Date: November 30, 2017 02:43PM
He was embarrassed by Operation Seagull in the 1950s. It was a major law enforcement operation intended to curb the spread and abuses in the mormon fundamentalist polygamous groups. Until then, many members didn't realize how widespread plural marriage was even when their own ward members practiced it. But the news started to highlight the raids and arrests which embarrassed church leaders and members. There were a couple of major articles with photos in national magazines of that time. Outsiders were shocked that this was going on in modern America.
David O. met with civil officials and promised to stamp out the practice of plural marriage if they would leave it to him and back off. He said the church would weed out offenders and force them to repent of their ways. They'd have to
be baptized again and live with only one wife or suffer excommunication which would mean public humiliation and losing all respect of their friends, customers, employers and neighbors. In other words they'd be completely ruined and driven out.
What David O. actually did was to add one more question to the list for obtaining a temple recommend. It's the one about associating with apostates. Anyone who answered yes had to explain and be counseled which was an inconvenience. Very few polygamists were excommunicated unless they were too obvious to ignore.
My family's plyg ties were overlooked because we lied and covered up.
My conclusion is that David O. McKay was a liar who cared more about image than protecting the victims of a practice his church started and still believed. He covered up as much of the embarrassment as possible and went right on with his friendly easy going ways, accepting adoration from his followers and reassuring civil authorities that polygamy was waning and almost gone.
The reality is that mormon polygamy has grown faster than the mainstream church. There are now more and bigger groups and not much is done about it. Many people in and out of Utah claim that these people have a right to marry little brainwashed minor children because we have to respect religion.
After having two or more kiddies most of the wives are absorbed into the culture with no way out and no concept of life beyond being barefoot and pregnant. Many don't know how to drive a car or ride a bus. Some can't read well or do basic math. Many are frightened of outsiders and the scary things they see on trips outside their compounds.
Those who say all adults should have whatever kind of group marriage they care to try are missing the point. Being indoctrinated from birth and in a forced marriage as a child means they can't deal with a normal life style. They're stuck. And they have many children to worry about with no way to support them on their own.
What should be done?
Stop worshiping David O. McKay for letting members have dances and road shows when what he needed to do was to keep his word and stop the heartache still going on in mormon splinter groups throughout the West.
If the mormon church didn't protect this practice it would not continue to grow. They started it, still support it and still plan to live it either now or in heaven. There are still polygamous members attending regular ward. There are still polygamous families and groups next door to stake houses or selling their products to the mainstream church. My polygamous brother in the Allred group traveled far and wide installing upgraded windows in mormon ward houses.
I know people like to say I'm mean for my stand on this issue. Well, let them. I'd rather be called mean than let more generations of victims waste their lives in such an evil cause.