This expose is badly needed.
I am not a Mormon, but I do know that the original believers advocated polygamy and later on the mainstream LDS church repudiated it. Since I don't have a thorough knowledge of Mormon doctrine so I'll not attempt to do a critique on it here.
But I do know that the kind of polygamy shown in this book is ghastly. That's the only way I can describe it.
1. First of all, the young age of these brides is unbelievable. Twelve, thirteen, fourteen years old. I believe that no matter what the culture, a person needs to mature emotionally and physically before marriage.
2. The refusal of many of these men to support their wives and children, making them dependent on the welfare system. This is just plain unbiblical. Even in the early cases of polygamous marriages in the Old Testament, the Patriarchs kept their wives and families fed and cared for.
3. The spousal beatings. If these people claim to believe the Bible along with their Mormon doctrines, they will have to realize that there is not one command given to men (in either the Old or New Testaments)that they can beat their wives. In one of the examples given in Moore-Emmet's book, a man hit his wife so hard that he broke her eardrum. Religion or no religion, there's one word for an act like that -- it's a CRIME! And it needs to be prosecuted as one. (By the way, the man I just mentioned was prosecuted later on.)
4. Although this book mostly concentrated on the plight of the girls, it also showed that young boys can be victimized, too -- that sometimes they are considered threats to the older men who want the young wives.
5. The slowness of the city and state governments to do anything about it. When the whole state is majority Mormon, I can understand the uneasiness about prosecuting polygamy in general, although I think it needs to be done. But how about outright abuse that is against the law? Or, for those who think they are above the law of the United States, how about against the Bible itself?
I think polygamy is set up for problems, and I'm not just saying this because I'm female. History is full of family squabbles over the children of one mother ganging up on their half-brothers and sisters who are descended from a different mother. It can breed a lot of jealousy and resentment because many men will have their favorite wives and neglect the others.
It's a thorny problem that won't go away soon. But thanks to this and other books like it, our attention can be guided to the problem and some time in the future we can find a solution. We must never forget about it.