Saturday, August 1, 2009

Why I don't believe in Polygamy Part Deux

I realized I left out a whole lot of really important points in my last article. And since this remains such a hot topic on LDS forums and the Bloggernacle I have decided it warrants a second look.

*D&C 58: 21 Let no man break the laws of the land, for he that keepeth the laws of God hath no need to break the laws of the land.

Now, it has been argued that God only expects us to keep constitutional laws. Well, there is no evidence that Joseph Smith ever fought anti-bigamy laws. In fact, all evidence points to him speaking out against polygamy. Plus, if we believe that America was set up for the Restoration wouldn't that follow that the laws were capable of sustaining God's laws?
Last time I checked the LDS church teaches to be subject to the powers that be. We don't teach the gospel in countries where it is illegal, for example.

*3 Nephi 11 contains the doctrine of Christ's church. It breaks down to faith, repentance, baptism and become as a little child. 3 Nephi 11:40 And whoso shall declare more or less than this, and establish it for my doctrine, the same cometh of evil, and is not built upon my rock; but he buildeth upon a sandy foundation, and the gates of hell stand open to receive such when the floods come and the winds beat upon them.

Notice that polygamy is absent from the list.

*Polygamy is absent from what would appear to be the most important times to repopulate the earth. Adam and Noah were monogomists. So were Lehi and all his sons. (thanks Fabledsog for bringing up this point)

*Article of Faith 12 We believe in being subject to kings, presidents, rulers, and magistrates, in obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law.

This was part of canon and well known to the saints. Do we believe it or not? Is it a lie?

*Article of Faith 13 We believe in being honest, true, chaste, benevolent, virtuous, and in doing good to all men; indeed, we may say that we follow the admonition of Paul—We believe all things, we hope all things, we have endured many things, and hope to be able to endure all things. If there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things.

Again, do we really believe in being honest and true? Do we believe in doing good to ALL men or will we steal the wives of some?

I will warn you that I am about to pick apart D&C 132. I will point out conflict with previous scripture and the nature of our Loving God.

D&C 132:41 And as ye have asked concerning adultery, verily, verily, I say unto you, if a man receiveth a wife in the new and everlasting covenant, and if she be with another man, and I have not appointed unto her by the holy anointing, she hath committed adultery and shall be destroyed.
42 If she be not in the new and everlasting covenant, and she be with another man, she has committed adultery.
43 And if her husband be with another woman, and he was under a vow, he hath broken his vow and hath committed adultery.

If you read this passage closely you will notice that the woman will be destroyed for adultery but not the man! Seriously?!?! God appears to hate women in these passages, but I testify that he loves women.
Now, you should also notice that it says if a woman is not sealed to her husband and is with another man it is adultery! Joseph took several married women as wives in direct conflict to this passage.
It is also very likely that Joseph and Emma took vows of monogomy when they were married. If true, he was in violation of verse 43.

D&C 132:51 Verily, I say unto you: A commandment I give unto mine handmaid, Emma Smith, your wife, whom I have given unto you, that she stay herself and partake not of that which I commanded you to offer unto her; for I did it, saith the Lord, to prove you all, as I did Abraham, and that I might require an offering at your hand, by covenant and sacrifice.

What did Joseph offer her? Well, some historians claim that she was offered another husband by Joseph.

D&C 132:52 And let mine handmaid, Emma Smith, receive all those that have been given unto my servant Joseph, and who are virtuous and pure before me; and those who are not pure, and have said they were pure, shall be destroyed, saith the Lord God.
Wow, so again, God will destroy the women. I guess someone forgot about the Atonement.

D&C 132:54 And I command mine handmaid, Emma Smith, to abide and cleave unto my servant Joseph, and to none else. But if she will not abide this commandment she shall be destroyed, saith the Lord; for I am the Lord thy God, and will destroy her if she abide not in my law.

Yet more talk of destroying Emma. I'm kinda surprised she outlived Joseph. She did fight against polygamy.
It also uses a familiar script. Cleave unto your husband and no other. We see that repeated in the scriptures that men should have one wife and cleave to her and none else. Are we to believe that sometimes God means it and other times he doesn't? Are we being Punk'd?
D&C 42:22 Thou shalt love thy wife with all thy heart, and shalt cleave unto her and none else.

D&C 132:55 But if she will not abide this commandment, then shall my servant Joseph do all things for her, even as he hath said; and I will bless him and multiply him and give unto him an hundredfold in this world, of fathers and mothers, brothers and sisters, houses and lands, wives and children, and crowns of eternal lives in the eternal worlds.

This passage clearly promises these things in this world-not limited to the next. As yet, all DNA testing has come up with no children of Joseph outside of his marriage with Emma. This never came to pass.

D&C 132:61 And again, as pertaining to the law of the priesthood—if any man espouse a virgin, and desire to espouse another, and the first give her consent, and if he espouse the second, and they are virgins, and have vowed to no other man, then is he justified; he cannot commit adultery for they are given unto him; for he cannot commit adultery with that that belongeth unto him and to no one else. 62 And if he have ten virgins given unto him by this law, he cannot commit adultery, for they belong to him, and they are given unto him; therefore is he justified.

Here we see that a man can marry 10 virgins with the first wifes approval. They must be virgins who are vowed to no other man. Right here we see there is a problem with the already married women that Joseph took as "celestial wives." It is agaist this passage.

D&C 132:63 But if one or either of the ten virgins, after she is espoused, shall be with another man, she has committed adultery, and shall be destroyed; for they are given unto him to multiply and replenish the earth, according to my commandment, and to fulfil the promise which was given by my Father before the foundation of the world, and for their exaltation in the eternal worlds, that they may bear the souls of men; for herein is the work of my Father continued, that he may be glorified.

But wait, there's more! Those women who were already married are gonna get wiped out! Yup, they are so gonna get destroyed! Not the men, mind you, they can commit adultery all the day long and not get God's wrath. Lucky them.
We also see that the command was given so they could multipy (have babies). We still have no proof of children with Joseph and any of his "celestial wives."

D&C 132: 64 And again, verily, verily, I say unto you, if any man have a wife, who holds the keys of this power, and he teaches unto her the law of my priesthood, as pertaining to these things, then shall she believe and administer unto him, or she shall be destroyed, saith the Lord your God; for I will destroy her; for I will magnify my name upon all those who receive and abide in my law.
65 Therefore, it shall be lawful in me, if she receive not this law, for him to receive all things whatsoever I, the Lord his God, will give unto him, because she did not believe and administer unto him according to my word; and she then becomes the transgressor; and he is exempt from the law of Sarah, who administered unto Abraham according to the law when I commanded Abraham to take Hagar to wife.

Now, if your husband teaches you about plural marriage-the new New and Everlasting Covenant-you had better believe and give him wives or guess what? You're destroyed.

The Law of Sarah is referring to the idea that the first wife must give consent for subsequent wives. This law is really nothing more than a curse. It is only there to damn women. See, you don't really have a choice. Submit or be damned is the message.

We also have a conflict with previous scripture here. It says here that God commanded Abraham to take Hagar to wife, but that is not what it says in the Bible.

Genesis 16:1 Now Sarai Abram’s wife bare him no children: and she had an
handmaid, an Egyptian, whose name was Hagar.
2 And Sarai said unto Abram, Behold now, the Lord hath restrained me from bearing: I pray thee, go in unto my maid; it may be that I may obtain children by her. And Abram hearkened to the voice of Sarai.
3 And Sarai Abram’s wife took Hagar her maid the Egyptian, after Abram had dwelt ten years in the land of Canaan, and gave her to her husband Abram to be his wife.
4 ¶ And he went in unto Hagar, and she conceived: and when she saw that she had conceived, her mistress was despised in her eyes.

From the way the story is told here it appears that is was Sarai's lack of faith in the Lord's promise which caused her to offer Hagar to Abram. Hmmm. It says Abram was listening to his wife, not the Lord.

We also can look at the family of Abraham as pretty disfunctional. Let's be clear, sending your wife and child into the wilderness is not to be emulated. This also was done at the behest of Sarai.

We read in the New Testament more about Abraham and what was so great about him. There is no mention of polygamy. His faith is what is remembered. I highly recommend reading all of Galatians 3. It talks about faith versus the works of the law.

Galations 3:5 He therefore that ministereth to you the Spirit, and worketh miracles among you, doeth he it by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?
6 Even as Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.
7 Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham.
8 And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed. 9 So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham.
10 For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of
the law to do them.
11 But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith.
12 And the law is not of faith: but, The man that doeth them shall live in them.
13 Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree:
14 That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.

There is so much meat here! It is by faith that we are justified. The law is a curse. Abraham's faith and belief was his righteousness. It also becomes clear to me that Abraham and Sarah missed the mark when they took the promise of seed literally. All who are baptised become the seed of Abraham!
Let's revisit D&C 132 and see if we can find more clues that it is a curse.

D&C 132:58 Now, as touching the law of the priesthood, there are many things pertaining thereunto.
59 Verily, if a man be called of my Father, as was Aaron, by mine own voice, and by the voice of him that sent me, and I have endowed him with the keys of the power of this priesthood, if he do anything in my name, and according to my law and by my word, he will not commit sin, and I will justify him.

I just noticed this today. I don't think it is a coincidence that the name "Aaron" is used in this passage! Aaron did not have the keys to administer the higher priesthood. It is my understanding that those were taken with Moses from the children of Isreal. The priesthood of Aaron can only administer the preparatory gospel. Joseph expounded on what this priesthood has the power to do.
We also just read in Galatians that the law cannot justify. This passage seems to condradict that by saying Joseph is justified by the law.

The priesthood of Levi consisted of cursings and blessing carnal commandments and not of blessings and if the preisthood of this generation has no more power than that of Levi or Aron or of a bishhoprick it administers no blessings but cursings for it was an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth. [Joseph Smith]

You can read all the notes of the full sermon here. He outlines the 3 priesthoods and what they are capable of. According to Joseph the carnal commandments are a curse and that is all the priesthood of Aaron can administer.

The New and Everlasting Covenant is baptism. Always has been, always will be. The ordinance has been changed just as prophesied in the scriptures.

D&C 22:1 Behold, I say unto you that all old covenants have I caused to be done away in this thing; and this is a new and an everlasting covenant, even that which was from the beginning.

Baptism, the ritual of being spiritually reborn, is what is being spoken of here. And in D&C 22 it talks of the outward ordinance being pointless if the inward change does not take place. When we are baptised we die to sin (the law) and are born to Christ. We become a new creature.

In conclusion of part deux, people can participate in polygamy and still be saved by the grace of God. But there is no scriptural support that polygamy (celestial marriage, spiritual wifery, etc) is required for salvation OR exaltation. That is false doctrine.


  1. Truth is good no matter where we get it and the RLDS have some great documentation on JS and his possible polygamous relationships. Many supposed JS marriages were laid at his feet by his predecessors in order to justify their sin of polygamy. I'm not saying JS didn't get caught up in the sins of his people but I think many of the relationships attributed to him can be disproven like Martha Brotherton, Sara Pratt, and the one everyone likes to quote (in your part one), Nancy Rigdon and the infamous letter. The letter was neither signed by JS or in his handwriting.

    Read the following article,

    and you will find that JS nemesis at that time JC Bennett was the author of that letter and is the one man to promulgate polygamy in Nauvoo perhaps more than anybody else. He justified his fornications in the name of JS (without his consent of knowledge). When JS found out is when they had their big fall out. I feel this is a must read! The whole book but at least this one chapter.

  2. And maybe it's too elementary to include Jacob's dissertation here but we should not forget it in our argument against polygamy being approved of God.

    23 But the word of God burdens me because of your grosser crimes. For behold, thus saith the Lord: This people begin to wax in iniquity; they understand not the scriptures, for they seek to excuse themselves in committing awhoredoms, because of the things which were written concerning David, and Solomon his son.
    24 Behold, David and aSolomon truly had many bwives and concubines, which thing was cabominable before me, saith the Lord.
    25 Wherefore, thus saith the Lord, I have led this people forth out of the land of Jerusalem, by the power of mine arm, that I might raise up unto me a arighteous branch from the fruit of the loins of Joseph.
    26 Wherefore, I the Lord God will not suffer that this people shall do like unto them of old.
    27 Wherefore, my brethren, hear me, and hearken to the word of the Lord: For there shall not any aman among you have save it be bone cwife; and concubines he shall have none;
    28 For I, the Lord God, delight in the achastity of women. And bwhoredoms are an abomination before me; thus saith the Lord of Hosts.
    29 Wherefore, this people shall keep my commandments, saith the Lord of Hosts, or acursed be the land for their sakes.
    30 For if I will, saith the Lord of Hosts, raise up aseed unto me, I will command my people; otherwise they shall hearken unto these things.
    31 For behold, I, the Lord, have seen the sorrow, and heard the mourning of the daughters of my people in the land of Jerusalem, yea, and in all the lands of my people, because of the wickedness and aabominations of their bhusbands.
    32 And I will not suffer, saith the Lord of Hosts, that the cries of the fair daughters of this people, which I have led out of the land of Jerusalem, shall come up unto me against the men of my people, saith the Lord of Hosts.
    33 For they shall not lead away captive the daughters of my people because of their tenderness, save I shall visit them with a sore curse, even unto destruction; for they shall not commit awhoredoms, like unto them of old, saith the Lord of Hosts.
    34 And now behold, my brethren, ye know that these commandments were given to our afather, Lehi; wherefore, ye have known them before; and ye have come unto great condemnation; for ye have done these things which ye ought not to have done.
    35 Behold, ye have done agreater iniquities than the Lamanites, our brethren. Ye have broken the hearts of your tender wives, and lost the confidence of your children, because of your bad examples before them; and the sobbings of their hearts ascend up to God against you. And because of the bstrictness of the word of God, which cometh down against you, many hearts died, pierced with deep wounds.

  3. cds, thank you for pointing those things out and adding the full text of Jacob!

    I, too, have my doubts about the Nancy Rigdon letter attributed to Joseph. I cringe whenever it is quoted.
    I love the information gathered over on Restoration Bookstore.

  4. Awesome. Love that Galations passage! I resonate with this. Was listening to some really good music while reading this, so that made it even better (Owl City - fireflies).