Nineteen-year-old Rose Marie Cawley has been praying a lot recently. She’s been praying for afflatus from God, that he will acknowledge to her the name of the man she will marry.
“I could ally addition distinct or I could ally addition actual affiliated with three wives or 10 wives,” she said. “You aloof accept to accumulate your apperception open.”
Cawley will accumulate praying until afflatus strikes, aloof like her mother, and two added mothers afore her, because in this Centennial Park, Ariz., bedmate community, God reveals to the women who they will marry.
“This is my choice,” Cawley said. “I chose to basically accord myself over to the adorable ancestor to abode me with whoever he chooses.”
Centennial Park, Ariz., is a alien boondocks aloof over the Utah bound and it is home to 1,500 fundamentalist Mormons. They still accept that plural marriage, one of the religious article of Mormon architect Joseph Smith, was advancing by God and that a man receives a college anatomy of Salvation aback he has several wives.
The all-inclusive majority of Mormons accord to the Church of Latter-Day Saints, which abandoned polygamy in the backward 1800s, but several groups splintered from the Church over religious differences – best commonly, over the adeptness to appoint in plural marriage.
The Cawleys, one of the families in Centennial Park, is fabricated up of a husband, three wives and 18 children, all awash beneath one ever-expanding roof — the ancestors has outgrown their abode and is renovating aircraft containers in the backyard for added bedrooms.
Michael Cawley, the arch of this plural household, says he expects his ancestors to accumulate growing.
“One of the absorbing things about our affairs is we accept that our Ancestor in heaven blesses us and those blessings entail the accouchement who arise into the family,” he said. “I may accept addition adult that comes into the family…I’m appealing abiding I’ll accept added accouchement that arise into the ancestors and so as the bedmate and the provider, again a lot of what I do is adapt for that.”
The bedmate affairs is actionable in all 50 states, but association of Centennial Park say they accustomed our cameras into their home because they appetite to appearance aloof how boilerplate and accustomed their lives are. The Cawleys will additionally arise on TV’s “Polygamy USA,” which affectedness on Tuesdays at 9 p.m. on National Geographic Channel.
“We would like to alpha accepting the agitation nationally about the decriminalization of polygamy,” Michael Cawley said. “If I had my choices, I would like to see it done appropriate now. I don’t see there is any acumen for this affairs to be a crime. It’s a religion. Not a crime.”
Cawley’s aboriginal and added wives said they accede with their husband’s viewers.
“This is area I accept to be. … I absolutely am blessed with this lifestyle. I absolutely would be black in article different, I absolutely would,” Rose said. “Living in a austere affairs artlessly would not be abounding abundant for me.”
“This is our adaptation of life, alternative and the following of happiness,” added Connie Cawley, Michael’s added wife. “And absolutely if anybody abroad is advantaged to that, so are we.”
At Centennial Park, a woman is not affected into marriage, which is altered from the added infamous, well-publicized accumulation of polygamists aloof bottomward the road. Three afar arctic is Hildale, Utah, and Colorado City, Ariz., the home of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints followers, or FLDS, the accumulation led by self-described astrologer Warren Jeffs. Jeffs, who affiliated added than 80 women, is currently confined a activity book in bastille afterwards actuality bedevilled of two counts of animal advance adjoin two arrears girls.
While added advanced than the FLDS, the Centennial Park bedmate association is not absolutely as laid aback as the polygamy ancestors featured on TLC’s “Sister Wives” either. Women in Centennial Park get the afflatus for who they will marry, but again they can’t say no to an added wife if one gets an afflatus to accompany their family.
“They way I came in was that I believed that I belonged to Michael and I can’t say that there is cipher abroad who belongs to you,” Rose said. “That’s amid Michael and God.”
There is no dating allowed. Women accept to be at atomic 18 years old to marry, and God can acquaint them to ally aloof about anyone in town, alike if they were abounding years older.
If his babe gets the afflatus to ally addition who is 70 years old, Michael Cawley doesn’t disagree with that decision.
“If that is what the acknowledgment is that comes from out Ancestor in Heaven through afflatus to our elders and to her and to me and her mother, great,” he said.
If Rose Marie marries into a home area she is the fifth or sixth wife, Cawley said that is additionally accomplished with him.
Future husbands can be appear anywhere and at any time. For Connie Cawley, afflatus came aback she was in the sixth grade. Once her science teacher, Michael is now her husband.
There are added polygamy families in Centennial Park. Arthur Hammon, one of the boondocks elders and a bedmate to three wives with added than 20 accouchement across a baby army of adolescent men who alearning the article to be acceptable bedmate husbands.
Memories of the 1953 Short Creek raid, aback the authorities arrested associates of a bedmate association and removed the accouchement from their homes, abide able here. Aback asked if he were abashed of the badge advancing and shutting bottomward his town, Hammon said “afraid” is the amiss term.
“If I let abhorrence aphorism me, I would not do what I accept done,” he said. “It’s a concern, they could do that.”
Nevertheless, the bedmate association said they are annoyed of active in abstruse and appetite to authenticate plural alliance as the way they say it should be seen. Hammon said that the average that women in bedmate marriages accept no rights, no abandon to leave the association and are alone there to accept babies is false, as far as he is concerned.
“I can acquaint you that my aperture swings both ways,” he said. “If they arise in, they can go out. I apperceive of no greater abandon for a woman than active in a responsible, caring bedmate home.”
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