some things that people did, does not mean that God said it was okay to do them nor that He commanded them to be done. Jacob became
a great man of God, but in the beginning he lived outside of God's will much of the time. When Jacob began living polygamy, it was ALL the doing of human beings, you will never find in the Biblical record that God told him to do it. Genesis 29:16-30. Genesis 30:1-4,9.
Jacob cheated - God didn't tell him to and didn't approve of it
Jacob lied - God didn't tell him to and didn't approve of it
Jacob manipulated - God didn't tell him to and didn't approve of it
Jacob took four wives - God didn't tell him to and didn't approve of it
In fact, when Jacob met Rachel, he fell madly in love with her and did not want any woman other than Rachel. But he was hoodwinked by Laban - it was not God's design for Jacob. In fact, when one reads the Biblical record of Jacob and his wives and children, he lived a most miserable life, the results of a life lived outside of God's will.
When God gave the nation of Israel His laws, He was very particular about how His chosen people should conduct their lives. In Leviticus 18:24-30, God warns Israel NOT to partake of the sexual sins that the other nations practiced. The result being that they would be vomited out of the land (verses 25 and 28) which eventually did happen as they disobeyed God in every way.
In Deuteronomy 17:17, God specifically gave a command for the future kings of the nation of Israel: not to multiply wives to himself... This is an explicit command from God against polygamy.
Then there is King David and Solomon, two kings that proponents of polygamy like to use as "proof" God approved of polygamy. God does not say something is wrong and then later say wrong is right after all.
David sinned every time he took an additional wife - Deut 17:17
David sinned when he committed adultery with Bathsheba - God still loved him
David sinned when he had Uriah killed - God still loved David
David sinned when he took Bathsheba as still another wife - but God still loved him....
Why didn't God blast David for these sins? Just because God didn't immediately punish him, does not mean it's okay to sin. If God blasted everyone when they sinned, we would all be blasted away already!!
Titus 3:4-6 tells us why God is not a blasting God. Because He is full of kindness, love and mercy towards us. He wants everyone to repent and come to the knowledge of the truth and waits patiently for that to happen. God tolerated the sin of polygamy, even as He still does, and even as He tolerates ALL OTHER TYPES OF SIN.
Never did He command polygamy to be lived but was always against it. He loves women and children too much for that. In fact, God calls sexual deviation an abomination. Polygamy is included.
It may be wondered why David wasn't punished with the death penalty since murder and adultery were sufficient cause for execution according to the Old Testament Law. But David exhibited genuine repentance for his sin with Bathsheba as recorded in Psalm 51. David's sin was bad, but the grace of God was more than sufficient to forgive and restore a repentant man. God's grace is sufficient for anyone's sins and His forgiveness is available to any who will repent from the heart as David did.
Many also come to the wrong conclusion when reading 2 Samuel 12:8 which states that God "gave" David "thy masters house and thy masters wives into thy bosom..." etc. etc.
It was customary for an incoming king to "inherit" the outgoing king's property. The palace, the servants, the harem, the stables, the horses, everything the outgoing king owned became the rightful property of the incoming king. God gave the Kingdom to David from Saul. What God is saying in this passage is that David had a legal right to Saul's harem, so why lust after another man's wife? Again this story is not advocating polygamy nor is God saying and never did say polygamy is okay with Him. In fact, subsequent chapters after the affair with Bathsheba, prove that wrong sexual behavior in the father (David) resulted in wrong and violent sexual deviation in David's sons. (One reason God flooded the earth in Genesis 6). If you will read 2 Samuel Chapter 13 and 16:21-22 and Solomon in 1 Kings Chapter 11, as discussed next.
Solomon's taking hundreds of wives (harem) was his downfall. By the way, all the women in a harem were not necessarily sexual partners. Women were often used as property and were traded back and forth sometimes to confirm covenants of peace between nations, and just like polygamy, was an abuse and misuse of women, something God never intended nor designed for women. The Bible clearly tells us that the women in Solomon's life led him astray and his kingdom was subsequently torn in two.
Isaiah 4:1 is often used as a Biblical verse condoning polygamy. It is not. No matter how one twists this verse, he cannot get the teaching FOR polygamy out of it. The context simply does not allow it, it is not teaching for polygamy but about the results of war. War always kills off men, leaving more women per man statistically. Just because the Bible predicts what WILL happen, that does not mean God is saying TO DO IT.
The evil deeds of humanity are prophesied in the Bible and they are not to be taken as commandments. In Deuteronomy 17:17 God has already said not to multiply wives unto themselves, it is never right to disobey God.
Malachi 2:10-15 is a very difficult passage, especially as the antiquated english of the King James Version translated it. But it is teaching against a man having more than the one wife God gave him in his youth.
The New Testament
New Testament teachings are very clear regarding God's design and commands for marriage:
MATTHEW 19:4-6 - Two shall become One - these verses clearly depict One man, One wife = One family unit. One man with several family units cannot be understood in these verses.
1 TIMOTHY 3:2 - A bishop of the church was to have only one wife. A bishop is a leader of the people and is an example for others to follow.
1 TIMOTHY 3:12 - The deacons were to have only one wife. They also are leaders and need to be the example.
TITUS 1:5-6 - Directions and instructions are again given to church leaders and the elders are to have only one wife.
Finally, in 1 CORINTHIANS 7:1-2 - every man is to have HIS OWN WIFE (not wives) and every woman is to have HER OWN HUSBAND (not share her husband).
When people use the Old Testament to guide their life, if it is not taught in the New Testament, then the passage in 2 Corinthians 3:14-16 needs to be sincerely and honestly considered.
According to this passage there is a spiritual veil, a blindness in their minds, whenever the Old Testament is read. To receive spiritual sight and understanding, you MUST turn to Jesus Christ, not the Old Testament. Jesus Christ is the living, saving, teaching WORD of God.
"The veil shall be taken away when one turns to the Lord" - 2 Corinthians 3:16
As for God blessing the sinners, Abraham, Jacob, David and Solomon, God is a merciful, good, kind and patient God, the One who waits for sinners to repent and turn to Him alone for salvation. When they do, He freely forgives their sins - and His blessings multiply. All this proves that God is a kind God beyond what sinful men deserve. It never proves that God wanted nor commanded polygamy.