Friday, November 21, 2008

Does the Book of Jacob support polygamy?

Chapter 2 of the Book of Jacob in the Book of Mormon addresses polygamy. The Utah LDS say it supports polygamy and the RLDS say it doesn't. Which is correct?

From the Utah LDS Book of Mormon, Jacob 2:22-35 reads as follows:

22 And now I make an end of speaking unto you concerning this pride. And were it not that I must speak unto you concerning a grosser crime, my heart would rejoice exceedingly because of you.

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 whoredoms, because of the things which were written concerning David, and Solomon his son.

24 Behold, David and Solomon truly had many wives and concubines, which thing was abominable 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 righteous 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 man among you have save it be one wife; and concubines he shall have none;

28 For I, the Lord God, delight in the chastity of women. And whoredoms 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 cursed be the land for their sakes.

30 For if I will, saith the Lord of Hosts, raise up seed 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 abominations of their husbands.

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 whoredoms, 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 father, 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 greater 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 strictness of the word of God, which cometh down against you, many hearts died, pierced with deep wounds.

The Utah LDS interpretation of this scripture is clearly described on the "Origins of Polygamy Among the Mormons" page of the Mormon Polygamy Web site as follows:

The Book of Mormon, translated in 1829, makes mention of polygamy and, while it seems to forbid polygamy, it recognizes that sometimes God commands men to practice polygamy.

Jacob 2:27-29 reads:

Wherefore, my brethren, hear me, and hearken to the word of the Lord: For there shall not any man among you have save it be one wife; and concubines he shall have none; For I, the Lord God, delight in the chastity of women. And whoredoms are an abomination before me; thus saith the Lord of Hosts. Wherefore, this people shall keep my commandments, saith the Lord of Hosts, or cursed be the land for their sakes. (Jacob 2:27-29)

Anti-Mormons and other critics of Mormonism see this passage as contradictory to later Mormon teachings, but such critics fail to quote the next verse, which explains the conditions under which polygamy may be practiced:

For if I will, saith the Lord of Hosts, raise up seed unto me, I will command my people; otherwise they shall hearken unto these things. (Jacob 2:30)

Polygamy is thus to be practiced as a religious principle and only when commanded by God. It should never be used to gratify lusts and can only be practiced properly under God’s direction and for his purposes.

As I understand this explanation, verse 30 is the only verse out of this entire passage of scripture that the Utah LDS say supports polygamy. According to the Mormon Polygamy Web site, which I believe is representative of the Utah LDS belief about polygamy, all the other verses in this passage of scripture support the position that polygamy is an abomination before the Lord.

In my experience of understanding the scriptures, I have found that proper interpretation of a verse comes from the meaning of the verses surrounding it. Jacob 2:30 must be interpreted in light of the meaning of the surrounding verses. To do otherwise could render a meaning opposed to the meaning of the surrounding text and thus would make no sense. It is clear from reading Jacob 2:22-35 above that the scriptures before and after Jacob 2:30 plainly state that having many wives as well as having concubines is a whoredom and an abomination before the Lord. And He forbade Jacob's people to have concubines and more than one wife. The Lord was not pleased with David and Solomon for doing these things and He was not pleased with the people in Jacob's time for also doing these things and justifying their actions by what David and Solomon did. In addition, the Lord stated that these actions were breaking the hearts of their wives and daughters and indicated that if they continued to pursue such activities, He would "visit them with a sore curse, even unto destruction..." (verse 33). Thus, to take verse 30 out of the middle of this entire passage, which strongly states that polygamy is evil, and render the meaning of verse 30 to be that "Polygamy is ... to be practiced ... only when commanded by God," is ridiculous. Such an interpretation is out of context with the meaning of the surrounding verses. Even more, it makes God changeable, which He is not.

So, if Jacob 2:30 shouldn't be interpreted that polygamy is acceptable when God commands it, then what is the meaning of this verse? Verse 25 says that the Lord led these people out of Jerusalem to give them an opportunity to become righteous. In this context, verse 30 means that if these people are going to become righteous, He must give them commandments to obey Him. If He doesn't, "they shall harken unto these things," or in other words they will commit these whoredoms and not become a righteous people. This interpretation of verse 30 is in context with the meaning of the surrounding verses and can be the only plausible meaning given to it.

Thus, in my opinion, Jacob 2:22-35 supports the position that polygamy is evil. Knowing this, Joseph would have never engaged in this activity. And the Lord, being unchangeable, would have never given him a revelation telling His people to practice polygamy.

22 comments:

  1. I found your website through a search. I am not familiar with the RLDS church, but was raised as a Mormon. I like how your analysis suggests that polygamy is wrong. I have heard the the offshoot churches are more attuned to the bible and Christianity, than the Utah church.

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  2. Thanks so much for your post. The Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (RLDS) was established in 1860. It was founded upon the principle that it was the original Church, reorganized. The Book of Mormon, Inspired Version of the Bible, and the Doctrine and Covenants contained the laws by which the Church was governed. Principles found in the Utah LDS Church like polygamy or celestial marriage, Adam-God theory, and blood atonement were not incorporated into the RLDS Church because they were not principles of the original Church and not founded in the scriptures. This was substantiated by the conclusions of Judge Phillips in the Temple Lot Suit in the 1890s.

    Joseph Smith III, Joseph Smith’s oldest son, was the first prophet of the Reorganization. Joseph Smith had designated him four times to be his successor prior to his death. Joseph Smith’s other sons, Alexander and David, and his wife, Emma, also joined the Reorganization. It was always the position of the Reorganization that Joseph Smith did not teach or practice polygamy, but that these principles were introduced into the Church by others including Brigham Young and several of the apostles. You may find out more information about this by reading Joseph Smith Fought Polygamy online.

    In 1958 the leaders of the RLDS Church (headquartered in Independence, MO) began to liberalize the Church and move it away from the original doctrines established by Joseph Smith, Jr. into mainstream Christianity. This included a reinterpretation of history to suggest that Joseph was a polygamist. By 1984 the liberalization had advanced to the point of changing Church law to allow women to be ordained into the priesthood. Those disagreeing with this position formed Restoration Branches to continue the original beliefs the Church. The main body continued to liberalize and eventually changed the church name to Community of Christ. It is the position of the Community of Christ today that Joseph Smith, Jr. was a polygamist. The Restoration Branches continue to affirm that he was not.

    Again, thank you for your post. I hope my response has given you a little more understanding about the RLDS Church. If you have any more questions, feel free to ask.

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  3. This same scripture is still used by the LDS to suggest that the Book of Mormon supported their belief in plural marriage. However, it is, in fact, one line taken out of context. As such it can be ambiguously used to justify whatever position the writer chooses. It can be equally interpreted to mean that God is chastising the people for disobeying His commandments (plural). If they cannot abide His commandments (plural), at least listen to the commandments regarding “these things” — “for there shall not any man among you have save it be one wife; and concubines he shall have none.” What is frequently omitted is reference to the succeeding verses:
    “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 abominations of their husbands. 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; 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 whoredoms, like unto they of old, saith the Lord of Hosts.” (BofM, Jacob CofC / RLDS 2:40-43 / LDS 2:31-33)
    The Lord is admonishing the “wickedness and abominations” of the husbands and fathers in answer to the “mourning” and “cries” of the wives and daughters. This places even more emphasis on the concept of a strict belief in monogamy.

    In another look at this same scripture, Joseph Smith III, son of Joseph Smith, Jr., wrote in 1883: The purpose of "raising up a righteous branch unto him," had already been stated by the Lord. It was for this that he led them out from the people of Jerusalem. It was for this that he reproved their departure from the law given at the outset. The language of Jacob's commendation of the Lamanites in which he states, "For they have not forgotten the commandment of the Lord, which was given unto our fathers, that they should have, save it were one wife, and concubines they should have none," points to that rule as one commanded long before Jacob's indictment against the Nephites, and shows its imperative character. The corruption which Jacob reproves is precisely that of David and Solomon which God said he would not suffer. The command is sweeping and comprehensive : "There shall not any man among you have save it be one wife, and concubines he shall have none." The reason assigned, "For I, the Lord God, delighteth in the chastity of women." [The Saints’ Herald, Vol. XXX, No. 44. (Nov 3, 1883) pg 705-708]

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  4. While recognizing I am a little late in the game, I am doing some research and ran accross your blog. I am a life time member of the RLDS (Community of Christ) church and would like to say that the following quote you made is not true, "It is the position of the Community of Christ today that Joseph Smith, Jr. was a polygamist". I am at the current time considering babtism in the LDS church,which my testimony leads me to believe is the one true church. I also believe as factual history proves, JS did practice and enter polygamy into doctrine. This is not the fault of BY. My point though is that RLDS or COC members do not believe this. I was raised on the fact that JS did not ever practice or promote polygamy. My mother (an elder in the the church) would addamently proclaim this to the world. I believe the only reason for the breakup of the RLDS chuch is the ordination of women in the priesthood, please do not hide behide lies. The COC may be coming more liberal but they do not believe JS practiced plural marraige. And who cares anyway? Humans have flaws, only thru Heavenly Father may we find the true path. Let us stop this division and all come together as one church. Whether we admit it or not, we are all Mormans.

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  5. Anonymous—

    Thanks for reading my blog and making comment.

    While I agree that the rank and file members of the Community of Christ may or may not believe that Joseph was a polygamist, I firmly believe it is the position of those making religious/historical interpretations for the church—the First Presidency, Quorum of Twelve, Church Historian—that Joseph was a polygamist. It would have probably been more accurate for me to have said that it is the position of the leadership of the Community of Christ that Joseph was a polygamist. However, as history has shown in the Community of Christ, where the leaders lead, eventually the members follow. You may want to further your study on this issue by reading part 1 and part 2 of The “New” Attack on Joseph in this blog. In addition, the history page of the John Whitmer Historical Association at jwha.info (About JWHA > A Brief History of the John Whitmer Historical Association) indicates when this belief was first introduced to the church leaders and the efforts they made to inform the membership of this new position. Also, the current church historian, Mark Scherer, made his position on this issue public in a 2005 Newsweek article (http://www.newsweek.com/id/50728/page/2) where he stated that by the end of Joseph’s life, “he had accrued some 30 wives….”

    I do not believe that the case presented supporting Joseph as a polygamist is based on “factual history” as you state. It is based on interpretive opinion of mainly statements made many years after the events by those heavily involved in polygamy. If you have not already done so, you need to read the many articles on this site supporting the position that he was not a polygamist. I also suggest you read the over two volumes of information of Joseph Smith Fought Polygamy at http://restorationbookstore.org/jsfp-index.htm. In addition, you should also read the Temple Lot Case where after hearing testimony pro and con about this issue under oath and cross-examination, the circuit court judge ruled (http://restorationbookstore.org/articles/heritage/articles/churchincourt.htm#start) that the evidence presented did not prove that Joseph was a polygamist. When you consider this information along with the fact that his immediate family, who knew him best, always denied his practice of polygamy, it becomes apparent that the “factual history” as you state is actually opinion based on only part of the entire body of evidence.

    While the ordination of women in the RLDS (now CofC) Church was the event that finally caused, as you stated, its “breakup,” I do not believe this was the only issue. As I observed and as confirmed by William D. Russell at a Sunstone conference presentation (http://mormonstories.org/?p=389), the liberal movement began in 1958 and was designed to move the church into mainstream Christianity. This has certainly come to pass today in the CofC.

    I do not agree that we are all Mormons because that term is used today to refer to the LDS Church with headquarters in Salt Lake City. That church differs in belief from the original church established by Joseph Smith, Jr. as does the Community of Christ today. If we believe that God restored His true Church through Joseph Smith, Jr. then we should seek out the group or organization that teaches the original doctrines and nothing more. I suggest as you consider joining the LDS Church, you do so with eyes wide open. A good way to do this is to read the blogs on the Internet pertaining to the LDS Church. One of the blogs I would recommend is puremormonism.blogspot.com. The author gives a fair assessment from a member’s perspective of the issues facing that church today.

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  6. Reguardles, I have never in my life of 41 years heard a single RLDS, (COC) member ever state or believe that J.S. jr was a polygamist. Quite the opposite.

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  7. Anonymous—

    Evidently, my experience in the RLDS Church was quite different from yours. I attended Graceland College shortly after the publication of Nauvoo—Kingdom on the Mississippi by Robert Flanders, which supported the position that Joseph was a polygamist. Alma Blair, who taught my LDS History class and who was friends with Robert Flanders, referenced this book as an authority on this issue. I estimate that the students in that class alone were divided about half and half on this issue. Bill Russell and Paul Edwards also had a great influence on the student body about this issue as well as other liberal beliefs that we see expressed today in the CofC. These men—all RLDS Church members—were some of the founders of the John Whitmer Historical Association, which began strictly as an association of RLDS members and continues today to have many RLDS members. This association has never published a book or article, nor had a conference subject, supporting any other position than Joseph was a polygamist. Mark Scherer, current CofC historian, was a Graceland classmate of mine. From my previous response, it is obvious where he stands on this issue.

    I’m very glad that in your RLDS Church experience you never heard anyone state they believed Joseph was a polygamist. However, as you can see, I did.

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  8. Anonymous, you said that history proves JS taught polygamy as a doctrine and that you think the LDS church is true. How could you believe that the LDS church is the one true church when Gordon Hinckley told Larry King on national tv that polygamy is not doctrinal? Watch the interview on youtube. Search Larry King Hinckley. He is not a Prophet of God. In fact Joseph Smith wasn't a prophet either. It is shown by his changes to his revelations that he made. Compare the book of commandments to the Doctrine and Covenants and see how JS changed his own revelations. I understand where you are coming from because I was raised in the LDS church. I left all the mormonism behind me when I figured JS wasn't a Prophet.

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  9. Anonymous 2/28 –

    If you haven’t already done so, you may wish to read my blog, “The Book of Commandments vs. The Doctrine and Covenants.” With supporting evidence it states, “When the revelations were prepared for the 1835 edition of the Doctrine and Covenants, great care was taken to ensure that the revelations published were exactly the same as the original ones.” In addition, the revelations in the Book of Commandments were altered from the original ones by men other than Joseph.

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  10. Jacob 2:30 is not a loophole for polygamy—far from it. While I don’t believe in the Book of Mormon, I do believe in grammar. Note that the verse begins with “For.” This is a conjunction that means “because.” It is “The word by which a reason is introduced of something before advanced” (Webster’s 1828 dictionary).

    However, “Because” won’t fit the Mormon apologists’ interpretation—v. 30 doesn’t answer why the Nephites must obey God’s commandment to stop polygamy (expressed in the previous verse). Mormons must pretend “For” means “but” or “however” or “nevertheless” in order to completely switch horses in the middle of the stream, so to speak.

    So what does v. 30 really mean? Let’s break it down:
    “For if I will, saith the Lord of Hosts, raise up seed unto me.” V. 25 has already said God “led this people forth out of the land of Jerusalem, by the power of mine arm, that I might raise up unto me a righteous branch from the fruit of the loins of Joseph.” That’s the SEED referred to later in v. 30. A companion verse is 1 Nephi 7:12--“. . . [Lehi’s] sons should take daughters to wife, that they might RAISE UP SEED UNTO THE LORD in the land of promise.”

    “. . . I will command my people.” This clause does not mean or say, “I will command my people to commit polygamy” as Mormon apologists try to influence people into believing. It refers back to the previous verse regarding the people keeping Gods commandments AGAINST polygamy. “Command” here simply means “govern” or “rule.” It’s similar to a general saying, “I will command the army.” Obviously, if the people disobey His COMMANDments, then God is not in command of the people, and their seed will not be righteous.

    “. . . otherwise they shall hearken unto these things.” Mormons would claim “things” here refers to God’s commandments, but these “things” were identified already in v. 23--“for they seek to excuse themselves in committing whoredoms, because of the THINGS which were written concerning David, and Solomon his son.”

    Putting it all together in a paraphrase, Jacob 30 actually means: “Because if I will raise up a righteous branch here in the Promised Land, I will govern my people; otherwise they shall listen to the things written about David and Solomon and continue committing whoredoms.”

    All that being said, I do believe the evidence shows Joseph Smith was a polygamist. The church formerly known as RLDS seems to acknowledge this on its web site.

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  11. Mr. Stout--

    Thank you so much for your insightful response about Jacob 2:30. Excellent job! I couldn’t agree more with your interpretation.

    Regarding Joseph as a polygamist, if you haven’t already done so, I suggest you read Joseph Smith Fought Polygamy at http://restorationbookstore.org/jsfp-index.htm. It may change your opinion about Joseph and polygamy. In addition, having lived through and observed the liberalization of the RLDS Church into becoming the Community of Christ, I do not believe that their current position of Joseph being a polygamist is driven by a desire for the truth. It is driven by a desire of their leadership to distance the church from Joseph so they can continue to move it into mainstream Christianity. For more information on this, I suggest you read two of my blogs: The “New” Attack on Joseph—Part 1 & 2.

    Thanks again for your comments.

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  12. You might be interested to know that the Utah LDS Church has recently revised their chapter headings for a new 2013 edition of their version of the Book of Mormon and other scriptures. (Of course none of these headings were part of the original text of the Book of Mormon, and were only added and edited later, but it is interesting to see how the Utah LDS Church is adjusting its interpretations.) In particular, they have changed the heading for Jacob Chapter 2:

    Heading from prior edition: "...Jacob condemns the unauthorized practice of plural marriage..."

    Heading from current 2013 edition: "...The Lord commands that no man among the Nephites may have more than one wife..." (the statement above from the prior edition has been completely replaced by this new statement)

    The tone and meaning has shifted considerably in the direction of the true content of the Chapter. For example, in the old heading, it is "Jacob", not the Lord, who condemns plural marriage. So, the condemnation alluded to by the heading may appear to potentially carry less weight. Moreover, the old heading asserts that Jacob is condemning "unauthorized" practices of plural marriage. Of course, this (false) allusion to a caveat is made front-and-center in the old heading.

    In the new heading, now it is the Lord doing the commanding. This puts the verses into the appropriate context as direct commandments from God (relayed of course by his Prophet Jacob). However, the caveat allusion is once again present, although much more subtlely present in the qualifier "among the Nephites". The implication here is that somehow the commandment is limited in scope and could be interpreted as only applying to the Nephites and as even possibly as being new to them.

    This change is consistent with the Utah LDS Church further distancing itself from its polygamy roots. However, unfortunately, it's still hanging on somewhat here to a caveat.

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  13. Another way to interpret verse 30-
    30 For if I will, saith the Lord of Hosts, raise up seed unto me, I will command my people; otherwise they shall hearken unto these things.

    In Jacob we just read eight verses very clearly condemning the “abomination” and “whoredom” polygamy is in the eyes of God, and now he says it is ok if he wants it to be. That's what we should think this means? Seriously? Not! If that is what you see here you are being blinded. We need to look at the one misinterpreted word used here by advocates of polygamy, which causes this verse to be confusing when it is taken out of the context it is clearly in. They claim this one word overrides all the verses before and all the verses after and and thus we get the foolish claim, "The Book of Mormon makes it clear that the Lord may, under some circumstances, command the practice of plural marriage." Huh? Makes it clear? Where? This is ridiculous and completely false and is a corruption of the word of God. The word otherwise as used in 1828 had a different definition which was Oth"er*wise` (?), adv. [Other + wise manner.] In a different manner; in another way, or in other ways; differently; contrarily. When that usage is applied this verse has a much different meaning and fits completely with the context it is in. It is crucial to use the correct definition of the word otherwise here in this verse as it was understood and used in the time this was translated : 30 For if I will, saith the Lord of Hosts, raise up seed unto me, I will command my people; in a different manner they shall hearken unto these things.
    What manner of behavior is Jacob in the middle of expounding on and condemning here? The abominable manner of David and Solomon, right? And the abominable manner of the Nephites in misinterpreting the scriptures to justify committing “whoredoms” by having more than one wife. Isn't this a type and shadow? God is really reiterating here what he just stated in verse 25. When He chooses to raise up a righteous seed(branch) unto Him He will give those people commandments to follow. And they will keep those commandments in a different manner than was done by "them of old". Pretty straightforward. And we are told here one of the main and most important commandments given to them in order to be a righteous branch of His People, is they are only to have one wife. And this fact will even be made clearer when we get to Jacob 3:5,6. So God is saying here: IN A DIFFERENT MANNER than David and Solomon did of old, His people WILL hearken unto these things; what things? His commandments.

    30 For if I will, saith the Lord of Hosts, raise up seed unto me, I will command my people; in another way they shall hearken unto these things.

    Here is another acceptable definition of the word "otherwise" as used in the time of Joseph Smith which also shows God does not condone the way of David and Solomon, and commands His people to act differently. Again, what things are Jacob condemning here? The abominations and whoredoms of David and Solomon by having many wives and concubines. He is telling all His people if they are going to continue to be His people they will act in another way than David and Solomon did. It is ridiculous to think God just condemns something and then in the middle of condemning it says "But if I feel like it I still might tell you to do this when I want you to." God isn't wishy washy. He is the "same God yesterday, today, and forever"(D&C 20:12). Mormon taught this great truth clearly, "For do we not read that God is the same yesterday, today, and forever, and in him there is no variableness neither shadow of changing?"(Mormon 9:9) Again, this verse is NOT an exception it is a reiteration of verse 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 righteous branch from the fruit of the loins of Joseph.

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  14. Jacob 3: 5 Behold, the Lamanites your brethren, whom ye hate because of their filthiness and the cursing which hath come upon their skins, are more righteous than you; for they have not forgotten the commandment of the Lord, which was given unto our father(Lehi)—that they should have save it were ONE wife, and concubines they should have none, and there should not be whoredoms committed among them.

    This is completely unequicoval in its condemnation of having more than one wife irregardless of what that process is called, be it polygamy, polyandry, plural marriage or the spiritual wife system. It is a commandment given to all of God's people. Calling something by another name doesn't change what it really is. You can call a rattlesnake a big earthworm but it is still a rattlesnake.

    6 And now, this commandment they observe to keep; wherefore, because of this observance, in keeping this commandment, the Lord God will not destroy them, but will be merciful unto them; and one day they shall become a blessed people.

    Amazingly we learn here just the fact the Lamanites observed this commandment was enough to offset the punishment for all their other unrighteous acts, allowing them to be saved from total destruction, which the Nephites suffered. And then they are promised they will become a "blessed people" for keeping this commandment. This is Huge! Could it be any clearer how the Lord feels about the sanctity of marriage being between only ONE man and ONE woman? How many times and in how many ways must he say it? And it is wisdom to throw all this out the window because of the misunderstanding of the meaning of the word, 'otherwise'? You think God will give you a pass for that? "Sorry God, I ignored everything else you revealed about this and common sense and logic because I thought you created a loophole with a single word, which I didn't even bother to look up in a period-correct dictionary". Good luck with that.

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  15. I've loved these comments. One more quick point. In Jacob 2:33 the Lord says, "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 whoredoms, like unto them of old." When you read President Wilson's account of what would happen to the Saints if they continued practicing polygamy, it's quite chilling. (From: https://www.lds.org/topics/the-manifesto-and-the-end-of-plural-marriage?lang=eng) "President Woodruff saw that the Church’s temples and its ordinances were now at risk. Burdened by this threat, he prayed intensely over the matter. 'The Lord showed me by vision and revelation,' he later said, 'exactly what would take place if we did not stop this practice,' referring to plural marriage. 'All the temples [would] go out of our hands.' God 'has told me exactly what to do, and what the result would be if we did not do it.' On September 25, 1890, President Woodruff wrote in his journal that he was 'under the necessity of acting for the Temporal Salvation of the Church.'” It seems the Lord was quite serious!

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  16. President Woodruff's account. :)

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  17. What is still unclear to me is that if polygamy is such an abomination to the Lord, then why do so many of the Lord's prophets throughout history engage in it. Forget the fuzzy history on Joseph Smith for a bit and look at the ample examples in the old testament.

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    1. While a few practiced polygamy, there is no evidence in the Bible that the Lord told them to do so or condoned it.

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  18. I love your interpretation and analysis of Jacob 2:30. On another note I recently read an in depth yet concise anonymously written article about Joseph Smith and his monogamy... I'd love to share it with you. I'd also love to know who wrote it. Email me at healthyutah@gmail.com if you'd like to to read it (assuming you haven't already).
    Shawn

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  19. Anonymous 4-24-16

    I have read the article your reference. I thought is was very good. Thanks for your comment.

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  20. Caremuffin@hotmail.comSeptember 9, 2016 at 12:05 PM

    I'd love to read it as well!!! I love all of this!!

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    1. CM--

      I think that the document for which you are looking is located at http://downloads.miridiatech.com.s3.amazonaws.com/remnant/JosephSmithsMonogamy.pdf.

      Enjoy.

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Please treat all who post and their opinions with respect.