Rockland Ranch community outside Moab, Utah
By Jim Urquhart
If patience is a virtue I am damned to burn forever but I've made some friends in the process.
Growing up in Utah, knowledge of polygamy has long been part of my experience. I can recall standing on the side of the residential road looking at a nondescript home with a large cinder block wall surrounding it. My friend leaned over to me to tell me that a polygamist family lived there. He tried to explain to me what plural marriage was in the best way a 10-year-old could explain to another. I was confused. I had a hard enough time trying to fully understand why my parents were divorced let alone trying to figure out how there could be a home with several moms and one dad.
As I grew up what I was able to glean from hushed overheard conversations was that the people living behind the walls were different and something to scrutinize whenever we caught a glimpse of them or that we should try to ignore that their home was even there.
It wasn't until I was older that I began to grab the concept of what polygamy was. But, until recently it was a skewed and unfair view.
I had grown up believing that those who practice polygamy were religious freaks living in an environment that oppressed women, preyed on young girls and didn't educate their children. What I found south of Moab, Utah blew my mind.