The principle of plural marriage was revealed to the Mormons amid much secrecy. Dark clouds hovered over the church in the early 1840s, after rumors spread that its founder, Joseph Smith, had taken up the practice of polygamy. While denying the charge in public, by 1843 Smith had shared a revelation with his closest disciples.
The modern Middle East was largely created by the British. It was they who carried the Allied war effort in the region during World War I and who, at its close, principally fashioned its peace. It was a peace presaged by the nickname given the region by covetous British leaders in wartime: 'The Great Loot.'
The peculiarities of my childhood, of constantly moving through so many different cultures, of always being the outsider, may have made me extraordinarily self-sufficient, but it had also bred a certain detachment, a sense that the world was a place to explore rather than truly inhabit. This manifested as a kind of shyness, even timidity.
Waitresses, soldiers, rickshaw drivers, old ladies selling vegetables - my father would schmooze anybody. He was Clintonesque before the word existed. And, of course, it paid dividends. Ill-tempered guards at the most notorious border crossings waved him through with cheery smiles. Haughty maitre d's fawned over him.
Even if he was happier in Asia than he'd been in Latin America, the wanderlust still worked on my father's insides like a disease. One of the most recurrent memories of my childhood is of him sitting in his armchair in the evenings, poring over atlases the way other fathers read newspapers or books.
In keeping with original Mormon teachings, much of the property in Hildale and Colorado City is held in trust for the church. Striving to be as self-sufficient as possible, the community grows a wide variety of fruits and vegetables, and everyone, including children, is expected to help bring in the yield.