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Mike Menning Interview — Part 1

Viewpoint on Mormonism / Bill McKeever
The Truth Network Radio
November 4, 2019 8:36 am

Mike Menning Interview — Part 1

Viewpoint on Mormonism / Bill McKeever

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Mormonism 101 is research ministries Bill McKeever and Eric Johnson for so many more to understand what separates Mormonism from the Christian faith. Mormonism 101 is what your favorite Christian bookstore online. .1 examines the teachings of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints from a perspective view .1 Mormonism sponsored by Mormonism research ministry since 1979 Mormonism research ministry has been dedicated to equipping the body of Christ with answers regarding the Christian faith in a manner that expresses gentleness and respect. And now, your host for today's viewpoint on Mormonism welcome to this edition of viewpoint on Mormonism on your host Bill McKeever folder director Mormonism research ministry and with me today is a good friend of mine, Mike Manning, Mike Manning is with great commission, Utah. He is involved in ministering to those who are in polygamous organizations that that's not something that many people outside of Utah. Probably even think about but if you live in the state of Utah and you keep your eyes open. You've probably noticed people who maybe dress a little strangely. Maybe the female hairstyles are a little bit odd, and many of them are part of polygamous organizations and so we wanted to talk about that and hopefully bring some awareness to our listeners as to what is going on here in the state of Utah. But it's not just Utah. There are polygamist communities that are really all over the United States. Many of them are connected to the groups that are here in Utah but Mike a lot welcome you to the show and I've been wanting to do this for quite some time and you're a busy guy, but I'm glad we were able to snag you to do these recordings and so why don't we. First of all, familiarize our listeners with who you are and will get into what you're doing in the groups that we could say run into here in the state of Utah and the groups that you are specifically ministering to.

So tell us a little bit about your background a year from Minnesota Minnesota Minnesota and you were actually involved in politics in Minnesota for a while so just give us a little bit of your background.

Thanks, Bill. It's good to be on your program. Yes, my wife Don and I were both born and raised Minnesota Southwest Minnesota to be little more accurate. I was elected to the statehouse when I was 2929 and there that's many many years ago and I only served one term. The state house and then I went on to serve in the Senate served a couple of terms in the Senate. We have two children, the youngest child that was severely disabled. He still living in Utah here in a group home and we have MoMA weekends, but I left the political world because I had to spend more time at home with our son and so God led me out of the political world for a while and and we got things take care of with our son and we finally got him some treatment in a boarding school effective for handicapped people and get them home on weekends.

But then God called me back into the political world and four years later, I ran for the Republican nomination for governor in Minnesota and that's that's another whole story obviously didn't make it, but it was that it was a great time. Got it blessed me. It was during my time in the legislature that I really grew spiritually. I was born in a Christian home, but we weren't real focal. We went to church when there were events in Christian education and all that it was in the legislature that I really was taught how to lead people to Christ. We had a great Bible study group there and so I say men, I grew spiritually in the taxpayers dollars.

So what brings you to Utah. I mean here in Minnesota that's in quite a few miles away and why this transition to the state of actually we moved from Minnesota to Iowa for for nine years to Northwest Iowa.

There is a wonderful facility. There is a Christ centered facility for our son. We came there is a great little Christian community called Brock Valley, Iowa. I was working at the time for Christian reformed world relief and did matter where I lived, but I always had a dream of someday maybe when I'd reach retirement age, I would mind pastoring a little church but I did a lot of preaching. In those days just guess pastoring that sort of thing and then what happened is our oldest son Mitch married a gal from Salt Lake City whose father was a pastor here in Salt Lake City met her at college and they ended up moving to Utah and so little church if they attended hadn't had a pastor in five years and that was in the days when it was very, very difficult to get a Christian pastor to move to Salt Lake so that little church called me and asked me if I would be open to coming in pastoring their church. I had already been in ministry full-time with world relief for for 15 years. So we prayed about that in a course that would bring our family back together and that we could be where our grandkids would be born without someday and so that's it was like I became the pastor, the Mount Springs community church in Salt Lake City in 2002 okay so now you're in Utah. Certainly there's enough to do just evangelistic wise among the people here in Utah. But why the specific group that are involved in plural marriage. That is such a to me an amazing area to focus on and and will even focus on polygamy. Here it Mormonism research industry week. We do talk about polygamy as far as the history of Mormonism, but we don't really zero in on the people that we haven't seen them.

It's not that we've never talked to those that are involved in this but what made you focus on them to. When I moved Utah. I had no idea that polygamy existed in Utah just didn't know it even was was around. But then we got here and and I heard a few stories here and there and I was pastoring this church. We were here for like four months and suddenly I got a call one day from a woman in distress. A young lady 28 years old and she had five children and she had MS my daughter-in-law was in the medical field was part of the team that diagnosed her in. My daughter-in-law gave her my name and telephone number, and this young lady just broke down to my daughter-in-law and said, now you've diagnosed me with MS and she says here's my story. She said I was the second wife of a guy in Bluffton Hill and a year later, he took another wife and a year after that my father died.

Then he took my mother's wife and then took another wife and so she says I was one of I don't, four, five wives. She's telling us this whole story. My wife would note my wife and I went over there and visited with her and she said she said I could live with it. I could live with the abuse. But when he took my own mother as a wife. My mother was now a sister, wife, and she said that's when all hell broke loose and I ran away and I have no place to go.

She was in an apartment that somebody had given her for just a short period of time and so we made a commitment as a little church to stand with her and that's how we got involved in polygamy cannot bluff bail for those of you who are not familiar with the geography of Utah that would be the southern part of the Salt Lake Valley. The group there that group and bluff bail is primarily a group that's known as the apostolic United brethren was this woman a part of that group. You're correct that that's one of the headquarters the apostolic United brethren, but this lady was was not a part of that group.

She was a part of a group he had his heart to even think about it, but a group that calls themselves independence so was a part of a family group.

She was a part of that group. There are thousands of independent polygamists in this state as well. I don't think people realize, unless you're here. And like I said earlier in your keeping your eyes open.

What you see around here. I think most people are probably like you were little realizing that polygamy is still going on because they see for instance the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, denying that they have anything to do with the polygamists and they think will because they no longer have anything to do with polygamy that polygamy is really kind of a dead issue. It's not even a dead issue theologically within Mormonism because they still believe in a doctrine known as celestial polygamy that polygamy will take place in the hereafter. And this is why even to this day, a Mormon, male, a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints who was sealed for eternity to a woman if that woman was to die, they are free to marry another woman and as long as that woman is not sealed to another man. They can be sealed to that woman.

In this case that I just gave he would be married to those two women in the next life.

So polygamy would go on in the next life is called eternal polygamy or celestial polygamy, but polygamy as it was practiced in the 19th century is still very much alive and well, even though the people that were to be talking about are not part of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, headquartered in downtown Salt Lake City.

As you said, there's a lot of independence I'm thinking years ago a guy by the name of Tom Greene who was making the talk show circuit on television.

He ended up finally being arrested for Mary Knight and under age girl and this is how the they got him. It wasn't so much because he was practicing polygamy because we do agree that the moral high ground is been lost, and I mean how how is our government going to go in and say will you're married to two women were going to arrest you

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