Take a look at modern day "fundamentalist Mormonism", which literally follows the teachings of Joseph Smith to the letter. While the mainstream Mormon church has changed its teachings to fit with modern times -- this is what the Joseph Smith and Brigham Young eras of LDS life would have been like. It's what life is like today, following their example. Here's an excerpt:
"I was born into six generations of
polygamy on my mother's side and started life in Hildale, Utah, in a
fundamentalist Mormon community known as the FLDS, or the Fundamentalist
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Polygamy was the issue
that defined us and the reason we'd split from the mainstream Mormon
My childhood memories really begin in Salt Lake City. We
moved there when I was about five. Even though my parents believed in
polygamy, my father had only one wife. He owned a small real estate
business that was doing well and decided it made sense to use Salt Lake
as a base. We had a lovely house with a porch swing and a landscaped
yard and trees. This was a big change from the tiny house in Colorado
City with dirt and weeds in the yard and a father who was rarely home.
the biggest difference in moving to Salt Lake City was that my mother,
Nurylon, was happy. She loved the city and delighted in having my father
home every night after work. My dad was doing well, and Mom had enough
money to buy plenty of groceries when we went to the store and even had
some extra for toys.
There were soon four of us. I had two
sisters, Linda and Annette. I was in the middle-Linda was eighteen
months older than I and Annette two years younger. My baby brother
Arthur arrived a few years after Annette. My mother was thrilled to
finally have a son because in our culture, boys have more value than
girls. Linda and my mother were very close. But my mother always seemed
very irritated by me, in part, I think, because I was my father's
I adored my dad, Arthur Blackmore. He was tall and thin,
with large bones and dark, wavy hair. I remember that whenever we were
around other families I thought I had the best-looking father in the
entire world. I saw him as my personal protector and felt safe when I
was in his presence. His face lit up when I entered the room; I was
always the daughter he wanted to introduce when friends visited our
house. My mother complained that he didn't discipline me as much as he
did my sister Linda, but he ignored her and didn't seem to care.
only lived in Salt Lake City for a year, but it was a happy one. Mother
took us to the zoo and to the park, where we'd play on the swings and
slides. My father's business was successful and expanding. But he
decided we needed to move back to Colorado City, Arizona-a tiny,
nondescript FLDS enclave about 350 miles south of Salt Lake City and a
stone's throw from Hildale, Utah, where I was born. The reason we went
back was that he didn't want my sister Linda attending a regular public
school. Even though she would technically be going to a public school in
Colorado City, most of the teachers there were FLDS and very
conservative. In theory, at least, religion is not to be taught in
public schools, but in fact it was an integral part of the curriculum
When we returned to Colorado City, my father put an
addition onto our house. There was more space to live in, but life
became more claustrophobic. Mother changed. When we got up in the
morning, she would still be sleeping. My father was on the road a lot
now, so she was home alone. When we tried to wake her up, she'd tell us
to go back to bed.
She'd finally surface midmorning and come into
the kitchen to make us breakfast and talk about how much she wanted to
die. While she made us hot cornmeal cereal, toast, or pancakes she'd
complain about having nothing to live for and how she'd rather be dead.
Those were the good mornings. The really awful mornings were the ones
when she'd talk about how she was going to kill herself that day.
remember how terrified I felt wondering what would happen to us if my
mother killed herself. Who'd take care of us? Father was gone nearly all
the time. One morning I asked my mother, "Mama, if a mother dies, what
will happen to her children? Who will take care of them?"
think Mother noticed my urgency. She had no idea of the impact her words
had been having on me. I think she felt my question arose from a
general curiosity about dying. Mother was very matter-of-fact in
responding to me: "Oh, the children will be all right. The priesthood
will give their father a new wife. The new wife will take care of them."
By this time I was about six. I looked at her and said, "Mama, I think that Dad better hurry up and get a new wife."
was beginning to notice other things about the world around me. One was
that some of the women we'd see in the community when we went shopping
were wearing dark sunglasses. I was surprised when a woman took her
glasses off in the grocery store and I could see that both her eyes were
blackened. I asked my mother what was wrong, but the question seemed to
make her uncomfortable and she didn't answer me. My curiosity was
piqued, however, and every time I saw a woman in dark glasses, I stared
at her to see if they were covering strange, mottled bruises."
support Carolyn Jessop by buying her book, reading her story, and
sharing it with others. Let's not forget the horrible existence that
women and children are living through even today - thanks to the cruel
teachings of early LDS leaders.