The following was written by Marlyne Hammon in response to an article in the Meridian Magazine entitled “Participating in the Public Forum: Why Today’s Polygamists Must Be Prosecuted.”
There are many polygamists families who still, today, practice the honorable form of plural marriage that their grandfathers lived. I am a sixth generation product of that kind of polygamy. My father had five wives and 38 children. He was one of the grandest men on earth. He taught his family by word and example to be responsible, honorable and upright citizens. He felt that each generation should improve on the former and he told us children that he expected us to do better than he did.
Plural marriage definitely was an economic boon to our family. We grew gardens, canned fruit, raised our own beef, pork and poultry. My dad built a playground for his children that could rival any in the country. He taught us to enjoy our work and play. We had dances, hayrides, games, plays, and programs..
He was insistent that we get our education. Every time there was a parent/teacher conference we children were gathered in the living room and each child was called into Daddy's room, one at a time, with our mother to discuss teachers report of his/her progress and conduct at school.
When we children became of marriageable age we sought our father's approval and wise counsel. Not one of us was forced into marriage. Most of us have gone on to try to emulate the example of our dear parents in living the honorable plural marriage that has been born and bred into our very souls. Our religion teaches us that we are commanded to live plural marriage and that honorably. We feel that God's command to us is more binding than the unjust laws of men who are blinded by their own ignorance.
We do not depend upon the government to feed, cloth and raise our children for us. Our children are among some of the brightest scholars in your universities. Our ladies are some of the best nurses in your hospitals. Our men are some of the best tradesmen in your counties. You pass by us daily and do not know who we are.
The wicked polygamy that you describe in your article is destine to die of its own corruption and oppression while the honorable plural marriage of our grandfathers is still building your cities and serving your citizens. If you stamp us out your security is at risk as well. Arizona and Utah, be wise.